Between last week's GTC and PAX East (this coming weekend), we find ourselves at home base just long enough to throw together a few feature pieces and the regular weekend-ly sales post. Sales for the weekend include an MSI R9 390X 8GB card for $360 (after MIR), the Corsair Graphite 780T full-tower, an Intel i7-6700K finally approaching MSRP, and G.Skill's mechanical keyboard. As for the week's feature pieces, be sure to check back Monday for our AMD Athlon X4 880K review, a write-up featuring industry luminary Warren Spectre, and more.
DDR3 prices have fallen hard – a welcomed return to the prices of a few years back, if anyone remembers the factory fire-inspired spike. It's now possible to get an 8GB, high-density stick of DDR3-1866 memory for $35, and DDR4 (for the Skylake / HW-E users) isn't much worse in price. In other aspects of computing, we found an IPS LED 1080p display on sale and Corsair C70 enclosure with an MIR.
Sadly, MSI's dual-platform motherboards and Corsair's RGB LED monitors were short-lived April Fool's jokes. Forever forgotten to time, never to be realized. Still, there's some real hardware for sale this weekend: An 80 Plus Platinum PSU, HD518 headphones, DDR3 RAM on the cheap, and an Intel CPU.
This weekend's hardware sales feature a high-end GPU – the 980 Ti Hybrid – and mid-range motherboard, with a spot of flavor from SanDisk's 480GB Ultra II. The Corsair KATAR gaming mouse rounds-out the pack of this weekend's gaming hardware sales. See below.
Hours from our flight to this week's GDC in San Francisco, a few worthy deals sprung forth for the weekend's regular sales round-up. AMD's Athlon X4 845 is among the best-performing low-end CPUs presently available – and is now, finally, available – and it's joined by SilverStone's Raven RVZ02B case. Wrapping things up, a Platinum-rated Be Quiet! PSU has hit the $130 mark, down from its usual $150.
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.