SDD-Z Utility Tool Upgraded to Version 15.03.15b

Most people know CPU-Z and GPU-Z, but SSD-Z might still be relatively unknown. It is however a very useful utility and the new tool just got another upgrade to version 15.03.15b, but it still resides as a beta version. The new version brings along a list of bugfixes as well as a long list of new supported drives.

SSD-Z does what a lot of other apps also do, but in a familiar look as well as doing more than most apps. It can show you all your drives relevant information including what NAND is used, the controller, firmware and features. SMART and partition information are also available and so is a benchmark function. The benchmark function is still being developed, but it’s a great start. It will give you relevant information such as access times as well as random and sequential performance figures.

Main Features

  • Details of the controller and processing tech of NAND chips (for known devices).
  • Verify that TRIM is enabled for your system and SSDs.
  • S.M.A.R.T. status and full list of all the device’s available attributes.
  • List of all partitions. Including hidden, unmapped and boot partitions.
  • Benchmark IOPS, transfer speed and random access time (work in progress)
  • View the raw device identify data words.


  • The current user locale is now used to determine if Celcius or Fahrenheit should be used to display the temperature. If you wish to switch, click on the temperature panel on the device tab.
  • The program is now DPI aware, meaning that using a DPI other than 100%, will scale the interface accordingly. This may require a little more tweaking.
  • Many more devices have been added.
  • Better SMART attribute interpretation based on the SSD controller.
  • The minor ATA version is now reported in the ATA Standard tooltip.
  • The actual model name is now shown in the program title. For most drives, this is different than the model name reported by the device itself. If an SSD is not in the internal database, no name will not appear in the program title.
  • Fixed Kingston devices from being detected properly.
  • Fixed an issue where “Samsung 840 PRO” would be detected as “Samsung 840”.

Thanks to Aezay for providing us with this information

Tesla is Working on a Battery For Your Home

Tesla is working on a battery to power people’s homes. The company’s CEO, Elon Musk, announced the development of such a product during the company’s earnings call on Wednesday. Musk said that the battery will enable people to live ‘off grid’, allowing people to power their own homes without using energy from utility companies.

Musk revealed the project during Tesla’s earnings call and said that the batteries will based on the same lithium-ion technology used in their car batteries. He also said that development of the batteries is finished and that they would start producing them for sale in 6 months.

Despite this news being a relatively small tidbit of Tesla’s earnings call, it’s actually quite significant. If Tesla’s success with its cars is anything to go by, a product like this could significantly shape the future of home energy, allowing people break away from utility companies.

Of course, we’ll have to see whether it really works first, but it certainly is an exciting prospect.

Source: OffGridQuest

Nitrous-powered Engine – Star Swarm Benchmark – Released on Steam

For those of you who want to try out how well AMD’s Mantle works, it seems that you are going to like this. The Star Swarm Demo has been released and is available on Steam to be downloaded and stress out your Radeon graphics cards (but not too fast, what about the drivers?).

The Star Swarm Demo is a tech benchmark to showcase the demands of a next generation of real-time strategy. It has the capability to have about 10,000 units on-screen at any given point, all with their respective AIs, Path Finding, Threat Assessment and Physics. Needless to say that this demo is very CPU Intensive. It is here that the Raw Power of AMD’s Mantle is apparent.

Due to its intense CPU and GPU co-operation for a greater increase in efficiency, a fully CPU Bound scenario can get you an uplift of 319%! (Thats unheard off without a hardware update). The performance numbers shared by AMD consists of a 319% increase at 1080p and 281% increase at 1600p, both scenarios set to ‘Extreme’ settings with the AMD A10-7700K and an AMD Radeon R9 290X.

Unfortunately, we cannot just download the benchmark and start testing right now due to the fact that AMD hasn’t yet officially released the Mantle Drivers. However, the bit of good news comes from the Nitrous Engine powering the Star Swam demo. What makes it the best benchmark so far is the battle itself, which is not scripted. It uses mathematical computation and AI recognition – reaction when everything in motion, therefore no benchmark will output the same results. Every battle is unique in its own way, hence different results will be generated every time it runs.

You can download the benchmark from here. Now what we all need to do is wait for AMD to ‘finally’ release the Mantle Drivers.

Thank you WCCF for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of WCCF