Bargain basement: an Intel 660p 2 TB NVMe drive for $200 and much more

Greetings folks! I have to rush the pleasantries today. It's been a bad day full of bureaucracy, and although it's past 7 pm around here, I feel like I haven't really done anything yet besides running around like a headless chicken. I did take the time to collect and filter the finest PC hardware deals for your perusal. There's a ton of great picks today, let's get going.

  • Sing with me: NAND prices are falling down, falling down… There used to be a time when having one terabyte of SSD storage was a crazy prospect, never mind two. And yet, that's exactly what you get with the Intel 660p 2 TB NVMe SSD. This unassuming gumstick can push data sequentially at up to 1800 MB/s in either direction, and its random I/O performance measures 220 K IOPS both ways. That's a rather potent concoction, and the price is pretty crazy at $199.99 at Newegg with the cart code EMCTWUE22.

  • If you're anything like me, you like control rodents with few frills and just the right amount of buttons and functionality. The SteelSeries Rival 110 delivers on those fronts. It's got six buttons, weighs a mere 3.17 oz (90 g), and has a 7200-DPI sensor with 1:1 tracking. Best of all, all you need to get one from Amazon is $22.99.

  • Get rid of that tiny, low-res monitor on your desk and replace with something more in tune with the year 2019. The Acer ET322QK is a large 32" display with a resolution of 3840×2160. Its VA panel has a maximum brightness of 300 cd/m², and there's a pair of built-in speakers and FreeSync support on tap. The included stand is quite pretty if I may say so, too. Newegg will hand one of these to you for $314.99 with the cart code NEFPBG11 while stocks last.

  • If 32" of monitor is too much for your desk, then check out the LG 27UK600-W instead. This IPS monitor also has a resolution of 3840×2160, along with a contrast ratio of 1000:1 and maximum brightness of 350 cd/m². Once again, FreeSync comes along for the ride. You can obtain one for $349.99 from the folks at Best Buy.

  • The iPad Pro 10.5" is a prime example of computing in a pure tablet form factor. Its gorgeous 120-Hz display has a resolution of 2224×1668 and nearly full coverage of the DCI-P3 color space. Inside, you'll find an Apple A10X SoC and 64 GB of flash storage. Rakuten is currently selling this puppy for just $475.96 provided you enter the checkout code PRO84.

  • In usual form, we're finishing up with a potent portable. The Huawei MateBook X Pro checks pretty much every box in a long list of features. To start, the IPS touchscreen has a tasty resolution of 3000×2000 (about 258 PPI), maximum brightness of 450 cd/m², and a 1500:1 contrast ratio. Inside, there's a Core i7-8550U processor next to 16 GB of RAM and accompanied by a Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics card. A 512 GB NVMe handles storage. The whole machine weighs but 2.93 lb (1.33 kg), and it's rather compact given that the screen-to-body ratio is a whopping 91%. Last but not least, there are Type-A and Type-C USB ports, along with a Thunderbolt 3 connector. The battery's also pretty capacious at 57.4 Wh. The price is currently set at a ridiculous $1139.99 at Newegg while stocks last.

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
    • BIF
    • 9 months ago

    I just bought two of these, but didn’t know about the deal, so I overpaid by about $40 (20 each). It’s too late now, they’re already in the machine. But so far so good.

    • shaq_mobile
    • 9 months ago

    Isn’t 60hz and below freesync functionally just vsync? I don’t know the dirty details but I thought the draw of free and gsync was the higher rate. Didn’t vsync match anything below 60? Or did it just cap frames to 60?

    I hated the way vsync felt in video games. Counterstrike on hl1 played different on it. I guess I just felt the additional latency didn’t feel with the tearing. I guess I’ve always hated it so much I just disregard it as a feature. I tried it with gsync and it still feels laggy.

      • jihadjoe
      • 9 months ago

      Below 60Hz is actually where free/g sync work best (assuming LFC is present).

      When you drop below 60Hz and Vsync is on it just waits for the next refresh, so anything between 30 and 59Hz effectively refreshes the monitor at 30Hz. Between 20 and 29Hz is effectively 20Hz and so on.

    • anotherengineer
    • 9 months ago

    I like those 3:2 screens like the surface one and that huawei.

    I wish they had a 24″ one that resolution, it would be nice for autocad. These crappy 16:9 screens, after the cad ribbon and title block there is a small strip, instead of a full border.

