HDD Warranties Slashed By More Than Half - But Why?

Subject: Storage | December 30, 2011 - 09:45 AM |
Tagged: western digital, wdc, Warranty, Seagate, hitachi, hdd

It's been a few short months since Thailand saw some serious flood damage. The flooding had a huge impact on everything from Automobile production to the making of fiber optic cables. The largest impact to the computer industry was that of storage devices. While flash memory fabs were spared, makers of HDD components were hit hard.

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Hitachi plant in Thailand, partially submerged.

This effect quickly trickled down to the HDD quickly spiking prices by nearly 200% by Halloween. Inventories remained at critically low levels for a 60-day window - long enough to have far reaching impact on the PC industry as a whole. With a key component missing from PC production chains, the effects caused dips in demand from the PC suppliers, eventually trickling back up the chain to other component makers. Intel was forced to scale back their chip production. The industry finally saw a reprieve just a few weeks ago, as HDD production recovered sufficiently as to begin the slow replenishment process, and it started to look like everything would be ok.

...and then the other shoe dropped.

Right as HDD Suppliers started catching up on supply, Western Digital made a surprising announcement. Starting on January 2nd of next year, most of their drive lines will see a drastic reduction to warranty periods. Caviar Blue, Caviar Green, and Scorpio Blue drives see a 50% drop from 3 to 2 years. Seagate quickly jumped on the bandwagon, cutting the 5-year warranties of several of their lines down to three. Even worse, the Baracuda, Baracuda Green, and Momentus (laptop) drives will be cut from five all the way down to 1-year warranties. Seagate's reductions go into effect December 31, 2011.

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The Momentus XT, while technically a Hybrid SSD/HDD, was not spared in the warranty cuts.

This isn't the first time warranties saw an across-the-board cut in duration. Back in 2002, Western Digital and Seagate (as well as Maxtor - since acquired by Seagate), jointly cut their warranties back to just one year. The reasoning back then was claimed to be strictly business, and that it was done to be in-line with the 1-year warranty provided by PC OEM's, but was that the only reason? We would need a bunch of data on HDD failure rates to know for sure...

Continue reading our post about the lowered HDD warranties for more thoughts and analysis!!

Source: The Register

Seagate Completes Acquisition of Samsung’s Hard Disk Drive Business

Subject: General Tech, Storage | December 20, 2011 - 02:52 PM |
Tagged: Seagate, Samsung, sale, partnership, hdd

Back in April of this year we heard that Samsung was going to spin off its HDD department, handing the entire compliment of staff, equipment and trademarked names to Seagate for about $1.4 billion USD total.  Today that sale is complete as Seagate announced the final approval of the acquisition.  This means very little for the consumer over the next 12 months, and not just because of the lack of available HDDs.  Samsung's branding will remain on their HDD lines for the next year and as the entire Samsung team and facilities came with the rights to the products the design and assembly teams will be the same as when they were owned by Samsung.  

Fans of Samsung notebooks and other PCs will also be unaffected as those products tended to utilize Seagate HDDs already, as the two companies have had a long and tight partnership.  After a year we may see many of the Samsung lines disappear as they are folded into pre-existing Seagate product families, though it seems reasonable to hope that the new products will represent the both of best worlds.

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CUPERTINO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ:STX), a world leader in hard disk drives and storage solutions, today announced the closing of the transaction to acquire the hard disk drive (HDD) business of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a world leader in digital consumer electronics and information technology.

Under the terms of the transaction, Seagate has gained select elements of Samsung’s HDD business, including assets, infrastructure and employees that enable Seagate to drive scale and innovation. These assets include Samsung’s leading M8 product line of high-capacity, 2.5-inch HDDs. Samsung employees joining Seagate include a number of senior managers and design-engineering employees from Samsung's Korea facility, who will focus on development of small form-factor products for the mobile compute market. N.Y. Park, senior vice president and general manager, will oversee Seagate’s product development activities in Korea and serve as country manager of the Korea design center, reporting to Bob Whitmore, Seagate’s executive vice president and CTO.

“Together, Seagate and Samsung have aligned our current and future product development efforts and roadmaps in order to accelerate time-to-market efficiency for new products and position us to better address the increasing demands for storage,” said Steve Luczo, Seagate chairman, president and CEO. “It is an exciting time in the industry with rapidly evolving opportunities in many markets including mobile computing, cloud computing, and solid state storage.”

This transaction was announced in April 2011 along with a series of other agreements between Seagate and Samsung. Seagate is supplying disk drives to Samsung for PCs, notebooks and consumer electronics devices. Samsung is supplying its market-leading semiconductor products for use in Seagate’s enterprise solid state drives (SSDs), solid-state hybrid drives and other products. The companies have also extended and enhanced their existing patent cross-license agreement and have expanded cooperation to co-develop enterprise storage solutions.

“The strategic relationship will open new opportunities for the two companies by mutually complementing each other’s creative technology solutions for a broad diversity of IT applications,” said Oh-Hyun Kwon, vice chairman of Device Solutions of Samsung Electronics.

