Category : Hard Drives

Say Hello To Intel’s Optane


Hello Optane!

First Optane storage announced at CES in the low form of 16 GB and 32GB units to be used as cache, not primarily storage. It is anticipated that Optanes will gradually grow in densities and capacities over the next few years.

3D Xpoint is the technology that bases Optane. Memory cells sit in three-dimensional mesh. Intel and Micron cooperated together on the development of the technology. The first 16G and 32 GB storage will work only on PCs with Kaby Lake chips. New Optanes are exclusive to Kaby Lake and will not on PCs with older Intel chips like Skylake or Broadwell or on PCs with AMD chips.

Intel will eventually ship large-capacity Optane SSDs, replacing conventional SSDs and DRAM. Optane will also ship as a DRAM replacement that could plug into DIMM slots. Optane memory will be denser and retain data in comparison to DRAM, which deletes data once a PC is turned off. Intel claims Optane could be up to 10 times faster than conventional SSDs, making gaming, PC booting and productivity applications much much faster. However, no real world tests have been completed as of yet.

The large-capacity Optane SSDs will most likely be installed in servers before coming PCs. Facebook and IBM are already testing large-capacity SSDs in servers. Low-capacity Optane storage will ship in the second quarter of this year. The storage will initially go into sockets on motherboards. Eventually large capacity Optane storage will plug into m.2 slots or 2.5-inch slots.

3 Laptops that will have Optane

Lenovo’s ThinkPad T570 $909. Will have optional 16 GB PCle M.2 2242-S3 and is available in March even if Optane comes later.

HP’s new and improved Envy Curved All-in-One 34 with Kaby Lake. Will get Optane when updated in spring, and that is all the details we get.

Dell plans to install Optane in some of its Precision laptops and OptiPlex desktops around June. Intel’s new “tall” NUC systems — the NUC7i3BNH with 7th Generation Core i3, NUC7i5BNH with Core i5, and the NUC7i7BNH with Core i7 — will support Optane.


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Intel Core i7-6900K against the lineup


Intel Core i7-6900K Eight cores and 16 available threads via Intel’s familiar Hyper-Threading technology. Hyper-Threading allows each actual core to work on two threads at the same time. The Core i7-6900 has a 3.2 GHz base clock speed that is 200MHz faster than the at of the previous-generation top of the line, eight-core Core i7-5960X Extreme Edition, as well the current-gen 10-core Core i7-6950X. All of the new Broadwell-E chips in the lineup will be backward-compatible with most X99-based Socket LGA 2011-v3 motherboards, provided that the motherboard maker offers up a BIOS update to support Intel’s latest chips.

Computer Shopper helped us all out by performing a Cinebench R15, an industry standard benchmark test that taxes all available cores of a processor to measure raw CPU muscle, the Core i7-6900K stuck reasonably close to its 10-core counterpart. Falling just 6 percent behind the Core i7-6950X, the eight-core Core i7-6900K impresses here, given the $600 price difference between those two chips.

This how the lineup performed in Benchmark testing done by Computer Shopper Reviewer, Matt Safford. 

Core 2 Core 3 Core 4 Core 5 Core 6


For those who are running time-consuming and fully threaded workloads each day the Core i7-6900K is a better value that the 10-core counterpart that costs significantly more money. It won’t be able to give you the highest performance possible, but as concluded from testing, it gets you pretty darn close. The Core i7-6900K is great for gamers and media connoisseurs as you won’t need to upgrade for several years and is still above quality in comparison to the Intel’s Broadwell-E-Stack. If you plan to connect various graphics cards and fast PCle storage will most likely want to go with a different model, perhaps the six core Core i7-6850K  because it has 40 PCle 3.0 lanes included, the highest base clock speed of it’s lineup (3.6Hz) and costs about half as much as the i7-6900K. If you looking for the best bang for your buck opt for the Core i7-6800K. Six cores, higher base clock speed than the i7-6900K at 3.4GHz and only costs $430. This chip makes do with 28 lanes of PCle, while 8 lanes is generally enough to handle the current graphics-card bandwidth. Even dropping two cards in leaves you with 12 lanes left for fast storage.






