Podcast #202 Aftershow - Much Ado about Storage

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Storage | May 17, 2012 - 05:05 PM |
Tagged: podcast, aftershow

After the normally scheduled podcast recorded last night, the PC Perspective staff hung around in the chat room to talk with our fans and readers about various random hardware topics.  Rather than just throw that data away, we decided to save it and post the video here as a sort of "aftershow" for those of you that want a bit more PCPer in your life.

Enjoy!

Runcore Launches SSD With Physical Data Destruction

Subject: Storage | May 16, 2012 - 03:50 PM |
Tagged: ssd, sata 2, runcore, data destruction

For people worried about their personal information (or spies) RunCore has developed a new SSD that will make sure no one can steal your data. The InVincible SATA II solid state drive comes with two brightly colored buttons for different levels of data destruction. Pressing the green button will initiate the “intelligent destruction” mode wherein the drive will be wiped out and the data overwritten with zeros. And if that is not enough, users can press the red button to activate a physical destruction mechanism. In the physical destruction process, a high electrical current is delivered to the NAND flash chips causing them to burn and crack. Good luck recovering your data after that (though it’s not as flashy as Thermite)!

2011.8.26_9.44.40_3737.jpg

Just keep your cat away from the red button if you know what’s good for your hardware!

In terms of performance, the RunCore SSD is capable of up to 240MB/s reads and 190MB/s writes. The drive features a SATA II interface, and it is available with either MLC or SLC NAND flash. The internals are placed in a green 2.5” form factor case and–in addition to SATA data and power cable connections–it also comes with one red and one green button connected to the drive by two wires. The new solid state drive is now official, but pricing and availability have yet to be announced. More information on the drives can be found on the RunCore website, and you can see the data destruction in action in the video below.

Source: RunCore

Just Delivered: DV Nation RAMRod PC - Sandy Bridge-E, 64GB DDR3, 480GB RevoDrive 3 X2

Subject: Systems, Storage | May 11, 2012 - 04:34 PM |
Tagged: x79, sandy bridge-e, RevoDrive 3 X2, ramrod, just delivered, dv nation

Just Delivered is a section of PC Perspective where we share some of the goodies that pass through our labs that may or may not see a review, but are pretty cool none the less.

When you are a little fish in the great big pond of PC builders, you need to do something to stand out from the rest.  The people behind DV Nation apparently were well aware of that when entering the system vendor business and offering up SSDs to every single system configuration.  Through a new system they are offering, provocatively named the "RAMRod PC", DV Nation provides a pre-built system that has some very unique components and configuration settings.

01.jpg

Built around the Antec Three Hundred Two chassis, the first glance at the RAMRod doesn't really indicate anything special is going on under the hood.  But let's take a quick look at the specs:

  • Intel Core i7-3820 @ 4.4 GHz
  • 64GB DDR3-1600 Memory from G.Skill
  • Radeon HD 6990 4GB 
  • 2x Seagate Momentus XT 750GB Hybrid HDD in RAID-0
  • OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 480GB PCIE SSD
  • RAMCache: SuperSpeed Supercache 8GB on PCIE SSD, 8GB on Momentus
  • RAMDisk: 42GB ROMEX Primo rated at 8000 MB/s
  • Cost: $5,400

Obviously there is a LOT of storage work going on in the RAMRod and the purpose of the rig is to be the fastest pre-configured storage available anywhere.  If you are looking for a cheaper version of this system you can get a base model with 16GB of memory, 10GB RAMDisk, 2GB RAMCache, 240GB PCIe SSD, single standard hard drive and even at GTX 680 for $2999.

Let's take a quick walk around the rest of the system.

Continue reading our preview of the DV Nation RAMRod PC!!

Source: DV Nation

Plug and Pray PCIe SSD that you can upgrade; OWC's Mercury Accelsior

Subject: Storage | May 11, 2012 - 12:07 PM |
Tagged: SandForce SF-2281, PCIe SSD, owc, Mercury Accelsior, Marvell 88SE9230

For a company which used to only be known as a storage provide for Apple, OWC is really hitting its stride with the PCIe SSD market.  Their newest Mercury Accelsior PCIe SSD family will come in four sizes, a 120GB for $359.99, $529.99 for the 240GB, $949.99 for the  480GB and the largest is 960GB at $2079.99.  If you can't afford the biggest version then you will love the fact that this PCIe SSD is upgradeable with mPCIe SSDs, assumedly specifically designed for the device.  These mPCIe SSDs use Toshiba 32Gb 24nm Toggle Mode MLC flash with a SandForce SF-2281 controller and you can think of the cards its self as a RAID card; essentially it uses a Marvell 88SE9230 to put the two SSDs into RAID0.  SSD Reviews testing of the 480GB model saw sequential reads and writes hit well over 500MB/s. Don't expect to boot from this card but the upgradeablilty and ease of installation certainly make this RAID card PCIe SSD combination very attractive.

**UPDATE**  After hearing from an OWC rep, it would appear that this does not suffer from Al's least favourite attribute of PCIe SSDs, it is indeed bootable both on Mac and PC without even needing third party drivers.  You should probably back up your OS before upgrading the Accelsior though!

SSD Review PCIe-Front.jpg

"It was only a matter of time before the idea of expandable storage was introduced into the world of PCIe SSDs and, although we have seen a few prototypes in the last year, none have quite made it to market just yet. Our analysis of the OWC Mercury Accelsior 480GB PCIe SSD not only opens the possibility of upgradeable capacity sizes, but also, it just so happens to be only the second consumer targeted PCIe SSD on the market right now and is both Mac and PC ‘plug and play’ compatible."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

 

Source: SSD Review

OCZ Updates Vertex 4 Enthusiasts to 1.4 Release Candidate Firmware

Subject: Storage | May 7, 2012 - 10:27 AM |
Tagged: Vertex 4, sata, ocz, firmware

This morning, OCZ pushed out a new firmware, dubbed 1.4RC. This is a release candidate of the upcoming performance-boosting firmware, and is meant for "enthusiasts who like to tinker with their hardware".

DSC02737.jpg

New Performance Specs in Red:
Max Read / Write
128GB: 535MB/s - 550MB/s / 200MB/s - 420MB/s
256GB: 535MB/s - 550MB/s / 380MB/s - 465MB/s
512GB: 535MB/s - 550MB/s / 475MB/s

As a heads up for those who are feeling froggy this Monday morning and choose to update their Vertex 4 - this is a destructive update and will wipe the drive. The updater runs within a Windows session with the Vertex 4 connected as a secondary drive. While you're 'under the hood', I'd also recommend performing a secure erase with the OCZ Toolbox software after you have udpated and power cycled the SSD.

I have been able to partially confirm the performance increases, and will be reporting full results later this evening (for all three capacity points). Stay tuned!

*Note* OCZ NDA'd this update for this morning, but we have not seen where they have posted it for download from their site. We will post a link in the comments below once it has become available.

The toughest SSD on the planet

Subject: Storage | May 3, 2012 - 08:10 PM |
Tagged: TCS, Galatea Ultra-Rugged SSD, ssd, 100GB, slc, SandForce SF-1565

Just by their very nature SSDs are physically tough, with no moving parts like you find in platter based disks, so they are able to withstand much great acceleration forces ... or deceleration depending on how you look at it.  TeleCommunication Systems is not a name you are likely to recognize when it comes to SSDs so you should take note of the Galatea Ultra Rugged SSD.  The flash is just as tough, with 20,000 terabytes of write guaranteed along with 10 year data retention also guaranteed.  Performance is also guaranteed thanks to the SandForce SF-1565 controller and Micron 25nm SLC flash.  If there is an SSD likely to make it into orbit soon, this will probably be the one to do it.  Check it out at SSD Review.

SSDR_Galatea-Table-Specs.png

"This report covers the Telecommunications Systems (TCS) Galatea line of ultra-rugged SLC SSDs. Adhering to the MIL-STD-810 military specifications governing a multitude of ultra-ruggedized requirements, this SSD is designed for ultimate reliability in the harshest of environments. Designed and tested with the most hostile environments imaginable in mind, these SSDs are surely amongst the toughest storage mediums available."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

 

Source: SSD Review

1TB OCZ SSD Coming Later This Month

Subject: Storage | May 2, 2012 - 08:34 AM |
Tagged: ssd, ocz, Octane, mlc, 1TB

According to a recent press release, OCZ Technology Co. is going to up the Octane ante with a 1TB solid state drive. Coming in at an MSRP of $3,238 USD (approx. 260,000 yen), the SSD features 1TB of synchronous MLC flash, 512MB of DRAM, and an Indilinx Everest controller bundled in a 2.5” form factor.

Octane_SSD_800x533.jpg

The SATA 3 (6Gbps) OCT1-25SAT3-1T SSD not only brings gobs of storage, but puts up some respectable performance numbers. It is capable of 460MB/s sequential reads and 330MB/s sequential write speeds. Also, it can deliver a maximum of 24,000 4K read IOPS (input/output operations per second) and 32,000 4K random write IOPS [the translation may be off here, I was expecting to see the higher IOPS reflected as 4K reads and not writes]. Other drive features include TRIP support, ECC (error correction), AES-256 drive encryption, SMART diagnostics, and a MTBF (mean time between failures) of 1,200,000 hours.

The 1TB SSD is slated for a mid-May release and will come with a 3 year warranty. You know, my birthday is coming up in a couple months... (hehe)

Fusion-io Supports Native Memory Access In SDK

Subject: Storage | April 21, 2012 - 12:32 AM |
Tagged: ssd, sdk, ioMemory, fusion-io

Fusion-io, a manufacturer of various PCI-E based solid state drives, has released a software development kit (SDK) that allows developers to access the NAND flash memory directly. Debuting at the DEMO conference, the SDK gives software developers direct access to the memory and how it operates. As Allyn mentioned on the podcast, the Fusion-io drives use rather dumb controllers and rely on software and the host machines processor to do the heavy lifting.

FIO Flash Memory Evolution.PNG

But because of the way the Fusion-io drives work, and being PCI-E based, they are able to present the NAND flash to software without going through other layers of abstraction such as the SATA interface and internal drive controller processing. Software is then able use the NAND flash as storage for applications that demand high input/output operations per second.  And because of the direct access, latency is greatly reduced.

The full press release is below:

Source: Fusion-io

Kingston HyperX ... 240GB of SSD in RAID-0

Subject: Storage | April 19, 2012 - 06:09 PM |
Tagged: ssd, sata 6Gbs, raid, kingston, hyperx 240GB

The only thing faster than a SATA 6Gbp/s SSD is a pair of them running in RAID-0, which was the inspiration of this review at Bjorn3D.  They took a pair of Kingston HyperX 240GB SSDs and formed a $600 RAID-0 array which sounds expensive but is still cheaper than many 480GB SSDs.  In many cases the RAID-0 will outperform the 480GB SSD, though some of the benchmarks produced some unexpected results which may signify improvements that need to be made on the Intel RAID driver.  Before you decide on heading down this route there is one thing of which you must be aware, once your SSDs are in RAID the Windows TRIM command will no longer function.

dura2.jpg

"If you're a gamer, and you'd like to improve your gaming experience with faster loading and less jumpy gameplay, the Kingston HyperX 3K SATA III SSD could be an option for you."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

 

Source: Bjorn3D

Google Drive Rumored To Launch Next Week

Subject: General Tech | April 19, 2012 - 04:23 AM |
Tagged: dropbox, storage, free storage, google, google drive

Users of online storage have been spoiled by services like Dropbox, Spider Oak, and Box.com who offer up gobs of free storage space. Before they became prevalent, there was Gmail and rumors of a Google Drive. This Google Drive never really materialized beyond user workarounds to upload files using a program that stored them in Google’s Email service’s approximate 9 GB of space.

Finally, after years of other services entrenching themselves in the market, it seems like Google may be jumping in. If rumors are true, the new online storage service will launch in the middle of next week at the drive.google.com URL. The Google Drive will reportedly offer 5GB of free storage space as well as paid tiers for increased storage levels (pricing unknown). Further, users will be able to access the files via the website and using applications. So far, rumors are pointing to a Windows and Mac OSX application, though it would not be surprising to see an Android app in the future.

GoogleDrive.jpg

I’m excited to see this service finally launch and what Google’s take on online storage will be. My only concern is whether they are jumping into the game at a time when it is too little too late. Sure, everyone and their grandmother likely have at least one Google/Gmail account but many of those people also have Dropbox accounts. The free services that were not really around when the first hints of a Google Drive emerged have not blossomed and dug their roots into the market. Even Apple and Microsoft have beat Google to the punch with cloud storage, so it is going to be an uphill battle for Google requiring something unique in order for it to catch on.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely going to be checking it out, but I believe they are really going to have to knock this out of the park on the first try in order to succeed. Will you be checking it out, and when (if?) you do please report back and let us know what you think of it. How do you think the other free and paid storage services will react to Google entering the market?

Image courtesy pmsyyz via Flickr Creative Commons

Source: The Next Web

New Fusion ioFX Will Accelerate Professional Workloads

Subject: Storage | April 17, 2012 - 01:11 AM |
Tagged: ssd, ioFX, fusion-io, enterprise ssd

Popular PCI-E SSD maker Fusion-io recently announced a new product aimed at professional content creators. Based on the company’s ioMemory technology, the new Fusion-io ioFX is a professional SSD designed to speed up video encoding, CAD work, 3D renders, and motion graphics.

product-iofx-flat.jpg

The new solid state drive uses the PCI-E bus and 420 GB of fast QDP MLC NAND flash to deliver less than a millisecond of sustained access speed and an impressive 1.5 GB/s of bandwidth. The PCI-E SSD uses a physical x8 connector but is electrically a x4 connection. What I found interesting about the device was the presence of a fan, which our Storage Editor Allyn says is necessary in order to keep the super fast flash chips from overheating. When the SSD needs active cooling, that at least implies this drive is going to scream performance wise!

product-iofx-angle-ver2.jpg

Another interesting aspect about this new drive is a piece of software called the ioSphere. The software will allow studios to remotely monitor all the Fusion ioMemory products deployed in the studio through a single interface. Unfortunately, there is not much more in the way of detailed performance specifications but I will definitely keep an eye on this for the drool factor alone. Fusion-io is currently listing the ioFX for $2,495 USD, and it will be available later this Spring 2012.  More information should be posted to their site as the SSD gets closer to launch here.

Source: Fusion-io

Intel Announces Intel Solid-State Drive 330 Series

Subject: Storage | April 16, 2012 - 01:14 PM |
Tagged: ssd, Intel, intel 330, sata 6Gps

Intel has released an SSD aimed at the consumer and casual user market, as well as offering a choice which might help future Ultrabook models dip below the $1000 mark while keeping the speed of an SSD.  At a price of just under $1.50/GB on the smallest 60GB drive and better pricing on the 120GB and 180GB models, it is possible to upgrade your system to a good sized SSD for less than $250.  You don't lose much performance either, the drive beats the old 320 series and can come close to the new 520 series.  One thing to note is that those drives both carried 5 year warranties, while the 330 has only a 3 year warranty.  Check out the full scoop in Intel's news room.

