Introduction and Technical Specifications
Courtesy of Oyen Digital
Oyen Digital, a popular manufacturer of portable storage enclosures and devices, provided us with its MiniPro™ eSATA / USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive enclosure for testing USB 3.0 enhanced mode on the ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe motherboard. This enclosure offers support for USB 2.0, USB 3.0, and eSATA ports in conjunction with a 2.5" hard drive. We put this enclosure on the test bench with the ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe board to test the performance limits of the device. The MiniPro™ enclosure can be found at your favorite e-tailer for $39.95.
The MiniPro™ SATA / USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive enclosure is a simple aluminum enclosure supporting any 2.5" form factor hard drive up to SATA III speeds. The enclosure itself supports USB 2.0, USB 3.0, and eSATA connections. Because of its use of the ASMedia 1053e chipset for USB 3.0 support, the enclosure supports both USB 3.0 normal mode transfer speeds and UASP (USB Attached SCSI Protocol) mode transfer speeds. UASP mode is a method of bulk transfer for USB 3.0 connections that increases transfer speeds through the use of parallel simultaneous packet transfers. Per our sources at ASUS, UASP can be explained as follows:
The adoption of the SCSI Protocol in USB 3.0 provides its users with the advantage of having better data throughput than traditional BOT (Bulk-Only Transfer) protocol, all thanks to its streaming architecture as well as the improved queuing (NCQ support) and task management, which eliminated much of the round trip time between USB commands, so more commands can be sent simultaneously. Moreover, thanks to the multi-tasking aware architecture, the performance is further enhanced when multiple transfers occur.
The downside of UASP is that the receiving device (Flash drive/external hard drive etc) must also be UASP enabled for the protocol to work. This requires checking your peripherals before purchase. However since UASP is an industry standard, the device support for ASUS UASP implementation is not restricted to a particular controller manufacturer or device type, so the overall number of peripherals available should undoubtedly grow.
Technical Specifications (taken from the Oyen Digital website)
eSATA 6G (Up to 6.0 Gbps)
USB 3.0: (Up to 5.0 Gbps)
|SATA III (up to 15mm SATA 2.5" HDD/SSD)|
|Windows XP/Vista/7/8 & above; MAC OS 10.2 & above; Linux 2.4.22 & above|
Subject: Storage | March 28, 2013 - 04:15 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: SuperSSpeed, S301 Hyper Gold, ssd, slc, SandForce SF-2281
SuperSSpeed is mixing the performance and endurance of SLC flash storage with the lower cost of the SandForce SF-2281 in an attempt to bring the price of their SLC drive to an affordable level for the consumer. The mix seems a good idea as the reduced write latency of SLC flash may help to overcome SandForce's weakness when writing incompressible data. [H]ard|OCP's testing bears this out as the drive kept up with a larger Samsung 840 Pro, one of the current performance kings. You will pay for the privilege however as the 128GB drive currently retails for $250 as SLC flash is not cheap. Consider that in almost any casual usage scenario, you are never going to push this drive to its limits ... unless you are going to start your own Frame Rating machine.
