Bargain basement: an Intel 660p 1-TB NVMe SSD for $105, and much more

Season's greetings, good gerbils. I had a rather nasty RSI-induced event recently. My upper back has been pretty tightened up, and things came to a head a couple days ago when I felt the tip of my thumb going numb. Knowing the possible causes, I freaked out more than a little. One visit to my friendly chiropractor, and I'm now back on track for a good recovery. Keep in mind, folks, when you're dealing with anything involving muscles, tendons, and spine, don't wait too long before ringing up a professional. Anyways, here's today's selection of PC hardware deals.

  • We don't often see Intel gear on sale, but today is an exception. We're initiating the ceremony with the Intel 660p 1-TB NVMe drive. This SSD is underpinned by a helping of 3D QLC NAND and can push data at up to 1800 MB/s when reading or writing. Those with heavy-duty workloads will be happy to know that it can do 150 K random read IOPS and 220 K write IOPS. I recently built my HTPC using the 512 GB model, and I have nothing to say other than it works as advertised, which is what you want in an SSD. Get it for $104.99 from Newegg if you use cart code EMCTWTC24.

  • The Intel Core i5-9400F processor is one of the meatiest mid-range CPUs you can get your hands on right now. It's got 9 MB of L3 cache and six Ice Lake Refresh cores that can hit a very healthy 4.1 GHz. This chip does away with integrated graphics, but that's fine since we figure most people are going to pair it with a discrete graphics card anyway. Take it home from Newegg for $159.99 with the cart code EMCTWTC23.

  • For most computing needs these days, there's little reason to go with a big honkin' tower machine. One of the most popular alternatives to common form factors would be Intel's NUC 8 (BOXNUC8I3CYSM1). This compact machine measures 4.6 x 4.4" and comes fitted with a Core i3-8121U processor, 8 GB of RAM, and a 1-TB hard drive. Rather interestingly, an AMD Radeon 540 graphics chip handles all the pixel-pushing. You can acquire this tiny box from Newegg for just $419 with the EMCTWTC49 cart code.

  • It's big hard drive season again, it seems. The Western Digital Easystore 10 TB external drive is capacious, simple, and costs $159.99 at Best Buy with a bundled 32-GB USB stick. That works out to $16 per terabyte. If you don't need that much room (yeah, right), then the Western Digital Easystore 8 TB drive comes in at $134.99 at Newegg with cart code WD8TBEXHDS, although that one includes no USB stick offer.

  • Ultra-portable machines are nice for toting around, but serious work requires something like a Dell XPS 13 9380. We have two models on hand today, both fitted with Intel Core i7-8565U processors. The most powerful machine (model xnita3ws606h) comes with 16 GB of RAM, a 512 GB NVMe drive, and a gorgeous 4K touchscreen. This beastie rings in at $1504.79 at Rakuten. If a colorful 1920×1080 suffices for your needs, then the xnita3ws604h variant with 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD will set you back only $1108.79 at Rakuten.

That's all for today, folks! There's a chance you're looking for something we haven't covered. If that's the case, you can help The Tech Report by using the following referral links when you're out shopping: Not only do we have a partnership with Newegg and Amazon, but we also work with Best Buy, Adorama, RakutenWalmart, and Sam's Club. For more specific needs, you can also shop with our links at Das Keyboard's shop.

Comments closed
    • Srsly_Bro
    • 5 months ago

    Daily stretching and flexibility training can go a long way. Many people skip on body maintenance and head to the chiropractor because they’ve been neglecting their body for far too long.

    Many chiropractors don’t solve the problem, else they’d have no patients. Moving a vertebrae doesn’t fix muscle tightness, that’s what stretching is for. If you don’t fix the muscle tightness, posture, or connective tissue issues, you’re just throwing your money away.

    Preventative maintenance is they key, boys and girls, not paying to feel good for a few days.

    Car analogy: you can follow scheduled maintenance or have your car towed when you hit 15k miles on your not synthetic oil.

    Your call, dorks.

      • K-L-Waster
      • 5 months ago

      Factually correct, but -1 for poor delivery.

        • Srsly_Bro
        • 5 months ago

        I only care about being factually correct.

        #clearly

        You get a +1 for delivery.

    • MOSFET
    • 5 months ago

    That Coffee Lake NUC is a bit curious, with the [url=https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/136863/intel-core-i3-8121u-processor-4m-cache-up-to-3-20-ghz.html<]non-eDRAM i3 choice[/url<] and the non-joint-venture Radeon graphics. Probably not on sale today, but there is also the [url=https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/135936/intel-core-i3-8109u-processor-4m-cache-up-to-3-60-ghz.html<]eDRAM (128MB) and Iris Plus version in i3[/url<], i5, and i7 flavor.

    • MOSFET
    • 5 months ago

    Bruno, you idi0t! You should have waited!

    [i<](apologies, your magical programming editing majesty.)[/i<]

      • morphine
      • 5 months ago

      [quote<](apologies, your magical programming editing majesty.)[/quote<] Har. Those aren't the adjectives I'd use.

    • e1jones
    • 5 months ago

    Ugh… QLC. Almost got excited until I saw that. Recently grabbed a HP EX9200 512 (pretty sure they’re TLC) and they’re even cheaper now. Might get another, for reasons.

      • willmore
      • 5 months ago

      Yeah, QLC is going a bit too far.

        • Firestarter
        • 5 months ago

        [quote<]bit[/quote<] I see what you did there

          • willmore
          • 5 months ago

          I was hoping that was DAD enough for people to get it without being too subtle. 😉

        • jihadjoe
        • 5 months ago

        lol agreed. As cheap as this is the NVMe interface is a bit wasted because it’s really not good as a primary system drive. I reckon it’ll be good for mostly read-only loads like housing a Steam library.

          • Waco
          • 5 months ago

          I’m still amazed that people are dogging on QLC drives. A good controller compensates for 99% of the workloads that consumers will put on them.

            • MOSFET
            • 5 months ago

            I certainly see your point, but I’m still not sold on performance just yet. I mean, yes, ANY ssd is pretty much fine (aside from the very few outright lemons, cough V4) for consumer use.

            I also not entirely sold on QLC longevity just yet. I suspect I will be in a few years, though, when everything turns out fine, like with planar MLC and 3D TLC.

            And oh yeah, we’re not normal consumers here, Mr Threadripper NAS CPU transcoder 🙂 I’m spoiled by Samsung performance and the longevity of Sandforce drives. (yes, Chrispy_, really)

            • Chrispy_
            • 5 months ago

            What? I’m using a 6-year-old Intel 330 drive in this 8-year old i7-2600 as I write this 😉

            Nothing wrong with Sandforce longevity, their compression tech resulted in some of the lowest write-amplification ever to grace SSDs. IMO their only real flaw was fixed once they solved the bluescreening firmware on 2281 controllers.

            • willmore
            • 5 months ago

            There’s two issues here. One is that QLC drives may have reasonable read speeds, they will continue to have poor write performance–SLC caching will help, but only for so long and it only leads to higher write amplification. Which is the real point: write longevity.

            We’re losing an order of magnitude of write cycles every time we double the bits per cell. We’re down to the low hundreds of write cycles/block. They have to go to clever tricks to keep the metadata safe and ‘clever tricks’ is another way of saying ‘intruducing subtle bugs’. So, I’m not filled with confidence that these drives won’t come back to bite us.

            • Waco
            • 5 months ago

            Sure, but the same was said for MLC and TLC. 😛

            I’m just glad these drives are dirt cheap and will still last essentially forever in client applications.

            • willmore
            • 5 months ago

            That’s a slippery slope fallacy.

            • DavidC1
            • 5 months ago

            Order of magnitude!=2x

            Order of magnitude is 10x.

            “TLCs” have made TLCs acceptable. I’m pretty sure the chip will get better as they are only in the first generation.

            • willmore
            • 5 months ago

            Yes and we’re going from single digit thousands to single digit hundreds. That’s 10x.

            • DavidC1
            • 5 months ago

            Intel SSD 660P: 0.1 DWPD
            Intel SSD 760P: 0.3 DWPD

            We had this nonsense paranoia since MLC(2-bit cells) back in 2009. Manufacturing will improve over time too.

            The biggest thing going against QLC is actually that it only provides a theoretical 33% density per dollar improvement.

            • willmore
            • 5 months ago

            Apples and oranges.

            The chips themselves have lost an order or magnitude of endurance. The drive level values have changed less bacause of more complex controllers and larger amounts of over provisioning–both of which eat into the cost effectiveness.

            So we end up with drives with poorer performance, lower durability, and for only a small improvement is price.

            Take your ad hominem attacks and shove them in to the hole where Waco keeps their slippery slopes.

            “manufacturing will improve over time”. Maybe so, but physics is pretty damn constant.

            • Waco
            • 5 months ago

            Nobody is attacking you. You’re just cranky that the market is going to go this way whether you like it or not.

            The price will bear out when you start talking about bigger drives. 1 TB drives? No, probably not going to amortize the more elaborate controllers (though those are getting cheaper as time moves on as well). 10 TB and beyond? Yeah. The price of the flash is going to dominate the BoM.

            • willmore
            • 5 months ago

            Try reading DavidC1’s comments. He accuses me of being paranoid. Argue the facts, not the emotional state of the other person. Just like you did.

            • Waco
            • 5 months ago

            Sensitive much?

