HGST Develops 1.5TB 2.5" Mobile Drive With 500GB Platter Tech

Subject: Storage | May 21, 2013 - 10:01 PM |
Tagged: hgst, western digital, 500GB platter, 1.5tb drive, mobile hard drive

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST, which is now owned by Western Digital) has developed a new 2.5” mobile hard drive called the Travelstar 5K1500. The hard drive uses three 500GB platter drives for a total capacity of 1.5TB. HGST claims that the drive is the highest capacity 9.5mm mobile drive on the market. Additionally, the company has stated that the new drive is faster than its existing two-platter hard drives according to the PCMark Vantage and PCMark 7 benchmark suites.

HGST Logo.jpg

The 1.5TB Travelstar 5K1500 is a 5400 RPM hard drive with 32MB of on-board cache, a 6Gbps SATA III interface, and shock protection features.

The new mobile drive will be used in external hard drives, all-in-one systems, and notebooks where storage space is valued more than pure performance. It will be available sometime in June for an as-yet-unannounced price point. Another version of the Travelstar 5K1500 that offers automatic encryption of data will be available in Q3 2013.

Source: Maximum PC

Western Digital's SSHD Black magic revealed

Subject: Storage | May 14, 2013 - 05:53 PM |
Tagged: sshd, cache, western digital, Black SSHD, Hybrid Drive

The Tech Report sat down with Matt Rutledge, Vice President of Western Digital's client computing group to discuss the software behind their new HDDs with an SSD cache.  Sandisk will be providing the hardware and WD who will be providing the custom caching software which will not be coded into the hardware but will function at the driver level.  Matt mentioned that this software can also make use of the system's memory and incorporate it into the cache as well though it was not completely clear if there will be many user editable settings.  Check the interview out.

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"WD revealed that its hybrid drives will use SanDisk iSSD flash components. The announcement was devoid of details on how the caching system works, but we can now shed new light on the software-managed scheme."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Source:
Subject: Storage
Tagged: sshd, Seagate, hybrid

Introduction

Introduction

Seagate recently announced and released their third generation of laptop Solid State Hybrid Drives. Originally thier hybrids carried the Momentus (laptop HDD) name forward, tacking on 'XT' to denote the on-board caching ability. The Momentus XT was intriduced in a 500GB (1st gen) and 750GB (2nd gen) model. The new line gets a new and simple title - Laptop SSHD.

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In addition to the new name, we now have two capacity points available. The 'Laptop SSHD' retains the old 9.5mm form factor and now pushes a full 1TB of capacity, while the 'Laptop Thin SSHD' drops a platter and reduces availabile capacity to 500GB. The bonus with the 500GB model is that it maintains similar performance yet shaves off some thickness, making it Seagate's first 7mm Hybrid.

Today we will take a look at the new Thin SSHD, comparing it to the performance of the older generation Seagate Hybrids, as well as to Intel's RST caching solution:

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Read on for the full review!

AMD Radeon RAMDisk Now Allows Background Updating and Loading With Saved Disk Images

Subject: Storage | May 10, 2013 - 03:48 PM |
Tagged: ramdisk, ram drive, ram, radeon ramdisk, amd

In light of AMD’s latest memory release and Radeon RAMDisk push, I decided to take a look at the latest version 4.1.0 of the RAMDisk software to see what had changed since the last time I tested it out. Improved installation and logging along with a couple of new features are all part of the new RAMDisk software.

AMD Memory.jpg

AMD has simplified the installer since the previous version to the point that only a few clicks are necessary to get setup. Although you can jump into the advanced settings and change the installation path, the default options are basically just to accept the ToS and click next. Other GUI tweaks include a new Logging tab that scans the last 1,000 entries in the Windows Event Log and shows only those related to the RAM Drive.

AMD RAMDisk Background Update.jpg

The biggest change is the addition of new options in the load/save tab. Because of the nature of RAM, the RAMDisk created by the software is not persistent across reboots. However, you can save the disk image to a file on persistent storage (a hard drive, SSD, et al). Then, you can save the RAM Drive and its contents to a file and reload that disk after a restart.

