OCZ Vector 256GB SSD Review and more
Posted on: 01/16/2013 11:40 AM
Here a roundup of the latest reviews, including OCZ Vector 256GB SSD Review, SilverStone PS08 mATX Case, Noctua NM-I3 Mounting Kit Review, Why Is Your Power Supply Important?, and Samsung shows us a peak into the future
OCZ Vector 256GB SSD Review @ Techgage
It was nearing the end of 2008; Intel had just released its widely-successful X25-M SSDs into the market. At the time, these SSD delivered the best performance, the best reliability, and the best sustained performance without any of the prominent shortcomings of the JMicron controller-based SSDs that followed rapidly on its heels. Even six months later, no drives were anything close to competitive with the X25-M. That is, until the OCZ Vertex came along.Read moreSilverStone PS08 mATX Case @ DreamWare Computers
The Vertex was the first competitive consumer SSD to compete on similar performance at a lower price point, and inside was the controller from a relatively unknown South Korean startup called Indilinx. Initially, performance still left something to be desired, but after months of firmware updates the resulting Barefoot controller was not only stable, but saw significant performance increases in random IOPS. That made it a real competitor to the then-$595 80GB Intel SSD.
Although there's plenty of high end cases on the market, and those are usually the cases that computer enthusiasts gravitate towards, it's actually the entry level case segment that sometimes gets me the most excited. Over the last few years I've noticed a big shift in the quality of budget priced computer cases (think cases that sit around the $40 price point). We used to associate these cases with cheap looking and feeling designs, void of many features and built with flimsy side panels around a fairly flimsy chassis. However, a lot of well known computer case manufacturers have been starting to release some impressive entry level cases in this price segment that go against what we've come to expect from a "cheap" case. Over the last year I've had a fair number of these cases pass through my hands and the latest, the SilverStone PS08, is here with me today.Read moreNoctua NM-I3 Mounting Kit Review @ DragonSteelMods
The PS08 will only cost you $35 CDN, which gives even the cheapest store brand cases a good run for their money. For under $40 you're getting a case who's design might fool you into thinking it's a more expensive SilverStone case with a roomy inside (big enough for a dual GPU system) and even USB 3.0 front I/O ports.
Noctua makes great coolers, but as time goes on the older ones just won’t work with the new sockets that keep coming out. The coolers Noctua makes are excellent quality and perform well and they do come at a price, a higher price than most other out there, but they’re well worth it as you know if you’ve ever owned any. I have several of them and I recently decided to upgrade one of my kids computers with my old Core i5 setup and wanted to use a good cooler with it, and that meant I grabbed one of the unused Noctua ones that I had sitting around but I found it wouldn’t work with the socket 1156. Noctua has a solution for this though, the NM-I3 Mounting Kit that works with any of the new and old Noctua coolers so you can use them with newer sockets. The kit essentially makes them never become obsolete so that Noctua cooler you bought three years ago can still be used with the latest CPUs of today. The kit can be obtained free of charge actually from Noctua if you provide proof of purchase or it can be bought for only $10, which is well worth it I think to be able to use the older cooler with the newer platforms. So read on for a quick review of the NM-I3 kit….Read moreWhy Is Your Power Supply Important? @ TechwareLabs.com
TechwareLabs brings you the reason why your power supply is critical to your machine. We had the opportunity to sit down with some of the expertsbehind the NZXT line of power supplies and discuss the impact that a bad power supply can have. Protect your investment and watch this short video BEFORE you buy.Read moreCES 2013: Seagate, Antec, Intel, A-Data, Digital Storm, Sapphire & More @ Legit Reviews
There was more content at CES than we could capture even though there wasn't a lot of new and groundbreaking stuff. We managed to capture a number of things that might pique your interest so have a look at our impressions as well as some images of things we saw while we were there, outside of products you can buy.Read moreOzone Rage ST Review @ Vortez
Headsets are very much a norm today as they can offer relatively high quality audio and the ability to communicate with others for competitive play or social excursions, while retaining privacy and reducing peace disruption. Being a tool of communication and escapism, the headset has become vital to the gaming arsenal. When you consider the hundreds, if-not Thousands of headsets that fall into the £15-50 region, it can soon become clear how competitive the market is and why marketing becomes very important.Read morePlantronics GameCom 780 7.1 Surround Sound PC Gaming Headset @ VelocityReviews.com
Of course, this is basic stuff to anyone who understands the industry and given their track record, Ozone Gaming Gear relish being in the heart of the furnace. Dedicated to evolution and delivering products at a reasonable price, Ozone release the Rage ST into the war zone. Interestingly, in the name of variety and choice, the Rage ST is their first headset that allows the buyer to shy away from the angsty red on black chic (that isn't a limited edition), that is adorned so brazen by Ozones product line up and gives customers the choice of five colours. Black, White, Red, Yellow and Blue.
