OCZ Technology Introduces Next Generation RevoDrive PCI-Express Solid State Drives

Subject: Storage | July 13, 2011 - 01:32 PM |
Tagged: VCA, ssd, revo 3, PCIe SSD, ocz

SAN JOSE, CA—July 13, 2011—OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCZ), a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems, today launched the RevoDrive 3 and RevoDrive 3 X2 lineup of SSDs. Designed to deliver maximum throughput in multithreaded applications, the new RevoDrive 3 incorporates an advanced data management feature-set based on OCZ’s proprietary Virtualized Controller Architecture (VCA) technology, providing both the performance and features required by the intensive workloads common in high performance computing and workstation environments.

The RevoDrive 3 provides unique benefits to users by incorporating features from the VCA 2.0 flash virtualization software that allow certain direct memory access (DMA) and data management functions. Included in this feature-set are OCZ’s exclusive command queuing and queue balancing algorithms, which can be handled by the onboard processing core for higher performance and reduced burden on the host resources. VCA 2.0 is also the only virtualization layer in the industry with TRIM and SCSI unmap support to enhance sustained performance and provide greater endurance by significantly reducing the overhead associated with garbage collection. Furthermore, VCA also offers consolidated SMART support and provides system administrators with advanced features for monitoring, analyzing, and reporting device attributes.

“OCZ RevoDrive 3 PCIe SSDs use our VCA 2.0 technology to deliver superior performance and functionality for everything from scientific computing to high availability clustering,” said Daryl Lang, Vice President of Product Management of OCZ Technology. “This exciting new workstation-class storage product accelerates application performance and takes full advantage of today’s multithreaded processors and software, providing customers with greater throughput in an easy-to-deploy, single card solution.”

With its all-new architecture, the RevoDrive 3 shatters its predecessor’s performance record and is faster than comparable solutions that are up to ten times the price. Available in two different models, the Revo3 delivers up to 1.5GB/s of bandwidth and up to 230,000 IOPS (4K random write) under HPC or workstation workloads with a single-card solution. Additionally, the Revo3 X2 960GB offers ample capacity for users in media development and management looking for more storage room.



Western Digital's cool and quiet 3TB AV-GP WD30EURS hard drive

Subject: Storage | July 11, 2011 - 02:24 PM |
Tagged: western digital, WD30EURS. 3TB, hdd

If you are building an HTPC or even a file server which is focused on quiet operation in a small area, picking up a Velociraptor isn't your best choice.  Since the plan also includes a drive with a huge amount of storage space, you might use an SSD for your OS but it is a little expensive to pick up an SSD(s) large enough to keep all of your media.  Western Digital's AV-GP WD30EURS is a 3TB HDD which will operate between 5400-7200 RPM and is designed for use in consumer electronics, hence the Audio/Visual part of the name.  It is different from the normal Green Power series as it utilizes ATA streaming commands with optimize the drive for multiple, large and sequential accesses at the expense of data integrity, and it tends to run a little hotter as well.  Make sure you are running Vista or Win7 and a UEFI based motherboard before picking the drive up.  TechARP's full review is here.


"Today, we will look at Western Digital’s largest capacity AV-GP hard disk drive - the WD30EURS. This hard disk drive is not only quieter and cooler than regular hard disk drive, it also packs a whooping storage capacity of 3 terabytes! Let’s take a look!"

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:


Source: TechARP

ADATA digs their toes into the sand and then jumps into SSDs

Subject: Storage | July 5, 2011 - 02:50 PM |
Tagged: sandforce, SF-2281 controller, sata 6Gps, ssd

With SSDs it seems that the brand on the shell tells you very little about the performance of the drive its self and picking up an off brand SSD can net you a great deal, as long as you know what is inside.  Since ADATA chose the SandForce SF-2281 SATA 6GB/s controller, the same as we've seen in Al's review of the OCZ Agility 3 drive which fared very well in our testing.  The reported prices run from $155 for a 60GB to $520 for the 240GB which is in line with OCZ's Vertex 3 series and is too bad in a way.  In almost every test Benchmark Reviews tried, the ADATA offering fell slightly behind both flavours of the OCZ Vertex 3, which you would hope would bring the price down.  However in the market right now SSD makers can pretty much charge whatever they want as enthusiasts will pay the price; that makes it very nice to see the market opening up with a wide variety of vendors putting out top notch SSDs.


"ADATA knows that SandForce-driven SSDs are a win-win combination of performance and speed. In this article, Benchmark Reviews tests the ADATA S511 solid state drive. Based on the popular new SandForce SF-2281 SATA 6GB/s controller and fast IMFT-branded NAND flash components, ADATA claims the AS511S3 is capable of 550 MB/s read and 510 MB/s write speed with 4K random write speeds as high as 60,000 IOPS in real world testing. We test these claims, and compare performance to competing storage solid-state solutions in this review to find out which SSD is best."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:


OCZ Elevates Enterprise Solid-State Storage with 2nd Gen. of Proprietary Controller Architecture

Subject: Storage | July 5, 2011 - 10:54 AM |
Tagged: ocz, superscale, VCA, ssd

SAN JOSE, CA—July 5, 2011—OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCZ),a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems, today announced the release of the second generation of its proprietary Virtualized Controller Architecture (VCA). Leveraged in OCZ’s PCI-Express (PCIe) and SAS SSD solutions for workstation, enterprise, and OEM clients, VCA 2.0 supports a rich enterprise feature-set enabling unprecedented flexibility, increased performance, and the reliability required for high throughput storage systems.


“OCZ’s proprietary VCA technology is the next step in the evolution of virtualization layers for solid state storage. VCA 2.0 enables industry-leading configurable performance aggregation along with a rich enterprise feature set not found on competitive products,” said Ryan Petersen, CEO of OCZ Technology Group. “With its scalable performance, TRIM and SCSI unmap support, and enhanced management tools, VCA 2.0 provides superior reliability and superior performance, in a plethora of OCZ’s easy-to-deploy storage solutions.”

Building on the company’s first generation VCA technology, which was originally deployed in OCZ’s Z-Drive R3 PCIe and Talos SAS SSDs, VCA 2.0 provides even greater enterprise flash management features. In OCZ’s enterprise PCIe devices, VCA 2.0 supports the creation of a virtual pool of logical units (LUNs) and features best-in-class configurable performance aggregation, simplifying data management without impacting performance, to provide clients with an easily deployable total solution. VCA 2.0 is the only virtualization layer in the industry with TRIM and SCSI unmap support, which enhances the sustained performance by significantly reducing the overhead associated with garbage collection.

Additionally, VCA 2.0’s user-selectable data recovery and non-stop modes allow for unprecedented data protection, while consolidated SMART support provides system administrators with advanced features for monitoring, analyzing, and reporting device attributes. Unlike other flash virtualization layers, VCA 2.0 also supports complete power fail protection. In the event of unexpected system power loss, OCZ’s enterprise power fail protection completes all in-progress transactions, protecting the integrity of all active data.

When combined with OCZ’s SuperScale storage controller, VCA 2.0 provides unique benefits to users by allowing certain direct memory access (DMA) and data management functions, including OCZ’s unique command queuing and queue balance algorithms, to be handled by the onboard processing core. This results in higher performance and reduces the burden on the host CPU.

VCA 2.0 technology will become available with the launch of OCZ’s upcoming workstation and enterprise-class PCIe SSDs, including the RevoDrive 3 and Z-Drive R4. IT and datacenter administrators looking to learn more about the technology, or OCZ’s SSD offerings should visit http://ocztechnology.com.

OCZ's new SSD, the Vertex 3, is storage glee

Subject: Storage | June 28, 2011 - 02:00 PM |
Tagged: ocz, vertex 3, sata 6Gps, sandforce

OCZ 's third iteration of the Vertex series of SSDs continues their dominance in the feild.  The new Sandforce controller is matched with IMFT 25nm flash from Toshiba on a true SATA 6Gb/s drive.  That all adds up to one incredibly fast SATA SSD, with the slightly larger 240GB drive pushing ahead of the 120GB drive.  [H]ard|OCP also briefly covered the Agility 3 240GB and Vertex 3 max IOPS 240GB which produced mixed results, the Agility 3 dissapointed their high expectations and the MaxIOPs could not beat the normal Vertex 3 though theoretically it will have a longer lifespan.  The plain Vertex 3 drives were simply impressive at everything they were tested on.

You can get a faster drive though, with the PCIe based OCZ RevoDrive 3 x2 480GB SSD, the fastest storage on the planet.  It doesn't come cheap though.


"Today we take a look at the OCZ Technology Vertex 3 in both 120GB and 240GB capacities. The Vertex 3 was the first SF-2000 based client SSD to hit the market in 2011 and such will be the product in which all others will be judged against. The Vertex 3 is capable of transferring data at 550+MB/s."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:


Source: [H]ard|OCP

Super Fast PCI Express Cable Capable of 32 Gbps Announced By The PCI SIG

Subject: General Tech, Storage | June 23, 2011 - 07:30 PM |
Tagged: thunderbolt, storage, pcie, PCI SIG, Opitical, Intel

Just as Intel is slowly persuading its super fast data interconnect, the PCI Special Interest Group is already introducing their own competing standard in the form of a PCI Express cable that is slated to be capable of a drool-worthy 32Gbps (gigabits per second). Planned to be constructed from copper wire, the cable standard will be launched as part of the PCI Express 3.0 standard and will be able to pipe both data and power through a thin, flattened cable up to 3 meters (9.84 feet) in length.

The PCIe cable is able to achieve this high bandwidth by combining up to four parallel lanes, each capable of 8 Gigatransfers per second (GT/s). Further, it will be able to provide approximately 20 watts of maximum power to peripheral devices. Speedy connectivity to fast SSD based portable hard drives as well as to tablet and smart phone devices for sync, additional touch interface, and external displays are all aims of the PCIe cable. It is squarely aimed to compete with Intel-backed Thunderbolt; however, the PCI SIG has not stated as such, yet. The interest group was quoted by EE Times in saying "There are solutions [like this] in the industry--Thunderbolt is one of them, and some companies are doing own thing,"


Intel's Thunderbolt and the PCIe cable will soon enter the Thunderdome to battle for supremacy

The PCIe cable is expected to be ready for peripheral device makers’ integration as early as June 2013. In the future, the cable is likely to be included in the PCI Express 4.0 standard where it will receive an upgrade to 16 GT/s lanes, and from their it will subsequently receive an upgrade to an optical based transmission material.

You can read more about the new PCI Express cable as well as its merits as a open standard (and how that affects Thunderbolt’s proprietary nature) over at EE Times.

Source: EE Times

OWC grabs the SandForce SF-2200 controller and heads for the lead of the SSD pack

Subject: Storage | June 23, 2011 - 01:47 PM |
Tagged: ssd, owc, sata 6Gps, sandforce

OWC has been around for a while, but since they were making drives for Apple they were not a common name for enthusiasts.  They've since broken free and are selling their SSD line to any and all.  The first generation was good, not outstanding but not a the back of the pack performance wise.  Their new Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G 240GB is poised to take the lead though, as Legit Reviews compared it to the outstanding OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 240 GB SSD.  In this apples to apples review we see the OWC hit reads of 559MB/s and writes of 527MB/s and it took top spot in quite a few benchmarks.