The transactions and agreements substantially expand Seagate’s customer access in China, Southeast Asia, Brazil, Germany and the Russian Federation. Seagate and Samsung also have been working together to ensure that customers continue to receive a high level of service, support and innovation, including activities to align the two companies’ supply bases and delivery infrastructure. To ease the transition of products and technologies, Seagate will retain certain Samsung HDD products under the Samsung brand name for 12 months, and maintain or establish a number of independent operations including sales staff, key production lines and R&D. Customers can find more information at www.seagate.com/samsung.

The combined value of these transactions and agreements is approximately US $1.4 billion, consisting of 45,239,490 Seagate Ordinary Shares and the remaining balance settled in cash. In addition, Samsung will designate a nominee to join Seagate’s Board of Directors.

Seagate does not presently expect significant restructuring costs and expects to achieve considerable reductions in overall operating expenses for the combined business while minimizing the integration costs. As previously stated, Seagate expects that the transactions and agreements will be meaningfully accretive to non-GAAP diluted earnings per share and cash flow in the first full year following the closing. Seagate will provide additional financial information for the combined company on its fiscal second quarter conference call in late January.

Source: Seagate

SSD and HDD Price Analysis: End of Shortage In Sight?

Subject: Storage | December 18, 2011 - 11:20 AM |
Tagged: WD, thailand, ssd, Seagate, hdd, Hard Drive, flooding

The hard drive industry might be recovering more quickly than expected and the entire tech field should be hoping that is the case.  We have been covering the unfortunate disaster in Thailand and the accompanying disruption in the world of storage since things first started hitting the fan in October.  The initial result was a very dramatic price increase on traditional spinning disks - prices going up as much as 200% in some cases.  This week we got our hands on some very interesting data from Dynamite Data, a company focused on channel monitoring, that they were willing to let us share with you.

First, the bad news that we already know about - the price increases we have seen percolate throughout the entire industry in the last two months.

ssd_hddpriceindex.png

Click to Enlarge

This graph shows the average price of the top 50 spinning disk drives over the last year in red and the very specific Western Digital Velociraptor 150GB pricing on Amazon.com in blue.  You can see that around October 16th the big price increase began and over the entire ecommerce span that Dynamite Data monitors, prices on the top 50 HDDs went up by 42%.  And while not shown in the graph, other provided data shows that at its peak the low-cost leaders in the HDD market increased their prices by 150% as of early December.

Why did this happen?  Looking at inventory levels clearly shows the drop in availability.

ssd_hddinventory.png

Click to Enlarge

Based on those same top 50 SKUs, we saw ecommerce inventory drop by 90% in late October (in less than one week!) after the first impact on the supply chain that occurred on October 8th. What is interesting is that it took a week or more for the price changes to take place based on the analysis of the disaster in Thailand.  Much to the dismay of many of the conspiracy theorists out there though this data definitely backs up the price increases from WD, Seagate and others. 

There is an uplifting bit of news in both of the above the graphs though - look towards the end of the time lines of gathered data.  Both show movement in the direction of consumer's interests: a jump in inventory and a drop in average pricing.  WD announced on November 30th that the first of its production facilities was back online and we are already seeing results.  Of course the CEO of Seagate is still claiming that it will take more than a year for the industry to recover but it looks like supply may increase at a quicker rate than initially expected. 

Finally, just for a bit of added bonus coverage, many have wondered if the price increase on traditional spinning drives would affect the pricing of SSDs.  Well, it looks like did at least for a 10 day span.

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Click to Enlarge

Over the last year prices for solid state drives have dropped by 23% on the top 50 devices available with one minor hiccup.  In a 10 day period between the end of October and early November, there was an SSD price increase that isn't explainable by any kind of inventory changes or supply line changes.  This was likely due to the HDD shortage and vendors looking to maximize profits when consumers didn't have access to the low cost hard drives they were used to.  But because the price increase lasted such a short time I think we can clearly see that customers didn't fall for the ploy and the hiccup was quickly self-corrected.

Even though we have been monitoring prices on our own since the Thailand disaster first occurred, it is great to get some hard data to put alongside our presumptions.  While there is tons of bad news still to digest for at least the first two quarters of 2012, the information provided by Dynamite Data provides some hope that the worst is behind us.  If you are interested in more analysis of this data and you will be at CES in January, you should stop by the Storage Visions conference where there will be a short talk on the topic. 

Intel Scales Back Sales Outlook Due To Hard Drive Shortage

Subject: Storage | December 13, 2011 - 03:54 PM |
Tagged: thailand, supply shortage, Intel, Hard Drive, amd

Due to the recent flooding in Thailand, many hard drive and hard drive part manufacturers have had to close down business to conduct repairs. Many technology news sites and enthusiasts speculated that the drive shortages from lost production time would drive the price of hard drives up dramatically as well as decreasing computer sales. The price of drives has indeed skyrocketed; however, it seems as though the fallout on the industry is a bit more widespread that originally thought.

Specifically, the hard drive shortage has even managed to effect semiconductor giant Intel. According to Market Watch, Intel Corp announced that it would be scaling back their sales outlook for the fourth quarter of 2011. While it’s previous sales outlook was an estimated $14.7 billion “plus or minus $500 million,” the company’s revised estimate is @13.7 Billion, with a +/- margin of $500 million. The 1 billion USD reduction may not seem like much for Intel; however, their stockholders have taken note and their shares are down 4 % to a closing price of $24 on Monday (and $23.56 at time of writing). As far as the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the decline represents “one of the top decliners.”