"The SuperSSpeed S301 128GB SLC SSD brings SLC flash into the consumer market. The extreme endurance and excellent write performance makes for an interesting SSD powered by the SandForce SF-2281 controller. The Intel 25nm SLC NAND removes much of the Achilles heel of the SandForce processors, delivering consistent performance."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- OCZ Vertex 3.20 – Vertex 3 updated to 20nm @ Bjorn3D
- OCZ Vertex 3.20 120GB Solid State Drive Review @ Pro-Clockers
- OCZ Vertex 3 .20 120GB SSD @ Tweaktown
- OCZ Vertex 3 .20 240GB SSD @ Tweaktown
- KingFast Ultra-Cache K13 & K25 SATA2 SSD Review @ ModSynergy
- Kingston V300 120GB SSD Review @ HCW
- Kingston V300 120GB SSD @ Bjorn3D
- Intel 335 Series 180GB SSD Review @ Hardware Canucks
- The SSD Review SSD Database Is Live
- ADATA DashDrive Air AE400 Wireless Storage Device @ Tweaktown
- Kingston DataTraveller Ultimate 3.0 G3 64GB USB3.0 Flash Drive @ Tweaktown
- Kingston HyperX Predator 512GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive @ Tweaktown
- QNAP TS-469L @ Legion Hardware
- G-Technology G-Drive Mobile USB 1TB USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive Review @ NikKTech
- OWC Mercury On-The-Go Pro USB 3.0 Portable Enclosure Kit Review @ Madshrimps
- ADATA DashDrive HV610 External Hard Drive @ Tweaktown
- ADATA DashDrive Durable HD710 External Hard Drive @ Tweaktown
Subject: Storage | March 18, 2013 - 04:23 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Solidata, K8 1920E 2TB, ssd, sf-1222, LSI, sandforce, Micron JMB393
We have seen some high capacity PCIe based SSDs but in the 2.5" form factor they have been few and far between. This will soon change as Solidata will be releasing a 2 Terabyte SSD called the K8 1920E which will be somewhere in the neighbourhood of $5000 when it becomes available. Each one of the flash storage chips you can see below is a 64GB chip and with 16 on each side you get a full 2048GB of storage. It uses four of the LSI Sandforce SF-1222 controllers and a Micron JMB393 SATA II RAID-5 controller which is configured to act as a 4 port hub, treating each of the controllers as a separate 512GB SSD. Once the SSD Review had formatted the drive for use there was a total of 1788GB available for storage which did not support TRIM as it is technically behind a RAID card. The performance was on par with expectations, keeping in mind the difficulties that SandForce controllers have with incompressible data. This drive will be very expensive but it seems it will be the first product of its type available to be purchased.
"Ever since SSDs were introduced to the retail market back in 07, one of the main complaints has always been capacity. After all, the first SSD releases were only 32 and 64GB. The hopes of one day seeing the performance of an SSD coupled with the capacity of a hard drive has grown and, too many, we think our analysis of the new Solidata K8-1920E 2TB SSD might be welcome news."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- SuperSSpeed S301 Hyper Gold 128GB SLC SSD @ [H]ard|OCP
- Intel 335 Series 180GB SSD Review @ Techgage
- MyDigitalSSD BP4 Slim 7 Solid State Drive @ Benchmark Reviews
- OCZ Vertex 3.20 20nm @ SSD Review
- Micron RealSSD P400m Enterprise SSD @ SSD Review
- Kingston SSDNow V300 120GB @ Tweaktown
- OCZ Vector 256GB SSD Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- Samsung 840 Pro 512GB @ Tweaktown
- Toshiba MK01GRRB/R 2.5-inch 6Gb/s SAS 15K RPM Enterprise RAID Report @ Tweaktown
- Patriot Gauntlet Node Wireless Enclosure Review @ NikKTech
- Adata DashDrive Air AE400 review: wireless card reader for mobile devices @ Hardware.info
- PQI Tiffany USB 3.0 32 GB @ techPowerUp
- Transcend RDF8 USB 3.0 Memory Card Reader Review @ Legit Reviews
- SuperTalent RC4 USB 3.0 Flash Drive With MS Windows To Go @ SSD Review
- Patriot Supersonic Magnum 256GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive Review @ Legit Reviews
- Patriot Supersonic Magnum 256GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- CalDigit AV Pro USB 3.0 HDD / SSD Enclosure @ Tweaktown
- Thecus N7510 7-Bay Affordable Tower NAS @ Tweaktown
- QNAP TS-469L High-performance 4-bay NAS Server for Home & SOHO Review @ Madshrimps
- StarTech 2.5-Inch to USB 3.0 Encrypted Hard Drive Enclosure Review @ Legit Reviews
- QNAP TurboNAS TS-469U-RP NAS Server Review @ NikKTech
- Icy Dock FlexCage MB973SP-2B 5.25-inch HDD Bay Adapter @ Tweaktown
Subject: General Tech, Storage | March 18, 2013 - 12:51 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
15.6" Dell Inspiron 15R Special Edition Core i5 Laptop w/2GB Radeon HD 7730M, Backlit Keyboard, 6GB RAM for $549.99 with free shipping (normally $799.99 - use $150 Coupon Code: 2Q?XNXR2DXQ13G).
23.6" HP Spectre ONE 23-e010se Core i5 Slim All-in-One PC w/TrackPad for $974.99 with free shipping (normally $1,299.99 - use coupon code: DT2617).
