USB DRAM thumb drive shows off its uber fast RAM disk
When we first heard of this USB DRAM disk, we didn’t really know what it was, but we knew we wanted to try it out. Now that we’ve had a chance to kick the tires, we’re impressed, even though it’s not the most practical thing in the world. Then again, acquiring maximum performance is rarely practical, yet it’s still our raison d’etre.
Note: This article was originally featured in the Holiday 2013 issue of the magazine.
With AMD and Intel both fully (and finally) embracing the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 standard, it's almost impossible to pick up a system saddled with just USB 2.0 ports, especially with third-party companies like NEC and Marvell picking up the slack. That's good news, because USB 3.0 peripherals are quick becoming commonplace. One of the newest USB 3.0 products is Patriot Memory's Supersonic Rage XT, a high-performance thumbstick built around a compact form factor.
The way in which we shuttle files back and forth between our mobile devices and home PCs is changing, but changing to what? Just as the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 spec gets ready to be baked in natively to chipsets from Intel and AMD, both companies are also looking at Thunderbolt (Intel) or equivalent alternatives (AMD), but where USB 3.0 has an advantage is in cost.
There's nothing fancy to see here, just a nifty adapter to upgrade your HDMI-less notebook or desktop with HDMI output. The USB 3.0 to HDMI Adapter comes from Zotac, a company out of Hong Kong best known for its Zbox line of mini PCs. The idea of converting a USB port into HDMI is simple and convenient, and boy do we love our conveniences.
If you were hoping to see some SuperSpeed USB 3.0 announcements at this year's CES, you're in luck. Toshiba has your back and on Monday trotted out its new TransMemory-EX series of USB 3.0-compliant flash memory products that take advantage of the SuperSpeed specification with read and write speeds of up 22 times and 18 times (respectively) faster than USB 2.0.
You knew it would only be a matter of time before SuperSpeed USB 3.0 connectivity arrived on smartphones and tablets, and that time is coming. Not tomorrow, not next week, and not even next month, unfortunately. But by the end of the year or early next year, USB 3.0-enabled handsets will begin to trickle out, the USB Implementers Forum said at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
We like solid state drives (SSDs) because of their blazing speeds. We like SuperSpeed USB 3.0, also because of its speed. And we like external form factors for their convenience (and speed, if you happen to be a fast runner). Super Talent wanted to find out what happens when you put the three together and what the company came up with is its new Storage POD Mini, "a portable SSD that will change how you think about external storage."
You can argue the Earth is flat or that man never really landed on the moon, but if you really want to avoid looking foolish, then don't tell anyone Intel is deliberately stalling USB 3.0 long enough for LightPeak to drive a stake in the competing transfer interface. Actually, Intel has long held that the two aren't really competitors at all, and putting its money where its mouth is, Intel went out and received SuperSpeed USB 3.0 certification for its upcoming 7 Series and C216 chipset families.
Antec is willing to bend over to backwards if that's what it takes for you to be able to use those blue colored SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports on your new P280 or Eleven Hundred computer case. The problem for some users is that their motherboards don't support USB 3.0. Rather than render those front panel USB 3.0 ports useless, Antec tells us it's willing to ship USB 3.0 to USB 2.0 adapters to P280 and Eleven Hundred case owners at no cost.
The new Raider case from BitFenix is supposedly the world's first to feature four SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports right on top of the chassis, the company claims, and until we can prove otherwise, we'll go ahead and take BitFenix's word for it. "Aggressive cooling" was another focus point when designing the Raider mid-tower case, and it sports no less than three premium BitFenix Spectra fans with sickle-shaped fan blades and low noise operation.