RunCore has just unveiled its all new lineup of solid state drives which it dubs the Pro IV series and we made sure to catch all the details in person at the unveiling so we could exclusively bring you the goods.
These drives reach a significant new milestone for RunCore and are said to bring massive performance improvements over their previous offerings. The line-up comprises drives ranging from 32 to 256GB in capacity and they're set to start shipping in early August.
Retail pricing and other specific info on the drives can be located within the official press release, of which we've become the first to get a hold of and publish today.
In RunCore's pursuit of the ultimate solid state drive (SSD) upgrade, a full new line of SSD products have been developed, boosting computer performance 5x to 40x. The RunCore Pro IV SSDs provide speed increases in startup, application launch, multitasking between programs, opening/rendering/saving large files, and shutdown. The RunCore PRO IV SSD also offers silent operation, longer battery life, heat reduction, reliability, and durability making it the perfect solution for all applications.
It was only two days ago that the internet was abuzz with the news that Intel had upgraded the MLC NAND flash modules that were to be used in the X25 SSDs from 50nm to 34nm. Now while that bit of news was sure to bring speculations over performance, heat, power and pretty much everything else. The biggest item that this move would affect is price.
Intel's press release talked about a 50% reduction in pricing, but that was based off of the price at initial launch. Not on current pricing. So the question begs to be asked; will the new 34nm MLC NAND flash modules bring enough performance gains combined with a price drop to finally make the Intel SSDs a consumer viable product?
Well according to a couple of VERY early reviews on this subject they can. The new X25-M-G2 drives are looking to bring some improvements to be sure but the one thing that both of the currently available reviews say is that the drop in price will really make the difference.
It looks like Solid State might be a mainstream product in the very enar future.
Intel has just announced their release of a 34nm NAND flash cell in an SSD. But while this is pretty cool news all on its own; the real news is that this will reduce the price of the existing 50nm versions.
According to Intel the move will help reduce the prices of the 50nm MLC SSDs by up to 60%... but that is 60% off of the original prices not current market prices.
The new pricing for the X-25-M 80GB will be $225; this is indeed 60% of the original $595. The problem is that you can get the X25-M 80GB for $324 from NewEgg this makes the new reduced price about 30% off the current market. The 160GB flavor of the X25-M will be $440, you can get the X25-M 160GB for $629 right now.
Don't get me wrong that is still a good bit off the price but not a 60% reduction to be sure.
Lexar Media today announced that it adding to their already decent SSD line up.
The new drives will fall into place just behind the OCZ Vertex Series in terms of performance. The M225 series has theoretical read speeds of 250 Mbps and write speeds of up to 200 Mbps. The rest of the specifications are pretty standard; SATA 2.0, MLC NAND Flash and 2.5-inch form factor.
The M225 will come in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB flavors. Pricing has been announced at $169.99, $329.99, and $599.99. These new SSDs should be available now and will feature a five-year warranty.
Recently Kingston made news by being the first to have a 128GB Flash drive out and on the market. Kingston was not satisfied with this capacity and so decided to do a one up and release a 256GB version.
The new drive will sell under the label of DataTraveler 300. The new drive will run under the USB 2.0 standard. It will feature the same Password Traveler software as the DT200 that allows you to create a hidden, password protected area for your private documents.
Pricing is a little high at $935 (more than some 256GB SSDs. This price will make the DT 300 a toy for only a very small number of people.
While this is not tech news it is still fun and one for the conspiracy theory crowd. I know that many people believe that the moon landings were faked and that this is probably something that will never truly be put to rest.
However, there is "fresh meat" in the conspiracy stew. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has sent back pictures of not one but five landing sites, including the Apollo 11 landing site. The pictures show Apollo 11, 14, 15, 16 and 17.
Now I know that someone will point out that the tiny little dot is way too small to make out and they would be right. But think on this, that tiny little dot is being shown exactly where NASA always said the landing took place and the LRO is not even at its closest yet.
Now if the Apollo 11 site is not good enough for you, take a look at the Apollo 14 site. You can see an actual trail from the LEM to one of the experiments left on the moon.
