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  • Thermogenic - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    When you are receiving payments from companies whose products you review, your integrity is lost. Reply
  • iGo - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    Did you read?? This at the end of the article:
    Note that for all of the components we selected for this project, <b>we decided upon the components first and then petitioned the manufacturers second. The stipulation was that the AnandTech server farm would be a publicly visible test bed.</b> Any failures of the hardware are public failures and would obviously reflect poorly on the manufacturer. For CPUs and memory it's not so big of a deal - physical failures there are fairly rare, but for SSDs this provided an interesting challenge. More on that in our next installment.
  • Thermogenic - Saturday, October 30, 2010 - link

    Yes, I did read. Being transparent about it doesn't really change things. It's like saying that Unions don't influence political parties with their money because their campaign donations are public information. Reply
  • fepple - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    Its not like saying that Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    We don't receive payment for any product reviewed, period.

    We allowed manufacturers to supply us with hardware for our server upgrade if they were interested in being mentioned as a part of the process. This is what we've always done for our server upgrades. We choose the hardware and then approach the manufacturer about the partnership - in every situation we've done this, our first choice has agreed.

    This applied to our first Xeon servers, our move to AMD K7 and Athlon MP servers as well as the minor upgrades along the way.

    Take care,
  • vol7ron - Saturday, October 30, 2010 - link

    You receive payment for me ;) Reply
  • Thermogenic - Saturday, October 30, 2010 - link

    Not saying you do, but it's things like this that make one question the veracity of reviews. I use this site as my primary source of reviews, but things like this remind me that you guys' are more friendly with vendors than I would prefer.

    Think of it this way - we people still trust Consumer Reports' reviews on cars if we found out their corporate fleet was donated to them by Ford Motors? Of course not.
  • Thermogenic - Saturday, October 30, 2010 - link

    Bad english lol.

    "we people" = "would people"
  • SlyNine - Sunday, October 31, 2010 - link

    So what. Either you trust them or you don't. To me, having bought many things they have reviewed I can say their benchmarks are almost always in line with the product.

    It's there methodology you should be worried about, not if companies send them parts to review. Besides if you can think of a better way to get parts in, Review them, and still make a profit i'd like to hear it, Anand isn't doing this for free you know.
  • ProDigit - Tuesday, November 02, 2010 - link

    "I can say their benchmarks are almost always in line with the product."


    Best joke ever!
  • nbjknk - Thursday, November 25, 2010 - link

    Dear customers, thank you for your support of our company.
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    launched a number of new fashion items! ! Fashionable
    and welcome everyone to come buy. If necessary, please
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  • Zoomer - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    Ok, would you mind sending AT a check to cover the server costs? And oh, turn off ABP when you're at it too.

    Reviews in some segments has been less broad and deep lately, but I guess that reflects Anand's changing focus. Unfortunately, I have not been really interested in the products of a certain company he likes to cover.
  • vvume - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    I do think there is a valid concern here. The manufacturer can cherry pick the best of the lot when delivering components to Anandtech. A typical buyer may not get equally well tested components, skewing the reliability of the product. Reply
  • Nehemoth - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    if they do not publish this information, you'd never heard.

    If they are able to publish this information obviously because they are transparent.

    Anandtech is a site which fully trusted, in fact it was something recently discussed here
  • kimmer2k - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    who cares... Reply
  • WillyMcNilly - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    When you fail to read articles properly and get pwned, your integrity is lost. Reply
  • Thermogenic - Saturday, October 30, 2010 - link

    Politicians receive campaign funds in a transparent manner as well, Are you saying that means they aren't influenced by the funds? Reply
  • SlyNine - Sunday, October 31, 2010 - link

    Do politicians come out in their ad campaigns and tell you who funds them.

    Are you really saying they are as transparent as Anand is being here, REALLY!!??.

