OCZ's brand new Vertex 4 arrives

Subject: Storage | April 4, 2012 - 12:37 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.

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"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

 

Podcast #195 - GTX 680 Review, the MSI HD 7970 Lightning, and a 4GB GTX 680!

Subject: General Tech | March 29, 2012 - 12:29 PM |
Tagged: ssd, podcast, nvidia, Intel, gtx680, amd, 7970, 680

PC Perspective Podcast #195 - 03/29/2012

Join us this week as we talk about our GTX 680 Review, the MSI HD 7970 Lightning, and a 4GB GTX 680!

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 Malvantano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI Computer, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!

Program length: 1:00:26

Program Schedule: 

  1. Introduction
  2. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  3. http://pcper.com/podcast
  4. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  5. Gigabyte GA-X79-UD5 LGA 2011 EATX Motherboard Review
  6. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 2GB Graphics Card Review - Kepler in Motion
  7. Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M3 Review: Kepler's First Laptop
    1. PC Perspective Live Review Recap: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
  8. MSI R7970 Lightning Review: AMD's HD 7970 Gets the Treatment
  9. This Podcast is brought to you by MSI Computer, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!
  10. Galaxy Readying 4GB and Hall Of Fame Edition GTX 680 GPUs
  11. About that pricing AMD; you sure you want to stick with it?
  12. Super Talent Releases New RAIDDrive upStream PCI-E SSD
  13. Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
    1. Ryan: is lame and didnt have one
    2. Jeremy: I got a better deal but this is close
    3. Josh: Two SSDs for the price of one 
    4. Allyn: Khan Academy
  14. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  15. http://pcper.com/podcast   
  16. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  17. Closing

Source:
Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Samsung
Tagged: ssd, sata, Samsung, 830, 6gbps

Introduction, Specifications, and Packaging

Introduction

Samsung has been in the SSD business for a good long while now. My first "serious" SSD setup consisted of a pair of 32GB G.Skill 'FlashSSD's in a RAID. A few months later I upgraded to an Intel X25-M, starting working for PCPer, and have since seen a slew of different controller types come and go. Of those, Samsung and Intel both come to mind as the most reliable controllers out there. Of those two, Samsung has always been the primary choice of PC OEMs. It may have been because the Samsung controllers have always leaned towards the slow-but-steady approach. Other fire breathing controllers would be quick out of the gate but slow over time as fragmentation effects set in, while Samsung controllers would take the hit on random IOPS, but they maintained that lower level even after repeated and sustained abuse. They were not the fastest, but as a testament to their consistency, I continue to use one of the two aforementioned G.Skill drives in the PCPer Storage Testbed to this day.

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Read on for the full review!

Toshiba MK4001GRZB 400GB SAS, take your SSD to work

Subject: Storage | March 26, 2012 - 11:26 AM |
Tagged: ssd, Toshiba 400GB SAS SSD, SAS

The main concern for enterprises is reliability, perhaps the main reason that most companies have not immediately jumped onto SSD storage as their primary solution.  The cost is another barrier but for high volume database usage as well as disk intensive tasks like transforming video the speed advantage can pay for the initial investment in very little time, as long as the medium is reliable.  Where an SSD failure on your home machine is frustrating, it can cost a business a lot of money.  This is changing as we are starting to see more companies offering Enterprise class SSDs, usually SAS SSDs which can help ameliorate the possibility of downtime due to a failed drive.  The Toshiba MK4001GRZB 400GB SAS 6Gb/s Enterprise SLC SSD is one such drive and when the SSD Review had a chance to test this $7000 drive they jumped at the chance.  Check out the review to see its speed in action and keep in mind the stellar warranty which Toshiba offers, unlimited writes for the life of the 5-year warranty, when you are considering the drive for business use.

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"Our SSD review today will be on the Toshiba MK4001GRZB 400GB SAS 6Gb/s Enterprise SLC SSD and will be the first to experience our new Enterprise Test Protocol. This SSD brings with it some of the best sustainable performance in the realm, and also has recently taken the Grand Prize for Excellence in Energy Efficiency and Conservation from the Japan Energy Conservation Center, so it is definitely a top candidate to initiate our new Enterprise Test Protocol."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

 

Source: SSD Review

Ceton Announces SandForce Based SATA III SSD Lineup

Subject: Storage | March 26, 2012 - 10:11 AM |
Tagged: ssd, centon, sandforce, mlc, 20nm

Centon Electronics today announced an expansion of their solid state drive lineup with new SATA III offerings. The 2.5” SATA III drives utilize 20nm class MLC (multi level cell) flash memory and a SandForce 2281 SSD controller. They claim that the drives will take full advantage of the extra bandwidth provided by SATA III with read and write speeds of 400 MB per second and 300 MB per second respectively.

