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  • The Obsidian Series 700D and 800D cases are now USB 3.0 compatible. Good news, everyone. You can now add USB 3.0 (SuperSpeed USB) capabilities to your existing Obsidian Series case! It's a fairly quick swap that replaces the old I/O panel with a new one. The new panel includes two USB 3.0 SuperSpeed USB ports that connect to the rear USB 3.0 ports on your motherboard.  This is currently the best way to guarantee full USB 3.0 speeds and data accuracy, while maximizing compatibility with older USB 3.0 compatible motherboards that do not have internal headers.  The USB 3.0 kit can be purchased from Corsair.com for $14.99 plus shipping. It's quick to install and requires only a few minutes and a phillips-head screwdriver. 

  • Corsair is at Planet Reseller at CeBIT 2011. If you're attending the show, please stop by. You'll find us at booth F40 in Hall 14. If you're not attending, here's what you need to know. Our first announcement is the availability of our Vengeance™ DDR3 memory in Cerulean Blue. It offers the same high performance and outstanding overclockability, but with aluminum heat spreaders anodized to match the colors of the latest 2nd generation Intel® Core™ processor family motherboards. The color is also shared with Corsair Gaming Series™ power supplies, providing the opportunity to create some striking system builds. Here at the Corsair labs, we've been building systems with a mix of Cerulean Blue and the original Jet Black for an even more dramatic look. We're also taking the opportunity to announce the first shipments of the Hydro Series™ H60 High-Performance Liquid CPU Cooler. Many retailers and etailers have been taking pre-orders for the H60, and it's on its way. The H60 should be available in early March. Lastly, we're announcing the Flash Voyager® USB 3.0 USB flash drives. These new models share the same proven durability of the Flash Voyager line, and add USB 3.0 speed. They're shockproof, water-resistent, and they're backward compatible with USB 2.0 and USB 1.1. And, of course, they provide easy plug-and-play compatibility with most operating systems. USB 3.0 speed is a huge benefit — in addition to the obvious benefits of faster file copies, it allows you to view high-bandwidth videos directly from the USB drive, when before you would have to wait for them to be copied to your hard drive or SSD. Flash Voyager USB 3.0 models will be available worldwide in April in 32GB, 16GB, and 8GB unformatted capacity versions. Look for more details on the web site as we get closer to the launch date.

  • The new 2nd generation Intel® Core™ processor family, aka Sandy Bridge, architecture has changed the way you overclock your processor. With the first generation of Intel Core processors you were able to raise the base clock to overclock. If you were lucky enough to have one of the Extreme or K series CPUs with the unlocked multipliers, you could also raise the multiple to overclock. This meant that unless your motherboard did not support overclocking, you would be able to overclock your processor. Although you can still overclock the 2nd generation Intel Core processors by raising the base clock, you will only be able to adjust the base clock by 7-8%. This means in order to overclock the 2nd generation Intel Core processors to their limit, you need to have a processor with an unlocked multiplier. The unlocked processors are denoted by the K at the end of the processor model, such as the Intel Core i7-2600K. If you do not have a K series CPU you will be limited as to how far you can overclock. With the Core i5 and Core i7 non K series CPUs you will only be able to raise the multiplier by 4 and the base clock by 7-8%. You are still able to overclock your memory whether you have a K series processor or not. The options for 1600MHz, 1866MHz and 2133MHz are available on most P67 based motherboards. The option for 2400MHz is also present on some ASUS motherboards, although we have only been able to run at speeds nearing 2300MHz in our tests. The new Sandy Bridge processors are based on 32nm technology and are all rated under 100 watts. This combination along with the new architecture allows the processors to be overclocked to speeds that were only once achievable with exotic cooling, such as liquid nitrogen or dry ice. With an unlocked Sandy Bridge processor you are able to use CPU coolers, such as our Air Series™ or Hydro Series™ coolers, to reach frequencies over 5GHz! This was something that you were not able to do with the previous generation Intel Core processors. To test how far we were able to overclock the new processors we used an Intel Core i5 2500K on an ASUS® P8P67 Pro motherboard. For cooling we went with our Hydro Series H70, to keep the processor cool while running heavily overclocked. For memory a 16GB Vengeance™ DDR3 kit was used, along with a Force Series™ F120 SSD, Professional Series™ Gold AX1200 PSU and a NVIDIA® GeForce GTX480 GPU.   During early overclocking tests we noticed that the multiplier seemed to have issues going above 45x. A few days after the initial launch of the processors, several motherboard manufacturers released a bios update that would help this issue. On ASUS motherboards the option to help this is called “Internal PLL Overvoltage”, when this is enabled it will help the processor run at higher multipliers. With this bios option enabled we were able to raise the multiplier up to 48x from the previous max of 45x. This allowed us to take the overclock from 4.7GHz to nearly 5.1GHz. However the 1.57 volts required to reach this frequency is higher than what is considered safe for daily use. To find the 24/7 stable frequency the vcore was lowered down to 1.4 volts and the processor was able to run 4.9GHz for several days without any hiccups. The new Sandy Bridge architecture has changed the way you overclock your processor and allows for some very high frequencies. Currently the fastest frequency achieved has been 5.79GHz using only air cooling. Although that is not something that would be stable 24/7, there have been several reports of processors hitting 5GHz for daily use using water cooling.

