The PC Gamer Rig: Are hard drive prices on their way down?
Another lazy weekend, another chance to kick back with a screwdriver and mess around with the PC Gamer Rig. Our averagely priced PC is in a state of constant flux, and rarely makes it through seven days without something changing as new components are released and online bargains are found.
So what surprises hide beneath its SECC shell this week? How did I manage to shave xxx off the overall cost without sacrificing a framerate of power? And are hard drive prices finally on the way down? For the answers to all these and more, click through the link.
The first thing that's struck me this week is that hard drive prices appear not just to have peaked, but to be starting to fall quite dramatically. After last year's tragic flooding in Thailand which affected many major hard drive production lines, prices leapt by up to 300%, making larger terabyte and up drives relatively unaffordable for most of us.
According to reports in CRN India, however, the bulk price for 500GB drives have fallen from a high of $135 to just $65 this week. The effects are already visible at retail. Overclockers has a 2TB drive for under £100, for example, which would have been unheard of just a couple of weeks ago.
In other hardware news, incidentally, the founder of Overclockers – a popular UK component shop – has sold the site to AF Gaming Gmbh, which owns the huge German emporium CaseKing.de.
In other components, reductions are really just a question of shopping around, lots. Which is always good advice. If you're looking to upgrade a component, don't just blindly follow the links here or take a look at Google Shopping – take your time and check out as many stores as possible. For some pieces of kit – like monitors – the price difference between different retailers can be hundreds of pounds.
A word of caution, though. If a deal looks too good to be true, it almost certainly is. Many of the lowest prices on Google Shopping, for example, won't be from well known stores with a reputation behind them. I fully support the little guy and often buy stuff from the computer shop next door to me on the high street – but you don't need me to tell you to watch out buying online from a site you don't trust. Often, an infeasibly low price can mean an overseas company which won't deliver very quickly, is selling grey imports or simply not adding on the customs fee you'll get stung by. Worse – it might simply be a front to steal your card details. It happens.
Check out any suppliers you haven't heard of before. A quick Google looking for complaints or a call to their switchboard should tell you all you need to know.
What's in the Rig?
Intel Core i5 2500K
ASUS P8Z68-V LX/Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3
Crucial Ballistix Sport
GeForce GTX 560Ti
Seagate Barracuda 500GB
OCZ ZS Series 650W
That's £25.58/$65.87 less than last week.