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According to a chart on Centon’s website, the new SATA III SSDs are part of a new VVS1 series and they come in 60 GB (though this is listed as VS1 series), 120 GB, and 240 GB capacities. The drives support RAID and are rated for a mean time before failure (MTBF) of 2 million+ hours. They further carry a two year warranty. The 240 GB and 120 GB SATA III SSDs are rated at the 400 MB/s and 300 MB/s read and write speeds, but the 60 GB SATA III SSD is only rated at a max of 300 MB/s read and 200 MB/s write.  More information can be found on the company's website.Currently, there is no word on pricing or availability.  Also, don't forget about our SSD Decoder for all your SSD research!

Source: PR Web

Super Talent Releases New RAIDDrive upStream PCI-E SSD

Subject: Storage | March 22, 2012 - 04:28 AM |
Tagged: super talent, ssd, pcie

Super Talent, a Silicon Valley based company most well known for their RAM and SSD products, today launched a new Solid State Drive (SSD) that eschews the SATA interface for a PCIe x8 connector. The new RAIDDrive upStream upstream joins the RAIDDrive family of PCIe SSDs and utilizes MLC (multi-level cell) NAND flash to deliver between 220 GB and 960 GB of fast storage.

Super Talent PCIe upStream.jpg

According to the company, their new RAIDDrive SSD is comprised of four Sandforce based SSDs in a RAID array using an LSI RAID controller to deliver up to 1 GB/s of performance. Specifically, access time of the upStream SSD is 0.1ms, and has a maximum read and write speed of 1.0 GB per second and 900 MB/s respectively. The 460 GB upStream drive was benchmarked (granted, by Super Talent) using HD Tune which showed an average sequential read speed of 832.9 MB/s and an average sequential write speed of 719.0 MB/s. As far as random 4 KB IOPS, the drive hit 3606 read IOPS and 5159 write 4KB IOPS.

Super Talent has further benchmarks and information on the new RAIDDrive upStream SSDs in this product data sheet (PDF). Unfortunately, there is no official word on pricing or availability yet, though Engadget has said the Super Talent upStream drives should be hitting store shelves in April.

If I had to guess; however, this drive is going to be expensive.  Drives like these are a boon for businesses doing work that requires large amount of throughput (CAD work, animation, working and serving large databases, et al), but are still largely priced out of the market of most PC builders.  Here's hoping that high performance PCIe SSDs trickle down to computer enthusiasts as fast as possible!

Source: Super Talent

Biwin America Founded To Develop New SSDs

Subject: Storage | March 20, 2012 - 09:34 PM |
Tagged: ssd, nand, biwin america, biwin

Biwin is a flash storage manufacturer founded in 1995 that holds headquarters in Shenzhen, China and specializing in USB, memory card, and SSD flash storage. They have 20 SMT assembly lines, ISO9001:2000 factories, and employ more than 50 skilled engineers. Recently, the company founded a subsidiary, Biwin America with headquarters in San Jose, California. The new company will further expand the company's SSD offerings by developing and producing advanced solid state drives for the Enterprise, Embedded, and Consumer markets.

Vice President of Worldwide Marketing for the newly founded Biwin America stated that the company "will be dedicated to developing flash storage solutions that deliver superior performance and reliability." He further noted that the team is very excited to bring new SSDs to the market.

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A Biwin SATA 3 SSD

Biwin features 20 SMT (surface-mount technology) lines, die sorting, die packaging, and "sophisticated test and QC processes." They are bringing their experience with flash storage to bear on the US market as they prepare new and expanded SSD products that it will sell direct to OEMs as well as to consumers through authorized distributors.

More information on the company can be found here.

Marvell Shows Off New 88SS9187 SATA 6Gbps SSD Controller

Subject: Storage | March 15, 2012 - 06:30 PM |
Tagged: ssd, marvel, controller, 88SS9187

Marvell, a storage technology company founded in 1995, today announced a new SSD controller in the form of the 88SS9187 that supports many of the latest storage technologies and is set to debut in several products this year.

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The new 88SS9187 SSD controller is reportedly powered by a powerful embedded processor and supports the SATA 3.1 (6Gbps) interface as well as a NAND flash interface that is capable of up to 200 MB/s per channel. Also, the Marvell controller can support on-chip RAID functionality as well as Adaptive Read and Write Scheme technology in the ECC (error correction code) engine.

Marvell also claims that the 88SS9187 controller supports the DDR3 DRAM interface for "up to 1 G byte memory," and approximately 500 MB/s of sequential write performance under dirty drive conditions. The claim that the new controller will provide Random read and write IOPS with minimum over provisioning and performance degradations (where provisioning is used to provide a buffer for wear leveling algorithms and extra space for the drive controller to work with to increase performance). The Vice President of Marketing for Marvell's Storage Business Group Alan Armstrong, stated that the new 88SS9187 controller will enable SSD manufacturers "to fully customize their products to meet specific customer demands and distinguish their products based on price, performance, power and functionality."

They plan for the new controller to have an impact in both the consumer and enterprise markets and have announced that additional partners will integrate the 88SS9187 controller into their SSDs later this year. For now though, they have only stated that a "significant number" of popular SSD manufacturers will have drives ready in the immediate future. More information is available here.

Source: Marvell

Asus Updating Zenbook Line With UX31A and UX21A Ultrabooks

Subject: Mobile | March 12, 2012 - 06:10 PM |
Tagged: widi, ultrabook, ssd, Ivy Bridge, asus zenbook, asus

The Asus UX31 and UX21 have been two popular examples of ultrabooks.  Interestingly, they have been available for purchase for less than 6 months and we are already hearing that the company is planning a refresh with upgraded hardware! The two new ultrabooks will be dubbed the UX21A and UX31A and will replace the UX21 and UX31 respectfully while maintaining the same weight and dimensions.

asus-ux21-laptop.jpg

The original UX21 ultrabook

Among the new internal hardware updates, Asus will be moving to Ivy Bridge processors, up to 4 GB of low voltage DDR3 1600 memory, and an alleged 512 GB SATA 3 (6Gbps) SSD (solid state drive) option. The Ivy Bridge processors in question will be pulled from Intel's low voltage mobile CPU range and will sport a 17 watt TDP (thermal design power). The Core i3 3217U, Core i5 3317U, and Core i7 3517U will all be configurable options and carry the following specs.

Model Cores Hyper Threading Cache (L3) Clockspeed Turbo Boost (1core / 2cores)
Core i3-3217U 2 Yes 3 MB 1.8 GHz None
Core i5-3317U 2 Yes 3 MB 1.7 GHz 2.6 GHz / 2.4 GHz
Core i7-3517U 2 Yes 4 MB 1.9 GHz 3.0 GHz / 2.8 GHz

 

The new Zenbook ultrabooks will include two USB 3.0 ports, a micro HDMI port, and an SDXC card reader. Wireless connections will further include 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, and Intel's WIDI wireless display streaming technology. The new UX31A will have the option of a 1920 x 1080 resolution IPS display with a brightness rating at 350 nits or a non IPS (possibly TN) LCD with 300 nits brightness that maxes out at a 1600 x 900 resolution. The smaller UX21A also has the option for a 1920 x 1080 resolution IPS display; however, the non IPS LCD option's resolution will max out at 1366 x 768, coincidentally just enough to do the 1/3, 2/3 side by side Metro application split in Windows 8.

Lastly, they estimate the battery life of the 13" UX31A and 11" UX21A ultrabooks to be around "six to seven hours" and five hours respectively. Once Ivy Bridge processors have launched and other notebook vendors start shipping their Ivy Bridge powered machines, Asus will reportedly start selling the updated Zenbooks for prices starting at $1,050 and $1,100 for the UX21A and UX31A respectively.

A nice hardware update without jacking up the price too much and likely making the older models cheaper? Sign me up! Are you looking forward to more ultrabooks this year?

Source: The Verge

Be careful which ASUS Zenbook SSD you pick up

Subject: Mobile | March 12, 2012 - 01:00 PM |
Tagged: ultrabook, ssd, asus zenbook, asus

The SSD Review stumbled upon a dirty little secret about the ASUS Zenbook SSD; specifically the SSD part of the name.  It seems that when you buy one, you might be picking up a model with an AData XM11 SSD or it might be a Sandisk U100 but unfortunately they are the same price and a similar model number making them very difficult to tell apart ... until you use it.  The SandForce drive AData drive is significantly faster than the Sandisk drive which uses its own proprietary controller.  The difference is not crippling but it is certainly noticeable when benchmarking and using the system.  The final result was that size does matter, the 11.6" UX21 has SandForce while the 13.3" UX31 does not, though both are still very nice Ultrabooks.

SSDR_Sandisk-SSD.jpg

"If we told you that we spent $2400 to right a wrong in proving something that you as a consumer should be aware of, would you believe us? This report closely examines the ASUS Zenbook. Within the ‘Zen’, ASUS may provide either of two SATA 3 SSDs, these being the AData ‘SandForce Driven’ XM11 or the Sandisk U100. There is no price difference between the two, the product number is the same and the consumer has no way of knowing which they will receive. The performance drop between the two is somewhat unbelievable, however, and we thought this report important enough to invest in one of each Zenbook to educate the consumer on the reality of their potential Zenbook purchase."

Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:

Mobile

 

Source: SSD Review