Subject: General Tech | September 16, 2012 - 12:16 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: ssd, small form factor, SFF, nuc, Ivy Bridge, Intel, htpc
Earlier this year, Intel showed off a small motherboard and processor combination that piqued the interest of many enthusiasts and attendees. The rather oddly named Next Unit of Computing (NUC) PC was originally intended to power digital signage, kiosks, and embedded systems (car PC anyone?). However, in response to the interest shown by enthusiasts, the x86 chip giant has decided to bring the super-small form factor computers to retail.
The Next Unit of Computing PC’s main attraction is its small size: the motherboard is tiny, measuring a mere 4” x 4.” For reference, the mini-ITX standard is a 6.7” x 6.7” motherboard, and VIA’s Pico-ITX form factor boards measure 3.9” x 2.7.” In that respect, the NUC is not the smallest PC that you can build, but it will be the fastest – and by a significant margin thanks to the bundled Ivy Bridge CPU.
While i3 and i5 editions were allegedly designed, currently Intel is only bringing the i3 to the retail market. Specifically, the CPU powering the NUC will be an Intel Core i3-3217U Ivy Bridge processor, and it will be soldered onto the motherboard. That particular CPU is a 1.8GHz dual core/four thread part with 3MB cache, and Intel HD 4000 graphics (there is no Turbo Boost functionality). Not bad for a small form factor PC!
Image credit: PC Pro.
The boards will have two SO-DIMM slots for RAM, an mSATA port for an SSD, and a mini-PCIe slot for a Wi-FI card. Intel is making two versions of the NUC motherboard that will differ only in IO. One motherboard will have 3 USB 2.0 ports, 1 HDMI output, and 1 Thunderbolt port. The other board will have 3 USB 2.0 ports, 2 HDMI outputs, and one Gigabit Ethernet jack. Intel believes that the Thunderbolt-equipped model will be more popular with consumers while the Gigabit-Ethernet and dual HDMI model will be used more by businesses.
Intel is reportedly sourcing several chassis designs for its custom form factor motherboard (there are at least two cases at present), and you will be able to build out a barebones system with one of the custom cases, integrated heatsink, and power supply. Additionally, when spec'ed out with the Intel i3-3217U CPU, 4GB of RAM, Wi-Fi card, and a 40GB Intel SSD, the company expects the entire NUC computer to cost around $399 in the US. The parts will be available for purchase in October, according to Engadget.
Hopefully, we will see OEMs take this form factor and make something cool with it. It's not clear which specific OEMs will be first to bring pre-built systems to market but they should be coming in the future.
Personally, I’m a big fan of small form factor computers, and despite the odd “NUC” name I’m excited to see where Intel takes this platform. If you were looking for a small but powerful computer to drive your next project, it might be worth keeping an eye on the NUC. What do you think of this sub $400, approximately 5” (with case) PC?
Subject: Storage | September 11, 2012 - 09:48 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: ocz, idf, idf 2012, vector, ssd, Indilinx, barefoot 3
While wandering around San Francisco today, I was stopped by a stranger on the corner of Market and 4th to show me something he found outside the convention hall. It LOOKS like an SSD PCB but what do you think?
What you have here is a the internals of a new OCZ Technology SSD brand called Vector that will sit ABOVE the Vertex 4 in the product stack. This SSD uses the as yet unreleased Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller.
The drive should be available sometime in Q4 of this year and it marks the first complete Indilinx controller design - no Marvell or other third party intellectual property to be found.
That's all we know for now but you can be sure we'll have the details as they are released!!
Subject: General Tech, Systems, Storage | September 10, 2012 - 05:50 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: ultrabook, ssd caching, ssd, Hard Drive
Western Digital has been sampling 5mm-thin 2.5” hard drives designed for Ultrabooks. They have currently announced partnerships with Acer and ASUS to include these drives in future ultrathin laptops. Western Digital has currently only listed capacities of 500GB for the spindle portion of the drive but no word how much MLC flash will be included to cache most used files. The product will be discussed during the company’s investor day on the 13th of this month.
At this stage SSDs are pretty much the missing link to a fast and responsive computer.
Prices have dropped to under one dollar per gigabyte ($1/GB) a few months ago with some models reaching 70c/GB – and those are the good ones too. The massive drop in price is still about an order of magnitude more expensive than spindle hard drives and consumers are using whatever space they can get. Several solutions exist to balance the speed of SSDs with the storage effectiveness of HDDs.
