Build a PC en Pricing for 240GB Solid State Drives Could Fall to $70 in 2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/apacer_ssd.jpg" alt="Apacer SSD" title="Apacer SSD" width="228" height="211" style="float: right;" />Apacer exec expects another free fall in SSD pricing</h3> <p>Solid state drives may never reach the tantalizing price-per-gigabyte ratio that mechanical hard disk drives enjoy, though that's okay, we're willing to pay a premium for performance. However, that premium might not be finished shrinking. We already saw NAND flash memory pricing take a nose dive, which in turn led to more affordable SSDs, and now <strong>we hear that the cost of SSDs could drop even lower this year</strong>.</p> <p>According to <em>Digitimes</em>, Apacer Technology general manager CK Chang believes prices for 256GB SSDs will fall below $70 in the second half of 2015, while prices for 128GB SSDs will hit $40. At present, 256GB SSDs street for around $100 -- there's an <a href="" target="_blank">Apotop model</a> on Newegg that's priced on sale for $90, while the rest of the 256GB models sell for $100 or more -- and 128GB models go for $60 and up.</p> <p>The reason for the predicted drop in price once again relates to NAND flash memory. Upstream chip vendors have transitioned to 14nm, 15nm, and 16nm, and in doing so, production costs have come down. According to Chang, this will lead to lower priced SSDs.</p> <p>As for Apacer, the company shipped about 4 million SSDs in 2014, accounting for 30 percent of its more than $318 million in revenue.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Build a PC Hardware Solid State Drives ssd storage News Fri, 23 Jan 2015 16:45:49 +0000 Paul Lilly 29303 at Smaller Motherboard Players Regroup to Take on Asus and Gigabyte <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/ecs_mobo.jpg" alt="ECS Mobo" title="ECS Mobo" width="228" height="159" style="float: right;" />Tough times for second tier mobo makers</h3> <p>Asus and Gigabyte dominated the motherboard market in 2014, with Asus coming out slightly ahead of its rival for bragging rights. However, there's more at stake than bragging rights for second tier players. <strong>ASRock, Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS), and Micro-Star International (MSI) all have new strategies for 2015</strong> to help better compete with the big boys, though not all may survive.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">According to <em>Digitimes</em></a>, ECS president Sunny Yang recently went on record saying he wouldn't dismiss the notion of quitting the motherboard market altogether if its China brand mobo business continues to mount losses in 2015, though nothing has yet been decided. In the meantime, the company is seeing profits from Intel's Classmate PC orders, and also from its mini PC product offerings.</p> <p>As for ASRock, it's adjusting its product and channel strategies for 2015 after seeing an all-time low in its earnings per share last year. It's not clear what new strategies it's putting in place, though the company expects to ship 6.6 million to 7 million motherboards this year.</p> <p>Finally, MSI turned to new blood to liven up its motherboard business. Specifically, the company brought in an executive from its Europe notebook sales business to be in charge of its China-based motherboard and graphics business in the hopes that new management will give it a boost.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> asrock asus Build a PC ecs gigabyte Hardware motherboards msi News Thu, 22 Jan 2015 19:45:52 +0000 Paul Lilly 29301 at Backblaze Takes a Second Look at Hard Drive Reliability, Finds Capacity Matters <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/hitachi_4tb.jpg" alt="HGST 4TB" title="HGST 4TB" width="228" height="189" style="float: right;" />Making the case for 4TB hard drives</h3> <p>It was a year ago that cloud backup firm <a href="">Backblaze revealed</a> some interesting data it had collected in regards to hard drive failure rates. For a number of reasons, trying to analyze the reliability of hard drive brands and models can be complicated, though when the dust settled, Backblaze determined that Hitachi brand HDDs were the best. With another year of operation under its belt, <strong>Backblaze has more data to share, though Hitachi remains a solid option</strong>.