Subject: Storage | May 24, 2012 - 01:14 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ssd, comay, ups, sandforce, SandForce SF-2281
The Comay Venus Pro 3 comes in seven sizes, ranging from 30GB to 480GB and is powered by a SandForce 2281 controller. Those specs are not very unique, what makes the Comay special is the super-capacitor on the PCB which ensures that no data will be lost in the event of a power outage. It is not quite a UPS in the normal sense but it will provide power for long enough to ensure all data is written from the cache to disk before it powers down. As well there is onboard overload protection to ensure that power spikes cannot damage your drives. Both of these features are sought after by Enterprise clients, almost more so than the performance, which you can read about at SSD Reviews.
"Just over a month ago, we conducted an analysis of what we thought to be the Comay Venus Pro 3 and, only after the review, were informed that we were actually looking at the Venus 3, an SSD that was not only branded incorrectly, but was also a special configuration for a specific customer. It appears our orders were mixed up. Comay apologized for the mix up and promised that we would be receiving a Venus Pro 3 soon enough where we could validate some vicious ‘SandForce Driven’ performance first hand."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Corsair Accelerator 60GB SSD Cache Drive Review @ Hardware Canucks
- The SSD Optimization Guide Redesigned and Improved @ SSD Review
- MyDigitalSSD BP3 512GB SATA III Solid State Drive @ Tweaktown
- Data Memory Systems Celerity 6G Plus 120GB Solid State Drive @ Tweaktown
- OCZ Vertex 3 - 3.5 120GB SSD @ Funky Kit
- Corsair Accelerator 30GB & 60GB Review @ Neoseeker
- Comay Venus Pro 3 128GB Solid State Drive @ Tweaktown
- OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 240GB Review @ HCW
- Plextor M3 Pro 256GB SSD review @ Hardware.Info
- Corsair Performance Series Pro (256GB) @ AnandTech
- Patriot Supersonic Boost XT 32GB @ Legion Hardware
- OCZ Vertex 4 128GB SSD Review and 1.4RC FW Comparison - SSD Steroids for Your Vertex 4 @ SSD Review
- Patriot Memory SuperSonic Boost 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive Review @ NikKTech
- Kingston DataTraveler Elite 3.0 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive Review @ NikKTech
- Kingston Wi-Drive 16 GB @ techPowerUp
- A Tale Of Two Thunderbolt Storage Devices: Seagate's GoFlex Desk and Western Digital's Thunderbolt Duo @ AnandTech
- Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Home Network Storage System Review - NAS At Its Finest @ SSD Review
- Synology DS3612xs 12-bay NAS review @ Hardware.Info
- WD My Book Thunderbolt Duo 4TB review @ Hardware.Info
- Thecus N4200ECO 4 Bay NAS Enclosure @ Kitguru
- QNAP TS-419P II @ techPowerUp
- Thecus N4100EVO 4-bay NAS review @ Hardware.Info
- Icy Dock MB994SP-4SB-1 Full Metal Quad Bay 2.5" SATA 6Gbps Backplane Review @ eTeknix
Subject: General Tech, Motherboards, Storage | May 21, 2012 - 06:57 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: Z77, thunderbolt, p8z77-v premium, msi, asus
We have really been waiting for this since we first saw the release of Thunderbolt on the Apple MacBooks last year, but we finally have it: Thunderbolt support for PC users! Both MSI and ASUS today announced availability of motherboards with integrated Thunderbolt connectivity: the ASUS P8Z77-V Premium and the MSI Z77A-GD80 will both get you a single integrated Thunderbolt port.
"Intel and ASUS have worked closely on the implementation of Thunderbolt technology onto Asus motherboards”, said Jason Ziller, Intel’s Director of Thunderbolt Marketing. “The P8Z77-V PREMIUM is the first Thunderbolt certified motherboard in the industry, a testament to its solid design and compatibility."
With its long history of working with high tech vendors, ASUS is able to show its strength and commitment to innovation with a close relationship to three of the leading brands currently producing products with Thunderbolt technology, Elgato, LaCie, and PROMISE.
Thunderbolt is a new, high-speed I/O technology designed for performance, simplicity and flexibility, with lightning fast transfer speeds that are twice that of USB 3.0 and up to 20 times faster than USB 2.0. It offers simultaneous bi-directional 10Gbps transfer speeds over a single cable, with the flexibility to daisy-chain up to six Thunderbolt-ready devices with a single connection as well as offering full display port support for a 7th Thunderbolt or display port equipped monitor. This allows for a clutter-free computing experience while offering unprecedented levels of performance. Users can connect multiple Thunderbolt-enabled external storage drives to a Thunderbolt-enabled display and transfer files while watching HD movies, all without experiencing any lag. In addition for content professional this connection has been designed form the ground up for multimedia offering low latency with highly accurate time synchronization for professional audio and video applications. PC enthusiast and gamers can take immediate advantage combining Thunderbolt and on-board Lucid Virtu MVP to enjoy top-notch graphics performance.