The paid version of Radeon RAMDisk takes this a step further by allowing background updating of the RAMDisk data. With the Load in Background option, the RAMDisk will be immediately available to the operating system after a restart. The software will automatically start transferring data from the image stored on the hard drive to the portion of RAM set aside for the RAM disk instead of making the user wait fro the entire disk to be recreated before it can be accessed. Any data requested that has not yet been transferred to the RAM disk will be transparently pulled from the hard drive image.

AMD RAMDisk System Log.jpg

Further, AMD offers up a background update option that will run in the background and continuously write RAMDisk changes to the *.img file stored on the hard drive. This eliminates the need to wait for the entire RAMDisk to be written to disk before shutting down the computer or stopping the RAM Drive. Considering the wait times to read and write data from/to the hard drive is one of the major limitations of RAM drives, this is a really useful feature that certainly adds some incentive to springing for the paid version.

The free version doesn’t get background updating, but it does still have the AutoSave feature that will write data out to the image file periodically which will help prevent data loss due to power failure or kernel panic.

AMD RAMDisk File Copy.jpg

Heh, the SSD is pegged but the RAMDisk utilization peaked at 4% when copying a 1.51GB Kerbal Space Program (with a few mods installed) folder from an Intel X25-M to a 4GB RAMDisk ;).

In my brief testing yesterday, I had some trouble getting the software to create a FAT32 formatted disk, where it kept changing to unformatted before creating the disk. Eventually I opted to format the drive myself using Windows’ Disk Management utility. Aside from that hiccup, I think the new version is worth updating to if you have not already--especially if you have the paid version (so that you can get the background data transfer features).

For specific details on exactly what has changed, an AMD-provided change log is below:

Feature Highlights of AMD Radeon™ RAMDisk release 4.1

  • Updated GUI improvements .NET
  • Updated installer package – Fewer clicks required to install
  • Improved GUI event logging
  • Improved management of options when setting Load/Save

Performance Highlights of AMD Radeon™ RAMDisk release 4.1

  • Performance gains on AMD Radeon™ RAMDisk 32GB and 64GB
  • Vastly improved load and save mechanics allowing for background update and background loading of the RAMDisk.  Reduces wait times for load and save.  “Background Update” and “Load in Background” enabled (registered users only)
  • Faster PC startup and shutdown while RAMDisk is enabled.
  • Improved IO performance on multi-processors and multi-core systems
    • Evenly distributed load among the CPUs.  Allows for more system efficiency.

Seagate Unveils 12Gbps SAS 1200 Series and PCI-E X8 Accelerator SSDs for the Enterprise Market

Subject: Storage | May 7, 2013 - 06:31 PM |
Tagged: x8 accelerator, virident, ssd, seagate 1200, Seagate, pci-e

In addition to its recently-announced 600 and 600 Pro consumer line of solid state drives, Seagate has unveiled two new drives aimed at the enterprise SSD market. The Seagate 1200 series is a 2.5" SAS SSD and the Seagate X8 is a PCI-E based accelerator card.

Unfortunately, details are extremely scarce on both upcoming enterprise drives. Performance, specifications, pricing, and availability are still unknown. Seagate has officially confirmed there existence and shared a few tidbits of information, however.

Seagate PCI-E X8 Accelerator SSD.jpg

The Seagate 1200 SSDs are 2.5" form factor drives with a 12Gbps SAS interface, which suggests that they will be at least somewhat faster than the consumer versions due to Seagate implementing the faster drive interface. The most important detail however, is that Seagate will be using its own custom SSD controller in the 1200 series. The new controller is still a mystery, but it is developed by Seagate and not Link A Media with customized firmware like the 600 and 600 Pro drives. I am especially interested to find out more about this aspect of the drive. Hopefully the new controller is successful and will trickle down to the company's next-generation consumer SSDs.

