Podcast #232 - Our picks for Best Products of 2012!

Subject: General Tech | December 27, 2012 - 03:37 PM |
Tagged: video, ssd, podcast, picks of the year, memory, gpu, editors choice, cpu, case, best of the year

PC Perspective Podcast #232 - 12/27/2012

Join us this week as we discuss our picks for Best Products of 2012!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

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  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano and Scott Michaud

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!

Program length: 1:40:13

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. Welcome to our Best Of 2012 Episode!
  2. Rules explanation: there are no rules!!
  3. 0:07:30 Best CPU
    1. AMD Trinity A10 APU
    2. Intel Core i7-3770K
    3. Intel Ultrabook mobile CPU
    4. Qualcomm Krait Mobile CPU
  4. 0:20:00 Best Motherboard
    1. MSI Z77 MPower
    2. ASUS Rampage IV Extreme
    3. ASUS Z77 Mini ITX
    4. EVGA dual Xeon board
    5. Asus Crosshair Formula Z
  5. 0:31:20 Best GPU
    1. GeForce GTX 680 2GB
    2. GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB
    3. Radeon HD 7970 3GB
    4. Radeon HD 7870 2GB
  6. 0:44:00 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
  7.  0:45:00 Best Storage
    1. Samsung 840 Pro SSD
    2. OCZ Vector SSD
    3. WD Red HDD
    4. WD 4TB Enterprise
  8. 1:05:00 Best Case
    1. Corsair Carbide 300R
    2. Corsair Obsidian 550D
    3. Cooler Master Cosmos II
    4. Mineral Oil Case
  9. 1:12:00 Best Price Drop
    1. SSDs
    2. AMD Radeon 7000 GPUs
    3. Good IPS displays ($199 - $400)
    4. 2560x1440 27-in panels
    5. System Memory
  10. 1:22:00 Best Newly Popular Technology
    1. Thunderbolt
    2. High-res monitors (Korean or otherwise)
    3. Cherry style keyboards
    4. Mini ITX Motherboards
    5. Touch screen?
  11. 1:35:00 Best Lenovo Laptop on my Desk
    1. Thinkpad Twist
    2. Thinkpad X1 Carbon
    3. Thinkpad X230
    4. Yoga 13
  12. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  13. http://pcper.com/podcast
  14. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  15. Closing/outro

Be sure to subscribe to the PC Perspective YouTube channel!!

 

 

Win 16GB of Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR3 2133 MHz Memory!!

Subject: General Tech | October 16, 2012 - 04:49 PM |
Tagged: memory, giveaway, dominator, corsair, contest

UPDATE: We have selected a winner using Random.org and that is....  Sandy Bruce!!  Congrats to the winner and keep checking back on pcper.com as we will have more contests for your shortly!!!

 

Looking for a killer upgrade to your PC?  How does 16GB of DDR3 memory running at 2133 MHz sound?  What if it were FREE?  Corsair and PC Perspective and teamed up to give away a 16GB kit (4 x 4GB) of Dominator Platinum memory!!

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These are the latest modules from Corsair that include a completely cooler design as well as user swappable LED strip!  Check out the video below!

dom3.jpg

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These modules are pretty sexy in the dark...

What do you have to do to win this gorgeous memory?  It's quite simple:

  1. Head over to Corsair's Facebook page and give them a 'like'.
  2. If you are feeling generous (and want to learn about future giveaways) like the PC Perspective Facebook page as well. 
  3. Leave a comment below telling us how you plan on using the Corsair Dominator Platinum memory if you win it!

Pretty simple, right?  We'll run the sweepstakes from now until October the 10th, so jump in and get in your shot to walk away from 16GB of memory from PC Perspective and our friends at Corsair!!

Source: Corsair

ECS Motherboard First to Support AMD Memory Profiles (AMP)

Subject: Motherboards | July 23, 2012 - 05:32 PM |
Tagged: motherboard, memory profile, memory, ECS, amp, amd

Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) recently announced its support for the new AMD Memory Profile (AMP) technology. The A85F2-A Deluxe will be the first of the company’s motherboards to support AMP.