I will leave you to ponder this and wait for the gaggle of comments that these are all faked too.
The P55 board and i5 CPU are set to hit the world soon. Many are looking forward to this more moderately priced CPU and chipset offering. The anticipation was not just for the i5 and P55 though. It was beginning to look like we would see the first SATA 6G controller Chips on the P55 boards.
Both Asus and GIGABYTE had them on their design boards at Computex. However, we have just learned that Asus, MSI, and GIGABYTE are pulling the SATA 6G controllers off of their P55 boards. This is a pretty serious issue.
According to PC Perspective the reasons are performance and drivers (Hardware and Software). This issue is causing the new Marvell 88SE9123 Controller to be pulled.
We spoke with a Asus and GIGABYTE and were able to confirm what PC Perspective is saying. We were also able to get some additional information from an anonymous source.
It looks like the Marvell 88SE9123 Controller chip may have to be entirely respun. This could seriously delay its inclusion on the P55. In fact we were told that the new chipset will probably not be put on new boards until the New X58 boards come out sometime in early September. This will be a test run for the chips to see how they work out.
Other sources say that nVidia and AMD will have native support for SATA 6G and not need to rely on the Marvel Controller. However, if the IC is based on the Marvell design and the issue is a design flaw we could see these new MCPs have the same issues as the 88SE9123 controller.
Read more here.
Our Deal of the Day today is the Computer Geeks - Western Digital Raptor 74GB SATA/150 10K RPM 8MB Hard Drive, Refurbished, for $39.95 plus Shipping!.
Offer: This 10k RPM 74GB refurbished internal SATA drive is just $39.95 plus shipping.
Although not really computer related news I thought this was interesting. The new LRO (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter) has sent back some of its first images.
The images were shot right on the edge of the terminator (the line between the dark and light sides of the moon) they were intended to map out suitable areas for future manned landing sites.
Now the interesting part is that although none of these images are near any of the landing sites, many "no-moon-landing" skeptics are already using this to "prove" that man never went to the moon.
Adding to the craziness (and fun for me) some people are already saying they are doctored images…
Read the whole story and especially the comments here.
Intel seems to be on a roll bumping up product releases, first with the announcement that Clarkdale would be coming this year instead of next and now with reports that their new SSDs are just weeks away instead of the Q4 release that was expected.
Intel's new drives will be based on their 34nm NAND chips and have already been confirmed to be available in 320GB, 160GB, and 80GB sizes. There is also a hint that drives could be available in other sizes as well.
Intel seems to be rather optimistic about their SSDs for 2010, hoping that the newer, cheaper drives will help attract consumers on top of the SSD optimizations that are built into Windows 7.
Based on the success of Corsair's P256 solid state drive, Corsair has decided to launch the new P128 and P64 drive which offers the same performance essentially at a lower cost to consumers.
The P128 SSD drive brings with it a 220MB/s read speed and 200MB/s write speed. Unfortunately the lower density P64 drive only boasts a 120MB/s write speed but still maintains the 220MB/s read speed. Both drives also utilize the Samsung controller IC with 128MB of cache.
Corsair says that the P128 drive is available immediatley while the P64 SSD is expected to be available sometime in early July, both of which are backed by a two-year warranty. Those wishing to read the full press release can do so here.
Fremont, CA. June 25th, 2009. Corsair®, a worldwide leader in high-performance computer memory, power supplies and flash memory products, including solid-state drives, today announced two new products in its Performance Series SSD family: the P128 and P64 high-performance solid-state drives.
"The high performance of the new Performance Series solid-state drives, combined with the inherent reliability and stability of flash technology, make them ideal for both new system builds and upgrades of desktops and notebooks," said Jim Carlton, VP of Marketing for Corsair. "These drives have also been extensively validated in a wide range of popular notebook computers, which means that you can upgrade with absolute confidence."
I am always on the lookout for unusual news and this one fits right in there.
A Forbes' reporter took a Panasonic Toughbook CF-30 and decided he was going to find a way to destroy it. Not all at once as there are many things that will kill off even the hardiest of machines but to see exactly how much it could take before dying.
After exhausting the official Panasonic claims they fed it to a Tiger, allowed an Elephant to step on it and finally shot it with a .22.
The .22 did the most damage and actually put a hole through the screen but did not stop the book from working.
There is a great video showing the torture at the link
Read more here
Panasonic, meanwhile, was about to have one less notebook. We removed the battery to minimize the mess, and aimed.
Goodbye, Mr. Toughbook.
Or so we thought. We put a bullet through the laptop. Then we booted it up. We were able to log in. Our test file was still there. The screen had a hole in it, but was still usable.
Spooky. Panasonic has built a laptop that was starting to look more like Grigori Rasputin than James Bond. It took cyanide, a stabbing, a beating and four bullets before the Russian mystic was finally drowned in the icy River Neva. Anyone got some holy water?
OCZ is agressively going after the SSD market lately and will be bringing a new version of their popular Vertex SSD in the coming weeks.
The new drive is dubbed the Vertex Turbo and will be bringing with it a 10% performance increase over the regular Vertex drive. This means that the Vertex Turbo should be able to pump out read speeds of 278MB/s and write speeds of 213MB/s.
Of course higher performance always comes at a higher cost and the Vertex Turbo will be no exception. OCZ's new drives will be available in sizes between 30GB and 250GB and prices will range from $150 to $800.
Buffalo has announced that they are refreshing their RUF2-PS line of tiny flash drives, bringing a 16GB model into the mix.
For those that are unfamiliar with the Buffalo RUF2-PS flash drives, they are super compact drives that are just marginally larger than the USB connector itself. The drives fit almost flush with the USB port they are connected to, measuring 18mm x 18mm x 8mm and weigh only 3 grams.
According to Buffalo, the new 16GB drive will be available in black, white, and red and should start shipping within a week. No pricing was given however, but we should know within a week once they start shipping and are available for purchase.
Yesterday we commented on OCZ extending their warranties on their Vertex and Summit solid state drives and provided some speculation towards their reasoning behind the extra year of warranty.
OCZ reached out to us to provide some additional clarification on the issue and wants everyone to know that the added year of warranty is strictly to offer a better product all around, including the post-sales support of their products. There are NO quality issues with the Vertex and Summit series drives, NO changes have been made to the drives, and those that have purchased the drives prior to OCZ offering the extended warranty are JUST AS ELIGIBLE for those that purchase these drives now that the waranty has been extened.
We would like to offer a sincere apology for any confusion or concern that may have been caused. Below is the official statement from OCZ about the new warranty period on the Vertex and Summit solid state drives.
OCZ is right in middle of the process of rolling out our extended Warranty to all of our direct customers and it has already been amended on our company website. There have been no changes to the drives, and customers that purchased Vertex and Summit drives previously qualify for the three year warranty. There is no "preemptive" solution to any concern, the bottom line is that performance in the field and extended testing has proven that OCZ is able to support a longer warranty with the intention of adding value and increased peace of mind to customers. Extending the warranty makes the OCZ total solution even more robust for consumers, and we believe that product quality should always come first, and the confidence to back up that quality with a longer than industry average warranty is the least we can do for our customers. Post sale service and support is simply part of the OCZ package, and now with any Vertex and Summit customers have an even longer period in which to leverage that added value.
Lately there have been a lot of complaints around Apple's Macbook Pro concerning the performance of SATA hard drives.
It would seem that Apple slipped on their firmware, capping the speeds to that of SATA 1.5 Gbps and many were worried that they wouldn't be able to use their SATA 3.0 drives to their fullest potential, especially those who have upgraded to SSDs. The screenshot above sparked a huge uproar in the Apple community and it seems to have drawn Apple's attention pretty quickly.
Apple has issued a fix for the firmware that enables transfer speeds up to 3.0Gbps. Those seeking out the firmware can find it on Apple's support website. The Macbook Pro EFI Firmware Update 1.7 weighs in at 3.35MB and requires OS X 10.5.7.
