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  • OCZ Onyx: an SSD at €90!
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     OCZ Onyx: an SSD at €90!
      Posted on 10/03/2010 at 16:28 by Benoit - source: TechConnect
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    While SSDs are a very efficient upgrade option for your computer, they are generally still pretty expensive. Kingston, and therefore Intel, have tried to produce a more affordable model but their efforts have been insufficient. The 40GB Kingston V-Series was very rapidly abandonned, while its Intel X-25V model is on sale for around €110 in a good number of shops.

    Today, it’s over to OCZ to rise to the challenge. OCZ already has an entry-level SSD (the Agility) but it’s on sale at over €180. The new OCZ entry-level, the Onyx, is reported to be priced at just $99 and will probably be €90 in Europe. Note that it comes with a 3-year guarantee, which is impressive.

    To achieve such pricing, the Onyx’ capacity has been reduced to 32 GB and it uses an “Amigos” controller, that seems simply to be a cut down Indilinx Eco. Read speeds have been announced at 120 MB/s and writes at 70 MB/s, which is obviously down on what the competition is offering but superior to the 40 GB Kingstons and Intels, which don’t exceed 40 MB/s for sequential writes. TRIM is included as well as a 64 MB cache. Of course, the Onyx uses MLC Flash NAND – we’re not told where from.

    While we can only praise the efforts of manufacturers to democratise SSDs, it is a shame that the price cuts systematically result from reduction in capacities. Although 32 GB is enough for installing an operating systeme and a few applications, you’ll still need a standard hard drive for all your other programmes, which makes the SSD less worthwhile. A good compromise would be being able to store your system and all programmes on your SSD and only use the hard drive for data. This sort of solution comes at a cost however and these low capacity SSDs should be enough for those who want to speed up their system at reduced cost.

    The OCZ Onyx should be available in the next few months.

     Gigabyte, future n°1 for motherboards?
      Posted on 10/03/2010 at 12:07 by Benoit - source: DigiTimes
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    While the motherboard market is dominated by four big makes (Asus, Gigabyte, Asrock and MSI), one of these is clearly the leader, Asus of course. The biggest player on the market, this brand has a very extensive range covering all segments of the market and has been selling more models than any other for quite some time.

    This state of affairs is perhaps on the point of changing, with Gigabyte, Asus’ main competitor, eyeing Asus' position at the top. Over the first two months of the year, Asus is reported to have sold between 3.2 and 3.3 million motherboards and Gigabyte between 3.1 and 3.3 million. The two companies, then, would seem to be on an equal footing, or almost, in terms of volumes of sales, putting into question Asus’ position as market leader.

    Rumour has it that Asus may be about to cut the price of its products slightly so as to maintain its position. Although a price war wouldn’t be to the advantage of the manufacturers, it would be good news for the consumer.

    Note however that Asus didn’t wish to comment on this speculation (the figures not yet being official) and is reported to be heading for a figure of over 5 million models sold during the first quarter. If the figures are right, Gigabyte is very likely to start pricing its offer more agressively so as to seize number one spot from its old rival.

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