Subject: General Tech | May 9, 2013 - 03:30 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: Volcanic Islands, ssd, silvermont, Seagate, podcast, pcper, iris pro, iris, Intel, haswell, gamer memory, amd
PC Perspective Podcast #250 - 05/09/2013
Join us this week as we discuss Haswell Iris Graphics, Intel Silvermont, AMD HD 9000 Series Rumors and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
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Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Morry Teitelman
Program length: 1:19:46
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
Jeremy: BitTorrent Bundle
1-888-38-PCPER or firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Storage | May 7, 2013 - 10:31 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: x8 accelerator, virident, ssd, seagate 1200, Seagate, pci-e
In addition to its recently-announced 600 and 600 Pro consumer line of solid state drives, Seagate has unveiled two new drives aimed at the enterprise SSD market. The Seagate 1200 series is a 2.5" SAS SSD and the Seagate X8 is a PCI-E based accelerator card.
Unfortunately, details are extremely scarce on both upcoming enterprise drives. Performance, specifications, pricing, and availability are still unknown. Seagate has officially confirmed there existence and shared a few tidbits of information, however.
The Seagate 1200 SSDs are 2.5" form factor drives with a 12Gbps SAS interface, which suggests that they will be at least somewhat faster than the consumer versions due to Seagate implementing the faster drive interface. The most important detail however, is that Seagate will be using its own custom SSD controller in the 1200 series. The new controller is still a mystery, but it is developed by Seagate and not Link A Media with customized firmware like the 600 and 600 Pro drives. I am especially interested to find out more about this aspect of the drive. Hopefully the new controller is successful and will trickle down to the company's next-generation consumer SSDs.
Meanwhile, Seagate's X8 Accelerator card is a half-height, half-length expansion card with up to 2.2TB of flash memory. The new PCI-E based drive is based on technology from Virident and can be used to accelerate applicators or database operations in servers. It will be available in capacities ranging from 550GB to 2.2TB. The SSD controller/management duties are handled by the host system's CPU and maintenance operations like garbage collection can be scheduled for periods of downtime when the server is not being hit hard by things like database requests for a popular web application. According to Seagate, each X8 Accelerator will be capable of up to 1.5 million IOPS.
Both of the new enterprise solid state drives will be released later this year.
Subject: General Tech | May 7, 2013 - 07:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ssd, Seagate, LM87800, 600 Pro, 600, LAMD
Seagate has used Link_A_Media's Amber LM87800 controller and Toshiba Type C 19nm MLC NAND along with their own custom firmware to create the Seagate 600 series of SSDs. The components are very similar to Corsair's Neutron series of drives, it seems that the biggest difference is going to be in the functionality of the firmware. The first difference [H]ard|OCP spotted was in the efficiency of the drives, they pulled less power than their rivals and the Pro version sported enhanced endurance and power capacitors which will be very important to enterprise users. Check out the full review to see where they sit in the pack after the benchmarks were all completed.
"Seagate refreshes its line of consumer and enterprise SSDs with a new family of third-generation SSD products. We take a look at the consumer mainstream Seagate 600 and the enthusiast model, the Seagate 600 Pro. Will its LAMD Amber LM87800 controller, custom firmware, and Toshiba Type C 19nm MLC NAND make it a standout?"
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Seagate 600 SSD Review (480GB) @ SDD Review
- Seagate Pro 600 Enterprise SSD @ Tweeaktown
- Seagate 600 SSD ST480HM000 480GB SSD @ Tweaktown
- Seagate 600 SSD 240GB RAID Report @ Tweaktown
- Seagate 600 SSD ST240HM000 240GB @ Tweaktown
- Samsung 840 SSD 250 GB @ techPowerUp
- Seagate Constellation ES.3 4TB Review @ OCC
- Toshiba DT01ACA300 3TB Hard Disk Drive Review @ Madshrimps
- iStarUSA BPN-DE340SS Storage Bay Adapter Review @ NikKTech
- Teratrend TS231U Dual Bay USB 3.0 / eSATA Enclosure @ Tweaktown
- QNAP TS-669L 6-Bay NAS @ Tweaktown
- Silicon Power Armor A80 1TB USB 3.0 Portable @ Bjorn3D
Seagate has officially moved into the solid state drive (SSD) market with two new consumer drives: the 600 and 600 Pro series. The new drives come in capacities ranging from 100GB to 480GB. Both series utilize the Link A Media (LAMD) LM87800 SSD controller and 19nm 2-bit per cell MLC NAND flash from Toshiba. Seagate has not provided pricing or availability dates, but pricing should be in-line with existing drives, and reviews are already available around the Internet.
The Seagate 600 series is the lowest-tier solid state drive. It will be available in 120, 240, and 480GB capacities. Seagate is using 128GB, 256, and 512GB of NAND flash on 2, 4, and 8 channels respectively. In addition to the LM87800 SSD controller (which features custom Seagate firmware) and NAND flash, Seagate is including 1MB of DDR2-800 DRAM per 1GB of NAND flash for a total of 128, 256, and 512MB of DRAM on the 120, 240, and 480GB capacity drives.