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Clean up that PC! 3 tools to help you out

At some point in your PCs life it is going to get so jam packed with STUFF that you have no choice but to clean house. This is a good thing, because it means your PC is used enough to get a healthy dose of clutter and that some user loves it enough to clean it up. There are a number of tricks you can use to free up storage on your PC and reap the benefits of a faster system. A particularly good place to start is by eradicating duplicate files and folders on your hard drive. Most are surprised to find out how much superfluous data is sitting on their machines. For the average user, these are the top three tools we recommend to help you tackle the junk.

download-Double-killerDoubleKiller – This all-purpose duplicate finder can not only scan folders but your entire hard drive, and even other PCs on your local network. By comparing file names, size, modification date, and even content, the program lets you know what things to get rid of, with your permission of course. You can also exclude files, if you are worried about accidentally being too clean. reports have been made that the infrastructure of the software can be a little tricky. If you get lost, start by adding some folders to scan under the Options tab, then go back to the DoubleKiller tab and click Run. When it has scanned your PC you can decided if you want to delete the files or move them to a new location.

dupeGuru Picture Edition – This tool is all about finding those pesky duplicates in your image folders. Pictures (especially if you are like me and have near 11,000 photos), are one of the top sources for duplicates. As people migrate to new PCs, restore data from back-ups, and extend pictures to the cloud, opportunity for random doubles arise. And I myself do not want to try to find each and every one of them. DupeGuru PE is very easy to use. A simple window appears with options to add folders for scanning. When you’ve decided the folders you would like scanned, just hit Scan and let the master take it away! Literally!

Winmerge – If you have lots of documents or text files this is the tool for you. Winmerge lets you compare two versions of a document, or an entire directory, and then view the actual differences between them on screen. You can choose to merge the text into one preferred document. Winmerge works differently then the other two tools on this list, as it does not search your entire hard drive for you. You have to know that you have two files or directories you’re comparing are similar or earlier versions of each other. This is effective in that you can see the differences and bring the files together into one version. The icons are designed to give the user visual cues to prompt you into understanding how everything works together.

Cheers to more storage!


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Top Ten External Hard Drives of 2016 – Highest Rated External Hard Drives | BVA IT Consulting Blog

For many, routinely backing up your data is a must and you can do it for relatively cheap. For instance, for under $100 you can add a terabyte or more of data storage to you laptop, desktop, or tablet. There are many to choose from and a couple things to consider depending on the type of external hard drive you want.  Desktop-class drives usually culminate at 6TB. They require a power adapter and are designed to stay in one place. They also come with a built-in fan for cooling which will extend its life expectancy.  Notebook-class hard drives are powered through a connector cable, without the need of a power adapter, and come in capacities from 500GB to 2TB. Although rare because of the cost per gigabyte, external solid-state drives (SSDs) for notebook-class can be found in smaller capacities ranging from 120GB to 512 GB. Here is a list of the top external hard drives:

LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2, $1299.00

Apricorn Aegis Padlock DT FIPS (4TB), $409.00g-speed external drive

Lacie Fuel, $199.00

Seagate Backup Plus Desktop Drive (5TB), $219.99

Apricorn Aegis Padlock SSD (480GB), $799.00

G-Technology G-Speed Studio (24TB), $3599.00

Monster Digital Overdrive Thunderbolt (1TB), $999.99

SanDisk Connect Wireless Media Drive (32GB), $79.99

Seagate Backup Plus Slim (2TB), $129.99

Western Digital My Passport Pro, $429.99

Fast Copy

Fast Copy. Whenever users are transitioning from an old machine to a new machine the biggest issue is how do I move my datat from one location to another and how long is this going to take. Fast Copy is a simply to use software that will allow users to easily copy data from one location to another. Fast Copy has been tested to run faster than the traditional copy and paste (or move) app that is standard with the Windows operating system. So if your in need of a tool to move gigs of data from one location to another, give this tool a shot.

Solid State Drives vs Hybrid Drives

In todays computing world everyone is looking for speed. In addition to speed is space, meaning how much space do I have on that hard drive and how fast can it read my data.

Solid State Drives are drives with no moving parts which make it less suspectibale to damage. SSD’s can read data up to 500mb per second compared to regular drives that read at about 200mb per second. The cost of a solid state drives is generally double what you would pay for a regular drive, the advantage again is speed. Boot up times for many of the operating systems is just seconds rather than minutes we have all learned to hate.

We also have Hybrid drives that blend regular hard drive capacity with a bit of SSD speed. This works by by placing traditional rotating platters and a small amount of high-speed flash memory on a single drive. Basically the drive monitors what is accessed the most frequently and basically learns which actions to perform but putting this information in flash memory. Since this is drive learns, that means new data access will perform slower than if you were using just a solid state drive.

So if you can afford it SSD’s really are the way to go for speed and performance. However if you are on a budget, consider a hybrid drive. This will give you a boost in boot up speed and actions that you peform on a regular basis.

Western Digital launching Worlds first 5mm 2.5-inch Hard Drive

If you didn’t think your hard drives could get any smaller, you would be wrong. Western Digital is now shipping a new 5mm 2.5 hard drives. The target for these new devices is for the ever more present ultra-books and super thin laptops. Western digital even claims that these devices are 35% thinner than most of the trendy smart phones out there. The good news is you can get an ultra slim hard drive for about $90.