OCZ interrupts your viewing of the legal battle to introduce a new product; the Vector

Subject: Storage | November 27, 2012 - 04:47 PM |
Tagged: vector, ssd, sata, ocz, mlc, barefoot 3

There are three members of the OCZ Vector SSD, the 128GB and 256GB models will have 512MB cache and the 512GB model 1GB of cache, each costing a bit over $1/GB.  Inside is the brand new Barefoot 3 controller which features 8 channels and both an ARM cortex processor and OCZ's secret sauce, the Aragon co-processor.  On paper, the 256GB and 512GB models have the same performance specs with the 128GB model having slightly slower sequential writes and 4k reads, though still the speeds are impressive enough that you won't suffer unduly.  [H]ard|OCP takes you through their torture test here and of course if you haven't seen what Allyn did to them, get reading!

H_vector_arch.png

"OCZ soft launches the 256GB Vector SSD with its first OCZ-proprietary controller, the Barefoot 3. Geared for steady state performance, the OCZ Vector SSD is designed with the end user in mind. Today we take a look at the Vector and the new controller architecture and see how these fare in our steady state testing."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Source: [H]ard|OCP

OCZ Launches Vector SSD Series and Proprietary Barefoot 3 Controller

Subject: Storage | November 27, 2012 - 03:48 PM |
Tagged: vector, ssd, sata, ocz, mlc, barefoot 3

SAN JOSE, CA – November 27, 2012 - OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCZ), a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems, today announced the availability of its new SATA III-based Vector SSD Series featuring the company’s next-generation Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller. OCZ’s worldwide technology hardware and firmware teams developed the new controller silicon and firmware completely in-house to enable full design control over the Vector SSD Series roadmap, while delivering exceptional I/O performance, enhanced reliability and endurance, and a host of differentiated features to empower high performance laptops, desktops, and workstations with superior storage capabilities.

OCZ_vector_SSD.png

OCZ Vector SSDs provide exceptional input/output operations per second (IOPS) performance and the cutting-edge Barefoot 3 controller consistently delivers superior sustained performance over time regardless of whether the data streams are in compressed or uncompressed formats. As a result, this groundbreaking SSD series provides faster file transfers and boot-ups, and a quicker, more responsive storage experience.

“The development of the Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller architecture is a crowning achievement in our company’s history, being our first controller silicon and firmware completely designed in-house from start to finish using all of the OCZ technology development teams,” said Ralph Schmitt, CEO for OCZ Technology. “These are the first SSD products delivered under the new OCZ and leverages cutting-edge controller technology to deliver a groundbreaking level of sustained performance and reliability for customers seeking a superior SSD for their high performance computing applications.”

The Vector SSD Series is available in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB capacities, and delivers read bandwidth of up to 550 MB/s, write bandwidth of up to 530 MB/s, random read performance of up to 100,000 IOPS. The Vector’s ultra-slim, 7mm sleek alloy housing supports a wide spectrum of computers including the latest thin form factor notebooks, and each Vector SSD is also bundled with a 3.5-inch desktop adapter bracket and Acronis® True Image™ cloning software to enable quick and easy data transfer from legacy hard disk drive (HDD) storage to high performance Vector SSD storage.\

vector_groundbreaker.jpg

Endurance was a major priority in the design of the Vector Series, and the highly intelligent Barefoot 3 controller includes an advanced suite of flash management tools that can analyze and dynamically adapt to increasing NAND vulnerabilities as flash cells wear or process geometries get smaller. In this way, the Barefoot 3 controller overcomes the shortcomings associated with MLC NAND flash memory and is specified to deliver 20GB host writes per day for 5 years. This 5-year warranty ensures that Vector SSDs can be reliably used in a wide range of high performance computing environments over an extended lifetime.

Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: OCZ SSD Product Page
Tagged: vector, ssd, sata, ocz, mlc

Introduction, Specifications and Packaging

Introduction

OCZ has been in the SSD game for quite some time, and has previously done quite well mixing and matching hardware from other vendors into solutions of their own. It was a good way to put out a large array of products, fitting many a niche for a decent cost. Further, OCZ has always been known as somewhat of an underdog who tailored their parts more towards the power user / tweaker crowd. All of that said, they have been taking steps to become more of a major player in the SSD market, and the fruits of that labor begin their payoff today, with the release of the OCZ Vector:

case f.jpg

A new Indilinx Controller?

