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Mushkin Shows off its SandForce 3700-powered Scorpion PCIe SSD

Mushkin unveiled its second-generation Scorpion line of PCIe SSDs, which made its debut in June, 2013. A prototype of the series was shown at the 2014 International CES. The second-generation Scorpion leverages LSI's SandForce 3700 controller, which features both SATA 6 Gb/s and PCI-Express 2.0 x4 interface. In this implementation, the chip is wired to the latter, and is seated on a half-height add-on card with PCI-Express 2.0 x4 bus interface. The drive is bootable. All eight ONFI channels on the controller are populated by Toshiba-made 20 nm MLC NAND flash chips.

The controller is so highly integrated, that there are virtually no other components on the card, than itself, and the NAND flash chips. There are traces on the card for three large capacitors, which the controller can use for its bad power protection mechanism. When it senses a power failure or erratic power, the capacitors will supply enough power for the drive to finish its last safe write operation, and power down, to prevent data loss. In terms of performance, the controller offers sequential transfer rates as high as 1800 MB/s. Mushkin also showed off an M.2 drive based on the same controller, but with just four of its eight ONFI channels populated, which shouldn't be a problem, given that M.2 interface, with its two notches only offers 6 Gb/s interface speeds.

Kingston Also Shows Off SandForce 3700-powered SATA SSD

In addition to the HyperX Fury series, Kingston showed off one of the first client SSDs in the 2.5-inch SATA form-factor that's based on the new SandForce 3700 controller platform by LSI. The drive is unnamed as of now, but will feature in the company's SSDNow family of client SSDs. The controller features pins for both SATA 6 Gb/s and PCI-Express 2.0 x4. On drives built in the PCIe add-on card form-factor, the controller offers sequential transfer rates as high as 1,800 MB/s. SATA 6 Gb/s should certainly bottleneck it, but it could also be one of the fastest drives in its form-factor. The dual interface makes the controller ready for the SATA-Express form-factor, with backwards compatibility for SATA 6 Gb/s; as well as NGFF. Kingston didn't reveal launch details.

Gigabyte BRIX Pro Detailed

Picture this - an NUC-like desktop so powerful for its size, that it qualifies to be a Steam Machine by Valve. The new BRIX Pro from Gigabyte is its most powerful BRIX desktop. Measuring all of 114.4mm x 111.4mm x 62 mm, the BRIX Pro tucks in some powerful hardware. To begin with, it features an off-spec 100 x 105 mm motherboard, which seats an Intel Core i7-4770R quad-core processor. Based on the big 22 nm Haswell silicon, it features Intel's Iris Pro 5200 graphics, which runs 40 compute units, and an L4 cache.

The Core i7-4770R chip inside the BRIX Pro is wired to up to 16 GB of dual-channel DDR3-1600 memory. The only internal storage option is an mSATA 6 Gb/s slot. Network connectivity includes gigabit Ethernet, and Wi-Fi + Bluetooth using an optional mPCIe card. The rest of its connectivity includes a total of four USB 3.0 ports, mini-DisplayPort and HDMI display outputs, and 6-channel HD audio. Gigabyte didn't finalize pricing.

ASUS Z87-Deluxe/SATA-Express Detailed

ASUS released a prototype of the first desktop PC motherboard with SATA-Express support, the Z87-Deluxe/SATA-Express. A variant of ASUS' flagship socket LGA1150 motherboard from its mainline Z87 series, the Z87-Deluxe, the board features two SATA-Express ports. SATA-Express sees a fusion between two of the most successful serial I/O interfaces, SATA and PCI-Express. It's essentially ATA over PCI-Express 2.0 x2, which offers a raw bandwidth of 8 Gbps per direction, 16 Gbps total. The SATA-Express port is structured similar to the classic SATA port, with PCI-Express lanes running over two 7-pin SATA connectors, and an additional block of 4 pins that make up the 18 pins required by 2-lane PCI-Express. A SATA-Express connector is thus unified, and legacy SATA devices should still be able to run off one of the two 7-in SATA connectors in a SATA-Express block.

