FarCry 3 Game Bundle Now With OCZ Vector SSDs

Subject: General Tech | February 6, 2013 - 10:35 AM |
Tagged: vector, ssd, ocz, giveaway, far cry 3

If you purchase a 256GB or 512GB OCZ Vector Series drive before July 14th of 2013 you will get a free downloadable copy of Far Cry 3, to a maximum of two copies.  Allyn was more than impressed with this drive, finishing off his review with the statement that "The OCZ Vector astonished me with its throughput, sheer IOPS performance, and low latency", with the only negative comment involving the drives inability to do household chores.  They are not the least expensive drives on the market but they are some of the fastest and they come with a 5 year warranty as well. 

oczFC3.png

Intel Launches New 335 Series SSD In 180GB Capacity

Subject: Storage | February 5, 2013 - 12:16 AM |
Tagged: ssd, SandForce SF-2281, sandforce, mlc, intel 335, Intel

Intel has added a new drive to its existing 335 SSD series. The new drive offers up 180GB of storage, but maintains the same level of read and write performance as its larger 240GB sibling.

Intel 335 Series 180GB SSD.jpg

The 180GB version uses 20nm MLC NAND flash paired with a SandForce SF-2281 controller. According to the Intel-provided spec sheet (PDF), the new drive is capable of sustained read and write speeds of 500 MB/s and 450 MB/s respectively. Further, the drive maxes out at 42,000 random read IOPS and 52,000 random write IOPS.

The drive will come in the 2.5” form factor, but is 9.5mm thick (meaning it will not work in all notebooks). Reportedly, Intel has redesigned the casing to include a schematic/blueprint graphic alongside the Intel logo.

Intel rates the 180GB 335 series SSD at 1.2 million MTBF and is warranted for three years. The drive can currently be found online for around $180, making it right around the $1/GB mark. Interestingly, the larger 240GB model is currently retailing for around $195. Therefore, if you can spare the extra $15, the 240GB model is the better deal.

Source: Intel
Subject: Storage
Tagged: Intel, ssd, 525, msata

Introduction, Specifications and Packaging

Introduction

It has been just under a year since Intel released their 520 Series SSD, which was their second 6 Gb/sec SATA unit. Sporting a SandForce controller, that release helped bridge a high speed storage gap in their product lineup. One year prior, Intel dabbled in the mSATA form factor, releasing a 310 Series model under that moniker. The 310 showed up here and there, but never really caught on as the physical interface was admittedly before its time. While in hindsight it was a very good way to go towards establishing a fixed standard, the industry had already begun fragmenting on these smaller interfaces. The MacBook Air had already launched with a longer 'GumStick' shaped SSD, and Ultrabook makers were following suit with units that were physically identical yet not pin-compatible with that used in the Apple product.

intel520.jpg

The Intel 520 Series SSD helped push Intel into 6Gb/sec SATA territory.

It's taken a while for the industry to favor defragmentation (pun intended) enough for mSATA to really start catching on, and that time appears to be nearing with Intel's launch of the SSD 525 Series:

525_FRONT_TILT_LEFT_300dpi.jpg

Read on for the full review!

Intel's got a new SSD controller to show off to enterprises

Subject: Storage | January 17, 2013 - 12:05 PM |
Tagged: DC S3700, Intel, ssd, HET MLC, enterprise ssd

Before getting into the speed of the new Intel DC S3700 SSD, take a moment to consider the expected lifespan of the HET MLC flash, it was described to hardCOREware as "10 full drive writes per day over the 5-year life of the drive".  Now that will not have a big impact on home users, but Enterprise and image/video editors will certainly take note as moving that much data is a common occurrence for those businesses and the questionable lifespan of some flash memory has been contributed to the slow pace at which SSDs have been taken up by large businesses.  With the Intel name behind these drives, an assurance of long term usability and the impressive steady state performance they provide you may soon see these in a server room near you.

HCW intel-SSD-DC-S3700-800gb-disassembled.jpg

"The Intel SSD DC S3700 introduces a new Intel SSD controller for the first time in years. With a heavy emphasis on consistent performance, these drives bode well for the future of Intel SSD products. It may also refresh your opinion on some current SSDs that don't perform as consistently as others once they enter a steady state."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Source: hardCOREware

OCZ is no longer driving SSD prices down?