The Vector comes equipped with a bunch of firsts for OCZ. The controller is OCZ's first 100% in-house part, and has been engineered from the ground up to be as high of a performing part as possible. There has been a paradigm shift within OCZ lately, and the Vector went through a large beta test phase *before* release, as to avoid the need for a series of rapid fire firmware updates just after the product ships. Vector should perform at or near its maximum potential today, not after some firmware updates seen months from now. Here's a look at the controller functional block diagram:

barefoot3_diagram-mod.png

Read on for the full review!

Plextor's Marvell powered 256GB M5 Pro SSD

Subject: Storage | November 26, 2012 - 05:59 PM |
Tagged: plextor, m5 pro, ssd, marvell 88SS9187, toggle NAND

Hopefully at some point NewEgg will refresh their stock of Plextor's 256GB and 512GB M5 Pro SSDs, as both offer the same rated speed and a price just under $1/GB.  The Marvell controller they are using is one we have seen before, the Indilinx Everest 2 controller found in the OCZ Vertex 4.  The Guru of 3D pitted the 256GB model against numerous MLC SSDs and it trended towards the top of the results, not the fastest but consistent in being among the best performers in all tests.  Another benefit to the drive is the 5 year warranty, something which is becoming all too rare in storage devices.

G3D_img_7299.jpg

"In this article we test, benchmark and review the Plextor M5 Pro series SSD. Plextor has developed this product alongside a marvel controller tied to 256GB of NAND flash memory it is amongst the fastest drives we have ever tested. We sure have lots to talk about alright. The 256GB models have sutained read/write levels of 540 MB/sec and 450 MB/sec respectively.

And with 4K random write performance estimated at 86,000 IOPS (input/output operations per second) it's dressed to impress alright. Have a peek, after which we'll dive into the technology behind it and obviously we'll present you a nice phat performance overview."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Source: Guru of 3D

Samsung's new 21nm Toggle TLC Flash based Series 840 SSDs

Subject: Storage | November 20, 2012 - 03:48 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, 840, tlc

As part of their review of the Samsung 840 250GB SSD, The Tech Report covers the specifics of the TLC flash memory which is used in the 840 series as opposed to the MLC we saw in the 830 series.   As well they show off some of the capabilities of the control software, which Samsung has dubbed the SSD Magician utility.  Of course from there the benchmarking begins which showed performance continually below the similarly priced 830 series which hurts the new SSDs on the price to performance chart.  Overall they are hard pressed to recommend the drive over the previous models, not only because of the performance but also the shortened lifespan of TLC flash.  As that flash technology matures we may see those concerns fade, as Allyn pointed out in his review.

TR_box.jpg

"Samsung's 840 Series SSD combines a next-gen fabrication process with an extra bit per cell to lower the cost per gigabyte. We take a closer look at the implications and see how the drive stacks up against the competition."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Western Digital releases 4TB Black series HDD

Subject: Storage | November 20, 2012 - 10:35 AM |
Tagged: WD, western digital, Black, 4TB, hdd

Today Western Digital announced their new 4TB Black Series HDD. This new drive boasts some features normally reserved for their RE (enterprise) series drives, such as dual processors and dual stage actuator tech. This 7200 RPM unit comes with the now standard 64MB cache and SATA 6Gb/sec interface. We will be reviewing a sample upon its arrival, but I suspect performance will be close to the RE series, albeit without the additional enterprise-specific features.

WDBlack_CoverOn_UprightLeft_4TB_HiRes.jpg

The 4TB Black kicks off at an MSRP of $339. Hopefully we see some 4TB Greens and Reds out of Western Digital shortly - as those should be at a lower cost and be more suited to the typical mass-storage applications of such a high capacity drive.

Press blast after the break:

Double up your Neutron for more fun; Corsair's new 480GB SSD

Subject: Storage | November 14, 2012 - 06:39 PM |
Tagged: corsair, Neutron GTX 480GB, LAMD Amber

Apart from the extra storage space, the best thing about larger SSDs is their improved performance over smaller sized SSDs as more channels allows for faster data transfer.  Corsair's new $460 Neutron GTX 480GB is no exception with [H]ard|OCP's benchmarks demonstrating speeds surpassing other similar sized SSDs.  The LAMD Amber LM87800 controller inside this SSD does not depend on compression to increase speed which is why the performance of the drive stays at the top of the pack even when faced with uncompressible data.  Speed is not everything with SSDs, as many have found out to their regret which is why thanks to two features onboard this drive, ECC and a new feature called eBoost which acts to clean up the signals received by the drive, [H] would almost class this as an enterprise drive.  A five year warranty doesn't hurt either!