90" Sharp AQUOS LC-90LE745U 3D 1080p 120Hz LED HDTV + Free Wall Mount for $7,390 with free shipping (normally $10,000 - use coupon code: FREEMOUNT).
Two (2) Dual UltraSharp U2412M IPS LCD Monitors with Dual Monitor Stand for $594.99 with free shipping (normally $699.99 - use coupon code: 6DBNK$ZJLR$L4J).
128GB OCZ Vertex 4 SATA III Solid State Drive for $116.99 with free shipping (normally $129.99 - use coupon code: VZQG7WPT?PJ4C4).
Audio-Technica Portable Stainless Steel Headphones for $109 with free shipping (normally $249.99 - use coupon code: VMESAVESU20).
Subject: Storage | March 8, 2013 - 09:20 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: sshd, solid state, Seagate, Intel SRT, cache, adaptive memory
Following the announcement that the company would be axing 7200 rpm notebook drives, Seagate has introduced its third generation hybrid hard drives. The new Seagate Solid State Hybrid Drives (SSHD) will initially launch with two notebook drives and a single desktop-sized drive. The hybrid drives will combine a spinning platter drive with 8GB of NAND flash with Seagate’s Adaptive Memory tech that will reportedly cache reads as well as writes.
The 2.5” notebook SSHDs include a 7mm model that combines 500GB of mechanical storage and 8GB of Adaptive Memory cache. This model will retail for around $80. There will also be a slightly larger 9.5mm with 8GB of cache and 1TB mechanical hard drive capacity. The 1TB model utilizes two 500GB, 5400RPM platters and will retail for just under $100.
The desktop SSHDs come in 3.5” form factor and will initially use 7200 RPM platters. Seagate will offer up to 2TB of mechanical storage with its SSHDs and 8GB of NAND flash for caching. Seagate claims that its desktop SSHD is up to four times faster than other mechanical hard drives, (according to PC Mark Vantage) which is likely due to the Adaptive Memory technology caching frequently used data on the flash memory and the use of 1TB platters. The 1TB and 2TB SSHD will cost around $100 and $150 respectively. Naturally, the SSHDs will carry a small premium over traditional mechanical hard drives. They will still be much more price-efficient than Solid State Drives for the storage offered (though I would still like to see a larger NAND cache).
Interestingly, Tech Report was able to glean a few more details about Seagate’s third generation hybrid drives. Reportedly, the drives will be capable of writing as well as reading to/from the NAND cache. That is a major step up from previous generation’s which limited the drive’s flash storage to a read-only cache. Seagate has reportedly built the drives such that they will have enough capacitance to flush the write cache in the event of a power failure (so that you will not lose any data). The dual mode NAND term stems from Seagate’s ability to use SLC for boot data and the write cache and address the remaining NAND as MLC flash. Unfortunately, details are scarce on how Seagate is doing this.
The SSHDs will come with three year warranties, but Seagate has rated the NAND flash at a lifespan of at least five years. In an neat twist, Seagate is also allegedly working on another SSHD implementation that will combine a mechanical hard drive and a larger NAND cache. However, the flash memory will be managed by Intel’s Smart Response Technology instead of Seagate’s own Adaptive Memory tech (which doesn't need additional drives, unlike SRT). Using the port multiplexing aspect of the SATA spec, Seagate will be able to put both drives into a single 3.5” form factor hybrid drive. Admittedly, this is the Seagate SSHD that I am most excited about, despite the fact that it’s also the drive I know the least about. I’m interested to see what kind of performance Seagate can wring out of the larger cache!
Subject: Storage | March 8, 2013 - 12:21 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: synology, storage, networked attached storage, NAS, dsm 4.2
Synology recently took the wraps off its latest NAS management software, called DiskStation Manager (DSM) 4.2. The new software suite is available as a free update for a number of its products.
Diskstation Manager provides a number of features for home and business uses. Business users are now able to take advantage of Synology High Availability duplication on all x86-based NAS products. A RAIDIUS server, SSL encryption between devices and Diskstation Cloud, and two step authentication are among the available security features with DSM 4.2.
DSM 4.2 comes with a web-accessible user interface and desktop-like environment. You can access all its features in a GUI, see disk/RAM/CPU usage, schedule tasks, and even PXE boot other networked machines. Some of the updated software bits include Cloud Station, Photo Station, File Station, Video Station, and Audio Station.
