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Subject: Storage | July 3, 2012 - 12:21 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: ssd, slc, server, sandisk, PCIe SSD, flash, enterprise, caching
Flash storage company Sandisk has recently jumped into the world of enterprise PCI-E caching SSDs – what they are calling Solid State Accelerators. Currently, they are offering a 200GB and 400GB model under the company’s Lightning PCIe series. The SSDs feature a proprietary Sandisk controller driving 24nm SLC NAND flash, a PCI-E 2.0 x4 interface, and maximum power draw of 15 watts.
The Lightning Accelerators use the NAND flash for Sandisk’s own foundry and offer a large performance boost for servers and workstations over hard drives and SATA SSDs. It is capable of 410 MB/s sequential reads or 110,000 IOPS. Further, when using 4KB and 8KB blocks, the drives can reach 23,000 and 17,000 read/write IOPS respectively. Other specifications include an average response time of 245 microseconds, and less than 30 millisecond maximum response times. The Solid State Accelerators also feature sustained read and write latencies as low as 50 microseconds.
Sandisk has built the drives so that they can be configured as boot drives, storage drives, or caching drives. The company supports up to 5 drives in a single system, for a maximum of 2TB of flash storage. In addition, Sandisk is offering up its Flashsoft software that allows the Lightning Accelerators to be used as caching drives on Windows-based systems. Unfortunately, that is an additional cost which is not included in the already pricey SSDs (good thing for corporate expense accounts!).
Speaking of pricing, the 200GB LP206M has an MSRP of $1,350 while the 400GB LP406M has an MSRP of $2,350. Both cards have five year warranties and a MTBF rating of 2 million hours. You can find more information on the Sandisk Website.
It will be interesting to see how this Sandisk accelerator stacks up to the likes of the Intel 910 and FusioIO drives! The FusionIO FX, for example, gives you 420GB of QDP MLC NAND for $2,495, which works out such that Sandisk has a slightly lower cost-per-gigabyte value and SLC flash. We will have to wait for some independant reviews to say which drive is actually faster, however.
Subject: General Tech, Storage | June 29, 2012 - 03:25 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: hdd, Futuremark, thailand
While it is easy to understand why the destruction of a good portion of the HDD industries manufacturing capabilities caused by the flooding in Thailand would effect both the availability and pricing of HDDs it is not so easy to explain what those manufacturers are doing now. It is not just the reduction in warranty to 1 year which we previously informed you about, it is the bizarre pricing which adds to the confusion. This is an industry which has collapsed into two major players, with two others appearing to compete but in reality are working with or outright owned by the two major players. They are under siege from the SSD industry which offers longer warranty, better performance and prices which are falling quickly; making the high prices and lousy warranty offered by HDD manufactures quite unattractive. The Tech Report assembled an array of graphs which display the state of the hard drive companies as well as some suggestions on the best current deals in HDDs if you are inclined to pick one up.
"Mechanical hard drive prices rose sharply after last year's Thailand flooding. Prices have fallen since, but their decline has slowed in recent months. We take a closer look at the numbers."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Fiberglass-reinforced cases expected to be adopted for ultrabooks in 2H12 @ DigiTimes
- Adobe Stops Flash Player Support For Android @ Slashdot
- Techies evac'd as raging wildfire menaces $100m Colorado data centre @ The Register
- Raspberry Pi enclosure turns it into a desktop PC @ Hack a Day
- Netgear WNDR4500 Dual Band Gigabit Router @ X-bit Labs
- I, Cyborg @ The Tech Report
- Win the KFA2 GeForce GTX 680 LTD OC 2048MB @ Kitguru
Subject: Storage | June 21, 2012 - 06:37 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Vertex 4, vertex, ocz, Indilinx
Just in case you didn't believe Al's review of the new OCZ Vertex 4 or because you want to see the difference between the 512GB version he reviewed and the 128GB version that costs a lot less, you can check out what OCIA thinks right here. AS you would expect, the lower capacity results in lower performance thanks to the reduction in the amount of channels but at a tested 511.51MB on Sandra and an IOPS score of 99514 slow is a relative term. If you are going to pick up this drive update to the newest firmware, OCIA tested with 126.96.36.199 and saw a big performance difference from the previous firmware version.