H_neutron480.jpg

"The Corsair Neutron GTX 480GB and its LAMD Amber controller represent the next generation of high capacity SSDs. Typically large SSDs suffer performance degradation compared to smaller counterparts, and today we test the Neutron GTX with its Toshiba Toggle NAND to see if this holds true with Corsairs next generation controllers."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Samsung teams up with Ubisoft to include Assassin's Creed III with 840 Pro purchases

Subject: Storage | November 7, 2012 - 02:32 PM |
Tagged: ubisoft, Samsung, 840 pro

We're used to seeing various video card vendors tossing in some game titles to sweeten the deal. Now Samsung has jumped in the ring by including bonus copies of Assassin's Creed III with the purchase of 128, 256, or 512GB 840 Pro Series SSDs.

DSC00689.jpg

For a limited time, those who purchase a new 840 Pro will receive a download code for the new game. Note: this deal *does not* apply to the TLC-flash-equipped 840 Series (non-pro).

image003.png

Press blast after the break:

Sandisk's Extreme 240GB, not the fastest but certainly the lowest in power consumption

Subject: Storage | November 6, 2012 - 12:15 AM |
Tagged: sandisk, 240gb, toggle NAND, SF-2181, sandforce, Extreme 240GB

SanDisk has been taking advantage of their long experience in the flash memory market to develop a line of SSDs which, apart from the controller, are all made in house.  That way they only have to license a controller, in this case SandForce's 2181, avoiding the costs of developing and improving their own controller.  The cost might be a bit high at $215 when you compare it to some of the deals currently available on the previous generation of SSDs.  [H]ard|OCP saw better performance than they expected from the older SF-2181 but still not to the level of the current generation of controllers.  What helped make this particular drive more attractive was the Toolkit which makes updating your firmware quite easy and remarkably low power consumption.

H_sandiskX.jpg

"The SanDisk Extreme 240GB is SanDisk's SandForce-powered SSD. Featuring Toggle Mode NAND and the SF-2181 with the latest firmware we give the SanDisk Extreme a spin. How does it stand up to its enthusiast competitors in terms of steady state and out of the box performance?"

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Intel announces new DC S3700 Series of datacenter SSDs

Subject: Storage | November 5, 2012 - 12:39 PM |
Tagged: ssd, s3700, enterprise, datacenter

Today Intel officially launched a new line of enterprise-oriented SSDs. Dubbed the DC S3700 ('DC for Data Center', 'S' for SATA), this new line fills the large interface speed void left by the older 710 Series, which was limited to SATA 3Gb/sec speeds.

Intel SSD DC S3700 RightAngled.jpg

The S3700 makes some big promises and we are expecting samples shortly. Here's the tally of what's to come:

  • Intel designed 8-channel controller ASIC and firmware
  • SATA 6Gb/sec interface
  • 7mm x 2.5" form factor
  • Random 4k writes 15x faster and reads 2x faster than SSD 710
  • 75,000 4k random read IOPS (all models)
  • 19/32/36/36k 4k random write IOPS (for 100/200/400/800GB capacity)
  • 500MB/sec sequential reads (all models)
  • 200/365/460/460 MB/sec sequential writes (for 100/200/400/800GB capacity)
  • 25nm MLC-HET IMFT flash
  • Rated for 10 Drive Writes per Day (DWPD) over a 5-year lifetime
  • Solid-State-Capacitor backed power-loss protection
  • Shipping in volume ~Q1 2013
  • 1k qty pricing: $235/$470/$940/$1880 ea. for 100/200/400/800GB capacities

The cost of just over $2/GB should be very enticing for an enterprise-grade SSD, but the most interesting tidbit I got from the briefing was that Intel claims this drive will achieve a <500us response time for 4k random writes, 99.9% of the time. Most SSDs will begin to show intermittent peaks in latency when hit with sustained 4k random access. The S3700 Series should mostly eliminate that issue. More to follow on that front once we can log some hours on a sample.