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USB 3.0 Flash Drives USB 3.0 Flash Drives
Which drive represents the best value for your money?
Solid State Drives Solid State Drives
SSD's will go mainstream, it's just a matter of your time.
Processors Processors
Intel's new Haswell CPUs are here. Do you need to have one?
Hard Drives Hard Drives
Mechanical Hard Drives are the best option for mass storage.
Graphics Cards Graphics Cards
The sky's the limit with GPUs, discover where the best value lies.

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Intel Pentium G3420

The G3420 is a 2013 Haswell based CPU and is part of Intel's value range of Pentium processors which were first released in 2011. The Pentium-G range have very strong single and dual core performance but lag far behind the group leaders in terms of multi-core processing (MCP). MCP is important for tasks such as audio/video encoding, or software development. For regular PC use such as surfing the web, listening to music, watching movies and playing the vast majority of games, MCP is not required. The G3420 currently retails for less than one fifth of the price of a top of the range 4770K but has an effective speed of 81.2 which is just 4% lower than the average of the current group leaders. The vast majority of users will notice no difference even by paying five times more for a top end multi-core processor. The G3420 is my top value CPU pick for 2014.  [Mar '14 CPUPro]

Intel Pentium G3420

16GB USB Flash Drive

SanDisk Extreme USB 3.0 16GB

This drive beats the rest hands down. Even the Kingston HyperX 3.0 vs. Sandisk Extreme : no contest ... The HyperX 3.0 has a very slightly faster headline read speed (240 vs 215) MB/s but loses to the 64GB extreme in every other benchmark category (512k, 4K, 4K QD32), and by a long way. The Extreme also costs at least 20% less than the HyperX. I do daily incremental backups of a directory containing 40K files and 3K folders, it takes a few seconds on the extreme compared to around 30 seconds with every other flash drive I have tested. The key strength of this drive is its real world usability. [Jul '12 Zefram]

SanDisk Extreme USB 3.0 16GB SDCZ80-016G

256GB Solid State Drive

Samsung 840 Evo 250GB

The Evo is remarkable in that, like the Sandisk Extreme II, it features a second level cache. For the 250 GB Evo this comprises of a 3 GB Turbowrite cache (TWC) which is a block of high speed Flash Memory. When the TWC is exhausted write speeds drop by approximately 50% but that won't often happen under typical consumer workloads. In terms of raw performance, even with its cache, the Evo still isn't the fastest drive. With a real world speed index reading of 551 MB/s the EVO is however, within 5% of the two speed leaders (Vector and 840 Pro). At a price point of £100 the Evo is around 30% cheaper making it the best value for money SSDs I have seen in 2014. Comparing the Evo and the Sandisk Ultra Plus shows that the Evo is the clear winner but the Sandisk may be a viable alternative thanks to its cache-free, and therefore more consistent performance during extended writes. [Aug '13 SSDrivePro]

Samsung 840 Evo 250GB MZ-7TE250BW

Hard Drive

Seagate Desktop SSHD 2TB

The Seagate Desktop SSHD is a Solid State Hard Drive (SSHD). There are 8GB of MLC NAND flash built into this model which facilitate better performance than a purely mechanical drive. The peak sequential read/write speeds of 190 MB/s are above average. The 2TB SSHD has consistently demonstrated class leading 4k random write speeds in the region of 5.0 MB/s. 4K read speeds are in the region of 0.7-0.9 MB/s which is well above average, but not record breaking. Overall the performance increases attributable to the NAND flash are very noticeable in the area of small file 4K performance where the SSHD dominates the competition. In terms of sequential speeds, the Seagate also offers better average sequential performance than most mechanical 2TB hard drives. From a value for money perspective, the 2TB SSHD is well above average, it has a brilliant 4k performance profile, strong sequential speeds and only a slightly above average price. [Dec '13 HDrivePro]

Seagate Desktop SSHD 2TB ST2000DX001


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