There have only been a few RAM kits we can recall that came with cooling fans, or that were recommended to pair with an active cooling scheme. Of course, those were back in the early days of DDR memory, when buying a kit of overclocking RAM could you make late with your mortgage payment that month. In any event, much as changed since then, though apparently we haven't seen the last of RAM and fan combinations -- G.Skill's new Ripjaws 4 DDR4 3200MHz and 3400MHz memory kits both with active cooling add-ons.
You don't have to sell us on the merits of building a PC from scratch -- it's what we've been doing for decades, and it's one of the core principles of our brand. Heck, the desire to roll your own rig may have even been what prompted you to pick up your very first issue of Maximum PC (or Boot). Well, we're embarking on a new year, and already there's evidence that this passion of ours is yet again in great shape -- the numbers are in from Asus, which shipped 5.6 million DIY motherboards in the fourth quarter of 2014 alone.
Now that Haswell-E and accompanying Intel X99-based motherboards requiring DDR4 RAM are here, we expect to see a lot of record announcements. It always happens when new platforms are introduced, and G.Skill is wasting no time adding to its virtual shelf of overclocking tropies -- G.Skill today announced that it set a new memory record for fastest DDR4 memory frequency at 4,255MHz.
There was no dearth of solid-state drive (SSD) announcements at the recently concluded Consumer Electronics Show. Of these, two were from Micron-owned memory and storage maker Crucial: the all-new BX100, aimed at the entry-level segment with the promise of “substantial yet affordable performance gains” over a hard drive, and the MX200, the successor to the generally well-received MX100.
There are plenty topics of debate in the tech industry. One of them has to do with single rail versus multi-rail designs in power supplies. Multi-rail PSUs became super popular for a period of time several years ago, though many high end models have since switched back to single rail setups, which refers to the all-important +12V rail. It's a topic worthy of a much longer article, but as it pertains to our Consumer Electronics Show coverage, we happened by Enermax's section where we got a look at a 1250W PSU that lets you switch between single and multi-rail mode.
The fastest SATA 6Gbps SSDs top out at around 590MB/s, and if you want to go faster, one way to do that is by utilizing PCI Express. That's exactly what Plextor has done. Yes, the same Plextor that made a name for itself with high-end optical drives, back when that sort of thing mattered. These days Plextor's been focusing on more modern products, like its new M6e Black Edition SSD.
Mushkin this week unveiled its new Striker line of solid state drives. The new drives are built for speed and reliability, which largely boils down to the type of controller -- in this case, Mushkin opted for a Phison PS3110-S10 controller, which boasts a quad-core, 8-channel design. It also features 256-bit AES encryption, Opal 2.0, end-to-end path protection, and a few other technologies.
We got our first look at Intel's Broadwell architecture when the Santa Clara outfit launched its Core M parts last year. However, those were mostly aimed at fanless 2-in-1 hybrid devices and other similar form factors. At the Consumer Electronics Show this year, Intel announced its 5th Generation Core CPUs based on its 14nm Broadwell micro-architecture, so we sent Online Managing Editor and expert chip taster Jimmy Thang to see if he could squeeze any more information out of the company.
Now that it no longer requires taking out a second mortgage to fund a solid-state drive upgrade, maybe we'll start seeing an influx of high capacity SSDs. Is that too much to ask? Not of Patriot Memory, which arrived at the Consumer Electronics Show with its new and capacious Ignite line of a SATA 6Gbps SSD products. And for good measure, the company also brought along a couple of new USB flash drives, which we'll get to in a moment.
Intel waited until CES to formally introduce its 5th Generation Intel Core processor family, essentially a die shrink of Haswell built on a 14nm manufacturing process. These are the Broadwell parts you've been waiting for -- yes, we've already seen the Broadwell architecture manifest in Intel's Core M processors released last year, but those CPUs were mostly intended for fanless 2-in-1 hybrid tablet devices.