Cloud Station now has 52% faster file transfers to Mac OSX computers. Further, DSM 4.2 supports almost-unlimited user accounts, LDAP, Active Director, and Amazon’s Glacier backup service. File station now supports hot keys. Video Station has a revamped user interface that supports MKV subtitles, HDHomerun DVB-T tuners with mutli-channel TV streaming and recording. Users can also watch movies over the network on DLNA devices or Apple’s AirPlay. DSM 4.2 supports the use of smartphones as remote controls to control playback of media. Finally, Audio Station has added Bluetooth A2DP streaming support, and Photo Station supports file drag and drop and improved thumbnail generation speeds.
DiskStation Cloud now supports automatic backup and file synchronization of media stored on iOS and Android devices. DiskStation Video adds support to stream media to smartphones and DiskStation Photo+ has the Dropbox-like automated backup of photos from your smartphone. DSM 4.2 further features QuickConnect, which takes care of port forwarding automatically. QuickConnect is compatible with DS Photo+, DS Audio, and DS Cloud.
According to Synology, the following devices are eligible for a free update to DSM 4.2. Users can update by manually downloading and applying the update or by going through the updater in the DSM software itself.
"Synology DSM 4.2 is free to download for users who own a DiskStation or RackStation x09 series and onward. Supported models include: DS213+, DS413, DS213, DS413j, DS213air, DS2413+, DS713+, RS10613xs+, RS3413xs+, DS712+, DS212, DS212+, DS212j, RS212, RS812, DS1512+, DS1812+, DS3612xs, RS3412xs, RS3412RPxs, DS112j, DS112, DS412+, RS812+, RS812RP+, RS2212+, RS2212RP+, DS112+, DS3611xs, RS3411xs, RS3411RPxs, DS2411+, RS2211+, RS2211RP+, DS1511+, RS411, DS411, DS411+II, DS411+, DS411j, DS411slim, DS211+, DS211, DS211j, DS111, DS1010+, RS810+, RS810RP+, DS410, DS410j, DS710+, DS210+, DS210j, DS110+, DS110j, DS509+, RS409+, RS409RP+, RS409, DS409+, DS409, DS209+II, DS209+, DS209, DS209j, DS109+, DS109, DS109j, and DS409slim"
Also read: ioSafe N2 - The Performance NAS is now Disaster-proof @ PC Perspective.
Subject: Storage | March 7, 2013 - 07:53 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Sandforce SF2281, adata, sx900
Allyn reviewed the ADTA SX900 back in February which might make you question why we are revisiting this drive in this [H]ard|OCP review. The reason lies in the controller as the SSD Al reviewed contained the SF-2281VB1-S0C while the drive [H] received contains a 2281VB2-SPC controller. [H] had many of the same worries as Al, with ancient firmware being the most relevant, with [H] specifically stating that '5.0.2a firmware does not have working TRIM functionality,' which should cause concern for anyone considering this drive. They also notived power usage above 10W which they felt was odd on a drive marketed as having improved power consumption and ended up unable to recommend this drive.
"The ADATA SX900 128GB SSD came to us with a surprise under the hood, the new B02 version of the SandForce SF-2281 controller. This new stepping is designed to provide revolutionary improvements in power efficiency with no loss of speed. We test the SX900 and the SF-2281VB2-SPC controller to see how it stacks up against the competition."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Monster Digital Daytona 240GB @ Tweaktown
- Kingston HyperX 3K 240 GB @ techPowerUp
- Plextor M5 Pro Xtreme 256GB @ Tweaktown
- Plextor M5 Pro 256GB SSD with Xtreme 1.02 Firmware @ Tweaktown
- Samsung SM843 Pro Data Center Series 240GB @ Tweaktown
- How to Maximize Storage Space Guide @ OCC
- ioSafe N2: A Disaster-Resistant Synology DS213 @ AnandTech
- Vantec NexStar WiFi Hard Drive Dock Review @ Techgage
- Toshiba STOR.E SLIM 500GB USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive Review @ NikKTech
- ADATA DashDrive Air AE400 @ Kitguru
Introduction, Specifications, and Packaging
Last year we did a combined review of the ioSafe SoloPRO and the Synology Diskstation 212+ NAS solution. The ioSafe handled the function of disaster-hardened storage, capable of withstanding a typical building fire along with the resulting drenching from your friendly neighborhood fire department, while the DiskStation made the USB-connected ioSafe available to the network and added numerous additional features as part of its excellent DSM software suite, offering many features to both both home and business users:
The whole time I was working on that article, I kept wondering how cool it would be if both items were combined into one unit. You could then get the additional benefit of multi-drive redundancy *and* the disaster-proof protection offered by the ioSafe. Well, that just happened:
Behold the ioSafe N2!