  • We have fielded a fair number of questions recently on the SSD transition from 34 nanometer (34nm) to 25 nanometer (25nm) technology. The following Q&A should help to answer all the questions that we are seeing. We hope this helps! What is 25nm technology? 25nm technology refers to the feature size of the transistors that are used to make the flash ICs. As the process geometry gets smaller, the capacity of the ICs gets larger, and they become less expensive to manufacture. How is it different from earlier technologies? Flash ICs based on 25nm transistors are fairly unique in that the transistors have now become so small that it is starting to become difficult to store a charge on them. Engineers compensate for this by creating very sophisticated error correcting circuits. However, while guaranteeing your data, these transistors create some overhead in terms of capacity and/or performance. Will all SSD suppliers be making this transition? Yes. Sometime later in the spring, 34nm ICs will be totally gone from the market, for all suppliers. Furthermore, 25nm SSDs is likely to become significantly less expensive then 34nm on a price-per-gigabyte basis as the technology matures. When will Corsair be making this transition? We are starting to make this transition now. We have just launched our first 25nm drives, an F80 and an F115. How can I tell what technology my drive is based on? All Corsair 25nm-based Force SSDs will have a part number that ends in "-A". And, if the same capacity is already offered in 34nm technology, we will be very clear about noting any lowered specifications. For example, our current 34nm F80 is sold with a guaranteed read speed of 285 MB/s and write speed of 275MB/s; the F80 "-A" will have specifications of 280 MB/s and 270 MB/s, respectively. You will be able to tell what you have by looking at the part number that is printed on the drive. What are the Force "-A" capacities that Corsair will be offering? Our roadmap and transition plans follow: 80GB Force SSDs: We currently have F80 and F90 SSDs on the market that are based on 34nm technology, and have just launched an F80 "-A" that is based on 25nm technology. Note that the F80 "-A" uses additional flash ICs to achieve the 80GB density rating. 120GB Force SSDs: We currently have an F120 in the market that is based on 34nm technology. We have just launched an F115 "-A" SSD that is based on 25nm technology. As mentioned before, the reduced capacity is due to increased overhead required by the new technology. Along with the reduced size, the F115 "-A" is about $15 less expensive than the F120 at the time this article was published. 180GB and 240GB Force SSDs. Both the F180 and the F240 are currently available based on 34nm technology. Anticipated improvements in controller firmware will allow us to migrate both these products to 25nm with no loss in drive capacity. We expect to migrate these drives to 25nm F180 "-A" and F240 "-A" in late March, 2011. 40GB and 60GB Force SSDs. Both  the F40 and F60 are currently built using 34nm ICs. We will migrate these drives to a new design based on 25nm technology in late March. Since the capacity of these drives is already fairly modest, the F40 "-A" and the F60 "-A" will use a design that maintains density, increases performance, but will cost nominally more as a result. What performance differences should I expect to see with Force "-A" drives? To give a reasonable idea regarding performance differences, we have run testing of the F120 SSD against the F115 "-A" SSD and the F80 "-A". All tests were run on the same individual test platform, and both drives were fresh from sealed drives. While there are indeed performance differences, the F115 "-A" performs competitively with the F120. The F80 "-A" is slower in some tests, though this isdue in part to the different drive implementation. We will update these results with the 34nm F90 as the results are available; this will provide a better head-to-head comparison with the F80 "-A". The complete set of test results are included at the bottom of this blog post. How long will Corsair continue to sell 34nm Force SSDs? Well, to be honest, we will continue to sell them until we run out of them! If I had to guess when that will happen, I would say it will begin to happen sometime in mid to late March, 2011. Where do I go if I have more questions? We hope that we have answered most questions here. But, if you have further questions, there is a thread on this topic at Corsair's forum. Or, feel free to contact Corsair technical support. Appendix: Performance testing results All tests were run on a Intel "Sandy Bridge" platform running Windows 7 64-bit with Intel Core i5-2400 CPU, MSI P67-GD65 motherboard, and Nvidia GeForce 240GT video card. A Corsair V64 SSD was used as the boot drive, and the drives under test were configured as secondary drives. Note that these test results are accurate for this test platform, but may vary on other platforms. Performance Comparisons PC Mark Vantage 64-bit ( F120 34nm  F115-A 25nm  F80-A 25nm  HDD Test Suite (Overall Score) 37,624 37,966.0 38,168.0  HDD - Windows Defender 178.67 MB/s  177.31 MB/s 177.12 MB/s HDD - gaming 148.6 MB/s  146.51 MB/s 144.97 MB/s HDD - importing pictures to 209.94 MB/s  207.22 MB/s 207.4 MB/s HDD - Windows Vista startup 191.48 MB/s 208.32 MB/s  207.0 MB/s HDD - video editing using Windows 145.51 MB/s 159.08 MB/s  152.0 MB/s HDD - Windows Media 231.36 MB/s  227.39 MB/s 224.75 MB/s HDD - adding music to Windows 127.54 MB/s 126.38 MB/s 141.91 MB/s  HDD - application loading 194.41 MB/s  186.84 MB/s 187.01 MB/s Crystal Disk Mark 3.0 x64 F120 34nm  F115-A 25nm  F80-A 25nm  Sequential- Read 211.6 MB/s 227.7 MB/s  168.5 MB/s Sequential- Write 85.89 MB/s  81.01 MB/s 58.31 MB/s 512K- Read 197.4 MB/s 212.3 MB/s  160.5 MB/s 512K- Write 82.17 MB/s  80.41 MB/s 58.08 MB/s 4K- Read 21.02 MB/s  18.54 MB/s 17.89 MB/s 4K- Write 52.93 MB/s  51.49 MB/s 50.87 MB/s 4K QD32- Read 124.6 MB/s  95.62 MB/s 90.02 MB/s 4K QD32- Write 85.79 MB/s  80.24 Mb/s 57.96 MB/s         IO Meter Alignment 4k 100% Write 100% Random F120 34nm  F115-A 25nm  F80-A 25nm  Total I/O’s Per Second 39,398.49 39,828.76  36,935.02 Total MBs per Second 153.90 155.58  144.28 ATTO v. 2.41 F120 34nm  F115-A 25nm  F80-A 25nm  4KB Read 117.28 MB/s  113.92 MB/s 112.34 MB/s 4KB Write 151.89 MB/s  151.62 MB/s 147.16 MB/s 64KB Read 260.99 MB/s  256.65 MB/s 251.16 MB/s 64KB Write 269.33 MB/s  264.87 MB/s 262.27MB/s 4MB Read 282.56 MB/s  276.16 MB/s 278.46 MB/s 4MB Write 272.24 MB/s  267.89 MB/s 268.43 MB/s Transfer 10GB (4,326 random files) Stop Watch F120 34nm  F115-A 25nm  F80-A 25nm  V64 transferring to tested Drive 2:23 2:08  2:56 Copy and Paste from same location on tested drive 4:28 3:12  4:12 HD Tune F120 34nm  F115-A 25nm  F80-A 25nm  Minimum 170.6 MB/s 177.7 MB/s  93.4 MB/s Maximum 178.6 MB/s 184.8 MB/s  175.8 MB/s Average 176.4 MB/s 181.3 MB/s  164.4 MB/s AS SSD Benchmark 1.5.3784.37609 F120 34nm  F115-A 25nm  F80-A 25nm  Overall Score 383  307 272

