Trending March 2024 # Intel Shows Off An Optane Memory H20 Drive, Along With Faster 670P Ssds # Suggested April 2024 # Top 7 Popular

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Intel may be selling its NAND division to storage rival SK Hynix, but the company will nonetheless introduce a newer, faster M.2 670P SSD, along with an updated Optane Memory drive.

The new 670P will feature a next-gen controller and support for Pyrite 2.0 encryption, and is rated for 150TBW for every 512GB of capacity. Intel said performance will improve thanks to better dynamic SLC cache, as well.

QLC drives store four bits of data per cell to cram as much data as possible into NAND memory. This increases capacity on the NAND, but tends to lead to sizeable performance hits. To compensate for this, drive makers configure the NAND’s unused capacity as SLC (single-level cell) as cache to improve performance.

Like most drives, the cache is dynamic and increases and decreases depending on the capacity. With the 670P, Intel said it improved this cache size to be about 11 percent larger over the previous 660P and 660P models. An empty 2TB 670P drive, for example, would have 280GB set aside as cache. About 24GB will be static cache that will remain constant no matter the drive’s capacity, and 256GB will be be set aside for dynamic cache. 

In the end, consumers should see higher performance from what has been a relatively low-cost class of SSDs. Intel said it’s selling three capacities in Q1 next year: 2TB, 1TB and 512GB. No prices were announced, but these drives will have to compete on an SSD playing field where there’s an oversupply of NAND.

Intel

New Optane Memory H20 Drive

Intel’s other consumer SSD news is a new iteration to its Optane Memory H10 drive. Like its predecessor, the Optane Memory H20 will be built using up to 1TB of QLC NAND and 32GB of Intel’s Optane memory. Optane offers magnitudes lower latency compared to traditional NAND, but can’t match its density or price.

Unlike conventional NAND SSDs that are seen as a single drive by the system, Optane Memory drives are actually two drives—but they’re still seen as a single drive by the system once the Intel RST Drive and supporting BIOS is configured to support it.

The new drive won’t arrive until the second quarter of 2023. Intel actually didn’t disclose pricing nor performance of both M.2 drives.

Intel

World’s fastest data Center SSD

In areas that won’t see service in consumer PCs, Intel also showed off its what it claims is not only the world’s fastest Optane drive, but also the fastest center drive: the P5800X.

The drive will support PCie 4.0 and is rated to hit 7.2GBps sequential read speeds and 6.2GB sequential write speeds. Random 4K IOPS read and write are rated at 1.5 million and up to 1.8 million IOPS on mixed 70/30 random IOPs.

“This is the world’s fastest data center SSD,” said Intel’s David Tuhy. “It’s a stunning product, we’re very proud of it. We think it’s a game changer.”

One telling example company officials cited was using Optane drives to buffer high speed network performance over 100GbE optical networks.

Intel said three 400GB P5800X Optane drives were able to effectively able to prevent buffer the network without saturation. Using its own 3.2TB D7-5600 SSDs would require seven of the drives.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated terabytes written for the 670P drive. PCWorld regrets the error.

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What Is Intel Optane Memory? Everything You Need To Know

If you’ve been following the latest news from Intel, you’ve probably heard of Optane memory. If you’re confused about what that is and why it matters, you’ve come to the right place. Optane is Intel’s upcoming storage technology that can compete with SSDs at an affordable price. Whenever we think of SSDs, what comes first to our minds is speed. From being able to provide speeds of 500 MB/s on SATA based SSDs, to being able to provide speeds upwards of 2500 MB/s on PCIe based NVMe SSDs, solid state drives have come a long way. These high speed drives are trying to get rid of the good old mechanical hard drives that offer you terabytes of storage space for under a hundred bucks. This is where Intel Optane kicks in and that’s exactly what we’re going to discuss in detail today. So, without further ado, let me first tell you what is Intel Optane Memory:

What Is Intel Optane Memory?

Intel’s Optane Memory technology is an upcoming storage technology that aims at making your mechanical hard drives much faster for an affordable price, using a non-volatile memory technology known as 3D XPoint. With Optane, Intel wants to provide high speed and system responsiveness without compromising the user’s system storage capacity. Their way of doing it is by using a super-fast cache memory to work in conjunction with your traditional mechanical hard drive. So basically, the most recently accessed data is put into a high-speed SSD cache, which includes Windows OS files, game data and much more. This, in turn helps to considerably speed up systems that are still using mechanical hard drives without breaking the bank.

