We'd all love to deck out our rigs with high-capacity, high-performance SSDs, but for most, it just isn't practical. That doesn't mean the benefits of an SSD are lost on the mainstream market, and if you're willing to settle for a lower capacity drive, there are some compelling options finally starting to appear.
As a result, there's a rush among SSD makers to cater to entry-level and mainstream consumers, and Kingston thinks it has a leg up on the competition. Citing un-named industry sources, DigiTimes says Kingston has shipped about 30,000 low-priced SSDs, prompting other companies to release low-priced units of their own.
If you ask Kingston, its 30GB SSD is the better option over Intel's new 40GB X25-V, and if looking strictly at street pricing, they're right, even if just barely. Intel's 40GB X25-V streets for about $125, or about $3.12 per GB. Kingston's 30GB SSDNow V Series streets for $92, or about $3.07 per GB. Kingston's drive is also rated a little bit faster with up to 180MB/s read and 50MB/s write speeds, compared to 170MB/s and 35MB/s, respectively.
Of course, hard drives still trump SSDs in capacity and price per GB, which begs the question, is anyone interested in these so-called value oriented SSDs? Hit the jump and sound off!
Following a brief power outage at one of Samsung's production bases in Kiheung on Wednesday, there was some concern over what impact it would have on the company's production. Looking to put everyone's mind at ease, Samsung says the one hour blackout will not have a significant impact.
That's good news in what's already a tight DRAM market. The blackout hit Samsung's 12-inch Fab 13 and Fab 14 facilities, which are mainly responsible for DRAM and NAND flash production. Fab 13 churns out about 120,000 wafers every month, while Fab 14 pushes out about 130,000.
This isn't the first time a power outage has rocked Kiheung. In 2007, a serious blackout forced Samsung to temporarily shut down six of its production lines, most of which wreaked havoc on the company's NAND flash products.
Corsair today lifted the capacity ceiling on its compact Flash Voyager Mini USB flash drive line by announcing a new 32GB model, which is twice the size as the previous capacity king.
"USB flash drive users love the convenience and ruggedness of the Flash Voyager Mini form factor," stated John Beekley, VP of Technical Marketing at Corsair. "The increase in density to 32GB allows users to carry their digital world with them at all times on this compact drive."
The ruggedness Beekley refers to comes in the form of a rubberized housing. And to keep the size down, all Flash Voyager Mini drives come equipped with a cap-less retractable USB connector.
Corsair says the new 32GB model is available now from "authorized distributors and resellers worldwide." Pricing looks to have settled around $100 street.
Eye-Fi this week announced a new lineup of wireless memory cards that are twice as nice as previous gen models in a number of ways. According to Eye-Fi, the new X2 series transfer data twice as fast as before, serve up to twice the capacity, and now have twice as many hotspots to work from.
"Just in time for spring outings and summer road trips, we're giving users the ultimate Eye-Fi experience -- it's faster and even more convenient," said Jef Holove, CEO for Eye-Fi. "Uploading and sharing your memories with friends and family is as simple as finding a nearby Starbucks and turning on your camera. We do the rest."
There are three cards in the new series, including the Eye-Fi Connect X2 (4GB), Explorer X2 (8GB), and Pro (X2). All three cards are rated for Class 6 performance and come capable of uploading photos and vids to a home PC or one of more than 25 online sharing sites, like Flickr, Facebook, YouTube, or Picasa.
Both the Explorer X2 and Pro X2 come with lifetime geotagging and one-year of hotspot access, while the Pro X2 is also capable of creating an ad hoc connection
Pricing for new cards has been set at $50 (Connect X2), $100 (Explore X2), and $150 (Pro X2).
Micron, a major player in the memory chip market who also sells its own line of computer memory kits under its Crucial branding, appears unfazed about the looming memory shortage industry analysts have been squawking about. Shortage or not, Micron isn't going to increase production, and instead is focusing on process geometry shrinks.
