Hynix does Sandforce SSDs as well as LAMD

Subject: Storage | September 17, 2012 - 04:34 PM |
Tagged: Hynix, Strontium Hawk Series, ssd, SandForce SF-2281, synchronous NAND

Hynix jumped into the world of SSDs with the first model containing a LAMD controller, their Neutron series.  Obviously Hynix are not limiting themselves to that controller as the release of the new Strontium Hawk series demonstrates, with the well known SF-2281 controller making an appearance.  When the SSD Review began their testing they expected results in line with other SandForce based drives but soon found themselves very pleasantly surprised.  With compressed data, this drive surpassed other 120GB models and kept up with some 240GB models, a very impressive feat but not as impressive as the results they saw when checking out the incompressible data benchmarks.  It would seem that Hynix has found a way to beef up performance in a way no other SandForce drive has managed yet.  This review is well worth checking out.

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"The production of a non-LAMD based SSD for Hynix is actually not that shocking as an exclusive contract between Corsair and LAMD was in place long before the Hynix purchase. The length of this contract is not known, however, it accounts for probably one of the smartest moves made by Corsair to date. The performance of their newly released LAMD controlled Neutron Series has taken the industry by storm and can be seen in our recent review of both the Neutron and Neutron GTX."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Source: SSD Review

OCZ's Ryan Peterson Resigns

Subject: Editorial | September 17, 2012 - 03:32 PM |
Tagged: ssd, Ryan Peterson, ocz, CMO, CEO, Alex Mei

OCZ started in a strip mall making heatsinks and fans in 2002.  Not exactly an auspicious beginning to a company that now is a dominant force in the SSD industry.  The guy that has helped the company make the massive jumps it has is Ryan Peterson.  Today OCZ has announced his resignation.  Alex Mei, current CMO (chief marketing officer) is taking over as interim CEO until a replacement can be found.

New_OCZ_Logo_Vector.jpg

It is hard to believe that just 10 years ago OCZ sprang into existence.  A few quick exposes from other tech sites revealed a small company that was situated in a strip mall.  Back in those years there was some questionable marketing tactics that the company used to present themselves as a much larger organization than they actually were (their website showed large, modern buildings and automated memory manufacturing equipment- neither of which the company had).  Through perseverance, decent technical support, and some really interesting products at a time where enthusiast style memory was starting to grow, the company thrived and expanded.

The memory market has softened, and seemingly OCZ was well aware of where the market was going.  They transitioned from being a memory company to a full blown SSD manufacturer.  Along the way they picked up Indilinx and are now finally starting to produce their first custom silicon.  The company continued to grow, and at the head of it all was Ryan Peterson.  Often known as a polarizing figure, he nonetheless helped to lead OCZ into a position of significance and authority when it came to SSD technology.

It seems that the recent downturn in the company’s profits, and the seeming failure of the sale to Seagate of the company, Ryan submitted his resignation and the board of OCZ accepted it.  Not much else is included in the release, other than thanking Ryan for his dedication to the company and wishing him and his family the best of luck.

This must be a hard day for Ryan, as he was truly a driving force in taking OCZ from the strip mall to the high rise.  Change is inevitable though, and rarely do we see CEO’s like AMD’s Jerry Sanders last for decades at the helm of a company.  The market is changing, and perhaps OCZ needs a new vision.  Still, OCZ is now synonymous with the growing SSD market, and their acquisition of Indilinx allows them some flexibility and differentiation in what is now a very crowded area.  Their introduction of inexpensive “server” style PCI-E SSD devices was another milestone, and it provided an inexpensive (and powerful) solution that competed well with other much more costly products from companies such as FusionIO.

It will be very interesting to see where the company goes, but we wish Ryan the best of luck.

The entire press release can be found here.

Source: OCZ

Small Form Factor Intel NUC PCs coming in October for under $400

Subject: General Tech | September 15, 2012 - 09:16 PM |
Tagged: ssd, small form factor, SFF, nuc, Ivy Bridge, Intel, htpc

Earlier this year, Intel showed off a small motherboard and processor combination that piqued the interest of many enthusiasts and attendees. The rather oddly named Next Unit of Computing (NUC) PC was originally intended to power digital signage, kiosks, and embedded systems (car PC anyone?). However, in response to the interest shown by enthusiasts, the x86 chip giant has decided to bring the super-small form factor computers to retail.  

