Figuratively, Z68 is a sort of combination of what P67 and H67 have to offer. In it Intel gives enthusiasts new overclocking and caching features, but perhaps the most interesting innovation is related to the Solid-State Drive 311 Series.
A 20-gigabyte SSD that opens the series is optimized for Intel Smart Response Technology supported by Z68. According to Intel, it implements storage I/O caching to provide users with faster response times for things like system boot and application startup. The technology accelerates system response by moving frequently used blocks of disk data to an SSD, providing faster access to user data than the hard disk alone can provide.
As for overclocking, the new chipset allows users to change processor core ratios, graphics clock speeds and DDR3 memory ratios.
The Z68 chipset supports third-party switchable graphics solutions (e.g. Virtu from LucidLogix), Intel Quick Sync Video (hardware video acceleration), Intel Insider, Intel HD Graphics and Intel InTru 3D (3D movie playback).
Z68 also features FDI and DMI interconnects, an Intel HD Audio codec, 8 PCI Express 2.0 lanes, 6 SATA Gbps ports (with Intel Rapid Storage Technology and Intel Smart Response Technology), an SPI interface, a Gigabit LAN controller, 14 USB 2.0 ports and a display controller with HDMI, DVI and DisplayPort interfaces.
Biostar rolled out its new TZ68A+ motherboard based on the Intel Z68 chipset supporting 2nd generation Intel Core processors. The new offering is aimed at overclockers and enthusiasts.
Biostar TZ68A+ is an ATX board that supports built-in graphics of Intel Sandy Bridge processors and LucidLogix Virtu technology that allows switching between integrated and discrete graphics. Other innovations provided by the new chipset include Intel Smart Response Technology that cuts response times for system boot and application startup.
Biostar TZ68A+ features 4 memory sockets supporting DDR3-2133 (OC), 2 x PCI Express x16 2.0 slots, 4 x SATA 3Gbps and 2 x SATA 6Gbps ports. Back-panel inputs/outputs include 2 x USB 2.0 and 2 x USB 3.0 ports, PS/2, HDMI, DVI, and Gigabit Ethernet connectors and audio jacks.
The new motherboard also supports proprietary technologies like BIO-Remote2 and Charger Booster.
Agility 3 delivers up to 525MB/s reads, 500MB/s writes, and up to 60,000 4KB random write IOPS while the value-oriented Solid 3 features 500MB/s reads, 450MB/s writes, and 20,000 4KB random write IOPS.
Available in a new boot-drive size 60GB capacity as well as 120GB and 240GB options, Agility 3 and Solid 3 SSDs feature TRIM support to optimize performance over the drive's lifespan. Both solutions come backed by a 3-year warranty.
Source: OCZ Technology Group
A recent survey commissioned by Crucial revealed that computer owners reportedly replace their personal computer after an average of only 4.5 years of use.
Even with the abundance of newer models, the survey revealed a strong reluctance to replace computers too often, with only 2% of respondents saying they were willing to replace their computer "every two or so years".
Infographic © Crucial
Despite strong loyalty, computer owners still struggle to find complete contentment with their current machine: nearly half (47%) dislike something about their computer, and approximately one in two (49%) are likely to have a disagreement with their computer for being "too slow to keep up."
The survey, conducted by Consumer Analysis Group, polled more than 1,000 computer owners in the US, aged 16-70. It found that the most commonly-owned computer type in the US today is an "old desktop computer", as identified by 29% of survey respondents.
When confronted with a sluggish machine, most computer owners said they turn to simple self-help methods, such as running the anti-virus checker (59%), compressing files (56%), or rebooting their machine (54%).
Of course, being a memory vendor, Crucial suggested memory replacement as an effort to speed things up. However, handling the insides of a computer, as with a "DIY" computer memory upgrade, filled more people with fear (35%) than sweeping up and discarding a spider (13%). A likely contributing factor is the widespread lack of knowledge about computer memory. Nearly half (45%) of people surveyed didn't know how much internal memory (RAM) is installed in their computer.