Subject: General Tech | January 16, 2013 - 12:58 PM |
Tagged: ocz, price increase, price cuts, ssd

The hard drive market has recovered somewhat over 2012 from the sharp spike in prices we saw as a result of the flooding in Thailand, though never to the prices we became used to in 2011.  That issue fell by the wayside in 2013 thanks to the sharp drop in prices for SSDs, with a price of $1/GB becoming a common price point even before specials and deals are considered.  The Tech Report noticed something different about Q4 of 2012, with the pricing trend actually reversing and many drives increasing in price by 10-20%.  In part this might be accounted for due to the drop in overall PC sales but The Tech Report has another culprit in mind, read on to see why you might have OCZ to thank for both the rapid drop in SSD prices as well as the current upwards trend.

ssd.jpg

"SSD prices fell by 38% in 2012. However, they actually went up in the fourth quarter, spurred largely by an end to OCZ's deep discounts. We've crunched the numbers for more than 40 drives to get a better sense of what's going on."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

SanDisk's affordable Ultra Plus SSD family

Subject: Storage | January 7, 2013 - 03:57 PM |
Tagged: ssd, sandisk ultra plus, 256GB, Marvell, 88SS9175

Using the Marvell 88SS9175 controller, the SanDisk Ultra Plus family of SSDs comes in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB models all of which come with a 3 year warranty.  As you can see below, the 256GB model that Legit Reviews recently received does not take up much space in the drives shell.  SanDisk's nCache technology is featured on these drives and helps boost the performance of 4k writes but does not fare so well on large files.  With decent performance and a price under $1/GB these drives are worth checking out ... unless you want to wait to see what comes out of CES.

LR_sandisk-box.jpg

"SanDisk is best known for their memory products and with that, they've been doing a number of SSDs on both consumer and enterprise fronts. Their latest offering that came across our desk is the Ultra Plus line being powered by the Marvell 88SS9175 controller and SanDisk's own 19nm NAND. The 6Gbps interfaced drives are marketed towards the both the desktop and mobile computing crowds with promises of strong performance, high reliability and power efficiency. It comes standard in the 7mm, 2.5" form factor so it should be good to go for most Ultrabooks as well..."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

CES 2013: SanDisk Launches Fast, Low Cost Ultra Plus / X110 SSD

Subject: Storage | January 7, 2013 - 06:55 AM |
Tagged: x110 ssd, ultra plus, ssd, sandisk, ces 2013, CES, 19nm

SanDisk has officially launched a new solid state drive that is slated to offer up a good balance of performance and price. Based on 19nm flash used in a 2.5” form factor drive acceptable for either notebook or desktop upgrades, the new drive is the Ultra Plus in retail channels and known as the X110 to OEM partners.

The basic specifications that SanDisk have released include a SATA 3.0 6Gbps connection, and respectable sequential read and write speeds of 530 MB/s and 445 MB/s respectively. Random read and write speeds and IOPS were not listed in the press release.

SanDisk Ultra Plus SSD.jpg

However, in an odd twist for CES news, the new SanDisk solid state drive is actually available now at Amazon, Microcenter, and Newegg. Amazom and Microcenter will have 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB SKUs while Newegg will carry the 128GB and 256GB models.

Interestingly, SanDisk has priced these drives fairly cheaply with MSRPs of $79.99 for the 64GB model, $109.99 for the 128GB model, and $219.99 for 256GB drive. Granted the 64GB model is not great on $/GB, but the higher tier models are under $1/GB. Unfortunately, the 128GB model is out of stock on Amazon, and the 64GB and 256GB models are all well above MSRP at $120 and $250 respectively. Here’s hoping the price comes down as more stock becomes available.

Coverage of CES 2013 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: SanDisk

Samsung 840 Series gives SSD fans a little TLC

Subject: Storage | January 3, 2013 - 12:22 PM |
Tagged: tlc, Samsung 840, 500gb, ssd

As the lifespan of flash memory in SSDs has become a topic of concern for many users, it is nice to see that the Samsung 840 500GB has a lifespan of some 14 years assuming a daily write load of 10GB.  Since most users do not write 10GB to a drive day in and day out, that estimate is probably on the low end.  If that doesn't have you excited then consider the cost of the drive, at $350 it is much lower than the $1/GB mark most other SSDs are at.  There are some trade offs however, [H]ard|OCP saw comparatively slow extended write speeds though the read speeds were higher than the 256GB model.  When you consider this drive do keep in mind that it is still going to be faster than a platter drive even when it is working on a task that other SSDs might do slightly faster.

