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News of the day

  • Gigabyte has sold a million USB 3 cards!
  • MSI launches its 58xx Twin Frozr II
  • Asus launches the Rampage III Extreme
  • Intel RST 9.6: TRIM or not?
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     Gigabyte has sold a million USB 3 cards!
      Posted on 23/03/2010 at 16:14 by Benoit - source: Maximum PC
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    Gigabyte has been including USB 3.0 ports across all its new motherboards for some time and was one of the first manufacturers to build these ports into its cards. Moreover, Gigabyte isn’t shy about signalling the presence of these ports on its products, using plenty of logos and explanatory text on product packaging, press releases, advertising and so on.

    The policy seems to be paying off as Gigabyte has announced that it has sold 1 million motherboards equipped with USB 3.0 ports! This figure is fairly impressive in itself but is even more so when you know that Nec has sold three million µPD720200 controllers. This means that Gigabyte has absorbed a third of Nec’s USB 3.0 production!

    While waiting for native chipset support for the interface, the multiplication of cards with a USB 3.0 controller should encourage peripherals manufacturers to use it in their products, which can only be good news.



     MSI launches its 58xx Twin Frozr II
      Posted on 23/03/2010 at 13:03 by Benoit
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    Following Sapphire with its 5850 Toxic 2GB it’s over to MSI to present its customised 5870 and 5850, in the form of its 5870/5850 Twin Frozr II.

    Both these cards have the same modified PCB, 25.7 cm long and, like the Lightning series, use “military class” components. They’re supposed to last longer and stand heat better. Both also use the Twin Frozr II cooling system, which is made up of two thermoregulated 80mm fans and four heatpipes, allowing a 12° reduction in temperature on standard solutions (according to MSI).


    No availability or pricing has been given for these Twin Frozr II cards.



     Asus launches the Rampage III Extreme
      Posted on 23/03/2010 at 12:37 by Benoit
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    Is this a reaction to the Gulftown release? Asus has just announced its new Rampage III Extreme, its high end motherboard for socket 1366.

    The card has no less than 6 memory slots, 7 SATA 3Gb/s ports, 1 eSATA 3 Gb/s, 2 SATA 6Gb/s, 2 FireWire 400, 9 USB 2.0 ports and 2 USB 3.0 ports. Add to that native bluetooth support and you get an extremely complete card. In terms of graphics cards, the Rampage III Extreme has 4 PCI Express ports that can be used in 16x/16x, 16x/8x/8x or 8x/8x/8x/8x The card is therefore compatible with CrossfireX and 3-Way SLI.

    Designed for overclockers, Asus has used optimised Mosfets and electronics so as to be able to run it at extreme overclocking and temperatures. Watch out however, the Rampage III Extreme is in Extended ATX format, and won’t fit in most boxes.


    No availability or pricing has been given yet but it will doubtless be pretty high…



     Intel RST 9.6: TRIM or not?
      Posted on 23/03/2010 at 09:21 by Marc
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    Following publication of the latest Rapid Storage Technology (RST) drivers yesterday, there are still doubts as to whether or not they give TRIM support for an SSD RAID volume. This is what the driver help information says:
    Trim support is provided for all volumes type except RAID5, as long as all the solid state disks (SSD) included in this volume meet the ATA-8 protocol requirements. When configuring a volume, make sure you are selecting SSDs that meet these requirements if you want the volume to support the TRIM command.
    This seems clear. However, here is what Intel has communicated to certain members of the press:
    Intel® RST 9.6 will be released this week which includes TRIM support for SSDs. It will support TRIM with SSDs in an AHCI configuration, or with the RAID controller enabled and the SSD is used as a pass through device. An example of this use case is for users that want to use the SSD as a boot drive but still be able to RAID multiple HDDs together to allow for large protect data storage – a great use for the home theater PC. TRIM support for SSDs in a RAID configuration is under investigation and is not included in Intel® RST 9.6.
    Here they’re saying something quite different. Up until now, in an AHCI configuration you had to make do with Microsoft’s Windows 7 drivers and having an HDD RAID meant that there was no TRIM support for the SSD.

    It remains to be seen who is right, Intel or Intel? For the moment, it seems as if the Intel representative who made the second statement was wrong as the early feedback from users seems to indicate that the TRIM command is working on SSD RAID volumes. Here we’re talking about support for the Windows 7 TRIM command which comes into play over time as the SSD is used, with SSD optimisation via software such as the OCZ/Indilinx Wiper or Intel’s SSD Toolbox not possible.


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