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Thread: Anandtech News

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    #551

    Anandtech: The 2011 Mid-Range SSD Roundup: 120GB Agility 3, Intel 510 and More Compar

    A year ago whenever I'd request an SSD for review I'd usually get a 128GB drive built using 3x nm 4GB 2-bit MLC NAND die. These days the standard review capacity is twice that as most drives ship with 25nm NAND, using 8GB die. Seeing a bunch of scores for 240GB+ drives however is frustrating to all involved. At these capacities you're almost always looking at two die per NAND device, which has significant performance benefits due to interleaving. Most SSD controllers have eight NAND channels and with sixteen NAND deviecs with two die per device that's four NAND die that the controller can interleave access between for each channel. The 128GB drives by comparison half the number of NAND, which only allows the controller to interleave requests among two die.



    How read interleaving works on a single channel

    Not only are these 240GB+ drives the best case performance you'd see from a particular SSD, they are also very expensive. At around $2/GB you're looking at over $500 for a high end 240GB+ SSD. I've spent the past few weeks gathering modern SSDs with 128GB of NAND on-board to provide a look at a more balanced point in the price/capacity spectrum.

    Mid-Range 2011 SSD Roundup Specs (6Gbps) Corsair P3 128GB Crucial RealSSD C300 128GB Intel SSD 320 160GB Intel SSD 510 120GB OCZ Agility 3 120GB OCZ Vertex 3 120GB Controller Marvell 6Gbps Marvell 6Gbps Intel 3Gbps Marvell 6Gbps SF-2281 SF-2281 Raw NAND Capacity 128GB 128GB 176GB 128GB 128GB 128GB Spare Area ~12.7% ~12.7% ~15.3% ~12.7% ~12.7% ~12.7% User Capacity 111.8GB 111.8GB 149.0GB 111.8GB 111.8GB 111.8GB Number of NAND Devices 8 16 12 16 16 16 Number of die per Device 4 2 1 - 2 2 1 1 NAND Type 32nm Toggle 34nm ONFI 2.0 25nm ONFI 2.1 34nm ONFI 1.0 25nm ONFI 2.1 25nm ONFI 2.1 Street Price $229.99 $234.99 $304.99 $284.49 $279.99 $252.99 Cost Per GB $1.797 $1.836 $1.906 $2.222 $2.187 $1.976 Read on for our roundup of 120GB drives.



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    #552

    Anandtech: Dell's Latitude Gets Rough and Ready

    While a business-class notebook is often a good idea just for reliability’s sake, what if you need something tough enough to be used either as a murder weapon or in an environment where you may run into other murder weapons? Of course there are less stunningly bleak uses for an all terrain, ruggedized notebook, and Dell has them all covered. They’ve recently announced updates to their XFR and ATG lines of Latitude notebooks.




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    #553

    Anandtech: HP Veer 4G Review - Getting Us Excited for Pre 3

    We touched on the Veer when it first hit our doorstep with a this just in post, and since then I’ve been using the device daily and trying to get an understanding for where it fits in both HP’s vision for WebOS and the greater scheme of things among all smartphones. The Veer’s launch is quite honestly a puzzling one. Usually launches are top down - launch the big flagship first, then reduced size and price ‘lite’ editions afterward that build off the flagship’s success and appeal to niches that aren’t served by the primary device either due to cost or size. For that reason, the Veer launch initially seemed a bit backwards, but factor in HP’s desire to get excitement for WebOS 2.0 started and ignite interest for the Pre 3, and things begin to make sense. We've spent the last few weeks using the Veer and are ready to share our thoughts with a full review.


    Read on for the whole scoop on the HP Veer 4G.



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    #554

    Anandtech: Computex 2011: Biostar, Jetway and Gaida Motherboards

    Along with the main retailers, the minor ones are also showcasing products. We’ve reviewed Biostar products before at AnandTech, but not Jetway and Gaida, both of which are now selling consumer level products in North America.

    Our main criticism with Biostar in the past is PCIe and feature placement. On one series of products, Biostar has to a certain extent listened – the Z68 series have spaces between the PCIe x16 and space for a PCIe 1x and PCI. However, the video outputs on the TZ68A+ are all spread out – meaning a lack of USB ports (two USB 2.0, two USB 3.0), only 2.1 channel audio, and no space for multiple LAN connections. The SATA ports are also odd:


    The TA990FXE however goes the other way – the video outputs are nicely positioned, as well as the SATA ports. But the board offers four full length PCIe all next to each other and no other PCIe available if two dual slot GPUs are used.


    Jetway has been producing motherboards for quite a while – if you’ve ever searched Newegg, you’ll find a few products in various categories and price points. In terms of recent developments, Jetway has surprisingly produced a P67 and a Z68 board – what they deem their ‘Hummer’ series for their enthusiast consumers. Two main features stand out when looking at the board – one if they have the rights to use the Hummer name in North America, and two that the memory compatibility is only to DDR3-1333 MHz. You would expect higher-end products for enthusiasts to support the higher end memory speeds, but it’s up to the consumer to decide if they need it apparently. (Apologies for the images, Jetway decided to put a highly reflective glass in front of all their motherboards.)


    Jetway have a series of Q67 products, mainly aimed at business and industry: one in particular has up to 10 COM ports possible – at the expense of only having one SATA port. For AMD, they actually had a Hudson-D3 platform at the booth – again with the Hummer branding, and with 1333 MHz memory compatibility. Though one thing I do like is that the extra power for the PCIe is at the bottom – as is becoming more common, the PSU is at the bottom of the case, so having this extra 4-pin power at the bottom of the board makes sense.


