Introduction

Hopefully, everyone has had a chance to take a look at our in-depth analysis of the newest Seagate Barracuda drives a couple weeks ago. If NCQ hasn't swayed you yet, it should soon with the onset of next generation NCQ controllers and multiple core processors. This week, we also saw the unveiling of SATA II drives, (3.0Gbps, U300) and the ever so hyped "Hybrid" hard drives. While Hybrid drives may be vaporware, SATA II devices are here now, at least in preorder form. Although Samsung made the initial announcement, Hitachi drives are on ETA at most of the major vendors right now. We will touch on this a little bit later on.

As far as vendor news goes, there were two major announcements this week. The first was the merger of GameVE with iBuyPower. iBuyPower has been around for years as one of the major Taiwanese distributers/system builders, and it was only a matter of time before they eventually acquired a retail component channel as well. You may recall that the other distributors moved into the retail channel with stores like Ewiz.com (MA Labs) and EEbuy.com (Mighty Micro). In any case, it's good to see a vendor and a distributor working so closely together as this will ultimately lead to lower costs, and lower prices.

We originally ignored ChiefValue.com last year when they exploded onto the retail channel. Now that they have a little bit of experience under their belt, we are pretty impressed with their pricing and service. For those of you who don't know, ChiefValue is integrally affiliated with the omnipresent merchant-turned-distributor NewEgg (both merchants ship from the same California warehouse). ChiefValue tends to put free shipping on more items than the NewEgg channel, but who are we to complain?!

Finally, for those who like to work with our beta search engine (which officially comes out of beta this summer), we added a few nice little features over the last couple of weeks. On certain product searches, you will notice that we denote mail-in rebates separately (here is an example) and do not include them in the shipped price like some of our so-called competitor price engines. We've added nearly 400 new products in the last month alone as well.

Serial ATA Hard Drives
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  • zemane - Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - link

    #13:
    Thanks for the info Kristopher!
    Reply
  • knightspawn1138 - Monday, May 09, 2005 - link

    I'd like to see the Storage price guide include USB Flash drives (and USB thumb-drive mini-hard drives). Now that these drives are closing in on DVD's for storage size, they should be treated similar to the rest of the storage media. I for one would like to see a price guide for USB flash drives, since I've come to depend on a couple for use as boot disks on my PC. Reply
  • Doormat - Monday, May 09, 2005 - link

    Yea! The prices on large (>= 300GB) SATA drives are finally starting to go down. Cant wait for Seagate 300GB drives to be $150/ea - two for $300! I remember when I bought two 60GXPs for that much. Now if I could only find a good inexpensive RAID card... you guys should do a RAID-5/6 card review (raidcore, 3ware, adaptec, areca, etc). I see that other sites have them, but I really dont trust those sites... Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Monday, May 09, 2005 - link

    zemane: I like the 3520A better, but that is mostly due to the price. The write quality on the PX716A is a little better.

    On the other hand, if you need features like riplock, you don't even have the opportunity to use a modified BIOS on the plextor (unlike the NEC).

    Kristopher
    Reply
  • zemane - Monday, May 09, 2005 - link

    How does the NEC 3520A compares to the PLEXTOR PX-716A? Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Monday, May 09, 2005 - link

    semo: That should read DW1625. Sorry!

    matthewfoley: I will do my best to implement that. Right now we just list core name as part of the processor name.

    Kristopher
    Reply
  • semo - Monday, May 09, 2005 - link

    i think something is wrong here (or it could just be me):

    "BenQ actually already began to phase out their 16X DW160 [RTPE: BenQ DW1620] in favor of the dual layer, dual format 16X DW160 [RTPE: BenQ DW1625], although the only real performance boost is 4X dual layer burning opposed to 2.4X ..."

    what does dw160 mean and how can it be phased out in favour of itself (or am i not getting this right?)

    anyway, it should be added that the dw1625 supports lightscribe technology. it may not be considered exciting or useful by many ppl but it is still worth a mention imo.
    Reply
  • flatblastard - Monday, May 09, 2005 - link

    know Reply
  • flatblastard - Monday, May 09, 2005 - link

    Can't wait for that one, KK. I'm ready to buy one of them crazy numbered ased AMD processors anyday now....just waiting for ATI or Sapphire to get off their lazy bums and gimme the mobo/chipset that I want! I'm thinking 3500+/3800+ V or 3700+/4000+ SD. So hopefully soon I'll no more than that, hopefully ;) Reply
  • matthewfoley - Monday, May 09, 2005 - link

    Could we get some sorting capability on the RTPE? For example, on processors, I'd like to see a separate column for name, core, price, and be able to order by that column. Reply

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