One solution is to include both in a single drive and keep the most used data in the SSD cache. Western Digital has just released samples of 5mm-thin hybrid hard drives for OEMs to put in extremely thin laptops.
I wonder if they're feeling chip-er...
Users who purchase laptops often have the mistaken assumption that a faster processor directly leads to increased response. That is certainly the case when comparing an Intel Atom to an i5 – but an i3 will probably spend just as much time idle and awaiting instructions from the hard drive as an i5 would.
Western Digital has not broken the SSD market despite their long success with spindle storage. It makes sense that Western Digital will push into the market with the starting point from which they are most comfortable. Western Digital has been shipping SSDs for over two-and-a-half years at this point but never really gained any traction.
It looks like Western Digital is realizing that they need to mix SSDs with what they know best and do something innovative to get a unique hook in the market – buying just a little more time.
The drive which has been announced today will contain a storage capacity of 500GB with an undisclosed amount of MLC NAND flash memory caching the most used data. The hook to differentiate themselves from other hybrid hard drives is its size: 5mm compared to the more common 9.5mm.
The Ultrabook market could be a lucrative wave to ride for the time being and give them even more capital to invest future SSDs. Hopefully they will not wait for solid state storage to creep up on them twice. Fool you once…
Western Digital is expected to discuss and showcase this product more at their Western Digital Investor Day on this Thursday, September 13th, 2012.
Subject: General Tech, Storage | September 4, 2012 - 06:11 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: ssd, plextor, deal of the day
Today's deal comes from TigerDirect and will allow you jump on the SSD bandwagon for a more than reasonable price. How does a 256GB Plextor M5 series SSD for just $195 with free shipping sound?
Subject: General Tech | August 30, 2012 - 04:22 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: zotac, Steamroller, ssd, revodrive, podcast, ocz, msi, MARS III, Intel, galaxy, evga, asus, arm, ARES II, amd, 7990, 690, 660ti
PC Perspective Podcast #216 - 08/30/2012
Join us this week as we talk about our GTX 660Ti Roundup, AMD Steamroller Details, Multi GPU Graphics Card Rumors and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the Store
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom and Allyn Malvantano
Program length: 1:01:56
- PCPer moving to pcper.com/live
- 1-888-38-PCPER or email@example.com
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
Podcast topics of discussion:
- Week in Reviews:
- 0:29:45 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
News items of interest:
- 0:30:25 EVGA 1500 watt power supply
- 0:34:30 Powercolor HD 7990 Devil 13 graphics card
- 0:37:26 AMD releases FX-4130 and lowers prices
- 0:39:24 Synology refreshes DiskStation
- 0:40:50 ASUS MARS III GTX 680 - dreamers only
- 0:43:17 EVGA Mini ITX Z77 motherboard
- 0:45:15 NVIDIA shows Unreal Engine 3 on Tegra 3
- 1-888-38-PCPER or firstname.lastname@example.org
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
Subject: Editorial, Storage | August 28, 2012 - 05:40 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: ssd, kingston, deal of the day
120GB Kingston SSDNow V+200 SATA 6Gb/s SSD for $70 (normally $90).
Cheaper and cheaper SSDs continue to find their way to our deals pages!!
Rare $150 coupon code gives lowest price ever on Core i7 model of Inspiron 17R Special Edition
17.3" Dell Inspiron 17R Special Edition Core i7-3610QM 2.3GHz Quad-core Ivy Bridge Laptop w/8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, 1GB GeForce GT 650M & 1080p LCD for $950 with free shipping (normally $1,139 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).
Lowest price we've seen on this Inspiron 14z Core i3 Laptop bundle
14" Dell Inspiron 14z Core i3-2350M 2.3GHz Dual-core thin & light Aluminum-body Laptop w/4GB RAM, 500GB HDD & Adobe Elements 9 Bundle for $430 with free shipping (normally $600 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).
11.6" ASUS Zenbook UX21E-DH52 Core i5-2467M 1.6GHz Dual-core Ultrabook w/4GB RAM, 128GB SSD for $904 with free shipping (normally $1000 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).
HP Pavilion p7-1380t Core i5-2320 3GHz Quad-core Desktop w/6GB RAM, 1TB HDD for $480 with free shipping (normally $650 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).