 

SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 16, 2012 – Intel Corporation announced today the Intel Solid-State Drive 330 Series (Intel SSD 330 Series), a SATA 6 gigabit-per-second (Gb/s) solid-state drive (SSD) that gives consumers a more affordable entry into the accelerated storage performance of SSDs.

 

Intel-SSD-330_angled.jpg

Ideal for upgrading desktop or notebook PCs, the Intel SSD 330 Series offers the price-conscious PC enthusiast a brand-name SSD that blends performance, Intel quality and value. Offered in the most popular capacity points, 60 gigabytes (GB), 120GB and 180GB, the Intel SSD 330 Series boosts overall system performance and responsiveness for a broad range of applications.

“An SSD is still the single best upgrade you can make to your existing PC, and the Intel SSD 330 Series gives users the latest Intel SSD technology at a price to meet their budget,” said James Slattery, product line manager for client SSDs, Intel Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group. “Backed by Intel’s rigorous testing process, the Intel SSD 330 Series offers our users the speed they need at a great price, backed by world-class manufacturing, reliability and tech support.”

Unlike a traditional hard disk drive (HDD) with spinning disks and moveable parts, SSDs offer a more rugged, low-power storage solution that dramatically improves system performance to keep up with today’s I/O-intensive applications. The Intel SSD 330 Series contains Intel 25-nanometer (nm) multi-level cell (MLC) NAND memory. Its SATA 6Gb/s interface doubles the bandwidth of its current SATA 3Gb/s Intel SSD 320 Series, providing up to 500 megabytes-per-second (MB/s) sequential read speeds and up to 450MB/s sequential write speeds for faster data transfers. Random read performance can go up to 22,500 Input-Output Operations Per Second (IOPS) and 33,000 write IOPS to boost overall application and system responsiveness, significantly outperforming a typical consumer hard disk drive.

Intel offers a broad range of SSD choices within four product families. The Intel SSD 300 Family is aimed at entry-level, mainstream client users. The Intel SSD 500 Family offers more fully featured, higher-performing client SSDs for computer and gaming enthusiasts. The Intel SSD 700 and Intel SSD 900 Families are targeted for data center applications.

The Intel SSD 330 Series comes in a standard 2.5-inch/9.5mm form factor as a replacement to a slower-performing HDD. It can be used in a dual-drive desktop PC configuration to speed up boot times and applications speeds, or as a single-drive notebook upgrade.

Available beginning today at worldwide retailers and online e-tailers, the Intel SSD 330 Series is offered at the suggested channel price of $89 for a 60GB drive, $149 for a 120GB drive and $234 for a 180GB drive. It is also backed by a 3-year limited warranty.

Intel-SSD-330_specs.png

 

Source: Intel

A 7 year warranty on an SSD? Now we're talking enterprise class!

Subject: Storage | April 12, 2012 - 02:06 PM |
Tagged: owc, Mercury Enterprise Pro 6G, sata 6Gbs, ssd, synchronous flash, LSI, sf-2582

The OWC Mercury Enterprise Pro 6G SSD comes in four sizes, 50GB, 100GB, 200GB and 400GB, with all models sharing the same impressive statistics.  Inside you will find Toshiba Enterprise Toggle Synchronous eMLC 24nm NAND and a new Sandforce controller from LSI, the SF-2582.  As well there is a proprietary power technology called Paratus to prevent data loss from power interruptions as well as capacitors designed to handle high heat.  SSD Review liked the performance, were impressed by the price and absolutely love the 7 year warranty, which is so far unique for SSDs.

SSDR_OWC-Table-Specifications.jpg

"OWC has jumped feet first into the Enterprise space with the new OWC Mercury Enterprise Pro 6G SSD. Leveraging one of the fastest controllers on the planet, the LSI SF-2582 in tandem with Toshibas Enterprise Toggle Synchronous eMLC NAND, this SSD promises the absolute best in long term performance and endurance. OWC is also throwing in an outstanding industry-leading 7 Year Warranty with this product."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

 

Source: SSD Review

Intel Releases 910 Series Enterprise PCIe SSD

Subject: Storage | April 12, 2012 - 10:10 AM |
Tagged: ssd, pcie, Intel

Intel has officially entered the Enterprise PCIe SSD market with the release of their 910 Series SSD. Available in 400 and 800GB capacities, this half-height PCIe 2.0 8x card boasts over 180,000 4k IOPS and 2GB/sec sequential on reads. Writes are roughly half of that - limited by the 25W PCIe spec power available to the card, but since many server motherboards have no issue providing a bit more power (28W), those numbers can be boosted to ~120,000 4k IOPS and 1.5GB/sec via end-user reconfiguration possible through the Intel management software.

Intel_SSD_910_angled_view_copy.jpg

The 910 is not all-Intel in its construction. While the flash is High Endurance Technology IMFT, it is driven by an Intel-tweaked Hitachi SAS controller, which is in turn controlled by an LSI 2008 Falcon SAS HBA. This means the storage is presented to the system as either two or four SCSI LUNs. This choice makes sense as you can attain higher IOPS when you let a high end server decide how to spread that data around. It also allows for more flexibility as each 200GB segment of storage appears as its own unit, meaning databases can be distributed amongst them. Unfortunately, this configuration choice means the 910 will not be bootable, at least not with all LUNs paired together.

Intel_SSD_910_Exploded_3_layers_copy.jpg

Intel is taking endurance seriously with this product. They claim 30x over standard MLC expected lifetime with their High Endurance Technology, and they mean it - The 910 is rated and guaranteed to sustain writing 10x its capacity for each and every day of the 5-year warranty period! That comes to 3EB (yes, EB, or 3,000 TB) for the 800GB model!

Prices start at $1,929 for 400GB and $3,859 for 800GB. Intel is sampling to us shortly, and we will get the full performance review up as soon as humanly possible upon its arrival.

Full press release after the break.

StarTech.com releases IDE-capable external USB docking station

Subject: Storage | April 11, 2012 - 10:33 PM |
Tagged: usb, Startech, IDE, dock

StarTech has always had a rather large line of external USB and eSATA HDD docks, but up until now most have been limited to SATA connectivity. Now they have released a dock that's able to connect to IDE hard drives as well! It pulls off this trick by including a short IDE ribbon cable that can connect to the back of the unit (see pic below).

UNIDOCK3U.App shot.jpg

Are OCZ's Indilinx Everest and Everest 2 Controllers Actually Marvell Hardware?

Subject: Storage | April 11, 2012 - 09:43 PM |
Tagged: Vertex 4, ocz, Octane, Marvell, everest

We've covered the OCZ Octane and more recently the new OCZ Vertex 4. We've also seen how they behave under wildly differing firmware revisions. What have we not yet seen? Turns out the hardware powering both the Octane and Vertex 3 controllers was actually from Marvell.

icon.jpg

Judging from the performance we saw from the Octane, it's clear that Indilinx is cranking out some great firmware for this hardware, but it's a bit of a surprise to us that the Indilinx arm of OCZ chose to go this route as opposed to spinning their own next gen controller, especially in light of how well the original Indilinx Barefoot was received back in the day.

block diagram pic.png

It turns out that 'Indilinx Infused' is more than just a catch phrase.

As evidenced by some commenters over at the source, some feel cheated that this news did not come to light earlier. My take on it is that an SSD is a package deal - controller hardware *and firmware* make up that package. If a company can deliver both in a reliable and well performing manner, then it's that companies product you are buying, not just the controller.

Source: Anand

Intel 313 Hawley Creek SRT Caching Drives Now Available

Subject: Storage | April 7, 2012 - 11:15 PM |
Tagged: Intel SRT, Intel, caching, 313, 25nm

Intel is continuing the Intel SRT caching technology with two new Single Level Cell (SLC) SSD drives in both 2.5” SATA and mSATA form factors. The new Intel 313 series SSDs come in 20 GB and 24 GB capacities and are available for purchase now. Intel hopes that vendors will integrate the caching drives into their machines to improve performance while offering lots of storage with a mechanical hard drive.  They further advertise the drives as "ultrabook ready."