</p> <p>At the end of 2013, Backblaze was running 27,134 hard drives. That number increased to 41,213 at the end of 2014, giving Backblaze a large sample size to evaluate. It's also worth noting that most of the new drives Backblaze purchased were 4TB, along with a few 6TB HDDs. As the firm discovered, size matters when it comes to HDD reliability.</p> <p>So does brand. Backblaze recorded a frightening 43.1 percent failure rate among 3TB Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 HDDs, though just a 2.6 percent failure rate among 4TB Seagate Desktop HDD.15 drives.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/backblaze_data.jpg" alt="BackBlaze Data" title="BackBlaze Data" width="620" height="638" /><br /><em>Source: Backblaze</em></p> <p>"We like every one of the 4 TB drives we bought this year. For the price, you get a lot of storage, and the drive failure rates have been really low," Backblaze said. "The Seagate Desktop HDD.15 has had the best price, and we have a LOT of them. Over 12 thousand of them. The failure rate is a nice low 2.6 percent per year. Low price and reliability is good for business.</p> <p>"The HGST drives, while priced a little higher, have an even lower failure rate, at 1.4 percent. It’s not enough of a difference to be a big factor in our purchasing, but when there’s a good price, we grab some. We have over 12 thousand of these drives."</p> <p>Brand, model, and capacity all seem to matter to some extent, which makes coming to a definitive conclusion a bit tricky. And of course this is but a single company's results. Generally speaking, however, HGST put on the best showing with the lowest failure rates at each capacity.</p> <p>Check out <a href="" target="_blank">Backblaze's blog post</a> for more details.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Backblaze Build a PC data center Hard Drive Hardware reliability storage News Thu, 22 Jan 2015 15:57:00 +0000 Paul Lilly 29295 at AMD Radeon R9 380X Rumored to Arrive in Second Quarter of 2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/amd_gpu_0.jpg" alt="AMD GPU" title="AMD GPU" width="228" height="192" style="float: right;" />Rumor has it the Radeon R9 380X will feature 4,096 GCN cores</h3> <p>Keeping in mind that nothing is ever official until it's official (one of the many mottos of Captain Obvious), purported details of AMD's forthcoming Radeon R9 380X have started to emerge. If they turn out to be accurate, you can expect the <strong>Radeon R9 380X to arrive sometime between April and June of this year</strong> with 4,096 GCN cores in tow, along with 4GB of 3D stacked High Bandwidth Memory (HDM).</p> <p>That's according to <a href="" target="_blank"><em>WCCFTech</em></a>, which is getting its information from Swedish website <a href="" target="_blank"><em>SWEClockers</em></a><em>, </em>"which have been proven to be quite accurate in their estimations." In this case, the report points to AMD running with the 380X nomenclature rather than 390X, which would indicate that an even more powerful graphics card is on tap for 2015.</p> <p>As for the 380X, the use of HBM is reported to be 9 times faster than GDDR5. Looking at just the increased number of compute units, however, it's estimated that the 380X could be 45 percent faster than AMD's R9 290X, and that's without taking into considerations architectural improvements or memory bandwidth.</p> <p>The card will be based on a GPU code named Fiji XT. Along with its release, AMD is expected to refresh its current lineup with new GPUs, including a Radeon R9 270 replacement called Trinidad.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> amd Build a PC Gaming graphics card Hardware radeon r9 380x Video Card News Tue, 20 Jan 2015 18:33:19 +0000 Paul Lilly 29284 at G.Skill Scales Consumer Ripjaws 4 DDR4 Memory Kits to 3400MHz <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/ripjaws_4.jpg" alt="G.Skill Ripjaws 4 with Fan" title="G.Skill Ripjaws 4 with Fan" width="228" height="108" style="float: right;" />Comes with their own cooling fans</h3> <p>There have only been a few RAM kits we can recall that came with cooling fans, or that were recommended to pair with an active cooling scheme. Of course, those were back in the early days of DDR memory, when buying a kit of overclocking RAM could you make late with your mortgage payment that month. In any event, much as changed since then, though apparently we haven't seen the last of RAM and fan combinations -- G.Skill's new Ripjaws 4 DDR4 3200MHz and 3400MHz memory kits both with active cooling add-ons.