Dell Optiplex 990 Core i5-2500 3.3GHz Quad-core Desktop w/4GB RAM, 250GB SATA III HDD, Windows 7 Professional & $100 Gift card for $669 with free shipping (normally $1,199 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).
20" Dell Inspiron One 2020 Core i3 All-in-one PC w/6GB RAM, 1TB Hard Drive, Wireless Keyboard + Mouse Bundle for $600 with free shipping (normally $750 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).
27" HP ZR2740w 2560 x 1440 LED-Backlit IPS Monitor for $690 (normally $730).
27" I-Inc IL272DPB 1080p 2ms LED-backlit LCD Monitor for $200 (normally $300).
10.1" ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime 32GB Android 4.0 Quad-Core Tablet (pre-owned) for $290 with free shipping (normally $350 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).
500GB Lenovo F360 Portable USB 2.0 Hard Drive (Black) for $66 with free shipping (noramlly $99 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).
120GB Kingston SSDNow V+200 SATA 6Gb/s SSD for $70 (normally $90).
64GB CentonDataStick Waterproof USB 2.0 Flash Drive for $30 (normally $40)
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB GDDR5 Video Card for $300 (normally $320>).
HP LaserJet Pro 400 Color Printer (M451dn) for $380 with free shipping (normally $500 - use coupon code 20LOGICBUY).
60" LG 60PA5500 1080p Plasma HDTV for $900 with free shipping (normally $1,100).
55" TCL LE55FHDF3300 1080p 240Hz LED HDTV for $700with free shipping (normally $800 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).
55" Samsung UN55EH6070 3D 240Hz 1080p LED HDTV + Blu-ray Player Bundle for $1,200 with free shipping (normally $1,500 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).
50" LG 50PA5500 1080p Plasma HDTV for $600 with free shipping (normally $1,000).
47" LG 47LS4600 1080p 120Hz LED HDTV for $700 with free shipping (normally $850).
40" Samsung LN40E550 1080p LCD HDTV for $428 with free shipping (normally $500)
Harman Kardon HKTS 60BQ 5.1 Home Theater System + Yamaha 5.1-Channel Receiver for $699.99 (normally $800 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).
Personal Portables & Peripherals:
16MP Nikon Coolpix S9300 Red Digital Camera for $240 with free shipping (normally $279 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).
Logitech Harmony 1100 Infrared Universal Remote for $244 with free shipping (normally $300 - use coupon code USMEDALS.
Subject: Storage | August 27, 2012 - 06:31 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Link A Media, LAMD, corsair, neutron, neutron gtx, ssd, LM87800
We have certainly seen a lot of new versions of SSD controllers from companies well established in the market but there haven't been any new companies join the market until earlier this month. Corsair unveiled their new Neutron series of SSDs, featuring the new LM87800 controller from Link A Media. Both models contain a pair of Samsung DDR2-800 128MB DRAM cache for a total of 256MB of cache, the difference is in the flash, with the GXT sporting eight 32GB modules of Toshiba Toggle Mode 24nm NAND while the non-GTX model has sixteen 16GB modules of synchronous Micron 25nm NAND. Check out SSD Reviews article to see how that effects the performance.
