Podcast #209 - Thunderbolt on Windows, Western Digital Red Drives, a passively cooled GTX 680 and more!

Subject: General Tech | July 12, 2012 - 01:35 PM |
Tagged: WD, ThunderFX, thunderbolt, ssd, red, podcast, Intel, gtx 680, gpu, amd

PC Perspective Podcast #209 - 07/12/2012

Join us this week as we talk about Thunderbolt Performance on Windows, the new Western Digital Red Hard Drives, a passively cooled GTX 680 and more!

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!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath and Allyn Malvantano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!

Program length: 1:15:06

Program Schedule:

  1. Introduction
  2. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  3. http://pcper.com/podcast
  4. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  5. Quakecon - we need Tshirt ideas!!
  6. 00:05:45 Thunderbolt Performance on Windows with ASUS P8Z77-V Premium
  7. 00:17 Gigabyte G1.Sniper M3 Motherboard Review
  8. 00:18:30 AMD, Vishera and Beyond!
  9. 00:26:45 HP Envy 14 Spectre Review
  10. 00:28:30 Western Digital Red 3TB NAS HDD Review
  11. 00:41:51 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
  12. 00:42:45 Passively cooled GTX 680 anyone?
  13. 00:45:45 Windows 8 Pro will run you $39
  14. 00:50:00 Overclocking makes your system less stable...duhhh
  15. 00:57:00 ASUS and Gigabyte raise warranty times
  16. 00:58:30 Mid-range Kepler rumors
  17. 01:03:03 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
    1. Ryan: ThunderboltEX from ASUS
    2. Jeremy: I like this Lenovo X220 work stuck me with
    3. Josh: Like I need another time sink
    4. Allyn: WD Red
  18. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  19. http://pcper.com/podcast
  20. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  21. Closing

​For those of you that prefer the video version, see below:

Corsair Force Series GS SSDs with Toggle NAND Boost Performance of SandForce Lineup

Subject: Storage | July 5, 2012 - 03:35 PM |
Tagged: ssd, corsair, Force Series GS, toggle NAND

The new Corsair Force GS series come in four sizes, 180GB, 240GB, 360GB, 480GB.  All are SATA 6Gbps drives and powered by the Sandforce 2200 controller but there are differences in speed because of the different sizes of drive, though perhaps not in the breakdown you would expect.  The smaller 180GB and 240GB models sport specifications of:

  • Max Sequential R/W (ATTO): 555 MB/s sequential read
  • 525 MB/s sequential write
  • Max Random 4k Write (IOMeter 08): 90k IOPS (4k aligned)

smallerGS.png

The two larger drives have slightly slower listed random write speeds, with the 360GB having slightly improved sequential writes:

  • Max Sequential R/W (ATTO): 555 MB/s sequential read
  • 530 MB/s sequential write
  • Max Random 4k Write (IOMeter 08): 50k IOPS (4k aligned)

largerGS.png

Finally the largest 480GB model is slower at everything:

  • Max Sequential R/W (ATTO): 540 MB/s sequential read
  • 455 MB/s sequential write
  • Max Random 4k Write (IOMeter 08): 50k IOPS (4k aligned)

You can head over to Corsair and see the drives yourself.  If you are looking to purchase the drives their MRSPs are $189.99 for 180GB, $239.99 for 240GB, $349.99 for 340GB and $489.99 for 480GB capacities, meeting the ~$1/GB we all like to see.

Source: Corsair

Remember the OCZ Vertex 4? The 256GB model is less than $1/GB!

Subject: Storage | July 4, 2012 - 03:53 PM |
Tagged: Vertex 4, vertex, ocz, Indilinx, ssd

It has been a while since Allan first reviewed the Indilinx Everest 2 powered OCZ Vertex 4 so it seems like a good time to refresh your memory.  That is not just because newer firmware is increasing the performance of this drive but also because the 256GB model can be had for under $1/GB!   You can see the performance against over a dozen other SSDs of varying prices at TechSpot, where it might not hold the top spot for overall performance it fares very well when you consider the price to performance ratio.  That is not to say it is the least expensive drive available but it deserves to be in your list when you are considering a new SSD for your system.

TS_V4.jpg

"Although SandForce controllers have powered much of OCZ's solid-state lineup, the company is shifting to its own solutions after purchasing Indilinx early last year. The "Octane" flash drives were the first to use the Indilinx Everest controller last holiday season and now that its SF-2281-based drives are over a year old, OCZ has begun phasing Everest into the rest of its offerings, including the Vertex series.

The Vertex 4 series is aimed at performance buffs, with initial Indilinx Everest 2 based models offering capacities of 64GB, 128GB, 256GB and 512GB. Performance is the name of the game here and OCZ doesn't disappoint."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Source: TechSpot

Sandisk Launches PCIe Solid State Accelerators (SSAs)

Subject: Storage | July 3, 2012 - 12:21 AM |
Tagged: ssd, slc, server, sandisk, PCIe SSD, flash, enterprise, caching

Flash storage company Sandisk has recently jumped into the world of enterprise PCI-E caching SSDs – what they are calling Solid State Accelerators. Currently, they are offering a 200GB and 400GB model under the company’s Lightning PCIe series. The SSDs feature a proprietary Sandisk controller driving 24nm SLC NAND flash, a PCI-E 2.0 x4 interface, and maximum power draw of 15 watts.

