Like many sites, our site relies heavily upon referral commission from online retail outlets. It's a fairly straight-forward operation: We help our readers build computers, find the right video card, and test games; in return for this free service, we earn a small commission on sales from Newegg, Amazon, and similar online retail outlets. It's not a lot of money, but it's something.
Now that Black Friday is over and all of the sales are reporting in, we started analyzing data to see which items were the most popular referred purchases through our site. This isn't representative of the most popular hardware in the industry – just what was recommended on our site – but is a good cross-section for what PC builders are interested in.
“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.
We previously touched on the price changes in the DDR3, speculating that one of the reasons for fluctuation was the manufacturers beginning to gear-up for DDR4. Although prices did peak around the $90-95 mark (2x4GB @ 1600), they have been coming down gradually and currently sit around $75-80 (2x4GB @ 1600). This might cause one to think that the push to DDR4 acceptance isn't happening as quickly as expected.
With the release of the X99 platform and general stability of the server market, demand for DDR4 is beginning to show itself. The “standard” 16GB consumer kits (4x4GB sticks) are currently around $330 and should be steadily dropping as more platforms are released to take advantage of the new RAM.
Back in May, we encouraged our readers to reach out to politicians and push for Net Neutrality as well as attempt to inform people about why it is important. Since that time, we have been fairly quiet on it. This is partly because the voting we wanted to influence has already happened, and partly because anything of this measure takes time. Numerous political people have flung accusations or sounded the dire warning on both sides of this important item. I decided to take a step back and see what was going to happen.
Raptr has just posted its Most Played PC Games for October 2014, a list highlighted by the release of FIFA 15 and a 75 percent-off sale for PAYDAY 2.
NVidia's Maxwell re-debut saw the unveil of the GTX 980 – the best gaming video card we've tested yet – and GTX 970, along with Maxwell's architecture. The devices were launched at a first-time event for nVidia, “Game24,” where gamers gathered in numerous hangars and LAN arenas globally (and online) to observe the launch and get hands-on with the new tech. We were present at Hangar 8 in Los Angeles, where a (somewhat dragged-out, if we're honest) presentation gave way to gaming on the new Oculus Rift dev kit as powered by the 980.
Minecraft went from being a very simple indie game to incredibly popular -- almost overnight -- with tons of features in three short years. Mojang, the developer of Minecraft, holds a golden cube of a game, one that has even gotten the attention of Microsoft.
Amazon announced Monday that the company negotiated a deal to purchase Twitch.tv for the small sum of $970 million. Google (YouTube) had been in negotiations since May to acquire Twitch, but were unable to close the deal. This gives Amazon the most popular avenue for game streaming. Although Google owns YouTube, Twitch reaches a very different market, and this can't be seen by Google as anything other than a slap in the face. It will be interesting to see if Google rises to the challenge and duels it out with Amazon – hopefully bringing their YouTube streaming service to a more complete status (corporate blood sport, how wonderful).
RAM prices are on the rise again. If you've watched the market prices on RAM -- either through our weekend sales round ups or just through shopping in general -- you'd have noticed the price of an 8GB 1600MHz kit has nearly tripled. Around the end of 2012 through the first few months of 2013, the price of our example kit was in the mid $30-40 range; since that golden period, the price has raised pretty steadily toward the current resting spot. Prices had a major peak around the end of last year after supplier Hynix's factor fire, but February saw prices settle at what appeared to be a fairly steady $70-80 range.
It seems that this is no longer the case.
Starting around June of this year, prices began climbing once again. The current price appears to be in the mid $80-90 range and is poised to climb even higher. DDR3 hasn't changed much -- why is the price so volatile? To adequately answer this, let's recap RAM's position in the PC world and talk about how it's made.
With the beginning of the third fiscal quarter for 2014, we see analysts filing revenue reports and public companies announcing performance. We recently posted about the boon to desktop PC sales for 2014 -- recovering nearly 6% of a projected 7% decline -- and now it looks like Intel has similarly good news for the PC industry.
The semiconductor giant has reported 2Q14 revenue as $13.8B -- an 8% hike over 2Q13's $12.8B -- netting a $2.8B profit. Intel's quarterly profits have risen 40% over its 2Q13 reports of $2B. Promisingly for the world of PCs, Intel showed an $8.7B revenue in its PC Client Group (including desktops), a 6% increase over last year.
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