  • Legit Reviews, Vengeance™ 8GB DDR3 1600MHz Memory Kit Review — "The Corsair Vengeance 8GB 1600MHz CL9 DDR3 memory kit is a great performer in every regard. Being able to overclock this memory kit easily to 1866MHz is huge! While it does not win outright in benchmarks it is narrowly behind. The results are so close that it would be tough to actually see the difference in everyday scenarios. Its true value lies in its cost per GB where at just $5 more provides double the capacity of the highest performing 2133MHz kit! The Corsair Vengeance memory kit has a good looking heat spreader and is much more aggressive looking than the Dominator and XMS lines. Those of you showing off your PC are going to have a tough call on your hands, but again looking at the GB per dollar ratio it is hard to ignore the Vengeance kit."   PC Perspective, Gaming Audio Series™ SP2500 Speakers Review — "If Corsair wanted to make a big splash in computer audio, they certainly have succeeded. The SP2500s are the best 2.1 set of computer speakers that I have set ears to." And... "Most users will balk at paying $250 for a set of 2.1 speakers. Then again, there are those who do take audio much more seriously than others. While $250 is a lot of money, I feel that Corsair delivers a product worth every cent. I have been following computer audio since the days of those tiny, tinny 2.0 speakers that were battery powered. The jump to the Altec Lansing ACS-31s was massive from those terrible speakers. This was followed by plenty of competition from Creative (the original Megaworks 510D were fantastic), Klipsch (ProMedia series), and Logitech (Z-560 followed by the Z-5x00 series). Over the past 20 years we have seen tremendous leaps in sound quality in computer speakers. Now as we enter 2011, I can honestly say that these are the most accurate, well rounded, and best engineered desktop speakers that I have yet heard."  /corsairmedia/sys_master/productcontent/blog_corsair-weekly-review-round-up-very-long-quotes-edition-Content-4.jpg ThinkComputers, Graphite Series™ 600T Mid-Tower Case Review — "As I said earlier in this review all Corsair products either are best in class or right up there, so does the 600T make the cut?  It sure does, it is everything that a case should be.  Starting out with the build quality the internal steel chassis feels very strong and sturdy.  There is some plastic on this case, but it feels very solid.  The case doors come off very easily and the latch system works great and I wouldn’t expect the latches to break either."   /corsairmedia/sys_master/productcontent/blog_corsair-weekly-review-round-up-very-long-quotes-edition-Content-5.pngBenchmark Reviews, Gaming Audio Series™ HS1 USB Review — "It may be pure coincidence or genuine quality, but somehow the Corsair [HS1] USB Gaming Headset hit a sweet spot. It is instantly my favorite headset for listening to music, watching movies, and gaming. Much of it can be attributed to the fine-tuned 50mm drivers delivering top-notch audio. The decision to use Dolby for surround sound is wise, as they are the industry standard for music, games and movies. This is also the most comfortable pair of headset I've used. The mic isn't the best but if you're in a noisy room with lots of ambient noise this mic will manage to capture your voice and your voice only."     That's all from me this week... have a good weekend!

