Forget Cherryville, here's Jaycrest

Subject: Storage | February 8, 2013 - 04:25 PM |
Tagged: SF-2281 controller, Jaycrest, Intel, 335 Series, 240 GB, 20nm

The Intel 520 and 335 series are very similar, both using the SF-2281 controller with the difference being the flash chips.  The 335 uses the newly designed 20nm MLC flash which gives both higher storage density, retains the same 3,000 Program/Erase cycles as the 25nm 520 and it keeps the cost of the drives down.  [H]ard|OCP put it through tests similar to the battery of benchmarks Al did and it will come as no surprise that their results were similar as well.  This drive is never going to beat flagship SSDs in terms of raw performance but for readers who are unwilling to spend top dollar for an SSD the Intel 335 series allows you to pick up a 256GB SSD for under $200 without sacrificing anything but a bit of performance in certain specific usage scenarios.

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"Intel has released its new Intel 335 Series SSDs featuring 20nm MLC NAND and a SandForce SF-2281 processor. Its new MLC NAND boasts impressive power and write specifications. This SSD is geared for the budget market, but will it be able to compete with low-cost TLC alternatives?"

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Kingston updates their SSDNow lineup

Subject: Storage | February 4, 2013 - 11:09 AM |
Tagged: kingston, ssdnow v300, SF-2281 controller, mlc

Kingston's updated SSDNow V300 uses 19nm Toshiba Toggle NAND and the SandForce 2281 controller with some unspecified enhancements.  Kingston has made a name for themselves in the SSD market for offering an easy and fully explained upgrade path for users who are unfamiliar with changing hard drives.  The updated version is no different, included is an external enclosure for the SSD and a USB cable to allow users to easily copy over any data which is of great benefit for users who don't have several enclosures laying around.  [H]ard|OCP's testing showed that even though this is a value priced drive, it also performs better than a lot of the competition.

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"The Kingston SSDNow V300 is yet another value-oriented SSD in Kingston's wildly successful line of mainstream solid state drives. With the pressures of TLC SSDs squeezing the value market we take a look and see if a standard MLC SSD with 19nm Toshiba Toggle NAND and an SF-2281 processor can keep up with the changing times."

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Storage

Source: [H]ard|OCP

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em; Intel goes Sandforce

Subject: Storage | February 6, 2012 - 10:12 AM |
Tagged: ssd, SF-2281 controller, sandforce, Intel, 520 Cherryville, 25nm

While the Intel 320 Series did hold the top spot for quite a while it has been a while since Intel refreshed their SSD line and has fallen behind new controllers in performance.  As of today that changes for the 520 Cherryville series has arrived and it is using none other than SandForce's SF-2281 controller.  Using such a popular controller leaves Intel with a bit of a problem, how do they stand out in such a crowded market?  One way that they have chosen is their home made 25nm synchronous NAND flash; Intel designs and fabs their own which gives them the opportunity to ensure the best flash chips make it into their drives.  The other way they've chosen to differentiate themselves is with a 5-year warranty for owners of this new drive.  Read how they did performance-wise at The Tech Report or else head straight to Al's review right here.

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"Intel's newest solid-state drive pairs a SandForce controller with custom firmware and 25-nm NAND. We've tested the 60 and 240GB models to see how they fare against more than two dozen SSDs, hybrids, and mechanical drives."

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Three new drives from Corsair, a pair of SandForce and a single Marvell

Subject: Storage | January 2, 2012 - 12:12 PM |
Tagged: corsair, Force GT, Performance Pro, sata 6Gbs, ssd, SF-2281 controller, synchronous NAND

When dealing with data that can be compressed there is nothing like the SandForce controller to get the job done.  Corsair went with the SF-2281 controller for both their 180GB and 240GB Force  GT SSDs, but they chose a Marvell controller for the 256GB Performance Pro model.  The difference in controllers shows up in Legit Reviews benchmarking, with tests involving compressible data putting the Sandforce drives well in the lead but with the Performance Pro drive providing much more consistent results and leading in real world applications.  Read on to see if your budget and storage desires can be met by one of Corsair's new SSDs.

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"So, what have we learned from this little round up? First off, you can't go wrong with any of the drives here. All feature very fast SATA III performance and come with a standard three year warranty. The Force GT drives promise read and write specifications of up to 555MB/s reads and 525MB/s writes. This is something we observed on the ATTO benchmark where highly compressible data was used. On other benchmarks, the scores were a fair bit lower as the SandForce controllers rely on real time compression of data to optimize performance and the referenced benchmarks used already compressed data. The 240GB fared a little better than the 180GB drive as higher density NAND tends to be a little faster along with slightly different architecture..."