Meanwhile, Seagate's X8 Accelerator card is a half-height, half-length expansion card with up to 2.2TB of flash memory. The new PCI-E based drive is based on technology from Virident and can be used to accelerate applicators or database operations in servers. It will be available in capacities ranging from 550GB to 2.2TB. The SSD controller/management duties are handled by the host system's CPU and maintenance operations like garbage collection can be scheduled for periods of downtime when the server is not being hit hard by things like database requests for a popular web application. According to Seagate, each X8 Accelerator will be capable of up to 1.5 million IOPS.

Both of the new enterprise solid state drives will be released later this year.

Source: Seagate

Seagate Enters The SSD Market With The 600 and 600 Pro SSD Series

Subject: Storage | May 7, 2013 - 02:27 PM |
Tagged: ssd, Seagate, LM87800, 600 Pro, 600

Seagate has officially moved into the solid state drive (SSD) market with two new consumer drives: the 600 and 600 Pro series. The new drives come in capacities ranging from 100GB to 480GB. Both series utilize the Link A Media (LAMD) LM87800 SSD controller and 19nm 2-bit per cell MLC NAND flash from Toshiba. Seagate has not provided pricing or availability dates, but pricing should be in-line with existing drives, and reviews are already available around the Internet.

Seagate Logo.jpg

The Seagate 600 series is the lowest-tier solid state drive. It will be available in 120, 240, and 480GB capacities. Seagate is using 128GB, 256, and 512GB of NAND flash on 2, 4, and 8 channels respectively. In addition to the LM87800 SSD controller (which features custom Seagate firmware) and NAND flash, Seagate is including 1MB of DDR2-800 DRAM per 1GB of NAND flash for a total of 128, 256, and 512MB of DRAM on the 120, 240, and 480GB capacity drives.

The 600 Series is rated at up to 500MB/s peak 128KB reads and 400MB/s writes (limited to 300MB/s on the lowest-capacity 120GB drive). Further, Seagate states that the 120GB drive is capable of 80,000 random read and 60,000 random write (4K) IOPS, while the 240GB and 480GB drives can reach up to 80,000 random read and 70,000 random write (4K) IOPS.
Also note that the 600 series comes in both 7mm and 5mm form factors, which makes it compatible with most laptops. Seagate provides a 3 year warranty on the 600 series.

The Seagate 600 Pro series steps things up a notch by adding overprovisioning, capacitors for power-loss protection, and a longer 5 year warranty. The 600 Pro series will come in 100, 120, 200, 240, 400, and 480GB capacities. The 100, 200, and 400GB versions of the SSD offer additional overprovisioning which gives the SSD controller more space to work with. The capacitores are intended to provide enough power in the event of a PC power loss to write all data to the NAND flash and prevent data loss.

The 600 Pro drives offer the same 6Gbps SATA interface, LM87800 controller, and 1MB-to-1GB DRAM to NAND ratio. The Pro drives do not come in the 5mm high form factor, so laptop compatibility is limited.

Further, the 600 Pro Seagate SSDs are faster drives. According to Seagate, the Pro series offers up to 85,000 and 30,000 random read and write (4K) IOPS on the overprovisioned drives and p to 85,000/11,000 random IOPS on the 240 and 480GB drives. The 100 and 120GB drives are slower than the other drives though due to less NAND flash and channels between the flash and controller. The chart below details the rated specifications for all of the announced drives.

Series 600 Pro 600 Pro 600 Pro 600 Pro 600 Pro 600 Pro 600 600 600
Capacity 100GB 120GB 200GB 240GB 400GB 480GB 120GB 240GB 480GB
Random 4K r/w KIOPS 80/20 80/8 85/30 85/11 85/30 85/11 80/60 80/70 80/70
128KB r/w sustained sequential             >500/>300 >500/>400 >500/>400
128KB peak sequential r/w 520/300 520/300 520/450 520/450 520/450 520/450      

Blank areas indicate that rated specifications were not available.

Fortunately, the reviews available online (such as AnandTech's) do seem to support the new drives as far as performance is concerned. The drives are stacking up nicely versus the competition, which is interesting given the controller choice. For example, the sequential read speed looks promising.