SSD-313-series-288x288.png

The specifications can be found in the chart below, but they do seem to be a little strange, in that the larger capacity drive is actually slower in 4K random and sequential reads (which does not seem correct). After all, who would pay extra money for a slower caching drive (and a measly 4GB extra capacity) where read speeds are going to be more important than write speeds as far as general desktop performance.

  Intel 311 Intel 313 20 GB Intel 313 24 GB
Random 4K Read IOPS 37,000 36,000 33,000
Random 4K Write IOPS 3,300 3,300 4,000
Sequential Read 200 MB/s 220 MB/s 160 MB/s
Sequential Write 105 MB/s 100 MB/s 115 MB/s
Manufacturing Process 34nm 25nm 25nm
NAND Type SLC SLC SLC
Price ($USD) 119.99 (retail) 119.99 (retail) 139.99 (retail)

Compared to the previous generation "Larsen Creek" Intel 311 series SSD, the new "Hawley Creek" drives offer faster sequential read and write speeds.  The 24 GB Intel 313 drive does manage to beat both the 20 GB Haswell and previous generation Intel 311 drive on 4K random writes, but otherwise the new drives are equal to, or slower than, the previous generation in 4K random IOPS (input/output per second).  Considering the new drives are retailing for the same or more than the previous generation, the new Intel 313 SSDs really are not looking all that promising, despite the move to a 25nm NAND manufacturing process.

I am personally waiting for reviews to come out on the new Intel 313 drives before making a final decision, but they are nonetheless perplexing.  More information is available here (PDF).

*Edit by Allyn*:

The 'odd' differences in performance are due to the channel routing. The 20GB model has the standard Intel 3Gb/sec controller using 5 of the 10 data channels (similar to the old 40GB X25-V). Each of those channels is routed to a 4GB SLC die. This lays out to 5 TSOP packages with 1 die each. The 24GB model also uses the same controller and channel layout, but those 5 channels are routed to 6x 4GB dies. This is an odd configuration, and assuming Intel kept the same PCB layouts, the 2.5" model has provision for additional mounted TSOPs but the mSATA PCB is too tight on room, meaning they would have had to shift only one of the 5 flash packages to a double stacked configuration. More to follow on that once we see these in the flesh.

Source: Intel

OCZ's brand new Vertex 4 arrives

Subject: Storage | April 4, 2012 - 03:37 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.

TR_board.jpg

"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

 

OCZ's Virtualized Controller Architecture doesn't need any steenking bridges

Subject: Storage | April 2, 2012 - 05:10 PM |
Tagged: RevoDrive 3 X2 240GB, PCIe SSD, ocz

The thing which most caught The Tech Report's eye when they examined the OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 240GB PCIe SSD was the complete lack of bridge chips.   When they inquired as to just how the SuperScale storage controller manages this they didn't get a precise answer, as that would be giving away secrets, but were told it "combines processing and full DMA cores, as well as internal PCIe, SATA and SAS interfaces."  Putting that mystery aside, they installed the SSD to see just how four SSDs on one card perform in real world and synthetic tests.  The tests will impress you but keep in mind the cost of the card, at $2.83/GB it does not come cheap.

Long time readers might remember Al's review of this drive from last summer.

TR_standing.jpg

"Using virtualization voodoo, the RevoDrive 3 X2 combines four SandForce-based SSDs on a single PCIe card purportedly capable of transfer rates up to 1500MB/s. We take a closer look to see if the Revo is as impressive as it sounds. "

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

 

Toshiba MK4001GRZB 400GB SAS, take your SSD to work

Subject: Storage | March 26, 2012 - 02:26 PM |
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.

AADR_IMG_2267.jpg

"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