            Just like him, I agree that the entire concern of durability is overblown. For almost all consumer workloads, it’s literally a nonissue. This has been proven multiple times with the transitions to MLC and TLC. The exact same arguments [i<]every time[/i<] not backed up with real-world data. No, they aren't appropriate for everything. That's been true ever since SSDs were invented. Choosing the correct product for the workload intended has always been a requirement.

            • jihadjoe
            • 5 months ago

            I put my OS drive through a lot of work. Actually managed to get the “remaining life” meter on an old 120GB Intel SSD 530 down to about 20%, having done close to 300TB in drive writes before I retired it.

            • limitedaccess
            • 5 months ago

            How can we say this for certain? No one actually tests against the real concern for QLC drives which is longevity and I’m not referring to endurance/write to failure. Voltage drift is the concern that is not addressed.

            How well will QLC drives hold up performance wise after 2 years (or more) of writes? Especially with reading back old data instead of freshly written data as done with SSD reviews?

            • Waco
            • 5 months ago

            Given that MLC and TLC drives had the same concerns lobbed at them and very few drives had issues… history?

            • willmore
            • 5 months ago

            Samsung has a bit of an issue on a whole generation of drives.

            Are we forgetting that?

            • Waco
            • 5 months ago

            Not forgetting. Just pointing out that problems are few and far between.

          • willmore
          • 5 months ago

          Just don’t put frequent updaters on it like DTOA, etc. 🙂

      • Chrispy_
      • 5 months ago

      QLC on an NVMe drive makes me sad; Phenomenal cosmic read speeds, terrible general-use/write/copy/save/application performance. They’re good for synthetic disk benchmarks and loading your games but I hope you have a lot of patience when that last patch wants to modify 45GB of game files when you click on “launch game”.

      The automotive analogy that springs to mind is a fast car with awful brakes and handling. Sure, it’s good on a drag strip but in reality you can never drive it very fast because it won’t turn and can’t stop.

      At least decent TLC drives come with pretty solid write performance. No, they’re not able to saturate the write bandwidth like enterprise-class MLC drives but they’re at least fast enough that mechanical drives aren’t going to be chomping at their heels.

        • Waco
        • 5 months ago

        The occasional wait for writing (even on early drives, I expect bandwidth to improve as denser drives are available) to save 30% or so on the overall cost is worth it, IMO.

        Granted, the cost savings aren’t there yet. They’ll get there though.

          • Chrispy_
          • 5 months ago

          QLC controllers are more complicated and more expensive, and QLC drives require more spare area overhead due to the much higher reliance on SLC-mode cache and large increase in the amount of idle garbage collection, page management, and re-writing stale data to avoid data loss through voltage drift with far tighter tolerances between different voltage stages.

          Yes, there are potentially 30% cost savings in the NAND, but then lose 10% of those to controller cost increases, and 10% of that to SLC-mode cache and 10% of that to increased spare area requirements and they’ve broken even.

          On top of all that they’re trying to sell an inferior product to TLC with the stigma of QLC’s poor performance/endurance.
          TLC NAND is already a shift towards poor write performance to reduce costs and plenty of drives perform poorly enough at the low-cost end of the market that anyone who reads reviews will avoid them. Those drives end up selling for minimal profit in fire-sales before newer, denser models completely ruin their prospects of selling altogether.

          We are already at the bottom of the barrel with budget TLC. I could be wrong, but I believe that QLC is the last step down in performance for the mass market and as NVMe becomes more commonplace, it will lose its already low appeal.

            • Waco
            • 5 months ago

            Time will tell. I’m not worried. 🙂

            Remember the numbers shift far more into the favor of denser flash as drive sizes grow. On a small drive, it’s likely a break even prospect. On a 4 TB+ drive, that 33% reduction in cost carries far more weight.

            • Chrispy_
            • 5 months ago

            Agreed, but those drives are years off and for QLC to reach those capacities they need to be an economically-viable sales success at current sizes.

            • Waco
            • 5 months ago

            I have almost 20 TB QLC drives in testbeds already. The shift is going to happen regardless of whether or not the consumer market likes it.

    • Prestige Worldwide
    • 5 months ago

    For Canadians, same SSD deal is on neweggcanada ebay account for $143 (159-10% off with coupon code PERFECTECH)

    1tb – $143 CAD
    [url<]http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/706-53473-19255-0/1?type=4&campid=5335823041&toolid=10001&customid=&mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.ca%2Fitm%2FIntel-660p-Series-M-2-2280-1TB-PCI-Express-3-0-x4-3D-NAND-Internal-Solid-State-D%2F173581970365[/url<] 2tb - $269.99 CAD [url<]http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/706-53473-19255-0/1?type=4&campid=5335823041&toolid=10001&customid=&mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.ca%2Fitm%2FIntel-660p-Series-M-2-2280-2TB-PCI-Express-3-0-x4-3D-NAND-Internal-Solid-State-D%2F202458060878[/url<]

    • Goty
    • 5 months ago

    Since we’re recommending CPUs without integrated graphics (sorry, chuckula), how about a Ryzen 5 1600 for only $80?