    You are using fallacies every time you bring this up. You are appealing to emotion and committing the straw man.
  • dingo13 - Sunday, November 07, 2010 - link

    Well, nobody is holding you back when you decide to leave this site and never come back. For me the published reviews so far have been accurate and I do not care if they get their server memory for free. Reply
  • Brian23 - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    Rather than posting little updates here and there, why not just put together a whole article like you did a few years back when you upgraded the system. This is dragging out way too long. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    Noted, just thought some teaser pics might be nice but if everyone wants to wait for the full thing I can do it that way :)

    Take care,
  • theangryintern - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    I actually enjoy the teasers and am really looking forward to the full article. Sounds like a fun project. Reply
  • quiksilvr - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    Ignore Brian23. He just wishes he was 23 again when he made his username. We are loving this! Reply
  • nafhan - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    Teasers don't rule out a consolidated article, do they? I'd like to have both. Reply
  • Stuka87 - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    Personally I like the little teaser bits :) Reply
  • sirmixmasta - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    Seriously, you guys can't pay for your own equipment with all the money this site rakes in from adds? You really need to beg for $7,500 worth of free memory handouts? Nice this is a public testbed spin... Reply
  • Speedye1 - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    Dude get off your high horse. As a longtime reader, I have no problem with him being upfront about how the hardware was acquired and see nothing wrong with it. I also like the gradual updates personally. Reply
  • theangryintern - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    I'm sure they *could* pay for the upgrades themselves, but when you can get companies to donate hardware, it's much more fun. Plus it's good advertising for the companies that do agree to donate. So it's really a win for everyone. Reply
  • brianlee2007 - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    look dude, just because someone owns a site doesn't mean the man has a million bucks. plus who's to say Kingston isn't the one who jumped on this opportunity for some more advertisement. moreover, anyone would accept generous contribution to their project so please save your naive opinion to yourself and think before you speak (or post) next time. Reply
  • maxusa - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    Yes, brainlee2007, it does mean millions. For your information, by Anand's own admission in February this year, this online publication turns "below 5 but at least 3 million a year" in revenue. He "broke" a $1M mark by the time he went to college. Reply
  • Friendly0Fire - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    Basic economics say that revenue != profit. If you factor in the costs (employees, hardware, maintenance, etc.) you'll see they aren't making so much money as to be able to throw it out of the window.

    If manufacturers are happy with donating hardware, I say let them.
  • maxusa - Saturday, October 30, 2010 - link

    Your argument, Friendly0Fire, has switched the focus from a failed assertion about the earnings magnitude to suggesting that paying for a core systems overhaul is a waste of money. You need to try harder next time.

    I also recommend you read Anand's recent interview where he hints to very healthy margins after the costs are deducted. In any case, a multi-million enterprise with a handful of staff can easily afford a small capital expenditure every 5 years (that's when they overhauled last).

    Now about your last comment. How do you know that the vendors are "happy with donating" anything? All you know is that they agreed to do it; the rest is a spin. I will let you in on something... it is a business decision on their part driven by a perceived influence over public opinion which this publication exerts. Scroll down if you care to read my other posts about how it is so.
  • iamezza - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    you are a tool Reply
  • softdrinkviking - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    seriously, man.
    it's not that big of a deal, it's just some memory.
    obviously from reading the reviews, anandtech criticizes tech whenever they see a problem with their testing, even with the companies who "donate" items.
    the proof is in the pudding.
    besides that, they are getting review items from companies, not store bought tech that everyone else buys, so you have to view the whole thing with a little bit of objectivity in the first place.
    the important thing is, they are being transparent about all of their dealing, and that is the best you could possibly expect from any review site.
    either you trust them to do what they do, or you don't.
    if you don't, then just walk, because you're wasting your breath complaining.
  • teng029 - Sunday, October 31, 2010 - link

    do you want to send money for them to upgrade their servers? No? Then STFU and let them do business as they see fit... Reply
  • edpierce - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    Kingston is the most reliable company I have ever come across in all my years of dealing with computers. Sounds like I'm a paid spokesperson but I'm not. Kingston is simply one of the rare companies out there that emphasizes quality control as much as a respectable company should. Reply
  • Speedye1 - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    Interested to hear what platform your virtualizing on and to see the db config. Reply
  • c4keislie - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    Make a 288GB RAM drive out of that memory, that would kick some serious arse. If only...

