Release roundup: Fast DRAM, mini SSDs, and a big tower

Every week, we gather press releases that slipped through the net of our daily coverage, and we post them in the release roundup. This week, we’ve got news from Adata, Crucial, and Lian Li:

  • Adata introduces XPG Gaming v2.0 Series DDR3 2400G. Adata says it’s started shipping some rather speedy 8GB memory kits. The kits are made up of two modules rated for operation at a blistering 2400MHz with 10-12-12-31 timings and a signal voltage of 1.65V. According to Adata, these are "designed and engineered to bring optimum performance" to Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors and Z77 platform. That means, among other things, XMP 1.3 memory profiles. The company also boasts that the modules have two ounces of copper in their circuit boards and feature a "screw-lock mechanism [that] improves cooling efficiency for long-term use." You’ll find these bad boys selling through "selected channels" in the U.S. and Canada for $89.99 per 8GB kit.

  • Crucial m4 mSATA SSD for ultrathin laptops now available. Ultrabooks are great… unless you need to poke around inside. If you’re lucky enough to open the things up, you may be confronted with cramped internals and soldered-on components—and definitely no room for a full-sized SSD. Luckily, Crucial has announced shrunken versions of its m4 solid-state drives targeted specifically at ultra-slim laptops. The new drives have mSATA connectors and are, the company claims, just "one eighth the size" of their 2.5" counterparts. They purportedly have the same "award-winning performance and reliability," however, including sequential read speeds as high as 500MB/s. Crucial is offering 32GGB, 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB models with prices of $52.99, $80.99, $121.99, and $225.99, respectively.

  • Lian Li announces a tall, slim EATX chassis with three internal compartments. Say hello to Lian Li’s PC-X2000FN. At 27.3", this aluminum chassis is probably too tall to fit under your desk. It’s so tall because Lian Li has designed it with three stacked compartments, the middle of which is big enough to accommodate an Extended ATX motherboard. The bottom compartment holds the power supply and three 3.5" drive bays, while the top can accommodate four 3.5" hard drives, two 5.25" optical drives, and another three 2.5" SSDs via a special drive cage. Note that the optical drive bays are rotated 90 degrees, so they face the side of the case, which keeps the front slick and featureless. A trio of front-mounted 140-mm fans draws in air through vents along the sides. Price tag: $499.

That’s certainly very… vertical. I assume power and data cable extensions are in order if you want to use all those drive bays.

Comments closed
    • moose17145
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<] Crucial is offering 32GGB, 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB models with prices of $52.99, $80.99, $121.99, and $225.99, respectively.[/quote<] You have two "G's" in there when you are saying they offer a 32GB version. First time I misread it as they are offering a 320 GB version for 53 dollars and was like "Holy h311 sign me up for a dozen!!!" lol

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 7 years ago

    I would love nothing more than to have a case that is easy to work in as well as visually pleasing. That case would qualify as nice to look at but ultimately not friendly for a full on nerd who wants hot swap bays like me.

    • Squeazle
    • 7 years ago

    That case can only fit in my room if I let it sleep on my side of the bed. Although I would probably have to sell the bed to get it, so technically it’s a space saver.

      • Airmantharp
      • 7 years ago

      I honestly think it’s pretty space efficient, but I feel you. Looks like it’d be good for a 12MP gaming rig with four GPUs, or a compute-focused rig with a couple of Xeons, along with plenty of storage. I just wish it had more intake fan positions!

    • Chrispy_
    • 7 years ago

    It’s been a while since I looked at gaming performance with faster RAM, but last time I checked up on it the difference between bog-standard, whatever-the-minimum-you-need-is RAM and Mr. L337t’s MegaSuperTurboPlatinum RAM was effectively zero.

    Has anything changed or are you still paying through the nose to get a pretty sticker that makes your epeen a little larger?

      • Airmantharp
      • 7 years ago

      At last check it’s still zero unless you’re using an AMD APU; which is kind of backwards, because you’d see a bigger performance jump putting the money into a GPU. If they can get this stuff into Ultrabook-sized laptops sure, but this is a desktop kit, so it really is mostly pointless.

      And as this RAM has half the capacity you can get at normal speeds, again, I’d either rather have double the memory or a faster whatever-else.