The Next Unit of Computing PC’s main attraction is its small size: the motherboard is tiny, measuring a mere 4” x 4.” For reference, the mini-ITX standard is a 6.7” x 6.7” motherboard, and VIA’s Pico-ITX form factor boards measure 3.9” x 2.7.” In that respect, the NUC is not the smallest PC that you can build, but it will be the fastest – and by a significant margin thanks to the bundled Ivy Bridge CPU.

While i3 and i5 editions were allegedly designed, currently Intel is only bringing the i3 to the retail market. Specifically, the CPU powering the NUC will be an Intel Core i3-3217U Ivy Bridge processor, and it will be soldered onto the motherboard. That particular CPU is a 1.8GHz dual core/four thread part with 3MB cache, and Intel HD 4000 graphics (there is no Turbo Boost functionality). Not bad for a small form factor PC!

Intel SFF NUC Computer.jpg

Image credit: PC Pro.

The boards will have two SO-DIMM slots for RAM, an mSATA port for an SSD, and a mini-PCIe slot for a Wi-FI card. Intel is making two versions of the NUC motherboard that will differ only in IO. One motherboard will have 3 USB 2.0 ports, 1 HDMI output, and 1 Thunderbolt port. The other board will have 3 USB 2.0 ports, 2 HDMI outputs, and one Gigabit Ethernet jack. Intel believes that the Thunderbolt-equipped model will be more popular with consumers while the Gigabit-Ethernet and dual HDMI model will be used more by businesses.

Intel is reportedly sourcing several chassis designs for its custom form factor motherboard (there are at least two cases at present), and you will be able to build out a barebones system with one of the custom cases, integrated heatsink, and power supply. Additionally, when spec'ed out with the Intel i3-3217U CPU, 4GB of RAM, Wi-Fi card, and a 40GB Intel SSD, the company expects the entire NUC computer to cost around $399 in the US. The parts will be available for purchase in October, according to Engadget.

Hopefully, we will see OEMs take this form factor and make something cool with it. It's not clear which specific OEMs will be first to bring pre-built systems to market but they should be coming in the future.

Personally, I’m a big fan of small form factor computers, and despite the odd “NUC” name I’m excited to see where Intel takes this platform. If you were looking for a small but powerful computer to drive your next project, it might be worth keeping an eye on the NUC. What do you think of this sub $400, approximately 5” (with case) PC?

Read more about SFF and HTPC components at PC Perspective.

Source: Engadget

OCZ Vector SSD Spotted - Indilinx Barefoot 3 Controller

Subject: Storage | September 11, 2012 - 06:48 PM |
Tagged: ocz, idf, idf 2012, vector, ssd, Indilinx, barefoot 3

While wandering around San Francisco today, I was stopped by a stranger on the corner of Market and 4th to show me something he found outside the convention hall.  It LOOKS like an SSD PCB but what do you think?

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What you have here is a the internals of a new OCZ Technology SSD brand called Vector that will sit ABOVE the Vertex 4 in the product stack.  This SSD uses the as yet unreleased Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller.

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The drive should be available sometime in Q4 of this year and it marks the first complete Indilinx controller design - no Marvell or other third party intellectual property to be found.

That's all we know for now but you can be sure we'll have the details as they are released!!

Western Digital Hybrid Hard Drives: 5mm 500GB Sampling

Subject: General Tech, Systems, Storage | September 10, 2012 - 02:50 PM |
Tagged: ultrabook, ssd caching, ssd, Hard Drive

Western Digital has been sampling 5mm-thin 2.5” hard drives designed for Ultrabooks. They have currently announced partnerships with Acer and ASUS to include these drives in future ultrathin laptops. Western Digital has currently only listed capacities of 500GB for the spindle portion of the drive but no word how much MLC flash will be included to cache most used files. The product will be discussed during the company’s investor day on the 13th of this month.

At this stage SSDs are pretty much the missing link to a fast and responsive computer.