The 600 and 600 Pro drives are looking like solid drives so long as the pricing is competitive. I'm excited to see where Seagate goes from here.

Source: AnandTech

Corsair's Neutron drives get even more dense

Subject: Storage | May 3, 2013 - 07:32 PM |
Tagged: LAMD, corsair, neutron, ssd, asynchronous NAND, 22nm

Still featuring the Link_A_Media Devices LM87800 controller but with all new 22nm SK Hynix Synchronous NAND the refreshed Corsair Neutron SSD series just arrived on [H]ard|OCP's test bench.  The refresh brings both good and bad attributes, while the 22nm NAND proves a little slower than the original 25nm it also brings a much lower price.  That lower price paired with a 5 year warranty should make this drive attractive to users that are holding off on picking up an SSD because of fears that the drive will stop functioning in a few years, or who have a hard time spending well over $1/GB for storage.

H_neutron.jpg

"Corsair keeps pace with continuing innovation in the NAND market by switching from 25nm IMFT NAND to the rarely seen 22nm SK Hynix NAND. This NAND provides a lower price point and extra capacity. Today we take a look to see if the Neutron Series performance remains and how this new SSD build stacks up to the competition."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Western Digital updates mobile Blue series with 5mm thin HDD

Subject: Storage | April 23, 2013 - 08:00 AM |
Tagged: wdc, WD, hdd, 5mm

Today Western Digital launched their new 5mm 2.5" Blue. This model will only come in 500GB. Capacity options are limited presumably due to a single 500GB platter, which is about all you can fit into a housing that's only 5mm thick.

wdblue5mm.jpg

The drive launches at an MSRP of $89.00, but don't rush out to buy one just yet. The new drive will require a purpose-built installation, as it uses a new SFF-8784 edge connector to receive data and power from the host system. You're basically going to need a laptop that has a bay designed for just this drive, which may take a while.

Press blast after the break!

Source:

Western Digital's new Xe HDDs bridge the legacy enterprise SAS storage gap

Subject: Storage | April 22, 2013 - 08:00 AM |
Tagged: wdc, WD, SAS, hdd

Today Western Digital launched a new line of Hard Disk Drives. The Xe is very similar to their VelociRaptor, with the same 2.5"-3.5" heat sink adapter plate. The primary difference, however, is these units feature Dual Port SAS connectivity.

wdsfS25_SAS.jpg

The new drives feature a 5-year warranty and will come in 300, 600, and 900GB capacities. With SAS HDD's becoming scarce lately, there is a definite gap developing in existing legacy SAS systems. We're glad to see a lower power SAS-connected 10,000 RPM offering to help bridge that gap.

Full press blast after the break:

The evolution of hybrid drives, Seagate's new SSHD 500GB

Subject: Storage | April 19, 2013 - 07:20 PM |
Tagged: sshd, Seagate, Hybrid Drive, 500gb

We have seen many hybrid drives come and go, most of which only benefited desktop users who were accessing certain files often enough that they were cached on the flash memory.  Seagate has introduced a new iteration of the SSHD specifically for laptops, uniting 500GB of 5400 RPM platter based storage with 8GB of MLC NAND and a 64MB cache which [H]ard|OCP recently benchmarked.  They didn't forget desktop users as they released 1TB and 2TB models at 7200 RPM but it is the laptop version which is perhaps more interesting as not many models allow the installation of a second drive like desktops do.  The testing results were mixed, with several obvious benefits interspersed with odd performance changes after multiple runs, however the small price differential between a standard HDD and a SSHD might just convince you to pick up this new breed of hybrid drive.

HSSHD.jpg

"Seagate has introduced the next generation of Solid State Hybrid Drives, commonly referred to as "SSHD." These drives use a small amount of MLC NAND to accelerate the performance of a 5400 RPM spinning disk. Today we test the mobile version against other available SSD caching solutions."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Source: [H]ard|OCP