Since there are no SATA-Express drives in the market, ASUS gave TweakTown a MacGyver contraption that adapts SATA-Express to a physical PCI-Express 2.0 x4 slot (electrical x2). An ASUS RAIDR Express PCI-Express SSD was found to offer sequential transfer rates of around 750 MB/s on ATTO. The rest of the board is practically identical to the Z87-Deluxe. The board uses a 16-phase VRM to condition power for the LGA1150 CPU. It draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS connectors. Expansion slots include three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 (x16/NC/NC or x8/x8/NC or x8/x4/x4, depending on how they're populated); and four PCI-Express 2.0 x1 slots.

ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Killer Detailed

Here's the first detailed body-shot of ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Killer, which was teased by the company earlier today, and which could end up being one of the most feature-rich socket AM3+ motherboards, if the end is neigh for AM3+. Designed for gaming PCs with up to two graphics cards, although it features three long x16 slots, the Fatal1ty 990FX Killer is a full-size ATX motherboard. It's design appears to be more gamer-centric than overclocker-centric. It draws power from 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS connectors, with an optional 4-pin Molex connection to stabilize power to add-on cards; and conditions it for the AM3+ CPU using a 10-phase VRM that's cooled by an heatsink that's independent from that which cools the AMD 990FX northbridge (i.e. no heat-pipe linking the two). The AM3+ CPU socket is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots, which support up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR3-2400 MHz memory; and to the 990FX northbridge over a 5.2 GT/s HyperTransport link.

The AMD 990FX chipset puts out two PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slots, the third slot is electrical PCI-Express 2.0 x4, and possibly wired to the SB950 southbridge. The southbridge handles five internal SATA 6 Gb/s ports, the sixth port is wired out as eSATA. The Fatal1ty 990FX Killer, as teased this morning, is among the first motherboards to feature an M.2 slot, extended out of a PCI-Express link. PCIe SSDs tend to be faster, as more interface bandwith is on tap. As many as six USB 3.0 ports are on offer, of which one switches between header and internal type-1 port (for those tuck-away software license keys) all of which are driven by third-party controllers. Wired networking is care of a Killer E2200 network controller, that's optimized for gaming. The board features 7.1-channel HD audio, with a high SNR CODEC, PCB ground-layer isolation (to prevent electrical noise), and an EMI shield for the CODEC; which ASRock collectively labels "Purity Sound." The board is driven by AMI UEFI BIOS, with full support for Windows 8 Secure Boot.

Samsung 840 Pro Gets RAPID Mode Support

Samsung extended RAPID mode, a burst performance enhancing feature enabled through its Magician software, to its 840 Pro series SSD. The mode was exclusive to its recently launched 840 EVO series. RAPID mode is known to exploit various sub-systems of the machine and time transfers through SATA 6 Gb/s in a way that produces throughputs as high as 1.1 GB/s on the 840 EVO. TheSSDReview put the mode to test on the 840 Pro, and found it to offer throughputs nearing 1 GB/s, again, in short bursts. To get RAPID mode, simply update your Samsung Magician software to the latest version available, and the mode should show up on the side-pane.

Source: TheSSDReview

Akasa Rolls Out Tesla H NUC Case

Akasa rolled out the Tesla H, an all-aluminium fanless case for Intel's second-generation NUC, based on its Core "Haswell" processor. At 240 x 150 x 48 mm, it's somewhere in between traditional NUCs and slimline mini-ITX cases; but uses that volume productively, in adding not one, but two 2.5-inch drive bays. The first one takes advantage of the standard SATA 6 Gb/s port on the D54250WYK motherboard, and the other requires the included mSATA to SATA adapter. The case is also compatible with Intel's D54250WYB and D34010WYB motherboards.

As mentioned earlier, the all-aluminium case features ridges along its body that let it double up as a passive heatsink for the Core "Haswell" processor and PCH. In addition to the two 2.5-inch drive bays, the Tesla H offers two front-panel USB 3.0 ports, HDA audio jacks, a USB infrared receiver, three holes for WLAN/Bluetooth antennae, a Kensington lock slot, and VESA wall mounts. Akasa didn't announce pricing or availability details.

Source: FanlessTech

Western Digital Debuts World's First SSD+HDD Dual Drive

WD, a Western Digital company and storage industry leader, today announced the release of the WD Black2 dual drive, a unique storage innovation that fuses a 2.5-inch 120 GB solid state drive (SSD) with a 1 TB hard disk drive (HDD) to offer a powerful dual drive solution. Perfect for consumers and service providers looking to upgrade notebooks, small form factor desktops, and single-slot and all-in-one (AIO) systems with both SSD level performance and HDD capacity, the WD Black2 dual drive connects through a single cable and fits into a conventional 9.5 mm slot.