    # 16:9 sux for cad

      • Chrispy_
      • 9 months ago

      Agreed, but the real problem is 1080P

      I must have over 200 architects and engineers still on dual 1080p displays and the problem isn’t the aspect ratio, it’s the limited vertical resolution – we were using 1600×1200 Diamondtron displays [i<]twenty[/i<] years ago so 1080p is a huge downgrade that was only really worse in the Windows 3.x era of 1152x864 and 1280x960. 3440x1440 is pretty popular since it's realistically a couple of 1720x1440 windows, a few nutjobs are willing to go full crazy and run 32" 4K displays without scaling.

        • anotherengineer
        • 9 months ago

        agreed again

        same boat, dual 1080p displays at 21.5″, which gives a so so ppi. I mainly review specs, so I have 1 screen in portrait mode, which is nice for that, but i’d take a 3:2 or 4:3 or even a 16:10 over 16:9 for work stuff any day.

        for gaming 16:9 is ok i guess

        over 200 nerds, lol that must be fun

        I have a 23.8″ 2560×1440 at home, windows scales icons, but other than that I typically don’t have/use scaling either. Some things it makes it bigger but more blurry.
        Windows 10 really should build for 24″ 4k res as a default instead of 1080……sigh………

      • Beelzebubba9
      • 9 months ago

      Not that this is the same as a real 3:2 monitor, but I’m currently running a Viewsonic VP3881 which has a 3840×1600 resolution on a 38″ widescreen. Since the point of a screen like this is to split it into two virtual monitors, my effective workspace is made up of two 1920×1600 screens. Going from 1080, or even 1440 pixels, to 1600 is pretty great and due to the size of the display resolution scaling is not required.

      tl;dr 1600 vertical pixels at 100% scaling in Windows is great.

    • moose17145
    • 9 months ago

    [quote<]If SATA drives are more your thing, then check out the Adata SU800.[/quote<] It's not that SATA is more my flavor... I would like to have NVMe... it's just that until very recently NVMe has carried a ridiculous price premium and does not provide actual performance improvements for my home desktop use compared to SATA III. With only a very few exceptions, NVMe doesn't make my windows boot faster, nor does it load my games faster... so there just was not much reason to spend the extra money for it. That being said... that AData drive looks like it could be a very nice addition to my Windows XP Box... Edit because BBC fail on my part...

      • Krogoth
      • 9 months ago

      NVMe didn’t really carry that much of a price premium over SATA. The primary obstacle for adoption was that it required a relatively new chipset platform (9 series or newer for Intel and 3xx series or newer for AMD) to get proper support.

    • smilingcrow
    • 9 months ago

    At 200 bucks for a 2TB NVMe drive QLC is acceptable. Be fine for me as a storage drive that will only be noticeably slow the first time I bulk transfer tons of data to it.

    • Ninjitsu
    • 9 months ago

    My motherboard has an M.2 socket with a 2x PCIe slot. These Intel SSDs are x4. Is it a bad idea to use an x4 SSD in an x2 slot, apart from having reduced performance?

    And if it is a bad idea, what would be an good alternative x2 NVMe M.2 SSD?

      • Redocbew
      • 9 months ago

      It shouldn’t be a problem just for general usage. Depending on the age of your board there might be some issues booting from it, but that would apply across the board(hah!).

        • Ninjitsu
        • 9 months ago

        Thanks! I have an Asus Z97A, probably should be able to boot from it but will check…

        EDIT: Yeah, looks like it can.

          • Redocbew
          • 9 months ago

          Looks like your board uses an M Key slot even though it’s x2, so yeah there shouldn’t be any problems using an x4 drive. You’d have to check to see if populating the M.2 slot makes any difference in how the PCIe lanes get allocated, but chances are that won’t be very noticeable either way.

            • Ninjitsu
            • 9 months ago

            It does, but it’s only the small ones, (x1 and stuff) which i don’t use. I also figured out that support for “2260/2280” devices refers to the dimensions (22x80mm) so that’s cool as well.

      • Chrispy_
      • 9 months ago

      You won’t see 1800MB/s speeds out of it, my experience of PCIe x2 is around 1250MB/s but it’s still 2.5x the speed of SATA, give or take….

      Realistically, not even SATA’s 550MB/s is a bottleneck. Where you think something is loading/saving slowly is because of the SSD read/write speeds, it’s likely because the data is compressed and it’s waiting on the CPU to (de)compress the content. If the workload isn’t sequential, but instead highly random and small-file IOPS limited, even the best SSDs are barely able to use 20% of the old old SATA III bandwidth.

        • Ninjitsu
        • 9 months ago

        Yeah 1250 MB/s is plenty! And of course random I/O is the more important metric for most desktop/gaming use.

