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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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    The Magnificent Seven: "Not Quite Magnificent But A Rare Remake That Actually Delivers"

    Remaking John Sturges’ crowdpleaser – a western beloved by even those normally left saddle sore by the genre – might be considered sacrilege… except that the hallowed 1960 picture is itself a remake. Sturges transposed Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 masterpiece Seven Samurai from Japan to Mexico, with a septet of sharpshooters rather than ronin now hired to protect a peasant village from rampaging bandits.

     

    Not that such an argument would stretch far had director Antoine Fuqua and writers Richard Wenk and Nic Pizzolatto produced something deserving of a title like The Modest Seven. Fuqua would have got it with both barrels regardless of the true backstory – or, indeed, the fact Sturges’ film, which birthed three sequels and a TV show, has already been reimagined as a space opera (Battle Beyond the Stars ), an Italian sword-and-sandal epic (The Seven Magnificent Gladiators), and a Pixar animation (A Bug’s Life).

     

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    Thankfully, this version is locked and loaded. Set in and around frontier town Rose Creek in 1879, it opens with Peter Saarsgard’s industrialist Bartholomew Bogue making an aggressive offer (literally – he torches the town’s church) for the residents’ land. In a rush to get at the gold, he swears to be back in three weeks, and they’d better be gone. What choice is there given Bogue has the sheriff paid off and a posse of squinty-eyed, itchy-fingered men in his employ?

     

    There’s one alternative: hire warrant officer Chisolm (Denzel Washington) to round up six more guns to defend the town. There’s explosives expert Josh Faraday (Chris Pratt), outlaw Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), Confederate sharpshooter Goodnight Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke), scalp-hunter Jack Horne (Vincent D’Onofrio), assassin Billy Rocks (Byung-hun Lee) and Comanche warrior Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier). Having assembled like proto-Avengers, they train the timid townsfolk in the art of war…

     

    Washington is badass. Teaming with Fuqua for a third time, after Training Dayand The Equalizer, he plays, essentially, the part occupied by Yul Brynner in Sturges’ movie and Takashi Shimura in Kurosawa’s original – a daunting prospect, but no problem when you possess Washington’s experience, authority and cache of cool.

     

     

    From the moment Washington rides in, backlit by the blazing sun and dressed all in black upon a midnight steed, he owns the film. “I seek righteousness but I’ll take revenge,” Chisolm growls upon hearing the name Bogue; in one of several story tweaks, it’s clear there’s a personal backstory here.

     

    Chisolm’s gang includes an Irishman, a Mexican, a Native American and a Korean as Fuqua both addresses Hollywood’s diversity issue and reminds Donald Trump that America was built upon immigrant spirit. Each character is fleshed out, morphing from merc to saviour, with the cast, like forebears Brynner, McQueen, Bronson et al., being a pleasure to hang with.

     

    Jawing aside, The Magnificent Seven thrills with its iconography and action. Leone-style close-ups fetishise narrowed eyes under low, wide brims; horses gallop across widescreen plains in clouds of dust; a rowdy saloon falls deafeningly silent upon the entrance of a stranger; low-slung shots worship the seven walking in a line; a thrilling orchestral score features breakout horns, plucked banjo strings and hints of Elmer Bernstein’s galvanising original music; and Red Harvest dons Stars ’n’ Stripes war paint.

     

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    “You speak Comanche?” Harvest asks Chisolm. “You speak white man’s English?” comes the response. This is a western with political intent, though the brutal finale is open to interpretation – a celebration of the Second Amendment as townsfolk protect their homes, or an unblinking stare at the terrible violence that befalls the right to bear arms?

    A startlingly barbarous set-piece, this climactic shootout recalls Peckinpah in the intensity of its violence. Don’t be fooled by the 12A certificate. This hurts, with guns, knives, arrows, cannons, dynamite and machine guns ratcheting up a kill count to make Rambo weep, while impact is maximised by having damn-near every corpse plummet off a roof. After a summer of mediocre blockbusters that elicited a collective ‘meh’, it’s a joy to feel once more.

     


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