GALAX Teases Upcoming HOF PCI-E SSD

GALAX, formerly known as GALAXY, is well-known for their amazing graphics cards that push the hardware to the limits of what’s possible and we have also seen them create the same great things with memory modules. The next logical step for the company is to branch out and enter the SSD market.

During our visit to CES in January, we had a first look at the HOF PCI-E SSD although the details were sparse at the time and we didn’t find out when it was to be released either.

What we do know is that it is a PCIe Gen3 x4 interface and the drive is using NVMe rather than AHCI for its connection. This in return results in a much better performance and the officially given ratings will allow the drive to read with up to 2600 MB/s and write with up to 1300MB/s. The random performance is equally impressive with 300K IOPS at 4K read operations and 200K at write operations.

The PCB itself was hidden from us at the time and we could only see the beautiful casing with signature HOF engravings. That changed today as GALAX published more photos, renderings, and real benchmark results on their Facebook page. While the information still is sparse, we get some more information from just looking at these newly shared pictures.

While the finished product is a full-sized card, the PCB itself seems to fit the HHHL standard (half-height, half-length) which should make it compatible with low-profile brackets. Whether such a solution will be released is another matter, but it does open up the options for modders.

Below are the officially released benchmark results which look pretty good to me, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be tweaked a little more with firmware optimizations. There’s still a little work to be done by GALAX and the HOF PCI-E SSD is now officially classified as “near completion”.

Are you looking forward to this storage drive or do you prefer something less extravagant and smaller such as the newer M.2 type drives? Let us know in the comments.

SilverStone Releases SATA and USB 3.1 Add-In Cards

SilverStone has been on a frenzy lately, releasing a lot of new products. Among them are two new PCI-Express add-in cards that could come in very handy and add some modern features or extra functionality to your system. The two new PCI-Express cards are the ECS03 2-port Hardware RAID SATA controller and the other is the ECU04 internal USB 3.1 add-in card.

The SilverStone ECS03 is a PCIE-Express Gen.2 x2 add-in card that will give you system another two SATA3 ports. The card has an ASMedia 1062R controller that supports RAID 0, RAID 1, SPAN, and non-RAID modes. The controller supports normal SATA 6Gbps drives and it’s backwards compatible with previous SATA generations. It also supports port multiplier for those that wish to split the ports up or use it with external multi-drive enclosures. The low-profile design also makes sure that it’ll fit almost any chassis and setup.

 

The SilverStone ECU04 is a PCI-Express card that will add an internal USB 3.1 19-pin header to your system, allowing you to get speeds up to 10 Gbps. The card is compliant with both the eXtensible Host Controller Interface (XHCI) specification Revision 1.1 and the USB Attached SCSI Protocol (UASP) Revision 1.0 to give you maximum compatibility and performance. The ECU04 also comes with a low-profile slot cover for usage in SFF builds. The extra power requirements to the card will be provided through the normal SATA power connector on the card.

Thanks to the XHCI support, you won’t need any drivers for the ECU04 on operating systems that support this, and most do. Windows 7 users will need to install the provided drivers, but everyone else should have a plug and play experience.

The ECS03 comes with an MSRP of 40.15 USD and the ECU04 has an MSRP of 29.59 USD. Both cards should be available now. Does your system have enough of these ports or are you tempted by either of these new cards. Let us know in the comments.

SilverStone Releases ES01 Remote PC Switch Kit

Have you ever wished to turn your computer on and off from afar, much in the same way that you do when you unlock your car with your remote key? Well you can’t have been the only one as SilverStone just released the ES01 that is just that. The SilverStone ES01 is a remote switch for your PC that allows you to turn it on and off from a distance of up to 20 meters.

The SilverStone ES01 is a 2.4GHz wireless computer power and reset remote switch and that in itself says most. The receiver is in the form of a PCI-Express card and SilverStone included both a normal and a low-profile expansion cover. While the PCI-Express bus is the normal connector these days, in the past it was the previous PCI slot that dominated the machines. SilverStone also released a normal PCI version, so make sure you get the right one for your system. This in return means that you should be able to use this card and remote control for pretty much any system you wish, new or old and small or big.

The included Y-cable for the power and reset buttons make sure that you don’t have to rely solely on this remote control and can continue to use your normal case buttons as you did before you installed this card.

As previously mentioned, the SilverSTone ES01 has a range of up to 20 meters and the interference should be minimal on this band, but objects that are in the way will effect the range. The ES01 has an Effective Isotropic Radiated Power (EIRP) of 2.76 dBm and the remote runs on a nomral CR2025 button battery.

The new SilverStone ES01 (SST-ES01-PCIe / SST-ES01-PCI) will be available around the world during this week and can be yours for a suggested end-user price of $14.96 USD

GALAX Unveils Company’s First PCI-E SSD

The sequential read and write speeds of modern SSDs have improved at an astonishing rate due to the advent of M.2 and PCI-E interfaces. Traditional SATA 6 Gb/s disks usually operate around a 500-550MB/s read speed while utilizing slightly lower writes. The majority of standard M.2 drives manage to enhance the maximum transfer speeds by a decent margin. However, there is a massive boost when upgrading to NVME drives which are capable of read speeds in excess of 2200MB/s. To properly utilize this bandwidth, a PCI-E slot or 32Gb/s M.2 connector is required. While the greatly enhanced speeds come at a price premium, it provides an insight into the future of performance data.

GALAXY, formerly known as GALAXY, is renowned for creating some of the most impressive factory overclocked graphics cards on the market. Additionally, the HOF range offers stunning visual designs and revolves around a white theme. Now, the company has decided to enter the storage market and launch a gorgeous PCI-E SSD.