  • Introduction: Drive Specifications and the Test Bed  We all know by now, or should know that SSDs are fast. And they are getting faster according to the specifications. One example is the Corsair Force Series SSDs which are SATA2/3Gb SSDs based on the SandForce 1200 series controller. /corsairmedia/sys_master/productcontent/blog_corsair_force-Content-1.jpg   I was browsing a popular online retailer recently and I noticed the Crucial C300 128GB SATA3/6Gb SSD listed. Retail at that time was $289. I had also noticed that our Corsair Force Series F120 SATA2/3Gb drive was retailing for $229. Naturally, I wondered what that extra $60 was supposed to buy other than an additional 8GB of unformatted capacity.. /corsairmedia/sys_master/productcontent/blog_corsair_force-Content-2.jpg   The Corsair F120 is spec’d at 285MB/s read speed and 275MB/s write speed. The Crucial drive is rated at 355MB/s read speed and 140MB/s write speed. Benchmarking SSDs can be a tricky business. Pure speed and technical specifications are not the only indicators of the SSD experience. So, I decided to take a look at a variety of indicators to see what these 2 drives offered other then their raw spec numbers.  For my test setup I used the following: Gigabyte X58AS-UD7 Rev 1.0 Intel Core i7 950 CPU, stock settings, no overclock and cooled with a Corsair H70 Corsair CMP12GX3M3A1600C9 Memory Kit Corsair AX850 PSU ATI HD5970 GPU Corsair Force Series F40 SSD for the system drive The  OS is Windows 7 64bit with all current updates I used the driver for the Intel ICH10-R, the most current driver at the time of testing. The board was flashed with the most recent F8e beta BIOS which, according to Gigabyte provides improved SSD support and a new firmware for the Marvell 9128 SATA3/6Gb drive controller. All Force series drives used have firmware 2.0. The Crucial drive carried the most recent firmware available at the time of testing. I have bit of skeptic in me and it emerges each time a new computer related specification is released. As we all know, specifications are important but do not always show the true measure of the actual performance of a computer component. I remember a lot of people getting excited back in the time when the ATA133 standard was certified and released. Interestingly enough, the first SATA drives appeared around this same time. ATA133 drives just had to be faster than ATA100 drives…...right? Wrong! The ATA133 drives listed a higher specification but did not perform any better than the ATA100 drives. So of course I began to wonder if that would hold true again. Here are the specifications for each drive from their respective product pages. Corsair Force Series F120 SSD  Maximum sequential read speed 285 MB/second Maximum sequential write speed 275 MB/second Random 4K write performance of 50,000 IOPS (4K aligned) Latest generation SandForce controller and MLC NAND flash for fast performance Crucial C300 128GB SSD Read speeds up to 355MB/s Sequential Access - Write up to 140MB/s SATA 6Gb/s interface High-speed Synchronous NAND Random 4K Read/Write: 60K / 30K IOPS For more information on the SATA2/3Gb or SATA3/6Gb specification, check with the Serial ATA International Organization.   Testing and Benchmarking the Drives ATTO Corsair has used ATTO to validate SSD performance since our initial entry into the SSD market 2 years ago.  According to Crucial, they have validated their drive speeds using the HD Suite from Futuremark’s PCMark Vantage. I decided to test both drives with each benchmark. Here are the screenshots from ATTO. ATTO and all benchmarks used in this testing were run 3 times with the high and low run dropped. The machine was rebooted between every benchmark run.  /corsairmedia/sys_master/productcontent/blog_corsair_force-Content-4.jpg   As you can see, both drives maxed out the READ measurement. However, the Force drive is clearly faster in the WRITE measurement. Due to the Crucial drive not meeting specification on READs, I decided to check both drives again with ATTO using the Marvell 9128 SATA3/6Gb controller. The maximum write speed with this controller for the Crucial drive was 322638MB/sec transfer rate. However, the WRITE speed dropped almost 10% using Crucial drive on the Marvell controller. The Corsair Force drive results were within 2%-3% on both controllers with a slight overall drop on the Marvell controller.   PC Mark Vantage - PC Marks I tested both drives using PCMark Vantage. From the Futuremark website: A PCMark score is a measure of your computer’s performance across a variety of common tasks such as viewing and editing photos, video, music and other media, gaming, communications, productivity and security. I ran the benchmark using the Marvell controller and the Intel ICH10-R. In this test, the Intel ICH10-R was the superior performer over the Marvell controller. The Force drive performed approximately 25% better on the Intel controller and the C300 drive performed 16% better on the Intel controller. The Intel controller results are shown here. The Force drive is best in both the overall PC Marks score and the HD Suite   . Crystal Disk Mark /corsairmedia/sys_master/productcontent/blog_corsair_force-Content-5.jpg   PC Mark Vantage—HD Suite  