    {Gallery 1166}

    Gaida is a division of the Shenzhen Jiehe Technology Development (JEHE) company based in China. They have been selling in Asia for a while, and I noticed them starting to sell product over at Newegg for the US market. So out of curiosity, I stopped by the booth at Computex to examine their range of products and a talk with the sales rep. Gaida’s current situation is to slowly move into various low-level motherboard segments within North America – currently they focus on mini-ITX platforms and the OTX form factor for all-in-one PCs (which is contrary to Intel trying to utilise thin mini-ITX).


    For mini-ITX, Gaida had an H55, H61 and H67 motherboards on show, all using one PCIe x16 and mini-PCIe. At first glance the only thing that looks fairly odd is that the SATA ports are found just inside the DIMM slots, presumably making it hard to fit in cables if the slots are filled with memory and/or a large GPU is used. An E350 Fusion board was also on the show, offering two mini-PCIe, using SO-DIMM memory and a rather odd SATA positioning as well. I would also point out only one fan header on most of these models, suggesting that no serious coolers or fan controls would be present.


    There was an ATX size Z68 on show, but apparently Gaida has no intention of releasing this in North America just yet. From the design, it doesn’t look too bad for the color scheme – there didn’t see much in the way of power delivery for overclocking however, and presumably no support for memory greater than 1333 MHz.

    {gallery 1167}



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    #555

    Anandtech: Toshiba Thrives in the Tablet Market

    We had an opportunity to meet with representatives from Toshiba this afternoon to talk about their upcoming consumer hardware, but while the majority of it is still under NDA (including some very exciting notebook refreshes), one of the biggest announcements is ready to go today: the Toshiba Thrive, their entry into the tablet market.




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    #556

    Anandtech: WarFactory Sentinel: Gaming on a Grand

    Getting the monster gaming machines from boutiques in house for testing is often at least interesting if for no other reason than to see just how fast a computer can get when all bets are off, but most of us don't have four or five large to shell out for a gaming machine. What if we still want to play but can only afford to pay a reasonable price? This is the market that boutique builder WarFactory is aiming for with their price and power efficient Sentinel. Does it deliver?




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    #557

    Anandtech: be quiet! with new 80 Plus Gold and Platinum PSUs

    be quiet! with new 80Plus Gold and Platinum PSUs


    be quiet!, a German brand from Listan, showed some interesting new products at Computex. Late this year, be quiet! [Ed: silliest name award pending] will present one of the first 80 Plus Platinum PSUs. This 850W model has modular cables and offers a feature called "overclocking key" that allows the customer to choose between a +12V single rail or multi rail design. This PSU will be a part of the new Dark Power Pro P10 series. This series has 80 Plus Gold products starting from 550W.


    In addition to the P10 line, be quiet! will launch the Straight Power E9 series in September. These will also be modular PSUs, with 80 Plus Gold certification and prices similar to their predecessors. The most interesting feature could be their 135mm Silent Wings fan. Previously, they have had models with up to 120mm. be quiet! also presented a model called Efficient Power for the international market that will be less expensive than the E9 and P10 series.



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    #558

    Anandtech: Acer Moves Forward in Time

    Acer's popular TimelineX line of notebooks has undergone a refresh to Sandy Bridge and brought a healthy number of upgrades to the hardware with them, including a major (and much appreciated) change to the keyboard. With models topping out at just 1.15" thick and 5.6 pounds in the case of the 15.6" model, these notebooks are made for performance in a thin-and-light form factor. So what is Acer bringing to the table today?




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    #559

    Anandtech: Zotac ZBOX: Brazos Goes HTPC

    The ultimate goal of any HTPC is to handle any media content you might desire, all while consuming very little power and generating no noise. Package all of that in an attractive case that can fit in with your other home theater equipment and you’ve got a winning HTPC solution. Previous attempts have used NVIDIA’s ION platform (Atom + GeForce GPU), which met the low-power requirement but often failed at decoding certain video streams, and the Atom CPU was so slow that the UI interactions frequently felt sluggish. Other solutions have used higher performance CPUs, but such designs use more power, creating unwanted noise from the cooling fans, and there’s still the issue of media support.


    Now, Zotac hopes to satisfy the needs of the low-power crowd while providing enough performance and decoding prowess to please A/V aficionados who want 24FPS content to work properly. To do this, they’ve turned to AMD’s Brazos platform, sporting Atom-like power with roughly twice the CPU performance and integrated graphics that are faster than ION and we might just have a winner. Zotac also includes a Blu-ray drive, for those who prefer disc content. Can the new ZBOX AD03BR-PLUS-U finally supplant the higher performance CPUs with discrete GPUs that so many HTPC users end up using in order to handle all of their video decoding needs? Let’s find out.



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    #560

    Anandtech: In Win Commander II 1200W

    With Computex having recently wrapped up, we've got quite a few new power supplies on hand for testing. First up is the Commander II 1200W from In Win. This is our first In Win PSU, but of course like many other brands, the actual ODM is one of a select few companies. The Commander II is an update to the original Commander, with a military aesthetic and a camouflage box to liven up the offering.


    The previous 1200W Commander was made by CWT, but the new model improves several areas and comes from a different manufacturer. Features include a 5-year warranty, 80 Plus Bronze certification, and SLI-Ready certification. In Win uses Japanese main capacitors (though that doesn't say much about the overall quality), a modular connector panel, and one large 135mm fan. All of the Commander II PSUs, which includes 750W, 850W, and this 1200W model, are ErP compliant and armed with four +12V rails. In Win also makes a point of claiming "strict voltage regulation" of within 5%, but 5% is exactly what ATX requires, so we're not very optimistic. But let's see what In Win has to offer and if it might be worth the price of entry for ultra high-end system builders.



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