The drive features a white PCB, HOF engraving and early reports suggest it will use TLC flash storage with capacities ranging between 120GB-2TB. Also, GALAX’s first PCI-E SSD features a sequential read of 2600MB/s and sequential write reaching 1300MB/s. Furthermore, its 4KB read has an IOPS of 300,000 while the 4KB Write manages 200,000 IOPS.

As you can see, it’s absolutely stunning and contains a remarkable specification. Sadly, it’s difficult to see the intricate engraving on the drive due to the show room’s lighting. Furthermore, there’s no word about pricing or release date but this should be revealed fairly soon.

When planning a build, do aesthetics play a key part in your decision making process?

New Controller Allows for 5TB Solid State Drives

A common problem with current SSDs, or rather nuisance, is their limitation of 1TB storage. Sage Microelectronics has developed a new controller chip that will allow for drives with up to 5TB capacity. According to the company, the chips are already shipping in volumes so new products with this chip might be on the not-so-distant horizon.

If this sounds too good to be true, it might be. There are some things to take into consideration with this new Controller. While current SSD controllers work directly with individual flash chips, the new Sage S68x will use SD, MMC and eMMC modules instead. It has 10 parallel channels that can host four flash modules each. Using this method with 128GB modules (10 x 4 x 128) would create a first 5TB SSD.

The setup resembles a layered RAID0 setup and there is no mention of any redundancy or failover. This raises the concern of what happens if one of the modules in the array fails on you. The second catch is that drives based on this controller will run on the SATA2 interface with speeds of just 260MB/s reads and 225MB/s writes.

Not mentioned in the release was the other Sage Microelectronics controller chip listed in the product portfolio, the S88x controller. It is designed for the PCI Express 2 bus and will allow for up to SATA3 speeds.

Thanks to TechReport for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of TechReport

Intel Core i7-5820K Features Fewer PCI-Express Lanes Than Predicted

There were reports circulating that the upcoming Intel core i7 Haswell-E HEDT processors would feature more PCI-E express lanes, but it looks like the opposite is true. It was hoped that the chip would feature a slimmer PCI-Express root complex, but the new manual for the Gigabyte Socket LGA 2011-3 motherboard let slip the real specifications.

The manual stated that while Intel’s $500-$750 Core i7-5930K and $1,000+ Core i7-4960X offer up 40-lane PCI-Express Gen 3.0 root complexes; the Core i7-5820K features a narrower 28-lane one.

So what does this mean? Put simply, your options for multi-GPU configurations on systems with this chip won’t be any different than those running on the LGA1150 Haswell platforms. You’ll be able to run a full 16x slot on the 1st card, but the second slot will be capped at 8x and the third at 4x, a fourth one would simply run out of bandwidth. So why would you choose this setup? The trade off is that you get six Haswell cores, with twelve logical CPUs enabled, 12MB of L3 cach, quad-channel DDR4, making this an attractive setup for those only using one or two high-end GPUs.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

3rd Gen Intel Thunderbolt Leaked, Supports 40Gb’s Transfers

A new leak has surfaced, giving details from the upcoming Intel 3rd generation Thunderbolt technology, suggesting it will offer up the fastest ever speeds from the technology, a staggering 40Gb per second! This makes the new standard twice as fast as the current Thunderbolt 2 technology and as you can see from the leaked PR image above, it’s also backed up by system charging of up to 100w, increased bandwidth, lower Z-height and backwards compatibility.

The new bandwidth capabilities are courtesy of the PCIe 3 support, offering up double the maximum data transfer speeds while also giving us a 50% reduction in power consumption courtesy of the new hardware.

The real world numbers are likely to be a little lower than this of course, we often see early performance figures to be very favourable in terms of benchmarks, as we suspect Intel will have given the “optimum” scenario to favour their technology for this number, but regardless of that fact, it will be fast, more energy efficient and should pave the way from some interesting new uses for the technology. Being able to run two 4K displays with fast data rates and system charging from a single cable is nothing to sneer at, now all we have to do is sit and wait for it to hit the market next year.

Thank you TweakTown for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of TweakTown.

OCZ Unveil Latest SSD Models For 2014 At CeBIT

Given their recent acquisition by Toshiba, the tech world has been eager to see how OCZ will continue its presence in the SSD market. We stopped by their booth at CeBIT 2014 to see what they had on display and as far as we can tell, they’re still going very strong indeed and have a nice range of new products, some of which were released recently and others that have been tweaked and revised for 2014.

The Vertex 460 and the Vector 150 (pictured above) are both feature 19nm Toshiba NAND flash, SATA III and are designed to target everything from the desktop market to server applications.

The Deneva 2 products have been around a little while now, but their mixture of cost effectiveness and industry leading endurance and reliability make them a prime choice for enterprise storage environments such as cloud storage, web-serving and data warehousing. Not exactly the play thing of your average consumer, but there is no reason why you couldn’t enjoy the 64GB – 512GB capacities if you’re interested in building a high end NAS or rendering rig.

The Intrepid 3000 SATA III series continues their range for data center solutions.

Then we have the ZD-XL SQL Accelerator integrated flash and hardware solution, ideal for boosting the performance of existing SQL Server deployments and it comes in capacities of up to 1.6TB.

The Z-Drive 4500 is OCZ’s fastest and most robust PCIe SSD ever thanks to new Toshiba flash which can boost performance via OCZ WXL software and flash virtualization.

That’s all from the OCZ booth today, but we’ll be back very shortly with even more coverage from this weeks CeBIT 2014 here in Hanover.