Compact racer, the 256GB mSATA SSD from Crucial

Subject: Storage | August 15, 2012 - 02:21 PM |
Tagged: msata, crucial, Crucial m4

mSATA drives are for far more than just Intel's Rapid Storage Technology to give a platter based drive a performance boost.  At 256GB the Crucial M4 mSATA drive is large enough to run a system off of, tiny enough that it could fit into any system and at $220 it is affordable as well.  If you are looking to build a fast HTPC or simply have a motherboard with an mSATA port you want to fill then you should check out Funky Kit's review.

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"We've just published a review on the Crucial M4 mSATA 256GB SSD. We've seen a lot of mSATA SSDs in the past, but sadly they've out of reach to a lot of consumers. But fear not ... Crucial is now making their mSATA SSDs mainstream and widely available. We take a closer look at their M4 mSATA 256GB SSD."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Source: Funky Kit

Deal for August 15th - Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB SSD for $169

Subject: Editorial, Storage | August 15, 2012 - 11:19 AM |
Tagged: kingston, ssd, deal of the day

I know, I know, we keep pointing you towards SSDs on sale and you just don't have money to spare.  Well maybe today will be different for you.  Through this deal we found on LogicBuy, you can pick up a Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB SSD for just $169 with free shipping

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This Kingston drive uses a SATA 6G SandForce controller capable of read speeds of 555 MB/s and write speeds of 510 MB/s - more than enough for nearly any gamer!

Source: LogicBuy

Deals for August 14th - Samsung 830 128GB SSD for $97

Subject: Editorial, Storage | August 14, 2012 - 10:45 AM |
Tagged: deal of the day, ssd, Samsung

If you are still looking for a deal on your first SSD, the very popular and highly recommended Samsung 830 Series drives are among the best.  Using the offer below, you can get the 128GB model for just $97 with free shipping!

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Top Deal

128GB Samsung 830 Series 2.5" 128GB SATA III Internal SSD for $97 with free shipping(normally $117.00).

Laptops

17.3" MSI GE70 0ND-033US Core i7-3610QM 2.3GHz Quad-core Ivy Bridge Gaming Laptop w/8GB RAM, 750GB HDD, 1080p LCD, 2GB GeForce GTX 660M for $1,130 (normally $1,250).

17.3" Alienware M17x Core i7-2670QM 2.2GHz Quad-core 1080p Gaming Laptop w/4GB RAM, 750GB HDD, 2GB Radeon HD 6970M for $1,349 with free shipping (normally $1,849 - use coupon code ?W22Z75PB3DT22).

15.6" ASUS N56VM-TB71 Core i7-3610QM 2.3GHz Quad-core Ivy Bridge Laptop w/8GB RAM, 750GB HDD, 1080p LCD & 2GB GeForce GT 630M for $900 (normally $980).

15.6" Dell Inspiron 15R Special Edition Core i5-3210M 2.5GHz Ivy Bridge Dual-core Laptop w/6GB RAM, 750GB HDD, 1080p & 2GB Radeon HD 7730M for $750 with free shipping (normally $900 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

14" Dell Inspiron 14z Core i7-3517U 1.9GHz Dual-core Ivy Bridge Ultrabook w/8GB RAM, 500GB HDD + 32GB mSSD, 1GB Radeon HD 7570M for $892 with free shipping (normally $1,189 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

14" Lenovo ThinkPad T430s Core i3-2370M 2.4GHz Ultra-thin Business Laptop (Customizable) w/4GB RAM, 320GB HDD for $703 with free shipping (normally $879 - use coupon code 2DAYSALE).

12.5" Lenovo ThinkPad X230 Core i3-2370M 2.4GHz Ultra-portable Laptop (Customizable) w/4GB RAM, 500GB 7200RPM HDD for $711 with free shipping (normally $889 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

13.3" Dell Inspiron 13z Core i5-3317U 1.7GHz Dual-core Ivy Bridge Laptop w/6GB RAM, 500GB HDD for $629 with free shipping (normally $839 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

Desktops

Dell Vostro 260s Core i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-core Slim Tower w/4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, Wireless Keyboard + Mouse, 21.5" LCD Monitor & $100 Gift Card for $529 with free shipping (normally $749).

Dell Optiplex 790 Core i5-2400 3.1GHz Quad-core Mini Tower w/4GB RAM, 500GB SATA III HDD, 3-year warranty, Windows 7 Pro, 21.5" LCD Monitor & $100 Gift Card for $649 with free shipping (normally $849 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

Alienware Aurora Core i7-2600 3.4GHz Quad-core microATX Liquid-cooled Gaming PC w/8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Blu-ray, Radeon HD 6870 for $1,229 with free shipping (normally $1,729 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

Monitors

Two (2) Dell ST2420L 24" 1080p LED-backlit HDMI LCD Monitors Bundle for $340 with free shipping (normally $480).

