Next gen SSD controllers pushing for TLC flash

Subject: Storage | April 27, 2011 - 10:06 PM |
Tagged: tlc, ssd, slc, ocz, mlc, flash

A while back, Intel and Micron jointly announced the beginnings of 20nm flash memory production, promising a 50% increase in die count per wafer (or a 50% reduction in per die production cost, depending on how you slice it). This shrink only did just that - shrink the die. Capacity remained at 64Gbit (8GB).

A few days ago IMFT also announced another way to shrink that die, but this time keeping with the now 'old' 25nm process. It turns out they have refined 25nm to the point where consumer-grade TLC flash can be produced. TLC is Triple-Level-Cell. While SLC (Single) holds 1 bit per cell, and MLC (Multi) holds two, TLC holds 3 bits per cell. Compared to the MLC 25nm dies, this gives a capacity increase without changing much else. IMFT, however, is happy with the 8GB 'sweet spot', so instead of jumping to a 12GB die of the same physical size, they are opting to instead shrink the current 25nm die to 131mm^2.

INTC_Micron_TLC_NAND_350.jpg

25nm TLC die, same 8GB capacity, but less area than the 25nm MLC die.

This gives Intel and Micron two options for ultimately reducing the price of flash - either by shrinking the process and getting more 8GB MLC dies out of a 20nm wafer, or by squeezing more bits into each cell of existing 25nm flash.

This is good stuff. Let's hope it gets even more SSD's into even more machines this holiday season.

PCPer v4.0 Giveaway: Another OCZ Technology Vertex 2 120GB SSD!

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Storage | April 27, 2011 - 02:48 PM |
Tagged: contest, giveaway, ocz, ssd, vertex

As you can no doubt tell, PC Perspective got a HUGE and much needed facelift recently to what we are internally calling "PC Perspective v4.0".  I know there are still some kinks to work out and we are actively addressing any feedback from our readers in this comment thread.  

But we want to celebrate the launch of the new site in style!!  Some of our site sponsors have very generously offered up some prizes for us to give out throughout the coming days...

The seventh (!!) prize is another 120GB OCZ Technology Vertex 2 SSD!!

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What do you have to do to win this wonderful piece of hardware?

Couldn't be easier: post a comment in this post thanking OCZ for its sponsorship of PC Perspective and maybe include a thought or two on the new site design (compliments, constructive criticism, hate filled monologues, whatever).  You should probably have a registered account or at least be sure you include your email address in the appropriate field so we can contact you!

Source: OCZ

OCZ Technology Announces Vertex 3 Max IOPS Solid State Drives

Subject: Storage | April 26, 2011 - 01:36 PM |
Tagged: ocz, vertex 3, sata 6Gps, Max IOPS

OCZ_Logo_Orange.jpg

SAN JOSE, CA—April 26, 2011—OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCZ), a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems, today unveiled a new addition to the highly-awarded Vertex 3 SATA III Series. The Vertex 3 Max IOPS edition drives extend the company’s industry-leading Vertex 3 SSD product line to support users that require greater transactional throughput.

“Following the successful launch of our Vertex 3 SATA III 6Gbps solid state drives we are pleased to introduce the new Max IOPS edition,” said Ryan Petersen, CEO of OCZ Technology Group. “Vertex 3 Max IOPS drives increase random write performance, and are the ideal storage solution for applications that require high aggregate workloads and increased IO throughput.”

The Vertex 3 Max IOPS edition combines the cutting-edge SandForce® SF-2200 SSD processor with premium NAND flash components to deliver exceptional 4KB random write performance with up to 75,000 IOPS. Furthermore, these drives can significantly improve multimedia entertainment and management, and the overall computing experience compared to both traditional mechanical hard drives and competing SSDs.

Vertex 3 Max IOPS will be available in capacities of 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB, and features TRIM support to optimize performance over the drive's lifespan. All Vertex 3 Series drives come backed with a 3 year warranty to ensure customer satisfaction.

Source: OCZ

PCPer v4.0 Giveaway: Thermaltake Max 5G USB 3.0 Hard Drive Enclosure

Subject: General Tech, Storage | April 22, 2011 - 03:24 PM |
Tagged: thermaltake, hdd, giveaway, contest

As you can no doubt tell, PC Perspective got a HUGE and much needed facelift last weekend to what we are internally calling "PC Perspective v4.0".  I know there are still some kinks to work out and we are actively addressing any feedback from our readers in this comment thread.  

But we want to celebrate the launch of the new site in style!!  Some of our site sponsors have very generously offered up some prizes for us to give out throughout the coming days...

The fifth set of prizes is a pair of Thermaltake Max 5G USB 3.0 external hard drive enclosures!

max5g.jpg

It has lights, it has fans AND it runs at USB 3.0 speeds.  What do you have to do to win this wonderful piece of hardware?

Couldn't be easier: post a comment in this post thanking Thermaltake for its sponsorship of PC Perspective as well as your plans for using such a cool USB 3.0 external drive dock.  What other features would you like to see on external enclosures like this? 

You should probably have a registered account or at least be sure you include your email address in the appropriate field so we can contact you!

We will pick the winners tomorrow and move on to the next hardware that finds its way to PC Perspective offices.  Good luck and thanks for reading!!