The 600 Series is rated at up to 500MB/s peak 128KB reads and 400MB/s writes (limited to 300MB/s on the lowest-capacity 120GB drive). Further, Seagate states that the 120GB drive is capable of 80,000 random read and 60,000 random write (4K) IOPS, while the 240GB and 480GB drives can reach up to 80,000 random read and 70,000 random write (4K) IOPS.
Also note that the 600 series comes in both 7mm and 5mm form factors, which makes it compatible with most laptops. Seagate provides a 3 year warranty on the 600 series.
The Seagate 600 Pro series steps things up a notch by adding overprovisioning, capacitors for power-loss protection, and a longer 5 year warranty. The 600 Pro series will come in 100, 120, 200, 240, 400, and 480GB capacities. The 100, 200, and 400GB versions of the SSD offer additional overprovisioning which gives the SSD controller more space to work with. The capacitores are intended to provide enough power in the event of a PC power loss to write all data to the NAND flash and prevent data loss.
The 600 Pro drives offer the same 6Gbps SATA interface, LM87800 controller, and 1MB-to-1GB DRAM to NAND ratio. The Pro drives do not come in the 5mm high form factor, so laptop compatibility is limited.
Further, the 600 Pro Seagate SSDs are faster drives. According to Seagate, the Pro series offers up to 85,000 and 30,000 random read and write (4K) IOPS on the overprovisioned drives and p to 85,000/11,000 random IOPS on the 240 and 480GB drives. The 100 and 120GB drives are slower than the other drives though due to less NAND flash and channels between the flash and controller. The chart below details the rated specifications for all of the announced drives.
|Series||600 Pro||600 Pro||600 Pro||600 Pro||600 Pro||600 Pro||600||600||600|
|Random 4K r/w KIOPS||80/20||80/8||85/30||85/11||85/30||85/11||80/60||80/70||80/70|
|128KB r/w sustained sequential||>500/>300||>500/>400||>500/>400|
|128KB peak sequential r/w||520/300||520/300||520/450||520/450||520/450||520/450|
Blank areas indicate that rated specifications were not available.
Fortunately, the reviews available online (such as AnandTech's) do seem to support the new drives as far as performance is concerned. The drives are stacking up nicely versus the competition, which is interesting given the controller choice. For example, the sequential read speed looks promising.
The 600 and 600 Pro drives are looking like solid drives so long as the pricing is competitive. I'm excited to see where Seagate goes from here.
Subject: Storage | May 3, 2013 - 11:32 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: LAMD, corsair, neutron, ssd, asynchronous NAND, 22nm
Still featuring the Link_A_Media Devices LM87800 controller but with all new 22nm SK Hynix Synchronous NAND the refreshed Corsair Neutron SSD series just arrived on [H]ard|OCP's test bench. The refresh brings both good and bad attributes, while the 22nm NAND proves a little slower than the original 25nm it also brings a much lower price. That lower price paired with a 5 year warranty should make this drive attractive to users that are holding off on picking up an SSD because of fears that the drive will stop functioning in a few years, or who have a hard time spending well over $1/GB for storage.
"Corsair keeps pace with continuing innovation in the NAND market by switching from 25nm IMFT NAND to the rarely seen 22nm SK Hynix NAND. This NAND provides a lower price point and extra capacity. Today we take a look to see if the Neutron Series performance remains and how this new SSD build stacks up to the competition."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- ADATA XPG SX900 128GB SSD Review Redux @ [H]ard|OCP
- Crucial M500 480GB Solid-State Drive Review @ Legit Reviews
- Comay Pluto SC3 Enterprise SSD @ Tweaktown
- ASUS RAIDR Express 240GB PCI-Express SSD review: is this the future? @ Hardware.info
- Corsair SSD Toolbox Software Overview - Better than Never @ Tweaktown
- Top SSD Recommendations For May 2013 - Samsung TLC Dethrones the SanDisk SSD Family @ SSD Review
- The SSD Optimization Guide Ultimate Windows 8 (And Win7) Edition @ The SSD Review
- OCZ Vertex 3.20 240GB SSD w/20nm Flash @ FunkyKit
- OWC Mercury Accelsior E2 PCIe SSD @ SSD Review
- Transcend MSA720 128GB mSATA SSD Review @ Legit Reviews
- Seagate Laptop Thin SSHD 500GB Review @ Techgage
- SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB Compact Flash Memory Card @ Tweaktown
- ADATA DashDrive Air AE400 Wireless Storage @ Benchmark Reviews
- takeMS LumX 4GB USB Flash Drive Review @ Madshrimps
- SanDisk Extreme Pro SDHC and microSDHC Memory Card @ Tweaktown
- Corsair Flash Survivor Stealth 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive @ Tweaktown
- ADATA DashDrive Durable UD310 32GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive @ eTeknix
- Synology DS213+ High-Performance 2-Bay NAS Server for SMB Review @ Madshrimps
- Corsair Voyager Air 1TB Wireless Hard Drive @ eTecknix
- Patriot Supersonic Rage XT 64GB Flash Drive @ FunkyKit
- Mach Xtreme MX-ES 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive @ Tweaktown
- Transcend Wi-Fi SD Card @ Hardware.info
- PQI Air Bank 500GB External Wi-Fi Hard Disk Drive @ Tweaktown
- Asustor AS-604T 4-Bay NAS @ Tweaktown
- QNAP's TS-EC1279U-RP 12-bay Flagship Rackmount NAS @ AnandTech
- nfortrend EonNAS Pro 510 NAS @ Tweaktown
- Asustor AS-606T @ Legion Hardware
Subject: Storage | April 19, 2013 - 10:10 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: trim, ssd, sandforce 2281, sandforce, ROG, raidr, raid, PCIe SSD, asus
ASUS is reportedly adding two new PCI-E Solid State Drives (SSD) to its Republic Of Gamers lineup. Dubbed RAIDR, the new PCI-E SSDs use 19nm Toshiba MLC NAND flash driven by two SandForce 2281 controllers. In turn, the two SandForce drives are put into a hardware RAID 0 configuration for maximum speed. The RAIDR SSD internals are encased in a stylized EMI shield along with a ROG-branded back-plate. In all, ASUS’ RAIDR SSDs measure 157 x 120 x 20mm.