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The semiconductor giant is not the only company affected by the drive shortage, however. Arch nemesis AMD’s stock price down 4.3 % for example. The site also cites Applied Materials’ 6.1 % decline. The companies that many assumed would be affected by the hard drive supply shortage included PC OEMs such as Dell and HP whose stock prices have dropped 2.3 % and 1.6 % respectably. Western Digital has begun to spin up production in the area again; however, it is likely too late for the various companies to recover. The article analyst speculates that Intel will continue playing catch-up into the first quarter of next year, and will recover starting in Q2 2012.

The numbers are showing a decline in many technology company’s stock prices likely due to lower than projected profits. It is interesting to see that even Intel felt the waves caused by the shortage. Did you find yourself second guessing computer or hard drive purchases due to increased prices?

Source: Market Watch

OCZ Technology Petrol SATA 6Gbps SSDs Reduce SSD Deployment Costs by Thirty Percent

Subject: Storage | December 13, 2011 - 01:02 PM |
Tagged: ssd, sata 6Gbs, petrol, ocz

SAN JOSE, CA - Dec. 13, 2011 - OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCZ), a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs), today launched the Indilinx Everest-based Petrol SSD Series. The Petrol Series enables further adoption of SSDs in cost-sensitive applications, while taking advantage of real world performance and complete feature set of the Indilinx Everest platform.

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"Until today, SSD adoption has been limited to high performance applications due to the high cost of SSDs in relation to slower rotating discs, and we are proud to once again close the gap in pricing without sacrificing durability," said Ryan Petersen, CEO of OCZ Technology. "The new Petrol Series showcases the flexibility of the Indilinx Everest platform and NDurance™ Technology, allowing OCZ to deliver the benefits of SSDs to a wide new set of applications while retaining the superior real world performance and reduced latency that separate Everest-based SSDs from our competitors."

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The OCZ Petrol Series delivers bandwidth up to 400MB/s and 35,000 IOPS, and is optimized for the complete spectrum of file types and sizes. Additionally, advanced features unique to Indilinx, such as proprietary page mapping algorithms, allow for steady mixed-workload performance, and innovative latency reduction technology enables superior access times as low as 0.06ms. Petrol ensures the most consistent and reliable performance as well as minimized performance degradation even after the drive's storage capacity is highly utilized.

The OCZ Petrol SSD Series will be available in models ranging from 64GB-512GB capacities throughout OCZ's global channel in the coming weeks.

OCZ_Petrol_stats.jpg

High Octane drives from OCZ

Subject: Storage | December 12, 2011 - 02:14 PM |
Tagged: ocz, Octane, Octane 512GB, Indilinx Everest, Indilinx Barefoot, ssd, sata 6Gbs

As has been covered on the front page before, OCZ is making their new Octane lineup of SSDs a little confusing for the enthusiast.  If you are not careful you can end up with the non-SATA 6Gbs S2 model.  The new Octane series does offer an advantage to those using non-compressible data, the Indilinx controller does not do the same compression technique which SandForce uses which will make the performance of this drive consistent regardless of the data being manipulated.  As you might expect Legit Reviews testing does see the top speeds of the new Octane lagging behind SandForce based drives in some cases but the overall performance is neck and neck with Intel as they also do not compress data.  Check out the full review to see a return to Indilinx and a renewal of competition for SandForce controllers.

LR_indilinx-drives.jpg

"It's interesting to see how OCZ is marketing these Octane new Solid State Drives. They are 'Indilinx infused' vesrus 'SandForce driven'. Indilinx drives have nDurance technology while SandForce has DuraClass technology. I can't help but be reminded of the movie Coming To America where Cleo McDowell comments on his feud with McDonald's: "Look... me and the McDonald's people got this little misunderstanding. See, they're McDonald's... I'm McDowell's. They got the Golden Arches, mine is the Golden Arcs. They got the Big Mac, I got the Big Mick. We both got two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions, but their buns have sesame seeds. My buns have no seeds..."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

 

It might look like a toaster but StarTech's StarDock can quickly back up one hard drive in triplicate

Subject: Storage | December 8, 2011 - 11:53 AM |
Tagged: hdd duplicator, usb to eSATA, Startech

Lockbourne, OH - StarTech.com, a leading manufacturer of hard-to-find connectivity parts has announced the release of the (SKU: SATDOCK4U3RE) USB 3.0/eSATA to SATA Standalone 1:3 Hard Drive Duplicator Dock, which enables users to perform 1:3 sector-by-sector duplication from a single SATA hard drive onto three others simultaneously, without having to connect the dock to a host computer. The Duplicator Dock also includes a SATA to IDE adapter, which provides the option of connecting an IDE hard drive in one of the SATA slots.

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"IT professionals are always looking for ways to make their jobs more efficient and this new multi-drive duplicator allows them to accomplish just that," commented StarTech.com Senior Product Manager, Carey Cline. "The ability to perform a sector by sector duplication on up to three drives simultaneously, frees up the user's time to perform other functions while the back-ups are created in the background. The fact it acts as a standalone unit also means it doesn't use up resources on their computer system."

The duplicator dock can also be used as an external 4-bay hard drive dock, connected through either USB 3.0 or eSATA, providing an easy way to add and remove bare external hard drives from a computer system.

