Corsair is a vengeful beast: K90, the (Black)Widow’s maker?

Subject: General Tech | September 17, 2011 - 01:30 AM |
Tagged: mice, mechanical keyboard, corsair

For such an old technology it certainly seems like gaming mechanical keyboards are making a surge into the market lately. More and more hands are in the pot full of Cherries; each hand with their personal set of distinguishing features to set their offering apart from all the others. Some prefer to opt for backlighting; some prefer to opt for ludicrous amounts of keys to be pressed at once; and some prefer to duke it out in switch type, extra buttons, and price. Razer recently jumped in to the fray with their premiere and recently expanded BlackWidow product line. Corsair seems to have their sights directly on Razer, however, with their own mechanical keyboard lineup: The Vengence K60 FPS keyboard and the K90 MMO keyboard the latter with blue backlighting. Also announced are two gaming mice, one to complement each keyboard with similar model numbers: M60 and M90.

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Are your ears burning Razer? This could get bloody.

I must say that upon overviewing Corsair’s claims of a 20KRO keyboard I am quite interested in this product. According to their product page, they have essentially created the basis of an NKRO keyboard by isolating every key from each other (rather than having certain combinations of as low as 3 keys confuse the controller) but instead of using a native PS/2 controller for real NKRO they opted for messing with USB in such a way to allow up to 20 keys pressed at once. While the question still remains of how up-to “up-to” really is, if they really isolated every key it is possible that you simply will not have enough fingers to jam the keyboard without physically trying to make it happen. Such a feat is possible, however: Microsoft has done a similar accomplishment with their SideWinder X4 keyboard, claiming 26KRO over USB.

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I mean honestly, who needs two hands on your FPS keyboard?

It seems very much like Corsair is attempting to ram into the market chest-first like some Cherry-flavored Kool-Aid man. A special one-handed wristguard for the FPS model and replaceable keycaps for the WSAD and number keys knowing that without backlighting they are the first to go show that they thought this through before they made their leap. The backlight K90 also priced nearly identically to Razer’s BlackWidow Ultimate at $129 with the FPS-centric K60 priced at $109 though that price includes the wrist guard. The two mice are priced at $79 for the M90 and $69 for the M60. Update 9/17/2011: I forgot to mention, Corsair said it should be available in October.

Source: Corsair

Obviously these Corsair DIMMs use less power because of the white heatspreader

Subject: Memory | September 15, 2011 - 09:12 AM |
Tagged: corsair, vengeance lp 8gb, low power

Regular viewers of our podcast know that Josh's favourite component right now is RAM, specifically high performance RAM for dirt cheap.  This RAM would certainly count, not only do you get two 4GB sticks for $53, it is low profile and at 1.35V is very low powered as well.  Corsair Vengeance LP 8GB runs 1600MHz stock @ 9-9-9-24 timings and even features a white heatspreader to give you cool running and unique looking RAM.  It doesn't have to stay low power either, when Overclock3D started earning their name and pumped the voltage up to 1.65 they could reduce the timings to 7-8-7-24 or pump the speed to 1866MHz @10-11-10-27.

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"If you're on the lookout for a low voltage memory kit, perhaps Corsair have just the ticket."

Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:

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Source: Overclock3D

Seven Sandforce SF-2281 SSDs

Subject: Storage | September 13, 2011 - 02:13 PM |
Tagged: sandforce, Sandforce SF2281, ssd, roundup, corsair, kingston, ozc, patriot, sata 6Gps

Four companies with seven SSDs that all share the same controller were tested at X-bit Labs to see if there is any noticeable difference in their performance.   The price per gigabyte varies on the different models as they all use slightly different flash memory as well as different interfaces.  X-bit tries to come out with a general statement about performance and captures the heart when they state "SSDs with synchronous MLC NAND flash are generally faster but also more expensive whereas SSDs with asynchronous flash are cheaper and slower".  That generalization doesn't quite capture the results fully however as even within those two categories there are some choices better than others.  Check out the full review to see which drives came out on top.

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"We tested seven high-speed solid state drives built on second generation SandForce controller that support SATA 6 Gbps. Please welcome our heroes: Corsair Force 3, Corsair Force GT, Kingston HyperX, OCZ Agility 3, OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS, Patriot Pyro and Patriot Wildfire."

