Introduction, Specifications and Packaging
It’s been two long years since we first heard about 3D XPoint Technology. Intel and Micron serenaded us with tales of ultra-low latency and very high endurance, but when would we have this new media in our hot little hands? We got a taste of things with Optane Memory (caching) back in April, and later that same month we got a much bigger, albeit remotely-tested taste in the form of the P4800X. Since April all was quiet, with all of us storage freaks waiting for a consumer version of Optane with enough capacity to act as a system drive. Sure we’ve played around with Optane Memory parts in various forms of RAID, but as we found in our testing, Optane’s strongest benefits are the very performance traits that do not effectively scale with additional drives added to an array. The preferred route is to just get a larger single SSD with more 3D XPoint memory installed on it, and we have that very thing today (and in two separate capacities)!
You might have seen various rumors centered around the 900P lately. The first is that the 900P was to supposedly support PCIe 4.0. This is not true, and after digging back a bit appears to be a foreign vendor mistaking / confusing PCIe X4 (4 lanes) with the recently drafted PCIe 4.0 specification. Another set of rumors centered around pre-order listings and potential pricing for the 280 and 480 GB variants of the 900P. We are happy to report that those prices (at the time of this writing) are way higher than Intel’s stated MSRP's for these new models. I’ll even go as far as to say that the 480GB model can be had for less than what the 280GB model is currently listed for! More on that later in the review.
Performance specs are one place where the rumors were all true, but since all the folks had to go on was a leaked Intel press deck slide listing figures identical to the P4800X, we’re not really surprised here.
Lots of technical stuff above, but the high points are <10us typical latency (‘regular’ SSDs run between 60-100us), 2.5/2.0 GB/s sequential reads/writes, and 550k/500k random read/write performance. Yes I know, don’t tell me, you’ve seen higher sequentials on smaller form factor devices. I agree, and we’ve even seen higher maximum performance from unreleased 3D XPoint-equipped parts from Micron, but Intel has done what they needed to do in order to make this a viable shipping retail product, which likely means sacrificing the ‘megapixel race’ figures in favor of offering the lowest possible latencies and best possible endurance at this price point.
Packaging is among the nicest we’ve seen from an Intel SSD. It actually reminds me of how the Fusion-io ioDrives used to come.
Also included with the 900P is a Star Citizen ship. The Sabre Raven has been a topic of gossip and speculation for months now, and it appears to be a pretty sweet looking fighter. For those unaware, Star Citizen is a space-based MMO, and with a ‘ship purchase’ also comes a license to play the game. The Sabre Raven counts as such a purchase and apparently comes with lifetime insurance, meaning it will always be tied to your account in case it gets blown up doing data runs. Long story short, you get the game for free with the purchase of a 900P.
Subject: General Tech | March 14, 2015 - 08:00 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: star citizen, rsi
When the game is finished, Robert Space Industries is expecting the Star Citizen game client to be 100GB in size. The company was given $75 million USD from fans over the last two and a half years, and they seem to be using it for content. Individual patches are expected to be in the 2 to 6GB range, but could extend to 20GB if an architecture change requires updating old assets to some new system.
I guess this is a case of “be careful what you wish for”. When you praise a developer for producing a gigantic experience with tonnes of content, it will need to be stored somewhere. At the same time, I wonder when games from typical publishers will match this bar. Say what you like about crowd-funding, but Star Citizen seems to be an example of the business model done right (although their budget is astronomical and that probably helped).
Star Citizen is slowly being released, piece by piece, with a 2016 shipping date.
Subject: General Tech | August 27, 2014 - 02:12 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: star citizen, never settle, gaming, fragging frogs, amd, alien isolation
With the release of the new GPUs from AMD comes an addition to the Never Settle bundle, aptly named Never Settle Space Edition. In addition to the games already available on the Never Settle Forever those who buy the new R9 285 will be able to choose from Alien: Isolation, Star Citizen, Space Run and Habit. You can see a model of the ship that seems to come with Star Citizen at HEXUS.
The Fragging Frogs will be logging in tonight to get in some gaming action after the Podcast, you can see what is planned and make suggestions in this thread on our Forums.
"To coincide with the launch of the AMD Radeon R9 285 graphics cards AMD will augment the Never Settle choices and re-name the bundle as the 'Never Settle Space Edition'. With the newly announced additional quartet of space games AMD graphics card purchasers will have a choice of 31 games to pick though, depending upon what GPUs they buy."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Giving Voice To The Void: Ancient Space @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Death To Middlemen: Dirty Dozen Sale Direct From Devs @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Dragon Age: Inquisition multiplayer trailer has four times the upgrade trees @ Polygon
- Enemy Starfighter: Homeworld from inside a fighter @ Polygon
- FMV Without The Clicking: GOG Starts Selling Movies @ Rock Paper SHOTGUN
- Shadowrun: Dragonfall Now Has Standalone Director’s Cut @ Rock Paper SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech | October 10, 2012 - 02:36 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: wing commander, gaming, star citizen, sqaudron 42
As mentioned a few weeks ago the brains behind Wing Commander, Privateer and Freelancer, Chris Roberts has a surprise brewing for PC gamers and today we have a name, a date and a trailer. Star Citizen will be a huge game with multiplayer support and what looks to be a persistent universe where your actions and the actions of other players will have an effect on the overall scope of the game, for instance the ability to find uncharted warp gates and sell your navigational data for profit to companies and other players. There will be a single player offline aspect as well, called Squadron 42, for those who want to muck up their universe on their very own. You can sign up as of 10.10.12 and donate money to the cause as the game is in pre-alpha and still needs a lot of money and time to finish. Help bring this space sim to fruition and support PC gaming at the same time. Keep an eye on Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN as they may someday release video of what they have seen, in the mean time the trailer is below.
"I’m sitting in a room, definitely not watching Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts playing a new Wing Commander game. No, it’s the brand new, totally original Star Citizen [the single player aspect of which is called Squadron 42, for some reason - Ed], and as I watch him fly a fighter with no resemblance whatsoever to the Raptor with a Broadsword turret out of a carrier’s launchbay and into the never before seen Vega Sector, I don’t for a second pause to notice how he totally isn’t flying past one of the Kilrathi’s asymmetric Dralthi fighters. Or anything else that might require an expensive license or getting into bed with EA."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Crytek shows Crysis 3 multiplayer with new modes @ The Tech Report
- Torchlight II Review: Now With More Multiplayer @ Techgage
- Hands-on: Far Cry 3 (Single-Player) @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- XCOM: Diary Of A Wimpy Squad #1 – Meet The Team @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Dead or Alive 5 (PC) Game Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Borderlands 2 Xbox 360 and PC Review @ eTeknix
- The Basics of Multi-Monitor Gaming @ Techgage
- Borderlands 2 Review @ OCC
- Dishonored (PC) Video Review with Kaeyi Dream @ HardwareHeaven
- LittleBigPlanet (PS Vita) Game @ HardwareHeaven