Other features and benefits of the Hard Drive Duplicator Dock (SATDOCK4U3RE) include:

  • Up to 72 MBps data transfer rates between drives, when used for hard drive duplication
  • Up to 5Gbps or 3Gbps data transfer rates (connected through USB 3.0 or eSATA, respectively), when utilized as an external drive docking station
  • Secure Erase feature simplifies erasing/wiping drive contents for further cloning use or disposal of a hard drive
  • Dual 60mm cooling fans mounted beneath the drives help to keep docked hard drives at optimal operating temperatures
  • Supports 2.5" or 3.5" form factor hard drives (HDDs) or Solid State Drives (SSDs)
  • Integrated LCD displays duplication progress and duplicator options menu
  • Included SATA to IDE adapter enables users to dock an IDE hard drive in place of a SATA hard drive in one of the four bays, making it possible to copy the contents of an IDE hard drive onto three SATA drives where necessary, when IDE drive is used in source slot

The USB 3.0/eSATA to SATA Standalone 1:3 Hard Drive Duplicator Dock (SKU: SATDOCK4U3RE) is available for purchase from leading technology resellers including CDW, Newegg.com, Amazon.com, PC Connection, and Insight and will also be distributed by Ingram Micro, Tech Data, D&H and SYNNEX. MSRP for this product is $499.99 USD in the United States and $514.99 CDN in Canada.

Source: StarTech

Careful which model of OCZ Octane you pick up

Subject: Storage | December 6, 2011 - 02:47 PM |
Tagged: Octane, ssd, sata 6Gps, ocz, Octane 512GB, Indilinx Everest

If you are looking at OCZ SSDs and are considering the Octane line, please bear in mind that the S2 model which is selling for less than the non-S2 model is a SATA 3Gbp/s drive not a new 6Gb/s capable drive.  The testing done at The Tech Report was on the 6Gbp/s model and they compared this Indilinx Everest powered SSD against a variety of competing SSDs.  The drive comes with a 3 year warranty and comes in 128GB, 256GB, the 512GB model The Tech Report reviewed as well as a 1TB model which will cost a pretty penny.  If you do choose a smaller drive, remember that the reduced channel count will make the drive perform more slowly than the larger models.

TTR_OCZ_Oct.jpg

"OCZ bought SSD controller maker Indilinx earlier this year, and the first product of that acquisition is now out. Join us for a look at the Octane SSD and its new Everest controller."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

 

Third time is the charm? Seagate releases the third generation of their hybrid drive

Subject: Storage | November 29, 2011 - 06:19 PM |
Tagged: hybrid, momentus XT, hdd, ssd, Seagate, sata 6Gbs

Over the past few years Seagate has been trying to perfect a way to get the best of both storage worlds by combining an SSD as a semi-permanent cache for a large platter based hard drive.  The new Seagate Momentus XT is the third generation of this series, a 750GB HDD with a 8GB SLC SSD available to cache frequently used files and are calling it FAST (Flash-Assisted Storage Technology).  Legit Reviews investigated their performance claims, after repeatedly using the drive to fill the cache as this drive will perform exactly like the platter based drive it is until that cache has moved frequently accessed or slow to load files into the flash memory.  It did seem to reduce boot times and program loading to almost SSD levels, though it does not effect infrequently used programs.  It was significantly less expensive than an SSD so if you tend to do similar tasks on your PC every day and need the large storage space this drive might just be for you.

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"Overall, we'd certainly recommend the Momentus XT and frankly wouldn't go back to a plain old hard drive unless we were forced to. The expediency of boot and application load times are something that, once you get used to it, you can't seem to live without. Keep in mind that it may take two or three times for the Adaptive Memory Technology to decide that it should be cached and speed things up. On the down side, every operation is not SSD fast, especially if you're performing it for the first time..."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

 

OCZ Technology Launches Talos 2 Enterprise SAS 6G Solid State Drive

Subject: Storage | November 29, 2011 - 11:52 AM |
Tagged: ocz, talos 2, enterprise, ssd, sata 6Gbs

SAN JOSE, CA – November 29, 2011 - OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCZ), a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems, announces the Talos 2 Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) SSD Series, the follow-up to the high performance, high capacity Talos Series previously available only in a 3.5 inch form factor.

With capacities up to 1TB now available in a compact 2.5-inch form factor, Talos 2 offers increased I/O performance and scalability in enterprise storage environments. Talos 2 leverages OCZ Virtualized Controller Architecture 2.0 technology which implements an intelligent complex command queuing structure with unique queue balancing algorithms to provide exceptional performance. Talos 2 SSDs deliver superior random transactional performance at up to 70,000 4K IOPS and features improved mixed workload (75% read; 25% write) performance with up to 42,000 8K IOPS.

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You can bet these SSDs will not be the least expensive per gigabyte on the market

Unlike many SAS SSDs, the Talos Series is dual-ported to offer superior data integrity and increased performance, along with delivering a robust enterprise feature-set including DataWrite Assurance Protection in case of sudden power loss. Talos 2 also includes the option to enable T10-DIF (Data Integrity Field), allowing for the insertion of 8 bytes of additional data during transfers to ensure complete data integrity.

“The Talos 2 SAS solid state drives expand on the original series by offering enterprise customers superior performance, reliability, and density all in a compact footprint,” said Ryan Petersen, CEO of OCZ technology Group. “The Talos 2 enterprise SSDs are optimized for the most demanding storage systems and provide clients with an easy to deploy solution that vastly improves application performance over traditional SAS based HDDs.”

To address the complete spectrum of applications, Talos 2 SSDs are available in 100GB to 1TB capacities, in MLC, eMLC, and SLC NAND configurations. OCZ is now sampling Talos 2 to strategic customers and the drives will be made available to SMB and enterprise clients through OCZ's global business-to-business channel.

OCZ's new Indilinx powered Octane SSD

Subject: Storage | November 24, 2011 - 05:57 PM |
Tagged: ssd, sata 6Gbs, sata, ocz, Octane, Indilinx, everest

OCZ's new Octane SATA 3 SSDs will be available in sizes up to 1TB, though you can expect to pay a pretty penny for it; not that a 1TB HDD is inexpensive right now.  It uses a pair of new Indilinx controllers and sports 512MB of SYNC DDR3 SDRAM to help those controllers work to peak effectiveness.  It uses OCZ's proprietary NDurance technology to add to the longevity of the drive, a topic near and dear to the SSD enthusiasts heart even if we have yet to see significant failure rates; though certainly the decrease in performance early SSDs showed is both a concern and very much real.  SSD Review had no qualms handing it a Top Value award at the end of their review.

You can also catch Al's review of this same drive at the top of our page.

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"Our review today will be a long awaited look at the OCZ Octane 6Gbps 512GB SSD. Eight months ago, OCZ bought Indilinx with full intention of spreading their wings in the development of their own proprietary controller based on the Indlinx Everest design. OCZ has spoken of higher incompressible data performance, quicker disk access as well as better sustained write performance in a consumer driven SSD that will be immediately available in capacities up to 1TB."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

 

Source: SSD Review

OCZ Octane 512GB SSD Sneak Peek - Indilinx Has Returned

Subject: Storage | November 22, 2011 - 01:00 PM |
Tagged: ssd, ocz, Octane

A few months back, OCZ acquired Indilinx. Ever since, we've been wondering if the next generation Indilinx offering could stand up to the competition, who has made leaps and bounds since the first generation SSD controllers were released.

It appears that wait is over, well mostly at least. While OCZ's new Octane series does not officially launch until tomorrow, we've been authorized to give our readers a sneak peek:

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From our peek inside we were able to derive that OCZ is using IMFT Synchronous flash memory - the same present in OCZ's Vertex line. There's also a lot of it - our sample is the first 512GB 2.5" SSD being tested in our labs.

...and for those curious on performance, I've also been allowed to sneak a bench out to you. If you're only able to speak about an SSD with a single benchmark, ATTO is probably the way to go:

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Pushing 350 MB/sec writes and 540 MB/sec reads, with very good IOPS performance at 4K (roughly 45k write IOPS).

This new offering from Indilinx/OCZ is looking very good so far. More to follow once the OCZ Octane officially launches tomorrow!

Note: It appears OCZ's Octane product page is live. Hit the link below to check it out.

Silicon Power hits the SSD market

Subject: Storage | November 21, 2011 - 01:03 PM |
Tagged: silicon power, Velox Series V30, ssd, Sandforce SF2281, sata 6Gps

Silicon Power have extended their lineup in a logical manner, with their familiarity with flash based storage it makes sense for them to move into SSDs.  They've chosen proven parts, the SandForce SF2281 is a familiar SATA 6Gb/s controller as are the Intel branded flash chips that make up the 60GB of storage.  As you would expect, similar components produce similar results, but since each manufacturer introduces some differences as do the parts inside the benchmarks for each SSD are slightly different but price remains the factor which most heavily impacts choice.  If you are shopping for an SSD you should check Think Computers review of a drive from a brand you may not have previously considered.

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"Silicon Power is not a name you really think about when you think about solid state drives. If you did not know Silicon Power was founded in 2003 and they mainly specialize in memory products. Today we are going to take a look at one of their first SATA 6GB/s drives the Velox Series V30. This drive is powered by the SandForce SF-2281 controller and boast speeds of 550MB/s read and 500MB/s write. Let’s check it out!"

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

 

Seagate says hard drive industry will take a year to recover

Subject: Storage | November 19, 2011 - 04:25 PM |
Tagged: thailand, Seagate, Hard Drive, flooding

Last month we noticed that hard drive prices were spiking very high and we took a quick look at exactly why this was: most notably, the devastating flooding in Thailand.  While at one point you could buy 2TB hard drives for under the $100 mark when on special, those days seem long gone.  Our original story quoted the CEO of Western Digital as saying it could take "multiple quarters" for recovery to occur.

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Pricing graph from Pricegrabber.com for Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB

According to this quote seen on Bloomberg, Seagate's CEO, Stephen Luczo, says it might be much worse:

The projections by some Wall Street analysts that production will be back to pre-flood levels by summer are nonsense, Luczo says.

“This is going to take a lot longer than people are assuming, until the end of 2012 at least,” he says. “And by then, demand will have gone up.”

Well....crap.  Users looking to build new systems or even buy them from third parties will likely see increases in costs because of this.  And while not every need can really be addressed by SSDs (I type while looking for room on a system using one to install Skyrim...), the hard drive price increases could drive quicker adoption of solid state media in the near term. 

