Items tagged with PCI Express

When we sit back and look at the evolving storage market and SSD technologies, there are a couple of competitive camps that are trying to gain traction, in what is without question one of the largest growth areas in storage. The major players in solid state storage solutions have emerged from old-line, incumbents in hard disk media and then also a new breed, specializing exclusively in SSD technology. Major memory manufacturers like Intel, Micron and Samsung, along with specialty shops like OCZ and Corsair, are making a push with their expertise in memory, whereas players like Western Digital and Seagate also have skin in the game, but are walking the line carefully, as the migration... Read more...
We're sure you realize we have an affinity for all things SSD around these parts.  And you have to admit, any self-respecting computer geek can appreciate the blazing fast response times of the latest generation of SATA-based Solid State Drives. However, as we've said before, we think SATA some day will be a Dinosaur of sorts that we all remember and love but moved on from long ago in a galaxy far away.  Still, we're not there yet obviously.  There have been some interesting products to come to market based on native, system-level interfaces like PCI Express but we're just getting warmed up it seems.  That said, it's exciting to see where things are headed and the multitude... Read more...
Let's go ahead and deal with the 900-pound gorilla in the room. LSI's new WarpDrive SLP-300 acceleration card is freaking expensive, as in the thing costs $11,500. Yeah, it's like that. But it's also intended for a different kind of audience than your typical home enthusiast. This low-profile solid state storage card is aimed at companies hoping to reduce storage rack clutter without sacrificing performance, and towards that end, this pricey drive purportedly delivers the I/O performance of hundreds of hard drives, all the while consuming less than 25W of power, LSI claims. "The LSI WarpDrive card sets a new standard for data center efficiency by providing IT administrators with previously unattainable... Read more...
When we looked at the first gen RevoDrive back in August, the thin slab of Flash NAND memory and dual SandForce SSD controllers impressed us and served up performance well ahead of traditional SATA SSDs with a price premium in the 30% range (about $3.07 per GB) versus SATA SSDs.  With the RevoDrive X2, OCZ is double-stacking their product now with four total SandForce 1200 series SSD controllers and double the number of NAND Flash for, you guessed it, up to twice the performance and capacity.  The good news is pricing is actually still going the way of the consumer too.  Journey on, you're going to have fun with this one...... Read more...
What's this, yet another SSD product tap-dancing its way through the HotHardware lab?  It's hard to believe that a product category has so much R&D being poured into it, spurring new releases at such a fevered pitch. The investment in the relatively fledgling storage technology makes perfect sense to us, but the average mainstream consumer probably raises their head to notice only the bigger, more prominent buzz-worthy products hitting the market as of late. There is almost too much in the product category to absorb actually. That being the case, we'd offer folks should tune their storage radar sharply on the product we have on the test bench today. The... Read more...
When the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) settled their investigation of Intel, one of the stipulations of the agreement was that Intel would continue to support the PCI Express standard for the next six years. Intel agreed to all the FTC's demands (without actually admitting that it did anything wrong), but Intel's upcoming Oak Trail Atom platform presented something of a conundrum. Oak Trail was finalized long before the FTC and Intel began negotiating, which means Santa Clara could have been banned from shipping the platform. The FTC and Intel have jointly announced an agreement covering Oak Trail that allows Intel to sell the platform without adding PCIe support—for now. Come 2013, all... Read more...
SSD manufacturers have been energetically rolling out new high-end, high-capacity products based around updated Indilinx, SandForce, or Marvell controllers, while simultaneously also introducing smaller SSDs with better performance and lower prices than we saw with first-generation products. As SSDs become more popular and economical, we're seeing the rise of yet another consumer storage tier, over and above even the more expensive, high-performing SSDs:  Flash storage mated to PCI-Express. OCZ has launched its own product into the burgeoning sector, the RevoDrive... OCZ RevoDrive Review: SSD RAID + PCI-Express... Read more...
It's hard to remember that before the advent of SSDs, storage performance was a rather tepid topic. Save for the introduction of occasional new features like NCQ, hard drives continued along a mostly predictable path of rising capacities and (slightly) higher performance. If you wanted top-end performance, you bought a WD VelociRaptor or constructed a RAID config or arcane assembly of repurposed workstation and / or server-class hardware. Now the market has flipped upside down. SSD manufacturers have been energetically rolling out new high-end, high-capacity products based around updated Indilinx, SandForce, or Marvell controllers, while simultaneously introducing smaller SSDs with... Read more...
OCZ Technology Unveils the RevoDrive with up to 80,000 IOPS, the World’s Fastest Consumer Solid State Drive OCZ Increases Performance but not the Price of High-End PCIe Solid State Storage   SAN JOSE, CA - June 29, 2010 - OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: OCZ), a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) and memory modules for computing devices and systems, releases the RevoDrive PCI-Express SSD, an innovative storage solution that focuses on both performance and affordability for consumers. The new RevoDrive was developed to push the limits of economical SSD technology to deliver a revolutionary product with a remarkable price point. Moving beyond the bottleneck... Read more...
If rumors floating around the 'Net are true, Intel is set to drop support for the PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) bus when it launches its next-generation 6-series of chipsets with support for Sandy Bridge-based LGA1155 processors. In case you're wondering, no, neither Sandy Bridge derived processors or their accompanying motherboards will allow for the use of current Core i5/i7 hardware. As far as we're concerned, PCI can't die quickly enough. Intel began working on the standard 20 years ago and made it the preferred interconnect standard for second-generation Pentium systems as early as 1994. By 1999-2000, modern motherboards had all but dropped ISA (Industry Standard Architecture)... Read more...
Consumer-grade SSDs are fast, without a doubt, but those who demand extreme performance at any cost, or perhaps for enterprise applications, the fastest SSDs on the market are PCI Express-based, like the ioDrive and ioXtreme from Fusion-io, for example. OCZ also offers their Z-Drive with similar performance, though while these speed demons are available for purchase, only a fraction of consumers can afford their sky high asking prices. As with most technology though, wait a few months and something faster, smaller, and more affordable with come along to shake things up a bit. At Computex 2010, we were introduced to the OCZ Revo drive. This game changer is a PCIe based SSD that addresses two near-fatal... Read more...
This year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas was a little dry in spots, partly because so many companies decided to pre-announce there latest and greatest products weeks before the show.  That said, there are a select few manufacturers that like to keep some of the good stuff bottled up until showtime, so that there's at least a little extra mojo that makes the trip out west worth while.  One of those manufacturers that likes to hold a little something back for the show is OCZ.  This year for OCZ looks to be a bit more focused on their core memory business, though it's not of the DRAM variety so much as NAND Flash.  In fact, though we're sure there must have been a DDR3... Read more...
AMD's "Sweet Spot" GPU strategy over the last few years has been fairly predictable. Instead of producing the biggest, most powerful GPU possible--yields be damned--the company sets out to produce a relatively high-end GPU, using a cutting edge fabrication process, that hits a proverbial sweet spot between cost and performance. Then derivatives, and even multiples, of that GPU are used to flesh out a top-to-bottom line-up of graphics cards, that hit a broad range of price points.It began with the RV670, which powered the single-GPU based Radeon HD 3870 and dual-GPU Radeon HD 3870 X2--hence the X2. Then came the RV770, which powered the Radeon HD 4870 and eventually the Radeon HD 4870 X2. The... Read more...
AMD's "Sweet Spot" GPU strategy over the last few years has been fairly predictable. Instead of producing the biggest, most powerful GPU possible--yields be damned--the company sets out to produce a relatively high-end GPU, using a cutting edge fabrication process, that hits a proverbial sweet spot between cost and performance. Then derivatives, and even multiples, of that GPU are used to flesh out a top-to-bottom line-up of graphics cards, that hit a broad range of price points. It began with the RV670, which powered the single-GPU based Radeon HD 3870 and dual-GPU Radeon HD 3870 X2--hence the X2. Then came the RV770, which powered the Radeon HD 4870 and eventually the Radeon HD 4870 X2. The... Read more...
The first time we looked at Fusion-io's ioDrive product, we offered the notion that it was a "disruptive technology", something that had the potential to set the industry on its ear.  Of course the ioDrive is an enterprise-class product that showed the significant potential of PCI Express direct-attached SSD storage but its cost structure was such that the mainstream market couldn't possibly even begin to justify it, no matter what the upside performance looked like.  And then of course we heard of Fusion-io's more consumer-targeted play, the ioXtreme, which debuted at E3 this past summer. Obviously, E3 is a consumer electronics entertainment venue so it became abundantly clear that... Read more...
  It's rare we get genuinely excited around here about a product.  To be honest, likely we're spoiled by all the bleeding-edge technology we have the great opportunity to look at week in and week out.  Or perhaps it's just that we're jaded a bit and have heard one too many marketing pitches, but truth be told it takes a lot to get us fired up about a new product or technology.  Sure we can appreciate and will occasionally hand out high praise for a major evolutionary advancement but we honestly can't remember the last time a product really officially "changed the game" for us, or so to speak. The first time we looked at Fusion-io's ioDrive product, we offered the notion that... Read more...
If you've been watching our previous coverage of Fusion-io's almost too good be true PCI Express SSD products, you'll know that while the company makes no bones about the fact that their enterprise class cards are ridiculously expensive, they are also planning on delivering an "enthusiast" class card that will align better price-wise with the average end user just looking for killer storage performance.  It appears the planning process is over today and though it was delayed a month or two, Fusion-io is now executing on that plan.  Fusion-io's ioXtreme and ioXtreme Pro cards just showed up to the Boston HH Test Labs and as we like to say around here, they're looking pretty <HOT>.... Read more...
An interesting thing about NAND Flash SSD (Solid State Drive) technologies, beyond the fact that the market is flush with competitive product offerings, is that the technology itself is very flexible and adaptable to a number of different design approaches, other just the straight-forward SATA-based SSDs. Take for example the RAID 4-pack configuration we setup here with Intel's X25-M SSD or perhaps the omnipotent Fusion-io ioDrive. Granted, these are rather high-end, pricey setups, but you get the gist that solid state storage arena is just getting warmed up. In a sort of hybrid version of Fusion-io's product and our little RAID 4-pack array we setup for testing, memory solutions manufacturer... Read more...
An interesting thing about NAND Flash SSD (Solid State Drive) technologies, beyond the fact that the market is flush with competitive product offerings, is that the technology itself is very flexible and adaptable to a number of different design approaches, other just the straight-forward SATA-based SSDs.  Take for example the RAID 4-pack configuration we setup here with Intel's X25-M SSD or perhaps the omnipotent Fusion-io ioDrive.  Granted, these are rather high-end, pricey setups, but you get the gist that solid state storage arena is just getting warmed up. In a sort of hybrid version of Fusion-io's product and our little RAID 4-pack array we setup for testing, memory... Read more...
Exactly one week ago today, AMD unleashed the ultra powerful, DirectX 11-ready ATI Radeon HD 5870 upon the PC gaming world and staked a claim as the undisputed 3D performance leader. Having evaluated the features, performance, and image quality of AMD's latest and greatest flagship we were left thoroughly impressed, not only with the new Radeon's killer performance, but its extensive feature set, excellent image quality, power consumption, and competitive price.In our coverage of the official launch of the Radeon HD 5870, we also revealed AMD's plan to release a more affordable, pared-down version of the card, with a shorter PCB, lower core and memory frequencies, also sans a few stream processors... Read more...
Exactly one week ago today, AMD unleashed the ultra powerful, DirectX 11-ready ATI Radeon HD 5870 upon the PC gaming world and staked a claim as the undisputed 3D performance leader, well, per GPU anyway. Having evaluated the features, performance, and image quality of AMD's latest and greatest flagship we were left thoroughly impressed, not only with the new Radeon's killer performance, but its extensive feature set, excellent image quality, power consumption, and competitive price. In our coverage of the official launch of the Radeon HD 5870, we also revealed AMD's plan to release a more affordable, pared-down version of the card, with a shorter PCB, lower core and memory frequencies, and sans... Read more...
Over the past couple of weeks, we've been completely preoccupied trying to come up with a catchy and informative introduction for this article. We thought maybe it would be fun to play off of AMD's tree-laden GPU codenames to come up with an interesting segue into the Radeon HD 5800 series' power efficiency. But we came up short. Then we thought we could use an image of the Radeon HD 5870's cooler and draw a parallel to the awesomeness that was the original Bat Mobile, but a couple of folks from AMD snagged that idea. Even being briefed on the technology we're about to show you on the very same aircraft carried that scooped up the Apollo 11 astronauts didn't cure the writer's block. Then it hit... Read more...
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