“The Everest 2 platform comes as a result of OCZ’s acquisition of Indilinx in early 2011 but it isn’t the first time we have seen the Indilinx brand stamped on a Vertex drive. The company launched the original Vertex SSD as one of the pioneering flash storage solutions for mainstream users with an Indilinx controller under the hood. OCZ jumped on the SandForce bandwagon with the Vertex 2 and Vertex 3 but have come full circle back to an Indilinx solution with the Vertex 4... well, sort of. But we’ll get to that in just a bit.”
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- OCZ Vertex 4 Solid State Drive @ Benchmark Reviews
- Crucial Adrenaline Cache SSD @ XSReviews
- MyDigitalSSD SMART 256GB mSATA Solid State Drive @ Tweaktown
- Western Digital VelociRaptor 1TB Hard Drive Review @ Hardware Canucks
- MemoRight MS-701 240GB mSATA Solid State Drive @ Kitguru
- Corsair Accelerator Series 30GB Cache SSD @ SSD Review
- MyDigitalSSD SMART Series 256GB SSD @ SSD Review
- Western Digital Scorpio 1TB (9.5mm) review @ Hardware.Info
- OCZ improves Vertex 4 with firmware 1.4 @ Hardware.Info
- Adaptec 6805TQ maxCache RAID controller @ TechwareLabs
- Western Digital Sentinel DX4000 @ TechwareLabs
- StarTech.com USB 3.0 to SATA IDE HDD Docking Station @ AnandTech
- Thecus N5550 5-Bay NAS Review @ eTeknix
- NZXT Aperture M Card Reader @ Kitguru
- NAP Updates Firmware to 3.7 | New Features! @ Computing on Demand
- Synology DiskStation DS412+ @ Legion Hardware
- Seagate GoFlex Satellite @ LanOC Reviews
Subject: Storage | June 21, 2012 - 09:06 AM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: ssd, msata, drobo
I have a warm spot in my heart for Drobo products ever since I spent months trying to break one (unsuccessfully). With that I am now pleased to report on their announcement of two new products.
First is the Drobo 5D, which is basically a 5-bay Drobo S on steroids. It updates the interface to USB 3.0 + Thunderbolt and speeds up IOPS and multi-stream performance by way of an mSATA SSD. The SSD does not take up a drive bay as it is installed beneath a trap door un the bottom of the 5D:
Next up is the Drobo Mini. This little guy carries the same connectivity as the 5D, but is *much* smaller:
The drop in size comes from a change in the form factor of installed storage. It takes up to 4 2.5" form factor drives. Performance should be similar to that of the 5D, primarily based on it also sporting that integrated mSATA port. I suspect the mini will go over very well with the mobile / MacBook / Ultrabook crowd, as being able to carry a small box with large redundant storage is a great idea for mobile workstations.
More to follow as availability will be announced in July. Pricing is expected to be below $650 (thunderbolt cable *included*). Press blast after the break.
Subject: Storage | June 20, 2012 - 11:13 PM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: Link_a_Media, LAMD, Hynix
First OCZ buys Indilinx, then LSI buys SandForce, and now for another acquisition:
You may recall Link_a_Media devices seemingly coming out of nowhere these past few weeks, releasing an SSD controller present in the new Corsair Neutron Series of devices, and scoring an award at Computex. Even though the new LAMD controller is brand new and largely untested, it has gotten enough traction to be scooped up by a larger company - in this case Hynix. Hynix is a big name in RAM devices. We frequently see Hynix RAM in our SSD reviews, and the parts also appear in much of the shipping DDR3 RAM. More to follow as news continues to flow (and especially once Corsair Neutron reviews start appearing).
Link_a_Media Devices has been around for a while, though not in the SSD market. They have previously made chips integral to Toshiba HDD's.
Press blast after the break.
Subject: Editorial, Storage | June 18, 2012 - 09:56 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: deal of the day, external drive, Hard Drive, buffalo
Today's deal offers us a 2TB version of the Buffalo LinkStation Live, a NAS device (network attached storage) that allows users to easily backup their systems while being able to share the resources on the drive at the same time.
The Buffalo LinkStation Live series of drives allows you to access the NAS through Android and iOS applications over the web, supports transfer rates as high as 1 Gbps, is Apple Time Machine compatible and integrates a BitTorrent client too. A copy of NovaBACKUP Professional is included for users to install and setup easy, automated PC backups. And you can use the LinkStation Live as a DLNA media server to boot.
Today, LogicBuy has a deal on this unit for $135 with free shipping, using a coupon code found in the product's description.
Subject: Storage | June 14, 2012 - 06:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: corsair, toggle NAND, IMFT NAND, performance series, Marvell 9174
Corsair's 256GB Performance Pro SSD is the member of the Performance series which utilizes Toshiba Toggle NAND and the Marvell 9174 controller. At $340 it is a little more expensive than some other comparable drives, however that may be well deserved for after their testing [H]ard|OCP put this drive in the same category as the Intel 520 in general performance. In fact during some tests they found it to be faster than the lauded Intel SSD, which is no mean feat. That performance, along with a solid three year warranty helped Corsair pick up a Silver Award from [H].
"Today we review the 256GB Corsair Performance Pro SSD. Corsair provides enthusiasts with both sides of the SSD controller coin by offering both Marvell and SandForce controlled SSDs in its product lines. Today we will take a look at the Marvell powered 256GB SSD and the Toshiba Toggle NAND that Corsair has chosen for it."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- A quick look at Thunderbolt on the PC @ The Tech Report
- 240 GB Intel 520 Series Solid State Drive @ TechARP
- OCZ Petrol 128 GB Solid State Drive @ X-bit Labs
- Kingston SSDNow V+200 vs Zalman F-Series 60 GB SSD Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB SSD Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Kingmax SMP35 Client 480 GB Solid State Drive @ X-bit Labs
- ADATA XPG SX900 (128GB) Review: Maximizing SandForce Capacity @ AnandTech
- MyDigitalSSD Releases BP3 and Smart mSATA SSDs - High Performance Low Price and Both SATA 3 @ SSD Review
- Western Digital VelociRaptor 1TB 10K RPM Hard Disk @ Tweaktown
- WD VelociRaptor 1TB and Scorpio Blue 500GB @ SPCR
- LaCie 2big NAS review: a solid NAS @ Hardware.Info
- RaidSonic ICY BOX IB-120CL-U3 HDD Docking & Clone Station Review @ NikKTech
Subject: Storage | June 13, 2012 - 10:08 PM | Allyn Malventano
In case some of you are fans of the Samsung 830 Series SSDs (like I am), you'll be pleased to see this litle tidbit over at iFixit:
Now that just says Samsung on the parts, and Samsung makes more than an 830 Series, but all of their other series are 3Gb/sec SATA and below. For further confirmation, here's a quick clip from my review of the 830 Series:
(particular interest on the controller part numbers - in that they are identical)
I see this as great news for the new MacBooks. The more devices those 830 Series SSDs get put into, the better.
Subject: Storage | June 12, 2012 - 08:50 PM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: ssd, neutron, LAMD, corsair, computex
Last week during Computex, Corsair jointly announced a new SSD to their lineup. Their partnership was with Link_A_Media Devices (LAMD), and the new Corsair Neutron Series scooped up Tom Hardware's "Best of Computex 2012" award:
The LAMD press blast for this event included some additional technical specs:
- SATA 6G host interface
- 8 NAND channels, up to 4CE per channel
- Support for 2y-nm and 1x-nm NAND Flash from all major Flash vendors
- ONFi 2.3, Toggle Mode 1 and Legacy NAND interfaces
- Proprietary endurance improving eBoostTM technology
- End-to-end user data path protection
- Strong BCH ECC capability with area/power efficient decoder architecture
- Enterprise-class proven firmware for NAND management and data transport operations
- Variable NAND over-provisioning
- Efficient garbage collection and global wear leveling
- RAID/Chipkill technology
- Proven unsolicited power loss management
- Low power design
- S.M.A.R.T. support
- Microsoft® Windows® 7 TRIM support
- Sequential Read: 550 MB/s
- Sequential Write: 550 MB/s
- Random Read (4KB): 90K IOPS
- Random Write (4KB): 90K IOPS
What caught my eye was the "Enterprise-class proven firmware" part. If this is LAMD's first entry to market, how can they possibly have 'proven' anything, especially in the enterprise sector? If it wasn't for the lack of compression, I'd be inclined to think this was some sort of re-brand of SandForce tech. Clearly this is something to remain curious about as more information is disclosed.
Full press blast after the break.
Subject: Storage | June 5, 2012 - 01:07 AM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: ssd, sandisk, pcie, enterprise, computex
Just over a month back we took a look at the Intel SSD 910 Series PCIe SSD. While the specs and performance were excellent, there were some factors preventing use in workstation systems - namely the prohibitive cost and lack of a Boot ROM. With that, it seems SanDisk has made an attempt to answer that call. Today at Computex they announced a new PCIe Enterprise SSD, the PCIe Lightning:
This is a much simpler layout, with flash right alongside the controller - an option not possible with the multi-PCB Intel 910 Series as it contained much more flash on its daughter boards. With this simpler layout comes lower cost but unfortunately lower maximum capacities. Less complexity also means lower maximum specs, but they still look quite good given the price point this card will be filling:
- Price: $1350 (200GB) / $2350 (400GB)
- 4k 70/30 R/W split: 23,000 IOPS
- Sequential Throughput: 425 MB/sec
- Warranty: 5 Year
- Endurance: 10 full-drive writes per day for warranty duration
I'm glad to see some good PCIe SSD competition cropping up - especially the bootable kind.
Subject: Storage | June 4, 2012 - 06:31 PM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: neutron, ssd, LAMD, corsair, computex
Today at Computex, Corsair announced a new line of SSDs. This 4th generation line will sport a new controller made by Link_A_Media Devices (LAMD). Their announcement boasts a System On a Chip (SoC) design, but that's the way most modern SSD controllers are architected. The new controller has the following claimed specs:
- 90,000 read / 85,000 write IOPS (assumed 4k random)
- 555MB/s read / 370MB/s write (sequential)
- 90,000 read/write IOPS (assumed 4k random)
- 555MB/s read / 500MB/s write (sequential)
Here's a few quick pics:
The drives meet all of the typical SSD wickets, such as TRIM support and a generous 5-year warranty. The specs do look very good, but the proof is in the benches, which we hope to see shortly.
Subject: Storage | June 4, 2012 - 06:00 PM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: computex, SF-2000, sandforce, LSI, flash
As some of you may already be aware, SandForce was acquired by LSI back in January of this year. SandForce has made a very popular SSD controller for some time now and was the first maker to demo a controller driving 25nm flash (last year). Now SandForce (under LSI) has done it once again. This time with the same type of controller driving both 19nm Toshiba and 20nm Micron (IMFT) flash memory types:
The release from LSI reports the controller supporting all six flash vendors, giving some serious flexibiltiy to makers of flash memory systems and products. Aside from a confirmation of the ability to drive newer flash memory types, the remainder of the specs appear largely the same, minus some additional tweaks to ECC necessary to support increased error rates encountered as dies shrink.
Full press release from LSI after the break:
Subject: Storage | June 4, 2012 - 03:02 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: western digital, my passport, usb 3.0
Western Digital's line of My Passport portable hard drives have been with us for a while, improving along with the available technology for inexpensive mobile storage. Unfortunately the term inexpensive is used loosely as the industry is still recovering from the disastrous flooding in Thailand, so the 2TB model is just over $200 on NewEgg. However, at that price you get a large amount of storage in a 21 x 82 x 111mm (0.82" x 20" x 4.4") device and since it uses USB 3.0 you won't have to wait all day for transfers. TechARP's testing had it beating almost every device for transfer speed, with only OCZ's 64GB Enyo offering competition on a handful of tests.
"Western Digital has a wide variety of external storage products for both the PC and Mac markets. The external drives are available in both large desktop and smaller portable formats. Under the portable segment alone, Western Digital offers five drive families for the PC, and three drive families for the Mac.
Today, we are going to take a look at their latest portable hard disk drive for the PC market - the 2 TB Western Digital My Passport (USB 3.0)."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Kingston DataTraveler Micro 16GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive Review @ NikKTech
- NZXT Aperture M Multimedia Card Reader and USB 3.0 Hub Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- QNAP TS-EC1279U-RP Rack Mount 10GbE NAS @ Tweaktown
- LaCie's 2big NAS @ AnandTech
- Bytepac Eco Friendly HDD Enclosure @ Nitroware
- LaCie 2Big NAS 6TB @ TechwareLabs
- QNAP 3.6x NAS Software Deep Dive @ Tweaktown
- NZXT Aperture M Card Reader Review @ Ninjalane
- Crucial Adrenaline Review @ HCW
- OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB and 512 GB Solid State Drives @ X-bit Labs
- OCZ Vertex 4 256GB SSD Review @ Neoseeker
- Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 120GB & Chronos 240GB SSD @ Kitguru
- MemoRight MS-701 240GB mSATA SSD @ Tweaktown
- Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB and SSDNow V+200 240GB @ TechSpot
- OCZ Vertex 4 128GB SSD @ Kitguru
- Monster Digital 400GB Le Mans SSD @ SSD Review
- Visiontek GoDrive 60GB and Racer Series 120GB SSD @ Kitguru
- VisionTek Racer 120GB SSD Review @ Neoseeker
- CoreRise Comay Venus Pro 3 SSD @ Benchmark Reviews
- SSD Migration or Fresh System Installation - An SSD Primer @ SSD Review
- Solid-state revolution: in-depth on how SSDs really work @ Ars Technica
Subject: General Tech, Storage | May 29, 2012 - 08:45 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: ssd, ocz, Agility 4
OCZ Technology Group launched their latest entry in the Agility 4 line of Solid State Drives. The drive will make use of the Indilinx Everest 2 controller over a SATA 6Gbps interface. It is rated to provide 400MB/s reads with up to 85,000 write IOs per second. Unlike its 5-year Vertex 4 brethren the Agility 4 will be backed by a 3-year warranty.
Just a couple of months ago Al posted his review of the OCZ Vertex 4 solid state drive which he found to be aggressively priced and with good potential depending on firmware support.
OCZ has just released the Agility 4 to complement their new product line with a slightly cheaper and slightly lower performance option compared to the Vertex. Both drives are based on the same Indilinx Everest 2 controller with transfer rates being the main divisor between the two products. Retail price of the Agility 4 is placed much more aggressively and flirts even closer with the $1 per gigabyte line than the Vertex 4.
Almost time to get change our metric to cents per gigabyte. ... Yay!
The Agility 4 is rated to perform with consistent read bandwidths of 400MB/s which is below the Vertex 4’s rated 535 MB/s sequential reads throughput. The write IOPS is rated at 85,000 random transactions per second and exactly matches that metric with the Vertex 4.
OCZ is covering the Agility 4 with a 3-year manufacturer warranty. It is on back-order from NCIX with an expected retail value of $259.20 for the 256GB version which might as well be called a dollar per gigabyte. Newegg has yet to list the product or its expected value.
Subject: Storage | May 24, 2012 - 01:14 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ssd, comay, ups, sandforce, SandForce SF-2281
The Comay Venus Pro 3 comes in seven sizes, ranging from 30GB to 480GB and is powered by a SandForce 2281 controller. Those specs are not very unique, what makes the Comay special is the super-capacitor on the PCB which ensures that no data will be lost in the event of a power outage. It is not quite a UPS in the normal sense but it will provide power for long enough to ensure all data is written from the cache to disk before it powers down. As well there is onboard overload protection to ensure that power spikes cannot damage your drives. Both of these features are sought after by Enterprise clients, almost more so than the performance, which you can read about at SSD Reviews.