What Is 3D XPoint?

3D XPoint is a non-volatile memory technology that promises to fill the huge gap between DRAM and NAND flash, by offering huge improvements in latency and performance. 3D XPoint was announced by Intel and Micron Technology back in July 2024, although the development started 3 years earlier. Intel claims that 3D XPoint is 1000 times faster than NAND Flash, but take that with a grain of salt. It has been considered as the solution to physical constraints and DRAM cost that have limited data center design for years. The first storage devices to use the 3D XPoint technology are Intel’s own Optane drives. Although not as fast as some of the high-end NVMe SSDs on the market, the Optane based memory is still considered as one of the fastest that is currently in production.

How Does Optane Perform?

The initial Optane drives where announced by Intel earlier this year at the CES in 16GB and 32GB variants, which promised to serve as cache memory and speed up traditional hard drives. Although that’s the case, Intel also has larger capacity SSDs based on Optane Memory in the works, like the Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X Series, which has a capacity of 375GB. Intel has recently shared the benchmarks on the Optane drives with larger capacity and compared them to NAND flash based Intel SSD DC P3700, which is almost 3 years old now. Although benchmarks have indicated that the Optane drives won’t reach the performance levels that Intel has claimed, atleast in real world usage, it shows enough potential and could end up as the storage technology of the future.

Another thing which Optane drives excel in is latency. Today, there’s a significant gap between the latencies of NAND flash and DRAM. Optane bridges the gap between NAND and DRAM, by offering much lower latencies than NAND flash and just 10 times higher latencies than DRAM. This is a huge improvement, considering Optane is non-volatile memory.

Why Does Intel Optane Matter?

One of the biggest reasons why Intel’s Optane memory is a big deal is because it can make our old mechanical hard drives relevant again. By using Optane as a cache memory and the hard drive as primary storage, it can significantly speed up our system and improve the responsiveness multifold at an affordable price. Yes, you don’t necessarily have to spend hundreds of dollars on PCIe based NVMe SSDs anymore. These Optane cache drives are in M.2 form factor and can be easily inserted into the M.2 slot on your computer’s motherboard. On the other hand, the 375GB Optane based solid state drive is fast enough that it can be used as a RAM. Well, If that doesn’t excite you enough, I have no idea what will.

Release Dates and Pricing

As we discussed earlier, the Optane cache memory will be available in 16GB and 32GB variants in an M.2 form factor for a price of $44 and $77 respectively. Now that’s affordable pricing for something that can speed up your good old mechanical hard drive up to 14 times faster. It can also improve the overall speed of your HDD based PC by 28%. These drives are expected to be available starting April 24.

Device Support for Octane

Intel Optane will be supported by almost all the Kaby Lake processors except the Kaby Lake based Pentium and Celeron CPUs. Even higher end Skylake processors are not compatible with Intel Optane memory. Most of the older motherboards aren’t supported either. Motherboard manufacturers like ASUS, MSI and Gigabyte have updated their BIOS on their recent motherboards to provide support for Optane memory technology. You can check out the complete compatibility list right here.

Also, Intel Optane Memory is initially aimed for desktop PC usage and support for Notebook and smartphones is coming at a later stage.

Is Optane The Future of Storage?

Intel Alder Lake Core I9 Benchmarks Faster Than M1 Max, With Major Caveats

Intel claimed earlier this month that its new Alder Lake Core i9 benchmarks faster than Apple’s M1 Max. As with all manufacturer claims (including those made by Apple), it doesn’t mean much until independently tested.

These tests have now been done using a chunky MSI GE76 Raider laptop, and do show that Intel’s claim is technically true – but there are some pretty major caveats …

We noted at the time that even Intel’s figures showed that its chip had massively higher power consumption, and Macworld says that benchmarks reveal the full extent of this.

First, most of the performance improvements of the Core i9 chip are marginal.

