Podcast #204 - ioSafe soloPRO and Synology DiskStation 212+, NVIDIA news, the OCZ Agility 4 and more!

Subject: General Tech | May 31, 2012 - 03:53 PM |
Tagged: video, synology, ssd, podcast, ocz, nvidia, iosafe, diskstation, agility4

PC Perspective Podcast #204 - 05/31/2012

Join us this week as we talk about the ioSafe soloPRO and Synology DiskStation 212+, NVIDIA news, the OCZ Agility 4 and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Allyn Malvantano

Program length: 1:10:29

Program Schedule:

  1. 0:00:30 Introduction
  2. 0:00:50 Random Sound Card Discussion
  3. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  4. http://pcper.com/podcast
  5. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  6. 0:06:30 Take the PC Perspective Survey, win prizes!!
  7. 0:08:40 ioSafe SoloPRO and Synology DiskStation 212+ Review - Disaster-proof Networked Storage
  8. 0:18:38 Tegra 3 to see 30 devices this year, LTE support
  9. 0:20:25 NVIDIA claims GTX 680 sales outpacing GTX 580 sales
  10. 0:27:30 NVIDIA shows ASUS Zenbook Prime UX32VD
  11. 0:29:50 HP has 27,000 too many employees
  12. 0:32:00 Dell leaks Latitude 10 Windows 8 tablet
  13. 0:34:40 Dell promotes their "Copper" ARM-based servers
  14. 0:39:30 OCZ Launches Agility 4 based on Indilinx Everest 2
  15. 0:51:20 Intel shows you how to make a processor
  16. 0:54:00 Time for a GPU Stock Update?
  17. 0:57:00 Crysis 2 back on Steam? EA and Valve make up?
  18. 0:59:00 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
    1. Ryan: Corsair Vengeance 2000 Wireless headset $149
    2. Jeremy: The best way to blow $10,000
    3. Josh: Faster Internets... Worth it!  http://west.optimum.com/services/high-speed_internet/optimum_online_boost/
    4. Allyn: is lame
  19. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  20. http://pcper.com/podcast   
  21. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  22. Closing

OCZ to Showcase Game-Changing Solid-State Solutions at Computex 2012

Subject: Shows and Expos | May 31, 2012 - 12:21 PM |
Tagged: thunderbolt, ssd, ocz, lightfoot, computex 2012, z-drive R4 CloudServ, SandForce 2581, PCIe SSD

OCZ will be showing off some of the same things they showed off at CES though they are much closer to release.  Lightfoot is their external Thunderbolt enclosure which will house SSDs that can utilize the extra bandwith provided by the new external transfer technology.  They will also being showing off Enterprise class PCIe SSDs, the brand new Intrepid line of SSDs and software designed to replace SANs in a network environment.  Keep an eye out for more details as Computex grows nigh.

ocz_z-drive_r4_cloudserv_01.jpg

SAN JOSE, CA—May 31, 2012—OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCZ), a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems, will showcase the Company's latest client and enterprise storage solutions at Computex 2012 in Taipei, Taiwan June 6 through June 9 at the Taipei International Convention Center.

Continuing to demonstrate leadership in both the enterprise and consumer markets, OCZ will display a comprehensive lineup of its innovative SSD products. For high-end business, server, and OEM clients, OCZ will showcase PCI Express (PCIe) SAN acceleration and replacement solutions, and unveil the impending Intrepid 3 SATA III SSD Series based on the Everest 2 architecture. Live demos at the booth will include both the current industry-leading Z-Drive R4 CloudServ PCIe SSD that delivers over one million IOPS, and the highly anticipated Z-Drive R5 Series based on the co-developed OCZ-Marvell Kilimanjaro platform that raises the bar in performance, reliability, and endurance. OCZ will also showcase the VXL Storage Accelerator software that enables large scale deployment of a virtualized environment for businesses to eliminate the need for costly tier-1 SANs in a wide range of enterprise IT infrastructures.

For client storage, OCZ will showcase the flagship Vertex 4 SATA III SSD, along with the upcoming ‘Lightfoot’ portable SSD designed with the Intel Thunderbolt platform that excels in data transfer speeds and offers high capacity for multimedia professionals.

OCZ launches Agility 4 SSD based on Indilinx Everest 2

Subject: General Tech, Storage | May 29, 2012 - 08:45 PM |
Tagged: ssd, ocz, Agility 4

OCZ Technology Group launched their latest entry in the Agility 4 line of Solid State Drives. The drive will make use of the Indilinx Everest 2 controller over a SATA 6Gbps interface. It is rated to provide 400MB/s reads with up to 85,000 write IOs per second. Unlike its 5-year Vertex 4 brethren the Agility 4 will be backed by a 3-year warranty.

Just a couple of months ago Al posted his review of the OCZ Vertex 4 solid state drive which he found to be aggressively priced and with good potential depending on firmware support.

OCZ has just released the Agility 4 to complement their new product line with a slightly cheaper and slightly lower performance option compared to the Vertex. Both drives are based on the same Indilinx Everest 2 controller with transfer rates being the main divisor between the two products. Retail price of the Agility 4 is placed much more aggressively and flirts even closer with the $1 per gigabyte line than the Vertex 4.

OCZAgility4.png

Almost time to get change our metric to cents per gigabyte. ... Yay!

The Agility 4 is rated to perform with consistent read bandwidths of 400MB/s which is below the Vertex 4’s rated 535 MB/s sequential reads throughput. The write IOPS is rated at 85,000 random transactions per second and exactly matches that metric with the Vertex 4.

OCZ is covering the Agility 4 with a 3-year manufacturer warranty. It is on back-order from NCIX with an expected retail value of $259.20 for the 256GB version which might as well be called a dollar per gigabyte. Newegg has yet to list the product or its expected value.

Source: OCZ

Take the PC Perspective Survey - Win Prizes!

Subject: General Tech | May 29, 2012 - 06:53 PM |
Tagged: survey, ocz, giveaway, corsair, contest

Every once in a while take an opportunity to learn about YOU, our faithful fans of PC Perspective.  Today is one of those days as we have setup a small survey to help point us in the right direction for the future of the website.  We can learn a lot from your help with this:

  1. We learn about you.
  2. We learn what you want to read on PC Perspective.
  3. We learn what you don't want to read on PC Perspective.
  4. We learn what you want to see as the future of PC Perspective.

As you can see, YOU have a lot of power over what is going to happen here, so wield it wisely.  If you write in the comments section that we should fire Josh then we'll probably do it probably not do it. 

Other than the obviously great feelings you'll receive from helping out your friends at PC Perspective, we decided that to entice you to spend the 5 minutes on the survey that it will require we are going to offer up a handful of prizes as well!

survey-vertex4small.jpg

1 x OCZ 128GB Vertex 4 SSD

survey-corsairc70.jpg

1 x Corsair Vengeance C70 Military Green Chassis

survey-gigabyte.jpg

1 x Gigabyte Z77 G1.Sniper M3 Motherboard

All you have to do to win one of these great prizes is:

  1. Fill out our survey.
  2. Wait for us to pick you as a winner.

Man, we pride ourselves on making our contests and sweepstakes easy, but this is ridiculous!  The competition is open to ALL people around the world though you can ONLY enter one time!  The survey will run through the 8th of June, so get your entries in!

Good luck and thank you so much for being a part of PC Perspective!

Continue on to the survey for your chance to win and support PC Perspective while doing it!

OCZ Updates Vertex 4 Enthusiasts to 1.4 Release Candidate Firmware

Subject: Storage | May 7, 2012 - 10:27 AM |
Tagged: Vertex 4, sata, ocz, firmware

This morning, OCZ pushed out a new firmware, dubbed 1.4RC. This is a release candidate of the upcoming performance-boosting firmware, and is meant for "enthusiasts who like to tinker with their hardware".

DSC02737.jpg

New Performance Specs in Red:
Max Read / Write
128GB: 535MB/s - 550MB/s / 200MB/s - 420MB/s
256GB: 535MB/s - 550MB/s / 380MB/s - 465MB/s
512GB: 535MB/s - 550MB/s / 475MB/s

As a heads up for those who are feeling froggy this Monday morning and choose to update their Vertex 4 - this is a destructive update and will wipe the drive. The updater runs within a Windows session with the Vertex 4 connected as a secondary drive. While you're 'under the hood', I'd also recommend performing a secure erase with the OCZ Toolbox software after you have udpated and power cycled the SSD.

I have been able to partially confirm the performance increases, and will be reporting full results later this evening (for all three capacity points). Stay tuned!

*Note* OCZ NDA'd this update for this morning, but we have not seen where they have posted it for download from their site. We will post a link in the comments below once it has become available.

1TB OCZ SSD Coming Later This Month

Subject: Storage | May 2, 2012 - 08:34 AM |
Tagged: ssd, ocz, Octane, mlc, 1TB

According to a recent press release, OCZ Technology Co. is going to up the Octane ante with a 1TB solid state drive. Coming in at an MSRP of $3,238 USD (approx. 260,000 yen), the SSD features 1TB of synchronous MLC flash, 512MB of DRAM, and an Indilinx Everest controller bundled in a 2.5” form factor.

Octane_SSD_800x533.jpg

The SATA 3 (6Gbps) OCT1-25SAT3-1T SSD not only brings gobs of storage, but puts up some respectable performance numbers. It is capable of 460MB/s sequential reads and 330MB/s sequential write speeds. Also, it can deliver a maximum of 24,000 4K read IOPS (input/output operations per second) and 32,000 4K random write IOPS [the translation may be off here, I was expecting to see the higher IOPS reflected as 4K reads and not writes]. Other drive features include TRIP support, ECC (error correction), AES-256 drive encryption, SMART diagnostics, and a MTBF (mean time between failures) of 1,200,000 hours.

The 1TB SSD is slated for a mid-May release and will come with a 3 year warranty. You know, my birthday is coming up in a couple months... (hehe)

Are OCZ's Indilinx Everest and Everest 2 Controllers Actually Marvell Hardware?

Subject: Storage | April 11, 2012 - 09:43 PM |
Tagged: Vertex 4, ocz, Octane, Marvell, everest

We've covered the OCZ Octane and more recently the new OCZ Vertex 4. We've also seen how they behave under wildly differing firmware revisions. What have we not yet seen? Turns out the hardware powering both the Octane and Vertex 3 controllers was actually from Marvell.

icon.jpg

Judging from the performance we saw from the Octane, it's clear that Indilinx is cranking out some great firmware for this hardware, but it's a bit of a surprise to us that the Indilinx arm of OCZ chose to go this route as opposed to spinning their own next gen controller, especially in light of how well the original Indilinx Barefoot was received back in the day.

block diagram pic.png

It turns out that 'Indilinx Infused' is more than just a catch phrase.

As evidenced by some commenters over at the source, some feel cheated that this news did not come to light earlier. My take on it is that an SSD is a package deal - controller hardware *and firmware* make up that package. If a company can deliver both in a reliable and well performing manner, then it's that companies product you are buying, not just the controller.

Source: Anand

OCZ's brand new Vertex 4 arrives

Subject: Storage | April 4, 2012 - 03:37 PM |
Tagged: ocz, ssd, sata 6Gbs, Vertex 4, Indilinx, vertex

There are quite a few changes in the 4th version of OCZ's Vertex SSDs, not only the new Indilinx controller but the positioning of it right in the centre of the PCB.  You will also notice what looks like an mSATA interface, but The Tech Report is sad to say that it is only a connector for OCZ's internal testing machinery and is not a standard connector.  Of course, we may have to see what the modders do with it.  The performance is as good as you would expect in most circumstances though there were some tests the new prefetch mechanism had troubles with.  OCZ claims that the drive was intended to be partitioned and doing so could help the performance.  Also worth applauding is the move to a 5 year warranty, signalling OCZ's increased faith in reliability.

Our own Al Malventano took a look at not only the drive but also the difference between the 1.30 and 1.52 firmware revisions.

TR_board.jpg

"Just a few months after its Indilinx Everest controller debuted in the OCZ Octane, a second-generation Everest chip has taken root in the Vertex 4 SSD. We take a closer look at the latest Vertex to see what's changed and how its performance measures up."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

 

Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: OCZ Technology

Introduction, Specifications, and Packaging

Introduction

OCZ has been in the SSD game for quite some time now. Their first contender was the OCZ Vertex, which we reviewed back in Febuary of 2009. While the original Vertex was powered by an Indilinx BareFoot controller, the Vertex line switched over to SandForce for the second and third generations. The fourth generation brings Indilinx back to the Vertex, this time with the Everest 2. You may recall Everest made its first appearance in the OCZ Octane, which has already proven itself to be a solid contender in the market.

DSC02737.JPG

Before we get into the meat and portatoes, we'll kick this off by saying this will not be a typical Vertex 4 review. We had benches run on 512GB and 256GB Vertex 4 samples, but the numbers we were seeing seemed 'off', so OCZ provided me with an alpha/engineering level firmware late last night. I suspect most other reviews you read today will include results from the 1.30 initial shipping firmware, or perhaps from the 1.31 bugfix firmware (which corrected an issue with secure erasure), but this piece will cover both 1.30 and a newer 1.52 interim build. Sometimes it's necessary to burn the midnight oil in the interest of presenting the full picture (or one as complete as possible) to our readers, and this was one of those pieces. We will revisit the Vertex 4 again very soon in the form of a more final product review, but for now we'll go with what we've got.

Read on for the full review!

OCZ's Virtualized Controller Architecture doesn't need any steenking bridges

Subject: Storage | April 2, 2012 - 05:10 PM |
Tagged: RevoDrive 3 X2 240GB, PCIe SSD, ocz

The thing which most caught The Tech Report's eye when they examined the OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 240GB PCIe SSD was the complete lack of bridge chips.   When they inquired as to just how the SuperScale storage controller manages this they didn't get a precise answer, as that would be giving away secrets, but were told it "combines processing and full DMA cores, as well as internal PCIe, SATA and SAS interfaces."  Putting that mystery aside, they installed the SSD to see just how four SSDs on one card perform in real world and synthetic tests.  The tests will impress you but keep in mind the cost of the card, at $2.83/GB it does not come cheap.

Long time readers might remember Al's review of this drive from last summer.

TR_standing.jpg

"Using virtualization voodoo, the RevoDrive 3 X2 combines four SandForce-based SSDs on a single PCIe card purportedly capable of transfer rates up to 1500MB/s. We take a closer look to see if the Revo is as impressive as it sounds. "

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage