The Samsung 840 Pro was our top SSD until the OCZ Vector came along several months later and was able to run neck-and-neck with the Sammy through our benchmark gauntlet. As it currently stands, the 256GB versions of these drives both wear a 9/Kick Ass bandolier around their midsections, but there’s still another contest that has yet to be decided. So this month, we gathered the 512GB versions of both drives and set them loose in the blood-splattered arena known as the Lab.
Note: This review was originally featured in the May 2013 issue of the magazine.
If patience is a virtue, just call us speed demons. A technology is defined as a system of applied science, craft, or art. In other words, it's a way of getting things done. As tech lovers, it seems only natural that each iteration of a technology accomplish those things a little faster and more efficiently. Whether it's to move people over land, air, water, or snow; process bits; liquefy coffee beans; or chipify wood, we ain't hatin' on acceleratin'. With a little help from Guinness World Records and our sister publication T3 in the UK, we present the following supremely fast inventions.
When you think about space exploration you assume our astronauts are on the cutting edge of technology right? Turns out this is only partially true, and modern space explorers have a number of challenges to deal with that have been solved here on earth. During an uncensored question and answer period in Edmonton, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield admitted to a young onlooker that the Internet in space is too slow for gaming, but that he finds plenty of other ways to fill his time.
An upcoming Linux kernel patch has Linux patriarch Linus Torvalds very excited about the huge performance boost it promises. His enthusiasm is not unfounded either. The 233 line patch by Linux kernel developer Mike Galbraith punches way above its weight by reducing maximum desktop latency by over ten times and average latency by a factor of 60, paving the way for a faster, more responsive desktop experience.
“Yeah. And I have to say that I'm (very happily) surprised by just how small that patch really ends up being, and how it's not intrusive or ugly either. It's an improvement for things like smooth scrolling around, but what I found more interesting was how it seems to really make web pages load a lot faster,” Torvalds said in an email.
“So I think this is firmly one of those "real improvement" patches. Good job. Group scheduling goes from "useful for some specific server loads" to "that's a killer feature".
According to Linux-centric site Phoronix, the wonder patch has been designed to “automatically create task groups per TTY in an effort to improve the desktop interactivity under system strain.” As the Linux 2.6.37 nearing a second release candidate milestone, users will have to wait until 2.6.38 to tap into the huge speed boost.
Meanwhile, you can watch the two demo videos Phoronix posted to elucidate the tremendous performance boost this scheduler patch provides.
Microsoft on Wednesday released the seventh platform preview of its upcoming web browser Internet Explorer 9 (download link). Comparatively less stable than beta builds, platform previews are aimed at acquainting developers with new features and gathering valuable feedback.
According to Dean Hachamovitch, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of Internet Explorer, who wrote a copious blog post to discuss the latest platform preview release, improving real world site performance, and not “subsystem microbenchmarks,” remains the real focus of company’s development efforts.
But he soon clarified: “We’ve been consistent in our point of view that these tests are at best not very useful, and at worst misleading. Even with the most recent results in the chart above, our motivations and our point of view remain unchanged.”
“We’ve focused on improving real world site performance. We’ve made progress on some microbenchmarks as a side effect. Focusing on another subsystem microbenchmark is not very useful.”
What’s next for Google now that it has begun delivering search results “faster than the speed of type.” The obsession with speed continues even as the spotlight moves from web search to Chrome. While the browser world has always been obsessed with speed, improvements are often imperceptible.
However, as exciting as the feature sounds, it will come accompanied by a number of challenges. For instance, it could deceive analytics tools into exaggerating page views. It would be interesting to see how exactly Google circumvents these challenges.
A few weeks ago, Google opened up its Goo.gl URL shortener to all. It has some neat tricks like real-time stats tracking, and QR code creation, but it turns out to have another feature. It's super fast. Some testing done by Pingdom shows that in most situations, Google's URL shortener is faster at directing users to pages than the competition.
Page load times in North America and Europe were tested, and Goo.gl was the winner by a country mile. Is.gd actually had slightly better performance in Europe, but it's slow North American load times hurt it in the combined calculation. The popular Bit.ly URL shortener was found to be three times slower than Goo.gl.
We are talking about a few hundred milliseconds here. So the difference in real life might be negligible. It's more about bragging rights than anything else. Would you be swayed by these sorts of tests to use a different service?
It can be difficult to think about how the rest of the world works when one's caught up in the latest and greatest software tools on a weekly (or just frequent) basis. And I'm not just tooting my own horn on this one. You, as a Maximum PC reader, are likely infused with more knowledge about the best the software world has to offer by virtue of your thirst for knowledge for all things extreme and PC-related.
In short, you know your chops.
I thus found myself a little taken aback earlier this week. I met somebody new during the course of my normal nine-to-five and, during our introductory discussion around the ol' office cube, I noticed that she was using Yahoo Messenger. No harm there, right? As I casually brought up the Greatest IM Client Ever, Pidgin, I also managed to sneak mention of good ol' Firefox and Chrome into the discussion. In fact, I think I even made it a joke: Hey, Yahoo isn't as bad as Internet Explorer, right?
The folks at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) quite clearly possess two passions, and two passions alone: ensuring broadband access for every American and sporadically astonishing everyone with the most incredible facts about broadband usage in the country. Last year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had claimed in a report that actual broadband speeds in the US trailed promised speeds by at least 50%. Now, a survey commissioned by the FCC has revealed that nearly 80% of broadband users are unaware of their connection's speed.
The survey conducted by the Abt/SRBI and Princeton Survey Research Associates International polled 3,005 adults. Men fared a little better than women, with a “whopping” 29% of male respondents aware of their broadband connection's speed as compared to only 10% of the women that were surveyed. When categorized based on their age, respondents aged 65 years or more were found to be the most ignorant of the lot.
“Today, most people just know that their home broadband speed is supposed to be ‘blazing fast.’ They need more meaningful information to know exactly what speed they need for the applications they want to run, and what provider and plan is their best choice,” said Joel Gurin, chief of the consumer and governmental affairs bureau of the FCC.
The FCC is enlisting the help of UK's SamKnows Limited to more accurately measure actual broadband speeds. In fact, SamKnows is currently on the lookout for up to 10,000 volunteers for this ambitious project. Each volunteer will have their broadband connection monitored using a special set-top box installed by the UK-based company. All those interested in volunteering can apply here.
If you're a hardcore Web browsing fiend (no, not that kind of hardcore), then the kinds of add-ons that likely interest you are the ones that enable you surf as fast as humanly possible. But trawling site, after site, after site is often limited by both your connection speed and the speed of the site/server you're accessing, not to mention a few other little factors here and there.
I can't do much to help you with that via a simple Firefox add-on. However, I can assist you in finding information faster on the Web. Specifically, I can show you how to access previews for interesting links before you take the time (and resources) to open them up in a new tab, scan the page, and close them (or use them to continue about your way.) This might not sound like much of a benefit to one who's used to dumping a ton of new tabs based on links throughout a Web site. But hear me out--I've used CoolPreviews and it's a pretty sweet deal.