Tweak your SSD: Notice the difference, and frown

Subject: General Tech, Storage | June 9, 2011 - 01:32 PM |
Tagged: tweak, ssd

The people who stick an SSD in their PC are typically the type of people who would want to optimize their performance as best as possible. Particularly with the larger investment of the earlier SSDs tweak guides were quite common to squeeze every IO/s and MB/s out of their device. Tom’s Hardware has just posted a list of common tweaks and a series of benchmarks performed on the tweaked system. According to their findings, you may wish to undo your tweaks.

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Don’t do it!

Some tweaks saw the occasional increase in performance though on the whole performance suffered by some extent. Tweaks that were designed to reclaim capacity gave you back quite a bit of space however, though you should expect that if your drive is not storing system restore points, file system indexes, or your swap file that you would have more usable space on your drive. The hit on performance from the performance tweaks typically were not too great with the exception of write caching on Intel drives bringing their write speeds to single digit MB/s. Check out Tom’s Hardware’s full guide for more information.

Corsair recalls entire Force Series 3 SSD line, cites hardware defects.

Subject: Storage | June 7, 2011 - 05:47 PM |
Tagged: ssd, sandforce, corsair

 

Today Corsair announced a full recall of the CSSD-F120GB3-BK line.

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For further details, I yield to the statement from Corsair:

Over the past several days, we have analyzed issues associated with the stability of our recently released 120GB Force Series 3 SSD (Corsair part number CSSD-F120GB3-BK). Our review has identified that a significant percentage of these drive do not operate to specification. The solution will require changes to both the SSD firmware and the hardware components of the SSD itself.
 
We’ve worked closely with our partners to determine a root cause but there is no single issue at fault.  I’m sure you’ll have qu
estions about how this could happen but we can only say that our production test did not catch this combination of issues and we have implemented multiple corrective actions, involving both firmware and hardware, and are confident we have resolved all currently known issues.
 
This is our fault, our production tests didn’t catch the issue before the drives were shipped to the consumer and we take full responsibility for our products, which is why we’re asking for them to be returned and will be picking up return shipping.
 
Consumers should be directed to the following link in our forums for instructions on returning their drives.
 
http://forum.corsair.com/v3/showthread.php?t=95825

For those curious, since the cause is hardware stemming from the reference design of the PCB, it affects only those SandForce drives relying on it. OCZ uses their own design for the Vertex 3 and Agility 3 series SSD's, so those are safe from known hardware issues and remain subject to only the typical firmware bugs addressed by routine updates.

Back to the issue at hand. If you own a model CSSD-F120GB3-BK SSD, back up immediately and hit the link above to have Corsair sort you out.

Can Plextor compete with Drobo?

Subject: Storage | June 6, 2011 - 12:06 PM |
Tagged: plextor, network attached storage, NAS, external drive

There once was a time, when dinosaurs like Compaq ruled the earth, when there was only one choice for the true enthusiast when buying a CD burner.  Plextor was by far the most reliable choice in a time when CDs were more sensitive to external vibrations than a fine souffle. Things have changed a great deal since then and the looks you get when you ask how many sheep your burner has can be quite amusing.   This has left Plextor looking for alternative revenue sources and the area they have chosen is NAS devices.  The new Plextor PX-NAS4 has impressive stats but it is competing against heavy hitters like Drobo.  Think Computer tries out this ~$400 NAS device and contrasts its features and controls with similarly priced competitors offerings in their latest storage review.

 

TC_plextorNAS4.jpg

"Plextor introduced the PX-NAS4 quad-bay network attached storage device late last year to augment its PX-NAS2 dual-bay device and break into a market with larger storage needs. The dual gigabit Ethernet PX-NAS4 can house up to 8 TB of storage in several RAID configurations and sports volume encryption and low power consumption among other standard enterprise and business features. ThinkComputers takes a look, and finds that while the PX-NAS4 provides the basic features, it leaves something to be desired for users with more. Read on for the review."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

OCZ's 240GB Agility 3 SATA 6G drive; can asynchronous flash bring down the price only?