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VIA Labs announced the certification of its VL701 Low-Power USB 3.0 to SATA Bridge Controller by the USB Implementers Forum. The VL701 is a highly integrated single chip solution that allows users to connect any SATA hard disk drive, solid-state drive, or optical disc drive to their PC via USB 3.0.
Source: VIA Labs
Club 3D announced a new 1200-watt Switching Power Supply CSP-X1200CS, the top model of the series. The new PSU has 80-Plus Silver Certification and features an ultra-quiet 135-mm fan.
Source: Club 3D
Novel Concepts announced that it has developed what they claim to be the world's thinnest forced convection (fan-cooled) heatsink dubbed ThinSink. Thinner than a credit card, this low-profile solution has a volumetric cooling efficiency 25 times greater than today's best microprocessor heatsinks, which means it cools 25 times more heat per cubic centimeter.
Developed to fit inside small electronic devices such as notebooks, monitors, and tablets; ThinSink efficiently cools integrated circuits, semiconductors, LED's and other microelectronic heat generating devices.
ThinSink's smooth fan surface requires very little electrical power. A credit-card-sized ThinSink (85x55x0.75 mm), using a smooth fan 40-mm in diameter, spinning at 6,000 RPM, consumes only 0.031 watts of electricity (up to 2 days on a AAA battery).
Even with its low power consumption, this same credit-card-sized ThinSink has thermal performance of 2.73°C/W, at a fan speed of 6,000 RPM.
ThinSink is also very quiet, due to its thin smooth fan surface, which eliminates the pulsating sound and vibration caused by traditional fan blades. At 6,000 RPM, the novelty has a sound output less than 34 dBA.
Aside from being thin and flat, ThinSink is also lightweight. An aluminum credit-card-sized ThinSink weighs only 13.8 grams, including motor, and only occupies 4.5 cubic centimeters of space.
Novel Concepts is currently pursuing partnering and licensing opportunities for its ThinSink technologies, as well as licensing opportunities for its portfolio of patents and patent applications. The single-piece price for the credit card sized ThinSink evaluation unit is $750, reduced pricing is available on larger quantities.
Source: Novel Concepts
In an official press release ASUS announced a range of new motherboards based on the Intel Z68 Express chipset, namely the ASUS P8Z68 and ROG Maximus IV GENE-Z series.
As you may already know, in these motherboards ASUS will provide an implementation of LucidLogix Virtu so you can switch between built-in and discrete graphics. Another feature is Intel Smart Response Technology to accelerate hard drive performance and reduce energy consumption. The latter uses a solid-state cache to deliver the combined benefits of SSD speed and traditional hard drive storage capacity, cutting down on lengthy data access and system boot times in the process. This feature also reduces redundant hard drive spin, which lowers energy consumption and PC running costs.
Motherboards will of course support the ASUS-developed DIGI+ VRM technology called to improve durability, reliability and overclocking potential. And will feature UEFI instead of regular BIOS — with support for mouse, drag-n-drop, and a graphical user interface for the supposedly easier adjustment of BIOS parameters.
Briefly, specifications of P8Z68-V Pro are:
Note that the PCIe x16_3 slot shares bandwidth with PCIe x1_1 slot, PCIe x1_2 slot, USB3_34 and eSATA. The PCIe x16_3 default setting is in x1 mode.
Hard Disk Sentinel Professional, a software suite for HDD/SSD monitoring and analysis, reached version 3.60. It now has better support for AMD/Intel RAID, 3ware and MARVEL 6G SATA controllers, as well as new SSD controllers, and can properly detect SSDs, including OCZ Vertex3, Intel 320, Intel 510.
As the name implies, HDSentinel finds, tests, diagnoses (and possibly repairs) disk drive problems, reports and displays SSD and HDD health, performance degradations and failures. It provides you with a description of, tips and displays/reports on internal and external hard drives and SSDs.
The software can also be used as a benchmark since it can measure disk transfer speeds in real time.
A complete changelog can be found here.
Source: H.D.S. Hungary
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