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.
 
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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

What is AIDA64 Extreme Edition? Only the new improved replacement for the Everest benchmarking tool

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Systems, Storage | May 4, 2011 - 06:43 PM |
Tagged: ssd, everest, benchmarking, benchmark, aida64, aida

BUDAPEST, Hungary - May 04, 2011 - FinalWire Ltd. today announced the immediate availability of AIDA64 Extreme Edition 1.70 software, a streamlined diagnostic and benchmarking tool for home users; and the immediate availability of AIDA64 Business Edition 1.70 software, an essential network management solution for small and medium scale enterprises.

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The new AIDA64 release further strengthens its solid-state drive health and temperature monitoring capabilities, and implements support for the latest graphics processors from both AMD and nVIDIA.

New features & improvements

  • LGA1155 B3 stepping motherboards support
  • Preliminary support for AMD “Bulldozer” and “Llano” processors
  • Intel 320, Intel 510, OCZ Vertex 3, Samsung PM810 SSD support
  • GPU details for AMD Radeon HD 6770M, Radeon HD 6790
  • GPU details for nVIDIA GeForce GT 520, GT 520M, GT 550M, GT 555M, GTX 550 Ti, GTX 590

Pricing and Availability
AIDA64 Extreme Edition and AIDA64 Business Edition are available now at www.aida64.com/online-store. Additional information on product features, system requirements, and language versions is available at www.aida64.com/products. Join our Discussion Forum at forums.aida64.com.

AIDA64 license renewal is now available. For more information, visit www.aida64.com/aida64-renewal.
A migration program is available for all EVEREST customers at www.aida64.com/everest-upgrade.

Source: AIDA

More on the Z68's love affair with SSDs

Subject: Motherboards, Storage | April 28, 2011 - 06:49 PM |
Tagged: z68, ssd, ssd caching, Intel

Since it would be cruel to leave you only with the leaked SSD family from Intel and a few hints from ASRock about the performance increase from even a 20GB SSD, here is some more information from VR-Zone.  Bear in mind we are still in the territory of leaked info and informed guessing but the topic is one worth keeping up with.

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"Intel plans to officially launch Z68 Express chipset on May 18th but you will be able to see reviews online from 12th onwards. Of course, those who can't wait for the official launch can already purchase the Gigabyte Z68X-UD7-B3 board from the retail market, first available in Taiwan and then the rest of the world in the coming weeks. Other brands like ASUS and ASRock are set to hit the retail next. Those enthusiasts hoping they can overclock their Sandy Bridge better on Z68 than the P67 will probably be disappointed but there is one important feature of Z68 that matters, and that is the SSD caching."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Source: VR-Zone

OCZ Technology Announces VeloDrive PCI-Express Solid State Drive

Subject: Storage | April 28, 2011 - 06:35 PM |
Tagged: ssd, PCIe SSD, enterprise

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SAN JOSE, CA—April 27, 2011—OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCZ), a leading designer, manufacturer and distributor of high-performance solid state drives (SSDs), today unveiled the VeloDrive PCI-Express SSD. Designed to meet the needs of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), enterprise clients and system integrators, the VeloDrive optimizes high-performance computing and storage applications, providing unparalleled versatility and simplified integration.

“The VeloDrive is the latest addition to our comprehensive lineup of PCIe SSDs. A truly configurable solution, it helps a range of customers accelerate their application performance,” said Daryl Lang, VP of Product Management, OCZ Technology Group. “The ability to run the VeloDrive in multiple modes provides clients with the freedom to use the raid stack of their choice. This maximizes performance and creates faster, more seamless deployments with RAID stacks that may already have been qualified for their unique usage model.”

The VeloDrive can be run in either hardware or software RAID mode and can be deployed in half-height or full-height system requirements. When compared with competing PCIe flash-based solutions, the highly-efficient VeloDrive has a minimal impact on system resources including CPU utilization and the system’s DRAM footprint.

Eliminating the SATA/SAS bottleneck, the PCIe-based VeloDrive has the ability to delivers transfer speeds of up to 1GB/s and 130,000 4KB random write IOPS, and features SandForce® SF-1565 SSD processors for enhanced reliability and power loss data protection. The VeloDrive utilizes MLC NAND flash and will be available in 300GB, 600GB, and 1.2TB configurations.

Source: OCZ

Next gen SSD controllers pushing for TLC flash

Subject: Storage | April 27, 2011 - 10:06 PM |
Tagged: tlc, ssd, slc, ocz, mlc, flash

A while back, Intel and Micron jointly announced the beginnings of 20nm flash memory production, promising a 50% increase in die count per wafer (or a 50% reduction in per die production cost, depending on how you slice it). This shrink only did just that - shrink the die. Capacity remained at 64Gbit (8GB).

A few days ago IMFT also announced another way to shrink that die, but this time keeping with the now 'old' 25nm process. It turns out they have refined 25nm to the point where consumer-grade TLC flash can be produced. TLC is Triple-Level-Cell. While SLC (Single) holds 1 bit per cell, and MLC (Multi) holds two, TLC holds 3 bits per cell. Compared to the MLC 25nm dies, this gives a capacity increase without changing much else. IMFT, however, is happy with the 8GB 'sweet spot', so instead of jumping to a 12GB die of the same physical size, they are opting to instead shrink the current 25nm die to 131mm^2.

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25nm TLC die, same 8GB capacity, but less area than the 25nm MLC die.

This gives Intel and Micron two options for ultimately reducing the price of flash - either by shrinking the process and getting more 8GB MLC dies out of a 20nm wafer, or by squeezing more bits into each cell of existing 25nm flash.

This is good stuff. Let's hope it gets even more SSD's into even more machines this holiday season.

PCPer v4.0 Giveaway: Another OCZ Technology Vertex 2 120GB SSD!

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Storage | April 27, 2011 - 02:48 PM |
Tagged: contest, giveaway, ocz, ssd, vertex

As you can no doubt tell, PC Perspective got a HUGE and much needed facelift recently to what we are internally calling "PC Perspective v4.0".  I know there are still some kinks to work out and we are actively addressing any feedback from our readers in this comment thread.  

But we want to celebrate the launch of the new site in style!!  Some of our site sponsors have very generously offered up some prizes for us to give out throughout the coming days...

The seventh (!!) prize is another 120GB OCZ Technology Vertex 2 SSD!!

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What do you have to do to win this wonderful piece of hardware?

Couldn't be easier: post a comment in this post thanking OCZ for its sponsorship of PC Perspective and maybe include a thought or two on the new site design (compliments, constructive criticism, hate filled monologues, whatever).  You should probably have a registered account or at least be sure you include your email address in the appropriate field so we can contact you!

Source: OCZ

OCZ Technology Announces Vertex 3 Max IOPS Solid State Drives

Subject: Storage | April 26, 2011 - 01:36 PM |
Tagged: ocz, vertex 3, sata 6Gps, Max IOPS

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SAN JOSE, CA—April 26, 2011—OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCZ), a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems, today unveiled a new addition to the highly-awarded Vertex 3 SATA III Series. The Vertex 3 Max IOPS edition drives extend the company’s industry-leading Vertex 3 SSD product line to support users that require greater transactional throughput.

“Following the successful launch of our Vertex 3 SATA III 6Gbps solid state drives we are pleased to introduce the new Max IOPS edition,” said Ryan Petersen, CEO of OCZ Technology Group. “Vertex 3 Max IOPS drives increase random write performance, and are the ideal storage solution for applications that require high aggregate workloads and increased IO throughput.”

The Vertex 3 Max IOPS edition combines the cutting-edge SandForce® SF-2200 SSD processor with premium NAND flash components to deliver exceptional 4KB random write performance with up to 75,000 IOPS. Furthermore, these drives can significantly improve multimedia entertainment and management, and the overall computing experience compared to both traditional mechanical hard drives and competing SSDs.

Vertex 3 Max IOPS will be available in capacities of 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB, and features TRIM support to optimize performance over the drive's lifespan. All Vertex 3 Series drives come backed with a 3 year warranty to ensure customer satisfaction.

Source: OCZ

PCPer v4.0 Giveaway: Thermaltake Max 5G USB 3.0 Hard Drive Enclosure

Subject: General Tech, Storage | April 22, 2011 - 03:24 PM |
Tagged: thermaltake, hdd, giveaway, contest

As you can no doubt tell, PC Perspective got a HUGE and much needed facelift last weekend to what we are internally calling "PC Perspective v4.0".  I know there are still some kinks to work out and we are actively addressing any feedback from our readers in this comment thread.  

But we want to celebrate the launch of the new site in style!!  Some of our site sponsors have very generously offered up some prizes for us to give out throughout the coming days...

The fifth set of prizes is a pair of Thermaltake Max 5G USB 3.0 external hard drive enclosures!

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It has lights, it has fans AND it runs at USB 3.0 speeds.  What do you have to do to win this wonderful piece of hardware?

Couldn't be easier: post a comment in this post thanking Thermaltake for its sponsorship of PC Perspective as well as your plans for using such a cool USB 3.0 external drive dock.  What other features would you like to see on external enclosures like this? 

You should probably have a registered account or at least be sure you include your email address in the appropriate field so we can contact you!

We will pick the winners tomorrow and move on to the next hardware that finds its way to PC Perspective offices.  Good luck and thanks for reading!!

Source: Thermaltake

Speedy and secure; the best of the encrypted thumb drives

Subject: Storage | April 21, 2011 - 05:56 PM |
Tagged: secure, encryption, usb, thumb drive

If you haven't heard of the FIPS 140 Publication Series it is the Federal Information Processing Standard which accredits encrypted flash drives to one of four levels, with 1 being relatively secure and 4 representing encryption that is almost able to defend its self from penetration.  Adding that level of security can slow things down, which is why Legit Reviews bought a few drives off of NewEgg to test.

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"On paper it looks like the IronKey solutions should be faster, but you can't believe everything a company tells you when they are marketing a product they are trying to sell you. Since security is such a big deal to corporations these days we decided to order in these Flash drives and do some testing of our own. We've heard rumors and have experienced ourselves that review sites often get 'cherry picked' samples, so we ordered in as many drives as our $1000 self-prescribed budget would allow. You can look at our receipts from Amazon.com, TigerDirect.com and PConnection if you'd like..."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

SSD and HDD transfer speeds over a 1Gbit/s LAN

Subject: Storage | April 14, 2011 - 06:36 PM |
Tagged:

Armed with a LAN that can theoretically handle 1Gb per second, Techgage set out to see what effect storage drive technology would have on the speed at which files are transferred.  They paired Corsair's F160 SSD and Seagate's Barracuda 7200.11 1TB to see how an SSD to SSD transfer varies from an SSD to HDD or HDD to HDD.  Read on to find out the fastest way to transfer an 11GB folder and a 22.2GB file over your network.

Source: TECHGAGE

Intel, Micron jointly release 20nm flash memory

Subject: Storage | April 14, 2011 - 11:30 AM |
Tagged:

Just over a year ago, PC Perspective witnessed IMFT production of 25nm flash memory. Today Intel and Micron have announced that IMFT will be cranking out 20nm flash!

The Indilinx powered OCZ Enyo 64GB USB 3.0 drive

Subject: Storage | April 11, 2011 - 02:19 PM |
Tagged:

With the rise of flash memory and more importantly the improvements made to the controllers to make SSDs as spectacular as they are we are seeing a new breed of removable drives hit the market.  They do not have an integral plug as a typical thumb drive sports, nor are they in the familiar rectangular shape, but they do share the hardiness of that type of drive.  Instead you must suffer the need to carry around a USB 3.0 cable and a drive that is slightly smaller than your average smartphone but gain not only increased storage space but also significantly increased transfer speeds.  TechARP's testing showed the Enyo hitting 130.60 MB/s read and 99.59 MB/s write during one IO Meter test, not too shabby for an external drive.

"The OCZ Enyo is a unique device that blurs the definition of portable drives as we know them. It is a solid state drive that looks like a portable hard disk drive but works more like a USB flash drive. As such, we will be comparing it not only to portable hard disk drives but also USB flash drives. Let’s take a look."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

  Storage

Source: Tech ARP

Fastest Spindle in its class, the 3TB Seagate Barracuda

Subject: Storage | April 5, 2011 - 05:50 PM |
Tagged:

If you have a new motherboard with UFEI BIOS so it can boot off of a 3TB drive, you might have already sprung for an SSD and you don't have to worry about booting off of your storage drive.  Others will not have purchased the new SSD will want to boot from this drive as Bjorn3D has called it the fastest mechanical drive they've seen.  Sure it can't compete with SSDs for speed, but SSDs aren't available at $0.08/GB!

"The Seagate Barracuda XT 3TB is the fastest mechanical drive that we have tested. The drive has excellent sequential read and write up to 150MB/s. While SSDs may grab the market headlines, they are still relatively expensive at $1.5 per gigabyte and with capacity limited to a few hundred gigabytes. At 0.08 cents per gigabyte, the Seagate Barracuda XT offers an excellent pricing as a secondary drive to complement the limited storage capacity of the SSD. With 3TB of space, 64MB Cache, 7200 RPM and SATA 6Gb/s interface, the Barracuda XT 3TB definitely won’t bog down a system. It is also hard to say no to the drive considering that it comes with a 5 year warranty, while most mainstream hard drives now only carry 3 year warranty."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

  Storage

Source: Bjorn3D

OCZ's new X2 100GB PCI-E SSD is so fast its REVOlting

Subject: Storage | March 31, 2011 - 06:42 PM |
Tagged:

If you need fast, not SATA 6Gb/s fast but PCIe 4x fast and don't mind spending a lot of money, say $4/GB or so to start, then check the OCZ RevoDrive X2 out.  In the tests where this RAIDed SSD drive doesn't win it is arguable that the benchmark its self is just unable to handle the ridiculous read and write speeds this drive can reach. The only drawback, as Think Computers is quick to point out, is no TRIM support.

 

"OCZ is no stranger to creating some of the fastest solid state drives available. We know this from our reviews of the original RevoDrive and the Vertex 3 drive. Today OCZ has sent us their X2 version of the RevoDrive, which is to be faster and available in larger capacities. It boasts max speeds of 740MB/s read and 720MB/s write and capacities of up to 960GB. If you are a person that always needs to have some of the fastest components available in your system then the RevoDrive X2 is for you. Let’s see if it will become the fastest solid state drive we have tested to date!"

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Honey I shrunk the Flash ... Intel's new 25nm 320 series of SSDs

Subject: Storage | March 28, 2011 - 12:25 PM |
Tagged:

Not too long ago we saw the performance of Intel's new 510 lineup of SSDs, intended to be their faster SATA 6Gbs series in comparison to the soon to be released SATA 3GBs 320 series.  Al was not overly impressed with the performance of the 256GB 510 model he tested, not so much because it was not fast but because it didn't destroy the competitions like the previous generation of Intel SSDs did.  The Tech Report examines the SSD intended as a mid-range product, with brand new 25nm flash and the Intel controller we have become familiar with. 

Take a look to see where its performance sits in the SSD environment

 

Take a look at Al's coverage of the the drive here as well!

"Intel has another new solid-state drive, and this time it's an all in-house affair with 25-nano flash. Keep reading for the skinny on the Intel 320 Series SSD."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

  Storage

Supersize your mobile storage with WD's 750GB HDD

Subject: Storage | March 25, 2011 - 12:45 PM |
Tagged:

Western Digital Scorpio Black 750 GB.  It is not a normal Scorpio Black, in that it is a 5400RPM 2.5" drive, not the larger faster form it is usually in.  The power draw is mitigated by using only two platters and the use Advanced Format Technology helps speed sequential reading.  For random reads and writes however, Tech ARP's testing showed the older 500GB model to be faster.

"Today, we will look at the ultimate drive from the Scorpio Black family - the 750 GB WD Scorpio Black (WD7500BPKT) hard disk drive. With 750 GB of storage capacity packed into just two platters, this drive promises to provide the best combination of performance and storage capacity."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

  Storage

Source: Tech ARP