MS: One OS future in the works

posted in: Technology News 0

windows-8-logoWhile Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and the Xbox OSes may look like they’re part of the same family of operating systems, it wasn’t actually the same operating system on an engineering level.

It looks like that will change and Microsoft is moving full steam ahead towards its one Windows future. I hope they get it right this time.

Apple still keeps its mobile and desktop operating systems separate on the engineering level and implements hooks and functions to facilitate communication between the different platforms. But as mobile technology advances and we get faster mobile processors, a future where a single operating system can transform from phone, to tablet and to desktop with ease can be incredibly beneficial.

Imagine developing an application that will work across multiple platforms. All you have to do is adjust the user interface to fit each platform’s screen. Microsoft was promising that with Windows 8 and its sister operating systems but that didn’t pan out because of the fundamental differences on the engineering level.

Maybe now that they’re building the next Windows from the ground up with multiple platforms in mind, their vision will pan out.

WD Red Pros & HGST Helium drives

posted in: Technology News 0

Western Digital LogoNAS, DAS and SOHO server owners will have a performance option through Western Digital Red series. The WD Red Pro will forgo its “Intellipower” feature and crank up RPMs up to 7200.

I wouldn’t get one. I’m perfectly happy with my Western Digital Red drives running at 5400 RPM while sipping power. I care about reliability and power efficiency more when it comes to network storage solutions.

While reading up on these Western Digitals, I ran into the HGST Helium filled drives. These drives made by Hitachi (a subsidiary of Western Digital now) use helium to reduce friction which means these drives should use less power to spin those many platters encased within.

Sounds like a good idea but it’s also an expensive idea which is why it debuted in the enterprise market first. I’m curious when we’ll see it in the consumer market.

Remember Pentium?

posted in: Technology News 0

intel_logo.pngI remember the days when the word Pentium was the cream of the crop for Intel. Now it sits along side the Celeron as budget CPUs for low cost machines. I didn’t even give the Intel Pentium lineup a glance since the introduction of the Intel Core series of CPUs.

But now, 20 years later, Intel decided to celebrate that classic name with the Intel Pentium G3258. This chip is supposed to be cheap and highly overclockable. It’s also not entirely crippled either.

My first CPU was Cyrix. I had no idea what its frequency was because I didn’t keep it for long. It was quickly exchanged for an Intel Pentium 120 MHz. I think I managed to overclock that to 133 MHz. I didn’t make substantial overclocking gains until I owned the Pentium III 866MHz and several Pentium IV chips.

Oh the memories.

Nowadays, I barely overclock CPUs. I just rely on Intel touted “Turbo Boost” options. I’m not against it, it’s just that most games are not CPU limited, so I focus on overclocking GPUs these days.

I still boot into BIOS/EFI interfaces to check out overclocking options though. I appreciate the advancements we have made. No more DIP switches and no more ambiguous BIOS options to toy with. Now everything is documented and so easy to pull off, your mother can probably overclock.


Samsung SSD 850 Pro ushers in 3D NAND

posted in: Technology News 0

Samsung LogoThe Samsung SSD 850 Pro a new king of solid state drives for the 6Gbps SATA interface. It will cost ~$130 for the 128GB model which is a ridiculous price compared to the 256GB Crucial MX100 that I picked up for $110. The Crucial MX100 isn’t a complete slouch either.

I didn’t know there was a growing concern over interference with shrinking NAND. I’ll quote the AnandTech review:

The above can be fairly tough to digest, so let’s do a simple analogy that everyone should be able to understand. Imagine that you have a bunch of speakers with each playing a different song. When these speakers are relatively large and far away from each other, it is easy to properly hear the song that the speaker closest to you is playing. Now, what happens if you bring the other speakers closer to the speaker you are listening? The other speakers will interfere and it becomes harder to tell your song apart from the others. If you turn down the volume or switch to smaller speakers with lower output volume, it becomes even harder to distinquish your song from the songs that the other songs that other speakers are playing. If you repeat this enough times, there will be a point when you are hearing your song as unclearly as the other songs.

The effect is essentially the same with NAND scaling. When the cells, or speakers in the analogy, move closer to each other, the amount of interference increases, making it harder to sense the cell or listen to the speaker. At the same time the size of the cell (or speakers) is shrunk, which further complicates the focus on one cell (or speaker).

So instead of trying to place speakers closer and closer together on the X and Y axis, Samsung (and others) have begun stacking NAND along the Z axis as well. Now SSD manufacturers will continue to pack more and more storage in the same space constraints.

This whole 3D NAND thing reminds me of the time when Seagate introduced Perpendicular Recording Technology back in 2006. It gave us more GBs in the same space for a cheaper prices. 3D NAND will yield the same results as soon as other competitors like Crucial get on board.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 60