Prices have dropped to under one dollar per gigabyte ($1/GB) a few months ago with some models reaching 70c/GB – and those are the good ones too. The massive drop in price is still about an order of magnitude more expensive than spindle hard drives and consumers are using whatever space they can get. Several solutions exist to balance the speed of SSDs with the storage effectiveness of HDDs.

One solution is to include both in a single drive and keep the most used data in the SSD cache. Western Digital has just released samples of 5mm-thin hybrid hard drives for OEMs to put in extremely thin laptops.

I wonder if they're feeling chip-er...

Users who purchase laptops often have the mistaken assumption that a faster processor directly leads to increased response. That is certainly the case when comparing an Intel Atom to an i5 – but an i3 will probably spend just as much time idle and awaiting instructions from the hard drive as an i5 would.

Western Digital has not broken the SSD market despite their long success with spindle storage. It makes sense that Western Digital will push into the market with the starting point from which they are most comfortable. Western Digital has been shipping SSDs for over two-and-a-half years at this point but never really gained any traction.

It looks like Western Digital is realizing that they need to mix SSDs with what they know best and do something innovative to get a unique hook in the market – buying just a little more time.

The drive which has been announced today will contain a storage capacity of 500GB with an undisclosed amount of MLC NAND flash memory caching the most used data. The hook to differentiate themselves from other hybrid hard drives is its size: 5mm compared to the more common 9.5mm.

The Ultrabook market could be a lucrative wave to ride for the time being and give them even more capital to invest future SSDs. Hopefully they will not wait for solid state storage to creep up on them twice. Fool you once…

Western Digital is expected to discuss and showcase this product more at their Western Digital Investor Day on this Thursday, September 13th, 2012.

Deal for September 4th - Plextor 256GB SSD for $195

Subject: General Tech, Storage | September 4, 2012 - 03:11 PM |
Tagged: ssd, plextor, deal of the day

Today's deal comes from TigerDirect and will allow you jump on the SSD bandwagon for a more than reasonable price.  How does a 256GB Plextor M5 series SSD for just $195 with free shipping sound? 

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Source: LogicBuy

Podcast #216 - GTX 660Ti Roundup, AMD Steamroller Details, Multi GPU Graphics Card Rumors and more!

Subject: General Tech | August 30, 2012 - 01:22 PM |
Tagged: zotac, Steamroller, ssd, revodrive, podcast, ocz, msi, MARS III, Intel, galaxy, evga, asus, arm, ARES II, amd, 7990, 690, 660ti

PC Perspective Podcast #216 - 08/30/2012

Join us this week as we talk about our GTX 660Ti Roundup, AMD Steamroller Details, Multi GPU Graphics Card Rumors 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, Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom and Allyn Malvantano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!

Program length: 1:01:56

Program Schedule:

  1. Introduction
  2. PCPer moving to pcper.com/live
  3. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  4. http://pcper.com/podcast
  5. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. Week in Reviews:
    1. 0:02:15 GeForce GTX 660 Ti Roundup
    2. 0:16:00 AMD Steamroller details from HotChips
    3. 0:27:30 ASUS Zenbook Prime UX31A Review
  2. 0:29:45 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
  3. News items of interest:
    1. 0:30:25 EVGA 1500 watt power supply
    2. 0:34:30 Powercolor HD 7990 Devil 13 graphics card
    3. 0:37:26 AMD releases FX-4130 and lowers prices
    4. 0:39:24 Synology refreshes DiskStation
    5. 0:40:50 ASUS MARS III GTX 680 - dreamers only
    6. 0:43:17 EVGA Mini ITX Z77 motherboard
    7. 0:45:15 NVIDIA shows Unreal Engine 3 on Tegra 3
  4. Closing:
    1. 0:51:11 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
      1. Ryan: OCZ RevoDrive 3 x2
      2. Jeremy: Something to vie for your upgrade budget
      3. Josh: Can never have enough space
      4. Allyn: Kingston HyperX Genesis 32GB DDR3 1600
  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

 

Deals for August 28th - Kingston SSDNow V+200 120GB SSD for $70

Subject: Editorial, Storage | August 28, 2012 - 02:40 PM |
Tagged: ssd, kingston, deal of the day

Top Deal

120GB Kingston SSDNow V+200 SATA 6Gb/s SSD for $70 (normally $90).