Even better, we have some in-action video of the new ASUS Thunderbolt-implementation including performance!
This video was recorded well before today's launch during our Z77 Live Review and clearly shows some of the benefits of Thunderbolt, as well as some of the limitations, you'll find if you pick up the ASUS P8ZZ77-V Premium motherboard!
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Storage | May 17, 2012 - 05:05 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: podcast, aftershow
After the normally scheduled podcast recorded last night, the PC Perspective staff hung around in the chat room to talk with our fans and readers about various random hardware topics. Rather than just throw that data away, we decided to save it and post the video here as a sort of "aftershow" for those of you that want a bit more PCPer in your life.
Subject: Storage | May 16, 2012 - 03:50 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: ssd, sata 2, runcore, data destruction
For people worried about their personal information (or spies) RunCore has developed a new SSD that will make sure no one can steal your data. The InVincible SATA II solid state drive comes with two brightly colored buttons for different levels of data destruction. Pressing the green button will initiate the “intelligent destruction” mode wherein the drive will be wiped out and the data overwritten with zeros. And if that is not enough, users can press the red button to activate a physical destruction mechanism. In the physical destruction process, a high electrical current is delivered to the NAND flash chips causing them to burn and crack. Good luck recovering your data after that (though it’s not as flashy as Thermite)!
Just keep your cat away from the red button if you know what’s good for your hardware!
In terms of performance, the RunCore SSD is capable of up to 240MB/s reads and 190MB/s writes. The drive features a SATA II interface, and it is available with either MLC or SLC NAND flash. The internals are placed in a green 2.5” form factor case and–in addition to SATA data and power cable connections–it also comes with one red and one green button connected to the drive by two wires. The new solid state drive is now official, but pricing and availability have yet to be announced. More information on the drives can be found on the RunCore website, and you can see the data destruction in action in the video below.
Subject: Systems, Storage | May 11, 2012 - 04:34 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: x79, sandy bridge-e, RevoDrive 3 X2, ramrod, just delivered, dv nation
Just Delivered is a section of PC Perspective where we share some of the goodies that pass through our labs that may or may not see a review, but are pretty cool none the less.
When you are a little fish in the great big pond of PC builders, you need to do something to stand out from the rest. The people behind DV Nation apparently were well aware of that when entering the system vendor business and offering up SSDs to every single system configuration. Through a new system they are offering, provocatively named the "RAMRod PC", DV Nation provides a pre-built system that has some very unique components and configuration settings.
Built around the Antec Three Hundred Two chassis, the first glance at the RAMRod doesn't really indicate anything special is going on under the hood. But let's take a quick look at the specs:
- Intel Core i7-3820 @ 4.4 GHz
- 64GB DDR3-1600 Memory from G.Skill
- Radeon HD 6990 4GB
- 2x Seagate Momentus XT 750GB Hybrid HDD in RAID-0
- OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 480GB PCIE SSD
- RAMCache: SuperSpeed Supercache 8GB on PCIE SSD, 8GB on Momentus
- RAMDisk: 42GB ROMEX Primo rated at 8000 MB/s
- Cost: $5,400
Obviously there is a LOT of storage work going on in the RAMRod and the purpose of the rig is to be the fastest pre-configured storage available anywhere. If you are looking for a cheaper version of this system you can get a base model with 16GB of memory, 10GB RAMDisk, 2GB RAMCache, 240GB PCIe SSD, single standard hard drive and even at GTX 680 for $2999.
Let's take a quick walk around the rest of the system.
Subject: Storage | May 11, 2012 - 12:07 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: SandForce SF-2281, PCIe SSD, owc, Mercury Accelsior, Marvell 88SE9230
For a company which used to only be known as a storage provide for Apple, OWC is really hitting its stride with the PCIe SSD market. Their newest Mercury Accelsior PCIe SSD family will come in four sizes, a 120GB for $359.99, $529.99 for the 240GB, $949.99 for the 480GB and the largest is 960GB at $2079.99. If you can't afford the biggest version then you will love the fact that this PCIe SSD is upgradeable with mPCIe SSDs, assumedly specifically designed for the device. These mPCIe SSDs use Toshiba 32Gb 24nm Toggle Mode MLC flash with a SandForce SF-2281 controller and you can think of the cards its self as a RAID card; essentially it uses a Marvell 88SE9230 to put the two SSDs into RAID0. SSD Reviews testing of the 480GB model saw sequential reads and writes hit well over 500MB/s.
