Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: OCZ Technology
Tagged: z-drive, ssd, r4, pcie, pci-e, ocz

Introduction

Introduction:

Back in June of last year, OCZ released the RevoDrive, followed up rather quickly by the RevoDrive x2. A further jump was made with the introduction of VCA 2.0 architecture with the RevoDrive 3 and 3 x2. Each iteration pushed the envelope further as better implementations of VCA were introduced, using faster and greater numbers of PCIe channels, linked to faster and greater numbers of SandForce controllers.

While the line of RevoDrives was tailored more towards power users and mild server use, OCZ has taken their VCA 2.0 solution to the next level entirely, putting their sights on full blown enterprise purposing. With that, we introduce the OCZ Z-Drive R4:

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Continue to the full review for all the details!

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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This newcomer to SSDs holds a new iteration of a familiar controller

Subject: Storage | September 19, 2011 - 02:42 PM |
Tagged: sf-2200 controller, sandforce, ssd, silicon power

When you think of SSDs it is very unlikely that your first mention would be Silicon Power, nor would it even make most people's Top 10.  That didn't stop them from releasing a small SSD, the Silicon Power Velox V30 60GB which features the new SandForce SF-2200 controller.  Worth noting is that at no time in the review did Bjorn3D experience the bug that many people, especially Gigabyte board users, have experienced.  What they did find was not unexpected, due to the small size of the drive SandForce has less channels to deal with which impacts performance significantly.  Still the drive will likely beat any SATA II drive out there and at 60GB it will not put you too far into debt.

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"Silicon Power Velox V30 60GB SSD is a nice budget SSD. We pit it against top performers like the OCZ Vertex 3 to see how well it does."

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Source: Bjorn3D

Seven Sandforce SF-2281 SSDs

Subject: Storage | September 13, 2011 - 02:13 PM |
Tagged: sandforce, Sandforce SF2281, ssd, roundup, corsair, kingston, ozc, patriot, sata 6Gps

Four companies with seven SSDs that all share the same controller were tested at X-bit Labs to see if there is any noticeable difference in their performance.   The price per gigabyte varies on the different models as they all use slightly different flash memory as well as different interfaces.  X-bit tries to come out with a general statement about performance and captures the heart when they state "SSDs with synchronous MLC NAND flash are generally faster but also more expensive whereas SSDs with asynchronous flash are cheaper and slower".  That generalization doesn't quite capture the results fully however as even within those two categories there are some choices better than others.  Check out the full review to see which drives came out on top.

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"We tested seven high-speed solid state drives built on second generation SandForce controller that support SATA 6 Gbps. Please welcome our heroes: Corsair Force 3, Corsair Force GT, Kingston HyperX, OCZ Agility 3, OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS, Patriot Pyro and Patriot Wildfire."

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Source: X-Bit Labs

Podcast #169 - SSD Decoder Update, Antec SOLO II, ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, Ultrabook news and a Drobo contest!!

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards, Processors, Storage, Mobile | September 8, 2011 - 12:23 PM |
Tagged: ultrabook, ssd, podcast, eee pad transformer, drobo, decoder, asus, antec

PC Perspective Podcast #169 - 9/08/2011

Join us this week as we discuss the MARS II combo on Newegg, an update to the SSD Decoder, the new Antec SOLO II chassis, our review of the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer tablet, news on Ultrabook development and even announce a new contest partnership with Drobo!

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, Allyn Malventano

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

Program length: 1:23:36

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. MARS II Combo  for $4000!
  6. SSD Decoder Update
  7. Kingwin Stryker 500W Fanless Power Supply Review
  8. Video Perspective: Antec SOLO II Chassis Review
  9. ASUS Eee Pad Transformer TF101 Review: Assemble!
  10. This Podcast is brought to you by MSI Computer, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!
  11. Zotac Releases New ZBOX Nano AD10 Series Mini PCs
  12. Toshiba Unveils Portege Z830 Ultrabook Series
    1. Acer Unveils Super Thin Aspire S3 Ultrabook at IFA in Berlin
    2. Silly Intel, the high price and limited availability were the parts your Ultrabook was supposed to drop
  13. Bulldozer Infused Trinity APU Specifications Confirmed
  14. Intel Unveils 16 New 32nm Processors
  15. AMD Ships Bulldozer for Revenue- Interlagos though- will write up after the podcast and post on front page.
  16. Magma Unveils the First Three-Slot Thunderbolt Expansion Chassis
  17. Drobo contest
  18. Email from Wes about GPU selection
  19. Email from Chris about GPU whine
  20. Email from Lee about SSD security
  21. Email from a mystery writer about GPU stuttering
  22. Finally, a VIDEO QUESTION from David!
  23. Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
    1. Ryan: Blackmagic Intensity Pro
    2. Jeremy: Coil gun revolver with laser sty ((sight?) so there)
    3. Josh: Thermaltake eSports Shock Spin Diamond Black
    4. Allyn: Surefire LED flashlights
  24. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  25. http://pcper.com/podcast   
  26. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  27. Closing

Source: PCPer

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.

phrx_ocz3.png

"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."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

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Source: Phoronix

Acer Unveils Super Thin Aspire S3 Ultrabook at IFA in Berlin

Subject: Mobile | September 3, 2011 - 05:03 AM |
Tagged: ultrabook, ssd, Intel, acer

Hot on the heels of the Toshiba and Lenovo ultrabook announcements comes a new ultrabook from Acer. Engadget recently got their hands on the new Acer Aspire S3 ultrabook at the IFA (Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin) technology showcase in Berlin. The 13.3” computer carries some impressive specifications, including a 7 hour long battery life, metal chassis, and the latest Intel processors.

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To be more specific, the Acer computer is a 13.3” ultrabook composed of a magnesium alloy chassis measuring 13mm thick. Inside the metal frame lies an ultra low voltage Core i3, i5, or i7 Sandy Bridge processor, DDR3 RAM, and an interesting storage solution made of a 20GB SSD and 320GB mechanical hard drive combination. Acer is promising a 7 hour battery life, and a 1.5 second resume from sleep time. Further, the ultrabook features a glossy 1366 x 768 resolution display, and a chicklet keyboard whose keys Engadget notes feels like plastic.

While their is no word on US pricing, Acer has released the European starting price at €799. Compromises have been made to reach the price point (mainly in the keyboard); however, if the specifications and design hold up it looks to be a solid competitor in the ultrabook market.  More photos as well as a video tour of the ultrabook can be found here.

Source: Engadget

High Capacity Corsair SATA 3 Force GT SSDs Now Available

Subject: Storage | August 30, 2011 - 09:27 PM |
Tagged: ssd, storage, corsair, sandforce, SATA3

Today Corsair announced two new high capacity SSDs that have joined the company’s Force GT solid state drive lineup. The new drives come in 180 GB and 240GB flavors, a nice increase from the current 60 GB and 120 GB drives.

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The new Force GT SSDs utilize the SATA 3 (6Gbps) interface, and are powered by the SandForce SF-2280 controller. In addition, the drives are powered by ONFI synchronous flash memory. The hardware results in random IOPS of 85K, read speeds of 555 MB/s, and write speeds of 525 MB/s. Thi La, the VP of Memory Products for Corsair stated the new 180 GB and 240 GB SSDs are best suited for enthusiasts systems that require large amounts of high performance storage.

The Force GT drives will come with a 3.5” adapter for cases that do not have 2.5” drive bays. The SSDs are available for purchase now, and carry an MSRP of $379 USD for the 180 GB model and $489 USD for the 240 GB SSD.

Source: Corsair

New Firmware Offers Performance Boost To Crucial M4 SSDs

Subject: Storage | August 29, 2011 - 11:17 PM |
Tagged: ssd, SATA3, M4, crucial

Crucial, a relatively new but successful entrant to the SSD space recently released a new firmware for its M4 lineup that promises faster boot up times and improved write performance. Specifically, the new firmware is version 0009, and users can directly update their m4 SSDs from either revision 0001 or 0002. The update is installed by downloading and burning a bootable CD.

Crucial M4.jpg

According to Tom’s Hardware, the company is promising up to a 20 % performance improvement in sequential read speeds. Further, the official firmware change log includes improvements in throughput performance, write latency, and compatibility with the latest chipsets. In synthetic application testing, Crucial noted an increase in the PCMark Vantage benchmark score using the new firmware update. The company has also improved compatibility between SATA 2 (3Gb/s) chipsets and the SATA 3 (6Gb/s) solid state drives. Lastly, the new firmware reduces the chances for a failed cold boot up (starting the computer from a completely powered down state) of the SSD on certain systems.

Its is certainly nice to see firmware fixes that both squash bugs and offer up some free performance improvements. You can find the firmware download for your specific m4 solid state drive in addition to update instructions here. Let us know what you think of the new firmware.

Source: Crucial

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.

kingstonHyperX.jpg

"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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Source: [H]ard|OCP