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. 

Podcast #229 - ASUS RT-N56U Router, Radeon HD 8000 series rumors, Crysis 3 and more!

Subject: General Tech | December 6, 2012 - 12:26 PM |
Tagged: ssd, rt-n56u, podcast, Crysis 3, asus, 8990, 8970, 7970 matrix

PC Perspective Podcast #229 - 12/06/2012

Join us this week as we talk about the ASUS RT-N56U Router, Radeon HD 8000 series rumors, Crysis 3 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!

  • 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, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano and Chris Barbere

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!

Program length: 1:34:42

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. 0:01:15 Never Settle Contest Part 3 is running!
  2. Week in Reviews:
    1. 0:03:10 ASUS RT-N56U Router Review
    2. 0:08:45 Tt eSPORTS Level 10 M Mouse Video
    3. 0:11:45 Cutting the Cord Series
      1. Part 1 - The Assessment
      2. Part 2 - The Hardware
    4. 0:27:15 ASUS Matrix Radeon HD 7970 Platinum
  3. 0:38:06 This podcast is brought to you by MSI
  4. News items of interest:
    1. 0:39:22 Microsoft Surface Pro Priced/Dated/Batteried
    2. 0:42:50 Rosewill announces a 1600 watt power supply
    3. 0:45:23 Crysis 3 System Requirements
    4. 0:47:30 Steam releases Big Picture mode
    5. 0:53:30 Radeon HD 8990 Rumored for 2013
    6. 0:58:15 Intel might make chips for...ARM?
    7. 1:03:30 AMD will continued to support socketed processors
    8. 1:07:30 Enterprise might need to buy SSDs 10000x less often?
    9. 1:17:30 Far Cry 3 Game Stream Summary
  5. Closing:
    1. 1:18:30 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
      1. Ryan: 7 year old PC steering wheels
      2. Jeremy:(Not) Fancy ass new networked printers
      3. Josh: Asetek Rules!
      4. Allyn: Google 2-factor authentication
      5. Chris: HTC 8X
  1. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  2. http://pcper.com/podcast
  3. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  4. Closing/outro

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

 

SSDs Might Just Get a Little More Solid: Write Wearing Fixed?

Subject: General Tech, Storage | December 5, 2012 - 07:01 PM |
Tagged: Macronix, ssd, enterprise ssd

I have not been too worried about my SSD failing due to excessive write-erase wear and tear. Typical flash cells fail somewhere between a few thousand write cycles with high endurance drives creeping over the ten-thousand cycle border. It is quite rare for me, like many home users, to write to my SSD outside of application updates or profile changes on my web browser.

Enterprise customers tend to hammer on drives quite a bit more ferociously, however. It will primarily be those customers who are most interested in news recently published with the IEEE: modifications to the integrated circuit holding the flash cells can be made to recondition dead NAND cells.

macronix.gif

SSDs have been able to be restored from write-erase degradation through excessive heating, think several hours at two-and-a-half times the sea-level boiling point of water. Clearly tossing SSDs in a range with your fries and chicken strips is not an ideal solution and would not be wise to recommend.

Macronix, the company who claims to have invented the technology based on research into competing Phase Change RAM (PCRAM), assert that their flash will survive at least ten-thousand times longer than enterprise NAND. Their integrated circuit has been designed to deliver extreme heat, 8-times the boiling point of water, local to the flash cell for a very brief time. The article boasts at least 100-million cycles because that was their point where their patience in testing the flash ended: the flash was still ready for more.

That said I do not claim to have too much knowledge about solid state flash so tune in for the December 5th PC Perspective Podcast for more discussion from smarter people. If you found this quick enough you could also tune in live just after this publishes!

Podcast #228 - Intel Socket Controversy, a new OCZ SSD, GPU-less Ivy Bridge and more!

Subject: General Tech | November 29, 2012 - 11:20 AM |
Tagged: vector, ssd, socket, podcast, ocz, LGA, layoffs, Intel, Indilinx, BGA, amd, 3550p

PC Perspective Podcast #228 - 11/29/2012

Join us this week as we talk about Intel Socket Controversy, a new OCZ SSD, GPU-less Ivy Bridge 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!

  • 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, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Allyn Malventano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!

Program length: 1:22:57

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. 0:01:20 Never Settle Contest Part 2 is running!
  2. Week in Reviews:
    1. 0:03:00 Nintendo Wii U Teardown
    2. 0:06:00 Digital Storm Bolt Mini-ITX System
    3. 0:12:00 Dell XPS One 27 System All-in-One
    4. 0:18:10 Intel Core i5-3550P Ivy Bridge CPU
    5. 0:27:15 LEPA Gold Series 750 watt PSU
    6. 0:29:00 OCZ Vector 256GB Indilinx Barefoot 3 SSD
  3. 0:40:30 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
  4. News items of interest:
    1. 0:41:30 Intel Broadwell goes BGA Only; Desktop is dead?
    2. 0:56:00 More AMD Layoffs coming?
    3. 0:58:45 Intel CEO is leaving too
    4. 1:00:00 Western Digital 4TB Black HDD
    5. 1:02:00 Fujifilm working on 1TB optical discs
    6. 1:06:00 Jon Peddie Q3 GPU Results
    7. 1:08:00 Microsoft sells 40 million Windows 8 licenses
    8. 1:09:45 Rumored 'Blue' Subscription based Windows OS
    9. 1:12:00 Intel Updates SSD Toolbox, 335 Firmware
  5. Closing:
    1. 1:15:00 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
      1. Ryan: iFixit Pro Tech Tool Kit
      2. Jeremy: Leatherman Raptor
      3. Josh: Nice monitor!
      4. Allyn: OCZ Vector
  1. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  2. http://pcper.com/podcast
  3. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  4. Closing/outro

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

 

OCZ interrupts your viewing of the legal battle to introduce a new product; the Vector

Subject: Storage | November 27, 2012 - 01:47 PM |
Tagged: vector, ssd, sata, ocz, mlc, barefoot 3

There are three members of the OCZ Vector SSD, the 128GB and 256GB models will have 512MB cache and the 512GB model 1GB of cache, each costing a bit over $1/GB.  Inside is the brand new Barefoot 3 controller which features 8 channels and both an ARM cortex processor and OCZ's secret sauce, the Aragon co-processor.  On paper, the 256GB and 512GB models have the same performance specs with the 128GB model having slightly slower sequential writes and 4k reads, though still the speeds are impressive enough that you won't suffer unduly.  [H]ard|OCP takes you through their torture test here and of course if you haven't seen what Allyn did to them, get reading!

H_vector_arch.png

"OCZ soft launches the 256GB Vector SSD with its first OCZ-proprietary controller, the Barefoot 3. Geared for steady state performance, the OCZ Vector SSD is designed with the end user in mind. Today we take a look at the Vector and the new controller architecture and see how these fare in our steady state testing."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Source: [H]ard|OCP