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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Intel claims they can overclock SSD drives

Posted by Jim Bernstein

If you are a PC geek of any kind you know that it’s possible to overclock your processor to get more performance out of it. You also know that the latest craze in hard drives is the SSD or solid state drive that is much faster than traditional spinning disks and is more like using a flash drive for a hard drive.

PC giant Intel is saying that they can overclock an SSD drive and will demonstrate it at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco. They haven’t said how it will be done but if it can then that opens up a whole new world for hard drive performance.

Since SSD drives are driven by a clock\timings just like processors are this should be able to be done but it’s hard to say if it will affect the reliability of the drive or not. Doing so may or may not even increase performance too much and may in fact reduce the life of the drive. Some are speculating that Intel is just doing this for fun and to prove that it can be done. If it can be done and does make a difference it will be up to the consumers to decide if they want to risk the life of their drive for a little more performance. I guess we will find out on September 10th.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Windows 8.1 to officially launch in October

Posted by David Bernstein

The first major update to Windows 8, Windows 8.1 will officially launch in October of this year. The free update will start rolling out on the 17th in New Zealand first of all places and will be available in the Windows store as well as for download online. The 8.1 update will also be available to retailers and on new devices starting on the 18th. You may have got your hands on for the 8.1 preview last June to see how it worked and the final release should be pretty much the same.

Windows 8 has had less than stellar sales number thanks to its total redesign which is better suited for touchscreen devices such as tablets rather than personal computers. The 8.1 update brings back the Start button even though there is no Start menu. The Start button just brings you to your apps instead. One nice feature is the option to be able to boot right to your desktop rather than the “metro” screen. Other improvements will be Internet Explorer 11 and some new built in apps. If you are into cloud computing there will also be built in access to Sky Drive.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

USB 3.1 specifications finalized (10Gbps speed)

Posted by David Bernstein

If you are a computer user then there is a close to 100% chance you have used a USB port for something such as a flash drive, external hard drive, printer, mouse etc. For many USB devices speed is not important and it doesn’t matter if you are using a USB 1.0 port or the latest USB 3.1 port. But for devices such as hard drive and cameras having a fast bus speed makes all the difference in the world.

USB 3.0 (5Gbps) has been out for some time and many people still don’t have USB 3.0 ports on their computer. It seems as though USB 2.0 (480Mbps) has been all the rage for the past several years. The powers that be have been working on the new USB 3.1 standard for a while and now the specifications have been released and they are looking pretty good… actually twice as good as USB 3.0.

Dubbed “SuperSpeed+” USB the new USB 3.1 will offer 10Gbps speeds and be fully backwards compatible with older versions and devices. This new speed standard puts USB in contention with Thunderbolt ports which already offer 10Gbps speeds with 20Gbps on its way. Don’t expect to see this in new computers any time soon since it takes some time for manufacturers to roll it out and of course you will have to have a USB 3.1 compatible device to take full advantage of the speed.