    I like these small tidbits or teasers or whatever you want to call them, keeps me interested and checking on an hourly basis for the full article (this is silly of course, but I do it anyway).
  • Yaos - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    No software calls a group of computers that perform load balancing and failover a cloud, it's called a cluster. Reply
  • Klinky1984 - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    Load balancing and fail-over isn't the only thing involved in 'cloud computing. I agree that the meaning behind cloud computing is rather vague though. Ultimately in the enterprise space it's boiling down to a definition of modular, portable, virtualized servers that can be grouped together on a single machine or expanded to multiple machines easily. Reply
  • bhigh - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    Agreed, these are clusters not "clouds".

    If the site could transparently move from one datacenter to another, or spin up a new instance in a remote location then it would be a cloud service.

    12 machines in one datacenter is a cluster.
  • JarredWalton - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    Going with Klinky's comment, I believe the final production setup will easily allow adding/contracting of the number of machines in the "cloud". It's starting at 12, but the idea is to allow growth (and perhaps relocation, though I have no idea if that's in the cards) as our needs require. Reply
  • drank12quartsstrohsbeer - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    I don't have an issue with the donated memory and the advertisement of such. My only concern is if you got cherry-picked products from the manufacturer, or is it the same stuff I would get if I bought it from a retailer? Reply
  • DEFIANT! - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link


    Expecting anything other than a positive reply to this inane question is a fail.

    If Kingston is donating something that will be so visible to a fairly high number of people, do you really think that there is any possibility that they'd ship any part that has questionable reliability?
  • Kidster3001 - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    That's a very naive quesion.

    It doesn't matter what company it is or what product it is. If you are sending a product in for review to a magazine, website, tv show or whatever. You are going to cherry pick what you are sending.

    Those sticks have probably passed 168 hours stress test at low voltage and high heat.
  • Penti - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    That would be ridiculous expensive to do any more to them then any other product. Reply
  • drank12quartsstrohsbeer - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    Naive or not, if they promote these sticks as off-the-shelf and they are not, they can get into trouble.

    I know that the vast majority of sites get a lot of, ...ahem, perks and other little rewards for being cooperative. And thats why the vast majority of sites are so generic and similar. I don't know if Anand can provide more transparency without burning bridges, but I'd like to see it.
  • Hrel - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    So, I haven't seen any camera reviews in a long time. Are you guys no longer doing DSLR's? Cause if that's the case I am one very dissapointed reader. Reply
  • Zink - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    I actually prefer the site without cameras. There are other great sites that do very precise and quantitative reviews for cameras. If anything more system builds and smartphones. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    I think the guy that was doing cameras (and CPU coolers) left Anandtech. And while I miss the cooler reviews, I am also one of those who thought the reviews were not up to the quality of other photo-dedicated sites on the web. Reply
  • vrusso87 - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    Agreed, camera reviews strike me as feature-creep. There's competition between professional and consumer content already, let's leave photo/video out of it.

    I'd like to see more 'learning' resources. Not so basic as the difference between bits and bytes, you'd become a help forum. Something that would make all those CPU/GPU architecture diagrams decipherable, however, would be fantastic. I expect everyone would learn a lot from those, professionals included.
  • jonup - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    I've always wondered, what you do with the old hardware. I mean not only from the upgrades but also from the reviews. I'll pay for postage just to help you out with the floorspace. ;p Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    Our old server equipment is either kept around as spares in case of catastrophic failure, used for new projects or if we have no use for it, it's donated to schools or various nonprofits.