      • Derfer
      • 7 years ago

      The difference is actually about 3-4%. Whether or not that’s sufficient to justify the price depends on the person. Personally I like to squeeze out every % of performance I can afford within reason.

      Referencing this [url<]http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Samsung/MV-3V4G3/7.html[/url<]

        • Chrispy_
        • 7 years ago

        Hmmm, I see 13% difference between 1600MHz and 2400MHz for a game test on page 5, though perhaps that’s just a one-off example

        Assuming that $89 is accurate for an 8GB ADATA kit, that’s $43 more than the crucial 1333MHz kit from the latest TR system guide, and that $43 is the difference between, say, a 7750 and a 7770, or a GTX670 and a GTX680.

        So, I guess if you’re on a tight budget, gaming RAM is less effective per dollar than using that on other upgrades, but if your system is high-end everywhere else, it makes some sense.

          • Waco
          • 7 years ago

          “Performance” RAM only made sense when overclocking was FSB limited. Now that it isn’t, there’s literally zero point to spending gobs of money on RAM. That last 3-5% for most things will never be seen…assuming you can get the fast RAM stable anyway. It’s not exactly plug-n-play to get 2133+ while overclocked to a reasonably high degree…and I’d rather have the higher OC versus slightly faster memory speeds.

          • Airmantharp
          • 7 years ago

          It absolutely does make sense in a higher-end system, especially one using one of the X58/X79 chipsets where the bus speed may be increased.

          When you get faster RAM you’re not going for more bandwidth though, except for on an AMD APU. Higher clockspeeds help eliminate latency which is the biggest bottleneck that main memory imposes on the CPU.

          2400MHz at CAS10 has much less access latency than say 1600MHz CAS11, which I use in my laptop.

        • Airmantharp
        • 7 years ago

        Well, you’re right that it’s about 3-4% depending on the scenario, but that means that it is practically zero when you consider other things that your budget could be spent on. A good CPU cooler, a faster GPU, more RAM, a bigger/faster SSD, the list goes on- it’s simply a bad buy.

    • McRuff
    • 7 years ago

    This Lian Li case has obviously been designed to sit out in the open beside your desk. It would just fit under mine, but as the On Button and the I/O ports are on top, it would not be usable there.

    Can’t say that I fancy spending $499 on a case that I have to keep walking around

      • Dazrin
      • 7 years ago

      It would fit almost perfectly in the computer cabinet of my desk, but as you say, the power buttons wouldn’t be accessible and the side facing 5.25″ drives wouldn’t work either. Otherwise it would be pretty nice.

    • superjawes
    • 7 years ago

    You’ve gotta give Lian Li credit for trying different designs. I think we had a bottom-front mounted case show up a week or two ago.

    On the other hand, $500 o_o

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    So, they can make a SSD THAT small with that much storage, yet they can’t make a 3.5″ drive with more storage and possibly better performance?

    The 128GB costs about the same as 2.5″ drives too.

      • flip-mode
      • 7 years ago

      3.5″ /could/ be made, but it would be pointless to do so:
      [url<]http://www.neweggbusiness.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227724[/url<] Once you get into "more storage" and "better performance" (to use the criteria you mentioned) I think you'd not want to have a 3.5" form factor that has to hook up to SATA. You'd want a PCIe SSD, yes? The 3.5" form factor is excellent for spinning disk platters, but I'm guessing that form factor is not at all optimal for micro chip based storage devices.

        • Deanjo
        • 7 years ago

        [quote<]I think you'd not want to have a 3.5" form factor that has to hook up to SATA. You'd want a PCIe SSD, yes?[/quote<] Not until they drastically increase the number of PCI-e slots on motherboards. Until thenI would rather have more capacity on SSD's that is off the board then more speed on the board taking up a valuable slot.

          • Visigoth
          • 7 years ago

          You mean more PCI-Express lanes from the PCH (or CPU pretty soon), as those are the most fundamental problems SSD makers are facing today. Without more lanes, nothing is going to help speed things along.

            • Airmantharp
            • 7 years ago

            Actually more lanes on the PCH; Intel/AMD can increase the interconnect speed between the chipset and the CPU anytime they want, and regularly do, without breaking compatibility.

            And they’ll have to when they get around to deploying a storage standard that uses PCIe directly, which should free up SSD/controller makers to push the speed limits on NAND again.

