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Archive for the ‘Hardware’ Category

AMD chops up to $50 off Radeon HD 7970, 7950 and 7870 graphics cards

July 18th, 2012

AMD chops up to $50 off Radeon HD 7970, 7950 and 7870 graphics cards

The recent release of the Radeon HD 7970 Ghz Edition is having knock-on benefits further down the stack. $20 has now been shaved off the regular 7970 rrp in addition to the last discount we reported, while the 7950 is down $50 to $349 and the 7870 has also been nudged $50 deeper into the mid-range sweet spot at $249. Other cards in the line-up may also drop by some degree, although there’s no official word on those just yet. These summer prices should start having an impact in stores from today — just in time to benefit from the latest Catalyst 12.7 drivers, which promise to bring significant performance gains and hence even more tension to NVIDIA.

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NVIDIA scores $12.4 million contract from the DOE to help FastForward exascale computing

July 17th, 2012

NVIDIA scores $12.4 million contract from the DOE to help FastForward exascale computing

Sick and tired of waiting around for some exascale computing? So’s the Department of Energy. The agency has offered up a $12.4 million contract to NVIDIA as part of its FastForward program, an attempt help speed up exascale development. The chipmaker will be using the two-year contract to help develop architecture for an exascale computer that operates at a “reasonable power level,” in order to “advance the frontiers of science.” Possible implications for exascale computing include the study of climate change, development of efficient engines, the search for disease cures, according to NVIDIA — not to mention “reasons of national security and economic competitiveness.”

SOURCE via Nvidia

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Toshiba’s new 2.5-inch AL13SE hard drives: up to 900GB of 10,500RPM storage

July 14th, 2012

Toshiba's new 2.5-inch AL13SE hard drives: up to 900GB of 10,500RPM storage

A 2.5-inch drive spinning at speeds up to 10,000RPM? Sure, we’ve seen it before, but only with enough room for 600GB worth of data. Toshiba, however, has trumped its forebears by upping the capacity to 900GB with its new 2.5-inch HDD, dubbed the AL13SE. 300GB, 450GB and 600GB flavors are offered as well, and all of them spin at up to 10,500RPM and promise a 32% increase in sustained transfer rates over previous-gen drives. Additionally, the AL13SE sends and receives data via a 6Gbps SAS 2.0 connection to make life easier on IT guys than those SATA drives most of us use. Unfortunately, Toshiba isn’t telling how much the new drives will cost, nor when they’ll be available for purchase.

SOURCE via Toshiba

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WD Red HDDs aim to improve company’s NASty reputation, bolster reliability in networked homes

July 13th, 2012

WD Red HDDs aim to improve company's NASty reputation, bolster reliability in networked homes

Ever heard a story involving Western Digital Green hard drives within a NAS? It probably didn’t end well. For whatever reason, the aforesaid outfit’s Green portfolio never has been a hit in the network attached storage world, but the company’s (in)directly addressing precisely that with its new line of WD Red HDDs. Specifically, these are called out as being “NAS hard drives” — SATA interfacing spinners engineered to hold up under the continual pressures of serving information to home and small office NAS users. They’re destined to end up in homes with “one to five drive bays,” with the units available in 3.5-inch 1TB ($109), 2TB ($139) and 3TB ($189) capacities. WD’s trumpeting the Red line’s NASware technology, which is said to “reduce customer downtime and simplify the integration process.” Those taking WD at its word can find ‘em on store shelves this week; everyone else can hang tight for the eventual flood of torture test reviews.

SOURCE via Western Digital

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D-Link expands Cloud lineup with two new routers and NAS drive

July 11th, 2012

D-Link expands Cloud lineup with two new routers and NAS drive

D-Link is expanding its Cloud lineup today, announcing two new routers and a two-bay NAS device. The Cloud Gigabit Router N300 is capable of up to 300 Mbps, while the Cloud Gigabit Router N600 hits 600 Mbps. Both products include a USB port for sharing content over a network, along with DLNA support and Gigabit Ethernet ports. The routers will also feature the company’s mydlink Cloud Services functionality, which lets users keep tabs on their networks via an app for Android and iOS. D-Link also introduced the new ShareCenter 2-bay Cloud NAS, which supports up to 3TB hard drives and handles RAID 1, RAID 0, Standard and JBOD configurations. Like the two routers, the 2-bay Cloud NAS offers DLNA support and works with the mydlink mobile app for monitoring your network remotely. According to SlashGear, the N300 will go for £64.99 (about $100), while the N600 will cost you £84.99 (about $131). The NAS should set you back about £89.99 ($139), and all three devices will be available for pre-order on July 16th.

SOURCE via Slashgear

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High HDD prices result in record sales at Seagate

July 10th, 2012

High HDD prices result in record sales at Seagate

Seagate said it expects to report record sales of about $4.5 billion for the second calendar quarter (fiscal Q4) of this year, based on shipments of 66 million drives and aggregate storage volume of 45 exabytes.

In comparison, Seagate shipped reported $4.4 billion revenue for the previous quarter (calendar Q1 2012), 61 million sold drives and 42 exabytes of storage. Compared to last year, Seagate shipped 52 million drives and 33 exabytes in the second calendar quarter of 2011 (prior to the Taiwan flood, which happened in October 2011).