Geekbench is a general, overall usage benchmark that we use to test all of Apple’s chips in Macs and iPhones. In Geekbench 5’s multi-core CPU test, the Alder Lake Core i9 has a 5 percent lead over Apple’s processor. In the single-core test, Alder Lake’s improvement was 3.5 percent. That’s basically a draw. Alder Lake has a slight edge, but it many cases, you won’t even notice a difference.

When it comes to graphics, if you pair that Core i9 with an expensive Nvidia RTX3080 Ti GPU, then sure, the differences are dramatic. The PC achieves an OpenCL score of 143,594 against the M1 Max 59,774. But that’s not an, uh, apples for apples comparison. Use Intel’s on-board integrated GPU, and things look very different. There Intel scores just 21,097.

Macworld didn’t have an M1 Max machine to benchmark against the Intel one for Cinebench R32 (a good test of 3D modeling performance), but even paired to a high-end GPU, Intel only managed a score of 15,981 against the M1 Pro’s 12,381, so it seems likely that the M1 Max would win this one.

When it comes to power efficiency, Intel is nowhere.

During the Cinebench R23 multi-core test, the Alder Lake laptop was consistently in the 100-watt range, with spikes between 130 and 140 watts. [AnandTech] found that the M1 Max’s power draw was 39.7 watts versus over 100 for the 11-gen MSI GE76 Raider. That’s a lot less than Alder Lake.

In PCWorld’s testing, the MSI GE76 Raider got 6 hours of offline video playback, a far cry from the MacBook Pro’s 17 hours. That’s a huge difference, especially in a laptop. Granted, the MSI GE76 Raider won’t venture too far from a power outlet and has completely different demands than the MacBook Pro, but Apple has managed to deliver speeds that are nearly as impressive as Intel’s best without sacrificing efficiency.

Macworld’s Roman Loyola also notes that the Windows laptop used for these benchtests costs twice as much.

The laptop tested costs $3,999 and represents the absolute top-of-the-line Intel has to offer in a laptop. Apple’s 14-inch MacBook Pro costs half as much and performs nearly as well.

That’s before we even talk aesthetics…

And sure, the Raider is a laptop in name only, and will generally be run on mains power. But if you’re going to make that argument, then the relevant comparison will be the upcoming Mac Pro against a top-end Windows desktop. That one should be interesting!

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List Of Krita Plugins Along With Features

Introduction to Krita Plugins

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List of Krita Plugins

In the latest plugin list of Krita, we can include Pigment.O, Buli Notes, Krita Reference Plugin, Spaceottercode/ Kritatoot, and so on.

So let us discuss them one by one in a fascinating manner.

1. Pigment.O

Definition: This plugin has its expertise as Color Picker and Mixer tool and offers several tools for achieving this good result.

Color Management: It can display your active color and your previous color. You can also lock Luminosity with this plugin.

Harmony Color Management: Harmony Colors are displayed in categories such as Active color and ARD, HSL, HSV, and HUE panels.

Harmony Rules: It has rules for Harmony such as Monochromatic, Complementary, Analogous, Double Complementary, and Split Complementary Double.

Multiple Panels: It has the facility to display multiple panels such as the FGC panel, RGB panel, ARD panel, HSV panel, HSL panel, Hue panel, YUV panel, Gam panel, Dot panel, and Obj panel. All these panels are used for different purposes, such as using an FGC panel to display color temperature and harmony set.

Hex Code: It offers Hex color coding of independent color through which identification of color becomes easy for you; not only this, you can also lock the CMYK channel for stable mixing of color.

Adjustable and Scalable UI: Features offered by it are adjustable and Scalable for UI, which provides a smooth working environment for UI.

Setting/Quick access options: Settings for different parameters can easily do in it, and it has a quick options feature, saving you time in this software while working with it.

2. Buli Notes

Buli Notes also have several functionalities and characteristics for adding notes in the Krita file, which will be saved with the native file format of Krita.

Definition: It can be considered a note manager plugin of Krita, which can manage notes for addressing different types of components and will be embedded with the .kra file.

Notes Docker: All the notes made by this plugin in the .kra file will be available through docker, and in docker, you will have a List of defined notes, Add/Edit/ Remove notes option, Lock/Unlock notes option, Pin/ Unpin notes, and so on.

Three Types of Note Arrangement: It offers three types of notes Title, Description (you can describe anything in this note), and Color note.

Automatically Set Date/Time: One good thing is that it automatically sets the date/time on notes for the last modification and creation.

Text Editor: With Text Editor, you can choose font family, set font size, text weight, text style, and text alignment, and also add bullet points.

Hand Written Notes: It allows you to set handwritten notes on a scratchpad.

3. Krita Reference Plugin

You will also have some of the unique features in this plugin, which are as follows:

Definition: It is compatible with Krita 4.0.0 and uses for replacing removed reference images, docker, quickly in this version of Krita. One thing you must remember is that it is only for temporary removal.

Reference Image Tool: In Krita 4.1, the Reference Image Docker has been replaced with the Reference Images tool.

Zoom In/Out feature: If you want to Zoom In or Out, you can scroll the mouse wheel by holding the Ctrl button on the keyboard.

4. Spaceottercode/Kritatoot

Definition: This plugin is used for posting our images to Mastodon from inside of Krita, and it is ready to use the plugin because no external dependencies are required. It has an MIT license.

Post document directly into Mastodon: It is for Krita 4.x that allows you to post a copy of your current document directly on Mastodon.

Directly Export and Post Copy of Document: It always offers you to export and post a copy of the current document easily. By default, the exported image will be in PNG format if the current document has never been saved.

Privacy and Message setting: There is an arrangement for specifying messages, a privacy setting of your toot such as Public, Unlisted, Direct, and Follower-only.

Limitation: This plugin has some limitations: you can post one image per toot, and if you want to specify a focal point, it will not implement it. There is no input for alternate text only.

Features depend on Mastodon Server: One crucial thing about it is that the Mastodon server sets the maximum size and type of file.

After going through this article, you got information about some of the essential plugins of Krita software, and you can use anyone to have a solution for your work Krita software.

Conclusion

We have discussed all features and facts of the plugins of Krita so that we can have deep knowledge about them. Now you can choose plugins from our discussed plugin of this software to enhance the working ability of Krita software to get the desired result in your work. You can also try other plugins for this purpose because several others are on the market.

Recommended Articles

This is a guide to Krita Plugins. Here we discuss the introduction and list of Krita plugins along with features. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –

Akitio Node Lite With Optane Review: In

Design and features

If you don’t have Thunderbolt 3 on your PC, you should be jealous. PCIe over a wire (that’s Thunderbolt in a nutshell) can be handy for all sorts of things, such as adding a super fast NVMe drive to your system, or an external GPU. I only mention the latter, because Akitio specifically warns that the Node Lite, though fully rigged with an x16 PCIe slot, is not suitable for that purpose—it’s too small and underpowered for a full-sized graphics card. For eGPU use, you want the full-on Node.

Akitio

Note that the 905P’s lighting is blue. We like the combo, but if clashing colors bug you…. 

There is a plain brushed-metal version of the Node Lite, but this one is a special design in bright fire-engine (or Corvette) red for deep-pocketed enthusiasts. It shows off the LED lighting on the Intel 905P via a window on its left side. If you need to know more about Intel’s uber-fast, super enduring and super pricey x4 PCIe card 905P NVMe SSD, you can read about it here.

Mentioned in this article

Intel Optane SSD 905P

Read our review

The enclosure uses captive thumbscrews to secure the cover, which slides forward and off. It tends to get hung up slightly unless you jiggle it a little.

On the back of the chassis are two Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, a full-sized DisplayPort connector, and the AC jack. There’s no power switch: The enclosure will automatically turn on or off when it senses current, or lack thereof, on the Thunderbolt bus.  

Akitio

Two Thunderbolt 3 ports, a single full-sized DisplayPort port, and the power jack adorn the back of the Node Lite.

Inside is the aforementioned single full-length x16 PCIe slot. It’s nice that that the box accepts x16 cards, but Thunderbolt only supplies 4 lanes and we know of no mainstream NVMe drive that uses more than that.

Performance

I tested the Node Lite (blue bars) alongside a similar product from HighPoint, the 6661A. I “borrowed” the 905P for the latter, in addition to testing it internally in our storage test bed. The 905P was a bit slower in the enclosures than the drive in the test bed, but the performance of the two enclosures was so close that you can safely ignore it in your purchase decision.

IDG

The HighPoint 6661A was faster than the Node Lite (blue bars) in several CrystalDiskMark 6 tests, but the differences aren’t noticeable in the real world. Still…Longer bars are better.

USB 3.1 Gen 2 SATA seek times, as shown below, aren’t slow. In fact, they’re lightning-like (see what I did there?) compared to hard drives, but Thunderbolt 3/NVMe’s are even quicker.

IDG

You don’t lose a lot of NVMe’s fantastic seek times by using Thunderbolt 3. Shorter bars are better. 

IDG

The Node Lite (blue bars) was faster in some tests, slower in others, but the differences were minute. Shorter bars are better.

In terms of performance, the Node Lite and the 6661A are a pick-‘em. Both are easily fast enough that you could run your operating system from them and never notice the difference from an internal NVMe drive. Fast enough, in fact, that your backups might be over before you realize they’ve started. 

IDG

Why the low write number on our 2023 Macbook Pro, we can’t tell you, but the Node Lite is still very fast.

I also tested the Node Lite with Optane on a 2023 Macbook Pro. It performed well, though we’ve seen higher write numbers. Intel’s drives have had mild conflicts with Macs before. See my article on NVMe over Thunderbolt in Macworld.

Note that you don’t need to pay $1,500 for this type of performance, Samsung’s 970 Pro (available via Amazon and reviewed here) and 970 EVO (available on Amazon and reviewed here), as well as WD’s Black NVMe (available on Amazon and reviewed here) are all viable, as well as far less expensive alternatives. You’ll get the same kind of throughput, though slightly slower seeks and performance with smaller files. 

Conclusion

On the other hand, the plain Node Lite, and especially the 6661A with a cheaper drive inside, are more within reach of the average user. 

What Is An External Hard Drive?

Last Updated on July 22, 2023

There are many parts to a computer and sometimes trying to work out and explain what each of those parts are can get a bit confusing. One of the most important parts of a computer is a hard drive. And as well as internal drives, there are also external hard drives. But what are both of these things?

In this article, we’ll be explaining what an external hard drive is and hopefully, you’ll go away with the information you need to be able to explain it to other people!

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What Is A Hard Drive?

So to start off, let’s get into what a standard hard drive is.

A hard drive is a part of a computer that sorts the operating system (or OS for short), data files (such as documents), any applications found on the computer, pictures, and music. Basically, anything file that exists on the computer.

Hard drives can hold a great deal of information and your computer isn’t going to function without one. Most hard drives are quite cheap as well, so if you need to replace one, you don’t have to spend too much money replacing them.

There are drawbacks to a hard drive though. The biggest drawback is if they suddenly stop working and you haven’t backed up any of the data from your computer, you’ll potentially lose that data forever.

If the hard drive can be fixed, or data recovered, some of it may be saved. But it is always better to backup just in case.

Another drawback hard drives have is that they can be quite slow, especially when you’re opening very large files or applications, and particularly compared to SSDs (solid state drives).

What Is An External Hard Drive?

An external hard drive is pretty much exactly the same as a normal hard drive, but it isn’t connected inside a computer.

External hard drives usually come as a separate unit, can be quite small, and can hold a large quantity of data. They are usually attached to the computer via USB and can be disconnected and reconnected whenever the user sees fit.

External hard drives are great for extra storage or for keeping any important files on. If your internal computer hard drive ever fails or corrupts, anything that is stored on your external hard drive will be safe.

Because of that, if you have a lot of files that you consider to be important, it’s in your best interest to invest in an external hard drive. They are the best backup devices for a computer and you can save you a lot of time and hassle if anything ever happens to your computer.

But just like an internal hard drive, external hard drives do have their drawbacks.

Both normal hard drives and external hard drives can get hot and overheat, and this can sometimes cause issues to both your computer and your hard drives. Plus, because hard drives function mechanically, they are more prone to fault than SSDs.

Additionally, because external hard drives aren’t part of your computer, and can be detached and moved, you can lose them if you aren’t careful. It’s always best to keep your external hard drive in a safe, secure place when it’s not in use.

Conclusion

External hard drives are a good investment should you need a backup solution to be kept separate from your computer.

But remember, you need to look after an external hard drive and keep it safe and secure too.

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