"The SandForce SF-2200 controller does all the heavy lifting, pushing out listed reads of 559MB/s and writes of 527MB/s. This is almost exactly what we saw on the benchmarks in terms of max performance so OWC was true to their specifications. Fresh off of testing the OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 240 GB drive we felt others would have a tough time topping its performance but OWC came through with a drive that eked out better scores more often than not. OWC is going to garner a lot of attention if they keep putting out products like the 240 GB Mercury EXTREME Pro 6g SSD as we found it to be the best overall performing SATA III drive we have tested to date..."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:


Microsoft updates Skydrive, teases me personally

Subject: General Tech, Storage | June 21, 2011 - 10:26 PM |
Tagged: skydrive, microsoft

There are a number of reasons for which someone would desire to have their data accessible from the internet and there are a number of services that provide that capability in many different ways. If you are looking to collaborate on a small project with automatic syncing then you will probably find your way to Dropbox. If you are looking to access your music collection from your variety of devices then you will probably like Amazon or Google’s music lockers. Should you be looking to migrate a business to a really large online storage system then Amazon S3 might be worth hooking into. If you are a home user who wishes to store and share your photos, documents, and videos with friends and family then Microsoft recently updated their Skydrive service to help users like you; it should be available to you right now.

Why start the video from the desktop, Microsoft? A guy has feelings you know.

One feature I wished that Microsoft would have implemented to Skydrive at some point over the last few years is an easy method to map your Skydrive account to a drive letter on your computer. Sadly this feature is still not present in Skydrive. What are present are features to make Microsoft’s service look much more user friendly and much more like a native application. Their new photo browser looks quite a bit like their Windows Phone 7 tile interface with photos shown in their original aspect ratio fitting together like a puzzle. There is also a nice looking content browser that slides both pictures and videos across a viewing screen with thumbnails below for selection. With features like these with a focus on cross-browser support it is obvious that Microsoft is looking to be your family’s content hub and prevent Facebook from getting that much more powerful in this space.

What do you use, if anything, to share content with friends and family?

OCZ Technology Introduces Deneva 2 Series Of SSDs For The Enterprise

Subject: Storage | June 21, 2011 - 10:54 AM |
Tagged: ssd, sata 6Gps, sandforce, enterprise, deneva 2

SAN JOSE, CA—June 21, 2011—OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCZ), a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems, today launched the Deneva 2 SSD line for enterprise clients. Taking full advantage of the cutting-edge SATA 6Gb/s interface, Deneva 2 SSDs are designed for a wide range of enterprise applications including servers, cloud computing, and data centers. The Deneva 2 series delivers maximum performance while meeting the stringent reliability, security, performance and economical needs of enterprise storage environments.

"Data centers are one application where the speed benefits of a fast SSD visibly fall straight to a company's bottom line," said SSD analyst Jim Handy of Objective Analysis. "This has driven the enterprise to be the fastest-growing market for SSDs - Objective Analysis forecasts for enterprise SSD unit shipments to grow at an average annual rate of 83 percent, nearly doubling every year."


As the demand for increased storage efficiency, maximized data throughput, and a smaller operating footprint broadens across various industries, more and more companies are turning to the benefits of SSDs to significantly optimize their storage infrastructures. With these requirements in mind, OCZ has been a pioneer in the design and development of SSDs for the enterprise environment, pushing the envelope to develop solutions that combine industry-leading performance with a robust feature-set. Deneva 2, the company’s latest offering, features several enterprise-critical options not available in OCZ's consumer product lines, including power loss data protection, best-in-class endurance (e.g., minimal write amplification, intelligent block management and wear-leveling), and advanced encryption and ECC.

“Processing data is critical to any business looking to compete in a rapidly changing, global marketplace. However, many enterprise organizations are limited by outdated storage solutions, which limits their ability to process the necessary data they require to operate their businesses,” said Ryan Petersen, CEO at OCZ Technology Group. “Deneva 2 SSDs are optimized for high-volume storage applications, offer industry-leading reliability, and leverage the latest NAND and controller technology to deliver superior performance. This combination means that enterprises can overcome previous roadblocks, and use their data in real-time.”

Based on SandForce® SF-2000 SSD processors, the Deneva 2 series delivers up to 80,000 4KB random write IOPS and 550MB/s of potential bandwidth. Along with world-renowned performance, Deneva 2 SSDs are specifically designed to deliver superior reliability and are manufactured with the latest flash components specific to the customer’s needs. In addition, the series includes enterprise-grade multi-level cell (eMLC) NAND flash technology, which offers improved endurance for write-intensive applications. Deneva 2 SSDs can also be customized, come in a wide variety of interface options including PCIe, and are available in 2.5, 3.5, and 1.8 inch form factors for use in very high density computing environments, including blade servers.