This headset integrates a noise-cancelling microphone, which allows your voice to be heard clearly during multiplayer games (by cancelling out any background noise). This can make a big difference to your teammates if you do a lot of online gaming. The other major feature is the virtual surround sound (courtesy of Dolby technology). You'll need to install the GameCom software to utilise this feature, but it aims to create a directional listening experience, rather than standard stereo audio.Read moreTt eSports Level 10 M Mouse Review @ Hardware Secrets
There's a slogan printed on the Level 10 M's box: "born to be seen." That's true; the gaming-grade peripheral from Thermaltake's gaming division, Tt eSports, is really eye-catching. The design, created by German car manufacturer BMW, looks like a concept car from an auto show. The mouse has a see-through aluminum chassis to stimulate air flow with 11 configurable buttons and reaches 8,200 dpi of resolution. We'll first describe these impressive features, and then see how well the mouse performed in action.Read moreCES 2013: OWC @ ThinkComputers.org
OWC, a.k.a. Otherworld Computing, showed off primarily three new products: the Accelsior, the Viper, and the KR. The Accelsior is a storage system using PCI-Express to serve up SSD blades. Configured in RAID 0, the drives were capable of more than 1300 MBps read and a very impressive write speed. The Viper is a new SSD that OWC claims will saturate a SATA III 6 Gbps connection at its 600 MBps maximum. Lastly, OWC shows a ridiculously awesome 200 ft drop test on its KR series of iPhone 4/S and iPhone 5 cases. These cases are built to withstand some serious punishment. Check out the video for more on OWCs CES 2013 lineup.Read moreOCZ Vector 256GB Review @ Vortez
Back in 2009 OCZ introduced the first-generation Vertex and Agility SSDs which were based on the Indilinx Barefoot Controller. Since then OCZ have brought to market various drives using SandForce and Marvell Controllers but for their new Vector Series they have returned with the Indilinx Barefoot 3 Controller. Having acquired Indilinx in 2011 the company has been hard at work developing their 3rd generation Barefoot Controller and the fruits of this labour are now shown forth in our review sample today.Read moreVTX3D HD 7870 Black Edition 2 GB @ techPowerUp
In the spotlight today is OCZ’s new Vector Series SSD. Available in three sizes; 128GB, 256GB and 512GB – we will be taking a look at the 256GB model which boasts 550MB/s read and 530MB/s write transfer rates. Vector seeks to deliver a ground-breaking all-round performance at affordable pricing and with an impressive 5 years warranty.
The VTX3D HD 7870 Black is based on AMD's recent Tahiti LE GPU. It comes with 1536 shaders and very decent clock speeds. As a result the card is 8% faster than HD 7870, almost as fast as HD 7950, which costs significantly more.Read moreNoctua NH-L9i Low Profile CPU Cooler Review @ HardwareHeaven.com
For all that big tower coolers and closed loop liquid coolers have their uses, there is also a significant market out there for compact, low noise models. Noctua are looking to fill that gap with the NH-L9i which aims to be a replacement for the stock Intel model, or an ideal product for SFF and HTPC use.Read moreVizio's AMD Z60 Hondo-based Windows 8 Tablet PC at CES 2013 @ Anandtech
Even with the comprehensive overhaul of their notebook lineup, the big news out of Vizios CES booth was definitely their new Windows 8 tablet. The Vizio Tablet PC is the first system weve come across with AMDs Z60 APU inside. Its a 1GHz dual-core part, with a pair of Bobcat cores and an HD 6250 GPU onboard. The low clock speed allows it to hit a TDP of roughly 4.5W, easily the lowest of AMDs APUs, but likely means that compute performance will likely be similar to or slightly worse than Clover Trail. This isnt unexpected, since we saw the same situation play out with Ontario last year - basically a faster microarchitecture clocked significantly lower such that it performed roughly on par with Atom, except with significantly better GPU performance. Read moreASUS RT-N66U N900 Router Review @ t-break
The ASUS RT-N66U is the company’s flagship broadband router designed to cater to the many demands of today’s users. No longer are people satisfied with just high transfer speeds (something which the majority still cannot use due to high charges from ISPs) but also need a myriad of extra features that makes wireless data transmission more integrated into daily devices.Read moreFinal Coverage of CES 2013 @ OCC
Last in line was Mushkin's Atlas series mSata drives. While an mSATA drive may not seem all that impressive, and for the most part have been limited to 256GB in capacity, Mushkin put together a way to break that barrier and pack up to 480GB into the form factor. By using a dual-PCB approach, the NAND is essentially contained on two boards that feature three interconnects for the data and power to pass through. An innovative solution to the capacity problem in the mSATA form factor to be sure. I have seen this in use with PCIe SSDs in the past, but not when used in this form factor. This small drive uses an unthrottled Sandforce SF-2281, controlling high speed MLC NAND to deliver performance up to 540MB/s Read, 425MB/s Write, and 78,000 IOPS (4K ran read), with an Access Time <0.1ms. All from a drive smaller than a Zippo lighter.Read moreEdifier Esiena Bluetooth Review – A Universal Audio Dock @ Techgage
