Fryday deals (or lack thereof)

For a weekend-before-black-friday, today's Fry's Ads have been particularly unappetizing. Even their budget offering of Sempron 140 and Motherboard at $59.99 ($49.99 after Rebate) pales in comparison with last week's Celeron E3200 deals. While a 2.7GHz single-core Sempron with 1MB Cache is pretty fast and energy effecient at 45W, it surely cannot match a 2.4GHz dual-core Celeron with 1MB Cache and the tests DO attest to that fact. HOWEVER, there are reports around the net which indicate that this chip can be unlocked to be a dual-core. Also, it seems to be seriously overclockable with some enthusiasts reports speeds comfortably above 3.6GHz. Note that this kind of unlocking or overclocking requires a much better board than that included in this deal.

The Mid-range offering of of Intel Core2Quad Q9550 and Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P for $270 ($250 after rebate) would be VERY interesting except for 2 factoids: First, Intel Q9xxx (or Q8xxx) series is now superceded by Core i7 and i5 series. In fact, you can put together a setup of Core i5 750 and Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD2 for the same price: $250. Second, though Fry's sells Q9550 at a higher price, Microcenter sells it for $170, which means that savings from this deal are just $20 - $40. Not bad, but not enough to make one opt for an older generation setup.

Added: This week Fry's seems to be running a bunch of great deals on refurbished Linksys Routers. Of particular Note are two:

1. Refurbished WRT54G2 at $19.99. WRT54G2 is a run-of-the-mill 4-port wireless router with one redeeming feature: It is capable of running DD-WRT (albeit only a micro version of it). DD-WRT is a Linux-based firmware that puts ANY ROUTER (that it supports) on steroids. I have tested WRT54G2 on DD-WRT. It is very stable, pretty fast and has a number of features not found in ANY routers aimed at SOHO market - meaning any router costing less than $150!

2. Refurbished WRT160N at $49.99. Looks the same as WRT54G2 (and a bunch of other Linksys routers. Can't you atleast change the color of the top shield or something?) but supports N with upto 300Mbps connections over wireless (but only 100Mbps on wired connections, go figure!). While I have not tested this personally, this router seems to have a good review over the intertubes and is certainly a recommended buy, but only if you HAVE to have N speeds. Otherwise, it is WRT54G2 with DD-WRT all the way! Code-Retard here gives instructions to install dd-wrt on WRT160N.

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