"Our customers told us they like our Solid State Hybrid Drive technology, but our tech savvy users asked for more control of where they store their data," said Matt Rutledge, senior vice president of WD's Storage Technology business unit. "The WD Black2 dual drives empower our customers to enjoy SSD performance and access high capacity storage in a no-compromise package. The WD Black2 dual drive is a direct result of our interaction with our customer base through WD Labs initiatives. WD devised its beta labs program to provide an exclusive testing arena for key customers and technology influencers of existing and emerging WD storage products."

ASUS Announces TUF Vanguard B85 Motherboard

ASUS launched its first The Ultimate Force (TUF) series motherboard based on a mid-range chipset by Intel, the TUF Vanguard B85. Designed for gamers who don't overclock their CPUs, and for businesses that change their IT infrastructure every decade, this motherboard is a tight ship. To begin with, it uses a simple 4-phase VRM to condition power for the CPU, but that VRM consists of high-grade components, and is cooled by heatsinks. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS connectors. The LGA1150 socket is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots, supporting up to 32 GB of dual-channel memory; and one PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot. A second PCI-Express x16 slot is electrical gen 2.0 x4, wired to the PCH. One each of PCI-Express 2.0 x1, and legacy PCI, make up the rest of the expansion area.

Storage connectivity on the TUF Vanguard B85 includes four SATA 6 Gb/s, and two SATA 3 Gb/s, all of which are assigned as internal ports. Display connectivity includes one each of dual-link DVI, HDMI, D-Sub, and DisplayPort. The board offers a total of six USB 3.0 ports, four on the rear panel, and two via internal headers. 8-channel HD audio, gigabit Ethernet, PS/2 mouse/keyboard combi-plug, and a number of USB 2.0/1.1 ports, complete the connectivity package. The board feature all the TUF military-grade durability paraphernalia, including the Thermal Radar feature from the TUF Sabertooth series. Expect this one to go for about $110.

GIGABYTE Announces G1.Sniper B5 Gaming Motherboard

For gamers who don't plan on overclocking their CPUs, GIGABYTE announced a new gaming desktop motherboard, branded within its G1.Killer series no less. The G1.Sniper B5 combines the key ingredients of a G1.Killer motherboard, with the mid-range Intel B85 Express platform, supporting Core "Haswell" processors in the LGA1150 package. It's built in the standard ATX form-factor. Since the chipset doesn't support CPU overclocking, GIGABYTE went easy on the CPU VRM, with a 4+1 phase design, which is guaranteed to run any socket LGA1150 CPU at its stock speeds. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS connectors.

Expansion slots include two long PCI-Express slots, but only one of them is wired to the CPU, and supports PCI-Express 3.0 x16 speeds. The other slot is electrical gen 2.0 x4, and wired to the B85 PCH. Two each of PCI-Express 2.0 x1 and legacy PCI, make up the remaining expansion slots. Storage connectivity includes four SATA 6 Gb/s, and two SATA 3 Gb/s ports. The audio solution is based on a Realtek ALC898 CODEC (110 dBA SNR), ground-layer isolation, Nichicon audiophile-grade electrolytic capacitors on the AMP stage, and a removable OPAMP chip. There's no Bigfoot Killer NIC, but a decent Intel-made GbE LAN chip. The board features AMI UEFI BIOS with GIGABYTE's latest G1.Killer series setup program (minus the CPU overclocking options, of course), backed by dual-BIOS.

Western Digital Rolls Out WD Green 4 TB 3.5-inch Hard Drive

Keeping up with its product roadmaps, Western Digital rolled out WD Green 4 TB hard drive (model: WD40EZRX). Designed for personal desktops that need energy-efficient, high-capacity storage, the drive offers 4000 GB of unformatted space, which should yield about 3.6 TB under a Windows NTFS file-system. Built in the 3.5-inch form-factor, the drive features SATA 6 Gb/s interface, variable sub-6,000 RPM spindle-speeds, 64 MB cache, and acoustics management. When spinning and idling, the drive is designed to draw about 3.3W, which goes up to 4.5W under stress, and just 0.4W, when the drive is parked and spun-down. Available now, the WD Green 4 TB is priced between $170 and $190, depending on what package you choose.

