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Kingston's First NVMe SSD, The KC1000

Kingston has reintroduced the KC1000 NVMe SSD. We first saw the drive in January at CES, but the company wanted to hold the details until the official launch. Seemingly, that is in the very near future--mid June.
The KC series has historically targeted system builders and corporations upgrading systems en masse. Kingston released several client SSDs under the KC brand, and many of them were tuned for increased stability and longevity but share similar hardware with models from the standard consumer product line. The KC1000 press release seems to turn the tables and take this series in a slightly different direction.
"The demands of today’s performance power users are constantly being put to the test as new data-intensive applications push the boundaries of what can be achieved with even the market’s high performance professional workstations and most powerful gaming rigs,” said Ariel Perez, SSD business manager, Kingston. “KC1000 is the perfect solution to meet the needs of media and design professionals, gaming enthusiasts and anyone who needs ultra-low latency storage performance to end data bottlenecks. This native NVMe device offers one of the industry’s most powerful storage solutions for high-resolution content delivery, virtual reality applications, accelerated game play or a competitive edge for the creative professional on tight deadlines.”
Gamers, power users, and enthusiasts have always been directed to the HyperX brand, but in recent years that series shifted to target gamers exclusively. Kingston calls the KC1000 an "Ultimate Storage Upgrade for HD Video, PC Enthusiasts, Gaming and More." The release later identified a list of specific application categories the series will perform well in:
High-resolution video editing Virtual and augmented reality applications CAD software applications Streaming media Graphically intensive video games Data visualization Real-time analytics  
It seems the KC series may begin to target a wider audience with the introduction of the first Kingston NVMe SSD.
The KC1000 series ships in three capacity sizes, but there are a total of six product SKUs. For each capacity, the drives ships as either a bare drive or with a half-height, half-length (HHHL) add-in card adapter. The performance coming from the Phision PS5007-E7 controller paired with Toshiba 15nm planar NAND looks strong. The sequential read performance reaches 2,700 MB/s, and the sequential writes are 900 MB/s for the 240GB model and 1,600 MB/s for the two largest-capacity drives. Random performance is also impressive, with up to 290,000 IOPS (225,000 for the 240GB). Users can reach up to 190,000 random write IOPS.
Kingston backs the KC1000 series with a generous five-year limited warranty with ample endurance figures that reach as high as 1PB for the 960GB drive.
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    Acer's crazy big Predator 21 X laptop wields a curved display and two GTX 1080s

    In an era of increasingly thin and light laptops, someone at Acer must have said, "Screw that!" and convinced the top brass that what the market really needs is a monster sized notebook built around a 21-inch curved display. Hence, the Predator 21 X was born. It's the polar opposite of an Ultrabook, which we hear makes a great snack for the Predator 21 X.


    Acer's big to-do here is that no other laptop in the world has a curved display. Curved panels are supposed be more immersive than flat screens, though the effect probably wouldn't work very well on a 13-inch or 15-inch laptop. As such, Acer jumped straight to 21 inches.


    The display in question is an IPS panel with a 2,200R curvature and a rather tame 2560x1080 resolution (compared to the rest of the hardware). It also has G-Sync support and integrated Tobii eye-tracking technology.


    A 7th generation (Kaby Lake) Intel Core i7 processor mingles with up to 64GB of DDR4-2400 RAM (there are four DIMM slots), two GeForce GTX 1080 GPUs in SLI, and up to 4TB of SSD storage with RAID-0 support. It also has an HD webcam, full-size mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX key switches and RGB backlighting, a number pad that flips over into a touchpad, and a 4.2 audio system.




    That's a lot of high-end, heat producing hardware for a laptop, though this isn't a skinny system. It measures 568 x 314.5 x 83.25mm (WxDxH), room enough to accommodate all those components plus a five-fan cooling system with three AeroBlade metal fans.


    There's no mention of battery life, but let's not kid ourselves, you need to park this thing next to a power outlet for any kind of extended use. You wouldn't want to tote it around more than absolutely necessary anyway—it weighs 8 kg (~17.6 pounds) and requires two power supplies.


    There's no mention of cost, though Acer says you'll be able to configure a Predator 21 X starting in January. The long lead time is probably there to help Acer gauge interest. Not that anyone else is likely to try competing in the 21-inch notebook category.



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