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:

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Source: X-Bit Labs

High Capacity Corsair SATA 3 Force GT SSDs Now Available

Subject: Storage | August 30, 2011 - 09:27 PM |
Tagged: ssd, storage, corsair, sandforce, SATA3

Today Corsair announced two new high capacity SSDs that have joined the company’s Force GT solid state drive lineup. The new drives come in 180 GB and 240GB flavors, a nice increase from the current 60 GB and 120 GB drives.

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The new Force GT SSDs utilize the SATA 3 (6Gbps) interface, and are powered by the SandForce SF-2280 controller. In addition, the drives are powered by ONFI synchronous flash memory. The hardware results in random IOPS of 85K, read speeds of 555 MB/s, and write speeds of 525 MB/s. Thi La, the VP of Memory Products for Corsair stated the new 180 GB and 240 GB SSDs are best suited for enthusiasts systems that require large amounts of high performance storage.

The Force GT drives will come with a 3.5” adapter for cases that do not have 2.5” drive bays. The SSDs are available for purchase now, and carry an MSRP of $379 USD for the 180 GB model and $489 USD for the 240 GB SSD.

Source: Corsair

Corsair's new enclosure family

Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 23, 2011 - 09:02 AM |
Tagged: corsair, Carbide 400R, h100, h80

 The Corsair Carbide 400R enclosure is constructed of steel, apart from rubber for grommets, feet and drive mounts and is surprisingly light for such a sturdy enclosure.  The grommets for watercooling are plentiful with Corsair even describing the best way to set up the case using either their H100 or H80 self contained water coolers.  At the top of the front you will find audio ports, two USB 3.0 headers and a Firewire port in addition to activity LEDs and a power button.  What impressed Legit Reviews even more than the light weight was the MSRP of $100, making the case affordable for those who can't bring themselves to spend $150+ on an enclosure.

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"Corsair simply nailed it with the Carbide Series 400R mid-tower case. The first thing I noticed taking this steel case out of the box was it is fairly light at under 16 pounds! It was very sturdy and I didn't feel like I was going to be breaking plastic parts while reviewing the case. The elegant sleek design may escape you are first look but it is certainly there. It may take the first time for you to see the PC turned on to see how well it works with the white LED lights provided on the front panels and front case fans. Sure it only comes with three fan to start but if you are feeling creative you can have up to ten to create a wind tunnel in your Corsair Carbide Series 400R."

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:

CASES & COOLING

Corsair takes fan testing seriously

Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 21, 2011 - 11:31 AM |
Tagged: visit, fan, corsair

I have been wandering around the Bay area for the last several days and stopped in to see some of our favorite hardware and technology companies.  We saw a lot of really interesting things that we can't quite discuss yet, but this machine we found in the Corsair testing labs was kind of interesting.  Have you ever wondered how fans get all those ratings like CFMs, dBAs and speed curves?

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Meet the LongWin LW-9266 Fan Performance Measurement Apparatus.  Not something from Aperture Science as you might guess, this device lets Corsair test new fan options for their heatsinks, cases and H-series liquid coolers to find those that are the quietest, the most efficient and the provide the best pressure results for cooling particular heatsinks, etc.

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The idea is simple enough - connect a fan (or a fan behind a heatsink) to the end of the LW-9266 and turn on the machine, set some variables and let it go.  Air is pushed by the fan into the blue chamber up to and another fan blower moves air in the same direction to equalize pressure, thus it can tell how much air is actually being moved.

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The whole process is quite a bit more complicated that I am making it out to be of course - I just got the crash course.  Interestingly, this Delta fan they were showing off for me was so loud, it droned out the rest of the testing contraption completely.  Air speed = high, noise = high.  I didn't need a machine for that.

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Here is a sample result from a previous fan test that shows some performance results.  Other than the cool factor here, there isn't much to report, but it is good to see Corsair making investments in actually TESTING stuff they are selling to consumers rather than taking OEMs word on specifications, etc. 

Source: Corsair

Corsair Unveils Two New 90GB SATA 6Gb/s SSDs, A World's First

Subject: Storage | August 18, 2011 - 11:35 PM |
Tagged: ssd, ONFI, Force Series 3, corsair, asynchronous NAND, 90GB

Corsair recently added two new solid state drives to its SSD lineup. The new drives weight in at 90 GB, and make an interesting choice for those that need a bit more space than Corsair’s 60 GB drives provide but not enough to justify a higher priced 120 GB drive. Of the two drives, one will be labeled a Force Series 3 drive, and the other will be a Force Series GT SSD. Tweaktown quoted Corsair in stating:

“We're happy to add the world's first 90GB SSD to our product lineup. With 50% more storage capacity than our 60GB models and at pricing significantly lower than our 120GB models, they help make the Force Series 3 and Force Series GT among the most robust and flexible SSD lines on the market.”

The new 2.5” drives are powered by Sandforce 2281 controllers, and the SATA 3 (6Gb/s) interface. Using the benchmarking utility IOMeter 08, Corsair measured the IOPS (input/output operations per second) of the two drives to be 85,000. The Force Series 3 90GB SSD uses asynchronous NAND, and is capable of sequential read and write speeds of 550MB/s and 500MB/s respectively. On the other hand, the Force Series GT 90GB SSD uses ONFI synchronous flash, and features a slight performance edge with sequential reads of 555MB/s and sequential writes of 505MB/s.

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The 90GB SSDs supports SMART monitoring, the TRIM command, and have a MTBF (mean time before failure) of 2 million hours. Further, the drives carry a three year warranty. The drives are available now from authorized retailers with an MSRP of $159 for the Force Series 3 drive and $199 for the Force Series GT SSD.

Source: Tweaktown

Get some effective bling for your Corsair CMP and CMTs

Subject: Memory | August 11, 2011 - 03:17 PM |
Tagged: corsair, airflow, RAM cooler

If you have a set of Corsair Dominator DIMMs, then the Corsair AirFlow 2 and Airflow Pro are for you.  The Corsair AirFlow 2 adds a shroud and two fans to actively cool your DIMMs.  Add in the Airflow Pro on top and in addition to the extra cooling, LEDs will add a bit of spice to your system and will even give you information on load and temperature.   Legit Reviews can tell you all about them.

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"We observed a 8C temperature decrease at idle and a 12C decrease at load with the DDR3 clock frequency set to 1600MHz. In the end the Corsair AirFlow 2 memory cooling solution proved to be worth it. If you have a tight case with a lot of hot components and limited airflow using the Corsair Airflow 2 is a really good idea..."

Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:

Memory

Corsair Releases New Low Profile, Low Voltage DDR3 Arctic White Memory Kit

Subject: Memory | August 3, 2011 - 12:10 PM |
Tagged: vengeance lp, memory, ddr3, corsair, 8gb

Today Corsair unveiled a new low voltage DDR3, low profile memory kit. Specifically, the new kit is named the Special Edition Arctic White Vengeance LP and is a 8GB, 1600MHz affair that consists of two “rigorously-screened 4GB DDR3 DRAM modules” that the manufacturer guarantees will operate at 1600MHz at CAS latencies of 9-9-9-24.

The LP in the products name implies the predisposition for use in small form factor and low profile systems where every inch counts, especially in systems where the power supply mounts directly above the motherboard. The new Vengeance kit’s heat spreader has a reduced height of 1.03” (or 26.25mm) and is ideal for these kinds of small form factor systems.

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Corsair have further used the new special edition memory in an ultra quiet PC build on the company’s blog. According to Giovanni Sena, the Director of Memory Products at Corsair, “our latest offering, the Special Edition Arctic White Vengeance LP, gives builders, system integrators, and gaming enthusiasts the ability to assemble low-voltage systems with an appealing, stylish new look.”

The new Arctic White Vengeance LP memory kit is available now from retailers and will run you approximately $90 USD at time of writing.

Source: bit-tech

Corsair's H80 High Performance Liquid Cooler is a smaller H100

Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 3, 2011 - 12:03 PM |
Tagged: water cooling, corsair, h80

Don't confuse the Corsair H80 High Performance liquid cooler as a less expensive version of the H100 Extreme, with a price difference of $10 you will be disappointed with it.  Instead think of it like a small form factor version of the very large H100.  It is not quite reduced 50% in size, sitting at 152mm (6") x 120mm (4.7") x  38mm (1.5") it has a substantial radiator but not big enough for a pair of 120mm fans to be needed.  Overall it performed as well as the larger H100 if not better but like its bigger brother it falls behind the competition once [H]ard|OCP breaks out price to performance measurements.

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"Today we are reviewing the Corsair Hydro Series H80 High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler. This cooler may look very familiar in that it is a step down from the flagship Corsair H100, but still carries much of the same DNA. Basically the H80 is about $10 less expensive with a lot less radiator to worry about."

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:

CASES & COOLING

Source: [H]ard|OCP