OCZ Deneva 2 solutions overcome the performance, durability, and maintenance obstacles inherent to mechanical HDD storage. OCZ's ability to provide a tailored solution ensures ultimate compatibility, reliability, and cost-savings, resulting in products that are optimized to specifically address the unique needs of enterprise clients.

Just Delivered: Drobo FS 5-bay Network Storage

Subject: General Tech, Storage | June 20, 2011 - 09:06 PM |
Tagged: storage, raid, network attached storage, NAS, drobo

Just Delivered is a new section of PC Perspective where we share some of the goodies that pass through our labs that may or may not see a review, but are pretty cool none the less. 

When the time is right for dedicated network storage and you don't want to go through the hassle or complication of building your own FreeNAS or other type of device, one of the best options on the market according to our own Allyn Malventano is a Drobo. 


For an upcoming review we just received a new Drobo FS, the network attached version of the Drobo lineup.  Available in both a standard and a "Pro" model, the former with 5 bays the latter with 8, they are about as idiot-proof and easy to setup as a NAS can be.


The Drobo FS only has a single connectivity option: the Gigabit Ethernet port for connection to your primed-and-ready router.  Adding or swapping hard drives for larger models is super easy and the "BeyondRAID" technology makes it reliable as well as simple to use. 


We are looking forward to putting the Drobo FS to the test in the coming days and reporting back to you on the performance, features and reliability of it.

Source: Drobo

Does Intel's SRT need an Intel SSD to work properly?

Subject: Storage | June 20, 2011 - 12:25 PM |
Tagged: ssd, srt, Intel, kingston, cache

It is a common question with the release of the Z68 series of boards, as people wonder if they really need to shell out the money for an Intel SSD in order to take advantage of Intel Smart Response Technology, which lets you use an SSD of 60GB or less as a cache drive.  Techgage took it upon themselves to investigate and compared the performance improvements to a HDD when using an Intel 20GB 311 SATA II SSD and a Kingston 64GB SDnow 100V+ SATA II SSD.  As happens all to often lately the answer is not clear cut; the best cache drive depends heavily on the file sizes you commonly deal with.


"When we tested out Intel's 'Smart Response Technology' last month, we liked what we saw. But at $110 for a 20GB SLC SSD, we wondered if a larger, more cost-effective option could still make the best use of the technology. With that, we're pitting Kingston's SSDNow V+100 64GB drive, at $150, against Intel's, to see if we retain SRT's effectiveness."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:


Source: Techgage

Intel Enterprise SSDs Specifications

Subject: General Tech, Storage | June 16, 2011 - 03:02 PM |
Tagged: ssd, Intel, enterprise

Intel is currently in the process of releasing their 2011 lineup of solid state hard drives. A lot of news and products came out regarding their consumer 300-series and enthusiast 500-series line however it has been pretty silent regarding their enterprise 700-series products. That has changed recently with the release of specifications as a result of Anandtech’s coverage of the German hardware website ComputerBase.de.


And how does it compare to OCZ?

Intel will be releasing two enterprise SSDs: the SATA 3 Gbps based 710 SSD codename Lyndonville and the PCI express 2.0 based 720 SSD codename Ramsdale. The SATA based 710 will feature 25nm MLC-HET flash at capacities of 100, 200, and 300 GB. The 710 will have read and write speeds of 270/210 MB/s with 35,000/3300 read and write IOPS at 4KB and a 64MB cache. The PCIe based 720 will feature 34nm SLC flash at capacities of 200 and 400 GB. The 720 will be substantially faster than the 710 with read and write speeds of 2200/1800 MB/s with 180,000/56,000 read and write IOPS at 4KB and a 512MB cache. On the security front the 710 will be encrypted with 128 bit AES encryption where the 720 will be encrypted with 256 bit AES.

