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Archive for the ‘ssd’ tag

The downside to cheap storage

Posted on 17th May 2013 at 08:16 by Antony Leather with 51 comments

Antony Leather
Casting my mind back 20 years or so, I remember when hard disks were barely breaching the 1GB barrier. Even though programs at the time generally took up a lot less space than they do today, space was very much a premium.

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Is it time for the hard disk to die?

Posted on 18th Jan 2012 at 08:36 by Antony Leather with 67 comments

Antony Leather
If you're lucky enough to own a modern SSD, then you'll probably have been quite impressed by how much of a difference it made to every day tasks on your PC.

Compared to hard disks, boot up times are reduced, as are game and application load times, while file transfers can see huge speed boosts. Personally I've found Windows 7 and programs I use regularly such as Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop to be much more responsive too.

All these benefits, of course, point to the fact that hard disks are somewhat of a bottleneck in modern PCs - a fact most of us have known for a while. So why are they still around? Surely if SSDs offer such awesome speed boosts (not to mention the fact they're more robust, quieter and produce less heat) the hard disk should have died a long time ago?

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Hardware 27 - The Biology One

Posted on 6th Sep 2011 at 07:28 by Podcast with 14 comments

Podcast
This week, Clive, Antony, Paul and Harry sit down to diligently avoid work cast a pod about the latest goings on in the PC hardware industry.

First on the agenda, rather predictably, is HP's recent announcement that it's pulling out of the computer hardware market; a move that affects not only its PC manufacturing business, but also its printer and tablet lines. It's a move that shocked the industry, but is it a sign of what's to come?

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Hardware 23 - Socket to 'em

Posted on 9th May 2011 at 11:49 by Podcast with 5 comments

Podcast
This week, Clive, Harry, Paul and Antony discuss Folding@home, going through what it's all about and what hardware you should be using to generate the most points per day.

Also on the agenda are some of our thoughts about factory-overclocked graphics cards. We discuss where in the market these provide real value, and when you’d be better of trading up to a better GPU altogether.

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Hardware Podcast 11 - Laptop On Fire

Posted on 7th May 2010 at 10:44 by Podcast with 9 comments

Podcast
It's been a while, we'll give you that, but the hardware podcast is back in town with a jam-packed eleventh episode. Alex, Harry, James and Antony sit down to discuss everything that's happened in the world of hardware since we were last on air.

We begin with Fermi, specifically the rumours that Nvidia is aggressively trying to expand its range by launching a mobile version of its new GPU. How will such a hot chip run in a laptop though?

Next up, we talk about Intel and AMD's new CPUs, including the six-core AMD Phenom II X6 1090T, and Harry goes deep into SSDs. Rebranding, new controller chips and the question of whether all the manufacturers are missing the obvious are all addressed.

Finally, we answer some reader mail and speculate about which keyboard Scarlett Johansson prefers to use.

As usual, you can also win a tat bag choice selection of quality branded merchandise by correctly guessing what mystery item of hardware we're talking about this episode – send your guesses to podcast [at] custompc [dot] co [dot] uk with the subject line ‘Hardware 11’.

As ever, thanks to Brad Sucks for providing the theme song - it's actually his track, Dropping Out of School.

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Kingston won't provide firmware updates for recent SSDs

Posted on 16th Mar 2010 at 10:21 by Richard Swinburne with 10 comments

Richard Swinburne
Apparently those of us who own a Kingston 40GB X25-V Value SSD are not going to receive a TRIM update after all. That's despite the fact that the X25-V uses the same 34nm NAND and controller as the 80GB and 160GB G2 SSDs, which have got TRIM support..

It's not Intel's failing though - who have released a TRIM firmware for its X25-V, and the situation is highly surprisingly given Kingston's "great relationship" with Intel.

Since the drive has already reached End of Life only a few short months after it was launched, that means Kingston has effectively dropped support for it as well. Great customer service there, Kingston.

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Hardware Podcast 10 - All Praise the Capital of Hardwareland

Posted on 1st Mar 2010 at 12:20 by Podcast with 15 comments

Podcast
The long-awaited (or so we’d like to think) tenth episode of the Hardware Podcast sees Rich, Clive, Harry and James rather confused about tenses and timelines. You’d think that four reasonably intelligent hardware reviewers would be able to understand that if you record a pod on Thursday to cast on Monday, you need to act as if Monday is in the past. Apparently not. Revealed in this pod: the capital of Hardwareland is Gulftown, and the most effective components for an energy-efficient PC.

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Own an Intel SSD? Tell how worn out it is!

Posted on 23rd Oct 2009 at 10:45 by Richard Swinburne with 28 comments

Richard Swinburne
Kingston dropped an interesting titbit that we thought we'd pass on to all Intel SSD owners - of which there's soon to be a lot more once the latest value X25-X drives arrive.

Basically, the biggest unknown factor in NAND Flash technology is wear and tear. The cells have a limited amount of data writes, so don't last forever, even though intelligent wear algorithms mean an MLC drive will last 10 years having written a few hundred GB a day to it - far more than any normal user will do.

One question that will get more important as time goes on is the second hand market: How can you account for wear if you're buying it off someone else?

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SSD performance tips for Intel chipsets and RAID-0

Posted on 16th Oct 2009 at 20:02 by Richard Swinburne with 4 comments

Richard Swinburne
We had a chat with the Kingston labs team this week in California and noted down some free performance improvements, and limitations, you should be aware of if you own one or more SSDs:
  • The Intel SATA ICH9R/10R/P55 controller under RAID-0 has a maximum real world performance capacity of about 600MB/s in total between it and the CPU.

    Despite the fact you'll need several (four+) SSDs to hit this limit at the moment, it's worth bearing in mind that to get ludicrous performance you'll need at least a PCI-Express x8 card.

    Until Intel increases its DMI and/or SATA controller bandwidth, this could prove a more regular limiting issue when future SATA 6Gbps parts arrive.

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Hardware Podcast 6 – Nvidia has a Fermi, snigger, and the new F3 is epic

Posted on 8th Oct 2009 at 19:35 by Podcast with 10 comments

Podcast
The sixth Hardware podcast sees Antony, Clive, Harry and Rich chat about all the latest hardware goings on. Discussed in the episode is Nvidia’s new GPU architecture, Fermi. Yes, yes, Nvidia’s got a Fermi – stop sniggering at the back!

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