The ASUS RAIDR drives show up as a single disk driven by a standard AHCI controller, which allows the two RAID 0 SSDs connected via the PCI-E bus to be boot-able and support the TRIM command. Both RAIDR solid state drives also support Native Command Queuing (NCQ), SMART, Secure Erase, Windows 8 Secure Boot.
According to specifications provided by Sweclockers, ASUS is launching 120GB and 240GB versions of the PCI-E SSDs. Both capacities feature 100,000 IOPS, 128-bit AES encryption, and 620,000 MTBF ratings.
The 120GB RAIDR SSD supports up to 765MB/s sequential reads and 775MB/s sequential write speeds. On the other hand, the 240GB RAIDR drive supports up to 830MB/s sequential reads and 810MB/s sequential writes.
Additionally, ASUS is bundling its RAIDR drives with Kaspersky Antivirus 2013 and a number of ASUS utilities (including SSD TweakIt). The drives should be available sometime next month, but pricing is still unknown. Adding PCI-E SSDs is an interesting move by ASUS that should help the company diversify and expand its ROG branding. Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing how the drives stack up when they are released (and hopefully a PC Perspective review)!
Introduction, Specifications and Packaging
A while back, we saw OCZ undergo a major restructuring. 150+ product SKUs were removed from their lineup, leaving a solid core group of products for the company to focus on. The Vertex and Agility lines were spared, and the Vector was introduced and well received by the community. With all of that product trimming, we were bound to see another release at some point:
Today we see a branch from one of those tree limbs in the form of the Vertex 3.20. This is basically a Vertex 3, but with the 25nm IMFT Sync flash replaced by newer 20nm IMFT Sync flash. The drop to 20nm comes with a slight penalty in write endurance (3000 cycles, down from the 5000 rating of 25nm) for the gain of cheaper production cost (more dies per 300mm wafer).
IMFT has been cooking up 20nm flash for a while now, and it is becoming mature enough to enter the mainstream. The first entrant was Intel's own 335 Series, which debuted late last year. 20nm flash has no real groundbreaking improvements other than the reduced size, so the hope is that this shrink will translate to lower cost/GB to the end user. Let's see how the new Vertex shakes out.
- Capacity: 120, 240GB
- Sequential read: 550 MB/sec
- Sequential write: 520 MB/sec
- Random read IOPS (up to): 35 k-IOPS
- Random write IOPS (up to): 65 k-IOPS
This simple plastic packaging does away with the 3.5" bracket previously included with all OCZ models.
Subject: Storage | March 28, 2013 - 08:15 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: General Tech | March 20, 2013 - 05:02 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: DRAM, micron, ssd, Samsung, Hynix
It is perhaps not obvious to many because of the huge number of DRAM resellers but there are only three major manufacturers of DRAM left at this point. Apart from Micron, who claim top spot in this article on The Register, Samsung and Hynix are the only other big players left supplying DRAM. Considering the instability of memory and SSD pricing it seems odd that it is a component with only three possible sources, the instability could be coming from the fact that many of the mergers are still rather recent or in the case of Elpida, not quite complete yet. One very interesting comment from Kipp Bedard, Micron's investor relations VP, might also explain the volatilty of flash, "there simply isn't enough NAND fab capacity to store even 20 per cent of the data people are generating." If demand outstrips supply by that order of magnitude you can dictate almost any price you wish.
"When I first started at Micron, there were about 40 to 50 DRAM companies in the space," said Bedard. "And we spent most of the '80s with the Japanese deciding they wanted to own the DRAM space which they went from 10 per cent market share to about 90 per cent, [and] took all of the US companies out except for two, us and Texas Instruments."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Fusion-io gobbles Brit Linux SCSI gurus ID7 @ The Register
- Report: BlackBerry BYOD-ware doesn't pass UK.gov security test @ The Register
- Netatmo review: weather station with app @ Hardware.info
Subject: Storage | March 18, 2013 - 08:23 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