Solid state storage (SSD) drives are relative newcomers to the storage scene compared to media like mechanical hard disk drives. So the question remains, are SSDs reliable? Barring a time machine and enough plutonium to keep it running, it's a tough question to answer. In the absence of a DoLorean equipped to race back and forth in time, the next best way to test SSDs for endurance is to bombard them with writes. Turns out such a test is taking place with two SSDs having survived 2 petabytes of write tests so far.
Asus Republic of Gamers (ROG) says that online reviews of its new Matrix Platinum GTX 980 graphics card will hit the web next week, though in the meantime, it's providing a couple of press photos for an early look. The graphics card maker also revealed some specs about the high-end card, including the fact that it boasts a custom PCB with a 14-phase Super Alloy Power VRM and Black Metallic capacitors.
The mini ITX form factor has been gaining some serious street cred as of late. Of course, it was only a matter of time, with advances in technology leading to increasingly smaller parts that are much more powerful than their sizes suggest. The newest tiny treat for mini ITX builders is the Asus GeForce GTX 970 DC Mini, a small form factor graphics card that willl be right at home in your mini ITX motherboard.
It's not the version with Nvidia's G-Sync technology baked inside, but Acer's B286HK 28-inch 4K Ultra HD monitor is selling for just $349 on Newegg today. That's a pretty hot price for a 3840x2160 monitor that's capable of 4K video at 60 FPS over DsiplayPort 1.2. It's an especially good deal when you consider its original selling price of $699, though we've seen it on the street for as low as $450 (Provantage) prior to today's sale price.
Is the best offense a good defense, or is the best defense a good offense? We're not sure, though it looks like AMD has decided to run with the latter -- dual-GPU Radeon R9 295X2 graphics cards can now be found on Newegg for around $770, seemingly indicating that AMD has gone on the offensive and slashed the price of its flagship card by about another $200. Bear in mind that when these cards launched earlier this year, they were selling for nearly twice as much at $1,500.
If you've always wanted a hybrid workstation motherboard with four LAN ports, ASRock today has answered the call. A former subsidiary of Asus, ASRock today announced its X99 WS-E/10GB motherboard with dual Intel 10G BASE-T LAN ports powered by an Intel X540 Ethernet controller chip, plus dual Intel gigabit LAN ports powered by a pair of Intel I210AT Ethernet controller chips.
Fractal-Design added a new enclosure to its quiet oriented Define Series today, the Define R5, which supposedly boasts the highest level of silent computing yet. That claim comes from the Define R5's use of strategically paced dense sound-absorbing material, updated "ModuVent" fan vent covers, and new Dynamic Series fans that are finely tuned for low noise and aided by an integrated three-speed fan controller.
A case for librarians and other noise conscious builders
There's something to be said for building a quiet computer. It takes a bit of research to build a truly silent (or near silent) system, and of course it starts with your choice of case -- an open air chassis is probably not the best option. There are several quiet cases available, and beginning today, you can add Corsair's new Carbide Series 330R Titanium Edition to the list of quiet computing enclosures.
Ever since AMD launched its Hawaii GPU architecture, there have been rumblings that a faster version exists, perhaps locked away in the Sunnyvale chip designer's underground vault for a rainy day. If that's the case, be on the lookout for storm clouds -- word on the web is that AMD will launch a faster Hawaii part next year before it comes out with Fiji. How exactly it will be faster isn't yet known.
If there are any kids within earshot, send them off to play or cover their ears before reading any further, we wouldn't want their little ears being exposed to excited obscenities that may follow. As in, "Holy sh*t, how much RAM!?" Try 24GB of GDDR5 memory, which is how much Nvidia decided to use on its Tesla K80 dual-GPU accelerator, the new flagship offering in the Tesla family.