23" HP 2311xi 1080p IPS panel LED-backlit Monitor for $170 with free shipping (normally $230).

Tablets

10.1" Samsung Galaxy Tab 16GB Android 3.1 Tablet (Refurbished) for $249 (normally $299).

7" Nook Color eBook reader for $145 with free shipping (normally $150).

Peripherals

1TB Toshiba Canvio USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive (HDTB110XK3BA) for $87(normally $130).

128GB Samsung 830 Series 2.5" 128GB SATA III Internal SSD for $97 with free shipping(normally $117.00).

64GB Centon DataStickPro USB 2.0 Flash Drive for $35 with free shipping(normally $50).

3GB VisionTek Radeon HD 7970 Video Card for $370 with free shipping (normally $430 - use coupon code YWI68641).

Gigabyte Radeon HD 6450 Low Profile Video Card for $10(normally $35).

Xerox Phaser 6280N Color Laser Printer for $399 with free shipping (normally $549).

Brother HL-2280DW Laser Multi-Function Printer for $95 with free shipping (normally $140 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

Gaming:

Madden NFL 13 (PS Vita) + $10 Credit for $35 with free shipping (normally $40).

Home Entertainment:

55" Proscan PLED3792A 37" 1080p LED HDTV for $320 (normally $400).

55" Panasonic VIERA TC-P55ST50 3D 1080p Plasma HDTV + $50 Restaurant.com Gift Certificate for $1,250 with free shipping (normally $1,350).

42" LG 42PA4500 720p Plasma HDTV for $400 with free shipping (normally $500).

32" Samsung UN32EH4000 720p LED HDTV + $40 Gift Card for $319.99 with free shipping (normally $350

Panasonic DMP-BDT220 Integrated Wi-Fi 3D Blu-ray Player for $110 with free shipping (normally $145 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

Personal Portables & Peripherals:

Klipsch Reference S4 In-Ear Noise-Isolating Headphone for $46 with free shipping (normally $69 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

16MP Nikon COOLPIX S8200 Digital Camera (Red) for $210 with free shipping (normally $249).

16MP Canon PowerShot A2400 IS Black Digital Camera for $134 with free shipping (normally $159 - use coupon code 16MP Nikon Coolpix AW100 Waterproof Digital Camera for $269 with free shipping (normally $300).

Miscellaneous:

Ooma Telo VoIP Phone System w/ Bluetooth Adapter for $185 with free shipping (normally $250 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

Serta Executive High-Back Leather Chair (Black or Brown) for $145 with free shipping (normally $230 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

Source: LogicBuy

PC Perspective Hardware Workshop 2012 @ Quakecon 2012 in Dallas, TX

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards, Motherboards, Cases and Cooling, Processors, Memory, Systems, Storage, Mobile, Shows and Expos | August 9, 2012 - 10:30 PM |
Tagged: video, workshop, streaming, quakecon, prizes, live, giveaways

It is that time of year again: another installment of the PC Perspective Hardware Workshop!  Once again we will be presenting on the main stage at Quakecon 2012 being held in Dallas, TX August 2-5th.  

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Main Stage - Quakecon 2012

Saturday, August 4th, 2pm CT

Our thanks go out to the organizers of Quakecon for allowing us and our partners to put together a show that we are proud of every year.  We love giving back to the community of enthusiasts and gamers that drive us to do what we do!  Get ready for 2 hours of prizes, games and raffles and the chances are pretty good that you'll take something out with you - really, they are pretty good!

Our thanks for this year's workshop logo goes to John Pastor!!

Our primary partners at the event are those that threw in for our ability to host the workshop at Quakecon and for the hundreds of shirts we have ready to toss out!  Our thanks to NVIDIA, MSI Computer and Corsair!!

 

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Live Streaming

If you can't make it to the workshop - don't worry!  You can still watch the workshop live on our page right here as we stream it over one of several online services.  Just remember this URL: http://pcper.com/workshop and you will find your way!

Case Mod Competition

Along with the Hardware Workshop, PC Perspective is working with Modders Inc on the annual case mod contest!  There are two categories for the competition: "Scratch Built" and "In the Box" that will allow those that build their computer enclosures from the ground up to compete separately from those that heavily modify their existing cases and systems.

For more details, be sure to check out the on going thread at the Modders Inc Forums!

Prize List (will continue to grow!)

Continue reading to see the list of prizes for the workshop!!!