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In the interim, if you happen to find a good deal on spindle based hard drives, you might want to gobble them up!  Newegg has 2TB hard drives starting at $199 while Amazon has some starting at $174.

Source: Bloomberg

Podcast #179 - Sandy Bridge-E Review, X79 Motherboards, a new NAS device from Western Digital, Aquarium PCs and more!

Subject: Editorial | November 17, 2011 - 04:17 PM |
Tagged: x79, western digital, storage, sandy bridge-e, podcast, nvidia, NAS, Intel, amd

PC Perspective Podcast #179 - 11/17/2011

Join us this week as we talk about our Sandy Bridge-E Review, X79 Motherboards, a new NAS device from Western Digital, Aquarium PCs and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom, and Allyn Malvantano

Program length: 1:14:31

Program Schedule:

  1. 0:00:24 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. 0:02:00 Intel Sandy Bridge-E Review - Core i7-3960X and X79 Chipset Tested
    1. Sandy Bridge-E Prices Leaked In Company Bulletin
  6. 0:27:45 X79 Motherboard Roundup Video Preview
    1. ASUS
    2. Gigabyte
    3. MSI
  7. 0:28:53 Alienware M17x (R3) Gaming Notebook Review: It Glows!
  8. 0:30:25 Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W Power Supply Review
  9. 0:31:20 NVIDIA Reports Q3 2012 Results
  10. 0:39:15 Western Digital launches Sentinel Series of NAS devices, bringing enterprise features to the small business.
  11. 0:46:20 The mineral oil in this Aquarium will be hard on the fish but not your components
  12. 0:53:45 Antec Announces P280 Enclosure
  13. 0:54:50 Win a Free Copy of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim from PC Perspective
    1. You missed it, but Jared H. didn't!
  14. 0:56:15 Bulldozers at Knights Corner; duelling server chips
  15. 0:59:45 More Free Stuff Friday: XFX Radeon HD 6870 and Deus Ex: Human Revolution
  16. 1:00:12 The Intel 32 in 32 Challenge on Facebook
  17. 1:01:22 Free Stuff Wednesday: Gigabyte G1 Assassin X58 Motherboard Giveaway!!
  18. 1:02:15 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
    1. Ryan: Random.org - finally get an answer to "where should we eat tonight?"
    2. Jeremy: Buckets are teh win but to be more useful Disconnect for Chrome is a nice choice
    3. Josh: Fast 120GB SSD for $140
    4. Allyn: Ironkey - now available in MLC
  19. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  20. http://pcper.com/podcast   
  21. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  22. Closing

Kingston Digital Launches its Fastest USB Flash Drive

Subject: Storage | November 17, 2011 - 12:40 PM |
Tagged: usb 2.0, usb 3.0, kingston, hyperx, flash

Fountain Valley, CA -- November 17, 2011 -- Kingston Digital, Inc., the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, today announced the Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 3.0. The DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 is designed for enthusiasts and gamers, and features the fastest speeds and largest capacities that Kingston has to offer in a USB Flash drive.

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Its high-speed eight-channel architecture provides USB 3.0 data transfer rates of up to 225MB/s read and 135MB/s write. Users can save time associated with opening, editing and copying large files and applications between devices. The fast write speeds also allow users to work on large files or applications directly from the USB 3.0 drive without performance lag.

"Enthusiasts have long known HyperX as the memory of choice for overclockers and power users who need the most performance from system memory," said Andrew Ewing, Flash memory business manager, Kingston. "The new DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 USB Flash drive continues this tradition. With the fastest speeds and largest capacity, this storage device is the perfect solution for users who require high performance and carry a lot of data."

The DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 is available in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB capacities. The 256GB capacity can store approximately 10 Blu-ray Discs (25GB each), 54 DVDs (4.7GB each), 48,640 MP3s (4MB each) or 13,473,684 Microsoft Word files pages with various formatting and basic graphics.

With a durable and sleek design, the Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 is a terrific portable storage solution for gamers, enthusiasts, early adopters and high-end consumers who require the best performance and highest capacities to carry their digital library. Faster speeds and higher capacities enable users to quickly store their digital files and keep it with them at all times, in HyperX style.

DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 features a metal and rubberized casing with a reinforced key ring hole for daily use. It allows users to keep it with them at all times, as it can be easily attached to a key ring or lanyard.

A video of the device can be found here.

DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 is backed by a five-year warranty, 24/7 tech support and legendary Kingston reliability. For more information visit www.kingston.com.

Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 Features and Specifications:

  • Capacities: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
  • Speed:
    • USB 3.0: up to 225MB/s read and 135MB/s write
    • USB 2.0: up to 30 MB/s read/write
  • 8-Channel Architecture Backwards Compatible: with USB 2.0 and USB 1.1 ports
  • Solid/rugged design: durable metal and rubberized casing provides increased protection
  • ReadyBoost Support
  • Dimensions: 2.952" x 0.916" x 0.626" (74.99mm x 23.29mm x 15.9mm)
  • Operating Temperature: 32°F to 140°F (0°C to 60°C)
  • Storage Temperature: -4°F to 185°F (-20°C to 85°C)
  • Simple: just plug into any USB port
  • Practical: durable casing with a solid lanyard loop
  • Warranty: 5 Years

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Western Digital launches Sentinel Series of NAS devices, bringing enterprise features to the small business.

