Solid-state drives have been around in one form or another for quite some time, but it’s only in the last 18-24 months that they have really started to come into their own for mainstream consumers and enthusiasts. In fact, 2009 could be viewed as the year that SSD really ‘arrived’, and 2010 is going to be even better.
The interest and excitement surrounding solid-state drives is well-founded, because they have the capability to totally transform your PC’s performance. That may sound like a bold statement, but replacing your conventional, mechanical hard disk drive with a Corsair Performance Series or Extreme Series solid-state drive is one of the most beneficial upgrades you can make, right up there with a new CPU or doubling your RAM.
First of all, congrats to Michael Chinander of Chicago, IL for winning the Obsidian Series 800D Jelly Belly candy corn contest hosted by Tom's Hardware. His guess of 50,650 was the closest to our count of 50,712 pieces of candy corn. There were over 3,500 entries, so well done!
Runners up were Justin Langness of Long Beach, Erin Cleary of Portland and Timothy Finnegan of Tucson. All of our winners were within 300 pieces of the actual count.
While making kick-ass hardware is serious business for us, we do like to have fun from time to time. Whether it's making jokes about how bacon makes everything better (aside from dessert), or laughing at some poor soul who fried some hardware in the lab, we can ham it up pretty good around our office. So, when George and I came up with the idea of filling the Obsidian Series 800D with candy corn, we had to do it.
I had some trepidation over using “A Quiet Revolution” for the title of this post. The term was first used for the period of intense socioeconomic and socio-political changes in Quebec in the 1960s (thanks, Wikipedia!), but since then, I’m sure the play on words has already been used to advertise innumerable vacuum cleaners. However, as clichéd as it might be, it’s an apt description for what we’ve seen with the launch of the Corsair Cooling™ Hydro Series H50 High Performance CPU cooler.
Over the past few months, we’ve reached some key milestones in the technology transition from DDR2 to DDR3 memory. Both AMD and Intel have launched significant new processor platforms, AM3 and Lynnfield respectively, that both use DDR3 memory. At the same time, DDR2 pricing has come up while DDR3 has decreased—making DDR3 RAM not only higher in performance than DDR2, but also lower cost.
So, this makes it official... DDR3 is now THE memory for new builds, and DDR2 is now mainly for upgrades.
I’m sure you are wondering why the price of DDR2 memory has increased over the course of the year—the answer is actually very simple. For the past year or so, DDR2 memory has been a fantastic bargain for the consumer. In fact, at one point earlier this year, 4GB of 800MHz DDR2 memory could be had for less than $20! Unfortunately while this was great news for consumers, it turned out to be catastrophically bad news for the manufacturers. It cost far more to produce the memory than it could be sold for. Two words describe this scenario—“not sustainable”!
In December of 2007 Corsair Labs took a look at building a high definition Home Theater PC, or HTPC. Since that time, several exciting new technologies and innovations have become available that give us cause to revisit the the topic. Today, users have more power and more options than ever before available in small form factor (SFF) systems. So, we are going to take a look at what is possible with an HTPC build using 2 very different systems.
Many users want more from a new piece of equipment than a simple digital video recorder (DVR) and cable box combination can provide. The HTPC is the tool for expanding your complete media experience. In addition to Blu-ray playback, a HTPC can be utilized for a multitude of uses. With the proper supporting equipment you can stream video to your HDTV from the internet, or your media server. You can record HD content from unencrypted cable channels from 2 channels simultaneously, you can view over the air (OTA) broadcast television, and there is nothing more fun than using your wireless keyboard to amaze your friends who are still wondering how you got Windows 7 to run on your 51" television. Read on and we'll show you 2 great ways to get all this and more.
Read the full article here.
In my previous blog posting I covered how to install a Live Boot Linux distribution to a 32GB Flash Voyager GT USB flash drive using Unetbootin, but this isn’t the only way to create a Live Boot USB drive. A quick trip to Pendrivelinux.com will reveal a treasure trove of mini-guides for different distributions of Linux, which are very useful in the event that Unetbootin doesn’t work for you.
For example, I’ve found that Unetbootin fails to correctly install the Syslinux boot files to a USB drive that has been turned into a Fixed drive and split into multiple partitions, as described in my blog post Create separate partitions on your Corsair USB flash drive. I don’t why this doesn’t work, so if any Linux gurus out there can explain how to get this working then that would be great!
One of the many great uses for the latest range of high-capacity, high-speed Corsair Flash Voyager GT USB flash drives is to use one as a Live Boot drive for one of the numerous portable distributions of Linux. You might think that a USB flash drive won’t be fast enough to use as a system drive, but thanks to the rapid read and writes speeds of the new Flash Voyager GTs, running an OS directly from the drive is surprisingly smooth. And using the free application Unetbootin, it’s also incredibly simple. We’ll show you how.
The benefit to a USB Live Boot drive is that you can essentially carry around a complete operating system with applications on your Flash Voyager GT. This can be useful for simple troubleshooting tasks, for example if your current OS decides to ‘misbehave’, or to hot-desk between multiple computers and not only carry around all your important data, but use the same desktop environment too.