Hardware

One of the hurdles of TLC NAND and VNAND is an inherently lower count of program / erase (P/E) cycles that the SSD can endure. This is the nature of packing more voltage levels into a cell to accommodate for the extra bits each cell can hold (yielding our higher capacity and lower cost). More voltage levels means more granularity required when attempting to read/write data, and the NAND loses its ability to accurately perform those reads / writes as it ages. Controllers have to step in to ensure longer life when using TLC NAND.

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Kingston HyperX Cloud Headset Now in White

By Published August 18, 2014 at 9:00 am

HyperX, Kingston's premier gaming line, announced on Wednesday the release of a white version of their Cloud gaming headset. We've been following this equipment since Kingston first announced the release of the black version. This headset has already won numerous awards this year and is used by a number of e-sports teams. As it's just a recoloring of their current headset, the specs are identical to the original version.

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DDR4 will see its consumer debut in Intel's X99 HW-E platform, though Broadwell is sticking with DDR3 for now. As the memory manufacturers ramp-up for X99, we're starting to see specs roll out for updated product lines; the most recent is Corsair's Dominator Platinum high-end OC memory, with a new iteration of Vengeance LPX shipping alongside it.

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DirectX 12 has been discussed by nVidia and Intel for a while now, with AMD only responding occasionally to recommit to Mantle. The API is still far away for gaming uses -- at least a year -- but it's making the rounds at SIGGRAPH 2014 in Vancouver.

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Intel demonstrated a Haswell-equipped tablet running graphics stress test software that toggled between DirectX 11 and DirectX 12. During the demonstration, the company was able to yield nearly a 70% performance increase in Dx12 over Dx11, jumping from 19FPS to 33FPS. Intel attributes this gain largely toward reduced overhead in the API (putting developers "closer to the metal," as Mantle does), then pointed toward multi-threaded rendering optimization.

First, a note: We've got a full review of this card coming within the next week, so stay tuned to the social pages for benchmark performance (twitter / facebook / YouTube).

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ZOTAC announced today the availability of a new GeForce GTX 750 video card in their graphics lineup. The new "GTX 750 ZONE Edition" video card is cooled entirely passively, strictly using an aluminum heatsink and copper coldplate (with copper heatpipes) for all dissipation. Fans are not outfitted on the GTX 750 ZONE card at all. Judging from the press shots, it looks like two ~6mm copper heatpipes and an aluminum sink are mounted to the board. The ZONE is a dual-slot 750.

This year has been full of delays in the hardware-time continuum, it seems. It feels like forever ago since Maxwell was announced, with Intel's Broadwell and HW-E / X99 platform similarly far behind us. Each of these devices will finally be shipping by the holidays, or so we're told, but that still leaves a major market segment untouched: SSDs. Other than recent innovations in Samsung's NAND lineup, the SSD market has remained relatively silent since our initial SandForce Gen3 controller analysis.

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At the Flash Memory Summit in Santa Clara this week, SandForce announced plans to meet a December, 2014 on-shelves timeline with its SF3700 SSD controller. For clarity, SandForce was acquired by LSI some years back, which was recently acquired by Avago Technologies (the same people who make most mouse sensors); Avago is presently in the process of spinning-off SandForce to Seagate, who do not yet have an in-house controller manufacturer. A confusing pattern of acquisitions, to be sure, but its impact will be deep on the controller market. That's something for a future article, though. Technically, SandForce is no longer a standalone company in the market -- it's just a technology under LSI, now. For ease of understanding with our audience, we're going to keep calling it "SandForce" rather than try to balance the various Avago / LSI / Seagate owners.

Lian-Li is best known for its focus on all-aluminum, high-quality cases that tend to be priced prohibitively for most system builders. Those who can afford the luxury this time around will find themselves capable of building a server-class rig.

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The PC-V2130 -- priced at just $570 for a windowed option, $500 normally -- can fit ten expansion cards, eighteen total 3.5"/2.5" drives, three 280mm radiators, a 360mm GPU (480mm with drive cages removed), and 180mm high CPU coolers. A 200mm PSU is also compatible with the case, so you can truly go server-class with this setup (and probably should, at that price).

At 237 x 640 x 625mm (9.3" x 25.2" x 24.6"), the case could also house a small child or dog.

That's a big claim for Logitech to make -- "today [we] introduced the fastest gaming mouse ever made," the email read. The company has been in the gaming mouse business for a long time now, to the point where it almost seems like they've got an evil headquarters for devious device testing. Actually, Logitech has a Switzerland-based test facility with some of the most sophisticated mouse and keyboard testing methodologies and equipment we've ever seen.

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The new Logitech G402 "Hyperion Fury" mouse tracks at a reported 500 IPS (inches per second), making it one of the fastest -- if not the fastest -- gaming mice we've ever seen. This puts the G402 at 200 IPS above the G502 Proteus Core that we posted about in April, and then later got hands-on with at PAX East. The company notes that the mouse took over three years of R&D to achieve its tracking speeds and precision.

The mechanical keyboard market seems to become more crowded each day. Recently, Tesoro made their keyboards available in North America, adding yet another brand to the myriad of boards on market. One of these keyboards is an RGB-backlit keyboard with Kailh mechanical switches, shipping under Tesoro’s branding as “Lobera Supreme” -- the Lobera being a mythological sword.

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ASUS ROG Swift PG278Q Specs, Release Date

By Published July 26, 2014 at 5:00 pm

ASUS has announced that the ASUS ROG Swift PG278Q we saw during CES is officially shipping at the end of August. It's a fair bit later than the Q2 target they were shooting for, but if all goes to plan, it will be here shortly. This is the first WQHD screen to use NVIDIA's G-Sync. The 27" monitor will feature a 144Hz refresh rate at 2560x1440 for normal 2D viewing; the Swift PG278Q drops to 120Hz in 3D mode. It also has a response time of 1ms (GTG) and 2xUSB 3.0 ports in addition to the DisplayPort 1.2 input.

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