</p> <p>G.Skill bundles its <a href="" target="_blank">Turbulence III Memory Cooling Fan</a> with each kit. The apparatus consists of dual 50mm fans spinning at 3,500 RPM to cool your RAM while remaining quieter than a whisper from a five-foot distance (22dBA), according to G.Skill. On a standalone basis, the Turbulence III runs about $20.</p> <p>Getting back to the RAM, the 16GB (4GBx4) 3200MHz kit (<a href="" target="_blank">F4-3200C15Q-16GRKD</a>) sports 15-15-15-35 timings and requires 1.35V, while the same capacity kit in 3400MHz (<a href=";series=2275" target="_blank">F4-3400C16Q-16GRKD</a>) features 16-16-16-36 timings at the same voltage.</p> <p>According to G.Skill, both kits are made from hand-picked ICs and go through the company's "highly selective binning process." They've also been tested for compatibility on the Asus Rampage V Extreme and Gigabyte X99-SOC Champion motherboards, though they should work with other X99 boards as well.</p> <p>No word yet on price or availability.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Build a PC ddr4 g.skill Hardware Memory ram ripjaws 4 News Thu, 15 Jan 2015 13:37:27 +0000 Paul Lilly 29257 at Asus Sees Rise in Do-It-Yourself Motherboard Sales <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/asus_mobo_0.jpg" alt="Asus Mobo" title="Asus Mobo" width="228" height="151" style="float: right;" />Score a point in favor of the home brewed PC</h3> <p>You don't have to sell us on the merits of building a PC from scratch -- it's what we've been doing for decades, and it's one of the core principles of our brand. Heck, the desire to roll your own rig may have even been what prompted you to pick up your very first issue of <em>Maximum PC</em> (or <em>Boot</em>). Well, we're embarking on a new year, and already there's evidence that this passion of ours is yet again in great shape -- the numbers are in from <strong>Asus, which shipped 5.6 million DIY motherboards in the fourth quarter of 2014 alone</strong>.</p> <p>The strong finish bumped the company's full year DIY mobo shipments to 22 million units, representing a year-on-year increase of 6.3 percent, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Digitimes</em> reports</a>. In other words, there's growing interest in building a home brewed PC.</p> <p>Asus' DIY motherboard shipments outpaced its laptop sales, which itself saw growth as well. The company shipped 20.1 million notebooks in 2014, representing an on-year growth rate of 6.9 percent, along with two million desktops, nearly 9.4 million tablets, and over 8 million smartphones.</p> <p>We'll have to wait and see how those figures compare with Gigabyte, especially the motherboard shipments -- the two companies were in a fierce race to outsell one another, with Asus in a small lead for most, if not all of 2014.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> asus Build a PC DIY Hardware motherboards News Mon, 12 Jan 2015 17:26:47 +0000 Paul Lilly 29242 at G.Skill Sets DDR4 Memory Frequency Record <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/gskill_ripjaws_4_0.jpg" alt="G.Skill Ripjaws 4" title="G.Skill Ripjaws 4" width="228" height="131" style="float: right;" />The need for speed</h3> <p>Now that Haswell-E and accompanying Intel X99-based motherboards requiring DDR4 RAM are here, we expect to see a lot of record announcements. It always happens when new platforms are introduced, and G.Skill is wasting no time adding to its virtual shelf of overclocking tropies -- <strong>G.Skill today announced that it set a new memory record for fastest DDR4 memory frequency at 4,255MHz</strong>.</p> <p>Record breaking attempts are sometimes marred by reality, which in this case is the realistic nature of running DDR4 RAM at 4255MHz. To achieve the record, G.Skill used a single 4GB stick of RAM in single-channel mode, even though the X99 chipset supports quad-channel memory. However, quad-channel mode requires four sticks, and running multiple modules isn't conducive to chasing frequency records.