Don't expect to boot from this card but the upgradeablilty and ease of installation certainly make this RAID card PCIe SSD combination very attractive.
**UPDATE** After hearing from an OWC rep, it would appear that this does not suffer from Al's least favourite attribute of PCIe SSDs, it is indeed bootable both on Mac and PC without even needing third party drivers. You should probably back up your OS before upgrading the Accelsior though!
"It was only a matter of time before the idea of expandable storage was introduced into the world of PCIe SSDs and, although we have seen a few prototypes in the last year, none have quite made it to market just yet. Our analysis of the OWC Mercury Accelsior 480GB PCIe SSD not only opens the possibility of upgradeable capacity sizes, but also, it just so happens to be only the second consumer targeted PCIe SSD on the market right now and is both Mac and PC ‘plug and play’ compatible."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- OCZ Vertex 4 SSD - Progress in the Firmware (testing with v1.4RC) @ Tweaktown
- OCZ Vertex 4 SSD revisited with FW 1.4RC @ Guru3D
- Zalman F1 Series 120GB SSD Review @ HardwareLOOK
- Kingston SSDNow V+ 200 120GB @ Tweaktown
- Crucial m4 256 GB Review @ HCW
- OCZ Vertex 4 128GB @ Tweaktown
- Kingston SSDNow V+ 200 120GB Solid State Drive @ Pro-Clockers
- Intel 910 Series 800GB PCIe Review - Amazing Performance Results In Both 400GB and 800GB Configurations @ SSD Review
- Corsair Performance Pro Series 256GB @ Overclockers Online
- Our Take On Western Digital's New 1 TB VelociRaptor @ Tweaktown
- Western Digital VelociRaptor 1TB Hard Drive @ Bjorn3D
- Akitio MyCloud Duo NAS @ Tweaktown
- Akitio Taurus Mini Super-S LCM External RAID Storage Review @ TechwareLabs
- SilverStone DS321 Dual-Bay HDD Enclosure Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Verbatim 500GB USB 3.0 Store 'n' Go Portable Hard Drive Review @ Legit Reviews
- Sandberg USB 3.0 HDD Cloner Review @ NikKTech
- IOSafe Rugged Portable @ LanOC Reviews
- LaCie 5big Office+ review @ Hardware.Info
- Verbatim Store ‘n’ Go Traveller: USB 3.0 750GB @ Rbmods
This morning, OCZ pushed out a new firmware, dubbed 1.4RC. This is a release candidate of the upcoming performance-boosting firmware, and is meant for "enthusiasts who like to tinker with their hardware".
New Performance Specs in Red:
Max Read / Write
128GB: 535MB/s - 550MB/s / 200MB/s - 420MB/s
256GB: 535MB/s - 550MB/s / 380MB/s - 465MB/s
512GB: 535MB/s - 550MB/s / 475MB/s
As a heads up for those who are feeling froggy this Monday morning and choose to update their Vertex 4 - this is a destructive update and will wipe the drive. The updater runs within a Windows session with the Vertex 4 connected as a secondary drive. While you're 'under the hood', I'd also recommend performing a secure erase with the OCZ Toolbox software after you have udpated and power cycled the SSD.
I have been able to partially confirm the performance increases, and will be reporting full results later this evening (for all three capacity points). Stay tuned!
*Note* OCZ NDA'd this update for this morning, but we have not seen where they have posted it for download from their site. We will post a link in the comments below once it has become available.
Subject: Storage | May 3, 2012 - 08:10 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: TCS, Galatea Ultra-Rugged SSD, ssd, 100GB, slc, SandForce SF-1565
Just by their very nature SSDs are physically tough, with no moving parts like you find in platter based disks, so they are able to withstand much great acceleration forces ... or deceleration depending on how you look at it. TeleCommunication Systems is not a name you are likely to recognize when it comes to SSDs so you should take note of the Galatea Ultra Rugged SSD. The flash is just as tough, with 20,000 terabytes of write guaranteed along with 10 year data retention also guaranteed. Performance is also guaranteed thanks to the SandForce SF-1565 controller and Micron 25nm SLC flash. If there is an SSD likely to make it into orbit soon, this will probably be the one to do it. Check it out at SSD Review.