Subject: Storage | June 1, 2011 - 01:38 PM |
Tagged: ssd, ocz, agility 3, asynchronous flash

In case you missed it in the rotation at the top, Al has wrapped up his review of the Agility 3 SSD, which utilizes less expensive asynchronous flash memory to bring the MSRP down and hopefully leaves the performance at the same level.  Slow is a relative term when you describe SSDs, even one ranked at the bottom of the performance charts will give you better performance than a platter based hard drive.  Al does answer the performance question in the review, unfortunately no one can answer the pricing question yet.  If these sell like previous models have, retailers will be able to charge whatever they feel like if the supply cannot keep up.

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"While the switch to asynchronous flash memory makes the Agility 3 cheaper to produce and therefore sell, the performance dynamic can shift in either direction, varying with what you plan to do with the drive. Many users saw the same type of thing back with the Agility 2 / Vertex 2, and some users actually preferred the cheaper drive performance wise. We may see the same thing here once users (and us) get some actual seat-of-the-pants time logged with it."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

RevoDrive 3 and Hybrid Highlight OCZ Showcase at Computex

Subject: Storage, Shows and Expos | June 1, 2011 - 08:37 AM |
Tagged: ssd, revodrive, ocz, hybrid, computex

OCZ is definitely pushing its SSD products to the consumer and it was no different when we stopped by the OCZ suite at Computex 2011.  The most interesting devices came in the form of PCI Express based SSDs including the pending RevoDrive 3 model that upgrades the SSD controllers to SandForce 2200 models and gets some pretty hefty performance boosts because of it.

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The RevoDrive 3 includes a pair of SF-2200 controllers and was rated at 900 MB/s read and 700 MB/s write using the PCIe x4 interface.  The 240GB model is apparently only going to have a $599 price tag and it should be available in a matter of a short few weeks.  The X2 model adds another module to the mix and doubles the controller count to four and improves performance to as high as 1500 MB/s read and 1200 MB/s write.  Obviously these types of devices are only for those that REALLY need to push the envelope in storage performance.

Also, more good news: OCZ has implemented a newer firmware feature on the RevoDrive 3 (and other newer PCIe based models) that will enable support for features like TRIM natively.  This is done by hiding the multiple controllers from the operating system and passing on / delegating the TRIM commands as needed.  Allyn will have more on this when we get a sample later this month.  

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Another new PCIe-based SSD was the new Z-Drive R4 that fits more into the enterprise market with insanely high IOPS and performance. 

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OCZ actually showed a server running a pair of the R4 88 models that were able to achieve a 1 million IOPS rating on random 4K. 

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Another option for consumers was the new RevoDrive Hybrid that is exactly what it sounds like it is - a combination of a PCI Express SSD and a standard 2.5-in spindle based drive on a single unit.  This will bring the performance benefits of not only an SSD but a PCIE SSD to consumers that want to have the appearance of a single large hard drive inside their system.  It will use SandForce SF-2200 controllers and is rated at 575 MB/s read and 500 MB/s writes with several models planned for production.  The SSD portion that acts as the cache will be available in either 60GB of 120GB capacities while the HDD will start at 500GB and go up from there.  Pricing will apparently start at $400 for the 60GB/500GB version and will definitely be appealing for enthusiasts.  Now everyone can get the advantages of hybrid storage without being locked into the Z68 chipset or even an Intel platform at all. 

This implementation does not use any kind of Intel technology at all and instead is based on a firmware option from NVELO called Dataplex.  Based on the marketing numbers we saw the implementation that OCZ has created with the PCIe-based SSD will outperform Intel's SATA-based SRT technology by a noticeable margin, at least in benchmarks.  We can't wait to get our hands on one to see for ourselves. 

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Finally, OCZ is going to throw their hat into the ring with the mSATA offering called the Devena 2 that runs on a SandForce SF-2181/2141 controller.  Expect to see this marketed as an option even for Intel SRT.  It looks like the rest of 2011 will be very busy for Allyn and our storage test bed.

Computex 2011 Coverage brought to you by MSI Computer and Antec

Source: OCZ

OCZ Achieves Performance Record Live At Computex, Over 1 Million 4K Write IOPS & 1.5 Million Read IOPS

Subject: General Tech, Storage, Shows and Expos | May 31, 2011 - 01:55 PM |
Tagged: z-drive, PCIe SSD, ocz

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TAIPEI, Taiwan - May 31, 2011 - OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCZ), a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems, announces the Company has set a new benchmark of 1 million 4K write IOPS with a Z-Drive R4 equipped 3U Colfax International Server based on a Supermicro platform, which features 7.2TB of MLC storage.

As the fastest performing single server solution on the market, this Z-Drive R4 equipped platform significantly accelerates demanding transactional workloads and reduces latency across a broad array of enterprise applications.

"The Z-Drive R4 enables our data center clients to maximize performance in the industry standard 4K file size, and this achievement with Colfax International demonstrates the raw performance benefits and latency reductions that OCZ PCIe SSDs can deliver over multi-terabyte device densities in a single 3U server," said Ryan Petersen, CEO of OCZ Technology Group. "We are proud to enable our clients to deliver servers and storage arrays which provide the highest performance, maximum capacity, and lowest latency available to data centers today."

"We have been working closely with OCZ to create a ready to deploy server solution with both exceptional performance and reliability, all within a compact and energy efficient footprint," said Gautam Shah, President and CEO of Colfax International. "OCZ's Z-Drive PCIe SSDs add considerable performance and we are thrilled to achieve this significant 4K Write IOPS benchmark, as well as making this industry leading total solution available to our enterprise clients."

This demonstration highlighted the Z-Drive R4's ability to offer industry-leading performance and efficiency for enterprise clients seeking the benefits of SSDs over hard drives. This total solution will be available for pre-order from Colfax International in multiple built-to-order configurations, and will ship in the coming weeks following the Computex event.

Computex 2011 Coverage brought to you by MSI Computer and Antec

Source: OCZ

Yet another Sandforce drive, the PQI S535 256GB SSD

Subject: Storage | May 27, 2011 - 01:00 PM |
Tagged: ssd, sandforce, PQI, SF-1200

While Legit Reviews might be mixing their metaphors when they refer to Sandforce SSDs as a 'dime' a dozen, they are certainly right that there are a lot of companies implementing that particular controller.  This time it is PQI, long time sellers of flash memory based products, and their PQI S535 256 GB drive.  One thing that makes this company different is that the speeds advertised on the box were slower than what Legit Reviews saw in their benchmarks.  See just how much faster in the full review.

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"At this point there isn't a lot new we can say about the PQI S535 256 GB drive as SF-1200 based SSDs are a dime a dozen right now. Ok, that may draw ire from those that are still waiting on buying an SSD because of the cost but we've done no less than ten reviews now on such drives. PQI is a little conservative in their specifications of 250 MB/s reads and writes as we saw well above that for each in the ATTO benchmark..."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Patriot goes their own way with the Torqx 2 128GB SSD

Subject: Storage | May 23, 2011 - 05:24 PM |
Tagged: patriot, torqx, ssd, phison, PS3105-S5

Instead of using everyone's favourite Sandforce controller, Patriot opted for the Phison PS3105-S5 controller to provide the speed to their new Torqx 2 lineup.  The controller differs from Sandforce in two ways, one good and one bad.  On the bad side even the claimed read and write speeds are slower, at 210 and 150MB/s but on the plus side the drives will be noticably less expensive than the competitions.  Legion Hardware put this 128GB SSD to the test and weren't disappointed, though their expectations were fairly low going into the review.

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"There was never the expectation that the Patriot Torqx 2 128GB might blow our socks off, with claimed read/write performance of just 270–230MB/s that was just not going to happen. At best we were hoping for a mid-range product and at $225 US for the 128GB version this is how the Torqx 2 is priced."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Samsung Develops 64Gb MLC NAND Flash at 20nm, Promises Lots of Storage With High Bandwidth

Subject: Storage | May 21, 2011 - 05:00 AM |
Tagged: ssd, nand, mlc

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Samsung recently began production on new 20nm MLC NAND flash memory chips with densities of 64Gb (Gigabit) and a toggle DDR 2.0 interface. The chips are not only twice as dense as their previous NAND chips, but Samsung also claims that they are capable of 400Mbps of bandwidth.

This 400Mbps bandwidth is thanks to a new toggle DDR 2.0 interface, which purports to bring a three times performance increase over the 133Mbps of bandwidth provided by the older toggle DDR1 interface with 32Gb NAND chips. Samsung further states that the new 64Gb MLC NAND chip offers close to a 50% increase in productivity versus 20nm 32Gb MLC NAND with a toggle DDR 1.o interface that Samsung began producing in April 2010.

The press release also states that:

"According to IHS iSuppli, the worldwide NAND flash memory market will continue to steadily grow from approximately 11 billion 1 Gigabyte (GB) equivalent unitsin 2010 to 94 billion 1GB equivalent units in 2015 with a CAGR of 54 percent. In addition, shipments of NAND flash memory with 64Gb or higher density are expected to account for approximately 70 percent of total NAND flash memory shipments in 2012, a huge increase from the three percent level in 2010."

The NAND flash market is certainly seeing rapid growth and technological progression, with the proliferation of SSDs from Intel, OCZ, Crucial, and others. As densities of flash memory get higher and manufacturing nodes get smaller, cheaper and more spacious storage will make it's way to both future mobile devices and solid state drives, which is good news for both consumers and Samsung.

Source: Samsung

Western Digital Launches 2.5 TB and 3 TB 3.5" Hard Drives For AV Systems

Subject: Storage | May 21, 2011 - 03:10 AM |
Tagged: WD, TB, Hard Drive

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Western Digital recently launched two new hard drives for it's AV-GP series. The AV-GP series are WD Green Power hard drives with special firmware optimized for heavy audio/visual applications such as video streaming, surveillance systems, and HD video recorders.  The two new additions to the series come in 2.5 TB and 3 TB respectively.  Both drives are 3.5" form factor, contain 64MB of on-board cache, and utilize the SATA II 3Gb/s interface.  Designed for use in high temperature environments, the drives have a claimed 1 million hour MTBF (mean time before failure) rate and are covered by a three year warranty.  Further, the 2.5 TB and 3 TB drives use the advanced format (4K sector) partitioning, which means that these drives are not well suited as boot drives, especially in the case of many older computers.  The 2.5TB WD25EURS hard drive is available for $159.99 USD while the 3TB WD30EURS variant will cost $179.99 USD.

Intel Extends 320 SSD Series' Warranty To 5 Years

Subject: Storage | May 20, 2011 - 07:00 PM |
Tagged: ssd, Intel, 320

Intel is so confident in their new Intel 320 series solid state drives that they are extending the warranty from three to five years. The 320 series use 25 nm NAND flash memory, and have a claimed MTBF (mean time before failure) of 1.2 million hours.

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According to the new warranty, Intel states that: "if the Product is properly used and installed, it will be free from defects in material and workmanship, and will substantially conform to Intel’s publicly available specifications for a period of five (5) years beginning on the date the Product was purchased." Naturally, it does not cover physical or other accidental damage. As SSDs are still relatively new technology, it is hard to gauge reliability in consumer systems over the long term, so it is nice to see that Intel is confident enough in it's 25nm flash technology to extend the warranty. Hopefully, this will influence other manufacturers to adopt longer warranties. You can read the full warranty details here.

Source: Intel

HP discusses "Memristors", doesn't discuss better name

Subject: General Tech, Storage | May 17, 2011 - 12:39 PM |
Tagged: memristor, hp

Not satisfied with resistors, capacitors, and inductors: scientists at HP are working on a new electrical element known as the memristor. A memristor functions as a resistor with the ability to change in resistance variable to the current placed on the element. What makes a memristor desirable for a company like HP is that the alterable resistence of the element can be used to store and more recently process data.

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Comes preloaded with Phantom of the Opera Browser.
Photo credits: R. Stanley Williams, HP Senior Fellow and Director of Information & Quantum Systems Lab; Michael J. Miller, PCMag
 
Memristors are noteworthy due to some intriguingly advantageous properties:
  • Switchable between on and off in a nanosecond
  • Capability to store up to 4 bits per ‘device’
  • Can process data on the device itself
  • Quite easy to manufacture for current chip factories 
Also noted is the statement that the multi-level nature of the memristor functions similar to how a human synapse functions. There are no shortages of technologies that claim to emulate human thought so my strong instinct is that this technology brings us no closer than any other technology. Regardless of whether this technology furthers AI development or whether it is hype; if the prospect of ridiculous speed and highly dense non-volatile storage pans true I have just two words: do want.
Source: PCMag

Thecus To Unveil 3 New Sandy Bridge Powered NAS At Computex 2011

Subject: Storage, Shows and Expos | May 16, 2011 - 04:34 PM |
Tagged: Thecus, SAN, NAS, computex

Thecus, a leading provider of Intel based NAS (Network Attached Storage) products, has announced that they will be unveiling a new XXX line powered by Intel Sandy Bridge processors and offering 10G Base T Connections at 2011's Computex in Taipei.  The XXX line covers everything from 2 bay Atom powered NAS for consumer useage all the way to the new 16 bay Sandy Bridge powered NAS for enterprise use.  The "XXX" stands for "Xtreme Power, Xtreme Function, and Xtreme Value," and it is their line of the best performance for the price NAS devices.

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They will be unveiling an eight bay, twelve bay, and sixteen bay NAS which they have dubbed the N8900, N12000PRO, and N16000PRO respectively. The eight bay NAS will be powered by a dual core Intel i3 2120 at 3.3GHz while the twelve and sixteen bay NAS devices will be powered by a quad core Intel Xeon E3-1280 at 3.5GHz. Considering that these chips are sought after for enthusiast and workstation computers much less NAS boxes, they will be able to eliminate CPU bottle-necking and provide ample horsepower to feed all of the NAS devices' internal drives. Thecus confidently states that "these models are guaranteed to dominate the market with excellent results for consumers jues like their predecessors."

Thecus further states that their new NAS devices offer 100% availability with 10 G Base T HA and iSCSI SAN (Storage Area Network) "with absolutely no breaks or delays in service in rain, shine, or Armageddon." Their NAS boxes "finally give businesses a true alternative to messy, bulk, budget-busting servers."

Whether their claims will hold up to testing or not, Thecus certainly seems confident in their product and are not afraid to follow the adage of "go big or go home" as they partner with Intel to power their NAS boxes with the latest and greatest in CPU technology.

Source: Thecus

Testing out the Intel Z68's "best of both worlds" mode with a 20GB SSD

Subject: Motherboards, Storage | May 13, 2011 - 03:26 PM |
Tagged: z68, ssd, larson creek, intel 311, smart response technology

One of the more interesting things about the Z68 is Intel's SRT which allows you to utilize a small SSD as a cache for your HDD, allowing you the speed benefits of an SSD in most applications without having to spend the money to buy an SSD large enough to hold all your favourite programs. Legit Reviews tests a 20GB Intel 311 SSD paired with a 600GB WD Velociraptor in both modes, enhanced and maximized to see which offers the greatest benefits. Check out their findings.

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"The Intel SSD 311 Series 20GB 'Larson Creek' drive proved itself to be a great cache drive. If you have an Intel Z68 platform that can run Intel Smart Response Technology, it's worth looking into if you have a hard drive for the primary drive and don't want to splurge on an SSD and having to re-install your OS!"

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

OCZ Unviels New Talos SAS 6Gbps SSDs

Subject: General Tech, Storage | May 12, 2011 - 04:59 PM |
Tagged: ssd, SAS, ocz, enterprise

 

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OCZ Technology, a leading provider of Solid State Drives, today announced a new line of enterprise drives. The new Serial Attached SCSI SSDs differ from other enterprise offerings by using multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory instead of the faster single-level cell chips. Further, OCZ has included it's proprietary VCA (Virtualized Controller Architecture) technology, which provides enterprise customers with TRIM, SMART monitoring, native command queuing (NCQ), tagged command queuing (TCQ), power fail management, and wear-leveling.