Source: PCPer

New Icy Dock Blizzard Hard Drive Enclosure Keeps Drives Cool

Subject: Storage | August 8, 2012 - 07:31 PM |
Tagged: usb 3.0, icy dock, hard drive enclosure, external hard drive, eSATA

Hard drive enclosure manufacturer ICY DOCK has launched its new Blizzard enclosure that is designed to keep your 3.5” hard drive cool. Putting a fast hard drive in an external enclosure can shorten its lifespan if it does not provide proper airflow. As the name implies, the Blizzard takes cooling to the extreme by placing an 80mm fan at the front of the enclosure to ensure that the 3.5” hard drive is nice and chilly even when under heavy load. Specifically, ICY DOCK has released the MB080U35-1SB and MB080USEB-1SB. The former is the USB 3.0 model while the latter foregoes USB 3.0 in favor of Firewire.

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The enclosure itself is all back and constructed of ABS with a metal frame. It measures 237.5 x 126 x 146mm and weights 646 grams. The Blizzard enclosure can hold a single 3.5” SATA desktop hard drive. The front of the case is a diamond shape and hold the 80mm fan. From there, the case tapers back into a form-fitting rectangular shape a bit larger than the hard drive it is holding. Exhaust ports are present at the back and the front grill is used as a large intake. The fan is LED lit with a dimmable blue light. Further, a fan speed switch allows setting the fan to high, low, or automatic speeds. Should the drive temperature go above 50 C, the front LED will turn a red color. At the top-front of the drive enclosure are two LED lights–a solid green LED for power and a flashing orange LED for indicated hard drive access. On the side are two large release buttons that allow  the front to be pulled off and hard drive to be inserted or removed.

Icy_Dock_Blizzard_Fan.jpg

Aside from the fan and the resulting odd shape, this enclosure is fairly standard. If you need fast rotating storage though, that fan design may be very important. When one of my WD MyBook drives died, I swapped it out for a 7,200 RPM hard drive I had lying around and used it as a backup-backup drive (lest it simply act as a dust catcher). It would get warm to the touch, so while it may be overkill for many people some might find it useful if you absolutely need large amounts of fast storage in an external enclosure.

Icy_Dock_Blizzard.jpg

As mentioned previously, the MB080U3S-1SB model features a USB 3.0/USB 2.0 and a eSATA connector on the rear of the device for connecting to your computer. The MB080USEB-1SB model, on the other hand, features USB 2.0, FIrewire, and eSATA ports. Also included on the back of the device is the fan speed switch, LED dimmer, power switch, and power jack.

While the Icy Dock website does not list an MSRP, the enclosure can be found for around $70. It is currently listed for $71.99 over at Newegg, for example. I’ll admit that it’s a rather odd enclosure, but if you have the desk space and want to keep your drives nice and chilly this appears to be a decent option. No Thunderbolt support, but as Ryan found out, you would need a multi-drive array to really get your money’s worth out of Thunderbolt (so for a single hard drive, USB 3.0 or eSATA should be fast enough).

You can find more photos and information on the Blizzard enclosure on the company's website as well as a video of it below.

What do you think of the external hard drive enclosure?

 

Source: Icy Dock

Plextor Announces New M5 Pro SSD, Impressive Marvell Performance

Subject: Storage | August 8, 2012 - 02:26 PM |
Tagged: ssd, plextor, m5 pro, Marvell, marvell 88SS9187, flash memory

Plextor, a company known best for its line of optical drives has announced a new SSD that offers up some impressive performance numbers. The M5 Pro is powered by a Marvell 88SS9187 Monet controller and claims to offer improved data protection and throughput even when the drive is near-full.

Plextor uses 128-bit error correction built into the Marvell controller in addition to a data hold-out algorithm in Plextor’s firmware to ensure that data reads from the flash memory as accurate as possible. Further, the drive offers up AES 256-bit full drive encryption to protect your data from prying eyes. The company further stated that the drives have undergone “rigorous high-temperature burn-in tests” to ensure reliability. The reliability aspects are the features that the company is touting the most in its press release, but the other half of the coin is performance.

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Fortunately, if its numbers turn out to be true, users will not be disappointed. The Marvell controller is putting out some decent performance numbers. The M5 Pro SSD is capable of read and write IOPS of 94,000 and 86,000 respectively. Further, it can deliver a claimed 540 MB/s sequential read and 450 MB/s write operations. Not bad for Marvell at all!

According to Kathy Huynh, Product Marketing Manager for Plextor:

““In recent years, Plextor has been able to develop SSDs that deliver high real-world performance and sustained speed over the long-term. Our SSDs have one of the lowest annual failure rate in the consumer SSD industry. Now with the M5 Pro, we aim to use Plextor’s abilities to offer extreme data protection and give users total confidence in every single aspect of their drive.”

The new M5 Pro solid state drives will come with a five year warranty and will be available later this month. You will be able to pick up an M5 Pro in 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB capacities, though there is no word yet on how much they will cost. You can find more information in the company’s press release.