"It is always an exciting time when a new controller makes it’s way on to the SSD scene. It is like seeing a new contender in any sporting event and predicting their success based on the balance of strength and inexperience. Our analysis today examines the new Link A Media (LAMD) 6Gbps controller found within the Corsair Neutron and Neutron GTX SSDs. Watch as the Neutron delivers a first round knockout."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Mushkin Catalyst Cache SSD @ Guru of 3D
- ADATA XPG SX900 128GB SSD Review @ Legit Reviews
- OCZ Vertex 4 256GB @ HCW
- rucial V4 256GB SATA II SSD Review @ Legit Reviews
- Transcend SSD720 128GB @ Hardware.info
- Corsair Force GS 240 GB @ Hardware.info
- SanDisk Extreme 240GB Fixed TRIM Solid State Drive @ Tweaktown
- KingFast F3 Series mSATA 3.0 KF1310MCF MLC SSD Review @ ModSynergy
- Western Digital Red Drive 2TB Hard Drive @ TechwareLabs
- Western Digital Red NAS Hard Drive Review @ Techgage
- QNAP TurboNAS TS-269 Pro NAS Server Review @ NikKTech
- Kingston DataTraveler Locker G2 USB Flash Drive @ Pro-Clockers
- Vantec NexStar HX NST-330SU3 Hard Drive to USB 3.0 / eSATA II External Case @ PCSTATS
- Icy Dock MB080U3S-1SB Blizzard 3.5" SATA External Hard Drive Enclosure Review @ eTeknix
- StarTech USB 3.0 to 2.5" SATA Enclosure with Encryption @ Computing on Demand
- Icy Dock MB559U3S External 3.5″ SATA Hard Drive Enclosure @ Kitguru
- Buffalo MiniStation Extreme USB 3.0 Hard Drive Review with Drop Test @ HardwareHeaven
Subject: Storage | August 22, 2012 - 06:49 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ssd, Nvelo Dataplex, Intel SRT, corsair, cache, accelerator series
Forget Intel SRT, the Corsair Accelerator Series cache SSDs and the Nvelo Dataplex software which come with them will give you the best of both your HDD and SSD and increase both read and write speeds of commonly accessed data. Part of the effectiveness of these drive comes thanks to the fact that they move frequently access data blocks and not entire files, ensuring only the bits you need to read quickly end up on the SSD and it is not filled with tag along data that is accessed infrequently. [H]ard|OCP found themselves more impressed with these drives than they expected to, seeing boot times that matched an OS installed on an SSD after only two reboots as well as improved launch speeds on their most used programs. As you can pick up the 60GB model for $70 after MIR and the 30GB model for $45 the price per gigabyte might not match larger SSDs but the actual cost is so low it makes it a very worthy upgrade.
"One of the hottest applications for consumer SSDs is using data caching to accelerate the performance of traditional spinning hard disks in your PC. We look at Corsairs Accelerator Series of caching SSDs to test the performance of these value-centric approaches to providing you a better computing experience."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- SSD RAID TRIM now on Intel 7-Series Chipsets! We test the performance @ HCW
- Kngston SSDNow V200 128GB Review @ OCC
- SanDisk Extreme SSD 240 GB @ X-bit Labs
- CoreRise Comay Venus 3S 120GB SATA3 MLC Synchronous SSD Review @ ModSynergy
- Corsair Neutron GTX SSD Review (240GB): Link A Media Controller Tested @ AnandTech
- Samsung 830 Series SSD 512 GB @ techPowerUp
- Crucial v4 SSD @ Hardware.info
- Corsair Neutron Series Solid State Drives Review - LAMD or Wolf in a 7mm Package? @ Tweaktown
- Adata XPG SX910 256GB SSD review: SandForce SSD with 256GB @ Hardware.info
- Plextor M5 Pro 128GB @ Hardware.info
- Areca ARC-1882i PCIe 3.0 RAID Controller @ Tweaktown
- Hard Disk Drive Performance Comparison Guide @ TechARP
- Western Digital VelociRaptors Vs. Solid State Drives @ TechARP
- Akasa Integral S 3.5" External USB3.0 Hard Drive Enclosure Review @ eTeknix
- Western Digital Red Review: Are NAS-optimized HDDs Worth the Premium? @ AnandTech
- Synology DS1512+ and DS1812+ NAS review: good performance with lots of disks @ Hardware.info
- Icy Dock MB080U3S-1SB Blizzard & MB559U3S-1S Ultra Slim External Hard Drive Enclosure Review @ OCC
- Startech 4 Bay Standalone HDD Duplicator Dock @ XSReviews
Subject: Storage | August 20, 2012 - 06:00 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: z-drive R4 CloudServ, talos 2, ssd, PCIe SSD, ocz, Intrepid 3, indilinx everest 2, flash memory
If you can get out of work and make it to Santa Clara, OCZ has some enterprise level SSDs to show you, in both standard drive format as well as PCIe SSDs. They are showing off performance under Linux as well as Windows, so no matter what your infrastructure is based off of you should be able to find something to accelerate your businesses data. All the information to get you there can be found on their Flash Memory Summit post.
SAN JOSE, CA—August 20, 2012—OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCZ), a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems, will showcase its latest storage products, encompassing a mix of both solid state drives and software solutions, at this year’s Flash Memory Summit, Booth #208, Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, California, from August 21st through August 23rd.
