SandForce finally patches elusive 2200 series SSD controller bug. OCZ issues firmware, others soon to follow.
Subject: Storage | October 18, 2011 - 12:25 AM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: ssd, sandforce, ocz, firmware, bug, BSOD
Over the past few months, we had noted a seemingly disproportionate surge of negative reports from users of SandForce-2200 based SSD's. These include OCZ's Vertex and Agility 3, Corsair's Force 3 and GT, Patriot's Pyro and Wildfire, along with many others. The complete list is available in our handy SSD Decoder.
The issue at hand was random BSOD's, with the possibility of an eventual complete failure of the SSD, rendering it unrecognizeable to the BIOS or Operating System. More details (and the fix) after the break:
I witnessed this personally, as the SF-2281 pictured above suffered the same fate when we attempted to use it a few weeks ago.
Today (hopefully) marks the answer to everyone's prayers. SandForce issued base firmware 3.3.2 for SF-2000 series controllers.
OCZ's Toolbox software V 2.40.02 can patch OCZ's line of SF-2200 SSD's with the new fix.
The release notes follow (and seem to lack mention of the aforementioned bugfix):
OCZ Toolbox version 2.40.02
- Modified Identity data display
- Fixed Smart data display for power fail backup attributes
- Added BIOS update for Hybrid drive
- Update Firmware feature prohibited for primary drives with 1500 & 2000 controllers
- Intel RST Driver 10.1.0.1008 prohibits SSD detection
OCZ's press tidbit for the new firmware(s):
OCZ is pleased to announce that the cause of a BSOD issue experienced by some SF-2000-based drive owners has been identified by OCZ and SandForce. A new firmware update which directly addresses this BSOD occurrence related to SF-2000 based SSDs is available here. All newly manufactured OCZ SF-2000 based SSDs will feature the new 2.15 firmware revision (which is based on SandForce firmware version 3.3.2.) We highly recommend that any customers that have experienced the BSOD issue update their firmware to 2.15.We sincerely appreciate the support from our customers, and if any customers have any questions or require additional support please do not hesitate to contact a customer service representative and we will be happy to address any questions or concerns.
If you own any of the affected SSD's, I highly recommend updating as soon as possible. Until then, I also recommend you back up any data present on these drives, as the above statements confirm the presence of an issue that can potentially brick your SandForce SSD at any moment.
Remember, patch only applies to the 2200 Series controller (i.e. SandForce SSD's capable of SATA 6Gb/sec).
Subject: General Tech | October 5, 2011 - 05:35 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ssd, plx, ocz, merger, acquisition
SAN JOSE, CA—October 5, 2011—OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCZ), a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the UK Design Team and certain assets from PLX Technology, further strengthening the company’s global research and development team.
PLX’s UK Design Team has built a reputation for designing innovative and reliable system-on-chip (SOC) solutions and the acquired engineering team’s expertise provides OCZ with additional resources for controller design. Through the acquisition of the engineering team and the license of intellectual property (IP), OCZ will be able to accelerate solid state drive development, reducing its time to market for next generation SSD products, while also reducing development costs.
“We are pleased to augment our engineering organization with the UK Design Team as they have been providing best of breed system-on-chip designs, software, and firmware since 1992,” said Ryan Petersen, CEO of OCZ Technology. “We believe the additional engineers along with the access to increased IP resources will enable us to significantly reduce the costs associated with storage protocol licensing, while simultaneously speeding our time to market.”
Pursuant to the agreement, OCZ will among other items acquire from PLX access to substantial IP and the UK Design Team, which consists primarily of approximately 40 engineers located in Abingdon, United Kingdom. PLX will retain their existing line of products which they will continue to support and supply to their customer base, and any patents related to the technology, for which OCZ will receive a perpetual license. The acquisition is subject to the satisfaction or waiver of various closing conditions.
Back in June of last year, OCZ released the RevoDrive, followed up rather quickly by the RevoDrive x2. A further jump was made with the introduction of VCA 2.0 architecture with the RevoDrive 3 and 3 x2. Each iteration pushed the envelope further as better implementations of VCA were introduced, using faster and greater numbers of PCIe channels, linked to faster and greater numbers of SandForce controllers.
While the line of RevoDrives was tailored more towards power users and mild server use, OCZ has taken their VCA 2.0 solution to the next level entirely, putting their sights on full blown enterprise purposing. With that, we introduce the OCZ Z-Drive R4:
Subject: Storage | September 26, 2011 - 06:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ssd, round up, corsair, crucial, Intel 320, Intel 510, kingston, ocz, SF-2281 controller, Marvell 88SS9174, Intel PC29AS21BA0
Making the assumption you are not as rich as Croesus, there is a sweet spot that many look for when it comes to SSDs. If you go too small the channel limitations will impact your performance, but a 256GB+ drive is simply out of the budgets of many enthusiasts ... at least for the storage subsystem. The Tech Report set out in search of the perfect size for an SSD, big enough for full speed performance but small enough it doesn't break the bank. To that end they assembled nine SSDs, ranging in size from 120GB to 128GB, which gives away the ending in a way. What you don't know is which drive came out on top, especially in the price to performance tests. Find out in their full article.
"The latest generation of SSDs is out in full force. We've rounded up nine of 'em to see which offers the best performance and overall value proposition"
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Samsung PM830 Review @ The SSD Review
- Mach Xtreme MX-DS Turbo 120 GB SSD @ techPowerUp
- Samsung 830 Series SSD Review @ HardwareHeaven
- MemoRight FTM.25 115GB SSD @ Kitguru
- Patriot Pyro 120GB SSD @ kitguru
- Patriot Wildfire 120GB 6Gb/s Solid-State Drive Review @ ThinkComputers
- Patriot Pyro 120GB SSD Review, RAID0 Performance Tested @ Techspot
- Mach Xtreme Technology MX DS Turbo 120 GB SSD Review @ Hardware Secrets
- The Samsung SSD 830 @ AnandTech
- Western Digital Scorpio Blue 1TB 2.5" Hard Drive Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Hard Disk Drive Performance Comparison Guide @ TechARP
- HighPoint RocketRAID 2720SGL SATA 6G RAID Controller @ Tweaktown
- Patriot Javelin S4 @ Legion Hardware
- SilverStone DC01 Network Attached Storage device Review @ OCIA
- USB 3.0 vs. External Hard Disk Drives @ X-bit Labs
- Thecus N4200PRO @ Computing on Demand
- WD My Passport Essential 500GB USB 3.0 External Hard Drive @ Legit Reviews
- Centon Rush USB 3.0 16 GB @ techPowerUp
- Patriot 16GB Supersonic Xpress USB 3.0 Flash Drive Review @ Madshrimps
Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 15, 2011 - 02:22 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: PSU, ocz, OCZ ZS series
If you are looking for a really good deal for a power supply, consider the OCZ ZS Series 650W PSU, currently $65 thanks to a MIR at NewEgg. The price will fool you as to the quality of the PSU, though don't expect perfection at this price point. The ZS series seems to be a mix of both good and bad, with good efficiency and stable power in all but one condition. TechPowerUp did not like the low maximum operating temperature and would also like to see longer cabling. Take a peek at it in their review, but you should probably only consider the PSU at the discount price, there are better alternatives at the full $90 price tag
"OCZ is very busy lately releasing new PSU models. Today we have the chance to test the OCZ ZS 650W. The main difference compared to the bigger ZS 750W, besides capacity, is the reduced number of available PCIe connectors, only two. Like all ZS units it has 80 PLUS Bronze efficiency, its OEM is Sirfa and it uses a non-modular cabling design."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W Power Supply Review @ OCC
- OCZ ZS Series 550W @ kitguru
- Corsair TX750M 750W Modular @ Tweaktown
- Enermax Platimax 1200W 80 Plus Platinum Power Supply Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Antec VP550P 550w PSU @ XSReviews
- Antec High Current Gamer HCG-620 Power Supply @ Tweaktown
- Power Supply Testing Methodology @ eTeknix
- Thermaltake Dr.Power II Universal Digital PSU Tester @ Tweaktown
Subject: Storage | September 6, 2011 - 03:00 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: vertex 3, ssd, SF-2281 controller, sata 6Gps, ocz, linux
The majority of reviews of solid state drives have been focussed on the performance of the drives under Windows, thankfully Phoronix can be counted on to differ from that and present a reveiw of an SSD under Linux. This particular time it is the OCZ Vertex 3 240GB SSD under Ubuntu 11.10 with the Linux 3.0 kernel and an EXT4 file-system. The OS had no problems recognizing the drive and it is obvious that Linux has no problems fully utilizing the SATA 6Gb/s interface as the drive blows the competition out of the water. The only problem is that the price of the drive remains prohibitive no matter what OS you use, but your money will not be wasted.
"It's been a while since last providing a Phoronix review of a solid-state drive from OCZ Technology, but now with Serial ATA 3.0 support becoming more prevalent on modern Intel and AMD motherboards, they have been releasing a number of updated products to take advantage of SATA 3.0. In the review we have our hands on an OCZ Vertex 3 240GB SSD as we see how this SATA III SSD performs under Ubuntu Linux."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- OCZ Agility 3 240GB Solid State Drive Review @ eTeknix
- Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 120GB SSD Review @ Hardware Canucks
- OCZ Agility 3 120GB Review @ HardwareLOOK
- OCZ Vertex 3 240 GB @ techPowerUp
- ADATA S511 240GB Solid State Drive @ Tweaknews
- Kingston HyperX 240GB SSD @ Techgage
- Patriot Wildfire 120GB Solid State Drive @ Pro-Clocker
- The Crucial m4 SSD Update: Faster with FW0009 @ AnandTech
- Kingston HyperX SandForce SSD Bundle Kit @ TechwareLabs
- OCZ Technology RevoDrive 3 X2 PCI-E 480GB SSD @ Tweaktown
- Western Digital AV-GP (WD30EURS) 3 TB @ TechARP
- Samsung EcoGreen F4 (HD204UI) 2 TB @ TechARP
- File Server Builder's Guide @ AnandTech
- Enermax Brick 2.5 inch USB 3.0 External HDD Enclosure Review @ Real World Labs
- Super Talent USB 3.0 Express RC8 50GB (SF-1200) SSD Flash Drive Review @ The SSD Review
- Using QNAP's RTRR with Windows Server @ Computing on Demand
- SilverStone SST-DC01B Network Data Center Review @ Legit Reviews
- Zalman ZM-MH200 U3 USB 3.0 Dual HDD Docking Station Review @ Real World Labs
- HornetTek Slipper USB 3.0 Hard Drive Dock @ TechwareLabs
- Lexar Echo MX 32GB Backup Thumb Drive Review @ Techgage
- Akasa Flexstor DiskLink USB 3.0 Adapter Review @ eTeknix
- HighPoint's RocketU 1144A PCIe x4 USB 3.0 Controller: A Big Back-end @ AnandTech
Subject: Storage | August 31, 2011 - 01:29 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: revodrive, PCIe SSD, ocz, hybrid ssd
SAN JOSE, CA - Aug. 31, 2011 - OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCZ), a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems, today announced the release of the RevoDrive Hybrid PCI Express (PCIe) storage solution. Designed to dramatically accelerate applications and system responsiveness, the RevoDrive Hybrid's superior combination of SSD and hard disk drive (HDD) technology is a revolutionary step forward for high-performance, economical storage.
The RevoDrive Hybrid integrates the benefits of both SSD and HDD technology into a single solution to offer both enhanced responsiveness and ample storage capacity. The drive comes bundled with Dataplex caching software which dynamically manages the use of the 100GB SSD with the 1TB HDD for superior overall storage performance. This combination creates an environment where the most frequently used "hot" data stays on the ultra-fast SSD, while the "cold" data remains on the larger capacity HDD. Advanced caching algorithms learn user behavior and adapt storage policies to ensure optimal performance for each individual user, maximizing productivity for the most demanded programs and applications. In addition, the drive not only eliminates the SATA bottleneck unleashing ground-breaking bandwidth up to 910MB/s, but also features up to 120,000 IOPS (4K random write) for high transactional workloads delivering true SSD-level performance. Finally, the RevoDrive Hybrid provides unique benefits to users by incorporating features of OCZ's proprietary Virtualized Controller Architecture (VCA) 2.0.
"The RevoDrive Hybrid leverages the best attributes of both solid state drives and traditional hard drive technology to deliver dynamic data-tiering on a single easy to deploy PCIe storage drive," said Ryan Petersen, CEO of OCZ Technology Group. "Leveraging Dataplex software to efficiently manage frequently accessed data delivers superior performance and capacity, making the RevoDrive Hybrid the ideal solution for high performance computing and media content creation."
Click on the picture for a slightly larger version.
The all-new OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid 1TB comes backed by a three-year warranty and will be available worldwide for an MSRP of $499.99, delivering the industry's best price per GB for SSD-level performance.
Subject: Storage | August 2, 2011 - 07:04 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: PCIe SSD, ocz
SAN JOSE, CA—August 2, 2011—OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCZ), a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems, today announced the release of Z-Drive Revision 4 (R4) PCI Express (PCIe) storage solutions designed to dramatically accelerate enterprise applications and significantly reduce total cost of ownership in the data center. The Z-Drive R4 product line features OCZ’s second generation proprietary Virtualized Controller Architecture (VCA) 2.0, providing the utmost in performance, flexibility, durability and enhanced reliability features, allowing data centers, for the first time, to rely on a PCIe-based SSD as their primary tier one storage solution.
"Objective Analysis forecasts that the PCIe interface will become dominant in the enterprise SSD market in 2012, with unit shipments greater than the combined shipments of its SAS and Fibre Channel counterparts,” said SSD analyst Jim Handy of Objective Analysis. “This is because the PCIe interface puts less drag on the NAND-to-processor communication channel than do standard HDD interfaces. By 2015, Objective Analysis expects well over two million PCIe SSDs to ship, a number larger than all of the SATA SSDs that shipped in 2010.”
Subject: General Tech | July 28, 2011 - 05:16 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: ssd, podcast, ocz, Intel, amd
PC Perspective Podcast #164 - 7/28/2011
This week we talk about Intel and AMD Earnings, Intel MLAA, 28 nanometer GPUs, Viewer Questions and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath and Allyn Malventano
This Podcast is brought to you by
- 0:00:43 Introduction
- 1-888-38-PCPER or email@example.com
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
- 0:02:13 Intel and AMD Provide Positive Earnings
- 0:13:35 Bulldozer will be on time, missing CEO or not
- 0:14:45 Intel MLAA: Matrox had the right idea, wrong everything else
- 0:23:00 This Podcast is brought to you by
, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!
- 0:24:04 Intel reproduces '8MB bug', fix coming soon.
- 0:32:20 Video Perspective: AMD Steady Video Technology on AMD A-Series APUs
- 0:35:28 Phone in your overclocking, MSI Afterburner App for Android
- 0:37:00 OCZ wraps both its ARMs around a new SSD controller and gives it a little TLC
- 0:40:55 AMD CFO States They Will Have 28 Nano-meter GPUs Out This Year
- 0:45:45 Apple is da bomb! Vulnerability found in battery circuitry
- 0:54:05 Email from Tom about Eyefinity
- 0:59:06 Email from Greg about Eyefinity again
- 1:05:05 Email from Luke about SSDs
- 1:10:08 Email from Jesse about SRT notebooks
- 1:14:05 Quakecon Reminder - http://www.quakecon.org/
- Tshirts, prizes, stuff!
- Win a truck: http://www.pcper.com/news/Shows-and-Expos/QuakeCon-2011-Arrive-clunker%E2%80%A6-leave-beast
- 1:16:32 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
- Ryan: Evernote
- Jeremy: isostick ... 1/2 way through the kickstart process even
- Josh: dirt cheap USB 3.0 16GB
- Allyn: Sony DSC-HX100V
- 1-888-38-PCPER or firstname.lastname@example.org
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
- 1:25:46 Closing
Subject: General Tech | July 26, 2011 - 12:03 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ssd, ocz, arm, tlc, sata 6Gps, Indilinx Everest
OCZ is never satisfied with the performance of their SSDs in general and their controllers specifically. After purchasing Indilinx to ensure that their controllers would be of high quality and designed to OCZ's specific needs, they've now been pushing Indilinx to improve on their controllers. That has lead to Everest, which has a dual core ARM processor and 400MHz DDR3 cache that can support up to 512MB. The controller is optimized for 8K writes which is perfect for the current flash utilized in SSDs. OCZ has also optimized the flash memory, developing Triple Level Cell (TLC) which has three layers as opposed to MLC which sports two. The controller will be backwards compatible, which is a good idea if OCZ wants to license the controller to other manufacturers, which makes sense as Everest should hit 200MT/s as compared to SandForce's current 166MT/s. There is more that this controller can do, click on over to The Register to read about it.
"OCZ is sampling a new flash controller that gives a picture of future solid state drives.
The company bought Indilinx for its solid state drive (SSD) controller technology in March this year and has now unveiled the Indilinx Everest controller platform.
It has a 6Gbit/s SATA III interface, a dual-core ARM processor and a number of enticing features, such as 3-bit multi-level cell (MLC) support. This is going to be called TLC, for triple-level cell, to distinguish it from today's MLC, which is 2-bit MLC."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Intel says it competes with Qualcomm not ARM @ The Inquirer
- Mozilla is developing a mobile operating system @ The Inquirer
- Running high-performance neural networks on a "gamer" GPU @ Ars Technica
- The Isostick @ Hack a Day
- Lawn warfare: Light Strike brings laser tag back home @ Ars Technica
- JMicron develops SATA 6Gbps controller IC for SSDs @ DigiTimes
- The TR Podcast 92: Fusion, the cloud, and dongles galore
- Sony Alpha NEX-C3 Review @ TechReviewSource
- Real World Labs And A.C.Ryan Joint Contest