Leading into GDC weekend – not that the show has any impact on hardware – we've spotted sales for a Sandisk M.2 SSD, 700W EVGA PSU, and R9 390 (with AMD's new bundle). We've also recently had a few reader email questions about “when will prices drop in the face of Pascal & Polaris?” Just to quickly address that, historically, prices of current-gen GPUs do not generally update until the official, final announcement of the new cards.
That stated, here are the sales:
Hardware sales for the weekend have picked-up some steam, with Newegg showing at the forefront a 500GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD, 1x8GB DDR4 for $30 after a code, and a GTX 970 for $305 – not far from the old cost of a 4GB GTX 960 (now $200). We've also been distantly tracking Z97 board prices and have seen some marginal dips, but nothing major yet; we'd expect an eventual tipping point where retailers begin purging stock as Skylake continues to seep into the market.
Memory's been hot lately. GDDR5X should soon arrive in GPUs, courtesy of memory fabricator Micron, and HBM2 is impending deployment on AMD and nVidia GPUs. In the meantime, the more 'boring' side of memory – Flash and DRAM – is experience major price swings that benefit system builders. This weekend, we spotted a 480GB SSD for $128, a single stick of DDR4 8GB HyperX RAM for $35, and a non-memory component for some flare – a 12-inch Klipsch subwoofer.
Sales this weekend are favorable for most types of system builders – the upgrades and the ground-up builds are equally represented by CPU sales, a 500GB SSD sale, and GPU price drops. The weekend's most noteworthy sales include Crucial's MX200 M.2 500GB SSD for $155, the Intel Core i7-6700K Skylake CPU for $365 (which is, sadly, cheap), and an R9 390 8GB for $300.
The R9 380 has fallen hard in price since its launch, spurred-on by the 380X's same-priced launch, and MIRs have further bolstered its affordability. 1440p monitors, meanwhile, are still expensive – but include enough high-end features and discounts to be worth serious configuration. Our sales items for the weekend look at both of these items – a PCS R9 380 for cheap and 1440p display – in addition to a high-end headset.
After a few weeks of mostly mediocre sales, it seems as if retailers have returned to their usual inventory dump. I'd say it's for the end-of-year bookkeeping, but we all know that sales are nonstop. Not sure if they still count as 'sales' in that fashion, but might as well play the game that we're all in. This weekend, we spotted an R9 Fury X for $570 (marked down from $650), a 144Hz ROG display for $400, and GTX 950 at an impressive $120.
Time's about up for online purchases if anticipating pre-25th arrival. This weekend's got a few good sales on SSDs, including an Intel 480GB SSD for $160 and Kingston 240GB SSD for $70, but we found a few side-items while searching.
The major retailers want you to buy stuff. Actually, all retailers do. And they'd prefer you do it before end of year. We're really not revealing news here – but there are a couple of good sales leading into the year's final stretch. Logitech's G602 wireless mouse – one that we use internally – is about half off, an 80 Plus Platinum 750W PSU is available at $110, and there's an i7-4790K for $300.
Graphics vendor nVidia today announced its plans for an upgrade program, active through December 4. The program is in partnership with system integrators (“SIs”) who sell pre-built, user-specified gaming PCs. We've reviewed a few, including one from CyberPower and one from iBUYPOWER, for the curious.
The limited step-up program, which is not open to DIY builders at this time, upgrades any GTX 750 Ti-equipped systems to a GTX 950. There is no additional cost for the upgrade.
In the calm between the storms – Black Friday and Cyber Monday – a few hangers-on have remained on sale through the weekend. Granted, “sale” is almost meaningless at this point; there's a near-perpetual discount on PC hardware through various vendors, but that's good news for system builders. This weekend, we found a 960GB SSD for $270 (or $200 via Newegg), 500GB SSD for $140, Corsair 200R for $46, and Logitech G910 for $160.