Fractal Design rightfully assumes that there's a userbase no longer interested in optical drive bays. That's not to say everyone falls into that category, but with Valve's Steam platform dominating game sales and companies like Microsoft and Adobe moving services to the cloud, the need for an optical drive lessens by the day. So, some will find Fractal Design's decision to omit optical drive bays in its new Define S to be a good one, especially since it purportedly means a better focus on airflow and silence.
Patriot Memory on Monday fleshed out its solid state drive lineup with the introduction of the Ignite Series. The Ignite is a line of M.2 SATA SSDs that Patriot says is intended for portable devices such as ultrabooks, notebooks, and ultra-compact PCs, or mini PCs as they're also called (think along the lines of Intel's NUC and Zotac's Zbox systems). The obvious benefit here is faster boot times from a piece of hardware that's about the size of a stick of bubble gum.
Small capacity solid state drives are becoming a thing of the past, and we couldn't be happier about it. It's high time SSD makers started focusing on big capacities, which should in turn drive prices down while making more room for programs and games on primary storage drives. Credit Corsair for receiving the memo -- Corsair just added 480GB and 960GB capacity drives to its Force LS line.
Kingston this week announced its largest business-class solid state drive to date, the 960GB KC310. Billed as a true hard drive replacement, the capacious KC310 is powered by a Phison S10 quad-core, eight-channel controller and features a SATA 6Gbps interface. It also comes with firmware-based power loss protection to help maintain data integrity, one of several traits that make it suitable for entry-level servers and datacenter deployments.
Asus this week unveiled its TUF Sabertooth X99 motherboard. According to Asus, it's the world's first consumer desktop mobo to support all NVM Express storage devices, including the latest mini-SAS HD (SF-8639) 2.5-inch solid state drives, PCI Express, and M.2 PCI Express drives. The timing of the this board's release comes just days after Intel announced its 750 Series SSDs, which are available in both half-height half-length (HHHL) and 2.5-inch NVMe form factors.
How does 2,400MB/s read performance suit your fancy?
Intel's new 750 Series solid state drives should come with a label that reads, 'Warning, may cause whiplash and will result in uncontrollable giddiness'. After all, Intel's 750 Series takes center stage as the company's highest performing client SSD to date, with performance that's more than four times better than that of most SATA-based SSDs. The trick lies in utilizing four lanes of PCIe 3.0 and the NVM Express (NVMe) standard.
Samsung's been on a roll with releasing solid state drives that offer high performance at comparatively reasonable price points. One of those drive series is the 850 Evo, which Samsung is now offering in M.2 and mSATA form factors. They're about one-tenth the weight of a traditional 2.5-inch SSD, and of course smaller, making them ideal candidates for high performing ultrathin systems.
It was in 1995 that Asus introduced its first graphics card, and to celebrate 20 years of graphics card production, Asus is releasing a limited edition 20th Anniversary Golden Edition GTX 980 that it claims is the fastest of its kind. How fast? Asus cranked the GPU to 1,431MHz, up from Nvidia's reference specification of 1,126MHz. It's even higher than Nvidia's 1,216MHz reference boost clockspeed.
The busy bodies at Intel released over half a dozen new Braswell SoCs and Broadwell CPUs ranging in price from $107 to $281, presumably in trays of 1,000 units (meaning retail prices will be a bit higher). Starting with Intel's Braswell lineup, the new parts are based on a 14nm manufacturing process and sport new CPU and GPU architectures that offer higher performance at the same or lower TDPs than Intel's previous generation SoCs.
MSI is laying claim to the world's first AMD motherboard with USB 3.1 support. The board in question is MSI's new 970A SLI Krait Edition, which sports a black and white tuxedo theme that would probably look pretty nifty inside a white theme enclosure. But behind the looks is a USB 3.1 interface that allows for transfer speeds of up to 10Gbps, double that of USB 3.0, and 20 times faster than USB 2.0.