While there has been no hint toward pricing of these drives Intel is still expected to make a second quarter release date for their SATA based 710 SSD. If you are looking for a PCI express SSD you will need to be a bit more patient as they are still expected to be released in the fourth quarter. It will be interesting to see how the Intel vs OCZ fight will play out in 2012 for dominance in the PCIe-based SSD space.

Source: Anandtech

Revisiting the OCZ Agility 3 and its asynchronous flash

Subject: Storage | June 15, 2011 - 06:01 PM |
Tagged: ocz, agility 3, ssd, sandforce, sata 6Gps

It has been a few weeks since Al took a look at OCZ's 240GB Agility 3 drive, so it seems worth revisiting.  As you can see at OCIA, the drive is fast even with slightly cheaper memory inside and can compete with the theoretically more expensive Vertex drive.  Unfortunately just like Al saw, the street price does not reflect the internal parts, saving $10 over the Vertex model is not a great deal.


"The SSD technology of today is worlds better than what we had in 2009. Better understanding of the technology, mature controllers, Windows 7, SATA 6Gb/sec and even the PCI-e bus have all advanced things to a point where SSDs are coming close to mainstream adoption. Pricing is also much more attractive as evident by the drive we are looking at today, OCZ's Agility 3 240GB unit. The Agility 3 is one of three new SATA 6Gb/sec SSDs and is classified as a high-performance drive alongside the higher-end Vertex 3."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:


Western Digital's take on the Green Monster, a 3TB Caviar Green HDD

Subject: Storage | June 10, 2011 - 12:15 PM |
Tagged: hdd, western digital, caviar green, 3tb

Before you go running out and buying the Western Digital Caviar Green 3 TB HDD, there are a few caveats to remember.  You will not be able to just pop this into a WinXP machine and expect to use it at full capacity, you need to have a motherboard with UEFI in order to boot from it and finally the implementation of Advanced Format Technology is still stuck in 512-byte emulation mode. 

On the plus side, the drive spins at about 6600 RPM and is SATAS 6Gbs which makes it faster that it's smaller predecessor.  Only the non-AFT version of the 2TB Green drive can beat it for throughput.  Check out the full review at TechARP.


"Western Digital divides their internal hard drives into three distinct families - the WD Caviar Blue for their basic hard drives, the WD Caviar Green for their quieter, cooler hard drives and the WD Caviar Black for their performance-grade hard drives.

According to Western Digital, Caviar Green hard disk drives offer an average power saving of 4-5 watts over their competitors, a feat that they claim is equivalent to reducing CO2 emissions by 13.8 kg per year. Of course, that’s a mere drop in the ocean but if you can help save the environment while you work or play on your computer, why not?

Today, we will look at the improved Western Digital Caviar Green 3 TB hard disk drive - the new Western Digital WD30EZRX with Advanced Format Technology and 6 Gbps interface. Let’s find out how well this drive performs!"

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:


Source: TechARP

Samsung Releases 1 TB Laptop Hard Drive

Subject: Storage, Mobile | June 9, 2011 - 03:21 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, laptop, Hard Drive, 1TB

Samsung today announced a new update to their Spinpoint laptop hard drive line, the Spinpoint M8 1 TB. Joining the storage ranks of the Seagate Constellation and Western Digital Scorpio 1 TB drives, the new Samsung hard disk features two 500 GB platters in a 2.5” 9.5mm form factor along with an 8 MB buffer, and utilizes a SATA II (3Gb/s) interface. The 500 GB per platter density was achieved by using their Advanced Format Technology (AFT), which raises the data storage density per unit area, which results in a reduced number of requisite platters and read/write heads. Samsung claims that the reduction in necessary components results in a seven percent performance increase as well as an eight percent decrease in the amount of power drawn.

The new 2.5” drive carries an MSRP of $129.00 USD. Mobile gamers and road warriors in particular are likely happy to see competition in the 1 TB+ laptop arena, which should hep to bring the 1 TB mobile drives’ prices a bit closer to their 1 TB desktop brethren.  You can read more about the new drive here.