Source: Thermaltake

Speedy and secure; the best of the encrypted thumb drives

Subject: Storage | April 21, 2011 - 05:56 PM |
Tagged: secure, encryption, usb, thumb drive

If you haven't heard of the FIPS 140 Publication Series it is the Federal Information Processing Standard which accredits encrypted flash drives to one of four levels, with 1 being relatively secure and 4 representing encryption that is almost able to defend its self from penetration.  Adding that level of security can slow things down, which is why Legit Reviews bought a few drives off of NewEgg to test.

TN_usb-flash-drives.jpg

"On paper it looks like the IronKey solutions should be faster, but you can't believe everything a company tells you when they are marketing a product they are trying to sell you. Since security is such a big deal to corporations these days we decided to order in these Flash drives and do some testing of our own. We've heard rumors and have experienced ourselves that review sites often get 'cherry picked' samples, so we ordered in as many drives as our $1000 self-prescribed budget would allow. You can look at our receipts from Amazon.com, TigerDirect.com and PConnection if you'd like..."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

SSD and HDD transfer speeds over a 1Gbit/s LAN

Subject: Storage | April 14, 2011 - 06:36 PM |
Tagged:

Armed with a LAN that can theoretically handle 1Gb per second, Techgage set out to see what effect storage drive technology would have on the speed at which files are transferred.  They paired Corsair's F160 SSD and Seagate's Barracuda 7200.11 1TB to see how an SSD to SSD transfer varies from an SSD to HDD or HDD to HDD.  Read on to find out the fastest way to transfer an 11GB folder and a 22.2GB file over your network.

Source: TECHGAGE

Intel, Micron jointly release 20nm flash memory

Subject: Storage | April 14, 2011 - 11:30 AM |
Tagged:

Just over a year ago, PC Perspective witnessed IMFT production of 25nm flash memory. Today Intel and Micron have announced that IMFT will be cranking out 20nm flash!

The Indilinx powered OCZ Enyo 64GB USB 3.0 drive

Subject: Storage | April 11, 2011 - 02:19 PM |
Tagged:

With the rise of flash memory and more importantly the improvements made to the controllers to make SSDs as spectacular as they are we are seeing a new breed of removable drives hit the market.  They do not have an integral plug as a typical thumb drive sports, nor are they in the familiar rectangular shape, but they do share the hardiness of that type of drive.  Instead you must suffer the need to carry around a USB 3.0 cable and a drive that is slightly smaller than your average smartphone but gain not only increased storage space but also significantly increased transfer speeds.  TechARP's testing showed the Enyo hitting 130.60 MB/s read and 99.59 MB/s write during one IO Meter test, not too shabby for an external drive.

"The OCZ Enyo is a unique device that blurs the definition of portable drives as we know them. It is a solid state drive that looks like a portable hard disk drive but works more like a USB flash drive. As such, we will be comparing it not only to portable hard disk drives but also USB flash drives. Let’s take a look."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

  Storage

Source: Tech ARP

Fastest Spindle in its class, the 3TB Seagate Barracuda

Subject: Storage | April 5, 2011 - 05:50 PM |
Tagged:

If you have a new motherboard with UFEI BIOS so it can boot off of a 3TB drive, you might have already sprung for an SSD and you don't have to worry about booting off of your storage drive.  Others will not have purchased the new SSD will want to boot from this drive as Bjorn3D has called it the fastest mechanical drive they've seen.  Sure it can't compete with SSDs for speed, but SSDs aren't available at $0.08/GB!

"The Seagate Barracuda XT 3TB is the fastest mechanical drive that we have tested. The drive has excellent sequential read and write up to 150MB/s. While SSDs may grab the market headlines, they are still relatively expensive at $1.5 per gigabyte and with capacity limited to a few hundred gigabytes. At 0.08 cents per gigabyte, the Seagate Barracuda XT offers an excellent pricing as a secondary drive to complement the limited storage capacity of the SSD. With 3TB of space, 64MB Cache, 7200 RPM and SATA 6Gb/s interface, the Barracuda XT 3TB definitely won’t bog down a system. It is also hard to say no to the drive considering that it comes with a 5 year warranty, while most mainstream hard drives now only carry 3 year warranty."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

  Storage

Source: Bjorn3D

OCZ's new X2 100GB PCI-E SSD is so fast its REVOlting

Subject: Storage | March 31, 2011 - 06:42 PM |
Tagged:

If you need fast, not SATA 6Gb/s fast but PCIe 4x fast and don't mind spending a lot of money, say $4/GB or so to start, then check the OCZ RevoDrive X2 out.  In the tests where this RAIDed SSD drive doesn't win it is arguable that the benchmark its self is just unable to handle the ridiculous read and write speeds this drive can reach. The only drawback, as Think Computers is quick to point out, is no TRIM support.

 

"OCZ is no stranger to creating some of the fastest solid state drives available. We know this from our reviews of the original RevoDrive and the Vertex 3 drive. Today OCZ has sent us their X2 version of the RevoDrive, which is to be faster and available in larger capacities. It boasts max speeds of 740MB/s read and 720MB/s write and capacities of up to 960GB. If you are a person that always needs to have some of the fastest components available in your system then the RevoDrive X2 is for you. Let’s see if it will become the fastest solid state drive we have tested to date!"

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage