No other manufacturer's power supplies have been used more times in Maximum PC's annual Dream Machine configurations than PC Power & Cooling, and with good reason. We've yet to be let down or otherwise underwhelmed with a PCP&C unit, which is not something we can say about all PSU makers.
Adding to its Silencer line, PCP&P this week announced the Silencer 910 PSU, an 80+ Silver Certified power supply the company says completes the Silencer family line. The new PSU offers 910W continuous at 40C with a 1000W peak and boasts an 88 percent efficiency rating. As with all PCP&P units, the Silencer 910 comes with a single +12V rail, this one supplying 74A. The Nvidia SLI Certified unit comes with quad PCI-E power connectors (2 x 6-pin and 2 x 6/8-in), 12 SATA connectors, 7 peripheral connectors, and a floppy connector for those who still roll old school. It also comes with automatic fan speed control and a 5 year warranty.
The Silencer 910 is available now direct through PCP&P for $199.
There was some confusion regarding the future of PC Power & Cooling's Silencer series. Ryan Edwards, Director of Product Management for OCZ (which owns PCP&P), has assured us that not only is the Silencer line alive and well, but they are working on new models for Q1 2010.
SSD prices have been improving steadily over the past year, but they are still priced out of reach for the average user in any type of practical capacity. That being said, our readers are Maximum right? So for those of you who have been considering SSD’s, you might want to hold out just a bit longer.
The newest entrant into the category comes from OCZ who is preparing to launch their new solid state drive, and the specs are pretty impressive. The new “Z-Drive” will bypass SATA bottlenecks by hooking directly onto a spare PCIe slot. The architecture of the drive has also clearly been tuned for performance with the four Vertex controllers being configured in a four-way RAID 0.
On paper this drive is capable of read speeds up to 510MB/sec, and write speeds to match idling out around 480MB/sec. Of course we won’t be able to verify these speeds until we get one in the lab, but if true, it could be one of the fastest consumer drives to date. The initial launch will see three different capacities made available, 250GB, 500GB, and 1TB. Pricing hasn’t been released just yet, but as with any new cutting edge SSD, expect it to cost more than most PCs.
When solid state drives (SSDs) first made a push into the mainstream market last earlier this year, less than stellar benchmark results and buggy controllers did little to convince users it worth paying a premium for flash-based drives over less expensive and much larger (in capacity) hard drives. But the latest round of SSDs have picked up their game, such as OCZ's refreshed Vertex line, the Vertex EX.
"The new OCZ Vertex EX is designed to deliver unparalleled performance and reliability, featuring the latest-generation architecture and SATA interface utilizing single-level cell NAND flash memory for unmatched overall system responsiveness and stability for enterprise grade server solutions," said Alex Mei, CMO of the OCZ Technology Group.
But forget about enterprise grade server solutions - the Vertex EX looks to be a killer storage option for high end desktops, at least on paper. Available in 60GB and 120GB capacities, the new drives boast an impressive 260MB/s read, 210MB/s write (200MB/s for the 60GB), and up to 100MB/s sustained write. Like the previous Vertex drives, the new EX refresh also comes with 64MB of onboard cache and support RAID configurations.
The upsurge of netbooks in the past several months serves as proof positive that users are more concerned with mobility than they are raw power, and so one could argue OCZ is taking a certain risk by releasing Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) SO-DIMMs. But lest we forget, desktop replacements have become surprisingly affordable as of late, which was underscored by Gateway's P-7811FX notebook, and enthusiast-oriented notebook memory may just find a niche audience.
"XMP is for performance what 3D is for games, and the introduction of the profiles allows on-the-go enthusiasts to make the most of their Intel mobile platforms," commented Dr. Michael Schuette, VP of Technology development at OCZ Technology. "As a result of our involvement with Intel from the very beginning of the mobile XMP concept, today we are releasing 2GB high performance SO-DIMMs designed as a no-compromise solution to complement Intel's mobile computing platform for the ultimate user experience."
OCZ claims it's XMP-ready memory will boot at its rated specs (DDR3-1066MHz, CL6-6-6-16) on any Intel Core 2 Extreme or Centrino 2 system without any tinkering.
No word yet on when OCZ's XMP PC3-8500 notebook memory will be available or at what price.
OCZ has been on a mission to undercut the competition in the peripheral gaming market and has released a pair of gaming mice this week towards that goal. The company says its new Behemoth and Eclipse mice are "built with the hardcore gamer in mind" looking for an inexpensive gaming solution.