Gigabyte Also Shows Off Thunderbolt 2.0-Equipped Motherboards

In addition to the G1.Assassin 3, Gigabyte showed off its first motherboards with Thunderbolt 2.0 connectors. Armed with 20 Gb/s of bandwidth, Thunderbolt 2.0 gives you enough bandwidth to drive high-resolution displays (beyond WQHD), and storage arrays with SSDs. Among these motherboards are the Z87X-UD7 TH. Gigabyte distinguished the "UD7" brand extension from "OC," which marks products that prioritize performance-enhancing components over connectivity, while the UD7 leads the company's mainline Z87X pack with top-grade connectivity, and electricals not too far behind the Z87X-OC.

The Z87X-UD7 TH is built in the standard ATX form-factor. It draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, 8-pin EPS, an optional 4-pin ATX, and an optional SATA power input. It uses a 16-phase VRM to power the CPU, which uses high-grade PowIRstage driver-MOSFETs. The VRM cooler is a combination of an active air-cooled heatsink, with a coolant channel that lets you make it part of your liquid cooling loop. This cooler shares some of its heat with the heatsink covering the PLX PEX8747 bridge chip, and the PCH, which also features a fan-heatsink. The board features five PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots, of which three are gen 3.0 x16 capable, and four gen 3.0 x8 capable. A mechanism lets you bypass the bridge chip, and connect a single graphics card directly to the CPU. Two PCI-Express 2.0 x1 slots complete the expansion area.

Gigabyte G1.Assassin 3 Motherboard Detailed

Gigabyte showed off an early version of its upcoming high-end socket LGA2011 motherboard, the G1.Assassin 3, at IDF. Based on the same Intel X79 Express chipset as its predecessor, this board is built in the standard ATX form-factor. It draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS connectors. It uses a 9-phase VRM to condition power to the CPU socket, which uses PowIRstage driver-MOSFETs by International Rectifier. The CPU socket is wired to eight DDR3 DIMM slots, supporting up to 64 GB of memory, and four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots. A couple of PCI-Express 2.0 x1 slots complete the expansion area.

Storage connectivity on the G1.Assassin 3 includes four each of SATA 6 Gb/s and SATA 3 Gb/s ports. Network connectivity includes two gigabit Ethernet interfaces, from which one is driven by an Intel-made controller, and an add-on card with 802.11ac WLAN, and Bluetooth 4.0. A hyped up feature here is its Creative Sound Core3D audio, with a high SNR DAC, audiophile-grade OPAMP circuitry with user-replaceable amps (Gigabyte calls this AMP-UP). Six USB 3.0 ports, and a number of USB 2.0/1.1 ports make for the rest of it. Gigabyte didn't finalize heatsink designs for the VRM or PCH, and there's no word on when exactly the company plans to launch the thing.

Source: Legit Reviews

Gigabyte Unveils BRIX with Iris Pro 5200 Graphics

At IDF, Gigabyte unveiled its latest BRIX mini-PC variants, running Core i7-4770R and Core i5-4570R processors. The two chips embed Intel's Iris Pro 5200 integrated graphics, which features 40 execution units, L4 eDRAM cache, and more than double the integrated graphics performance of a regular Core i7-4770. Sadly, to accommodate these chips, BRIX needed to stretch out, and is almost double the thickness of 2nd generation BRIX, running regular variants of Core "Haswell" processors. Gigabyte didn't use the added thickness to add more ports, either. You get room for a single 2.5-inch SATA 6 Gb/s drive, and two mini-PCIe gen 2.0 slots, one of which holds the WiFi+Bluetooth card. The BRIX with Iris Pro lineup is expected to start at $500.

Source: LegitReviews

ASUS Announces X79 Deluxe Socket LGA2011 Motherboard

ASUS announced its first socket LGA2011 motherboard after Intel's Core i7 "Ivy Bridge-E" family launch. Sticking to the simplified model naming scheme introduced by its LGA1150 motherboard lineup, the board is named X79-Deluxe, and is styled just like them (black PCB, black expansion-slots, gold heatsinks). It is expected to ship with out of the box support for Intel's latest HEDT chips. The board is built in the standard ATX form-factor, drawing power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS connectors. It uses a 10-phase VRM to power the CPU socket, which is wired to eight DDR3 DIMM slots, and four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots. A couple of PCI-Express 2.0 x1 slots, wired to the PCH, make for the rest of its expansion.

