Yes, I did end up going with the LK for the price feature set and price. I do wish it had 4 x SATA IIIs at least, but from what I could find, I needed to spend another $100 ($200) just to get a board with that many ports. I couldn’t justify that much more money especially given my hard limit of $2000 total for the entire build. I’ll probably regret it a couple of years from now.
Honestly I spent $170 on my last board for my Q9550 and at the time it was the 3rd top tier board offered by ASUS using the P45 chipset. Had a great amount of SATA ports (6) and I ended up using every one of them (minus the useless, to me, 2 SATA ports that were for RAID 0 only).
That’s the thing about HDD prices, I think manufacturers see a potential extra profit to be made by keeping prices significantly higher than pre-flood pricing (my 1.5 TB WD Green was $60 pre-flood, it’s now $90 on average). I do wonder if they are still using the flood as an excuse to keep prices inflated…assuming they do not have anymore supply and manufacturing issues because of the flooding days. The fact that HGST has kept with this new pricing model says a lot (yes they are owned by WD now, but Hitachi was not affected by the floods).
Innovation beyond 4 TB, I’m not sure that’s really possible. We’ve known for a while now that the density of these disks have pretty much hit a limit and the use of perpendicular recording technology was probably the last big step forward to even higher densities. I do wish with the higher densities, reliability could be improved, but that doesn’t seem to be a high priority for platter drives anymore. I’ve had too many fail within a short period recently that I’ve looked at archiving my data onto BR media and waiting for SSD pricing to come down drastically as well as densities to rise.