Here are the actual raw numbers PCMark Vantage compiles and then uses to determine a score for the drive suite. In this simulated actual usage, the Force drive is clearly the better performer. According to Futuremark, this should be a good indicator of real world usage. Results are shown using the Intel ICH10-R controller. /corsairmedia/sys_master/productcontent/blog_corsair_force-Content-6.jpg   Crystal Disk Mark Crystal Disk Mark uses a different default testing methodology from ATTO. The default test is a random mix of 0 and 1 data. You can also select a 0 Fill or 1 Fill test. The C300 is a strong performer here. We’ll need to do some more testing to see if this translates to real world performance or in other benchmarks that use different methodologies and data types. F120 results are on the left, C300 results are on the right.                     Corsair F120                                                                           Crucial C300 /corsairmedia/sys_master/productcontent/blog_corsair_force-Content-7.jpg   File Transfer Test For the file transfer test, I added a 2-drive RAID-0 stripe using 3 Force Series F40 SSDs to the ICH10-R. I then created a 5GB test file from my server using a combination of Word documents, Excel documents, uncompressed photos, MP3s, AVIs, and Matroska movie files. I also included .zip files comprised of these files to be sure to include a variety of compressed and uncompressed data types. I transferred them to and from the Force 120 and the C300 using the RAID-0 stripe. For the test, I copied and pasted the individual files, not the folder in which they were contained. The transfer times for both the F120 and the C300 were within 2 seconds of each other in both directions and averaged from 31 seconds to 33 seconds reading from and 33 seconds to 35 seconds writing to. I hand timed each transfer using a stopwatch. The time difference in each was insignificant and well within the margin of error of my thumb on the stopwatch. . /corsairmedia/sys_master/productcontent/blog_corsair_force-Content-8.jpg   Conclusions /corsairmedia/sys_master/productcontent/blog_corsair_force-Content-9.jpg So, what does that extra $60 for the SATA3/6Gb drive get a person aside from an extra 8GB of unformatted space? It appears that it simply buys a newer specification. The first thing I discovered is that while the Crucial drive does test faster on the Marvell controller in WRITE speed, the READ speed suffered approximately an equal amount. To date, I have only tested this single motherboard using a SATA3/6Gb but I tried it with 3 BIOS revisions and 2 different driver versions. This may be an indicator that the current SATA3/6Gb controllers are not ready for prime time. If this is the case, any implied advantage of current SATA3/6GB drives cannot be fully utilized. ATTO and Crystal Disk Mark are both very valid benchmark tools for pure speed. However, pure speed is not the only measure of SSD performance. ATTO uses only 0 Fill data which works well with the SandForce Durawrite Technology. This technology involves a patented form of data compression. According to SandForce, DuraWrite technology extends the endurance of MLC memory providing at least 5 year lifecycles w/ 3-5K cycle MLC Flash. Over the long term, his technology should easily offset the slower benchmark results we see in the Random and 1 Fill tests using Crystal Disk Mark and many other benchmark utilities tested but not shown here. In the PCMark Vantage tests, the SandForce based Force 120 was the clear winner in both overall PC Marks and in the HD Suite. Purely numeric benchmarks are only theoretical indicators of actual performance as we noted at the beginning of this article. However, the PCMark Vantage benchmark was chosen for its ability to emulate real world usage. The file transfer test was a general illustration of the blazing speed of SSDs. Moving 5GB of data in 30 seconds is spectacular on both drives and especially so when compared to standard hard disk drives. The SandForce based Force 120 drive showed itself to be the equal of the Crucial 300 in spite of the Crucial bearing the newer specification. Additionally, the Force Series drives will offer superior performance for users not yet owning motherboards with SATA3/6Gb controllers or a PCI-e SATA3/6Gb controller.  

  • I recently spent some time assembling and testing a new gaming rig using our Graphite Series™ 600T mid-tower case. I used quite a few other Corsair components, combined with a solid CPU, GPU, and motherboard to make a great little gaming rig.  I documented the component selection, the build, and the testing in 3 different sections. The end result was an extremely capable rig perfect for gaming and a variety of other tasks. The most fun part was getting a 1.2GHz OC with very little effort!  <br>CPU-Z: Stock Settings (left) v.s. CPU-Z: OCed Settings (right) Due to the excellent feature set and functionality of the 600T, the build was quick and seamless. Read along and see how well the build went and you can see how the included Corsair components might integrate into your existing build or even a new system. Read the complete build log at Corsair Graphite Series 600T Build Log: Yellowbeard’s Revenge.