Storage connectivity includes eight internal SATA 6 Gb/s ports, of which just two are wired to the X79 PCH, four SATA 3 Gb/s ports, and two eSATA 6 Gb/s. Out of the eight USB 3.0 ports on this board, you get six on the rear panel, two by header. The X79 Deluxe features the latest WiFi GO! module by ASUS, which lends it 802.11 ac WLAN, and Bluetooth 4.0 support. Of the two gigabit Ethernet ports on the board, one is driven by an Intel-made controller. 8-channel HD audio, and a number of USB 2.0/1.1 ports make for the rest. Among the ASUS-exclusive features are USB BIOS Flashback, EPU, TPU II, ASUS SSD Caching, and USB 3.0 Boost. The X79 Deluxe from ASUS is expected to go for US $349.99. Find a comprehensive review at the source.

Source: TechReport

EUROCOM's 11.6" Monster Ultraportable Receives 1.5 TB Hard Drive Upgrade

Eurocom has added the 1.5 TB HGST Travelstar 5k1500 SATA 6 Gb/s HDD, the largest 2.5", 9.5 mm thin mobile storage drive, to the 11.6" Monster Ultraportable Notebook to meet customers demand for large storage capacity and high performance.

"The Monster is a small form factor ultraportable notebook capable of running multiple virtual machines and multiple operating systems with up to 16GB memory and 1.5 TB storage while weighing under 4 lbs and having a battery that lasts over 400 minutes!" Mark Bialic, Eurocom President. 1.5 terabyte, 6Gb/s SATA mobile hard drives are perfect for use within the EUROCOM Monster where user's demand increasingly large storage capacity and blazing speed.

ASRock Unveils its First Socket FM2+ Motherboards Based on AMD A88X Chipset

ASRock unveiled its first socket FM2+ motherboards, ready for the upcoming A-Series "Kaveri" APUs, and backwards-compatible with A-Series "Richland" and "Trinity" ones. Among the most notable of ASRock's FM2+ products are the FM2A88X-Extreme6+ and the FM2A88M-Extreme4+. The former is a feature-rich ATX form-factor offering, while the latter isn't too far behind with its feature-set, albeit in the micro-ATX form-factor. The FM2A88X-Extreme6+ features a 10-phase VRM to power the APU socket, which is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots, and two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (electrical x8/x8 when both are populated). A third PCI-Express x16 is electrical gen 2.0 x4, and wired to the A88X FCH. Two each of PCI-Express 2.0 x1, and legacy PCI make for the rest of the expansion.

Storage connectivity on the FM2A88X-Extreme6+ includes seven SATA 6 Gb/s ports, and one eSATA 6 Gb/s. Display connectivity includes dual-link DVI, DisplayPort 1.2, and possibly HDMI 2.0. 8-channel HD audio with optical SPDIF output, gigabit Ethernet, and six USB 3.0 ports. Moving on, the FM2A88M-Extreme4+ features a simpler 6-phase VRM for the APU socket, which is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots, and a single PCI-Express 3.0 x16. The other long slot is electrical gen 2.0 x4. One each of PCI-Express 2.0 x1 and legacy PCI make for the rest of its expansion. Display connectivity includes dual-link DVI, D-Sub, and HDMI (2.0?). Four USB 3.0 ports, 8-channel HD audio, and gigabit Ethernet make for the rest of it.

KingSpec 2.5 GB/s PCIe SSD Detailed

In the swarming SSD market, what better way to blast your way from obscurity to worldwide attention, than launching a ludicrously fast SSD? KingSpec unveiled the MC2J677M1T, a PCI-Express SSD that's tested to be capable of sequential speeds as high as 2.5 GB/s (gigabytes per second). Pictured below, the drive is an almost full-height add-on card with PCI-Express 2.0 x8 bus interface. The card seats a high performance SATA 6 Gb/s RAID controller by LSI (under that fan-heatsink), which is wired to eight mSATA 6 Gb/s ports, holding the eight sub-units.

The eight mSATA SSD sub-units on the MC2J677M1T each hold 120 GB of data (totaling 960 GB). Each sub-unit runs a JMicron-made controller, Intel-made MLC NAND flash, and Nanya-made DRAM cache. The LSI RAID controller is designed to be plug-and-play, i.e., the drive is bootable, and you won't need an F6 driver during Windows installation to detect the drive. A quick ATTO benchmark run by TheSSDReview, which has one of these drives, yielded sequential read speeds well past 2,500 MB/s.


