Saturday, 18 August 2012 20:13

Thecus N5550 NAS Intro and Teardown

intro-n5550

With the big push for everything in the cloud we have been focusing on ways to consumers and businesses to bring their data back into their own control. One of the least expensive methods for this is through the use of a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device. These are devices that have a minimum of two drive bays and allow for you to set up RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) Volume for performance and/or redundancy. Today in the Lab we have a five-bay NAS device from Thecus. This is an Atom based system with support for up to 15TB of RAW space and 3GB of memory. So let’s take a look at the Thecus N5550 and see what this $600 (empty) NAS has to offer as we dig deep into its design, build and features.

dte01Although not as sexy as a new CPU, GPU or Motherboard USB flash drives are still used on an almost daily basis by many, many people. These are the indispensable little products that we carry our files around in. I know quite a few IT people that carry complete operating systems on them (I keep a Linux Live USB handy). It has also become increasingly popular to keep a web browser on a USB key to maintain better privacy (when combined with TOR). Now the problem is getting a USB key that has enough room and speed to keep things humming along so that these are extra steps are not slowing you down when you are working. We have gone through quite a few USB keys and are now taking a look at another one from Kingston; The DataTraveler Elite 3.0 32GB USB 3.0 Flash drive.

mbl05With the increasing popularity of the SD form factor for media storage (SDHC, SDXC, etc) in modern devices like Cameras, Camcorders and more it was no surprise to see many mobile devices built with an SD card reader. However, most desktop were left out as there is no spot on a motherboard to deal with this. So many photographers and videographers end up tethering their cameras to their systems just to get their images onto them for work. This is awkward and can be annoying. True there is an option for a multi-card reader, but many of those are slow or can be as bulky as the cameras were. With the release of the USB 3.0 specification and the rise of the case with USB 3.0 ports on the front it was time to revisit the multi-card reader. Today we have a small USB 3.0 multi-card reader from Kingston that is not much bigger than a USB flash drive. So follow along as we introduce you to the Kingston MobileLite G3 USB 3.0 Reader.

board04As we continue our coverage of both Ivy Bridge and the Z77 Express chipset we now head over to Gigabyte. Gigabyte is a company that has worked very hard for the position they have in the market. They were originally a manufacturer who concentrated on compatibility and stability rather than working on pushing the envelope in terms of speed and performance. However that was a long time ago. Now they are definitely working to get the most out of each product. We have watch them develop their line up since the P55 days and know that they are more than capable of putting out a motherboard (and other products) that can satisfy your performance needs. So with that in mind let’s take a look at what Gigabyte has built into the GA-Z77X-UD3H in terms of design choices and features.

744px-PCI_Express_logo_svgWith PCIe 3.0 just coming on to the scene the PCI special interest group (PCI-SIG) just announced that they are planning on releasing PCIe 4.0 sometime around 2014-2015. Now that is assuming we all survive the Mayan apocalypse, but if we all do then it looks like the interconnects between the devices on our systems will get quite a bit faster. According to the press release, the new specification can move 16 “Gigatransfers” (is that even a word?) per second.

hyperx02As the devices we carry around with us get smaller and smaller there is going to be an increasing want (or need) for larger and faster portable storage devices. We have watched over the last few years as the storage capacity of USB flash drives (Pen Drives, Thumb Drives etc.) has grown rapidly. It was not that long ago that a 1-2GB drive was something to have. Now we have small flash drives in the 64, 128 and even 256GB range! Kingston has been one of the companies on the forefront if this charge into larger capacity and faster performance. We have tested out multiple products from them from encrypted storage devices to the hefty DTUltimate G2 32GB USB3.0 thumb drive. Now we have a new product on the bench from Kingston. This one is being sold under their performance name HyperX. The Drive boasts 64GB of storage and 225MB/s of read performance! If the paper is to be believed this is almost twice the performance of the DTUltimate G2, which topped out at around 116MB in our testing. Let’s dive in and see if the paper claims match the real world performance.

GA-A75-UD4HWith all of the excitement surround a CPU launch from both AMD and then Intel some of the smaller products have been overlooked. These are parts like the A75 chipset and the Llano CPU. We have had one of these up on the test bench for a while now. Mostly to run the performance tests and see where this hardware falls in terms of real performance, but also to try it out and see just what it is like to use.  After all this is a platform that AMD was putting a good deal of stock in for future sales and market share. We wanted to see what it would be like to actually use one. We have already taken a look at the design philosophy and features So without any further preamble we bring you the second half of our Gigabyte A75-UD4H motherboard review.

   

Kingston Digital Launches USB 3.0 Media Reader

·        USB 3.0 Interface Provides Up to 5.0Gb/s Data Transfer Speed

·        Perfect Device for Quick Downloads from High-Capacity Flash Memory Cards

 

Fountain Valley, CA -- August 1, 2011 -- Kingston Digital, Inc., the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, today announced the launch of the Kingston® USB 3.0 Media Reader. The reader takes advantage of performance benefits offered by USB 3.0 technology, allowing for faster data download times.

The Kingston USB 3.0 Media Reader supports multiple card formats including the newer high-capacity SDXC. With its quick and easy plug-and-play design, it delivers up to 5.0Gb/s data transfer speed for high-resolution images, large data files and more making it ideal for serious enthusiasts who need a fast and reliable data transfer device. It is also backwards compatible with USB 2.0.

“The Kingston USB 3.0 Media Reader’s ability to handle multiple card formats combined with its small form factor makes it perfect for use at home, on the road or in the office,” said Andrew Ewing, Flash memory business manager, Kingston. “It is the essential device for reading higher-speed cards currently offered in the market and a convenient way to move photos, music, data and more between multiple platforms.”

The Kingston USB 3.0 Media Reader comes with a three-foot USB 3.0 cable. It is backed by a two-year warranty, 24/7 tech support and legendary Kingston reliability. For more information visit www.kingston.com.

Kingston USB 3.0 Media Reader Features and Specifications:

·         Portable: convenient small size

·         Versatile: works with the following Flash card formats:

  • CompactFlash

– CF Type I (UDMA 0-6)

– CF Type II (UDMA 0-6)

  • Secure Digital

– SD

– SDHC

– SDHC UHS-I

– SDXC

– SDXC UHS-I

  • microSD

– microSD

– microSDHC

– microSDXC

  • Memory Stick®/M2*

– Memory Stick®

– Memory Stick® PRO

– Memory Stick® Duo™

– Memory Stick® PRO Duo™

– Memory Stick® M2

·         Requirements: system with USB 3.0 port

·         Backwards Compatible: with USB 2.0

·         Dimensions: 3.66" x 2.07" x 0.63" (93.17mm x 52.68mm x 16.00mm)

·         Speed Rating**: USB 3.0, up to 5.0Gb/s data transfer speed

·         Operating Temperature: 32º to 140ºF / 0º to 60ºC

·         Storage Temperature: -4º to 185ºF / -20º to 85ºC

·         Operating System Compatibility: Windows® 7, Windows Vista® (SP1, SP2), Windows XP (SP3)

·         Guaranteed: two-year warranty

 

* All brand and product names mentioned herein are for identification purposes only. Memory Stick and Memory Stick PRO Duo are trademarks of Sony Corporation. Kingston is not affiliated with Sony Corporation. Other product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

** Speed may vary due to host and device configuration.

 

Kingston USB 3.0 USB Media Reader

Part Number

Capacity and Features

MSRP (U.S.)

FCR-HS3

Multi-Card Reader 3.0

$ 45.00

K I N G ST O N PAR T NUMBERS

 

About Kingston Digital, Inc.

Kingston Digital, Inc. (“KDI”) is the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., the world’s largest independent manufacturer of memory products. Established in 2008, KDI is headquartered in Fountain Valley, California, USA. For more information, please visit www.kingston.com or call 800-337-8410. 

 

Kingston and the Kingston logo are registered trademarks of Kingston Technology Corporation. All rights reserved. All other marks may be the property of their respective titleholders.

 

 



01AMD is a company that not too long ago was on top. They had done something that no one thought possible; they were able to outperform Intel clock for clock.  But they had a problem; they had a winning CPU but had to rely on others for a solid platform to run on. This prompted AMD to buy ATi (one of the companies that had a good chipset for AMD) which gave them a GPU business and a chipset business. The problem has been paying the bill on that particular purchase. This has prevented them from putting a lot of money into R&D and has also led to some, well unimpressive products (on the CPU side not the GPU). We have worked through several CPUs and chipsets; each one improving a little over the other but never really catching up to what Intel has on the market.  Now things could be different; nVidia has allowed SLI on an AMD chipset and AMD is making good strides in terms of what their chipsets can do (with limitations from the CPU and IMC). We have their latest chipset in the form of the Gigabyte 990FXA-UD5. This is a Three-Way SLI AMD motherboard with lots to offer. We are going to look at the design, layout, and cover some design philosophy and features along the way.

 

 

10When people think about cases many different things come to mind. To some the best case is a simple black box (or beige) that they put their components into and that is that. Others want more style to the box that holds all of their expensive hardware. But that raises a question, what is style to one person might not be to another. We also have to consider that what I may think is a great feature is a useless add-on to someone else. It is with this in mind that we take a look at a rather unusual case. This is the V9 BlackX Edition. This mid tower enclosure has a very interesting feature in that it has dual SATA HDD docks on the top of the case. This is along with the usual features that you would expect to find in any PC case.  So let’s see if the V9 BlackX is a great device, or is it just a giant drive dock.