More audio equipment reviews for you all – this time in the form of the Edifier Esiena Bluetooth, a rather versatile iDevice dock with plenty of features to keep even the non-Apple fan happy. Some may think that this bit of kit is rather old, and in a way, you would be right; the original Esiena was released in late 2009, known as the iF360. Fast track a couple years and we have a new model revision, the iF360BT, which drops the CD player in lieu of Bluetooth connectivity.Read moreEonNAS 1100 NAS Network Storage Server @ Benchmark Reviews
The feature list is quite diverse for a dock, as it’s one of the few that can support input from an SD card, USB, AUX RCA, Bluetooth and the 30-pin dock connector; it even has room for FM radio. Actually, the latter is a bit of a sore point – no wireless for Internet radio or streaming, which if I’m honest, is a little disappointing especially in this price range. Still, connecting to a device which does have Internet access and then using Bluetooth to stream would work. Dropping the CD player may upset some too, but I think in this day and age, we’ve grown apart from the little metallic foiled discs of wonderment and scratches.
Data Rot! Ever hear that term? No? The truth is, most of us have experienced it in one form or another. Every time one of your old floppy drives gave up the ghost and you lost some files, you experienced it. The trouble is, we all thought the problem went away when we got rid of "soft" media like tape, and it's circular cousin, the floppy disk. All digital storage technologies: CD, DVD, Blu-ray, HDD, SSD, NAND - they're all susceptible to data rot, or bit rot, as it's sometimes called. Benchmark Reviews recently highlighted the reliability issues that SSD users are experiencing, and although the failure modes for those devices usually produce what is known as a "brick", the large number of flash memory failures in these devices has been an eye-opening experience for consumers. We can instinctively comprehend how a hard drive "crashes", but we're not so clear on how electrons disappear.Read moreLian Li PC-A76 Full Tower Case Review @ Hardware Canucks
Fortunately, the people who create, deploy, and maintain large data centers have been aware of this issue for a long time, and they prompted device manufacturers to devise ways of dealing with it. Now, for the first time, those techniques are being made available to the general consumer, with some innovative new products from Infortrend. The key to maintaining a consistently high level of data integrity is found in the ZFS file system employed in the EonNAS 1000 series. ZFS features an extensive hierarchical checksum strategy, which eliminates what is often called "silent" data corruption with self-healing storage algorithms. Operating way down at the file system level, ZFS attacks data rot where it starts, at the bit, byte, and block level.
Lian Li’s history in the enclosure market is long and filled with success but some believe their mojo was lost back when the innovative “reverse ATX” designs were thrown out. We’d tend to agree but that doesn’t mean Lian Li’s current stable of products is filled with also-rans. On the contrary. Their products are consistently well designed and still boast some of the highest levels of build quality available.Read moreSanDisk Ultra Plus SSD Review (256GB) @ SSD Review
One of the latest entries into the Lian Li lineup is the massive two foot high PC-A76; a full tower case that boasts subtle good looks and includes plenty of interior space. Anyone familiar with other Lian Li cases will notice a continuation of their straightforward approach which eschews the current design conventions of “gamer” cases. Don’t expect to find flashy LEDs, vast expanses of plastic or windowed side panels on this thing. Rather, the PC-A76 is built completely of high strength aluminum and steel.
Our evaluation of the SanDisk Ultra Plus SSD surpasses that of a typical analysis, in that, it provides the reader with the ability to understand what is possible if you are the ‘Owner of The Fab’.Read moreSamsung shows us a peak into the future @ t-break
In this SSD build, SanDisk has not only moved to the new Marvell 9175 controller but also, they introduce nCache, a totally new performance and endurance enhancement that is possible only with the control of flash memory that a manufacturer of that memory would have.
We recently posted a news feature about Samsung showing off high-resolution flexible screens at CES that I highly recommend watching. The demonstration by Samsung is followed by a concept-video where you can basically unfold your phone into a tablet or vice-versa showing us a glimpse of what our devices will look like in the next few years. I also remember reading about convergence of screens in a blog post by AMD’s Manish Punjabi on tbreak a few weeks back.Read more