The Lightning Accelerators use the NAND flash for Sandisk’s own foundry and offer a large performance boost for servers and workstations over hard drives and SATA SSDs. It is capable of 410 MB/s sequential reads or 110,000 IOPS. Further, when using 4KB and 8KB blocks, the drives can reach 23,000 and 17,000 read/write IOPS respectively. Other specifications include an average response time of 245 microseconds, and less than 30 millisecond maximum response times. The Solid State Accelerators also feature sustained read and write latencies as low as 50 microseconds.

 

SandiskSSA.jpg

Sandisk has built the drives so that they can be configured as boot drives, storage drives, or caching drives. The company supports up to 5 drives in a single system, for a maximum of 2TB of flash storage. In addition, Sandisk is offering up its Flashsoft software that allows the Lightning Accelerators to be used as caching drives on Windows-based systems. Unfortunately, that is an additional cost which is not included in the already pricey SSDs (good thing for corporate expense accounts!).

Speaking of pricing, the 200GB LP206M has an MSRP of $1,350 while the 400GB LP406M has an MSRP of $2,350. Both cards have five year warranties and a MTBF rating of 2 million hours. You can find more information on the Sandisk Website.

It will be interesting to see how this Sandisk accelerator stacks up to the likes of the Intel 910 and FusioIO drives! The FusionIO FX, for example, gives you 420GB of QDP MLC NAND for $2,495, which works out such that Sandisk has a slightly lower cost-per-gigabyte value and SLC flash. We will have to wait for some independant reviews to say which drive is actually faster, however.

 

Source: Sandisk

Podcast #208 - AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHZ Edition, Intel Core i5-3470, our Blindfolded APU build and more!

Subject: General Tech | June 28, 2012 - 05:18 PM |
Tagged: Vertex 4, thunderbolt, ssd, podcast, nvidia, i5-3470, hd7970, blindfolded, APU, 7970 ghz edition

PC Perspective Podcast #208 - 06/28/2012

Join us this week as we talk about the AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHZ Edition, Intel Core i5-3470, our Blindfolded APU build and more!

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!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath and Allyn Malvantano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!

Program length: 1:05:24

Program Schedule:

  1. Introduction
  2. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  3. http://pcper.com/podcast
  4. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  5. 0:01:42 AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition
  6. 0:09:10 Live Review Recap: AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition
  7. 0:10:30 Silverstone Crown Series CW02 case review
  8. 0:13:50 Intel Core i5-3470 IVB Review
  9. 0:21:11 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
  10. 0:22:05 Live Video Recap: AMD Llano APU Blindfolded Build
  11. 0:25:50 ASUS ROG Matrix HD 7970 coming soon
  12. 0:30:00 Sandia Cooler Prototype
  13. 0:39:50 Dell Ubuntu Notebooks
  14. 0:43:40 Can a 12-core ARM cluster hit critical mass?
  15. 0:48:20 Google announces Nexus 7 tablet powered by Tegra 3
  16. 0:55:55 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
    1. Ryan: Thunderbolt on Windows Article coming tomorrow!!
    2. Jeremy: Core i7 3770K is a compute per watt monster
    3. Josh: Good PS for general use and excellent price
    4. Allyn: OCZ Vertex 4 FW 1.4.1.3
  17. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  18. http://pcper.com/podcast
  19. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  20. Closing

Drobo releases new Thunderbolt + USB 3.0 '5D' and 'Mini' - both mSATA SSD accelerated

Subject: Storage | June 21, 2012 - 09:06 AM |
Tagged: ssd, msata, drobo

I have a warm spot in my heart for Drobo products ever since I spent months trying to break one (unsuccessfully). With that I am now pleased to report on their announcement of two new products.

Drobo 5D - Right Front-.jpg

First is the Drobo 5D, which is basically a 5-bay Drobo S on steroids. It updates the interface to USB 3.0 + Thunderbolt and speeds up IOPS and multi-stream performance by way of an mSATA SSD. The SSD does not take up a drive bay as it is installed beneath a trap door un the bottom of the 5D:

Drobo 5D SSD Bay.png

Next up is the Drobo Mini. This little guy carries the same connectivity as the 5D, but is *much* smaller:

Drobo Mini Hand.png

The drop in size comes from a change in the form factor of installed storage. It takes up to 4 2.5" form factor drives. Performance should be similar to that of the 5D, primarily based on it also sporting that integrated mSATA port. I suspect the mini will go over very well with the mobile / MacBook / Ultrabook crowd, as being able to carry a small box with large redundant storage is a great idea for mobile workstations.

Drobo Mini Drive Insert.jpg

More to follow as availability will be announced in July. Pricing is expected to be below $650 (thunderbolt cable *included*). Press blast after the break.