        • DavidC1
        • 9 months ago

        20%? Maybe 7% on a good day if we are talking random read 4K metrics, 5% for most.

        That said real world performance depends on not just one metric. So fast sequentials help too, because you can’t know how it works in every code you run.

        You are limited to about 80% of the theoretical bandwidth the PCI Express connection is rated at. So you may be able to get 1600MB/s out of the 660p.

        But, to see such bandwidth you’ll need to run a benchmark that runs sequentially with datasize in the 128KB range and QD4 or higher. Not very practical.

          • Chrispy_
          • 9 months ago

          20% is a best case scenario – that the’s 96MB/s of a Samsung 860 Pro.

          The popular MX500 can perform at 68.8MB/s under a sustained hammering of 4K reads at low (consumer-like) queue-depths according to Anand’s review. That’s a worst-case for SATA as I understand it (since writes are usually cached and then written to NAND in full pages for much higher performance)

          69MB is 13% of the SATA bandwidth, though with 4K high-IOPS stuff, I don’t actually know how much of that is AHCI overhead. Either way, modern SSDs have better QD1 performance than you’re remembering. The MX500 is an absolute bargain for consumer workloads given it’s impressive cost/GB and excellent low-queue performance.

          [url=https://images.anandtech.com/graphs/graph12263/sustained-rr.png<]source[/url<]

            • DavidC1
            • 9 months ago

            Just so we’re clear, the Anandtech result shows QD1 to QD4. I do agree including up to QD4 is more realistic.

            However,
            QD1 random read will make SSDs drop to 40-60MB/s. The MX500 you quoted gets 44.7MB/s.
            [url<]https://www.anandtech.com/show/12165/the-crucial-mx500-1tb-ssd-review/4[/url<] Obviously QD1 to QD4 is just a small part of the picture. The 660p actually does really really well there.

            • Waco
            • 9 months ago

            I wouldn’t trust bursty 4K random reads from such a small test / logical address space.

            4K random (truly random, not a file they just wrote) is something between 6000-9000 IOPs on average SATA SSDs. That’s 24-32 MB/s roughly.

            • DavidC1
            • 9 months ago

            Waco:

            I always thought Anand’s QD1 numbers were optimistic.

            30MB/s for QD1 sounds about right. Maybe its because real world drives are dirty, and that really hurts NAND. Top NVMe drives do better, but still quite low. 960 Pro was rated at 13K IOPS, or 52MB/s. That’s the 5-7% I was talking about.

            Even their Optane results seem quite optimistic. Intel was talking about 100K IOPS. PC Perspective got that too. Anandtech results get 150K IOPS.

    • techguy
    • 9 months ago

    2TB of NAND for $200 is a great price. Too bad it’s QLC. Sustained write performance on that stuff is HDD slow.

      • drfish
      • 9 months ago

      I want to see 2 TB of NVMe QLC with [url=https://www.amazon.com/Intel-Optane-Memory-Module-MEMPEK1W032GAXT/dp/B06XSXX3NS/<]32GB of Optane[/url<] up front.

      • demani
      • 9 months ago

      Still, it’s not ridiculously expensive to have SSD for bulk storage for games, Media etc-less heat and less power and less noise than a spinning drive, and reads are still pretty good. So it’s no worse than a hard drive in any way other than price, and certainly way less than an EVO of the same capacity. If you have two M2 slots this would be a fine second unit in a box, and 2TB SATA SSD drives aren’t any cheaper.

      • mikewinddale
      • 9 months ago

      A drive like that isn’t meant for sustained writes. Not everybody is a professional video editor.

      In my work, for example, I statistically analyze datasets that are up to a few gigabytes in size, and I mostly read them, not write them. Then I write a lot of small Excel or CSV files that contain the results – usually only a few KB or MB, but split among many small files. So an SSD with low random access time and the ability to write a small amount of data quickly to an SLC cache is perfect for that kind of workload. For my workload, the problem with a mechanical hard drive is that the slow random access time makes trying to access dozens of small Excel files torture. But I’ll never hit the sustained write wall on an SSD.

      And for video games, it’s only write intensive when you install the game. After that, you’re mostly reading. Occasionally, you’ll write a small savegame file, but that won’t get anywhere near the sustained write limit.

      • DavidC1
      • 9 months ago

      Sustained write performance may be “HDD slow” on operations HDD can reach 50-70MB/s.

      I doubt the worst case scenario is remotely comparable. I tried a TLC SSD without DRAM cache and after a week of very light use, it became noticeably slower.