  • Legit Reviews, Air Series™ A50 CPU Cooler review — " With the Corsair A50 doing as well as it does and costing what it does, I feel it would make for a nice budget cooler because it will get the job done and not break the bank in the process. The documentation is very easy to follow, it was easy to install, and will fit all the popular sockets out today -- even the new Intel LGA1155 socket for 'Sandy Bridge' processors as that socket same hole pattern as the LGA1156 socket. The Corsair A50 even comes backed by a 2-year warranty, which is nice for the price you pay. Not too many things can go wrong on a HSF, but you never know one of the three 8mm heatpipes might blow up or something! :)" TweakTown, Gaming Audio Series™ SP2500 Speakers review — "What we really liked almost of all was that Corsair have covered everything that's important. And let it be said we have never seen a system in this class do that. There's always something that's been missed; the quality of the cables, the size of the sub or not having a tweeter; maybe even poor amplification. But that's just the thing, they've got everything right! - We almost had to rub our eyes to make sure it was true."     That's all from me this week... have a good weekend!

  • Above is a comparison of the Force Series™ F60 in RAID 0 vs. a single SSD. Today enthusiasts are looking for ways to boost the performance of their machines; one way is by upgrading to an SSD. Solid-state drives offer several benefits, including cutting down load times for operating systems, applications, and games. To take this idea a step further, a RAID 0 array can be created using two identical SSDs, which can almost double performance speeds. What is RAID 0? RAID 0 increases performance and storage space by splitting data evenly between the raided drives sharing I/O operations into equal-blocks. It increase storage amount by adding the drives lowest amount across each drive. Setting up a RAID 0 is very easy task to accomplish, but if this is your first time doing so see the link below: Configuring RAID-0 Arrays With solid-state drives — Intel ICH and PCH Controllers Example: Part # CSSD-F60GB2-BRKT (60GB) X2 in RAID 0 60GB + 60GB = 120GB storage space The two 60GB Force drives add together creating 120GB storage space. Test Setup : Test system consists of using brand new SSDs as a secondary drive. Each test was performed in the same order with no changes made to the system. Results might vary depending on the system used. CPU: Intel® Core™ i7-920 Memory: Corsair Dominator® DDR3 memory— CMP6GX3M3A1600C8 Motherboard: Asus P6X58D Premium Video Card: ATI Radeon™ HD 4870 OS: Windows 7 64-Bit ATTO Disk Benchmark: 1MB <br>Force Series F120 image on left and Force Series F60 X2 RAID 0 on right. In the above image you can see in Read performance at a 1MB transfer rate you have more 102% performance gain. PCMark Vantage <br>Force Series F120 image on left and Force Series F60 X2 RAID 0 on right. Overall Score shows about a 63 % performance increase from using two SSDs vs. one Performance Test 7.0 <br>Force Series F120 image on left and Force Series F60 X2 RAID 0 on right. Overall Score shows about a 83% performance increase from using two SSDs vs. one. IO Meter Alignment 4k 100% Write 100% 4K Random <br>Force Series F120 image on left and Force Series F60 X2 RAID 0 on right. IOPS is a common benchmark for hard disks, solid-state drives , and any other type of storage device. Total IOPS based off total number of I/O operations per second (when performing a mix of read and write tests). Total IOPs shows about a 90% performance increase from using two SSDs vs. one. Price in Dollar Amount <br> Priced based off Amazon. The price in cost if you purchased two CSSD-F60GB2-BRKT would be $272.98 making a $37.99 cost difference if purchasing one (prices may vary depending on where you shop). Conclusion Whether you are a gamer, enthusiast or just an average user, you will see a performance gain when upgrading to a Solid-State Drive. Prices are now better than ever on SSDs and there has never been a better time to upgrade. For even greater performance, you can get two or more SSDs and run them in a RAID 0 configuration. By purchasing two smaller SSDs for about the same price as one large, you can get the performance benefits from RAID 0 with little to no added costs.

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