For more SSD information, check out our SSD Decoder!

Source: Plextor

The SandForce powered Corsair GT 240GB is a sweet deal

Subject: Storage | August 7, 2012 - 03:15 PM |
Tagged: Force GT 240 GB, ssd, corsair, sandforce, SF-2282

The Corsair Force lineup uses different controllers on different models so it can be very important to do a bit of research before you purchase one.  The Force GT 240GB that [H]ard|OCP reviewed uses the SandForce SF-2282 controller and clocks in at under $1/GB and with the current deal it is only $0.73/GB.  Part of [H]'s testing of these drives now includes the AS SSD test, which is particularly hard on SandForce base SSDs as it utilizes non-compressible data, however this SSD still kept up with the competition and sometimes surpassed them.  Check out the full review for the whole story.

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"We are reviewing the Corsair Force GT 240GB SSD. Corsair provides enthusiasts with both sides of the SSD controller coin by offering Marvell and SandForce controlled SSDs in its product lines. Today we will take a look at the SandForce option with its SandForce SF-2282 controller paired with high-performance IMFT synchronous NAND."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Source: [H]ard|OCP

WD Red drives *do* support TLER...

Subject: Storage | August 3, 2012 - 02:25 PM |
Tagged: western digital, WD, TLER, red, raid, hdd

This morning I received a tweet about WD Red drives not supporting Time Limited Error Recovery. TLER is the feature which allows a RAID comprised of Reds to much more gracefully handle drive failures and/or read errors. It's carried down from enterprise drives like the RE4 and RE4-GP.

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I'm posting this quick note here to let the masses know that the Red drives *do* in fact support TLER. It's a primary component of NASware - the NAS aware firmware that drives the Reds. Here's the official reply I received from Western Digital:

WD does enable intelligent error recovery controls, which is not the same as a desktop drive.  WD's exclusive NASware technology is built in each WD Red drive, which reduces the concern with using desktop drives in a RAID environment.
More info on details of NASware can be found here:  http://www.wd.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=810

Western Digital has assured me they are tracking down where the miscommunication occurred.

 

Seagate lets you guess the SSD manufacturer it wants to buy

Subject: General Tech, Storage | August 1, 2012 - 10:01 PM |
Tagged:

CFO of Seagate, Pat O’Malley, is looking to purchase a solid state drive manufacturer but will not confirm rumors that OCZ is who they have in mind. They then acknowledge that there is only one company who would make sense for them to acquire.

It is kind-of like you are trying to be stealthy with your interest in a girl in your classes – but it is all throughout the gossip circles. Also, you say you like tall blonde women and there is only two in your program; the other is Intel, nothing more needs to be said.

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Ya CZ.

Reuters arranged a discussion with Pat O’Malley, the Chief financial officer (CFO) of Seagate. During the interview, O’Malley announced that Seagate would be interested in purchasing an SSD manufacturer with a strong presence in the enterprise market. O’Malley was further questioned about rumors of Seagate purchasing OCZ. The response was about as thinly veiled as a non-answer could be before it would be considered a confirmation.

“We look at all technology product providers but what I would say is that on the enterprise SSDs, there’s probably only one of them that really makes and significant money.”

And they certainly will make significant money now – as investors binge a little to own a few extra shares.

“We don’t do any comments on official policy on M&A ((Mergers and Acquisitions)) until it’s done.”

Directly.

Update: As commentors and coworkers have mentioned -- it would not be too far fetched for Seagate to be talking about companies such as FusionIO. Still -- OCZ feels most likely to me.

Source: Reuters

A little DIY hard drive unbricking

Subject: Storage | July 30, 2012 - 01:31 PM |
Tagged: Seagate, repair, DIY, bricked

While this trick will not work on all bricked HDDs, if you have a Seagate 7200.11 HDD that is failing because it is convinced it is always in a busy state then you should check out this story on Hack a Day.  While the initial step of detaching the circuit board and blocking some connections with piece of cardstock can be handled with easy, it will take some expertise to use an Arduino or serial-TTL converter to issue commands to the HDD controller.  It is a good thing that there is a tutorial to walk you through the steps to unbrick your HDD, besides in the worst case scenario your HDD will still be a brick so it is worth a shot.

HaD_seagate-firmware-bug-repair.jpg

"Hard drive firmware is about the last place you want to find a bug. But that turned out to be the problem with the Seagate HDD which he was using in a RAID array. It stopped working completely, and he later found out the firmware has a bug that makes the drive think it’s permanently in a busy state. There’s a firmware upgrade available, but you have to apply it before the problem shows its face, otherwise you’re out of luck. Some searching led him to a hardware fix for the problem."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Source: Hack a Day