Promising up to 64,000 4K IOPS and optimized specifically for enterprise level storage applications, the MLC based Talos drives deliver "advanced application performance, all the necessary enterprise features, and substantial power savings, at a better total cost of ownership." Further, the new Talos drives represent the highest capacity SAS 6Gbps drives available today.

The new drives will be available in both 3.5" and 2.5" form factors, and range from 200 GB to 960GB. They will soon be available to small-to-medium business (SMB) as well as enterprise customers through OCZ's business-to-business channel.

Alenka: The SQL, starring CUDA!

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Storage | May 11, 2011 - 07:58 PM |
Tagged: SQL, developer, CUDA

Programmers are beginning to understand and be ever more comfortable with the uses of GPUs in their applications. Late last week we explored the KGPU project. KGPU is designed to allow the Linux kernel to offload massively parallel processes to the GPU to offload the CPU as well as directly increase performance. KGPU showed that in terms of an encrypted file system you can see whole multiple increases in read and write bandwidth on an SSD. Perhaps this little GPU thing can be useful for more? Alenka Project thinks so: they are currently working on a CUDA-based SQL-like language for data processing.

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CUDA woulda shoulda... and did.

SQL databases are some of the most common methods to store and manipulate larger sets of data. If you have a blog it almost definitely is storing its information in a SQL database. If you play an MMO your data is almost definitely stored and accessed on a SQL server. As your data size expands and your number of concurrent accesses increases you can see why using a GPU could keep your application running much smoother.

Alenka in its current release supports large data sets exceeding both GPU and system RAM via streaming chunks, processing, and moving on. Its supported primitive types are doubles, longs, and varchars. It is open source under the Apache license V2.0. Developers interested in using or assisting with the project can check out their Sourceforge. We should continue to see more and more GPU-based applications appear in the near future as problems such as these are finally lifted from the CPU and given to someone more suitable to bear.

OCZ Technology Announces the Agility 3 and Solid 3 SATA III Solid State Drives

Subject: Storage | May 10, 2011 - 11:28 AM |
Tagged: ssd, solid, sata, ocz, agility, 6gbps, 3

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SAN JOSE, CA—May 10, 2011—OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCZ), a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems, today unveiled the Agility 3 and Solid 3 SATA III SSD product lines. The Agility 3 and Solid 3 are designed to cater to speed-seeking enthusiasts in search of the best value for performance. Using the latest technology, these new series deliver nearly double the performance of the previous generation and offer a more cost-effective alternative to current SATA 6Gbps SSDs on the market.

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“With increased availability of SATA III platforms, the demand for the latest generation SSDs has grown rapidly,” said Ryan Petersen, CEO of OCZ technology Group. “We are addressing this demand with new products that offer both the best performance and value for consumers. The new Agility 3 and Solid 3 SSDs make it easier than ever for consumers take advantage of the new SATA III interface. When coupled with the speed and reliability benefits that our SSDs offer over traditional hard drives, it makes the two new series the ideal choices for mobile and desktop applications.”

Agility 3 and Solid 3 SSDs feature the leading-edge SandForce® SF-2200 SSD processor and help improve the overall computing experience compared to traditional mechanical hard drives and SATA II SSDs. The Agility 3 delivers up to 525MB/s reads, 500MB/s writes, and up to 60,000 4KB random write IOPS while the value-oriented Solid 3 features 500MB/s reads, 450MB/s writes, and 20,000 4KB random write IOPS.

Available in a new boot-drive size 60GB capacity as well as 120GB and 240GB options, Agility 3 and Solid 3 SSDs feature TRIM support to optimize performance over the drive’s lifespan. Both solutions come backed by a 3-year warranty for ultimate customer satisfaction and peace of mind.

Source: OCZ

The 8GB Atari 810 Drive, now with flash memory support

Subject: General Tech, Storage | May 5, 2011 - 06:05 PM |
Tagged: mod, microSD, atari 810

It is common knowledge that technology gets smaller as time advances. There is, however, a point where a certain level of advancement trots along the border to absurdity and makes you think about exactly what is possible with modern technology and occasionally an innovative spirit. Leave it to the hackers to consistently push that boundary and entertain the rest of us less talented individuals.

Recently a blogger by the name of Rossum detailed on their Posterous blog their project of creating a microSD reader as a model replacement of an Atari 810 disk drive.
 
atari810sd.png
Image from Rossum
 
The original Atari 810 disk had the storage of 88K which is about 90,000 times smaller than the 8GB microSD card used in the miniaturized model 810 drive. Rossum claims to provide all the models, schematics, and code for the project in the near future for anyone wishing to dust off their soldering irons and create their own.

Very colourful and extremely fast; meet OWC's Mercury Extreme Pro 6G

Subject: Storage | May 5, 2011 - 04:29 PM |
Tagged: owc, ocz, ssd, 120gb, sata 6Gps, sandforce

OWC appeared on the SSD scene in partnership with Apple, though they sold drives to PC users as well.  Their current generation uses SandForce's Release Candidate firmware for the SF-2281 controller as opposed to OCZ's official firmware that is present in the Vertex 3 SSDs.  That is not the only difference, OCZ rolled their own PCB while OWC went with a design that caused a few raised eyebrows at AnandTech.  Read their full review to see how the performance evened out.

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"I still don't get how OWC managed to beat OCZ to market last year with the Mercury Extreme SSD. The Vertex LE was supposed to be the first SF-1500 based SSD on the market, but as I mentioned in our review of OWC's offering - readers had drives in hand days before the Vertex LE even started shipping.

I don't believe the same was true this time around. The Vertex 3 was the first SF-2200 based SSD available for purchase online, but OWC was still a close second. Despite multiple SandForce partners announcing drives based on the controller, only OCZ and OWC are shipping SSDs with SandForce's SF-2200 inside."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Audio Corner

Source: AnandTech

Seagate Shows Off 1TB Per Platter Hard Drives

Subject: General Tech, Storage | May 5, 2011 - 08:28 AM |
Tagged: Hard Drive, Areal Density, 1TB Platter

 In an amazing feat of data density, Seagate has once again made a leap to the next level of storage technology unveiling 1 Terabyte per platter drives. WIth an areal density of 625 Gigabytes per square inch, Seagate claims the new drives are capable of storing “virtually countless hours of digital music,” and “1,500 video games.”

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The move to 1TB per platter drives is an especially important step for high capacity drives. Current 1TB+ drives are using two 500 GB platters, while current 3TB drives are using either four 750 GB platters in the form of the WD Caviar Green 3 TB that PC Perspective has reviewed here, or the five 600 GB platters. With Seagate’s new technology, they will be able to cut the number of platters in their highest capacity 3 TB drives almost in half. By moving from five platters to three, their drives will run cooler, faster, and with less power draw. Improved areal density also reduces the number of moving parts, and thus decreases the points of failure, even with the inclusion of newer and more sensitive read heads.

The place in the market where this new technology will make the most noticeable difference is in the mobile segment. With just a single platter, mobile users will have close to 1.5 terabytes of internal storage in a two platter drive, or 750 GB in a one platter drive while using less power and being capable of faster reads. This means that road warriors will be able to keep more of their files with them without reducing battery life compared to the current crop of mobile hard drives.

Unfortunately, mobile users will have to wait, as Seagate has only announced 3.5” desktop and external drives. These drives will be branded under both the Seagate Barracuda XT and GoFlex lines respectively.

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For desktop users, they can currently expect capacities ranging from 1TB to 3TB drives. In a RAID array, these new lower power and potentially faster drives would make for a great addition to an HD video editing rig. Call me crazy, but I’m going to hold onto my old school 320 GB Seagate drives until I can jump straight to 4 TB. So, where’s my 4 platter, 4TB drive Seagate?

Are you excited about this new platter technology? What would you do with 3 terabytes of storage?

Source: Seagate