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Sandforce keeps spreading, check out the EDGE Boost Pro

Subject: Storage | September 30, 2011 - 09:23 AM |
Tagged: SF-2281 controller, sata 6Gbs, EDGE Boost Pro

While you certainly have a wide variety of choice when choosing the manufacturer of your next SSD purchase, the internals will likely be identical.  If you want the fastest SATA 6GB/s SSD you can get then it will be a Sandforce controller handling the data transfer, likely the new SF-2281.  EDGE Tech won't be the first manufacturer you think of but don't let the lack of name recognition turn you off, especially if you are going to be transferring data and software installations as they sell an upgrade kit to make the process even easier.  Benchmark Reviews takes you through the speed and security features of this SSD, especially favouring the three year warranty.

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"EDGE Tech Corporation has been a manufacturer of peripheral computer hardware for two decades, but only recently have they offered enthusiast storage solutions. New for 2011, the EDGE Boost Pro SSD offers SATA 6GB/s transfer speeds using the latest second-generation SandForce SF-2200 solid state controller technology. EDGE Tech specifies the Boost Pro SSD as capable of 550 MB/s read speeds and 85,000 IOPS write operations. In this article, Benchmark Reviews test the EDGE Boost Pro SSD against the leading competitors and we find out just how much speed and performance this new solid state drive offers."

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Look for the SSD sweet spot

Subject: Storage | September 26, 2011 - 03:44 PM |
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.

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"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"

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Storage

 

Solid State Penguin

Subject: Storage | September 6, 2011 - 12:00 PM |
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.

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"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."

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Source: Phoronix

Kingston joins the SandForce club

Subject: Storage | August 19, 2011 - 09:03 AM |
Tagged: kingston, ssd, sandforce, SF-2281 controller

Kingston has moved on to the new SandForce 2281 controller and synchronous flash memory with their new series of HyperX SSDs.  Like previous models, cables and brackets and sometimes even ghosting software are included in the packaging in addition to a 3 year warranty.  The drive comes in two varieties of package, one is intended for those planning a complete reinstall of Windows when they add the SSD to their system.  The other is an upgrade kit, which has everything you need to move your OS onto the SSD, up to and including a USB casing to ease the transfer.  [H]ard|OCP has the scoop here.

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"Kingston's move into the SandForce SSD market is great news for the consumer. With its new HyperX branded solid state drives in hand, we take a look at these amazingly fast SSDs and examine if an SSD from Kingston should be on your short list for your next storage purchase."

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Storage

Source: [H]ard|OCP

The Good, the bad and the ugly of SSDs

Subject: Storage | August 15, 2011 - 11:23 AM |
Tagged: ssd, SF-2281 controller, sata 6Gps

The good and the bad are obvious, unparalleled transfer speeds and a very high price per gigabyte are familiar to anyone keeping up with the new storage medium.  The ugly is the reliability, as we have seen a variety of manufacturers and controllers spawn significant problems for users.  That is before you consider how long an SSD will last, something that we have yet to fully see the scope of as niether the technology nor the drives have been on the market long enough for MTBF to be tested in the real world.

If you are willing to risk the possible failures that some users have been seeing with the SF-2281 controller, AnandTech have rounded up several drives which use that specific controller.  Head over to see if you can pick a winner in this incredibly close race.

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"It's a depressing time to be covering the consumer SSD market. Although performance is higher than it has ever been, we're still seeing far too many compatibility and reliability issues from all of the major players. Intel used to be our safe haven, but even the extra reliable Intel SSD 320 is plagued by a firmware bug that may crop up unexpectedly, limiting your drive's capacity to only 8MB. Then there are the infamous BSOD issues that affect SandForce SF-2281 drives like the OCZ Vertex 3 or the Corsair Force 3. Despite OCZ and SandForce believing they were on to the root cause of the problem several weeks ago, there are still reports of issues. I've even been able to duplicate the issue internally."

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Storage

Source: AnandTech

For a few dollars more; synchronized SSD shooters draw first

Subject: Storage | August 8, 2011 - 11:10 AM |
Tagged: ssd, sata 6Gps, asynchronous flash, synchronous flash, SF-2281 controller

With the latest SSD controller from SandForce, the SF-2281 SATA III, we have been seeing two different types of flash memory used as the storage medium depending on which vendor or product line you look at.  Asynchronous flash and synchronous flash differ in their timing when sending read and write commands, [H]ard|OCP's analogy of synchronous flash working like DDR is perfect as the new variety can send a command on both the rise and the fall of a clock cycle.

The reason this now matters is SATA III, which allows enough bandwidth for synchronous flash to show off its higher speeds; with the previous SATA standard it simply had no impact.  That speed impact on the new standard becomes obvious in [H]'s testing, especially when they fill both drives half way and conduct some real world tests.  Now that some of both types of drives are on the market, they also look at the price difference between the two types of flash,; a comparison in which the old asynchronous flash does not look good coming out of.

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"News flash! All flash NAND is not created equal! Sure, you know about multi-level and single-level NAND when it comes to speed, but what about synchronous and asynchronous NAND inside your shiny new SSD? We have answers and tell you where your money is best spent for real data speed."

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Storage

Source: [H]ard|OCP