Source: Samsung

Tweak your SSD: Notice the difference, and frown

Subject: General Tech, Storage | June 9, 2011 - 01:32 PM |
Tagged: tweak, ssd

The people who stick an SSD in their PC are typically the type of people who would want to optimize their performance as best as possible. Particularly with the larger investment of the earlier SSDs tweak guides were quite common to squeeze every IO/s and MB/s out of their device. Tom’s Hardware has just posted a list of common tweaks and a series of benchmarks performed on the tweaked system. According to their findings, you may wish to undo your tweaks.


Don’t do it!

Some tweaks saw the occasional increase in performance though on the whole performance suffered by some extent. Tweaks that were designed to reclaim capacity gave you back quite a bit of space however, though you should expect that if your drive is not storing system restore points, file system indexes, or your swap file that you would have more usable space on your drive. The hit on performance from the performance tweaks typically were not too great with the exception of write caching on Intel drives bringing their write speeds to single digit MB/s. Check out Tom’s Hardware’s full guide for more information.

Corsair recalls entire Force Series 3 SSD line, cites hardware defects.

Subject: Storage | June 7, 2011 - 05:47 PM |
Tagged: ssd, sandforce, corsair


Today Corsair announced a full recall of the CSSD-F120GB3-BK line.


For further details, I yield to the statement from Corsair:

Over the past several days, we have analyzed issues associated with the stability of our recently released 120GB Force Series 3 SSD (Corsair part number CSSD-F120GB3-BK). Our review has identified that a significant percentage of these drive do not operate to specification. The solution will require changes to both the SSD firmware and the hardware components of the SSD itself.
We’ve worked closely with our partners to determine a root cause but there is no single issue at fault.  I’m sure you’ll have qu
estions about how this could happen but we can only say that our production test did not catch this combination of issues and we have implemented multiple corrective actions, involving both firmware and hardware, and are confident we have resolved all currently known issues.
This is our fault, our production tests didn’t catch the issue before the drives were shipped to the consumer and we take full responsibility for our products, which is why we’re asking for them to be returned and will be picking up return shipping.
Consumers should be directed to the following link in our forums for instructions on returning their drives.

For those curious, since the cause is hardware stemming from the reference design of the PCB, it affects only those SandForce drives relying on it. OCZ uses their own design for the Vertex 3 and Agility 3 series SSD's, so those are safe from known hardware issues and remain subject to only the typical firmware bugs addressed by routine updates.

Back to the issue at hand. If you own a model CSSD-F120GB3-BK SSD, back up immediately and hit the link above to have Corsair sort you out.

Can Plextor compete with Drobo?

Subject: Storage | June 6, 2011 - 12:06 PM |
Tagged: plextor, network attached storage, NAS, external drive

There once was a time, when dinosaurs like Compaq ruled the earth, when there was only one choice for the true enthusiast when buying a CD burner.  Plextor was by far the most reliable choice in a time when CDs were more sensitive to external vibrations than a fine souffle. Things have changed a great deal since then and the looks you get when you ask how many sheep your burner has can be quite amusing.   This has left Plextor looking for alternative revenue sources and the area they have chosen is NAS devices.  The new Plextor PX-NAS4 has impressive stats but it is competing against heavy hitters like Drobo.  Think Computer tries out this ~$400 NAS device and contrasts its features and controls with similarly priced competitors offerings in their latest storage review.



"Plextor introduced the PX-NAS4 quad-bay network attached storage device late last year to augment its PX-NAS2 dual-bay device and break into a market with larger storage needs. The dual gigabit Ethernet PX-NAS4 can house up to 8 TB of storage in several RAID configurations and sports volume encryption and low power consumption among other standard enterprise and business features. ThinkComputers takes a look, and finds that while the PX-NAS4 provides the basic features, it leaves something to be desired for users with more. Read on for the review."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:


OCZ's 240GB Agility 3 SATA 6G drive; can asynchronous flash bring down the price only?

Subject: Storage | June 1, 2011 - 01:38 PM |
Tagged: ssd, ocz, agility 3, asynchronous flash

In case you missed it in the rotation at the top, Al has wrapped up his review of the Agility 3 SSD, which utilizes less expensive asynchronous flash memory to bring the MSRP down and hopefully leaves the performance at the same level.  Slow is a relative term when you describe SSDs, even one ranked at the bottom of the performance charts will give you better performance than a platter based hard drive.  Al does answer the performance question in the review, unfortunately no one can answer the pricing question yet.  If these sell like previous models have, retailers will be able to charge whatever they feel like if the supply cannot keep up.


"While the switch to asynchronous flash memory makes the Agility 3 cheaper to produce and therefore sell, the performance dynamic can shift in either direction, varying with what you plan to do with the drive. Many users saw the same type of thing back with the Agility 2 / Vertex 2, and some users actually preferred the cheaper drive performance wise. We may see the same thing here once users (and us) get some actual seat-of-the-pants time logged with it."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:


RevoDrive 3 and Hybrid Highlight OCZ Showcase at Computex

Subject: Storage, Shows and Expos | June 1, 2011 - 08:37 AM |
Tagged: ssd, revodrive, ocz, hybrid, computex

OCZ is definitely pushing its SSD products to the consumer and it was no different when we stopped by the OCZ suite at Computex 2011.  The most interesting devices came in the form of PCI Express based SSDs including the pending RevoDrive 3 model that upgrades the SSD controllers to SandForce 2200 models and gets some pretty hefty performance boosts because of it.


The RevoDrive 3 includes a pair of SF-2200 controllers and was rated at 900 MB/s read and 700 MB/s write using the PCIe x4 interface.  The 240GB model is apparently only going to have a $599 price tag and it should be available in a matter of a short few weeks.  The X2 model adds another module to the mix and doubles the controller count to four and improves performance to as high as 1500 MB/s read and 1200 MB/s write.  Obviously these types of devices are only for those that REALLY need to push the envelope in storage performance.

Also, more good news: OCZ has implemented a newer firmware feature on the RevoDrive 3 (and other newer PCIe based models) that will enable support for features like TRIM natively.  This is done by hiding the multiple controllers from the operating system and passing on / delegating the TRIM commands as needed.  Allyn will have more on this when we get a sample later this month.  


Another new PCIe-based SSD was the new Z-Drive R4 that fits more into the enterprise market with insanely high IOPS and performance. 


OCZ actually showed a server running a pair of the R4 88 models that were able to achieve a 1 million IOPS rating on random 4K. 


Another option for consumers was the new RevoDrive Hybrid that is exactly what it sounds like it is - a combination of a PCI Express SSD and a standard 2.5-in spindle based drive on a single unit.  This will bring the performance benefits of not only an SSD but a PCIE SSD to consumers that want to have the appearance of a single large hard drive inside their system.  It will use SandForce SF-2200 controllers and is rated at 575 MB/s read and 500 MB/s writes with several models planned for production.  The SSD portion that acts as the cache will be available in either 60GB of 120GB capacities while the HDD will start at 500GB and go up from there.  Pricing will apparently start at $400 for the 60GB/500GB version and will definitely be appealing for enthusiasts.  Now everyone can get the advantages of hybrid storage without being locked into the Z68 chipset or even an Intel platform at all. 

This implementation does not use any kind of Intel technology at all and instead is based on a firmware option from NVELO called Dataplex.  Based on the marketing numbers we saw the implementation that OCZ has created with the PCIe-based SSD will outperform Intel's SATA-based SRT technology by a noticeable margin, at least in benchmarks.  We can't wait to get our hands on one to see for ourselves. 


Finally, OCZ is going to throw their hat into the ring with the mSATA offering called the Devena 2 that runs on a SandForce SF-2181/2141 controller.  Expect to see this marketed as an option even for Intel SRT.  It looks like the rest of 2011 will be very busy for Allyn and our storage test bed.

Computex 2011 Coverage brought to you by MSI Computer and Antec

Source: OCZ