</p> <p>In any event, that's how these things are played out, and for now, G.Skill holds the record. It achieved the feat using its Ripjaws 4 Series plugged into an Asus Rampage V Extreme motherboard with an Intel Core i4 5960X CPU (liquid nitrogen cooling was also used). Timings were set at 18-18-18-63.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Build a PC ddr4 g.skill Hardware Memory overclocking ram records ripjaws 4 News Mon, 12 Jan 2015 17:07:23 +0000 Paul Lilly 29241 at CES 2015: Crucial Intros MX200 and BX100 SSDs <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="Crucial MX200 SSD" title="Crucial MX200 SSD" width="228" height="160" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>New SSDs start at $69.99</h3> <p>There was no dearth of solid-state drive (SSD) announcements at the recently concluded Consumer Electronics Show. Of these, two were from Micron-owned memory and storage maker Crucial: <strong>the all-new BX100, aimed at the entry-level segment with the promise of “substantial yet affordable performance gains” over a hard drive, and the MX200, the successor to the generally well-received MX100.</strong></p> <p>The MX200, for all intents and purposes, is the Crucial-branded consumer version of the <a href="" target="_blank">M600 SSD</a> that Micron announced in September for OEMs and system integrators. Like the M600, the MX200 has the company’s <a href="" target="_blank">Dynamic Write Acceleration (DWA) technology</a>, which enables SSD’s NAND array to switch from MLC mode to SLC mode, and back, on the fly. And it is this adaptive SLC cache technology that really sets the MX200 apart from its predecessor, the <a href="" target="_blank">MX100</a>. Otherwise, the two are <a href="" target="_blank">pretty similar</a>. The Crucial MX200, which will be available in 250GB ($140), 500GB ($250), and 1TB ($470) capacities, is capable of sequential reads and write up to 555MB/s and 500MB/s, respectively.</p> <p>Unlike the MX200, which pairs the Marvell 88SS9189 with Micron’s 16nm 128Gbit NAND, the entry-level Crucial BX100 comes with the same NAND and a SM2246EN controller from Silicon Motion. In fact, the BX100, which delivers sequential reads of up to 535MB/s and and sequential writes of up to 450MB/s,&nbsp; is the first Crucial drive to use a Silicon Motion controller. It will be available in&nbsp; 120GB, 250GB, 500GB, and 1TB flavors that will cost $69.99,<br />$109.99, $199.99 and $399.99, respectively.</p> <p>According to the company, both the BX100 and the MX100 will be available sometime during the quarter from Crucial’s website and select retailers across the globe.</p> <p><em>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Build a PC bx100 ces 2015 Crucial Hardware m600 micron mx100 mx200 solid-state drive ssd News Mon, 12 Jan 2015 05:19:23 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 29234 at CES 2015: Enermax Gets Enthused About a New 1250W PSU and Liqmax II Coolers [Video] <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/enermax_psu_0.jpg" alt="Enermax PSU" title="Enermax PSU" width="228" height="162" style="float: right;" />Solving the single versus multi-rail dilemma</h3> <p>There are plenty topics of debate in the tech industry. One of them has to do with single rail versus multi-rail designs in power supplies. Multi-rail PSUs became super popular for a period of time several years ago, though many high end models have since switched back to single rail setups, which refers to the all-important +12V rail. It's a topic worthy of a much longer article, but as it pertains to our Consumer Electronics Show coverage, we happened by <strong>Enermax's section where we got a look at a 1250W PSU that lets you switch between single and multi-rail mode</strong>.</p> <p>You might already have a preference towards one design over the other, though being able to switch allows you to change your mind should new information come out that says one design is superior to the other. Or maybe you can't decide between one over the other but desperately need a new PSU.</p> <p>Whatever, it's Enermax's job to figure out how best to market this beast, and the focus needn't be entirely on the switchable rail design. It also offers oodles of power and is 80 Plus Titanium certified for efficiency -- good stuff.</p> <p>Gigabyte also showed us its second generation Liqmax series dubbed Liqmax II. These are all-in-one liquid coolers with upgraded tubing, a copper plate design, and blue LED fans. It's also worth pointing out that the Liqmax II's various designs are all patented by Enermax, meaning they're not rebranded coolers.</p> <p>Have a look:</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> 1250W Build a PC ces2015 Enermax Liqmax II power supply PSU titanium News Fri, 09 Jan 2015 17:58:30 +0000 Jimmy Thang and Paul Lilly 29229 at CES 2015: Plextor Puts on Display M6e Black Edition PCI Express SSD <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/plextor_m6e_black_edition.jpg" alt="Plextor M6e Black Edition" title="Plextor M6e Black Edition" width="228" height="212" style="float: right;" />Fast storage in a sexy package</h3> <p>The fastest SATA 6Gbps SSDs top out at around 590MB/s, and if you want to go faster, one way to do that is by utilizing PCI Express. That's exactly what Plextor has done. Yes, the same Plextor that made a name for itself with high-end optical drives, back when that sort of thing mattered. These days<strong> Plextor's been focusing on more modern products, like its new M6e Black Edition SSD</strong>.</p> <p>Aimed at gamers, the M6e Black Edition is a PCI Express solution using Toshiba's syncrhonous Toggle NAND flash memory. Plextor rates the drive as being able to sequentially read and write data at up to 770MB/s and 625MB/s, respectively. It also boasts 105,000 IOPS of random-read performance and 100,000 IOPS of random-write performance.</p> <p>Also helping with performance is the company's newly developed PlexTurbo 2.0 intelligent SSD software cache technology. It uses up to 4GB of system memory to boost storage and beef up performance, while containing safeguards against data loss.</p> <p>No word yet on when the M6e Black Edition will be available or for how much.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Build a PC Hardware M6e Black Edition pci express PCIe plextor solid state drive ssd storage News Thu, 08 Jan 2015 20:25:55 +0000 Paul Lilly 29226 at CES 2015: Mushkin Announces High Performance Striker SSD Line <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/mushkin_striker.jpg" alt="Mushkin Striker" title="Mushkin Striker" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />Speedy and capacious</h3> <p><strong>Mushkin this week unveiled its new Striker line of solid state drives</strong>. The new drives are built for speed and reliability, which largely boils down to the type of controller -- in this case, Mushkin opted for a Phison PS3110-S10 controller, which boasts a quad-core, 8-channel design. It also features 256-bit AES encryption, Opal 2.0, end-to-end path protection, and a few other technologies.</p> <p>The Striker line uses MLC NAND flash memory and is rated for up to 565MB/s of sequential read performance, up to 550MB/s sequential writes, and up to 90,000 IOPS. As you can probably tell from the performance metrics, the Striker line sports a SATA 6Gbps interface.</p> <p>"Mushkin is committed to giving our customers the best performing and most reliable SSDs and our new STRIKER family of drives delivers," <a href=";ref_no=NTk4Mzcz%250A" target="_blank">said Brian Flood</a>, Director of Product Management at Mushkin. "With an ever-increasing demand for greater performance, the new STRIKER drives provides the ultimate combination of speed and reliability for today’s demanding applications."</p> <p>Mushkin was mum on pricing info, though did say it will launch in capacities ranging from 240GB to 960GB in the first quarter of this year.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Build a PC ces2015 Hardware mushkin solid state drive ssd storage Striker News Thu, 08 Jan 2015 19:21:07 +0000 Paul Lilly 29224 at CES 2015: Talking Broadwell with Intel [Video] <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/intel_ces.jpg" alt="Intel Broadwell at CES" title="Intel Broadwell at CES" width="228" height="149" style="float: right;" />The skinny on Intel's newest CPUs</h3> <p>We got our first look at Intel's Broadwell architecture when the Santa Clara outfit launched its Core M parts last year. However, those were mostly aimed at fanless 2-in-1 hybrid devices and other similar form factors. At the Consumer Electronics Show this year, <strong>Intel announced its 5th Generation Core CPUs based on its <a href="">14nm Broadwell</a> micro-architecture</strong>, so we sent Online Managing Editor and expert chip taster Jimmy Thang to see if he could squeeze any more information out of the company.