We took a short break from weekend hardware sales round-ups to post a ton of Titanfall coverage, including two new PC build guides for those looking to get into system building. The builds were $797 and $506, so they appeal to mid-range and ultra-budget audiences pretty well. With all that out of the way, we're now back to our regularly-scheduled weekend hardware sales round-up; this weekend includes an Intel 530 SSD sale, mechanical keyboard, headset, and some RAM.
We realized not long ago that we've got -- I believe the technical phrase is -- a lot of cables. Shelves upon shelves. Throughout our years working on editorial content, we've had to learn about all the pros and cons of different interface versioning and cable standards.
Questions have often come up during our testing, for instance: Is a so-called "SATA 6Gbps cable" actually better than a "SATA 3Gbps cable?" What's the difference between DVI-D, DVI-I, DVI-A, and DVI Dual-Link? In this video and article, we'll talk about all the major cable standards, their differences, and identify some of the up-and-coming standards.
Jumping into the new year, we've got looming hardware announcements at CES and cool-down from last week's sales, so things are finally slowing down for a moment. The calm before the storm, as it were. Regardless, for our regular weekend sales round-up, we've spotted some good sales -- including a $130 8-core CPU, SSDs, and video cards.
SSDs have faced numerous challenges since their fairly recent beginnings. Initial SLC (single-level cell) SSDs were out-of-reach for most consumers, and as evolving Flash memory types allowed production of more affordable consumer SSDs (MLC, TLC), we saw serious endurance concerns. Endurance and stability concerns have subsided as controller manufacturers learn to cope with the hurdles, though we now face other obstacles -- like endurance on TLC and brushing up against the SATA bus bandwidth cap. Other features, like data integrity and redundancy, often hold greater value than pure speed.
Speed is now a largely irrelevant metric for comparison when looking at high-end consumer SATA III SSDs; no SATA III-powered SSD can exceed the 6Gbps cap (which translates to about ~550MB/s in real-world use, accounting for overhead). Going forward, SSD controllers (this is true for Samsung, OCZ, SandForce, etc.) are not the limiting factor for speed -- it's the bus. Time to move to PCI-e.
The SandForce 3700 series controllers are now officially announced and are already in the hands of manufacturers. On a top-level, the new controller should:
With LSI Corporation's (NASDAQ: LSI) new SandForce SF3700 controller impending Q1/Q2 mass production next year, it looks like manufacturers will finally be able to bring PCI-E SSDs to mass consumption and TLC endurance concerns may fade. In this write-up, we'll look at the SF3700 SSD controller's (specifically SF3729/SF3739) specs, SHIELD feature, and PCI-e modularity - specifically as it pertains to Samsung's existing 840 Pro and XP941 controllers.
With the year fast coming to an end, and Black Friday approaching, sales have been more promising with each passing week. This week I found a cheap 23" monitor, 240GB SSD for $160, a video card on sale, and a case.
If you haven't noticed, we just revamped the website to be a slick, mobile-responsive, fast resource for gaming system builders; it's been our goal for a few years now to guide enthusiasts in PC building endeavors, and with our new revamp, we can do that better than ever. More on that in a separate post.
Before the weekend closes out, we decided to compile some of the best computer hardware sales available right now for those of you looking to get in a bit of pre-holiday shopping. This weekend sees the highlight of an $80 120GB SSD, $90 H100i CLC, $60 Corsair enclosure, and a $480
I will note that if you're looking to build a new rig, we recently revamped our PC build guides to include a new content filtration system -- so go play around with that! The forums are, of course, always open to support your efforts.
For whatever reason, this weekend sees the arrival of several undeniably solid deals on gaming hardware -- including video card sales, PSU discounts, and misc. system building supplies. If you're working on a new build or need a quick upgrade, it's worth paying attention to some of the items we found this weekend. Let's jump straight into it.