New Link_A_Media Devices controller scores Corsair Neutron 'Best of Computex 2012' Award

Subject: Storage | June 12, 2012 - 08:50 PM |
Tagged: ssd, neutron, LAMD, corsair, computex

Last week during Computex, Corsair jointly announced a new SSD to their lineup. Their partnership was with Link_A_Media Devices (LAMD), and the new Corsair Neutron Series scooped up Tom Hardware's "Best of Computex 2012" award:

LAMD_Corsair_photo.jpg

The LAMD press blast for this event included some additional technical specs:

 

Key Features
  • SATA 6G host interface
  • 8 NAND channels, up to 4CE per channel
  • Support for 2y-nm and 1x-nm NAND Flash from all major Flash vendors
  • ONFi 2.3, Toggle Mode 1 and Legacy NAND interfaces
  • Proprietary endurance improving eBoostTM technology
  • End-to-end user data path protection
  • Strong BCH ECC capability with area/power efficient decoder architecture
  • Enterprise-class proven firmware for NAND management and data transport operations
  • Variable NAND over-provisioning
  • Efficient garbage collection and global wear leveling
  • RAID/Chipkill technology
  • Proven unsolicited power loss management
  • Low power design
  • S.M.A.R.T. support
  • Microsoft® Windows® 7 TRIM support
 
Performance (using MLC NAND)
  • Sequential Read: 550 MB/s
  • Sequential Write: 550 MB/s
  • Random Read (4KB): 90K IOPS
  • Random Write (4KB): 90K IOPS

 

What caught my eye was the "Enterprise-class proven firmware" part. If this is LAMD's first entry to market, how can they possibly have 'proven' anything, especially in the enterprise sector? If it wasn't for the lack of compression, I'd be inclined to think this was some sort of re-brand of SandForce tech. Clearly this is something to remain curious about as more information is disclosed.

 

Full press blast after the break.

Deals for June 8th - OCZ Vertex 3 240GB SSD for $194

Subject: General Tech | June 8, 2012 - 02:58 PM |
Tagged: vertex 3, ssd, ocz, deal of the day

Today's deal is one that might interest a lot of PC Perspective readers - an OCZ Vertex 3 SSD for about $0.80/GB!  

deal0608.jpg

If you are one of the 95% of PC Perspective readers interested in upgrading your storage system or you have another computer sitting around that could use the benefits of an SSD inside, this is a great opportunity to get one at a nice price.

You can check out our review of the OCZ Vertex 3 SSD right here, if you need a bit of a refresher.  

Head on over to LogicBuy to get this OCZ Vertex 3 240GB SSD for $194!!

Source: LogicBuy

SanDisk releases new 'Lightning' bootable, lower-cost competitor to the Intel 910 Series PCIe SSD

Subject: Storage | June 5, 2012 - 01:07 AM |
Tagged: ssd, sandisk, pcie, enterprise, computex

Just over a month back we took a look at the Intel SSD 910 Series PCIe SSD. While the specs and performance were excellent, there were some factors preventing use in workstation systems - namely the prohibitive cost and lack of a Boot ROM. With that, it seems SanDisk has made an attempt to answer that call. Today at Computex they announced a new PCIe Enterprise SSD, the PCIe Lightning:

image001.jpg

This is a much simpler layout, with flash right alongside the controller - an option not possible with the multi-PCB Intel 910 Series as it contained much more flash on its daughter boards. With this simpler layout comes lower cost but unfortunately lower maximum capacities. Less complexity also means lower maximum specs, but they still look quite good given the price point this card will be filling:

  • Price: $1350 (200GB) / $2350 (400GB)
  • 4k 70/30 R/W split: 23,000 IOPS
  • Sequential Throughput: 425 MB/sec
  • Warranty: 5 Year
  • Endurance: 10 full-drive writes per day for warranty duration

I'm glad to see some good PCIe SSD competition cropping up - especially the bootable kind.

Full release after the break:

 

Corsair Announces 'Neutron' SSD Series Driven by LAMD Controller

Subject: Storage | June 4, 2012 - 06:31 PM |
Tagged: neutron, ssd, LAMD, corsair, computex

Today at Computex, Corsair announced a new line of SSDs. This 4th generation line will sport a new controller made by Link_A_Media Devices (LAMD). Their announcement boasts a System On a Chip (SoC) design, but that's the way most modern SSD controllers are architected. The new controller has the following claimed specs:

Neutron (Standard):

  • 90,000 read / 85,000 write IOPS (assumed 4k random)
  • 555MB/s read / 370MB/s write (sequential)

Neutron GTX:

  • 90,000 read/write IOPS (assumed 4k random)
  • 555MB/s read / 500MB/s write (sequential)

Here's a few quick pics:

SSDv2_NTRN_A.png

SSDv2_NTRN_GTX_A.png

The drives meet all of the typical SSD wickets, such as TRIM support and a generous 5-year warranty. The specs do look very good, but the proof is in the benches, which we hope to see shortly.

Full press blast follows after the break: