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CES 2009 Coverage

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Going into day 3 here are the International Consumer Electronics Show 2009 OCC is bringing you more interesting technology coming to your door. Today we start off taking a look at a big name in the memory industry, pushing the limits of speed to allow you to smoke your competition. We also have Lian Li, with their unique case designs and finally the new USB 3.0 standard with increased speeds, claiming up to ten times the bandwidth of USB 2.0.



Today OCC was fortunate to meet with Mushkin to take a look at some of their upcoming products. On display they had two of their new Accent series DDR3 memory kits. One of their kits, the XP3-16000 Triple Channel DDR3 kit was running in a system displaying an impressive overclock. The kit, which is comprised of 3 x 1GB modules, is rated for 2000MHz with 9-9-9-24 timings at a voltage of 1.65v. That is quite an impressive speed and with tighter timings than the JEDEC specification of 9-10-10-25. In addition the the XP3-16000 Triple Channel set, Mushkin also has a power supply and two other DDR3 Triple Channel sets, the XP3-15000 at 9-9-9-24 and an HP Series DDR3 Triple Channel kit.








Lian Li:

One of the best known case manufacturers is Lian Li, who had a nice array of cases on display at their booth. They showcased everything from small HTPC sized cases, to one of the tallest cases on the market. There were some quite impressive cases, including the PC-X2000, which measures 680mm tall and has three "zones" to control temperatures and keep hotter components away from the critical parts of the system. Another unique case was the Lian Li PC-888 Sail. This sleekly designed case offers an integrated card reader, optimum cooling and a hard drive cage that contains four hot swappable bays that will support RAID with a compatible motherboard. Lian Li also included some of their power supplies and the infamous "CrossFire" limited edition case, that was designed around the PC-P80 Armorsuit.








USB 3.0:

We have seen details of the USB 3.0 specifications appear towards the end of last year, and at the SuperSpeed USB booth they had some prototype hardware set up to show the advancements you can expect over the current USB 2.0 standard. That means a theoretical 5Gbps bandwidth in both directions (USB 2.0 is limited to one at a time), with a transfer rate of up to around 250MB/s seen using the benchmark demonstrated. Claims of moving 27GB of data in 60-70 seconds would be a boon to those using large external hard drives. Have you ever transferred large amounts of data to a 250GB+ hard drive?! Sometimes it takes forever and you have to go get something to eat! Right now, the amount of data being transferred is immense compared to a few years ago. So transferring HD video to/from computers with USB storage, or backing up a media jukebox to an external USB hard drive, around 1TB or more, would normally take a long time, but with USB 3.0, the transfer time is massively reduced. The way the capacity of external storage is growing, you can easily see how fast transfers for large amounts of external data would be an indisputable advantage. Aside from data performance improvements the USB 3.0 specification dictates a lower idle, and a higher maximum power capacity. In real world terms this means that, say if you were using an external USB hard drive that takes the power from the USB cable(s), you would get better battery life. Conversely, if you have USB chargeable devices such as mobile phones or MP3 players that can charge through a USB cable, you have almost twice the current, 950mA for USB 3.0 compared to 500mA for USB 2.0, so you could charge device faster, and also power more devices through USB hubs etc.





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