    [url<]https://www.microcenter.com/product/478826/amd-ryzen-5-1600-32ghz-6-core-am4-boxed-processor-with-wraith-spire-cooler[/url<] You do have to be lucky enough to live near a Microcenter as the deal is in-store only, but that's a fantastic deal on a solid midrange CPU.

      • DancinJack
      • 5 months ago

      Agree, and while you’re there (even if it is NOT advertised) ask about a CPU+Mobo(and maybe +RAM) combo deal. When I bought a 4790K + an Asus board at the Cambridge/Boston Microcenter there was no deal explicitly listed anywhere but I asked and got like, 30-40 bucks off the combo.

        • Goty
        • 5 months ago

        I think they do have a $30 combo deal going right now, so even better if you need the mobo too.

          • DPete27
          • 5 months ago

          The $30 combo deal is always on at Microcenter. That’s what they’re known for.

            • DancinJack
            • 5 months ago

            Yeah, what I meant was that there are only certain CPUs and certain mobos on the deals at times, but if you ask you can sometimes get them to give you the discount on items not advertised.

      • chuckula
      • 5 months ago

      I’d prefer to recommend a CPU with AVX-512 in a NUC.

        • Goty
        • 5 months ago

        Of course you would.

        • Krogoth
        • 5 months ago

        I would recommend a CPU that has some Loctite epoxy and Gorilla glue mixed with the salty tears of fanboys.

          • chuckula
          • 5 months ago

          I love the smell of glue in the morning.

          It smells like…. Victory.

          • shaq_mobile
          • 5 months ago

          Wait what is the glue thing about? You guys keep joking about it but I’m drunk and ignorant.

            • DancinJack
            • 5 months ago

            something about all the dies on recent AMD CPUs.

            • RAGEPRO
            • 5 months ago

            An Intel exec in an earnings call supposedly referred to AMD’s CPUs as “glued together” in a derisive fashion. Which became all the more amusing when EPYC is performance-competitive with Xeons in a lot of workloads.

            • Krogoth
            • 5 months ago

            ^^^^

            The irony is that Intel was going to go the same route before Zen family was taped out. AMD had simply beaten Intel to punch.

        • Goty
        • 5 months ago

        Hey, do you think they came up with the F designation after they looked at the 8121U and said, “Hey, we can’t produce enough chips with working GPUs on 14nm [i<]either[/i<]! We should make this into a product line!" or had they already planned it and they figured releasing a chip called the 8121FU was a little too on the nose?

          • chuckula
          • 5 months ago

          Considering of AMD, Nvidia, and Intel it’s Intel that will be shipping the largest acreage of GPU silicon on and advanced process in 2019, you might want to take the cocky attitude down a bit.

          Especially when AMD “OMG 7nm miracle process” with all those 7nm chiplets that are supposedely flying out of TSMC couldn’t stop TSMC from this: [url<]https://www.digitimes.com/news/a20190308VL201.html[/url<] Oh yeah, AMD is totally going to DESTROY Intel and Ngreedia with that avalanche of products when their orders at TSMC can't even mitigate a 22% revenue dump. Meanwhile, Intel is fully utilized and will probably have more Cascade Lake parts shipped by April than AMD is going to have Epyc 2 parts manufactured all year.

            • faramir
            • 5 months ago

            Did this affect TSMC’s bottom line you are referring to: [url<]https://www.techpowerup.com/251954/tsmc-fab-14-b-hit-with-chemical-contamination-nvidia-mediatek-huawei-hisilicon-lines-affected[/url<] or is it yet to hit them?

            • Srsly_Bro
            • 5 months ago

            It was reported that it didn’t affect 7nm products. Conspiracy maybe?

            • Goty
            • 5 months ago

            He’s so cute when he’s mad.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 5 months ago

          No, it’s “press F to pay respects to the fallen iGPU”

            • Goty
            • 5 months ago

            Ooh, that’s a good one too. I guess I’m in a weird age gap where I’m young enough to have played through that particular reference but old enough that I don’t think to use it when the chance arises.

      • HERETIC
      • 5 months ago

      “Since we’re recommending CPUs without integrated graphics”

      Intel used to give us the odd broken CPU without graphics.
      If the chart at Hexus is accurate, looks like the 10nm diseased/broken graphics,
      has regressed to 14nm in a big way-
      [url<]https://www.hexus.net/tech/news/cpu/128189-fujitsu-spills-intel-9th-gen-desktop-cpu-list/[/url<] BROKEN-BROKEN-BROKEN EVERYWHERE.......................................... Tin foil hat on- Wonder if this is a clever long term plan by Intel, A manufactured die without graphics would be about half size. So once their GPU's are ready, they could sell them in pairs...................

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This