A new J-Micron controller for ADATA's Premier SP600 128GB SSD

Subject: Storage | June 15, 2015 - 05:31 PM |
Tagged: adata, Premier SP600, JMF670H, jmicron

ADATA's Premier SP600 SSD family is aimed at the budget conscious consumer, it is not often you see 32 and 64GB drives released along side the more common 128, 256 and 512GB models.  The previous Premier Pro 128GB is selling for $50 so you can expect a similar or lower price for models with the new controller.  Mad Shrimps benchmarked the drive and saw great results while the drive was fresh and empty of data but the performance dipped after the  drive began to fill up.  On the other hand at such a price and with a three year warranty you should not discount the drive altogether but there are certainly other choices at a similar price point.

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"The new revision of the ADATA Premier SP600 SSD is incorporating one of the newer Jmicron JMF670H controller, which is accompanied by one Nanya NT5CB64M16FP-DH as buffer and also eight ADATA-branded MLC NAND Flash memory chips. Premier SP600 is meant for the entry to mainstream market and while the product succeeds to deliver good read speeds, it fails to impress in the writes department."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Source: Mad Shrimps

Portable wireless storage from Samsung

Subject: Storage | June 8, 2015 - 07:15 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, wireless storage, 1.5tb drive

If you find yourself running low on space on your phone and need a handy way to extend your storage you could consider the Samsung Wireless HDD.  A mere 19.9x89x126.5mm and 275g it won't take up a lot of space but will allow up to five devices to connect over 802.11 b/g/n WiFi to stream the content stored on the drive.  It also has USB 3.0 connectivity to help you load up the drive before you head out on the road and you can even steal some of it's 7 hour rated battery life by using it as a charging station for your phone.  Kitguru tested multiple streams and found that two simultaneous connections work perfectly but it is best not to exceed streaming to a pair of devices.  The five device rating seems to refer more to the number of saved connections than to the number of streams you can run.

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"While many users these days may have several terabytes of PC storage space, mobile storage is yet to catch up. Many phones come with just 16GB of internal storage, while 128GB is just about as good as it gets. This means most users simply cannot fit their media collections on their mobile devices – which is far from ideal."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Source: KitGuru

The Connector Formerly Known as SFF-8639 - Now Called U.2

Subject: Storage | June 8, 2015 - 04:04 PM |
Tagged: U.2, ssd, SFF-8639, pcie, NVMe, Intel, computex 2015, computex

Intel has announced that the SSD Form Factor Working Group has finally come up with a name to replace the long winded SFF-8639 label currently applied to 2.5" devices that connect via PCIe.

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As Hardwarezone peeked in the above photo, the SFF-8639 connector will now be called U.2 (spoken 'U dot 2'). This appropriately corresponds with the M.2 connector currently used in portable and small form factor devices today, just with a new letter before the dot.

U.2-M.2.jpg

An M.2 NVMe PCIe device placed on top of a U.2 NVMe PCIe device.

Just as how the M.2 connector can carry SATA and PCIe signaling, the U.2 connector is an extension of the SATA / SAS standard connectors:

Demartek_SFF-8639.png

Not only are there an additional 7 pins between the repurposed SATA data and power pins, there are an additional 40 pins on the back side. These can carry up to PCIe 3.0 x4 to the connected device. Here is what those pins look like on a connector itself:

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Further details about the SFF-8639 / U.2 connector can be seen in the below slide, taken from the P3700 press briefing:

IntelP3700-SFF8639_w_600.png

With throughputs of up to 4 GB/sec and the ability to employ the new low latency NVMe protocol, the U.2 and M.2 standards are expected to quickly overtake the need for SATA Express. An additional look at the U.2 standard (then called SFF-8639), as well as a means of adapting from M.2 to U.2, can be found in our Intel SSD 750 Review.

Source: Hardwarezone

Computex 2015: Kingston microDuo 3C USB Type-C Flash Drive

Subject: Storage | June 3, 2015 - 09:15 AM |
Tagged: usb type-c, microDuo 3C, kingston, flash drive, computex 2015

Kingston has announced a new high-speed USB flash drive with the new Type-C connector, and the dual-interface drive also works with standard USB Type-A devices.

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The microDuo 3C offers read speeds up to 100MB/s and 15MB/s writes for the 32GB and 64GB models, with write speeds of 10MB/s on the 16GB version.

Specifications from Kingston:

  • Capacities: 16GB, 32GB and 64GB
  • Speed: USB 3.13
  • 16GB: 100MB/s read, 10MB/s write
  • 32GB & 64GB: 100MB/s read, 15MB/s write
  • Dimensions : 29.94mm x 16.60mm x 8.44mm
  • Warranty / Support : Five-year warranty with free technical support
  • Pricing was not revealed, but the drive will ship later this month so we will find out soon.

    Source: Kingston

    Computex 2015: Micron Announces 16nm TLC For Consumer SSDs

    Subject: Storage, Shows and Expos | June 2, 2015 - 11:47 PM |
    Tagged: tlc, ssd, micron, flash, computex 2015, computex, 16nm

    Chugging right along that TechInsights Flash Roadmap we saw last year, Micron has announced the TLC extension to their 16nm flash memory process node.

    Micron Roadmap.png

    While 16nm TLC was initially promised Q4 of 2014, I believe Micron distracted themselves a little with their dabbles into Dynamic Write Acceleration technology. No doubt wanting to offer ever more cost effective SSDs to their portfolio, the new TLC 16nm flash will take up less die space for the same capacity, meaning more dies per 300mm wafer, ultimately translating to lower cost/GB of consumer SSDs.

    micron_128gb_16nm_nand_flash.jpg

    Micron's 16nm (MLC) flash

    The Crucial MX200 and BX100 SSDs have already been undercutting the competition in cost/GB, so the possibility of even lower cost SSDs is a more than welcome idea - just so long as they can keep the reliability of these parts high enough. IMFT has a very solid track record in this regard, so I don't suspect any surprises in that regard.

    Full press blast appears after the break.

    Computex 2015: OCZ Trion and Z-Drive 6000, 6300 SSDs Sighted

    Subject: Storage, Shows and Expos | June 2, 2015 - 11:18 PM |
    Tagged: Z-Drive 6300, Z-Drive 6000, Trion, ssd, pcie, OCZ Technology, ocz, NVMe, computex 2015, computex

    OCZ is showing off some new goodies at Computex 2015 in the form of a completely new SSD model – the Trion:

    Trion Pic.jpg

    The Trion is based on an in-house Toshiba ‘Alishan’ controller – the first internal design from that company. Since it is sourced from within Toshiba, the new SSD controller is to be tuned for consumer workloads and should employ lower power states than prior OCZ / Indilinx SSD controllers, as well as Toshiba’s own proprietary QSBC (Quadruple Swing-By Code) error correction technology, which should squeeze a bit more usable life out of the A19nm TLC flash. This is what QSBC looks like compared to competing BCH and LDPC technologies:

    QSBC.png

    We suspect Toshiba dialed back the algorithm a bit for client usage, but it should still be far superior to BCH. We don’t have many more details as the Trion has not yet been officially launched, but we do have this shot of a round of benchmark results from a pre-production 960GB model:

    Trion-2.JPG

    From what we can see, it appears to be a good performer (by modern SATA 6Gb/sec SSD standards), but we naturally can't tell anything for sure until we get samples in for local testing, as we have no idea of the state of preconditioning of the Trion in those tests.

    Also on display were the recently launched Z-Drive 6000 and 6300 Series parts:

    ZDrive6000.jpg

    ZDrive 6300 pic1.jpg

    These are OCZ’s enterprise-grade NVMe devices, available in 800GB, 1.6TB, and 3.2TB. The 6000 series is a 2.5” 15mm SFF-8639 device aimed at lighter workloads with a rating of 1 Drive Write Per Day (DWPD) over a 5-year period, while the 6300 series brings that figure up to 3 DWPD and offers an HHHL PCIe card as an optional form factor. The higher writes per day are facilitated by the move to A19nm eMLC flash.

    We’ll be keeping a close eye on these new developments from OCZ and we are eager to get these in the shop for some thorough testing!

    Press blast for the Trion and Z-Drive 6300 Series after the break!

    Zotac's New R Series ZBOX PCs Support Two Drive RAID Configurations

    Subject: General Tech, Systems, Storage | May 30, 2015 - 02:14 AM |
    Tagged: zotac, zbox, SFF, raid, mini server, media server

    Zotac recently launched a new line of tiny ZBOX PCs under the new R Series that support two drive RAID 0 and RAID 1 setups. The series currently includes the ZBOX 1323 and ZBOX R1531. Both systems can be mounted vertically or horizontally and strongly resemble the company's existing ZBOX computers. The top and bottom panels are black with a silver bezel around the sides. A Zotac logo sits in the corner and a large blue circle sits in the center of the top.

    The front panel hosts two audio jacks, an SDXC ard reader, COM port, IR reciever, and power button. Around back, the ZBOX boasts two antennas for the internal wireless module, two Gigabit Ethernet jacks, two USB 3.0 ports, and DisplayPort and HDMI video outputs. A third USB 3.0 port sits along the top edge of this small form factor PC.

    Zotac ZBOX_RI531-P.jpg

    Internally, Zotac is using Intel processors, a small form factor motherboard with two SO-DIMM slots (up to 16 GB), a Mini PCI-E slot for the 802.11ac (plus Bluetooth 4.0) wireless card, and support for up to two 2.5" SATA drives. The motherboard supports RAID 0, RAID 1, and JBOD configurations for the SATA drives, and the R1531 SKU adds a mSATA slot for a third drive.

    The ZBOX R1323 is equipped with a 11.5W dual core Intel (Haswell) Celeron 2961Y processor clocked at 1.1 GHz with 2MB cache and Intel HD Graphics clocked at up to 850 MHz. The ZBOX R1531 steps up to a 15W dual core (plus Hyperthreading) Broadwell-based Intel Core i3-5010U clocked at 2.1 GHz with HD 5500 graphics clocked at up to 900 MHz. 

    Zotac ZBOX_RI531-P rear IO.jpg

    Both versions will be offered as barebones systems and the R1531 is additionally be sold in a PLUS model that comes with a 64GB mSATA SSD and 4GB of RAM pre-installed.

    The new ZBOX R Series PCs would make for a nice home server with a mSATA drive for the OS and two storage drives in a RAID 1 for redundancy. The Core i3 should be plenty of horsepower for streaming media, running backups, running applications, and even some light video transcoding. The included COM port will also make it suitable for industrial applications, but I think this is mostly going to appeal to home and small business users.

    Zotac has not yet revealed pricing or availability though. Hopefully we are able to find out more about these mini PCs at Computex!

    Source: Zotac

    Lenovo Tech World: High-Performance S2200 and S3200 Storage Arrays

    Subject: Storage | May 27, 2015 - 10:00 PM |
    Tagged: storage, SAN, S3200, S2200, Lenovo, datacenter

    Lenovo has announced two new high-performance storage products aimed at small and medium business, and the new S2200 and S3200 storage arrays are designed with speed in mind.

    lenovo-do.png

    The Storage S2200 and S3200 arrays offer dual and single controllers in 2U-12 and 24 drive configurations. The S2200 supports up to 96 drives and the S3200 supports up to 192 drives to easily support storage growth. The S2200 and S3200 make connectivity simple. The S2200 and S3200 support Fibre Channel, iSCSI and SAS, with the S3200 supporting multi-protocol connectivity that can work with Fibre Channel and iSCSI at the same time. This combination of flexibility and scalability makes integration into nearly any environment easy.

    S2200_Beauty_Right_view.jpg

    Lenovo is also using a technology called "Intelligent Real-Time Tiering" to approximate the performance of flash storage by prioritizing frequently accessed data as it "automatically moves frequently accessed data to higher performing drives every five seconds, significantly increasing storage performance".

    With hybrid configurations and Intelligent Real-Time Tiering, the Lenovo Storage S3200 can provide near All-Flash-Array (AFA) performance for up to 120,000 IOPS at a fraction of the cost of today’s Flash only systems.

    S3200_rear_view.jpg

    The Lenovo S2200 and S3200 SANs will be available worldwide starting in June.

    Source: Lenovo

    Love the NVMe, shame almost nobody can use it

    Subject: Storage | May 20, 2015 - 02:48 PM |
    Tagged: XP941, SSD 750, ssd, SM951, pcie, NVMe, MZVPV512HDGL, AHCI

    For owners of Z97 or X99 boards with updated UEFIs or a rare SFF-8643 connector for the 2.5" version, booting from NVMe is possible, for the rest the Intel SSD 750 will have to be a storage drive.   Al recently looked at this more than impressive PCIe SSD and now [H]ard|OCP has had a bash at it.  The review is certainly worth checking out as some of their tests, especially the real world ones, differ from the benchmarks that Al used.  This will give you more information about how the new SSD will handle your workloads, research worth it if you are thinking of spending $1055 for the 1.2TB model.

    1428498730H4WON14xlV_1_1.jpg

    "Intel is set to be the catalyst for a long-awaited leap forward in storage technology with the new SSD 750 bringing NVMe storage to client PCs for the first time, and turning the high end SSD space upside-down. We are expecting blinding IOPs and we dig in to find out what it can mean to the hardware enthusiast."

    Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

    Storage

    Source: [H]ard|OCP

    Toshiba's portable backup drive, the Canvio Connect

    Subject: Storage | May 7, 2015 - 03:22 PM |
    Tagged: toshiba, Canvio Connect, backup, external drive

    At a $90 price point the 2TB Toshiba Canvio Connect is not a huge investment to give yourself another way to back up your precious data; remember kids the equation is Actual Number of backups = Number of Backups - 1.  It is also a good choice for portable storage, at 8.2oz and 111x79x21mm (4.4x3.1x0.8") it will easily fit into your bag or laptop case.  Hardware Secrets tested it for speed and found it a bit slower than the competition but certainly within expectations for a USB 3.0 drive.  They prefer the Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB overall, for the same price it is slightly faster and slimmer as well.

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    "Users are always damanding more and more storage space, not only inside their computers, but also as portable external hard disk drives. Nowadays, 2 TB portable external drives are becoming popular, and we will test the Toshiba 2 TB Canvio Connect, comparing it to the Seagate 2 TB Backup Plus Slim and the Western Digital 2 TB My Passport Ultra that we've already reviewed. They are all compact drives and make use of the USB 3.0 interface. Which one is the fastest? Let's see!"

    Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

    Storage

    Kingston and Phison and Toshiba; oh my

    Subject: Storage | April 28, 2015 - 01:51 PM |
    Tagged: Phison PS3110, 19nm, toshiba, toggle NAND, kingston hyper x, ssd

    When you pick up a Kingston HyperX Savage SSD you have a choice of the barebones model at $122 for the 240GB model or you can pay an extra $25 for the upgrade kit which contains 2.5mm z-height adapter, a SATA 6Gb/s cable, a 2.5" to 3.5" adapter plate, Acronis True Image HD imaging software, a micro-screwdriver set, and a USB 3.0 enclosure with USB 3.0 cable.  That upgrade kit is perfect for those looking for an easy way to move their entire OS to the new SSD with a minimum of fuss.  Inside the drive is the Phison PS3110 controller with a 256MB DDR3-1600 cache and Toshiba's 19nm Toggle Mode NAND.  Hardware Canucks put the drive to the test and it shows huge improvements from the first generation, enough to put it in competition with offerings from OCZ, Intel and Crucial.  This demonstrates a faster evolution that competitors products but it does unfortunately come at a price that is a bit high compared to those competitors offerings.

    board1_sm.jpg

    "The affordable Kingston HyperX Savage is one of the first SSDs to use the new Phison PS3110 controller and the end results are extremely impressive to say the least."

    Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

    Storage

    Samsung 840 EVO Standalone ISO Updater Now Available

    Subject: Storage | April 28, 2015 - 12:44 PM |
    Tagged: TurboWrite, tlc, ssd, slc, Samsung, 840 evo

    For those of you following the Samsung 840 EVO saga, last week we saw the release of Magician 4.6. Samsung was initially throttling downloads and firmware update rates, but those limits appear to have been lifted as of this morning. Another thing we noticed this morning was the inclusion of the standalone ISO updater for those who are otherwise unable to run the Magician software (i.e. Mac users):

    EXT0DB6Q ISO.png

    For those on laptops or other devices with no optical drive, I've confirmed the ISO can be used via USB if placed there with a tool such as Rufus.

    Note to Linux users:

    There was an early report of complications from a user who was running a full disk fstrim during boot, where that operation was causing errors (corrected once that operation was disabled). It should be noted that full disk TRIM operations are redundant so long as the OS is issuing TRIM on-the-fly during regular file moves / deletions. This may be an issue with queued TRIM handling of the new 840 EVO firmware. If not reproduced / corrected by Samsung, the Linux devs may be able to add this firmware revision to the queued TRIM blacklist to possibly fix the problem on their end.

    Note to mSATA 840 EVO users:

    It appears the update does not currently apply to these. I've asked Samsung about this.

    AMD and QNAP get NASty

    Subject: Storage | April 23, 2015 - 03:39 PM |
    Tagged: TVS-463 8G, qnap, NAS, amd

    The QNAP TVS-463 8G is powered by an AMD GX-424CC, part of the Steppe Eagle family of SoCs which includes a Mullin's based Radeon R5E GPU.  There are several models ranging from the entry level which sports only 4GB of RAM, which can be expanded to 16GB with the review model TechPowerUp recieved sitting in the middle at 8GB.  You can install up to four 2.5" or 3.5" SATA3 disks in a variety of RAID configurations, the NAS ships empty so you will need to provide your own drives.  It is a little expensive, just over $800, which includes the internal PSU and the built in OS to allow you to activate your NAS via the web with a simple command.  It has two Gigabit ports with LACP support and you can even pick up an expansion card to increase it to 10GbE, read the full review to get an idea just how capable this NAS is.

    nas_quarter.jpg

    "QNAP has for the first time used an AMD CPU with one of their NAS offerings. The new series is codenamed TVS-x63, and today, we will evaluate the TVS-463, which, as its model number implies, can take up to four HDDs. It is also 10GbE ready through an optional expansion card."

    Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

    Storage

    Source: techPowerUp

    Samsung Magician 4.6 and 840 EVO Firmware Released - Downloads Throttled

    Subject: Storage | April 23, 2015 - 02:21 PM |
    Tagged: TurboWrite, tlc, ssd, slc, Samsung, 840 evo

    For those who watched last night's podcast live, I predicted that Samsung would be posting their 840 EVO Firmware and new Magician 4.6 software 'soon'. Turns out that 'soon' was actually this morning, but there's a catch - Samsung decided to limit the daily downloads:

    magician download error.png

    If you went to the Samsung SSD Download Page and got the above error, don't fret, there are a few mirrors out there:

    I downloaded from these three sources and at the time of this posting can confirm all three are identical to the Magician 4.6 download available from Samsung.

    Once installed, you *should* be able to use Magician to update the firmware on your 840 EVO and (hopefully) see its performance come back to where it should be. There have been some reports of users unable to update, but that appears to be Samsung's servers being hammered and Magician's default / timeout is to report that you are on the latest firmware. Restarting Magician may force it to re-check and get the update.

    Linux and Mac users are not yet able to update as the ISO updater has not been released for the new firmware. Those capable can update their Linux or Mac 840 EVOs connected as a secondary drive under Windows with Magician 4.6 installed. Also, if you're running Linux and happen use fstrim during boot, read this post prior to updating.

    Source: Samsung

    Intel SSD 750 Series PCIe Compatibility Tested

    Subject: General Tech, Storage | April 16, 2015 - 06:47 AM |
    Tagged: uefi, SSD 750, PCI-E 3.0, NVMe, Intel, ACHI, 750 series

    UPDATE: ASUS has pointed us towards a poll they are running to gauge what platforms people are most anxious for NVMe Boot support on. So if you have an ASUS board and are interested in buying an Intel SSD 750 Series, head to their poll to voice your opinion!

    Last week, the Intel 750 Series SSD was unveiled the the public as the first consumer SSD to feature the NVMe or Non-Volatile Memory Express interface. NVMe was designed from the ground up for flash storage, and provides significant advantages in latency and potential top transfer rates over the aging AHCI standard. Check out our review of the Intel SSD 750 Series to find out why this is such an important step forward for storage technology.

    IMG_2051.JPG

    Even if you aren't necessarily concerned about the merits of a new storage interface, the throughput numbers from the 750 series are hard to ignore. With peak speeds over 2.5GB/s read and 1.5GB/s write, it's hard not to be interested in this new drive.

    However, all this new speed doesn't come without a few complications. NVMe is an all-new standard which means it might not be supported on all platforms. Intel themselves only point to official support for Z97 and X99 chipsets. In order to get a better idea of the landscape of NVMe compatibility, I took it amongst myself to start testing the add-in card version of the 750 Series in just about every modern motherboard I could get my hands on at the office.

    Continue reading our testiof Intel SSD 750 Series Compatiblity!!

    Checking out PCIe SSDs, both the full sized version and the bite sized ones

    Subject: Storage | April 7, 2015 - 02:49 PM |
    Tagged: Plextor M6e, XP941, Samsung, DC P3700, Intel, PCIe SSD, M.2

    The Tech Report have updated their storage testbed to properly benchmark PCIe SSDs, the M.2 versions as well as ones such as Intel's DC P3700 which takes up a full slot.  They contrast the performance with 10 popular SATA drives to give you an idea of the difference performance a PCI SSD will give you.  The rather expensive DC P3700 dominates almost every test they performed, apart from boot times in Windows 8.1 which are still well under 1 minute.  Read through the review with your own usage patterns in mind, in many cases a SATA SSD is still a great choice for many gamers and are much more affordable.  Then again, if you can afford a $2500 SSD, Intel's offering is definitely king.

    drives.jpg

    "SSDs have been bumping up against the limits of the Serial ATA interface for a while, but they don't have to be stuck behind the 6Gbps link. Native PCIe drives with way more bandwidth have made their way onto the market over the past year. We've tackled a trio of them—Plextor's M6e, Samsung's XP941, and Intel's server-grade DC P3700—with a fresh slate of benchmarks to see how the new breed stacks up against the SATA incumbents."

    Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

    Storage

    PCPer Live! Intel SSD Live Stream and Giveaway!

    Subject: General Tech, Storage, Shows and Expos | April 2, 2015 - 08:19 PM |
    Tagged: video, sdd, live, Intel, giveaway, contest

    UPDATE: The secret is out! Today's live stream will focus on the new Intel SSD 750 Series products, which Allyn posted our review of just a few minutes ago. Be sure you read up on that story and prepare your questions for our event that starts in less than three hours!

    UPDATE 2: If you missed the live streaming event today, you can find the reply embedded directly below. You can't win any of the prizes at this point (sorry!) but there is a ton of information for you to gleam from the discussion. That includes a history of Intel's SSD technology, how flash works and what the new SSD 750 Series has to offer with PCIe and NVMe. Enjoy!

    Earlier this month we spotted a new and potentially very exciting SSD while looking through some PAX East coverage around the web. It appears to be a PCI Express based Intel SSD, likely based on the same technology as the P3700-series of NVMe drives released last June. And today, if you take a look at this Intel promotional landing page you'll see a timer and countdown that ends on April 2nd.

    Sounds like something must be up, huh?

    Well, in totally unrelated news, PC Perspective and Intel are partnering together for a live stream to discuss "SSD related topics" on April 2nd.

    pcperlive.png

    Intel SSD Live Stream and Giveaway

    12pm PT / 3pm ET - April 2nd

    PC Perspective Live! Page

    Need a reminder? Join our live mailing list!

    Joining us for the live event will be Intel's Bryn Pilney and Kei Kobayashi, making a follow up appearance after jumping on stage with us at Quakecon 2014. During the event we'll discuss some of the history of Intel's move into the SSD market, how consumers benefit from Intel development and technology and a certain new product that will be making an appearnce on that same day.

    And of course, what's a live stream event without some hardware to give away?!? Here's what we have on the docket for those that attend:

    • 2 x Intel 180GB 530 Series SSDs
    • 2 x Intel 480GB 730 Series SSDs
    • 2 x Intel 400GB 750 Series SSDs

    addincard.jpg

    Huge thanks to Intel for supporting our viewers and readers with hardware to giveaway!

    The event will take place Thursday, April 2nd at 3pm ET / 12pm PT at http://www.pcper.com/live. There you’ll be able to catch the live video stream as well as use our chat room to interact with the audience, asking questions for me and Intel to answer live. To win the prizes you will have to be watching the live stream, with exact details of the methodology for handing out the goods coming at the time of the event.

    ssdpromo2.jpg

    If you have questions, please leave them in the comments below and we'll look through them just before the start of the live stream. Of course you'll be able to tweet us questions @pcper and we'll be keeping an eye on the IRC chat as well for more inquiries. What do you want to know and hear from Intel?

    So join us! Set your calendar for this coming Thursday at 3pm ET / 12pm PT and be here at PC Perspective to catch it. If you are a forgetful type of person, sign up for the PC Perspective Live mailing list that we use exclusively to notify users of upcoming live streaming events including these types of specials and our regular live podcast. I promise, no spam will be had!

    Samsung's 850 EVO now comes in M.2 flavour too

    Subject: Storage | March 31, 2015 - 07:01 PM |
    Tagged: ssd, sata, Samsung, msata, M.2 SATA, 850 EVO, 500gb, 1TB, 120gb

    As Al's review of the 850 EVO exists in a cat like superposition of being biased both for and against Samsung, perhaps you would like a second opinion.  That is where The Tech Report's review comes in handy, which was published just a few short hours ago.  Their findings were perfectly in line with the others, exactly the same performance as the 2.5" drives but in a nice bite sized form factor.  The only drawback is the size, the new M.2's are missing the 1TB model at the moment.

    150330-182433_DxO.jpg

    "Samsung's 850 EVO SSD debuted in December inside the usual 2.5" case. Now, the drive is spreading to smaller mSATA and M.2 form factors. We've examined the new drives to see how the mini lineup compares to its full-sized forbear."

    Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

    Storage

    Intel / Micron Announce 3D NAND Production with Industry's Highest Density: >10TB on a 2.5" SSD

    Subject: Storage | March 26, 2015 - 02:12 PM |
    Tagged: storage, ssd, planar, nand, micron, M.2, Intel, imft, floating-gate, 3d nand

    Intel and Micron are jointly announcing new 3D NAND technology that will radically increase solid-storage capacity going forward. The companies have indicated that moving to this technology will allow for the type of rapid increases in capacity that are consistent with Moore’s Law.