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Cheaper and cheaper SSDs continue to find their way to our deals pages!!

Laptops

Rare $150 coupon code gives lowest price ever on Core i7 model of Inspiron 17R Special Edition

17.3" Dell Inspiron 17R Special Edition Core i7-3610QM 2.3GHz Quad-core Ivy Bridge Laptop w/8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, 1GB GeForce GT 650M & 1080p LCD for $950 with free shipping (normally $1,139 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

15.4" Apple MacBook Pro (MC975LL/A) Core i7 2.3GHz Quad-core Laptop w/8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Retina Display & 1GB GeForce GT 650M for $2,150 with free shipping (normally $2,199).

Lowest price we've seen on this Inspiron 14z Core i3 Laptop bundle

14" Dell Inspiron 14z Core i3-2350M 2.3GHz Dual-core thin & light Aluminum-body Laptop w/4GB RAM, 500GB HDD & Adobe Elements 9 Bundle for $430 with free shipping (normally $600 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

14" Samsung Series 5 (NP530U4B-A01US) Core i5-2467M 1.6GHz Dual-core Ultrabook (Refurbished) w/4GB RAM, 500GB HDD + 16GB Express Cache for $675 (normally $900).

11.6" ASUS Zenbook UX21E-DH52 Core i5-2467M 1.6GHz Dual-core Ultrabook w/4GB RAM, 128GB SSD for $904 with free shipping (normally $1000 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

Desktops

23" Dell Inspiron One 2330 Core i7-3770s 3.1GHz Quad-core 1080p All-in-one PC w/8GB RAM, 2TB HDD for $1,000 with free shipping (normally $1,200).

HP Pavilion p7-1380t Core i5-2320 3GHz Quad-core Desktop w/6GB RAM, 1TB HDD for $480 with free shipping (normally $650 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

Dell Optiplex 990 Core i5-2500 3.3GHz Quad-core Desktop w/4GB RAM, 250GB SATA III HDD, Windows 7 Professional & $100 Gift card for $669 with free shipping (normally $1,199 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

20" Dell Inspiron One 2020 Core i3 All-in-one PC w/6GB RAM, 1TB Hard Drive, Wireless Keyboard + Mouse Bundle for $600 with free shipping (normally $750 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

Monitors

27" HP ZR2740w 2560 x 1440 LED-Backlit IPS Monitor for $690 (normally $730).

27" I-Inc IL272DPB 1080p 2ms LED-backlit LCD Monitor for $200 (normally $300).

24" Viewsonic VX2450wm-LED 1080p LED-Backlit Monitor for $180 with free shipping (normally $220).

Tablets

10.1" ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime 32GB Android 4.0 Quad-Core Tablet (pre-owned) for $290 with free shipping (normally $350 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

7" Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 8GB Android 4.0 Tablet + $50 Gift Card for $250 with free shipping (normally $300).

Peripherals

500GB Lenovo F360 Portable USB 2.0 Hard Drive (Black) for $66 with free shipping (noramlly $99 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

256GB Crucial M4 2.5" SATA 6Gb/s 7mm Internal SSD (CT256M4SSD1) for $209 with free shipping (normally $220).

120GB OCZ Vertex 3 2.5" SATA III Internal SSD (VTX3-25SAT3-120G) for $100 (normally $139).

120GB Kingston SSDNow V+200 SATA 6Gb/s SSD for $70 (normally $90).

64GB CentonDataStick Waterproof USB 2.0 Flash Drive for $30 (normally $40)

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB GDDR5 Video Card for $300 (normally $320>).

Dell WM311 3-Button Wireless Mouse (Glossy Tomato Red) for $20 with free shipping (normally $30).

Konica Minolta Magicolor 3730DN Laser Printer for $199 with free shipping (normally $399).

HP LaserJet Pro 400 Color Printer (M451dn) for $380 with free shipping (normally $500 - use coupon code 20LOGICBUY).

Home Entertainment:

73" Mitsubishi WD-73C12 73" 1080p 3D DLP HDTV w/2 Year Warranty for $1,000 with free shipping (normally $1,400).