AMP.JPG

AMP is AMD’s version of Intel Extreme Memory Profiles (XMP) which amounts to known-safe automatic overclock settings. The AMP profiles are stored in the DDR3 memory modules and can be read by supporting motherboards. Now knowing the proper voltage, CAS latencies, and timings to use, the motherboard can ideally automatically configure the modules to run at optimal speeds.

The setting will be able to be enabled/disabled in the BIOS of the new ECS motherboard, as shown in the screenshot below. According to its press release, ECS is the first company to integrate AMD Memory Profile support into its motherboards, and it is honored to lead the charge. “Making a unique and glory prominent product is the only purpose for ECS.”

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Here’s hoping the implementation works well and is more accurate than my experience with XMP profiles has been! Will you be using AMP in your AMD builds?

Source: ECS

DRAM Prices Expected To Rise

Subject: Memory | July 18, 2012 - 12:13 PM |
Tagged: price increase, memory, Elpida, ddr3

The memory market has traditionally seen razor thin margins and cheap prices as the various manufacturers crank out DRAM chips to healthy levels. While we are not yet at the point for DDR4 memory to come out with high early-adopter prices, iSuppli believes that we will be seeing increased pricing later this year regardless.

A DDR3 memory module

According to Tom’s Hardware, analysts working for IHS iSuppli have determined that inventory is decreasing this year, and has decreased 4 percent since the fourth quarter of last year. Whereas DRAM suppliers were estimated to have 12.1 weeks of inventory in Q4 2011, they are currently sitting on 11.6 weeks. While supply grew last year and prices fell dramatically, prices have increased by 1.5 percent versus last year. The analysts further expect prices to rise by 7.7 percent and 3.5 percent in Q3 2012 and Q4 2012 respectively.

One possible aspect of the drop in supply is the declaration of bankruptcy and subsequent buyout of Elpida Memory by Micron. As supply goes down and demand stays the same – or continues to rise – prices are naturally going to increase for consumers. Now that there is one less manufacturer to contend with, it is likely that prices will continue to be higher than before. If you have not already upgraded your RAM, now seems to be as good as it’s going to get price-wise, so be sure to jump in on the good deals while you can!

CES Storage Roundup Part 4 - Sandisk, PQI

Subject: Storage, Shows and Expos | January 16, 2012 - 06:36 PM |
Tagged: ssd, sandisk, PQI, memory, flash, CES

Sandisk

Sandisk had a booth with a large array of small nand flash storage devices, though most of it appeared to be SD, CF, or for embedded mobile applications:

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One of the more interesting pieces was a 64GB e.MMC nand flash part that fit *within* the dimensions of a penny! This is not a plug-in module - it's the type that would be soldered onto the mainboard of a cell phone or other small mobile device:

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While the booth was generally light on SSD's, there were a couple on display, namely the U100, in both 7mm (left) and 9.5mm (right) form factors:

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The U100 is also available in even smaller form factor. We're currently taking a look at an Ultrabook equipped with the same Sandisk U100 SSD - mounted to an even smaller PCB.

PQI

PQI has been a favorite of mine for years. They were among the first to make a really tiny thumb drive, and I'm glad to see they continue to make a versatile line of products:

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A little known fact is that PQI also has a line of SATA SSD's:

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The S525 Series (also available as the S518 - 1.8" form factor), is a bit long in the tooth and uses a dated JMicron controller, but PQI made the extra effort to include the optional USB 2.0 interface that most other manufacturers chose to omit.

More to follow

I've still got some pics to sift through, so stay tuned for more CES Storage goodies!

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

CES Storage Roundup Part 2 - Corsair, Patriot

Subject: Storage, Shows and Expos | January 12, 2012 - 12:29 AM |
Tagged: ssd, patriot, memory, flash, corsair, CES

While roaming Vegas, we came across lots of storage goodies. Here are a few:

Corsair

Corsair showed their line of SSD's, with a new addition:

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The new addition is on the right. This is the 'Accelerator' series, an SSD primarily meant for caching duties:

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The Accelerator series will be available in 30, 45, and 60GB capacities, and will be packaged with caching driver software for those not running a Z68 or better caching capable Intel board.

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Also on display was a refresh to the Voyager, Voyager GT, and Survivor series, bringing their interface up to USB 3.0 speeds.

Patriot

We also saw Patriot's lineup:

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Pictured above, from top down, is the following:

  • Wildfire (Sandforce 6Gb/sec / Toshiba Toggle-mode flash)
  • Pyro SE (Sandforce 6Gb/sec / IMFT Sync flash)
  • Pyro (Sandforce 6Gb/sec / IMFT Async flash)
  • Magma (Phison / Async flash)
  • Mac Series (identical Pyro SE, but Apple certified)

Next is the USB lineup, with many new USB 3.0 models replacing the older 2.0 units. The Transporter series is a bit shorter than it used to be, which is a welcome bonus.

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Here are Patriot's portable flash offerings, consisting of high capacity SD cards and Phison-driven mSATA and smaller (!) form factors:

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This is 'mSATA mini', which is about half the length of a standard mSATA SSD. On the other end of that spectrum is a 240GB Macbook Air unit (just off camera in the above pic).

Stay Tuned!

...I've got a few more goodies to post!

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

CES Storage Roundup Part 1 - Toshiba, Kingston

Subject: Storage, Shows and Expos | January 11, 2012 - 09:26 PM |
Tagged: toshiba, ssd, memory, kingston, flash, CES

While roaming Vegas, we came across lots of storage goodies. Here are a few:

Toshiba

Toshiba was showing a 19nm flash memory wafer and all of their products containing them.

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They seem to be taking their SATA SSD lines less seriously, as there were none on display. While there were no SSD's to speak of, there were USB devices:

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There was also plenty of SDHC, including their own SD WiFi card - used to upload photos as they are taken.

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They were also showing an SDXC card. While the shown card was a functioning 64GB unit, the SDXC format is capable of taking to cards up to 1TB in capacity.

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Kingston

We saw some cool stuff over at the Kingston booth:

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If you look inside that case, you'll see they are now making an mSATA SSD:

DSC01972_resize.JPG

They also showed their ever expanding line of USB 2.0 and 3.0 devices:

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...and this really tiny model, which packs 8GB of storage into something barely big enough to unplug without the use of needle nose pliers:

DSC01982_resize.JPG

Stay Tuned!

...more storage stuff is coming soon!

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Crucial Launches Three New Ballistix DDR3 Module Series

Subject: Memory | January 9, 2012 - 09:00 PM |
Tagged: ram, memory, ddr3, crucial, ballistix

Crucial, a company most well known for their RAM modules, today announced three new series of Ballistix DDR3 RAM modules. The RAM is available in low latency modules based on Micron's 4 Gb chips, and runs at either 1600 MHz and 1866 MHz. The three new series are called Ballistix Sport, Ballistix Tactical, and Ballistix Elite.

The Ballistix Sport modules are the low end modules of the three new series and are designed for mainstream users and a gamers on a budget. They are available in single, dual, and triple channel matched kits. The single modules are available in a DDR2 module running at 800 MHz, DDR3 stick running at 1333 MHz, or DDR3 DIMMs running at 1600 MHz. The DDR2 DIMM need 1.8 volts and delivers a CAS latency of 5-5-5-15 while the DDR3 DIMMs need 1.5 volts and have a CAS latency of 9-9-9-24. The dual and triple channel kits have the same specifications as the single module DDR3 RAM, though obviously they come with multiple matches DIMMs in one package.

Ballistix240-pinDIMMDDR3sportREV.jpg

Ballistix Tactical brings up the middle ground in the new lineup, and are comprised of DDR3 DIMMs only. The single DIMMs are available in 2 GB, 4 GB, and 8 GB capacities. They need 1.5 volts, run at 1333 MHz and 1600 MHz, and have a CAS latency of 7-7-7-24 or 8-8-8-24. Like the other kits, they come in single, dual, and triple channel kits. The Dual channel kits come in 4 GB, 8 GB, and 16 GB capacities and the triple channel kits come in 6 GB and 12 GB capacities. Other than the additional sticks of RAM, they run at the same voltages and CAS latencies.

Ballistix240-pinDIMMballistixtacticalDDR3.jpg

Last up is the top tier of the three new Ballistix series, dubbed the Ballistix Elite. These modules are designed for high performance gaming and memory intensive tasks. They have the most flair as well, with tall aluminum heat spreaders. The Ballistix DIMMs come in single, double, and triple channel memory. The single modules come in 2 GB, 4 GB, and 8 GB capacities. They operate at 1.5 or 1.65 volts and either 1600 MHz, 1866 MHz, or 2133 MHz. CAS latencies vary between the various SKUs and include CAS 8-8-8-24, 9-9-9-27, and 9-10-9-27 (for the module running at 2133 MHz).

Ballistix240-pinDIMMballistixeliteDDR3kit_2.jpg

The Crucial 8 GB Ballistix DIMMs are able to be installed in configurations up to 64 GB in the case of the Intel X79 motherboards. They are available for purchase now worldwide and are backed by a lifetime warranty. To give you an idea of pricing, the 4 GB Ballistix Sport kit running at 1600 MHz is $33.99 USD while the 8 GB Ballistix Tactical kit running at 1866 MHz is $79.99 USD. Finally, the 8 GB Ballistix Elite kit at 1866 MHz is $87.99 USD.

Source: Crucial

DDR3 RAM Now at All Time Low Prices, Becoming Extremely Affordable

Subject: Memory | November 28, 2011 - 01:17 PM |
Tagged: ram, ddr3, gskill, corsair, commodity, ram drive, memory

Although hard drive prices are skyrocketing, the price of DDR3 RAM is continuing to fall such that it is now at an all time low, according to popular tech rumor site Fudzilla. Currently, value/budget RAM maker TeamGroup is selling a 8GB DDR3 1333 MHz kit for $32 USD, which marks an all time low for the speedy temporary storage. Its not only the super cheap and lesser known brands that are selling for such low prices, however.

RAM!.jpg

8 GB of DDR3 Memory is now a very inexpensive endeavor

G-Skill is offering a value DDR3 kit for $36 USD and Crucial sells their own value RAM for $34.99 over at Newegg. Considering a bit more than 3 years ago (Aprill 22, 2008 via the Way Back Machine's snapshot of Newegg), a 4GB (2x2GB) kit of G-Skill DDR3 RAM went for $279.99, or about $560 for an equivalent amount of RAM today (8 GB 2x4 GB for $36 versus two 4 GB 2x2 GB kits for $560)!

It is pretty crazy to think that DDR3 RAM has dropped so much in price. Even just a few months ago, I upgraded my system to a total of 8 GB of G-Skill 1600 (two 2x2GB kits) by adding a second set of 4 GB DDR3 for less than $50 when I spent twice that on the first 4 GB set (same model and speed) just last year.! With the rise in hard drive prices and fall in RAM prices, I really want to test out a nice 16 or even 32 GB RAM drive; if only I could pry some of that Corsair RAM out of Ryan’s Sandy Bride-E test system! ;) heh. Have you upgraded your RAM recently due to the stuff being so cheap?

RAMDisk.png

My old RAM drive, aren’t they fun!? ;)

Source: Fudzilla

Corsair Releasing a 32 GB Quad Channel DDR3 Memory Kit

Subject: Memory | October 13, 2011 - 10:56 AM |
Tagged: ram, memory, corsair, sandy bridge-e

Sandy Bridge-E and its quad channel memory is nearly upon us. Corsair is gearing up with a new 32 GB DDR3 memory kit. The Dominator GT memory kit is comprised of four 8 GB DDR3 DIMMs (Dual In-Line Memory Module) that the company claims are from strenuously tested and highly binned chips.  Specifically, the DDR3 kit has a part number of CMT32GX3M4X1866C9.

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The new modules feature Corsair’s removable red and black DHX heatsinks and a RAM fan. The quad channel kit is rated to run at 2400 Mhz with CAS latencies of 9-10-9-27, and all while running at a mere 1.5 volts. Further, the memory is also rated to run with CAS latencies of 9-9-9-24 at 1300 Mhz; however, having the higher latencies and corresponding higher speed of 2400 Mhz will result in better overall performance versus the lower latency settings.

The 32 GB quad channel memory kit is available now with an MSRP of $999.99 USD. How much RAM do you currently use in your systems?

Source: Corsair