</p> <p>Intel didn't seem too interested in talking about its desktop plans for Broadwell, saying that it will hold a separate event for that. Instead, Intel talked up its current Broadwell CPUs, including the just-launched U parts (Core i3, i5, i7), which have more transistors than Haswell and offer a bit better performance.</p> <p>According to Intel, one of the advantages of 14nm is greater flexibility for OEMs to decide between "reasonable" battery life in systems that have a smaller batter and weigh less as a result, or much longer run time in the neighborhood of 15 hours by using a larger battery.</p> <p>Check out more of what Intel had to say below:</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> 14nm broadwell Build a PC ces2015 cpu Hardware intel processor News Thu, 08 Jan 2015 16:38:50 +0000 Jimmy Thang and Paul Lilly 29220 at CES 2015: Patriot Lights Up SSD Space with High-Capacity Ignite Series <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/patriot_ignite.jpg" alt="Patriot Ignite SSD" title="Patriot Ignite SSD" width="228" height="193" style="float: right;" />Go big (capacity) or go home</h3> <p>Now that it no longer requires taking out a second mortgage to fund a solid-state drive upgrade, maybe we'll start seeing an influx of high capacity SSDs. Is that too much to ask? Not of <strong>Patriot Memory, which arrived at the Consumer Electronics Show with its new and capacious Ignite line of a SATA 6Gbps SSD products</strong>. And for good measure, the company also brought along a couple of new USB flash drives, which we'll get to in a moment.</p> <p>Patriot's Ignite line comes in just two capacities: 480GB and 960GB. Either one is big enough to run an operating system and several programs and games, though we'd still advise sweeping all those RAW vacation photos and high definition videos over to a storage drive (long live the mechanical hard drive, right?).</p> <p>Armed with a new Phison S10 controller and SATA 6Gbps interface, Patriot's Ignite line boasts sequential read and write speeds of up to 560MB/s and 545MB/s, respectively. We've seen higher speed ratings in the SATA 6Gbps category, though not by much.</p> <p>"These are some of the fastest drives that we have had in our lab," Said Les Henry, VP of Engineering at Patriot. "As you can see we are able to advertise some of the fastest sequential speeds in the market for these capacities. We were able to hit scores above 1,000 using the AS SSD benchmark test with these drives."</p> <p>Patriot says you'll be able to purchase its <a href="" target="_blank">Ignite SSDs</a> this month with attractive MSRPs set at $215 (480GB) and $405 (960GB).</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/patriot_supersonic_drives.jpg" alt="Patriot Supersonic Rage 2 and Magnum 2" title="Patriot Supersonic Rage 2 and Magnum 2" width="620" height="461" /></p> <p>Moving on, Patriot also rolled out its Supersonic Magnum 2 and Supersonic Rage 2 USB 3.0 flash drives. Starting with the Magnum 2, it will be available in "extreme capacities," otherwise known as 256GB and 512GB, with maximum read and write speeds of up to 400MB/s and 300MB/s, respectively.</p> <p>As for the Supersonic Rage 2, it will offer the same performance metrics but come in 128GB and 256GB capacities. It also sports a more compact design.</p> <p>Both will be available in February; no word yet on price.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Build a PC ces2015 ignite Patriot solid state drive ssd storage supersonic magnum 2 supersonic rage 2 News Tue, 06 Jan 2015 20:02:03 +0000 Paul Lilly 29200 at Intel's 5th Generation Core Processors Finally Arrive <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/intel_broadwell.jpg" alt="Intel Broadwell" title="Intel Broadwell" width="228" height="190" style="float: right;" />Hello Broadwell, nice to finally meet you</h3> <p><strong>Intel waited until CES to formally introduce its 5th Generation Intel Core processor family</strong>, essentially a die shrink of Haswell built on a 14nm manufacturing process. These are the Broadwell parts you've been waiting for -- yes, we've already seen the Broadwell architecture manifest in Intel's Core M processors released last year, but those CPUs were mostly intended for fanless 2-in-1 hybrid tablet devices.