"OCZ continues to break barriers in the cost for performance arena by offering high performance gaming products that deliver exceptional features, ergonomics, and performance at an aggressive price," commented Ryan Edwards, Director of Product Management for OCZ. "The new Behemoth and Eclipse gaming mice are no exception, offering world-class performance designed to provide the discerning gamer and enthusiast with a superior hands-on control experience whether playing first person shooters or getting creative with design applications."
Both the Eclipse and Behemoth come with a 2-way scrolling wheel, adjustable weight (up to 18g on the Eclipse and 24g on the Behemoth), 4-way changing LED display, black rubberized coating for a no-slip grip, 60IPS tracking speed, and 50G acceleration. The compact-style Eclipse sports an adjustable DPI up to 2400, whereas the larger Behemoth ramps up to 3200.
Another day means another netbook on the horizon, this one from former memory-maker-gone-everything-maker OCZ. And another netbook means another Atom processor on the spec sheet, but OCZ adds a twist.
OCZ says its new Neutrino netbook will part of its DIY program, meaning power users can select from a list of validated components (in this case, probably RAM, HDD or SSD, and WiFi) and install it themselves. OCZ's DIY line so far includes a handful of 15-inch and 17-inch gaming notebooks, but this will be the first time that we know of where end-users can assemble their own netbook.
For those who'd rather not dink around inside such tight quarters, OCZ also plans to offer a pre-configured Neutrino with a 10.1-inch 1024 x 600 LCD display. Other specs include an Intel Atom 1.6GHz CPU, 945GSE chipset, up to 2GB of RAM, optional 250GB OCZ SSD, two USB 2.0 ports, WiFi, 13.MP webcam, and either Ubuntu or Windows XP.
Look for the new models to start shipping in 2-3 months and "priced competitively."
OCZ has added a backlit keyboard to its Alchemy line of gaming peripherals, but this one comes with a twist. Unlike traditional backlit planks, OCZ's Illuminati lets users switch between blue or red LED backlit keys, erasing the fear that the decor at the next LAN party you attend might clash with your keyboard.
In addition to the user-selectable color scheme, the Illuminati comes equipped with rubber-coated keys, which the company claims will last for more than 5 million cycles. Gamers can also make use of 14 multimedia and internet hotkeys and a curved wrist wrest. What you won't find on the keyboard are any USB ports.
OCZ launched its Alchemy line last year in an attempt to offer gaming peripherals without the high prices that typically come hand-in-hand. The Illuminati is the third keyboard in the company's Alchemy series, with the Elixir and Elixir II having come before it.
OCZ has been pretty clear that the delays on their Vertex drives was due to the state of their firmware, and now that they appear to have that part out of the way, they’re boasting some mighty impressive numbers.
The latest version of their firmware speeds up sequential read and write performance, so much that it can keep up with Intel’s X-25E Extreme series. But, the Vertex will feature lower prices and higher capacities.
The Indilinx Barefoot SSD controller that the Vertex uses was initially specified to work at 200MB/s sequential read and 160MB/s sequential write, whereas the latest version was able to blow those old numbers out of the water, now moving at 250MB/s sequential read and 240MB/s sequential write.
Intel has recently slashed the prices on their SLC (Single Level Cell) and MLC (Multi Level Cell) SSDs. This move comes in the wake of the failing economy, but also in the interest of helping to keep their competitors, such as OCZ, at bay.
OCZ claims that their series of SSDs have continued to see delays due to firmware reliability and performance. Reportedly many customers are anxious to buy them, but it is notable that OCZ is doing their best to avoid Seagate’s firmware issues.
Intel is planning for a 128GB SLC drive and a 320GB drive using new 34nm MLC chips in late 2009. For the time being though, their price cuts are mighty significant. Their 80GB model is down fro $585 to $390, 160GB down from $945 to $765 and their 32GB is down from $575 to $415.
OCZ joins a growing number of memory makers who have released high frequency triple channel DDR3 kits with the company's new Blade series. So far only announced in 6GB capacity, OCZ's tri-channel DDR3-2000 boasts 7-8-7-20 timings at 1.65V, cooled by a redesigned "pure aluminum heatsink" and backed by a lifetime warranty.
"Using a triple channel configuration custom tailored towards Intel’s Core i7 platform, the latest OCZ Blade Series kits epitomize the pinnacle of memory technology by delivering 2000MHz data rate for an available bandwidth of 35GB/sec to satisfy even the most data-hungry processor in the current marketplace," commented Dr. Michael Schuette, VP of Technology Development at OCZ.
OCZ says its new Blade 2000 modules will be shown at CES next month before being made available shortly afterwards. The company also claims each Blade 2000 kit is 100 percent hand tested for quality assurance and compatibility with Intel's Core i7 platform.