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            That goes hand in hand. I did mean PCIe slots however with video cards going double and triple slot solutions you tend to sacrifice a few PCI-e slots that become unusable. Add one of those cards in there along with a sound card and another pci-e card and you expansion options are done for the most part on most boards.

          • glacius555
          • 7 years ago

          So Lian Li is a company that looks into the future and designs tall cases for many PCIe slots, yes?

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            Actually I’ve seen more big cases that can handle extended form factors from Coolermaster for quite a few years.

        • Bensam123
        • 7 years ago

        People are jumping on the ‘everything should move to PCIE cause SATA is slow and stupid’ bandwagon too fast. Even if SATA 3 becomes a chokepoint (it hasn’t yet), SATA will still be compatible with any SATA device in existence and with SATAe when it comes out.

        There are almost no cases with only 2.5 drive slots and I doubt they will all convert to it as people still need large amounts of storage (mechanical).

        I’m not sure why you say 3.5 is excellent for disks, but not 2.5. What’s the big difference besides SSDs came out initially in 2.5?

        Reasoning I used for 3.5 is because that form factor exists in every computer in existence that has been built in the last 15+ years. There is tons of wasted space when you put a 2.5 in a 3.5 tray and SSDs don’t generate any heat! Storage is at a premium for SSDs and they could most definitely cram more chips (read either same density or smaller) in to save money.

        Making cheaper and bigger storage for consumers looking for a SSD, which is it’s crux right now.

        The only reason I could see they wouldn’t want to do that is because the SSD market is artificially inflated right now and they don’t want to make it take a nose dive by doing that. Which is true and why SSDs are often found on sale with 30% less then their already 50% off price tag. They’re about half the price of when they intro’d and sales chop another 30% or so off of that.

        I listed performance as ‘possibly’ because controllers right now are designed for a certain number of dies. But given Crucial can get the same amount of performance out of a drive with only two dies from the looks of it, that isn’t really relevant. Not only that, but they could also add more dies to a larger enclosure and allow for more simultaneous connections, increasing performance.

          • bcronce
          • 7 years ago

          ” Even if SATA 3 becomes a chokepoint (it hasn’t yet)”

          It has with some of the higher end devices.

          High end SSD with certain controller and certain memory chips can be almost 2xs faster using PCIe at random 4k.

          The latency of PCIe is a fraction of SATA. It’s a throughput vs latency issue. Even with similar throughput, PCIe smacks SATA around because its latency is so damn low.

            • Bensam123
            • 7 years ago

            I think that calls for sources. From TR benchmarks I’ve seen, they’re still 150-200MB/s off of the SATA 3 cap, unless TR has left out ‘certain higher end devices’.

            …you can also raid together SSDs for a fraction of the cost and get almost the same performance… Which is essentially what PCIE SSDs do. They do on chip raid with more then one controller.

            I don’t think latency is a huge issue for HDs yet and wont be due to the fact that programs aren’t sensitive to HD latency (they have main memory to work with for that)… But SATAe also reduces latency, so you can throw that in there.

            • Airmantharp
            • 7 years ago

            Well, SSDs are around a thousand times quicker to access than HDDs, and yet are over a thousand times slower to access than relatively slow main memory (compared to CPU caches).

            PCIe will help a little, but not much, and the practical difference between a fast SATA2 drive and a fast SATA3 drive is negligible, yet still an order of magnitude better than a spinning disk.

            • Bensam123
            • 7 years ago

            Why do you need your storage sub system to be accessed like main memory?

          • superjawes
          • 7 years ago

          I think the push to PCI connects as opposed to SATA connects is because, as others have mentioned, most of the cost is in the silicon, so having a physically larger drive doesn’t really do anything for storage except generate cost and waste in packaging.

          PCIe avoids some of this because you can have a bare drive that still functions, and then connect to PCIe, which is faster than SATA, therefore giving you better performance because SSDs are so fast.

          3.5 and 2.5 are great for mechanical disks, maybe not so much for actual size, but because they have physical size, which is associated with their storage capacity.

          I will also concede that the market probably is inflated. This is primarily because SSD costs have already done a nose dive for the past several years. Better processes mean more space AND lower costs, so manufacturers are probably trying to milk as much as they can while the prices are falling….can’t really blame them for that.