Demonstrating SSD products along with recent partner implementations, OCZ will showcase a comprehensive lineup of innovative solutions for business, server, and OEM clients. This includes product presentations of both the impending Intrepid 3 SATA III-based SSD solution based on the company’s Indilinx Everest 2 architecture, along with the company’s leading PCI Express (PCIe)-based Z-Drive R4 featuring new Linux Acceleration software (LXL) that unleashes the full performance potential of infrastructures that use this popular open source operating system. Live technical demos of LXL and Z-Drive R4 SSDs will include a VDI boot storm, efficient SQL CPU utilization, and vMotion and Fault Tolerance support.
Additional booth demonstrations will include OCZ’s acceleration of SQL Server 2012 databases using its leading Z-Drive R4 PCIe SSD with VXL Cache and Virtualization software. This combined hardware/software solution dramatically increases SQL Server 2012 transactional IOPS performance, reduces database read latencies, and improves query completion times. OCZ will also demonstrate Talos 2 Series SAS-based drives showcasing the performance advantages of a true full duplex, dual-port SAS 6Gb/s SSD in a Microsoft Cluster in a Box (CiB) solution, further leveraging the strengths of OCZ’s storage drives when paired with leading partner systems.
As a complete solution provider for the enterprise, offering both leading edge storage hardware and complementary software products,, OCZ continues to deliver enterprise-class solid-state solutions with higher endurance, cutting edge performance, increased reliability, unparalleled security and reduced total cost of ownership (TCO) for large scale data centers and IT infrastructures worldwide. Join OCZ Technology at this week’s FMS 2012 to see the latest drives, software, and partner solutions designed for enterprise server and storage customers.
Subject: Editorial, Storage | August 20, 2012 - 11:34 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: deal of the day, ocz, ssd
These deals on SSDs just keep getting more and more insane. With today's top deal you can get a 240GB OCZ Agility 3 SATA 6G SSD for $140 after a $20 MIR. That is $0.58/GB - close to a record in our books!
18.4" Alienware M18x Core i7-2670QM Quad-core 1080p Gaming Laptop w/4GB RAM, 750GB HDD & Dual 2GB GeForce GTX 580M NVIDIA SLI for $2,068 with free shipping (normally $3,018 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).
17.3" Dell Inspiron 17R (5720) 3rd Gen Core i7-3612QM 2.1GHz Quad-core Ivy Bridge Laptop w/8GB RAM, 1TB HDD for $750 with free shipping (normally $1,039 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).
15.6" HP ENVY 6t Core i5-2467M 1.4GHz Dual-core Ultrabook w/4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, 32GB mSSD for $675 with free shipping (normally $900 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).
14" HP ENVY 4t Core i3-2367M 1.3GHz Dual-core Sleekbook w/4GB RAM, 500GB HDD for $575 with free shipping (normally $800 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).
Dell Inspiron 620 Intel G630 2.7GHz Dual-core Mini Tower w/4GB RAM, 1TB HDD for $330 with free shipping (normally $524 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).
Dell Vostro 260s Core i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-core Slim Tower w/4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, 21.5" LCD Monitor, Wireless Keyboard + Mouse and $100 Gift Card for $499 with free shipping (normally $699 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).
Dell XPS 8500 Core i7-3770 3.4GHz Quad-core Ivy Bridge Desktop w/8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Radeon HD 7570 1GB Graphics & 24" UltraSharp U2412M LCD Monitor for $980 with free shipping (normally $1,319 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).
23" HP ENVY 23-1050t Core i5-3450S 2.8GHz Quad-core Ivy Bridge 1080p All-in-one PC w/8GB RAM, 1TB HDD & Blu-ray for $900 with free shipping (normally $1,100 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).
23.6" Hanns-G HK241DPB 5ms 1080p LCD Monitor for $140 (normally $170).
21.5" HP L2201X Ultra-slim 1080p LED-backlit LCD Monitor for $122 (normally $150).
64GB Centon DataStick Waterproof USB 2.0 Flash Drive for $30 (normally $40)
Kodak P570 Personal Photo Scanner for $39 with free shipping (normally $70).
Ooma Telo VoIP Phone System w/ Bluetooth Adapter for $185 with free shipping (normally $250 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).
55" Samsung UN55EH6000 120Hz 1080p LED HDTV for $1,170 with free shipping (normally $1,600).
D-Link MovieNite Streaming Player for $38.00 (normally $60).
Panasonic DMP-BDT220 Integrated Wi-Fi 3D Blu-ray Player for $105 with free shipping (normally $145 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).