Apacer recently launched two new SSDs aimed at commercial and industrial applications. The drives will offer up either SLC or MLC NAND flash, but with a twist. The two drives feature the IDE / PATA interface instead of the newer SATA interface seen in today’s systems. Apacer is hoping its PATA SSDs will be used as an upgrade path when the hard drives currently used in industrial systems need replaced. The new Solid State Drives fall under the Apacer AFD 257 and AFD 187 series. The Apacer AFD-257 Premium is a 2.5" drive, and the AFD-187 Premium is a 1.8" drive.
To accommodate the greater need to data protection in such systems, Apacer has built several security features into the drives. The new PATA SSDs include Full Erase, Destroy, and Write Protection features. Interestingly, those security features can be activated using software or via hardware connected to a small port on the drives via a cable that can be routed to a control panel on the external IO of a chassis.
The drives have up to 256 GB capacities and have standard features such as SMART, wear leveling, and ECC (72-bit). The IDE interface is rather antiquated, but Apacer at least supports the faster transfer modes including: DIO Mode-4, MWDMA Mode-2, and Ultra DMA-6. PATA SSDs were somewhat-rare when IDE was still the dominant consumer standard, so it is nice to see there are alternatives for replacement parts still available.
Unfortunately, there is no word on pricing or availability. Transfer speeds are also unknown, but you can expect it to be bottle-necked by the IDE interface (though random access speeds should be a huge improvement over a hard drive, even with the slower PATA interface).
Subject: Storage | March 1, 2013 - 04:43 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: plextor, Marvell. Monet 9187, 19nm, toggle NAND, M5 Pro Extreme
Plextor used to be famous for their CD burners and the number of sheep that they were rated, but the days of blindwrite and moving carefully about the PC while burning a disk are long gone. Instead they are focused on SSDs and other storage media, including the M5 Pro Extreme which [H]ard|OCP just reviewed. It features a powerful Marvell controller not used by many competitors and 19nm Toggle flash from Toshiba. While this drive will not compete against some when used by gamers, that is not what Plextor intended for this drive. Instead focus on the steady write performance as this is a professional drive which thrives under heavy workloads. Check out the review if you need some fast media for video or high end graphics work.
"The Plextor M5 Pro Xtreme 256GB SSD is designed and optimized for users with demanding workloads. The Marvell Monet 9187 controller in tandem with the 19nm Toshiba Toggle Mode NAND provides outstanding specifications. We test the M5 Pro Xtreme with other flagship SSDs."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Mushkin Atlas Deluxe mSATA 30GB SSD Review @ Legit Reviews
- OCZ Vector 256GB SATA III 2.5'' SSD Review @ Madshrimps
- Kingston LSI SandForce B02 for Low Power SSD's - Power Consumption Investigation @ Tweaktown
- SanDisk Ultra Plus 256GB SSD Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Adaptec by PMC ASR-72405 Enterprise RAID Controller @ Tweaktown
- OCZ Vector 256GB SSD Review @ Custom PC Review
- OCZ Vector Solid State Drive @ Benchmark Reviews
- OCZ Agility 4 256gb @ LanOC Reviews
- Kingston SSDNow V300 128GB Solid State Drive Review @ Pro-Clockers
- TRIMcheck: Does Your SSD Really have TRIM Working? @ SSD Review
- Building a Home Server - The Complete Guide @ SSD Review
- omega Storcenter ix4-300d review: affordable network storage @ Hardware.info
- ASUSTOR AS-604T 4-Bay NAS @ X-bit LAbs
- Western Digital Caviar Black 4TB @ Hardware.info
- Lexar JumpDrive Triton 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive @ Tweaktown
- Seagate Enterprise Capacity 3.5 V.3 4TB SAS 6Gb/s HDD Review @ NikKTech
- Patriot Supersonic Magnum 256GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive @ eTeknix
- Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G3 32 GB @ techPowerUp
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