"This report covers the Telecommunications Systems (TCS) Galatea line of ultra-rugged SLC SSDs. Adhering to the MIL-STD-810 military specifications governing a multitude of ultra-ruggedized requirements, this SSD is designed for ultimate reliability in the harshest of environments. Designed and tested with the most hostile environments imaginable in mind, these SSDs are surely amongst the toughest storage mediums available."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Intel 910 400/800GB PCIe SSD Quick Preview - On The Bench and Pushing Out 1.9GB/s Performance @ The SSD Review
- Corsair Force Series 3 180GB @ Tweaktown
- Intel SSD 330 120GB / 180GB review @ Hardware.Info
- Intel 330 Series 120GB @ SSD Review
- ADATA Premier Pro SP900 (0-provision) 256GB @ Tweaktown
- Crucial Adrenaline 50GB m4 Cache SSD Review @ Legit Reviews
- Patriot Pyro SE 240GB SSD Review @ Hardware Canucks
- RunCore Pro V MAX 240GB @ Tweaktown
- Corsair Force GT 180GB SATA III SandForce SF-2282 SSD Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- MemoRight FTM Plus Slim 7mm 240GB @ Tweaktown
- Plextor M3P 256GB SATA 3 SSD @ SSD Review
- Crucial Adrenaline 50GB Solid State Cache Review @ circuitREMIX
- Kingston HyperX 3k 240GB SATA III SSD Upgrade Kit Review @ NikKTech
- Corsair Accelerator Series 60GB Cache SSD @ SSD Review
- Adaptec RAID 6805E RAID Controller @ TechwareLabs
- Western Digital VelociRaptor 1TB (WD1000DHTZ) Review @ TechwareLabs
- Synology DS212j, DS212, and RS212 review @ Hardware.Info
- 16 4- and 5-bay NAS devices roundup test @ Hardware.Info
- QNAP TurboNAS TS-259 Pro+ NAS Server Review @ NikKTech
- Hitachi 7K4000 / 5K4000 4 TB review @ Hardware.Info
- QNAP TS-879 Pro @ Legion Hardware
- Kingston Wi-Fi Drive @ Hardwarebistro
- Kingston USB-Flash Drive Roundup @ Rbmods
According to a recent press release, OCZ Technology Co. is going to up the Octane ante with a 1TB solid state drive. Coming in at an MSRP of $3,238 USD (approx. 260,000 yen), the SSD features 1TB of synchronous MLC flash, 512MB of DRAM, and an Indilinx Everest controller bundled in a 2.5” form factor.
The SATA 3 (6Gbps) OCT1-25SAT3-1T SSD not only brings gobs of storage, but puts up some respectable performance numbers. It is capable of 460MB/s sequential reads and 330MB/s sequential write speeds. Also, it can deliver a maximum of 24,000 4K read IOPS (input/output operations per second) and 32,000 4K random write IOPS [the translation may be off here, I was expecting to see the higher IOPS reflected as 4K reads and not writes]. Other drive features include TRIP support, ECC (error correction), AES-256 drive encryption, SMART diagnostics, and a MTBF (mean time between failures) of 1,200,000 hours.
The 1TB SSD is slated for a mid-May release and will come with a 3 year warranty. You know, my birthday is coming up in a couple months... (hehe)
Background and Internals
A little over two weeks back, Intel briefed me on their new SSD 910 Series PCIe SSD. Since that day I've been patiently awaiting its arrival, which happened just a few short hours ago. I've burned the midnight oil for the sake of getting some greater details out there. Before we get into the goods, here's a quick recap of the specs for the 800 (or 400) GB model:
- PCIe 2.0 x8 LSI Falcon 2008 SAS HBA driving 4 (or 2) Hitachi Ultrastar SAS controllers, each in turn driving 200GB of IMFT 25nm High Endurance Technology flash memory, all on a triple stacked half-height PCB.
- 400GB model yields (r/w) 1GB/s / 750MB/s sequential and 90,000 / 38,000 4k IOPS.
- 800GB model yields (r/w) 2GB/s / 1GB/s sequential and 180,000 / 75,000 4k IOPS.
- 800GB 'performance mode' (r/w) 2GB/s / 1.5GB/s sequential and 180,000 / 75,000 4k IOPS.
"Performance Mode" is a feature that can be enabled through the Intel Data Center Tool Software. This feature is only possible on the 800GB model, but not for the reason you might think. The 400GB model is *always* in Performance Mode, since it can go full speed without drawing greater than the standard PCIe 25W power specification. The 800GB model has twice the components to drive yet it stays below the 25W limit so long as it is in its Default Mode. Switching the 800GB model to Performance Mode increases that draw to 38W (the initial press briefing stated 28W, which appears to have been a typo). Note that this increased draw is only seen during writes.
Ok, now into the goodies: