It's easy to take for granted the parts that we put inside our PCs, but have you ever stopped to wonder about what's involved to build each piece? The manufacturing process of different components is rather fascinating, though for one reason or another, we rarely catch a glimpse of how it's done. Many of the factories are overseas, which presents a logistics problem for inside looks, and some companies are super secretive with their operations. However, Kingston allowed the folks at GamerNexus to take a look at how RAM and SSDs are made, and if you're a fan of technology, it's a must-read article with accompanying video.
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.
It doesn't matter if you own a motherboard with a legacy BIOS or one sporting a newfangled UEFI BIOS, the RAIDR Express from Asus ROG will play nice either way. It's a PCI-E based solid state drive (SSD), and supposedly the first of its kind with a DuoMode feature that allows it to work with either type of BIOS. Just flip the hardware switch to the appropriate setting and you'll be off an running with a spectacularly fast SSD.
The Samsung 840 Pro landed on our Best of the Best list when it was launched in December 2012, and it has remained at the top of the SSD pile ever since, thanks to its blistering speed, impeccable pedigree, and superb software. Shortly after the Pro launched, Samsung debuted a non-Pro drive, named simply “840,” that was designed for those who wanted a less expensive drive with a smaller three-year warranty. This month Samsung is replacing the regular 840 with the 840 Evo, an all-new drive that slots in below the 840 Pro, thanks to its three-year warranty (the Pro’s is five years) and more reasonable pricing.
Excuse us a moment as we wipe the dribble from our chin and compose ourselves. You see, we just received word that Samsung lowered the gauntlet by launching a massive 1TB solid state drive that performs in between its 840 Series and 840 Pro Series. The new Samsung 840 EVO is a potential game changer, given the aggressive price points. If nothing else, it will certainly make users think twice about pairing a large hard drive with a small capacity SSD when you can now have the best of both worlds.
We’re giving away a Crucial M500 120GB solid state drive and a three-year license for iolo’s System Mechanic software
We know there are two things that our readers love; Pure PC Power, and free stuff. Since we’ve always got your PC power needs covered, we figured you might need some gear, and we love running contests, so here’s our newest one. In this contest one winner will receive both a Crucial M500 120GB SSD and a three-year license to iolo’s System Mechanic software. You can check out the review of Crucial M500 SSD here on the Maximum PC website. Though we haven’t reviewed System Mechanic software, we’ve heard good things about it.
Click the "Read More" button to see how to enter the contest.
Several months ago, the supreme high-end SSDs from Corsair and Samsung faced off in the Octagon known as the top of our desk area that holds drives being tested. In that blood-curdling battle (in which neither drive moved nor made a sound), the Samsung 840 Pro was victorious, vanquishing its opponent by a slim margin in a contest where zero trash talk was delivered by either storage device. This month, Round Two commences as the companies’ value-conscious SSDs clash like cars in a demolition derby by sitting quietly on a test bench while we perform benchmarks upon them. Neither of these drives is as fast as their top-tier brethren, but they are priced accordingly, and both are a damned-good value.
Note: This article originally appeared in the March 2013 issue of the magazine.
Savvy move by Western Digital is low risk, high reward
There will always be those who doubt or remain skeptical of the long-term reliability of solid state drives (SSDs), but at this stage of the game, they're generally viewed as a viable storage medium, even among enterprise clients. Hence Western Digital felt compelled to spend approximately $340 million in cash ($6.85 per share) acquiring Stec, a Santa Ana firm that specialize in flash memory-based solutions and the first vendor to develop SSDs for large-scale enterprise storage.
Samsung has ramped up production of what it claims is the industry's first PCI-Express solid state drive (SSD) for next generation ultra-slim notebooks. Dubbed XP941, these new drives come in the new M.2 form factor and measure just 80mm by 20mm. They weigh a scant 6g, which is about 9 times less than a standard 2.5-inch SSD, Samsung says. Though they're small and light, these drives kick out some heavy-hitting performance numbers.
Intel this week announced a new line of solid state drives for data centers and cloud computing servers. Dubbed DC S3500, the new series of SSDs are designed for read-intensive applications such as web hosting, cloud computing, and data center virtualization, the Santa Clara chip maker says. The S3500 line is also being billed as a cost-effective replacement for traditional hard drives.