"Just over a month ago, we conducted an analysis of what we thought to be the Comay Venus Pro 3 and, only after the review, were informed that we were actually looking at the Venus 3, an SSD that was not only branded incorrectly, but was also a special configuration for a specific customer. It appears our orders were mixed up. Comay apologized for the mix up and promised that we would be receiving a Venus Pro 3 soon enough where we could validate some vicious ‘SandForce Driven’ performance first hand."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Corsair Accelerator 60GB SSD Cache Drive Review @ Hardware Canucks
- The SSD Optimization Guide Redesigned and Improved @ SSD Review
- MyDigitalSSD BP3 512GB SATA III Solid State Drive @ Tweaktown
- Data Memory Systems Celerity 6G Plus 120GB Solid State Drive @ Tweaktown
- OCZ Vertex 3 - 3.5 120GB SSD @ Funky Kit
- Corsair Accelerator 30GB & 60GB Review @ Neoseeker
- Comay Venus Pro 3 128GB Solid State Drive @ Tweaktown
- OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 240GB Review @ HCW
- Plextor M3 Pro 256GB SSD review @ Hardware.Info
- Corsair Performance Series Pro (256GB) @ AnandTech
- Patriot Supersonic Boost XT 32GB @ Legion Hardware
- OCZ Vertex 4 128GB SSD Review and 1.4RC FW Comparison - SSD Steroids for Your Vertex 4 @ SSD Review
- Patriot Memory SuperSonic Boost 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive Review @ NikKTech
- Kingston DataTraveler Elite 3.0 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive Review @ NikKTech
- Kingston Wi-Drive 16 GB @ techPowerUp
- A Tale Of Two Thunderbolt Storage Devices: Seagate's GoFlex Desk and Western Digital's Thunderbolt Duo @ AnandTech
- Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Home Network Storage System Review - NAS At Its Finest @ SSD Review
- Synology DS3612xs 12-bay NAS review @ Hardware.Info
- WD My Book Thunderbolt Duo 4TB review @ Hardware.Info
- Thecus N4200ECO 4 Bay NAS Enclosure @ Kitguru
- QNAP TS-419P II @ techPowerUp
- Thecus N4100EVO 4-bay NAS review @ Hardware.Info
- Icy Dock MB994SP-4SB-1 Full Metal Quad Bay 2.5" SATA 6Gbps Backplane Review @ eTeknix
Seagate announced today that they will be pursuing a controlling interest in LaCie. The two companies deal in complementary areas of the storage industry with Seagate manufacturing drives and LaCie developing mobile and desktop drive enclosures and NAS solutions. In order to achieve a controlling (more than 50%) interest in the company, Seagate has offered to purchase all of Philippe Spruch’s–LaCie’s Chairman and CEO–shares. In addition to shares from an unnamed affiliate, such a buy would net Seagate 64.5% of outstanding shares of LaCie stock. Seagate is offering the LaCie shareholders €4.05 (approximately $5.09 USD) for their stock, and may be increased to as much as €4.17 should Seagate get 95% of LaCie shares and voting rights within 6 months of closing.
The merging of Seagate and LaCie logos (hehe).
After acquiring a controlling interest, they would then work to buy back all other otustanding shares with a cash offer. The initial purchase of stock is still pending governmental approval. Ricol Lasteyrie & Associates has been appointed as an independent expert by the board of directors for LaCie to examine the offer and determine whether or not to accept. Should it go through, Philippe Spruch would join Seagate as the president of Seagate’s consumer storage division. He would have the current Seagate vice president Patrick Connolly and LaCie deputy general manager Pierre van der Elst reporting to him. At this time, Seagate has not disclosed how much the former LaCie employees would be paid to work for Seagate. If all the appropriate governing bodies “okay” it, the buyout is expected to happen in the third quarter of 2012 (Q3 2012).
Steve Luczo, Seagate chairman, president and CEO was quoted in the press release in stating: “Seagate has a strong commitment to the growing consumer storage market and bringing the most dynamic products to market. LaCie has built an exceptional consumer brand by delivering exciting and innovative high-end products for many years. This transaction would bring a highly complementary set of capabilities to Seagate, significantly expand our consumer product offerings, add a premium-branded direct-attached storage line, strengthen our network-attached storage business line and enhance our capabilities in software development."