OCZ has recently extended the warranty on some of the SSD offerings but it seems that they didn't make a big deal about this and have been somewhat silent about it.
The Vertex and Summit series drives now have a three year warranty instead of the two. It is great to know that OCZ is offering the warranty extention on these drives, especially considering that SSDs still are quite costly compared to HDDs.
What is puzzling about the new extention is that most companies would make sure an announcement like this hit the headlines everywhere, especially if it was to keep up with competitive product offerings from other companies. If this isn't the reason behind OCZ's decision to extend the warranty, it could quite possibly be that OCZ has spotted an issue with quality in the drives and are doing this as a preemptive solution to calm the masses when drives start failing on a large scale.
UPDATE Please see the recent post located here concerning OCZ's official statement on the increased warranty. There are no issues with the drives, OCZ is simply offering a better deal to their customers and extending their post-sales support for the Vertex and Summit SSDs.
Our Deal of the Day today is the ZipZoomfly - Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS 1TB SATA II 7200 RPM 32MB Hard Drive for $73.99 after Rebate, Shipped FREE!.
Offer: The Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS is considered among the best of the energy saving, quiet, cool-running hard drives.
AMD may be getting its Mojo back and gearing up to give Intel a bit of a bloody nose, with industry sources telling us the firm is planning to include SATA3 in their SB800 South Bridge series due out in the first quarter of next year.
If this is indeed the case, it would mean littler chipper (AMD) could even leapfrog Intel in Southbridge technology, something which we are currently taking with a pile of believe-it-when-we-see-it salt, as AMD have something of a track record of being a generation behind Chipzilla on SB tech.
Another industry source told us AMD would definitely have SATA 3 native on SB800 but that USB3 would likely not be and would require a third party chip.
Word from motherboard makers is that those who want to add SATA3 to their Intel mainboards will have to use a third party chip like the Marvell offering GIGABYTE was showing off at Computex a couple of weeks ago on its P55 products. But the native on-chip solutions versus third-party on-mobo solutions are not really a convincing argument in our humble opinion. Typically, the customer doesn't care and in many cases using a third-party solution from Broadcom, Marvell or Atheros gives you a cost or time to market advantage.
Still, the mobo makers are hoping SATA3, USB3 and DDR3 will be tempting enough to get punters to push out the boat in 2010 and upgrade, with promises of faster data transfer rates.
The first SATA3 drives will apparently come from Seagate and will likely tip up in September 2009. Seagate refused to confirm this directly but did confirm it would be shipping its first 6Gbit/s Serial ATA desktop drive later this year.
This is great news for the PC industry as, for a refreshing change, it won't be just one manufacturer's tech setting standards. Always nice when the underdogs come out fighting.
Our Deal of the Day today is the Sears - Panasonic TC-P42X1 42" 720p HD Plasma TV for $599.99!.
Offer: Get this Panasonic 42" 720p plasma with 600hz Sub-Field Drive, 30,000:1 contrast, and more for just $599.99!
Prefer a 50"? Get a 50" 1080p Panasonic TC-P50S1 600hz plasma with 2,000,000:1 dynamic contrast (40,000:1 static), for $1199.99. Expires 6/21/09.
Western Digital is doing a 180 today as they have just announced their new line of SSDs. The funny thing is that six months ago they were saying there was no market for SSDs.
Boy I guess all of those reviews spec sheets, price lists and everything else were all just a Funonion induced dream.
If I am reading this right; it looks like WD made the comment, realized that it missed the boat, bought a company that actually makes SSDs and now is quietly releasing them and hoping no one remembers they said there was no market.
Read more here.
What a difference six months makes. Back before Christmas, one of the VPs at Western Digital was saying that the company only "enters markets that exist," meaning, of course, that we had to take all the tales of SSDs that we heard (in product spec sheets and reviews) on faith alone. Since then the company's acquired SiliconSystems and -- a short trip down the road to Damascus later -- it's announcing the SiliconDrive III product range. SiliconSystems' meat and potatoes were heavy hitters in such industries as communications, aerospace, and military, and it seems that WD's new range will continue to target these markets.