Micron isn't the only unwilling to ramp up production. Samsung's main chip guy, Oh-Hyun Kwon, warned DRAM makers against knee-jerk reactions into capacity expansion projects, and said more investments should be made towards advancing memory technology.
Powerchip Semiconductor Corporation (PSC) chairman Fran Huang sang a similar tune, telling DRAM makers they should take a cautious approach to expansion, lest the memory industry repeat the same mistakes all over again and saturate the market.
Eyeing up a memory kit on Newegg? Consider pulling the trigger sooner rather than later. Citing un-named industry sources, news and rumor site DigiTimes says spot prices for mainstream 1Gb (gigabit) DDR2 and same-density DDR3 have surged to $3, which indicates that supply isn't keeping up with demand.
The reason, sources say, is that the ongoing transition to DDR3 memory production has constricted supplies. Making matters worse, PC vendors have started stocking up on RAM in anticipation of a memory shortage.
According to DRAMeXchange, sport prices of branded 1Gb DDR2 memory jumped nearly 4 percent in a single day to close at $2.72 yesterday. DDR3's rise wasn't as dramatic, but still notable for a single-day gain, edging upwards 0.54 percent to close at $2.93.
So what does this all mean? Memory prices will likely go up, especially if a memory shortage really is imminent.
Memory maker A-Data has traditionally been associated with value-oriented and entry-level RAM kits, but the company continues to expand its higher-end lineup. Today that includes the introduction of A-Data's new XPG Gaming Series DDR3-1600G 8GB dual-channel kit.
"The ultimate gaming experiences are relying on proper choice of PC hardware and overall performance. Therefore, we introduced XPG Gaming Series DDR3-1600G as 8GB dual-channel kit," said Action Chen, Deputy Project Manager of A-Data XPG Department. "Gaming enthusiasts are able to enjoy the extreme capacity and high-speed by using XPG Gaming Series DDR3-1600G 8GB dual-channel kit with 64-bit OS and satisfy their insatiable thirst for ultimate gaming experience."
Not the most elegantly worded quote we've ever seen, but c'mon, the dude's name is "Action." Besides, it's about the RAM, and according to A-Data, all ICs are verified by "high standard criteria" before the engineers slap them on a 6-layer PCB. Latencies check in at 9-9-9-24 at 1.55V to 1.75V.
The kit is available now through "selected distributors and resellers." No word on price.
Kingston Technology this week unveiled new low-voltage registered dual inline memory modules (RDIMMs) validated for use in Intel's upcoming Westmere-EP processor-based server platforms. Each of the three kits sip just 1.35V and, according to Kingston, will help lower the cost of ownership in datacenters.
"Intel worked closely with Kingston in developing and certifying their low-voltage DDR3L memory for our upcoming Westmere-EP triple-channel server platform," said Geof Findlay, Memory Ecosystem Manger, Intel. "Kingston's low-voltage server memory combined with Intel's 32nm processor utilzing the Westmere architecture will help datacenters increase performance while reducing overall energy costs."
The kits will be available in the following configurations:
Kingston on Monday announced it has developed the fastest Intel-certified memory in the world. The company's referring to its HyperX dual-channel DDR3 memory kit rated at 2400MHz, and a quick glance at Newegg shows that it trumps anything else available, just barely edging out G.Skill's fastest offering.
Kingston's newest kit boats 9-11-9-27-2N timings at 1.65V, a smidgen tighter than G.Skill's PIS Series DDR3-2400 kit, which checks in at 9-11-9-28-2N. Unlike the G.Skill kit, however, Kingston's DIMMs join select company on Intel's list of certified RAM for Core i7 processors, having been certified for use on Gigabyte's GA-P55A-UD4P. If a certification list is the sort of thing that matters to you, then it's probably worth noting that the next fastest kit on the list is Corsair's DDR3-2333 memory.
"As will all Kingston memory, the 2400MHz kit was created with the highest design-engineering principles and subjected to OEM-quality production and testing standards to gain Intel XMP certification," Kingston said.
Look for this kit to be available sometime in Q2. No word yet on price.