To our readers and visitors, have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!
Earlier in the year OCZ Technology announced their plans to acquire Indilinx, the company responsible for bringing some of the first real consumer friendly (i.e. low cost) SSDs to market in 2009. The first fruit from that tree has hit our lab and it sports a new controller from Indilinx and a new era for OCZ. OCZ is now in a unique position, no longer just another RAM turned SSD cloner, but a fully fledged member of the small club that steers technology rather than just rides along. In our next State of Solid State, my annual Q4 editorial that speculates on the year to come based on a little fact and a lot of rumor, we'll go into what Indilinx brings to OCZ's table. Today, though, we're going to focus on the new Octane SSD and what it brings to your table. Indilinx's new controller has a code name of 'Everest' and aside from a sliver of information once published on Indilinx's website, little was known about this controller. In late 2009 and most of 2010 we caught bits and pieces of information about Jet Stream, another SATA III design from Indilinx. OCZ tells us Jet Stream is still on the road map, but didn't go into great detail. It's very clear that Jet Stream has now been leap frogged and Everest was chosen to bring Indilinx into the SATA III age.
With a motherboard being one of the main component decisions that a user must choose, we see things being shaken up slightly in terms of how the market looks. We've always seen the likes of Asus and Gigabyte leading the market, but ASRock have had a big push into the high-end segment and have been realeasing some really high-performance, high-quality boards as of late and with the launch of X79, they wanted to continue into this area and show us exactly what they could do with this new technology. If anything, ASRock have pushed slightly ahead of MSI and have Gigabyte and Asus in their sights and are locked and loaded, ready for the kill. Their range of Extreme motherboards always seem to offer something with an up-market feel to it and offer a no frills option for consumers who want the features and quality design, without breaking the bank. They offer this fantastic quality by using the very best components including 100% Japanese made Premium gold caps, and the latest technology as we'll sure to see on this new X79 based board. IT features a Digi Power design, Advanced 6+2 power phase design as well as some features from their XFast range that should really see some fast results from this board.
The other day we looked at the new Corsair Dominator GTX8 8GB kit and we found ourselves really impressed with what Corsair was offering us. The problem with this kit is that to achieve 2400MHz DDR, you need a CPU that's able to offer that kind of speed and as we mentioned in that review, out of the three 3960X CPUs we had, only one could achieve this speed with the other two maxing out around the 2300MHz DDR area. The Dominator GTX8 kit is also a really high end one; the massive amount of speed comes at the cost of only having a total of 8GB. While plenty for most, the introduction of Quad Channel will bring with it 16GB as the standard amount of RAM for most people. Also being part of the GTX line means that it's got a higher cost and is of course only on a limited run.
Cooler Master over the last few years have been a brand that virtually everyone has come into contact with in one way or another, whether it be from a simple fan right up to their gaming cases. More recently it has been their gaming based cases that have taken the limelight and this has included the HAF and Cosmos series. The lastest case to take the centre stage is from the Storm range and is known as the Storm Trooper. Aimed at the top end of the gamer market, nothing has been spared in terms of thermal performance, expansion and space. Coming in at the top end of the series, the Storm Trooper naturally has a huge list of features that would certainly wet the appetites of avid builders that have a load of hardware and cooling to pack in. The full XL-ATX chassis packs enough space to house upto 9 fans on all sides of the chassis and there is more than enough room in the top to house a full triple rad for water cooling and the nine 5.25" drive bays at the front can be converted into many configurations for holding optical drives, 3.5" hard drives and 2.5" SSDs.
With a set of exciting and innovative features such as an dual top HDD docking station, USB 3.0 connectivity, complete tool-less design, spacious interior able to fit even the longest graphics cards and a top 230mm exhaust fan the latest V9 BlacX Midi Tower PC Case by Thermaltake really has the potential to be your dream case.
Today we have the Intel DX79SI motherboard, as well as the ASUS P9X79 Deluxe and Sabertooth X79 TUF motherboards. Intel makes no secret of the audience for their DX79SI motherboard: it's for "champion gamers and performance enthusiasts who live to push their systems WAY beyond the limits." ASUS claims the Sabertooth X79 TUF is "...born for pursuing the preeminent stability, all-round compatibility, and extreme durability.", and that the P9X79 Deluxe is "Absolute Performance on Intel X79 Platform.", a somewhat generic claim.