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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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    XXX: Return Of Xander Cage

    It’s been 15 years since we last saw Vin Diesel in xXx as thrillseeker/secret agent/big-coat-wearer Xander Cage and, since then, the series has matured very little. xXx: Return of Xander Cage lobs out one ludicrous set piece after another, giving you very little time to think about the nonsense you’re seeing onscreen, which is a good thing because the film seems like it was written by a child.

     

    The thing is: that child is best friends with Vin Diesel, so it’s kind of okay.

     

    According to 2005 sequel xXx: State of the Union, Xander Cage was killed in an explosive attack, but in this sort-of threequel, he is very much alive, with no real explanation as to why. The way we know that Xander Cage is alive is because he’s reintroduced to us in the film by jumping off of a dangerously high satellite pylon and skiing down a jungle, which is something dead people very rarely do. Despite being up to his old death-defying tricks, Cage is no longer an agent-for-hire and instead spends his days watching football in the slums of Brazil.

     

    The xXx programme, which recruits daredevils and turns them into terrorist-hunting spy-people, doesn’t care that Xander Cage is retired because they need him to hunt down some government-attacking radicals led by Rogue One’s Donnie Yen. You know Yen’s character is bad because in his first scene he wears a leather jacket and smokes a cigarette and then does a 90ft jump through a window into the NSA headquarters, duffs up a load of suits and steals a big remote control that can shut down satellites and crash them into earth. This is something the NSA doesn’t want to happen and so Xander Cage needs to not be retired.

     

     

    The plot may seem boringly straightforward but that barely matters, because the story is pretty much a thin piece of string that ties each silly stunt scene together. There’s almost never a dull moment in the film - even an exposition-heavy scene featuring three people chatting at a table in a bar is helped along by them chucking a grenade at one another before the whole thing breaks down and Vin and his pals continue their little back-and-forth on the back of two motorcycles whilst riding on the sea.

     

    D.J. Caruso directs each set piece like an impressive Red Bull extreme sports promo – fitting, given that actual professional extreme sportspeople replace the actors for many of the sequences, most of which are almost entirely (and unbelievably) based on real-life stunts, and performed by real-life mad men and women.

     

     

     

    The cast is incredibly diverse and, coincidentally (or cynically depending on your opinion), manages to draw on talent from major worldwide cinema-going markets including the UK, India, China, Thailand and Australia. There are also varying degrees of acting ability on offer, from Academy Award Nominee Toni Collette to potato-faced hardman and UFC champion Michael Bisping. Brazilian footballer Neymar also makes his Hollywood debut in a touching breakfast scene with Samuel L. Jackson that culminates in the striker stopping a robbery by volleying a table napkin holder at a gunman’s head.

    There are very few films where this scene can happen at all, let alone appear and not be the most ridiculous thing in the entire film. Somehow, in the xXx world, this is a thing that can just happen and everyone continues to go about their days. As for Vin Diesel, he’s given the main bulk of the absurd lines and scenarios, which is lucky as only Vin Diesel could get away with walking topless into a room full of basically nude women, having sex with said women before remarking, “the things I do for my country”, then leaving the ladies asleep the next morning and presumably never calling them again.

     

    As well as questionable post-coital etiquette, the film is overflowing with cliched lines about getting positive results despite doing naughty things and the characters tend to mostly speak in Nike slogans, which can get tiresome but somehow doesn’t manage to hurt the overall entertaining spirit of the whole affair.

     

    The Verdict

    You probably already know whether or not you should go see xXx: Return of Xander Cage - it depends on your willingness to accept entirely farcical and nonsensical plotlines, dialogue and situations just because they feature the inhumanly charismatic Vin Diesel. It’s an utterly ridiculous ride that doesn’t dare take itself seriously, nor hang around long enough to ever commit the twin sins of getting boring or making you question the ludicrousness of what you’re seeing onscreen.


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