OCZ's Z-Drive Available in Three Different Flavors
About one month ago, we spotted OCZ's Z-Drive at the CeBIT in Hanover, Germany. The exciting detail about the Z-Drive is that it is a PCI-Express x8 connection storage device on a 245 mm x 124mm x 22 mm board that boasts up to four 256 GB (MLC-equipped) solid-state drives in a RAID 0 setup.
Well, it seems like the French e-tailer Materiel already offers them for sale on its web site. Not one, not two, but three different models are currently being sold:
- The 1 TB version, Z-Drive 1 To PCI-Express 8x, features up to 500 MB/s read speed and up to 470 MB/s write speed. These incredible speeds come budled with a hefty price tag, though: 3,399.99 Euro. 256 MB on-board cache and four MLC SSDs with 250 GB per SSD are the ingredients that can be found under the hood of this version.
- Next is the Z-Drive 500 Go PCI-Express 8x, with 500 GB of storage space and up to 510 MB/s read speed and up to 480 MB/s write speed. This means that it is actually a tad faster than the 1 TB version. This model will set you back 2,199.99 Euro.
- Last, but certainly not least, is the Z-Drive 250 Go PCI-Express 8x, with 250 GB of storage space and still up to 450 MB/s read speed and up to 300 MB/s write speed. This version currently costs 1,399.99 Euro.
Whether these prices are the final MSRPs or if they are slightly inflated, remains to be seen, when these amazing drives start to appear at other shops, as well.
EVGA releases X58 SLI Hydro Copper waterblock
For thoser of you who puchased an X58 motherboard from eVGA, they haev a water-block available now so you can cool down the motherboard chipset.
EVGA X58 SLI. The X58 Hydro Copper Waterblock (200-CU-HC58-B1) features a modern look and is fully compatible with all three part numbers of the X58 SLI motherboard. EVGA is calling the engineering work behind this block an E-Flow design, which it claims capable of dropping CPU operating temperature down by as much as half.
In testing, the block was able to keep the IOH around 26C. More specifically, the block features a high flow path design and will cover both the IOH and southbridge. Included in the package are both 1/2" and 3/8" fittings as well as some Artic Silver Ceramique thermal compound material.
The new Hydro Copper waterblock is not cheap though, and currently available directly from EVGA for $129.99.
AMD plans 16-core Opteron for 2011
It won't be very long anymore before AMD's six-core Istanbul server processors will become available in high volume, and you know what ? That's the start of a new multi-core race. AMD unveiled it aims to release a 12-core part in 2010 already, and a model with 16 cores in 2011.
The 6000 series processors will see the 45nm 8-core to 12-core Magny-Cours next year, while the 32nm 12- to 16-core Interlagos will arrive one year later. The 4000 series platform on the other hand will see the 45nm 4- to 6-core Lisbon in 2010, and the 32nm 6- to 8-core Valencia in 2011.
Fun fact, the new DCA 2.0 architecture will allow quad-channel memory configurations as is has a four channel integrated controller.
Intel Core i5 can do 3.6 GHz
According to a report of hkpc Intel seems to have optimized the core and the Turbo Mode. Previous Core i7 models increase the multiplier by two steps at a TDP of 130 watt, while the new Core i5 reach five steps at 95 watt TDP (depending on the model to 3,200, 3,460 and 3,600 MHz).
Rumors of course.
Download: SpeedFan 4.38
SpeedFan is a program that monitors voltages, fan speeds and temperatures in computers with hardware monitor chips. SpeedFan can even access S.M.A.R.T. info and show hard disk temperatures. SpeedFan supports SCSI disks too. SpeedFan can even change the FSB on some hardware (but this should be considered a bonus feature). SpeedFan can access digital temperature sensors and can change fan speeds accordingly, thus reducing noise. SpeedFan can find almost any hardware monitor chip connected to the 2-wire SMBus (System Management Bus (trademark belonging to SMIF, Inc.), a subset of the I2C protocol) and works fine with Windows 9x, ME, NT, 2000, 2003, XP and Windows Vista. It works with Windows 64 bit too.
This is a very interesting release. It adds full support for a lot of new hardware. AMCC/3WARE users will be happy to see SMART data for all of their EIDE/SATA hard disks. Full Intel QST support has been added too (you need to RUN AS ADMIN on some OS). Support for new SMBuses (like nVidia MCP79 and SiS968) is there. New chips (like the ADT7470 and the ADT7462) have been added and support has been improved for some others. ITE IT8720 identification has been greatly improved. DELL support is now tested on more chipsets. Windows 7 32 and 64 bit has been added and verified. Both the installer and the executable are now digitally signed. A lot of refinements, improvements and bug fixes were applied.
Download: click here
Download: SiSoftware Sandra 2009 SP3 15.96
SANDRA will provide most of the information (including undocumented) you need to know about your hardware, software and other devices whether hardware or software.
It works along the lines of other Windows utilities, however it tries to go beyond them and show you more of what's really going on. Giving the user the ability to draw comparisons at both a high and low-level. You can get information about the CPU, chipset, video adapter, ports, printers, sound card, memory, network, Windows internals, AGP, ODBC Connections, USB2, 1394/Firewire, etc.