      • Airmantharp
      • 7 years ago

      Anand reviewed these, and they rock- Samsung should have a version out soon, and Mushkin is already selling (out of) a Sandforce 2 based unit. Price at volume should actually be less than the 2.5″ drives, and performance identical on the same interface.

      The main problem I’m seeing with mSATA right now is that it’s usually wired to a SATA2 instead of SATA3, as Intel is still skimping on those.

      Also, don’t expect more performance out of SSDs unless they jack straight into PCIe. It would be trivial to produce an mSATA SSD (or any larger size) that could hit 1GB/s in each direction or more, but it’d be silly to make such a thing and then cripple it with SATA3.

        • Bensam123
        • 7 years ago

        If they can go smaller without sacrificing speed, they can go bigger and drive down costs… That’s essentially what I’m getting at. They have to use higher density chips for smaller boards and vice versa; lower density chips for larger boards.

        SATA 3 hasn’t been maxed out yet unless you think more then 30% of the interface is overhead. Not just that, but I’m pretty sure SATAe will be out later this year in 8GB/s flavors (possibly 16). SATA 2 was a chokepoint for a little bit between SATA 2/3, but that was right during the transition. SATAe speed also goes up based on the version of PCIE it’s attached to (meaning gen 4 will double it).

        SATAe will also be backwards compatible with SATA and all its variants. I’d rather not fill my relatively few PCIE slots with SSDs either.

          • bcronce
          • 7 years ago

          Once a process is matured, the price of a chip is based almost entirely on the amount of silicon it uses. Higher density is generally cheaper for the same amount of storage.

            • Bensam123
            • 7 years ago

            You can still fit more chips physically into a larger enclosure. That would add a interesting bit behind the current pricing of SSDs though. Meaning 512GB models don’t cost more to produce then 128GB models… Which leaves prices for SSDs artificially inflated in more then one way.

            • Airmantharp
            • 7 years ago

            512GB SSDs have the same number of packages, but have more dies per package, so more silicon :).

            • bcronce
            • 7 years ago

            If the amount of silicon you use is the leading reason for price, and you use a larger enclosure to place more silicon in it, how does that make it cheaper?

            • glynor
            • 7 years ago

            Right.

            His argument doesn’t make any sense anyway. The cases of 2.5″ SSDs are [i<]mostly empty[/i<] as is. Look at the the 256GB Samsung 830's circuit board: [url<]https://techreport.com/gallery/index.x?id=22401&image=55436[/url<] That leaves plenty of free space inside the 2.5" drive case, and imagine a 128GB or 64GB drive! In fact, according to the accompanying article, the circuit board is about the same size as a 1.8" drive (though the article is actually confusing on this point, and I think contains a typo). In any case, space inside the enclosure is obviously not the limiting factor on drive capacity or cost. The cost of the NAND is.

            • brucethemoose
            • 7 years ago

            this

            • Bensam123
            • 7 years ago

            You can look at other examples too… like

            [url<]https://techreport.com/articles.x/22470[/url<] or [url<]https://techreport.com/articles.x/22415/2[/url<] You can still put more chips inside a larger enclosure. That and I believe there is a order of complexity involved in your entire surface area being covered with chips and you can't do traces... Yet lower density boards use more chips so they can utilize the same number of lanes. 1.8" is very close in size to 2.5", the determining factor is the height of the case.. 1.8 vs 2.5, not the length or width (although they vary).

            • Bensam123
            • 7 years ago

            Yeah that doesn’t make sense… If what you’re saying is true, then chip densities haven’t changed since SSDs first intro’d? They’ve already went through process shrinks. Yet there hasn’t been a single density increase (which is usually matched with process shrinks for DDR memory for instance).

            I mean you can apply this logic to DDR memory. Why do higher density modules cost more? They have the same number of chips on board.

            Where exactly do you find that the price of chips is based on the silicon too, not the density of chips? I don’t believe there is a fixed cost associated with producing any kind of silicon and it all costs the same.

            I mean look at this. Two versions of the Octane. One 128GB and another 512GB, they both have the same number of chips.

            [url<]https://techreport.com/articles.x/22078[/url<] [url<]https://techreport.com/articles.x/22470[/url<] Yet they cost a order of magnitude difference. Your entire argument is based on taking for granted that silicon is a fixed cost. I'd like a source for your pricing.

      • rrr
      • 7 years ago

      Never heard of OCZ Colossus I guess?

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