    IMFT_Slide_1.png

    The way Intel and Micron are approaching 3D NAND is very different from existing 3D technologies from Samsung and now Toshiba. The implementation of floating-gate technology and “unique design choices” has produced startling densities of 256 Gb MLC, and a whopping 384 Gb with TLC. The choice to base this new 3D NAND on floating-gate technology allows development with a well-known entity, and benefits from the knowledge base that Intel and Micron have working with this technology on planar NAND over their long partnership.

    What does this mean for consumers? This new 3D NAND enables greater than 10TB capacity on a standard 2.5” SSD, and 3.5TB on M.2 form-factor drives. These capacities are possible with the industry’s highest density 3D NAND, as the >3.5TB M.2 capacity can be achieved with just 5 packages of 16 stacked dies with 384 Gb TLC.

    vnand crop.png

    A 3D NAND cross section from Allyn's Samsung 850 Pro review

    While such high density might suggest reliance on ever-shrinking process technology (and the inherent loss of durability thus associated) Intel is likely using a larger process for this NAND. Though they would not comment on this, Intel could be using something roughly equivalent to 50nm flash with this new 3D NAND. In the past die shrinks have been used to increase capacity per die (and yields) such as IMFT's move to 20nm back in 2011, but with the ability to achieve greater capacity vertically using 3D cell technology a smaller process is not necessary to achieve greater density. Additionally, working with a larger process would allow for better endurance as, for example, 50nm MLC was on the order of 10,000 program/erase cycles. Samsung similarly moved to a larger process with with their initial 3D NAND, moving from their existing 20nm technology back to 30nm with 3D production.

    IMFT_Slide_2.png

    This announcement is also interesting considering Toshiba has just entered this space as well having announced 48-layer 128 Gb density 3D NAND, and like Samsung, they are moving away from floating-gate and using their own charge-trap implementation they are calling BiCS (Bit Cost Scaling). However with this Intel/Micron announcement the emphasis is on the ability to offer a 3x increase in capacity using the venerable floating-gate technology from planar NAND, which gives Intel / Micron an attractive position in the market - depending on price/performance of course. And while these very large capacity drives seem destined to be expensive at first, the cost structure is likely to be similar to current NAND. All of this remains to be seen, but this is indeed promising news for the future of flash storage as it will now scale up to (and beyond) spinning media capacity - unless 3D tech is implemented in hard drive production, that is.

    IMFT_Slide_3.png

    So when will Intel and Micron’s new technology enter the consumer market? It could be later this year as Intel and Micron have already begun sampling the new NAND to manufacturers. Manufacturing has started in Singapore, plus ground has also been broken at the IMFT fab in Utah to support production here in the United States.

    Source: Intel

    Can OCZ's Vector change 180 degrees with their new SSD?

    Subject: Storage | March 25, 2015 - 06:04 PM |
    Tagged: Vector 180, ssd, sata, ocz, 960GB, 480GB, 240gb, barefoot 3, toshiba mlc

    If you haven't already done so you should start out with Al's deep dive into the new OCZ Vector 180 SSDs, which uses the Barefoot 3 controller with Toshiba A19 MLC flash and suffers similar issues to other drives using these components.  Once you are done studying you can take a look at other reviews, such as the performance overview at The Tech Report of this drive which is extremely similar to the ARC 100 and Radeon R7 SSDs.  The drives are definitely aimed at the value conscious user, while most are currently not in stock at Amazon, the pricing of 120GB @ $90, 240GB at $185 and 480 at $270 are not bad for initial release.  The Tech Report does plan on doing more testing but from what they saw in their testing the new Vector 180 beats the 150 for performance.

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    "OCZ's Vector SSDs are among the fastest around, and now there's a new one. The Vector 180 combines the company's proprietary Barefoot 3 controller with Toshiba's latest "A19" NAND. We've taken a closer look at the drive—and OCZ's recent reliability rep—to see what's what."

    Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

    Storage