</p> <p>These latest Broadwell parts will mostly come in Core i3, i5, and i7 varieties (along with Pentium and Celeron CPUs), first in dual-core form for laptops and later with quad-core models coming out. And if you're following Intel's "tick-tock" schedule, these would be a "tick," meaning Intel took last generation's architecture (Haswell) and shrunk it, as opposed to rolling out a brand new architecture.</p> <p>That said, these chips boasts 35 percent more transistors (1.3 billion) than Haswell. That doesn't mean they'll blow Haswell out of the water, though you can expect improved performance, especially in graphics -- Intel is claiming a 22 percent bump in graphics rendering performance, with a 50 percent jump in video encoding.</p> <p>Among the new chips, 10 are 15W processors with Intel HD Graphics and four are 28W products with Intel Iris Graphics.</p> <p>In addition, Intel said it also started shipping its next generation 14nm processor for tablets codenamed "Cherry Trail" to device manufacturers. It's an SoC (System-on-Chip) design offering 64-bit computing, improved graphics, and better battery life.</p> <p>You can find out more details on Intel's <a href="" target="_blank">Fact Sheet (PDF)</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> 14nm 5th generation broadwell Build a PC cherry trail core cpu Hardware intel processor News Mon, 05 Jan 2015 17:54:08 +0000 Paul Lilly 29189 at SanDisk Rolls Out SSD Plus and Ultra II mSATA SSD Storage Lines <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/sandisk_ultra_ii_msata_ssd.jpg" alt="SanDisk Ultra II mSATA SSD" title="SanDisk Ultra II mSATA SSD" width="228" height="196" style="float: right;" />SanDisk targets tablet and laptop users with new SSD options</h3> <p>We've already seen solid state drive pricing drop to around 50 cents per gigabyte and below for high performance models, and here's hoping even lower prices are bound for 2015. In the meantime, <strong>SanDisk just unveiled a couple of new SSD lines at CES -- the SSD Plus and Ultra II mSATA SSD</strong>. The former is a 2.5-inch entry-level drive targeting laptop and desktop users, while the latter is for laptop and tablet users.</p> <p>Starting with the former, SanDisk says the SSD Plus in 128GB capacity is capable of up to 550MB/s sequential read and up to 180MB/s sequential write performance, while the 240GB model boasts up to 550MB/s and up to 350MB/s sequential reads and writes, respectively. Unfortunately, there's no word on which controller or NAND flash memory SanDisk is using.</p> <p>The SSD Plus line sports a 2.5-inch form factor and will ship to customers in the first quarter of this year for $70 (120GB) and $110 (240GB).</p> <p>As for the Ultra II mSATA line, SanDisk rates them as follows:</p> <ul> <li>128GB: 550MB/s read, 500MB/s write, 74K IOPS read, 39K IOPS write</li> <li>256GB: 550MB/s read, 500MB/s write, 92K IOPS read, 54K IOPS write</li> <li>512GB: 550MB/s read, 500MB/s write, 97K IOPS read, 67K IOPS write</li> </ul> <p>These drives will also ship in the first quarter with MSRPs set at $74 (128GB), $116 (256GB), and $221 (512GB).</p> <p>In somewhat related news, <a href="" target="_blank">SanDisk also unveiled</a> its Ultra Dual USB Drive 3.0, a USB flash drive featuring both a micro-USB and USB 3.0 connector for file transfers between On The Go (OTG) enabled Android devices, PCs, and Macs. It sports a retractable design along with a longer micro-USB connector to accomodate device cases or port covers, and is rated for up to 130MB/s.</p> <p>The SanDisk Ultra Dual USB Drive 3.0 should be be available now (or soon) in 16GB to 64GB capacities ranging in price from $23 to $65 (MSRP).</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Build a PC Hardware Sandisk solid state drive ssd plus storage ultra ii msata ssd News Mon, 05 Jan 2015 16:43:19 +0000 Paul Lilly 29187 at