About a year ago, we published a piece notifying our readers of hoax HDMI-to-VGA passive cables proclaiming that they did absolutely nothing for the buyer; we called them “fake,” indicating that a passive cable is electrically incapable of transforming a signal, and therefore could not serve as a digital-to-analog adapter without some sort of active conversion taking place. There are a few hardware-side exceptions, but they are rare.

It was in this same content that we mentioned “SATA III cables” vs. “SATA II cables,” noting that the two cables were functionally identical; the transfer rates are the same between a “SATA III” cable and a “SATA II” cable. The difference, as defined by the official SATA specification, is a lock-in clip to ensure unshaken contact. Upon being taken viral by LifeHacker, statement of this simple fact was met with a somewhat disheartening amount of resistance from an audience we don't usually cater toward. Today, we had enough spare time to reinforce our statements with objective benchmarking.

We've often remarked that naming structures and product branding can be a confusing space, especially when looking at things like ASUS' motherboards. Western Digital's hard drives follow a somewhat standardized branding scheme of “black is best,” then the company uses “blue,” “green,” and “red” for its other HDD options.

Today, we'll compare the WD Blue vs. WD Black and Green hard drives, then let you know which one is “best” for gaming purposes. These are the drives we're primarily looking at:

With the hard drive storage market slimmed-down to just a few major players – Hitachi now owned by WD – the market has felt relatively stagnant for the past year. Seagate recently announced that its SMR 8TB HDD, branded as an “archive HDD,” will soon be available for $260.

astc-roadmap

“I'm not dead yet!” may be an appropriately pulled quote in the instance of mechanical hard drives. Despite the SSD revolution (SSDs explained here), there's still a place in the world for magnetic storage – and it will likely remain that way for a long, long time; after all, we're still using tape drives in some industry sectors.

Welcome to another edition of our weekly sales round-up. After searching the web, I found some pretty good sales on a variety of PC components. This weekend, we found sales on a hard drive, case, power supply, CPU, and video card.

gtx-750ti-evga

Welcome to another addition of our Weekly Hardware Sales round-up. This weekend, we found some sales on a trio of video cards (GTX 770, 750 Ti, and R9 270), a hard drive, and a motherboard.

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Online backup solution BackBlaze has been publishing its data on hard drive reliability since January now, with its last update shedding some light on HDD endurance. The company uses thousands of hard drives for online backups of consumer and corporate clients and has elected to publish its performance data. DOAs are fairly common across the industry, but those are more survivable – a failed hard drive means lost data.

backblaze-updated-failures

Seagate Announces First 8TB HDD

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Seagate announced today that they have managed to achieve new feats of storage capacity. Seagate is the first company to get an 8TB 3.5” HDD to the consumer market, according to Seagate Vice President of Marketing Scott Horn. This comes only a few months after the company released its 6TB HDD and hopefully means they may be creating even larger HDDs as they are learning more about achieving high density storage in the restrictive space, but that’s probably overly optimistic speculation on my side.

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This weekend sales round-up lands on the anniversary of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. For those who don't know (and those who don't care but can't force themselves to stop reading), this is the volcano that destroyed Pompeii. Instead of celebrating by trying to set off more volcanic eruptions around the world, I suggest you look into these hot deals -- including a Volcanic Isles GPU -- while they last. We found a CPU cooler at $75, 8GB of low-profile RAM for $73, a 3TB HDD for only $100, and an optical gaming mouse at $30.

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Our weekend sales roundup always helps begin the month right. These deals should help get a back-to-school system ready for those late nights of … studying. This weekend, we've got a 4TB HDD for $160, a mid-tower gaming case, high-end PSU, and some extras.

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