    As far as review hardware goes, it follows the same path. First pick is always staff for use in AT related projects. Then our volunteer staff, then what can be donated (some has to be destroyed/sent back to the OEM) is given to schools or nonprofits.

    Take care,
  • jonup - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    Thanks! Reply
  • FunBunny2 - Sunday, October 31, 2010 - link

    And the proper way to handle it, say I. Reply
  • Spivonious - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    Have you guys looked into moving to Microsoft's Azure platform? It seems like a more cost-efficient solution for hosting than running your own server farm. Reply
  • doobydoo - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    It may sound like a stupid question, but what on earth are you doing with the servers that requires so much hardware? Reply
  • jtleon - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    LOL, not so stupid a question, try looking at your CPU meter in task manager, as those Flash ads are animated on your screen - Now imagine delivering that Flash content to 1,000,000 of you simultaneously. Thus the need for serious hardware! Talk about useless carbon footprint! Reply
  • maxusa - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    This is a representative example of the contemporary societal transformation when integrity is considered outdated, unpopular concept that is being gradually replaced by perceived flexibility i.e., the purported ability to think "outside the box," a fresh concept. This flexibility often goes much farther that the old-fashioned uncool integrity to pass the point of compromising or "bending" one's principles. At first latently accepted and then vocally supported by the community, this becomes a new norm. I cannot help thinking about this while reading numerous remarks here about getting off the high horse, not caring, and outright agreeing with a blatant case of vendor racketeering, to which the owner openly admits on his own website. Reciprocity is bliss, is it not? It takes a decent portion of ignorance to dismiss that when an organization with substantial influence in the IT enthusiast community "requests" tangible property from an IT vendor whose product/services may be subject to inadvertent "independent and objective" evaluation, this constitutes quite simply extortion. You can attempt to call this transparency, turn it inside out, claim precedent (i.e., always done it in the past), or plead to good intent, or even subsequent donation (after property's useful life, yeah indeed), it does not change the fact that you traded your own and organization's integrity for 288GB and, maybe, even less if you look closer. High marks on flexibility, on the other hand. It is admired by many more these days. Reply
  • whatthehey - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    Typical Internet overreaction, as is customary, from some of the people--and let's not even get into the "gee look how smart I am because I use big words" stuff. Take your post for instance. Is it "vendor racketeering" or "simply extortion"?

    Racketeering: Traditionally, obtaining or extorting money illegally or carrying on illegal business activities, usually by Organized Crime . A pattern of illegal activity carried out as part of an enterprise that is owned or controlled by those who are engaged in the illegal activity.

    Extortion: The obtaining of property from another induced by wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence, or fear, or under color of official right.

    Those both come from, incidentally. So in the one case you're accusing Kingston of illegally gaining money by agreeing to Anand's request for memory to be used in his servers; on the other, you're accusing Anand of blackmailing Kingston into giving memory to him at the threat of... what? Giving them bad reviews?

    As I read it, Anand came up with a spec for the new servers, approached Kingston (in this case), and said, "We're doing some new servers and we'd like to give you the opportunity to donate the memory, for which you will get public mention. If we experience failures or have problems because of the memory, we'll also let our readership know. Would you be interested in participating?" Tell me, where is the harm in that? Where is the extortion or racketeering? And put away your stupid thesaurus and buzz word dropping, please!

    If AnandTech starts publishing ultra-positive Kingston reviews (hmm... their last Kingston SSD article wasn't particularly glowing), or if they start slamming the competition without reason, then we can start to worry. I suppose for you it doesn't matter, because Anand traded his website's integrity for 288GB of RAM. But then, they traded their integrity for the hardware they review, for the previous Athlon MP CPUs (and presumably motherboards, RAM, etc.) in an older server setup, for the Xeon processors they've used, for advertisements that appear on the site.... Do we really need to start going down that route?

    I've seen AT post good and bad reviews of AMD, Intel, NVIDIA, ATI (before AMD), VIA, etc. I've seen Anand praise SSDs, rip on some models, come back and show how updated firmware fixes issues, admit mistakes, etc. For every accusation of being a sellout, I've seen dozens if not hundreds of articles that indicate the contrary. So go back to your legal studies and stop acting like a holier than thou lawyer--or crawl back into your basement and feel sorry that no one is willing to ship you 288GB of memory I suppose. Either way, your "intellectual" post lacks any shred of substance and is merely yet another Internet rant. As is my response. Pathetic, really, but it's a slow Friday morning in the datacenter for me! LOL
  • maxusa - Saturday, October 30, 2010 - link

    I do not understand where your hostility comes from, whatthehey. You don't enjoy an intellectual rant? It must be a very dark datacenter. :o) Keep reading your own reference to legal-dictionary and you will learn that extortion is a form of racketeering, which is why I used the terms synonymously referring to the act of obtaining material benefits from a vendor whose product/services might be the subject of evaluation by the same influential entity.

    I will ask you to not be shortsighted in thinking that the influence over public opinion is only limited to, as you wrote, (a) ultra-positive vendor reviews and (b) slamming the competition without reason. How about not slamming the vendor at all when they screwed up, or not slamming too harsh (the shades of negative/positive evaluation given)? What about cashing the favor in when/if the real blow comes. This can be done without readers, including you, even knowing about it. Among other things, these scenarios are exactly what vendors consider when they receive such requests for "donation."

    Ironically, you are exactly on target to mention about hand-offs this publication successfully secured in the past from other vendors. This only confirms that these practices are a pattern, of which the owner himself is a prominent part by virtue of greed, sheer stupidity, or ignorance. It will be interesting to learn the real reason, but without the owner chiming in on this discussion, we would have to guess.
  • pkoi - Monday, November 01, 2010 - link

    I agree with you, corruption and all it's shade of greed.

    Also Thanks you for informing on the scope of this website, in your other post (3million revenue)

    I was personally already very disappointed by the frequency and quality of many articles, small coverage.
    Some article are as boring as a youtube unboxing. Yes, there are quality article, but they are scarce. Given their revenues Anand is a real shame.

    Ps: Patriot box office giveaway,,, Who give a ... This thing is 1 year old and sell for ~60$ ...
  • kairnwulf - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    Yes please. Reply
  • eva2000 - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    sweet, 288GB memory ^_^

    curious is any of that memory goes to memcached (if used at all) ?
  • marraco - Saturday, October 30, 2010 - link

    It would be more interesting if we knew what altenatives you evalued, and why you made this decision.

    Otherwise is just interesting gossip.
  • beginner99 - Sunday, October 31, 2010 - link

    I must admit I was kind of lazy and only overlooked the article but what will actually be running on these servers? Just this site and the forum? Is the site so heavily frequented? Reply
  • FunBunny2 - Sunday, October 31, 2010 - link

    While not American Express, the site might well be considered an "Enterprise Application", so I'm interested to see how you go with these. Enterprise (STEC, Violin, Texas Memory), ProSumer (Fusion, OCZ), or consumer (Intel and the rest)?

    And, what's of most interest: will you be using the SSD storage to enable a refactoring of your DB schemas to be more "normal", or just as fast HDD? Enquiring minds want to know.
  • Skouperd - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    Anandtech, keep up the good work. I've been reading your site for years now and hardly do any upgrades unless I've read the review here about it. Never have I've been misled or dissapointed in any of the decisions I've made based on this site.

    I've been following the server build closely, and really don't care if the memory is provided for free by kingston or not, what I do care about is how well do they last at the end of the day.

    Anand, keep up the good work.
  • Chloiber - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    I can already tell you that they will use some ssds from OCZ - it became so obvious in the last couple of months. Reply

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