60" LG 60PA5500 1080p Plasma HDTV for $900 with free shipping (normally $1,100).

55" TCL LE55FHDF3300 1080p 240Hz LED HDTV for $700with free shipping (normally $800 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

55" Samsung UN55EH6070 3D 240Hz 1080p LED HDTV + Blu-ray Player Bundle for $1,200 with free shipping (normally $1,500 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

50" LG 50PA5500 1080p Plasma HDTV for $600 with free shipping (normally $1,000).

47" LG 47LS4600 1080p 120Hz LED HDTV for $700 with free shipping (normally $850).

40" Samsung LN40E550 1080p LCD HDTV for $428 with free shipping (normally $500)

Harman Kardon HKTS 60BQ 5.1 Home Theater System + Yamaha 5.1-Channel Receiver for $699.99 (normally $800 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

Panasonic DMP-BDT220 Integrated Wi-Fi 3D Blu-ray Player for $113 with free shipping (normally $139).

Personal Portables & Peripherals:

16MP Nikon Coolpix S9300 Red Digital Camera for $240 with free shipping (normally $279 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

Sony MHSTS10/B Bloggie Touch Camcorder w/ Sony Softcase and HDMI Cable for $80 with free shipping (normally $100).

14MP Olympus Tough TG-320 Digital Camera Bundle for $131 with free shipping (normally $159).

Miscellaneous:

Logitech Harmony 1100 Infrared Universal Remote for $244 with free shipping (normally $300 - use coupon code USMEDALS.

Ultrasone HFI-580 S-Logic Surround Sound Headphones + $2 MP3 Credit for $120 with free shipping (normally $150).

Source: LogicBuy

Corsair's new Neutron family of SSDs with the brand new LAMD controller

Subject: Storage | August 27, 2012 - 03:31 PM |
Tagged: Link A Media, LAMD, corsair, neutron, neutron gtx, ssd, LM87800

We have certainly seen a lot of new versions of SSD controllers from companies well established in the market but there haven't been any new companies join the market until earlier this month.  Corsair unveiled their new Neutron series of SSDs, featuring the new  LM87800 controller from Link A Media.  Both models contain a pair of Samsung DDR2-800 128MB DRAM cache for a total of 256MB of cache, the difference is in the flash, with the GXT sporting eight 32GB modules of Toshiba Toggle Mode 24nm NAND while the non-GTX model has sixteen 16GB modules of synchronous Micron 25nm NAND.  Check out SSD Reviews article to see how that effects the performance.

SSDR_Closer-2.jpg

"It is always an exciting time when a new controller makes it’s way on to the SSD scene. It is like seeing a new contender in any sporting event and predicting their success based on the balance of strength and inexperience. Our analysis today examines the new Link A Media (LAMD) 6Gbps controller found within the Corsair Neutron and Neutron GTX SSDs. Watch as the Neutron delivers a first round knockout."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Source: SSD Review

Corsair's Accelerator ... cache me if you can!

Subject: Storage | August 22, 2012 - 03:49 PM |
Tagged: ssd, Nvelo Dataplex, Intel SRT, corsair, cache, accelerator series

Forget Intel SRT, the Corsair Accelerator Series cache SSDs and the Nvelo Dataplex software which come with them will give you the best of both your HDD and SSD and increase both read and write speeds of commonly accessed data.  Part of the effectiveness of these drive comes thanks to the fact that they move frequently access data blocks and not entire files, ensuring only the bits you need to read quickly end up on the SSD and it is not filled with tag along data that is accessed infrequently.  [H]ard|OCP found themselves more impressed with these drives than they expected to, seeing boot times that matched an OS installed on an SSD after only two reboots as well as improved launch speeds on their most used programs.  As you can pick up the 60GB model for $70 after MIR and the 30GB model for $45 the price per gigabyte might not match larger SSDs but the actual cost is so low it makes it a very worthy upgrade.

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"One of the hottest applications for consumer SSDs is using data caching to accelerate the performance of traditional spinning hard disks in your PC. We look at Corsairs Accelerator Series of caching SSDs to test the performance of these value-centric approaches to providing you a better computing experience."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Source: [H]ard|OCP