AMD Unveils FirePro W4300 Low-Profile Graphics Card

AMD just unveiled a new family member to the FirePro workstation graphics card series, the new AMD FirePro W4300 low-profile graphics card that will be perfect for small form factor CAD workstations.

The AMD FirePro W4300 card features 4GB of GDDR5 memory on a 128-bit memory interface and with a bandwidth up to 96GB/s. The card’s 12 compute units come in with 768 stream processors and a 1.43 TFLOPS peak single precision floating point performance. There is support for all the latest standards such as DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.4, OpenCL 2.0, AMD Mantle, and Shader Model: 5.0.

The card has a maximum power consumption that is less than 50W, which is perfect for SFF builds. The cooling is quite discreet as it only features a single small fan, then again, with a low power consumption we don’t need that much cooling.

The AMD FirePro W4300 professional graphics card is optimized for the latest CAD applications including Autodesk AutoCAD, Inventor as well as Revit, Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks and CATIA, PTC Creo, Siemens NX, and many more. Engineering professionals can efficiently work with large geometry-intense models and apply GPU-accelerated features in their projects, such as the new Order Independent Transparency (OIT) mode supported in SOLIDWORKS.

The FirePro W4300 has four Mini-DisplayPort outputs with 1.2a support including Adaptive-Sync and HBR2 for a maximum resolution up to 4096×2160. The card only has four ports, but it does support up to six monitors with the use of MST hubs and similar extra hardware.

“We designed the AMD FirePro W4300 specifically for CAD,” said Sean Burke, corporate vice president and general manager, Radeon Technologies Group, AMD. “CAD users rely on AMD FirePro graphics cards to enable their application features to best visualize their designs, and now can continue to do so without having to compromise by using the latest energy efficient, small form factor workstations.”

Feature Highlights:

  • 4GB GDDR5 GPU memory for large projects helping to improve workflow application responsiveness.
  • AMD Eyefinity multi-display technology that allows the use of up to six ultra-high resolution displays, helping users to multitask across multiple applications and displays with ease.
  • Four DisplayPort 1.2a connections standard (with support for up to six DisplayPort monitors via MST-enabled hub) and AMD FreeSync technology3 that enables GPU control of the display refresh rate for tear-free display updates, critical for media and entertainment applications and workflows.
  • OpenCL 2.0 support enabling developers to take advantage of new features that give GPUs more freedom to do the work they are designed to do.
  • Unique power monitoring and management technologies plus the maximum power consumption of 50W in a low-profile form factor. AMD PowerTune technology4 dynamically optimizes GPU power usage and AMD ZeroCore Power technology4 significantly reduces power consumption at idle.
  • Certification on more than 100 different applications for improved performance and reliability, including the most popular design and engineering and media and entertainment applications. AMD FirePro professional graphics drivers are released several times each year and include performance and feature improvements.

The AMD FirePro W4300 professional graphics card is currently in production with an unspecified release set for sometime during 2016.

Toshiba Unveils M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drives

Toshiba announced three new families of solid state drives that are fitted with high.speed PCIe interfaces that provide high.bandwidth point-to-point links with the processor and reduce system bottlenecks. That is thanks to the use of the NVMe protocol and they come for various systems. All versions are built with Toshiba’s own MLC NAND flash memory.

We’ve previously seen the PX4P family that is designed for server applications in its 2.5-inch form factor, but the M.2 drives are new. Most newer motherboards feature an M.2 connector and the drives are also used in netbooks and ultrabooks thanks to the small form factor.

The XG3 family is the one aimed at the broader audience and it is an impressive drive. It is an M.2 Type 2280 drive and comes with the industries highest capacity of up to 1TB. It supports up to four PCIe 3.1 lanes and a maximum bandwidth that is six times that of the SATA3 interface. There will also be a 2.5-inch SATA-Express version of this drive. The XG3 series is equipped with Toshiba’s QSBC (Quadruple Swing-By Code) error-correction technology and also features lower power state modes. It is also the first Toshiba product to support the Trusted Computing Group security specification, Pyrite (TCG Pyrite).

