1TB 7200RPM HDD ($75): First up, I found a standard-issue 1TB Seagate HDD for only $75. This HDD is a solid 7200 RPM drive that should be a great addition to your storage-hungry needs. For only $75 you get a great deal. As much as we push SSDs, HDDs still have a place for archival and large format storage -- especially when dealing with games that are sub-optimized for loading (read: don't take full advantage of an SSD due to console porting).
Internal Blu-Ray Reader ($50): Next up, the pick I found a sweet ASUS Blu-ray player for only $50. This would be a great addition to any HTPC build, and though it doesn't offer BD burning functionality, reading shouldn't be a problem. Keep in mind, though, that it does not come with software to play Blu-ray discs, as many do not. If you need that, it'll have to be acquired separately. For $50 to reliably play Blu-ray media, it's still a good deal.
Sandisk Ultra Plus 256GB SSD ($165): Sandisk's Ultra Plus SSD—like most SSDs—excels in some areas and falls behind in others. At $165 for 256GB, it's pretty easy to overlook a few of the downsides, though, depending on your usage habits. Up against our highly-recommended HyperX SSD, the Sandisk drive tends to be faster in sequential operations and random 4K read IO, but doesn't do quite as well with random 4K write IO. If you're not doing a lot of random writing operations, it's a great choice. Random writes will occur when saving most documents, but the difference should be negligible for most users.
Planar 24" LED LCD Monitor ($130): Part of TigerDirect's weekend purge is a 24" monitor by Planar, using LED edge-positioned backlighting. The monitor has a 5ms GTG response time (nothing fancy, but nothing detrimental), uses DVI-D and VGA connectors, and offers a somewhat wider-than-standard 50-76Hz refresh rate.
EVGA GeForce GTX 670 FTW ($350): Lastly, before we get to the pick of the week, I found an EVGA GTX 670 FTW edition for only $350 after rebates. This is a great upper-level gaming option for a reasonable price. While it may not be able to output to a multimonitor array on max settings for Crysis 3, it'll run just about everything on ultra/max on a single display, and the majority of games should run fairly well on dual displays.
Time for the Pick of the Week!!
This week's pick of the week is a great deal if I say so myself. Tiger Direct has the AMD A8-5600k on sale for $100 right now. This is a great option for a mid-TDP HTPC or even an entry level gaming rig (would do well on games like Minecraft and even decently on SC2). Coming with a solid integrated HD 7650 graphics core, you get a solid APU at a great price. While the integrated graphics solution is not ideal for most gaming rigs, it'll handle most living room tasks and low-level gaming with ample finesse.
Well, that's all for this week. There are many more deals out there to find, so until next time.
- Michael "Mikagmann2" Mann