DEAL: Affinity Photo and Designer 30% off on all platforms

Affinity Photo and Designer apps, from Serif Europe Ltd., are both currently on sale for 30% off. The price applies to both desktop and iPad versions. The desktop versions are available for both Windows and macOS, priced at $34.99 each (regularly $50) across the Affinity website, the Microsoft Store, and the Mac App Store. The iPad versions of Photo and Designer are $13.99 (regularly $20) in the iOS App Store.  The Microsoft Store shows 8 days remaining on the sale, implying that it may end around July 26.

It’s a pretty good deal on professional level photo editing and vector-based graphic design software that is regularly compared to Adobe products, especially given the one-time purchase and no subscription fees. Photo won the iPad App of the Year for 2017, and also the Windows Developer Awards in 2018.

There are also workbooks that Affinity calls “the official guides” for the apps on macOS and Windows that are also 30% off and now $34.99 (plus $4.99 shipping). I already own the apps, but given how much they can do, these workbooks are tempting. If that price is too steep, there are a bunch of official tutorial videos hosted on Vimeo for free.

Note: the apps are separate on each platform. Purchasing the desktop app for Windows via their site doesn’t also get you the app in the Windows Store. Additionally, purchasing the Windows or Mac version doesn’t net you the app on the opposing platform. So make sure you know which version you want. The Windows Store version will get you easy installs and updates, while the standard desktop version has no limits on when and where you install it (as long as it’s your own PCs, of course).

Intel Launches Sweepstakes for Core i7-8086K and Processor Details

Intel is running a sweepstakes, which began today and runs through tomorrow to win one of their new Core i7-8086K processors. The contest is celebrating 40 years of x86 computing since the initial 8086 release. It began today, June 7, at 5:00 PST and runs for only 24 hours, so hurry and enter if you are interested. Intel is giving away 8,086 of the processors, 2,086 in the United States, and the rest in other regions around the globe. Winners are being chosen on June 11. The processor is described as a limited-edition, available through the sweepstakes, and unknown if it will be available at retail later.

The processor is part of their 8th generation Core family, using the Coffee Lake architecture. Like other Coffee Lake products, it is built on a 14nm process. It is similar to the existing i7-8700K, but slightly faster.

Core i7-8700K Core i7-8086K
Cores/Threads 6/12 6/12
Base Frequency 3.7 GHz 4.0 GHz
Turbo Frequency (single core) 4.7 GHz 5.0 GHz
L3 cache 12MB 12MB
TDP 95W 95W
Graphics UHD Graphics 630 UHD Graphics 630
GPU Frequency 350-1200 MHz 350-1200 MHz
Price $359 Sweepstakes value listed as $425

The other differences are that the 8086K does not have vPro support and is not part of Intel’s Stable Image Platform Program. Neither is surprising given that it is a limited edition processor.

China will have 2000 8086K’s awarded, Germany 1000, and 500 each in Canada, U.K., France, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.

DEAL: 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD for $200 at Best Buy

Best Buy currently has the SanDisk Ultra 3D 1TB SSD available for $200. This is a 2.5″ SATA SSD, and has received a Recommended rating from Anandtech (see the review), noting good performance at a reasonable price. At 20 cents/GB this is a pretty solid deal. The Samsung 860 Evo 1TB seems to be going for $260-280 at this point, and I don’t think the minor performance improvement is really worth an extra 30% or so in cost. Some other competitive drives, like the Crucial MX500 seem to be selling for around $230 at Amazon and other places. Note: Best Buy’s weekly sales usually begin on Sunday, so I’m guessing that the $200 price is good through Saturday, June 2. 

I picked up the SanDisk drive from a local store to replace an older 240GB Crucial M500 SSD that I had been using for Hyper-V VMs that was out of space. This will provide much more breathing room for VMs, and using the SSD for other media as well, at a relatively low cost. I will run some performance benchmarks and update this post in the next day or so.