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:

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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?

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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

Samsung and Micron Developing Hybrid Memory Cube Technology

Subject: Memory | October 7, 2011 - 08:52 AM |
Tagged: memory, hybrid memory cube, HMC, micron, Intel, Samsung, ram, DDR, DRAM

Micron Technology and Samsung Electronics, in cooperation with Intel, Altera Corporation, Open Silicon, and Xilinx among others have formed the “Hybrid Memory Cube Consortium” to develop and encourage adoption of a new storage interface specification. This new storage technology is based on Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC) technology, which is comprised of PCB, a thin logic layer, and stacks of DRAM chips. These memory chips are stacked vertically on top of one another and connected via TSV.

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A mock up of a HMC (Source: CNET)

According to Tech Connect Magazine, Micron’s Vice President for DRAM Marketing is quoted in stating “HMC brings a new level of capability to memory that provides exponential performance and efficiency gains.” Hybrid Memory Cube technology is claimed to be capable of using 70% less power than current DDR3 memory modules (DIMMs) while being up to 15 times faster.

Reinforcing Micron’s position is Intel’s CTO Justin Rattner who talked very highly of the technology and it’s massive bandwidth and I/O improvements versus traditional DDR style memory designs. The Hybrid Memory Cube is capable of sustained transfer rates of 1 terabit per second, and is “the most energy efficient DRAM ever built” by a bits transferred per amount of energy consumed.

Both Intel and Micron have expressed that the HMC technology will be a boon for data centers and high performance computing that demands low power and high bandwidth memory storage. Assuming the numbers pan out, the Hybrid Memory Cube will be quite a leap in memory efficiency and will further accelerate adoption rates of so called “cloud” applications as well as more efficient high performance servers used in scientific research endeavors. All in all, the idea of the Hybrid Memory Cube is cool stuff, and it will be interesting to see if the actual memory will live up to its grandeur name.

AMD To Release 2GB DDR3 Radeon Branded DIMMs

Subject: Memory | August 8, 2011 - 12:38 PM |
Tagged: radeon, memory, ddr3, amd

When building a computer, enthusiasts are likely to combine components from several different manufacturers, especially on the Intel side.  Short of the power supply, hard drive, and accessories; however, AMD is slowing diversifying to provide components to put together an all-AMD system.  Before today, AMD already had the motherboard, processor, and graphics card (including processor graphics if that's your thing), and today Maximum PC reports that AMD may be moving into the RAM market with its own line of Radeon branded memory.  It seems that AMD's future Leo-like platform may resemble a small AMD branded borg cube.

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The new memory in question is comprised of 2GB, DDR3 sticks and comes in three series branded the "Entertainment," "ULTRA PRO Gaming," and "Enterprise."  The enthusiastic naming conventions aside, the Entertainment series looks to be the budget modules for those looking for stable DIMMs that get the job done for cheap.  They have a rated speed of 1333Mbps and a CAS latency of 9-9-9.  The next highest series is the "ULTRA PRO Gaming" series, which promises to be overclocking friendly.  These DIMMs receive a slight boost in speed to 1600Mbps while taking a slight dip in CAS latency to 11-11-11.  The final, and likely most expensive, modules are the Enterprise series.  These modules are still somewhat of a mystery as the specifications have yet to be announced by AMD; however, they are likely geared more towards enterprise workstations than servers as they are unbuffered DIMMs.

Further, all three series are rated to run at 1.5V and have a height of 30mm.  Unfortunately, there is no word yet on price or availability.  There are; however, several photos of Radeon branded memory modules over at PC Watch for you to check out.  Do you think AMD's move to enter the DRAM market is a good thing or a bad thing for future profitability?

Source: AMD

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

Subject: Memory | August 3, 2011 - 03:10 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