      However, noticeably slower = Tons faster than HDD

      There used to be a time(specifically, non-SLC SSDs before the Intel X25-M) where the worst-case scenario would grind to a complete halt, so it would feel like a ferrari in the busiest section of New York for example – Super fast for 3 seconds, then complete halt due to traffic lights.

      We’ve come a long way since then.

        • Klimax
        • 9 months ago

        Reminder: HDD can reach sustained sequential speeds of 150-250MB/s.

        • techguy
        • 9 months ago

        [url<]https://www.anandtech.com/show/13078/the-intel-ssd-660p-ssd-review-qlc-nand-arrives/6[/url<] Check the sustained write chart. 204MB/S I use Hitachi and Toshiba NAS drives that regularly write in the 170MB/S range. These drives are HDD slow when it comes to sustained writes. In not saying they don't have a purpose and that no one should buy them, just providing a warning about the worst characteristic of the drive to anyone considering a purchase.

      • Spunjji
      • 9 months ago

      People were complaining about QLC before because it wasn’t cheaper than TLC. Now it’s starting to show up cheaper, so the complaint is… that it performs as expected?

      The majority of end users don’t have sustained-write scenarios that exceed available LAN / WAN bandwidth.

        • Waco
        • 9 months ago

        As QLC drives get bigger this trend is going to continue.

        Surprise surprise, you have to buy for [i<]your[/i<] use case. If you need sustained speeds, don't buy something that can't sustain the speeds you need. QLC isn't going away and I'm exceedingly happy to see it already cheaper than TLC drives.

      • The Egg
      • 9 months ago

      That makes it the perfect drive for game library storage. I recently spent $300 on an 860 EVO 2TB for the same purpose, and now I wish I’d held out a little longer.

      • shaq_mobile
      • 9 months ago

      In my experience, I find that most of my heavy writing is intermittent as are most heavy reads. I dont think I’m writing hundreds of gigs for extended durations, and when I am it has other bottlenecks. Probably the most common situation most people write extended durations is game installs. Those are almost always going to be capped by bandwidth, and even when they aren’t it’s not really a major performance issue. You just wait an extra minute.

      I guess I just don’t see how this is a bad storage solution for most people. I understand Enterprise has other demands, but this seems great for average folks.

        • K-L-Waster
        • 9 months ago

        This.

        Obviously if you’re doing something data intensive like video editing or databases etc. your needs will be different. But for games + browsers + office productivity + occasional photo editing it should be more than sufficient.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 9 months ago

      Pretty sure that these drives are perfect for Steam libraries, though. Sure you have to download or copy your library, but whose internet (other than mine) can max out 50 MB/sec?

    • sweatshopking
    • 9 months ago

    WE NEED CANADIAN DEALS HERE I’LL DO ONE
    1. EVERYTHING IS 5X THE COST FOR BASICALLY NO REASON

    done.

      • albundy
      • 9 months ago

      including overpriced maple syrup and bacon.

        • anotherengineer
        • 9 months ago

        bacon is cheap, just seen it for $4 cnd at grocery store. It was $8us at grocery store in florida end of feb when i was there!!!

      • Chrispy_
      • 9 months ago

      My theory that everything is expensive in Canada is that Canadian purchasers are too polite to haggle and barter.

        • Prestige Worldwide
        • 9 months ago

        No, it’s because our dollar is garbage and has declined over the last 5 years due to it’s near-linear relationship with the price of oil.

          • tipoo
          • 9 months ago

          The exchange rate I can understand. But we’re very often additionally screwed over just that conversion. What was that “F” in NAFTA again?

      • paulWTAMU
      • 9 months ago

      but you have moose and caribou and tundra!

        • K-L-Waster
        • 9 months ago

        Tradeja a moose for an ultrawide monitor?

          • euricog
          • 9 months ago

          Does that moose have RGB?

            • kvndoom
            • 9 months ago

            Hold my beer, eh?

            • K-L-Waster
            • 9 months ago

            Does a hockey goal light count?

          • paulWTAMU
          • 9 months ago

          Does it come with a saddle? I want to ride a moose to work.

          • Redocbew
          • 9 months ago

          That trade can’t help but be awesome.

      • MOSFET
      • 9 months ago

      you need canadian money that’s worth something to the rest of the world

      • kvndoom
      • 9 months ago

      For an unlimited time only! Hurry before it’s too late!

      • oldog
      • 9 months ago

      Didn’t all of Hollywood move to Canada after the last presidential election? That’s gotta bring in a lotta cash.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This