Monday News, April 2nd 2011

Intel’s Sandy Bridge launch was a huge success and a great way to start 2011. Within a few weeks though a chipset error was found on every single P67 motherboard. The error could have degraded SATA 3Gbps performance over time, putting you at risk of data loss and even total drive failures. Users may have never experienced this issue but it needed to be fixed. Intel was quick to rectify this situation with B3 stepping silicon. All new P67 motherboards with the new fix will be called “B3”. Today we will be taking a look at a new gaming / enthusiast motherboard from MSI with this B3 fix. The motherboard is the P67A-GD80 (B3) and features a 12-Phase DrMOS Digital VRM, MSI’s Military Class II components, the new ClickBIOS and 10 USB 3.0 ports.

There was a bit of confusion initially, as SandForce itself boasted of its parallel 500MB/s read and write speeds while the consumer was seeing lower from initial offerings not understanding that our movement to 25nm NAND create new barriers in write performance of these drives. Simply reaching the parallel read/write speeds of SandForces specifications isn’t cost effective to the manufacturer with respect to the cost of 25nm now in use which is why we will see lower write performance specifications with lower capacity SSDs. Our review today is going to examine the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G 240 GB SSD and falls on the heels of our report a few weeks back of the OWC 6G 120GB version as well as that of the OCZ a few weeks before that.

Case, Cooling and Power

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Today, we find ourselves with a number of Icy Dock products that we use, however, we really hadn’t the time to speak to them to our readers and thought this might be a great opportunity.In first seeing this RAID Cage, we thought it incredible that we could fit 4 SSDs into one 5.25″ hdd slot on the front of our Test Bench. The RAID cage is fully SATA 6Gbps compatible, comes with cooling fans for those who like to push things and there are also activity lights on the front of each carriage.


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