Source: TheSSDReview

Intel to Demo SSD Overclocking at IDF 2013

It could soon become possible to overclock the controller and NAND flash of your SSD, if Intel has its way. The company is set to demonstrate how to overclock Intel-branded SSDs using its Xtreme Tuning Utility (XTU), at IDF 2013, which goes underway this September. The item on Intel's IDF itinerary marked "AIOS001" deals with seminars on overclocking Intel's next-generation HEDT (high-end desktop) platforms. X-bit Labs believes Intel could talk about SSD overclocking during that session.

Options to tweak SSDs were discovered when poking around the code of an unreleased XTU version. XTU is a unified software utility by Intel, which lets you tweak CPU, memory, and system cooling on systems running Intel Desktop Boards. Among the things end-users should be able to tweak, apart from the controller clock-speed, are the NAND flash bus-speed. Taking away interface overheads and other round-offs, 560 MB/s appears to be the practical maximum bandwidth SATA 6 Gb/s SSDs have been able to achieve. It could always be handy getting your SSD a few dozen more MB/s sequential speeds at the expense of stability.
Sources: MyCE, X-bit Labs

MSI Rolls Out H81-P33 ATX Motherboard

Motherboards in the ATX form-factor, based on entry-level chipsets are a rarity, but one that MSI attempted anyway. The company rolled out its H81-P33 socket LGA1150 motherboard in the 220 x 305 mm ATX form-factor, based on Intel's entry-level H81 Express chipset. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS connectors; and uses a 6-phase VRM to condition it for the CPU. The CPU socket is wired to two DDR3 DIMM slots, supporting up to 32 GB of dual-channel DDR3-1600 MHz memory; and a PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slot (gen 3.0 is unsupported on H81 platform).

Apart from the PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slot, two other PCIe 2.0 x1 slots, and three legacy PCI, make for the rest of the expansion. The H81 Express PCH gives out two each of SATA 6 Gb/s and SATA 3 Gb/s ports, wired out as internal ports on this board. Its four USB 3.0 SuperSpeed ports are wired out as two on the rear panel, and two via header. Display outputs include one each of dual-link DVI and D-Sub (VGA). 6-channel HD audio, gigabit Ethernet, legacy PS/2 mouse/keyboard, and a number of USB 2.0/1.1 ports make for the rest of the connectivity. The board is driven by AMI UEFI BIOS, which supports Windows 8 fast boot. Expect a sub-$100 price-tag on this one.

MX Technology Unveils Driver-less EXPRESS PCIe SSD Card

Mach Xtreme Technology Inc., a worldwide leader in top performance, high reliability and user-friendly designed PC components, today unveiled EXPRESS Series PCIe SSD add-on card. The MX-EXPRESS is implementing advanced dual-controller technology and is based on an unique driver-less design. Based on an innovative design, the low-profile MX-EXPRESS PCIe 2.0 x2 SSD card delivers an enhanced desktop computing experience with much faster application loading times, ultra-fast data access and shorter boot-ups of today's and future high-end desktops featuring PCIe 2x / 4x /16x interface.

The MX-EXPERSS continues our tradition of catering to power users who want the fastest and smoothest performance. It meets extreme data transfer needs, utilizing a PCIe 2.0 bandwidth. This add-on card is fully compliant with AHCI standard and thus is truly plug and play solution where no drivers are needed. The MX-EXPRESS PCIe SSD card puts the very latest storage technology in users' hands and sets a new benchmark for SSD add-on cards. In addition, this series maintains the highest level of read and write performance though the life of the SSD, making it a must have item for any serious enthusiast.

Apacer Introduces 22PIN SATA 6 Gb/s High-Speed Modular SSD

The pursuit of speed for IT products is always endless. Therefore, Apacer devotes to breakthroughs and innovation in technology and is fully prepared to provide the high-speed storage products to customers before the R & D of the next-generation product. Apacer launches the new generation of SDM5 (SATA Disk Module), which adopts the SATA 3 (6 Gb/s) high-speed transmission interface, Toggle DDR 2.0 NAND Flash, as well as the specifically designed 2-Channel bidirectional structure. The sequential read/write speed reaches 315/145 MB/Sec and provide an excellent performance of high speed read, all of which enable the SDM5 to be one of the fastest storage solutions in the next generation IT products.