The second M.2 type drive that Toshiba Announced, is the BG1 SSD family, the world’s smallest NVMe SSD. It measures just 16 by 20 mm thanks to the M.2 Type 1620 form factor and will also be available as a Type 2230 removable module with up to 256GB capacity. This drive is designed for thin notebooks and 2-in1 systems that are naturally limited in physical space. The BG1 series also supports the TCG Pyrite and features the low power state modes that the larger XG3 family has.

Along with these information, we also learned that the PX04P series, with its incredible low 18 watts max power draw, also will be available as HHHL (half-height half-length) add-in card next to the SFF-8639 12Gbps connector. Samples of the new drives are expected in Q4 2015, so expect the actual drives sometime during the start of 2016.

Plextor M7e HHHL PCIe Solid State Drive at Computex 2015

Computex 2015 – Plextor had more than just value drives in the bags for Computex and also presented a new PCIe-based SSD. On the first view it might look like the M6e Black Edition, but it is in fact the brand new M7e drive.

The new Plextor M7e also surpasses the M6e on transfer speeds as it utilizes the full PCIe x4 bandwidth for transfer speeds up to 1400 MB/s reading and 1000MB/s writing. Random 4K performance is equally impressive with ratings up to 140K writing and 125K reading.

Available in capacities ranging from 256GB to 1TB, capacity isn’t an issue either and you can store all your favourite files on this fast storage drive.

The card is built around the Marvell 88SS9293 controller, a superb choice in my opinion.

Stay tuned for more news directly from Computex in Taipei.

OCZ Introduces Z-Drive 6000-Series NVMe SSDs

OCZ presented their newest storage drive, and it is one that isn’t without. The newly announced Z-Drive 6000 SSD Series combines the power of the third-generation PCI Express and Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) technologies to create a blazing fast drive in multiple form factors and capacities.

 

“The NVMe SSD market is poised to take off, now that it provides an efficient storage interface between flash and the processor,” said Jim Handy, of Objective Analysis. “By joining the NVMe SSD market early with a compelling product, OCZ has won itself an opportunity to become a leader.”

The Z-Drive Series will initially be available with a capacity between 800GB and 3.2TB, but a 6.4TB version is planned for a release later this year. When it comes to speed, the Z-Drive doesn’t need to hide from anyone and has some impressive figures attached. Sustained transfer speeds are rated up to 2.9GB/s and the series can perform up to 700K IOPS on random read operations.

 

The Z-Drive 6000 Series also comes with dual port capabilities that enable two host systems to concurrently access the same device or allows for redundancy inside the host. In the event of a system failure, if one of the data paths becomes compromised, the available data path continues operation as if no failure had occurred through the second port. The Z-Drive 6000 Series also supports hot swapping of 2.5-inch drives, pre-set power thresholds and temperature throttling to support many types of enterprise ecosystems.

The Z-Drive 6000 and 6300 SFF series are expected to be available in Q2 2015 in 800GB, 1600GB and 3200GB capacities. The 6300 PCIe card will be available at the same time in the same capacities, but a 6.4TB model is also planned for a release later this year.

While the SATA standard isn’t dead and still has its merits, NVMe is definitely the new King in the market.

Kingston Unveiled HyperX Predator PCIe SSD

Kingston has presented their new HyperX Predator M.2 PCIe 2.0 x4 Solid State Drive. The new SSD is based upon the Marvell 88SS9293 controller and comes as both a half-height half-length (HHHL) PCIe card and as bare M.2 2280 gum stick module.

The new PCIe SSD has some great figures with reading speeds up to 1.4 GB/sec, writing speeds up to 1 GB/sec, and will comes as 240 GB, 480GB, and 960GB capacity options. It also uses AHCI instead of NVM Express, making it bootable on standard desktop boards. NVMe still has some issues in this area.

The two small cards are coming February while the big one is announced for mid-2015. They will be backed by a three-year warranty and free technical support, but no word on pricing yet.

Thanks to Kingston for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Kingston