1/100 ms accuracy for disk benchmarks (Physical Disks, File System, Optical Drives), which should be useful when testing SSD, flash or DRAM-based drives.
GPGPU asymmetric load balancer: If you have different GPGPUs in your system, Sandra will now balance the load between them with significant performance increase. In the past if you had, say, a 9600GT + 9400 you would get ~ 2x 9400 performance; now you get ~ 90% (9600 + 9400) performance as you'd expect.
AMD STREAM 1.4* support through Catalyst 9.2 and later.
nVidia CUDA 2.1 support through ForceWare 182.xx and later. CUDA 2.2 to be supported when WHQL driver will be released.
Note: CrossFire no longer needs to be disabled for multi-GPGPU support; however we have found some memory performance issues w/GPGPU mode ATI is investigating if you leave it enabled. So if you want best GPGPU performance disable CrossFire when testing GPGPU, naturally enable it for DirectX/OpenGL.
GPGPU multi-card performance with Hyper-Threading: threads for each GPGPU card are now scheduled on physical processors first, then cores, etc. Thus if you have a 2 card setup on a 2x SMP system, each card will use a physical processor, rather than being on the same processor/core.
Download: click here.
AMD Phenom X4 945 and 955BE processor review
Today AMD is releasing two processors in the Phenom II line-up, the Phenom II 955BE and the Phenom II X4 945 processor. Both processors can be considered and positioned in AMDs high-end segment, yet will be priced friendly. Yields are good, clock frequencies go up, performance goes up. And that's nice as the Phenom II series processors offer great performance for the money you have to lay down on the table. AMD Phenom series processors are slowly ripening, and are aging like fine wine (they get even better over time).
Guru3D brings you an in-depth performance review and architectural overview on both these processors. Oh yea .. and we'll overclock the living daylights out of it as well.
Check out the Guru3D review here.
Daily deals April 22 2009 - Storage
Time for a new update on some good deals. For today I wanted to focus on HDD storage. It's amazing how much volume versus price you can pourchase these days. I come from an era where I purchased a 100MB HDD for 600 USD. And yeah .. that's MB not GB ;)
Here's a HDD overview with good pricing:
- Seagate Barracuda 1500 GB Hard Drive - 1500 GB for 199 USD. Dang, times certainly changed. 7200 RPM. Go check it out $119.99
- Samsung Spinpoint F1 1000GB Hard Drive - A TB drive for under 100 bucks, we actually spotted this one for $88.99
- WD Caviar Blue 500GB Hard Drive - 16MB cache on this one with a 500 GB capacity. Just spotted for $54.99
For the more high performance freaks among us:
- Raptor WD740ADFD 74GB Hard Drive - It's hard to beat WD Raptor drives really. It's also hard to swallow the price $99.99
- VelociRaptor WD1500HLFS Internal 150GB - HDD wise, this is my personal favorite. $168.00
- WD VelociRaptor 300GB Hard Drive - Pure sweetness really - $228.00
Oh and of course I should mention at the very least my most favorite SSD series:
Gigabyte launches Ultra durable GTX 275
Gigabyte today announced latest GIGABYTE in-house design GV-N275UD-896H with GIGABYTE unique technology Ultra Durable VGA. Built with NVIDIA's latest processors-GTX 275, GIGABYTE GV-N275UD-896H features 896 MB GDDR3 memory and 240 stream processors. In addition, GV-N275UD-896H is equipped with the latest NVIDIA SLI
Complete T-Mobile Cellphone Network Failure in Germany
Around 4 p.m. this afternoon, Germany experienced the biggest cellphone network failure to date. T-Mobile, current market leader in Germany, experienced a complete network failure and left 39.1 million people without a cellphone connection for about four hours. Between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. this evening, first parts of the network came back online and accessible again.
In a press release, published on their web site, Guenther Ottendorfer, technical CEO of T-Mobile Germany said that the cause for the problem has been identified in form of a software problem in the Home Location Register (HLR). The HLR is responsible to establish a connection between the cellphone and cellphone radio stations.
Certain parts of the network are still experiencing system overloads and congestions, but those problems are currently being addressed and more than likely fixed within the next few hours.
IBM Develops New Memory Technology Called Racetrack
All the latest buzz is about SSDs in terms of new and faster storage solutions compared to the still dominant HDDs. While magnetic hard disk drives offer fairly large capacities at very reasonable prices, they are mechanical devices and subject to slow access times and possible failure. Solid state drives are already quite a bit faster, but this speed comes bundled with a hefty price tag. Especially, if you are interested in an SLC SSD.
IBM seems to have an interesting new technology, based on recently discovered spintronic phenomena, in the works that could change all that:
"One of these is a means of using spin currents to directly manipulate the magnetic state of nano-scale magnetic regions
AMD cuts prices on processors range
Effective immediately actually AMD has launched price-cuts for its desktop CPUs in the Athlon X2, Phenom and Phenom II range. The price cuts are dealing with Athlon X2 model 7750, Phenom X3 models 8750, 8650, 8450 and Phenom II X4 940.
More interesting is the price cut on the the current flagship product Phenom II X4 940 which now dips under 200 USD. AMD clears out the deck because it will introduce three new products, including the much Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition.
BTW check back tomorrow for a review of some of the new processors ;)
|X2 7750||2x 2,7 GHz||2 MiB||95 W||$66||$60||-10%|
|X3 8450||3x 2,1 GHz||2 MiB||95 W||$81||$74||-8%|
|X3 8650||3x 2,3 GHz||2 MiB||95 W||$86||$79||-8%|
|X3 8750||3x 2,4 GHz||2 MiB||95 W||$122||$90||-26%|
|II X4 940||4x 3,0 GHz||6 MiB||125 W||$225||$195||-13%|
Microsoft Windows 8 already in the works
GeForce GTX 295 Quad SLI setup interfering with garage door remote
Over at the EVGA Forums from a guy who complains his new GeForce GTX 295 Quad SLI setup is interfering with his garage door remote. Apparently, the graphics cards are emitting just the right radio frequencies to interfere with the garage door opening system.
He claims that the problem resolves itself when he shuts off his system and notes that the problem never occurred in the past with any other GPUs, all while using the same power supply unit. He also mentioned that the system, located in his office room, is on another circuit from the garage's power, so the problem is certainly not likely to be an outside variable.
The observation at hand begs the question of just how valid the FCC's safety and electromagnetic interference rating approvals might be. We know that EM fields can do strange things, but as Skydive states, "[the card] has to be pushing acceptable levels by the FCC if it can jam your garage door remotes."
So .. I'm just calling a new CUDA function here !
Download: Realtek HD Audio 2.22 Driver
The latest download of Realtek's HD audio driver version available for Windows XP and Vista, it supposedly runs under Windows 7 too.
The HD audio driver version for Realtek chips is available for download on our server. This download offers both the Windows XP and Vista binaries, the files contain drivers for the 32 Bit and 64 Bit versions. All Realtek HD audio chips, which are common on many motherboards and in notebooks, are supported.
Download - click here.
Download: nHancer 2.5 beta 3
There's a new beta out of nHancer, which apparently addresses some important Forceware 185.xx issues.
But it's such a powerful and handy tool, even for the average guy. So another aspect of nHancer is to improve the handling of those profiles by adding many features that the normal control panel doesn't offer at all and improving the ones that it does offer.
Important notes - This version requires .NET 3.5! and ONLY works with drivers from the 185 series or those > than (e.g. 185.66/68, 186.xx, etc.)
Most important changes since 2.4.5:
- Switched to .NET 3.5
- Using the now officially documented NVAPI to detect nVidia cards,
the installed driver and the current SLI configuration. This should now
allow a very robust SLI detection.
- Added an elaborate new "Show GPU info" function\Added Ambient Occlusion options
- Adapted SLI Anti-Aliasing options to the current driver
- Replaced the deprecated "Forceware" name with "GeForce driver"
throughout the project.
- Removed the support for all drivers older than 185.x. The result is
a much cleaner code.
- Added new icons from Michael Wenz
- Updated all AntiAliasing compatibility flags descriptions to the
current driver (185.68)
- Removed handling for pre-G80 cards. All cards are now treated the
- Removed workaround for the driver's incorrect handling of the
"OpenGL driver extension limit" setting since the current driver does this
correctly now. (Thanks to Michael for reporting that!).
- Bugfix: OpenGL games are now also affected when VSync is forced
through nHancer (this bug must have been in nHancer since its inception...
and nobody noticed it, including me... L ).
- Improved auto-import of profiles after a new driver has been
installed. This should fix the reoccurring appearance of the auto-import
window after nHancer's is started.
Download - click here
NVIDIA Releases First OpenCL Driver
Developers participating in the "OpenCL Early Access Program" now have access to Nvidia's first OpenCL driver and the software development kit (SDK) since yesterday. Being still a beta version though, it will be improved through the feedback form the developers.
In a press release, published on Nvidia's web site, Andrew Humber, Senior PR Manager for Nvidia, writes: "The OpenCL standard was developed on NVIDIA GPUs and NVIDIA was the first company to demonstrate OpenCL code running on a GPU," said Tony Tamasi, senior vice president of technology and content at NVIDIA. "Being the first to release an OpenCL driver to developers cements NVIDIA
Oracle Buys Sun
We reported about a possible acquisition of Sun by IBM, but Sun's board rejected the offer from the industry giant close to two weeks ago. Well, as it turns out, instead Oracle tied the knot with them yesterday and bought Sun for $7.4 Billion, although Sun brings $1.8 billion of net cash to the deal, making the net cost to Oracle as low as $5.6 billion.
"We're thrilled to be acquired by Oracle and have our technologies, innovations and communities as part of the Oracle vision," Scott McNealy, Sun's chairman, said.
The acquisition will allow Oracle to combine enterprise hardware and software into a total solution, it said. "Oracle will be the only company that can engineer an integrated system -- applications to disk -- where all the pieces fit and work together so customers do not have to do it themselves," Ellison said. "Our customers benefit as their systems integration costs go down while system performance, reliability and security go up."