H_840_500.jpg

"Samsung has released the first TLC NAND equipped SSDs into the market, creating the lowest price points we have witnessed for SSDs bringing large capacity SSDs within reach for average users. Today we test the 500GB TLC Samsung 840 Series SSD to test the performance in steady state of a large capacity TLC Solid State Drive."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Podcast #232 - Our picks for Best Products of 2012!

Subject: General Tech | December 27, 2012 - 12:37 PM |
Tagged: video, ssd, podcast, picks of the year, memory, gpu, editors choice, cpu, case, best of the year

PC Perspective Podcast #232 - 12/27/2012

Join us this week as we discuss our picks for Best Products of 2012!

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!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano and Scott Michaud

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!

Program length: 1:40:13

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. Welcome to our Best Of 2012 Episode!
  2. Rules explanation: there are no rules!!
  3. 0:07:30 Best CPU
    1. AMD Trinity A10 APU
    2. Intel Core i7-3770K
    3. Intel Ultrabook mobile CPU
    4. Qualcomm Krait Mobile CPU
  4. 0:20:00 Best Motherboard
    1. MSI Z77 MPower
    2. ASUS Rampage IV Extreme
    3. ASUS Z77 Mini ITX
    4. EVGA dual Xeon board
    5. Asus Crosshair Formula Z
  5. 0:31:20 Best GPU
    1. GeForce GTX 680 2GB
    2. GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB
    3. Radeon HD 7970 3GB
    4. Radeon HD 7870 2GB
  6. 0:44:00 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
  7.  0:45:00 Best Storage
    1. Samsung 840 Pro SSD
    2. OCZ Vector SSD
    3. WD Red HDD
    4. WD 4TB Enterprise
  8. 1:05:00 Best Case
    1. Corsair Carbide 300R
    2. Corsair Obsidian 550D
    3. Cooler Master Cosmos II
    4. Mineral Oil Case
  9. 1:12:00 Best Price Drop
    1. SSDs
    2. AMD Radeon 7000 GPUs
    3. Good IPS displays ($199 - $400)
    4. 2560x1440 27-in panels
    5. System Memory
  10. 1:22:00 Best Newly Popular Technology
    1. Thunderbolt
    2. High-res monitors (Korean or otherwise)
    3. Cherry style keyboards
    4. Mini ITX Motherboards
    5. Touch screen?
  11. 1:35:00 Best Lenovo Laptop on my Desk
    1. Thinkpad Twist
    2. Thinkpad X1 Carbon
    3. Thinkpad X230
    4. Yoga 13
  12. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  13. http://pcper.com/podcast
  14. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  15. Closing/outro

Be sure to subscribe to the PC Perspective YouTube channel!!

 

 

Samsung Acquires NVELO and SSD Caching Software Dataplex

Subject: Storage | December 16, 2012 - 06:59 PM |
Tagged: ssd, Samsung, Nvelo Dataplex, nvelo

Thanks to those of you that sent this in to us as it will likely be very big news to discuss during the upcoming CES in January.  Samsung Electronics announced it has acquired NVELO, a California based SSD technology company most popularly known for Dataplex, software used for storage caching.

dataplex1.png

Many of the most popular caching SSDs from companies like OCZ, Corsair, Crucial and Mushkin are currently licensing the Dataplex software to bundle with select lines of drives to enable SSD caching technology without using Intel's Smart Response Technology.  We tested the Dataplex software on the OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid back in December of last year and we found no issue with it compared to Intel's tech.

dataplex2.png

Simple Dataplex installation process

As of this writing though Samsung does not have a caching system of its own or a line of drives using anyone else's technology.  Samsung in general prefers to have a completely vertical product line in which it can control as many aspects as possible: NAND, design, sales, etc.  It would appear that they have decided that simply buying up the privately held NVELO would be the simplest and surest way to make a splash.

"The acquisition of NVELO will enable us to extend our ability to provide SSD related storage solutions to customers. We are pleased with this transaction as the employees of NVELO share our vision to take SSD storage into the next-generation of performance and reliability," said Young-Hyun Jun, executive vice president of Flash product & technology, Device Solutions, Samsung Electronics.

What we don't know of course is how this will affect the competing SSD vendors like OCZ and Corsair.  It seems unlikely that Samsung will kill the deal for currently selling SSDs but I wouldn't expect NVELO to be able to offer the software for license in the future.  Current sellers will need to be on the lookout for another software solution after the new year. 

On the other hand I am very interested to see what Samsung can do with NVELO's technology and what integration methods they'll devise for future products.