Nvidia and select partners are offering free Kingston SSDs alongside purchases of GTX 1050 Ti and GTX 1060 graphics cards, effectively knocking around 15 per cent off their purchase price.
Right now, it looks like the deals apply to EVGA and MSI models, highlighted on Nvidia’s site but fulfilled by UK retailers like Scan and Ebuyer. By our reckoning, The GTX 1050 Ti and GTX 1060 are already the best value graphics cards on the market, so throwing in a free SSD makes them even more alluring for anyone building (or upgrading) a rig for 1080p PC gaming.
The GTX 1050 Ti models included in this promotion come with a 120GB Kingston A400 SSD, while the GTX 1060 comes with a 240GB Kingston A400 SSD. These aren’t the fastest SSDs on the planet, but they’re still way faster than mechanical hard drives. That can make a big difference when it comes to reducing game load times and even preventing hitches in games that heavily utilise background streaming.
In what’s probably an attempt to shift as many graphics cards as possible before Nvidia’s Turing cards arrive, Nvidia’s UK store and assorted partners are now bundling in free Kingston SSDs with a number of GTX 10-series graphics cards. Here’s what’s on offer.
The Intel Optane SSD 905P is the latest refinement to the company’s first 3D XPoint memory SSDs. It’s packed with Intel’s most up to date memory controller and, in this U.2 form factor drive, 480GB worth of some seriously speedy storage. Intel and Micron have been working together on the 3D XPoint memory, and though it has taken a long time to finally get to market the performance makes it seem worth it.
But as quick as it is, it’s also a mighty expensive SSD, with this 480GB version costing the same as the latest Samsung NVMe drives in full 1TB trim. That means it’s going to have to bring something special to the table.
But, unlike the Samsung 970 EVO, and its NAND flash-based ilk, there’s no performance difference between this 480GB version and the more expensive 960GB version. The modern 3D XPoint memory doesn’t get any benefit from the extra parallelism of a controller’s memory channels, and so boosting the number of memory chips in the SSD doesn’t deliver a corresponding boost in performance.
The Intel Optane SSDs are designed to cater for either the workstation or the ultra enthusiast segment, in much the same way the Titan graphics cards from Nvidia are. By that you could take away that it might cost a lot of cash for the privilege of sticking the fastest storage on offer today into your PC.
The end of Intel and Micron’s recently shaky memory partnership has been announced. The companies, which paired up over a decade ago to create a joint venture into flash memory, have now announced the romance is completely over once the second generation of their 3D XPoint memory is out the door.
3D XPoint is an extremely low-latency alternative to NAND flash memory that differs in how it functions to your usual storage architecture. Instead of targeting purely speedy storage, Intel and Micron have been targeting client and server applications with the performance needs lying somewhere between SSDs and DRAM memory – such is the way with Intel’s impressive lithe Optane drives.
When we first reported on the split it looked like they were keeping joint custody of the new memory but, as the latest update confirms, development of the second generation 3D XPoint is on course to be completed by sometime in the first half of 2019. After that point, both companies will independently develop their own 3D XPoint products… but still use the same fab to make them.
Like a once-beloved timeshare between estranged spouses, Intel and Micron will both continue to utilise the joint facility in Lehi, Utah, in which the love affair first bloomed.