Subject: Storage | November 15, 2011 - 08:08 AM |
Tagged: western digital, wdc, WD, NAS, home, hdd

 Today Western Digital launches their Sentinel line of NAS devices. These Intel Atom powered devices can store up to 12TB when equipped with 3TB drives. The OS of choice is Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials, which supports RAID levels 1 and 5, as well as built in backup routines and the ability to configure the devices dual Gigabit ports with Adaptive Fault Tolerance (redundancy).

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Also available are some interesting yet agressive service options via Western Digital's Guardian Services, which include options for next-day warranty replacement of defective or failed parts, as well as the option to extend the warranty period from three to five years.

Pricing starts at $949.99 for 4TB (3 bay) and $1449.99 for 8TB (4 bay).

Following is the press release, and even more detail and pics should be available from WD themselves once their product link page goes live.

WD® DELIVERS NEW LINE OF NETWORK STORAGE SERVERS FOR SMALL TO MEDIUM BUSINESSES

WD Sentinel™ DX4000 Small Office Storage Server Combines Centralized Storage, Backup-and-Restore Protection for 25 Network Devices and Allows SMBs to Connect, Protect, and Collaborate

IRVINE, Calif. – Nov. 15, 2011 – Western Digital® (NYSE: WDC), the world’s leader in digital storage solutions, is introducing WD Sentinel™ DX4000 (photo), a complete network storage solution designed specifically to meet the demands of today's small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs). WD Sentinel DX4000 includes the Windows® Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials operating system software and the Intel® D525 Dual Core Atom CPU. The WD Sentinel DX4000 is centralized shared storage and automatic server-based backup and restore for up to 25 devices (PC and Mac®) in the network. It offers complete data protection with built-in hardware and software redundancy for all of the connected devices in the network. With capacities including 4 TB and 8 TB, WD Sentinel DX4000 lets small business owners expand small office server storage capacity as their business and storage demands grow. In addition, the WD Sentinel DX4000 small office storage server acts as the “on-premise cloud storage" for the SMB.

“The WD Sentinel small office storage server is the ideal storage, backup, and secure remote access solution for any SMB,” said Thomas Gallivan, vice president of marketing for WD’s SMB Solutions Group.

WD® Introduces New Line of Network Storage Servers for Small to Medium Businesses

“The ability to have centralized storage that is both on-premise and offers secure remote access provides a small business owner and employees the flexibility needed for today’s mobile lifestyle. WD is providing small business owners with a hands-free solution that offers complete data protection and unparalleled peace-of-mind.”

“The requirement for collaboration across multiple devices and locations necessitates the need for a centralized storage solution in today’s SMB environment”, said David Tuhy, General Manager, Intel Data Center and Connected Systems Group. “Intel is working closely with the industry and companies like Western Digital to provide the technology that is at the core of these storage solutions and provide SMBs a platform to manage, organize and secure their data to ensure business continuity.”

“Built on Windows Storage Server, WD Sentinel gives small business customers the storage and file services capabilities of Windows Server, as well as a solution aimed specifically at the SMB segment,” said Thomas Pfenning, general manager, Storage, at Microsoft. “We are pleased to see WD Sentinel serve our mutual customers.”

Whether they’re personal or professional, digital content and important files are invaluable and often irreplaceable if lost or compromised. WD Sentinel small office storage server provides several ways for businesses to protect their information without user intervention. WD Sentinel comes preconfigured with enterprise-class drives, RAID storage protection, built-in server based backup and recovery software, redundant networking ports and a redundant power option. In addition, WD Sentinel offers users the ability to connect to a “public cloud” storage provider, which offers small businesses an economical and integrated disaster recovery solution against earthquake, theft and fire or water damage.

Software included with WD Sentinel provides business owners and their employees the freedom and flexibility to remotely access files and share files with external employees, independent consultants and satellite offices anywhere in the world.

Five Levels of Data Protection

WD Sentinel DX4000 provides five levels of data protection for every device on the small office network and is supported by WD Guardian Services.

WD® Introduces New Line of Network Storage Servers for Small to Medium Businesses

1. The Drives Inside: Pre-configured with WD’s award-winning enterprise-class drives for durability and reliability.

2. RAID: Featuring levels 1 and 5 for data protection and speed.

3. Daily Backup: Automatic backup and recovery software provides daily full system back ups for up to 25 devices on your network. Simply set it and forget it.

4. Redundant Network Connectivity: Dual Gigabit Ethernet configured in Adaptive Fault Tolerance (AFT) automatically switches to second network port in the event of a network failure.

5. Optional Disaster Recovery Protection: Connect to the small business cloud provided by optional disaster recovery software and store your data offsite for disaster recovery.

WD Sentinel is certified to be compatible with a variety of Operating Systems (OS) including Windows XP, Windows Vista®, and Windows 7. In addition, WD Sentinel is compatible with Mac OS X® Leopard® and Snow Leopard® for file sharing among Windows, Mac and Unix/Linux operating systems and allows businesses to share files with clients, consultants, and inter-office personnel regardless of the OS used.