On a year-to-year basis, Seagate says it has seen a 21 percent increase in HDD shipments for the second quarter. Revenue climbed in the same timeframe by 34 percent and non-GAAP gross margin almost doubled from 18.8 percent to 33.6 percent

Still, Seagate did not reach its original forecast. “The June quarter’s shortfall was due primarily to two factors. First, we did not achieve our planned market share growth as we reduced shipments in response to the industry’s faster than expected recovery from their supply chain disruption,” said CEO Steve Luczo in a statement. “Second, we experienced an isolated supplier quality issue that affected one of our enterprise product lines. This product issue impacted enterprise product unit shipments by approximately 1.5 million units and drove our non-GAAP gross margin below our targeted plan. While this disruption to our business was disappointing, we acted quickly and conservatively by suspending shipments of the affected products. We have resolved the issue and have resumed fulfilling our supply commitments to customers.”

Seagate previously expected revenues of about $5 billion and non-GAAP gross margin of at least 34.5 percent.

SOURCE via Seagate

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Samsung samples 16 GB server DDR4

July 7th, 2012

Samsung samples 16 GB server DDR4

DDR4 is not expected to reach significant market adoption until 2014, but hardware makers are on track to deliver the technology in time for system integration in 2013.

Samsung said that it has successfully sampled the industry’s first 16 GB DDR4 modules using “30 nm-class” memory chips, which refers to a production process resulting in 30-39 nm devices.

Next year, the company expects to build 32 GB modules with 20 nm-class (20-29 nm) devices that will reach up to 3,200 Mb/s bandwidth. DDR4 will drop the operating voltage from 1.35 volts in DDR3 to 1.2 volts in DDR4 and “reduce power consumption by approximately 40 percent.”

DDR4, however, is still in its final stages of development and the standard is planned to be delivered sometime next month.

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Cisco backs down over right to see your internet history

July 4th, 2012

Cisco backs down over right to see your internet history

Cisco is oddly getting aggro from an unexpected direction: users of its generally reliable Linksys routers. Owners of E2700, E3500 and E4500 models recently discovered that their router login credentials stopped working following an automatic firmware update, and instead they were asked to sign up to the new Cisco Connect Cloud platform to regain access. If they sought to avoid this by rebooting the router, they reportedly lost control over their advanced settings, which led to a sense of being cajoled.

To make matters worse, the Connect Cloud service came with a supplemental privacy policy that explicitly allowed Cisco to peek at a user’s “internet history,” “traffic” and “other related information.” If Cisco discovered you had used your router for “pornographic or offensive purposes” or to violate “intellectual property rights,” it reserved the right to shut down your cloud account and effectively cut you off from your router.

Now, much as the world needs moral stalwarts, in this instance Cisco appears to have backed down and removed the offending paragraph, but not before alienating a bunch of loyal Linksys customers like ExtremeTech’s Joel Hruska at the source link below.

SOURCE via ExtremeTech

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Cisco rolls its first Linksys 802.11ac WiFi router and bridge, kicks off Connect Cloud app platform

June 28th, 2012

Cisco rolls its first Linksys 802.11ac WiFi router and bridge, kicks off Connect Cloud app platform

Cisco won’t be the fastest out of the gate with an 802.11ac WiFi router, but it’s certainly one of the most ambitious. The dual-band Linksys EA6500 and a companion, single-band Universal Media Connector network bridge hike the bandwidth up to 802.11ac’s 1.3Gbps peak, each of them carrying their own quartet of gigabit Ethernet jacks. A pair of USB ports on the EA6500 should make sharing storage that much faster as well.

Cisco rolls its first Linksys 802.11ac WiFi router and bridge, kicks off Connect Cloud app platform

If you ask Cisco, however, the real highlight is the new Cisco Connect Cloud app platform. Not unlike Novatel’s MiFi apps, the software helps either manage the router itself (think parental controls) or tap into other devices around the home, including AirPlay sharing and remote camera monitoring. There’s even a new SimpleTap hardware integration platform that will pair third-party WiFi gear like Onkyo receivers to a router through Android and iOS smartphone apps. Eventually, that should include a gentle NFC-based nudge.

Read more…

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Seagate and DensBits team up on solid-state drives for the home, call truce in the HDD versus SSD war

June 27th, 2012

Seagate and DensBits team up on solid-state drives for the home, call truce in the HDD versus SSD war

It’s an understatement to say that Seagate started off on the wrong foot in its attitude towards solid-state drives: the company only slowly came around to embracing flash memory, and then mostly for the enterprise crowd and hybrid drive lovers. A newly-struck partnership between Seagate and controller maker DensBits is signalling a more serious attempt to offer SSDs to everyday users. Along with catering to the business folk, Seagate wants its new teammate’s help on building “low-cost, high-performance” consumer SSDs. Most of the drives for the plebeians will use slower but denser 3-bits-per-cell memory made on a process under 20 nanometers, while the suits will get faster 2-bits-per-cell flash for their servers. The deal doesn’t have any timetable attached, although Seagate’s decision to pour equity cash into DensBits suggests it’s not just a one-time fling.

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