Apacer SDM5 connector adopts standard 7-pin Signal and 15-pin Power male SATA connector. To provide greater flexibility, Apacer rolls out two new designs - perpendicular (at 90°) and parallel (at 180°) - for 22-pin SATA connectors.

GIGABYTE Readies Cost-effective Socket AM3+ Motherboard with FX-9590 Support

Only a select club of high-end socket AM3+ motherboards come with support for AMD's FX-9590 5.00 GHz eight-core processor, with a gargantuan 220W TDP, and even among some of them, support is 'unofficial,' and through use of beta BIOS (use of which is generally not covered by motherboard warranties). GIGABYTE plans to change that, with a new cost-effective motherboard with out of the box support for high-TDP AMD CPUs, such as the FX-9590, FX-9370, and FX-8770. Called GIGABYTE 970A-UD3P, the motherboard is built in the standard ATX (244 x 305 mm) form-factor.

The 970A-UD3P features an AM3+ CPU socket, with a 10-phase VRM tuned for high-TDP CPUs. It is based on AMD 970 + SB950 chipset. The CPU socket is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots, supporting up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR3-2133 MHz memory; and the AMD 970 northbridge. The northbridge gives out the board's sole PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slot, and three other PCI-Express 2.0 x1 slots; the other physical x16 slot is electrical x4, and wired to the southbridge. Two legacy PCI slots take seats. Storage connectivity includes six SATA 6 Gb/s ports. The board provides four USB 3.0 ports (two on the rear panel, two by header). 8-channel HD audio with optical SPDIF output, gigabit Ethernet, and a PS/2 combo port make for the rest of connectivity. The board is driven by AMI Aptio UEFI BIOS, backed by dual-UEFI. It wouldn't surprise us if GIGABYTE prices this board under $100.

IntelliProp Announces High Performance SATA SSD Flash Controller

IntelliProp, Inc., a leader in innovative semiconductors for Data Storage applications, announced today the availability of a new, SATA SSD (Solid State Drive) Flash Controller, the IPA-SA129-CT. The new device was developed at IntelliProp's Longmont design center using their internally developed cores (SATA, flash, ECC, AES) and logic. The first customer development is preparing for production.

The IPA-SA129-CT is an SSD (Solid State Drive) flash controller for Serial ATA (SATA) applications supporting SATA 6 Gb/s speeds. The IntelliProp IPA-SA129-CT (code named "Apache") features enterprise class ECC:BCH error correction, True End-to-End CRC, AES-XTS-256bit encryption and supports both MLC and SLC flash. The data path for read and write IO's of the IPA-SA129-CT controller is managed by IntelliProp's proprietary hardware accelerator engines to provide consistent, low latency access to user data. This data path architecture focuses on maximizing IOPS and throughput while allowing the embedded processor cycles to be dedicated to garbage collection and background management tasks.

Supermicro Dips its Toes in DIY Motherboard Market, Unveils C7Z87-OCE

Known more for its server and workstation motherboards; and rackmount server chassis; Supermicro dipped its toes into consumer (DIY) motherboards, announcing the C7Z87-OCE, a socket LGA1150 motherboard based on the Intel Z87 Express chipset. Built in the standard ATX form-factor, this board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, and 8-pin EPS connectors. It features a rather bland blue PCB, with seemingly basic heatsinks over the chipset and CPU VRM. In reality, the 22 nm-built Z87 Express PCH, with a 4.1W TDP can make do with a heatsink like that. The one on the VRM, on the other hand, is suspect. It appears to use a 6-phase digital PWM circuitry with driver-MOSFETs.

The LGA1150 socket is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots, and three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (x16/NC/NC, x8/x8/NC, x8/x4/x4). A trio of close-ended PCI-Express 2.0 x4 find room in between them. The board offers a total of eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports, six from the Z87 PCH, two from a third-party controller. Also on offer, are eight USB 3.0 ports, four on the rear panel, four by headers. The board offers 8-channel HD audio with optical SPDIF output, a pair of gigabit Ethernet interfaces, Thunderbolt (which doubles up as mini-DisplayPort), dual-link DVI and D-Sub display outputs. Although driven by AMI Aptio UEFI BIOS, it features a classic keyboard-driven setup program UI. The company didn't release pricing. Find a complete review at the source.

Source: TweakTown
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