WD Guardian™Services for Small Business

WD Sentinel DX4000 is backed by WD’s world-class customer service and support. All WD Sentinel small business customers will receive free tech support for 30 days from the time of the first call. WD Sentinel customers may wish to upgrade their service plan to one of three options:

1. WD Guardian Express: Offers next-day parts replacement service including shipping and handling costs.

2. WD Guardian Pro: Offers a one year support agreement with WD service, express parts replacement and priority access to technical support.

3. Guardian Extended Care: Service that extends the product warranty from the standard three year warranty to five years.

The OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid, a PCIe SSD with a HDD piggybacking a ride

Subject: Storage | November 10, 2011 - 01:18 PM |
Tagged: revodrive hybrid, PCIe SSD, ocz

If you have $500 and a free PCI-E x4 2.0 slot then OCZ has a rather unique product you could try out.  This new RevoDrive Hybrid is a 100GB PCIe SSD card with a low power 2.5" Toshiba 1TB HDD spinning at 5400RPM.  You could think of it as similar to an Agility 3 120GB, though in this case it is acting as a very large cache for a HDD using OCZ's proprietary Virtualized Controller Architecture 2.0.  Performance-wise this odd looking beast surprised Hardware Canucks, beating the hybrid drive from Seagate as well as the Intel SRT that they tested against, but they caution prospective buyers about some sacrifices that had to be made by OCZ.  These drives are not quite plug and play, they require software to be installed in order to function properly and it turns out that the software is quite CPU intensive.  Read through the article and see if the sacrifices are worth the gains for your system.

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"Searches for affordable high capacity SSDs usually come up blank so several manufacturers have begun releasing hybrid solutions which combine the performance of an SSD with the storage space of the hard drive. OCZ's RevoDrive Hybrid is the latest to take on this challenge by combining a 100GB SSD with a 2.5" 1TB HDD. This isn't exactly a match made in heaven but the benefits are tangible."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

 

Good news storage fans, the motors are revving up again

Subject: General Tech, Storage | November 8, 2011 - 10:54 AM |
Tagged: thailand, nidec, hdd

While Western Digital is still nowhere near the point where they can think about cleaning up their factory and getting started on the road to recovery there is good news for other HDD manufacturers from Thailand.  Nidec, a company which provides about 75% of the global supply of motors for HDDs, also has quite a bit of their manufacturing capacity in Thailand, in the neighbourhood of 62% according to DigiTimes.  Two of their Thailand based plants are back in business and they are redistributing quite a bit of workload to their Philippines manufacturing plants, in the hopes of increasing the supply of these critical motors.

Seagate, Fujitsu and other major HDD manufacturers desperately need these parts in order to help meet the demand from the market before we can even think to see prices begin to return to previous levels.  This is not going to be a quick return since Western Digital and its subsidiaries accounted for about 50% of the HDD market and they have much more work to do in order to repair their factories than Nidec.

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"Nidec currently has 10 production bases in Thailand with eight of them have been damaged by the floods. As water started to recede, Nidec announced its Rangsit plants, which stopped operation on October 13, already resumed production on October 25, while Ayutthaya plants also started operating normally on November 4.

Nidec's two plants in Philippine will also see their monthly capacity rise from 15 million units originally to 25 million units with capacity in China plants also increase from 10 million units to 15 million units. However, the total capacity in the fourth quarter will still drop close to 30% from 140 million units in the third."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: DigiTimes

OCZ Technology Introduces the RevoDrive 3 Max IOPS Edition

Subject: Storage | November 7, 2011 - 02:19 PM |
Tagged: ocz, RevoDrive 3, Max IOPS, X2 Max IOPS, PCIe SSD

SAN JOSE, CA - Nov. 7, 2011 - OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCZ), a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems, today launched the RevoDrive 3 Max IOPS and RevoDrive 3 X2 Max IOPS solid state drives. Designed to deliver maximum throughput in multithreaded applications, the new Max IOPS edition is an extension of the company's industry-leading RevoDrive 3 product line, supporting workstation users that require greater transactional throughput and bandwidth.

The RevoDrive 3 X2 Max IOPS series combines a proven cutting-edge PCI Express architecture and OCZ proprietary Virtualized Controller Architecture™ (VCA) 2.0 flash virtualization layer with premium NAND flash components to deliver exceptional 4KB random write performance of up to 245,000 IOPS, along with increased transfer rates at 1900MB/s reads and 1725MBs/ writes.

"The new RevoDrive 3 Max IOPS solid state drives further expand on our original PCIe series, and are designed to deliver even more bandwidth for the most demanding applications," said Daryl Lang, VP of Product Management, OCZ Technology Group. "Engineered to leverage the benefits of multi-threaded processors and applications, the Max IOPS provides both the performance and features required by clients to address the most intensive workloads common in high performance computing and workstation environments."

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The RevoDrive 3 Max IOPS edition will be available in 120GB to 480GB capacities while the RevoDrive 3 X2 Max IOPS edition will be available in 240GB to 960GB capacities, providing ample space for primary persistent storage, multimedia files, and operating systems with the superior durability, energy efficiency, and reliability of SSDs. The new RevoDrive 3 Max IOPS and RevoDrive 3 X2 Max IOPS will be available throughout OCZ's global distribution channel and come with a three warranty.