The combination of Seagate and LaCie seems odd a first, because LaCie does not manufacture their own drives (so it’s not a hard drive patent portfolio Seagate is after); but they are actually complementary services. While Seagate has the hard drive storage down, LaCie has a lineup of drive enclosures and NAS boxes. By combining the two, Seagate can manufacture the drives and the enclosures themselves. Seagate does currently have a few enclosures but their expertise is primarily in the drive technology itself. The opposite is true to Lacie, so the two companies coming together is a good thing for Seagate. One thing that LaCie has done that instantly benefits Seagate is focusing on high end and premium drive enclosures. While Seagate has focused on low and midrange drive enclosures, LaCie has solely focused on high end. This is beneficial because Seagate can integrate those higher profit margin premium LaCie products into their lineup without the need for extensive research and development. Whether it will also result in an improved product lineup and/or cheaper products for consumers remains to be seen, but it has the potential to be a good thing.
Subject: General Tech, Motherboards, Storage | May 21, 2012 - 06:57 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: Z77, thunderbolt, p8z77-v premium, msi, asus
We have really been waiting for this since we first saw the release of Thunderbolt on the Apple MacBooks last year, but we finally have it: Thunderbolt support for PC users! Both MSI and ASUS today announced availability of motherboards with integrated Thunderbolt connectivity: the ASUS P8Z77-V Premium and the MSI Z77A-GD80 will both get you a single integrated Thunderbolt port.
"Intel and ASUS have worked closely on the implementation of Thunderbolt technology onto Asus motherboards”, said Jason Ziller, Intel’s Director of Thunderbolt Marketing. “The P8Z77-V PREMIUM is the first Thunderbolt certified motherboard in the industry, a testament to its solid design and compatibility."
With its long history of working with high tech vendors, ASUS is able to show its strength and commitment to innovation with a close relationship to three of the leading brands currently producing products with Thunderbolt technology, Elgato, LaCie, and PROMISE.
Thunderbolt is a new, high-speed I/O technology designed for performance, simplicity and flexibility, with lightning fast transfer speeds that are twice that of USB 3.0 and up to 20 times faster than USB 2.0. It offers simultaneous bi-directional 10Gbps transfer speeds over a single cable, with the flexibility to daisy-chain up to six Thunderbolt-ready devices with a single connection as well as offering full display port support for a 7th Thunderbolt or display port equipped monitor. This allows for a clutter-free computing experience while offering unprecedented levels of performance. Users can connect multiple Thunderbolt-enabled external storage drives to a Thunderbolt-enabled display and transfer files while watching HD movies, all without experiencing any lag. In addition for content professional this connection has been designed form the ground up for multimedia offering low latency with highly accurate time synchronization for professional audio and video applications. PC enthusiast and gamers can take immediate advantage combining Thunderbolt and on-board Lucid Virtu MVP to enjoy top-notch graphics performance.
Even better, we have some in-action video of the new ASUS Thunderbolt-implementation including performance!
This video was recorded well before today's launch during our Z77 Live Review and clearly shows some of the benefits of Thunderbolt, as well as some of the limitations, you'll find if you pick up the ASUS P8ZZ77-V Premium motherboard!
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Storage | May 17, 2012 - 05:05 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: podcast, aftershow
After the normally scheduled podcast recorded last night, the PC Perspective staff hung around in the chat room to talk with our fans and readers about various random hardware topics. Rather than just throw that data away, we decided to save it and post the video here as a sort of "aftershow" for those of you that want a bit more PCPer in your life.
Subject: Storage | May 16, 2012 - 03:50 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: ssd, sata 2, runcore, data destruction
For people worried about their personal information (or spies) RunCore has developed a new SSD that will make sure no one can steal your data. The InVincible SATA II solid state drive comes with two brightly colored buttons for different levels of data destruction. Pressing the green button will initiate the “intelligent destruction” mode wherein the drive will be wiped out and the data overwritten with zeros. And if that is not enough, users can press the red button to activate a physical destruction mechanism. In the physical destruction process, a high electrical current is delivered to the NAND flash chips causing them to burn and crack. Good luck recovering your data after that (though it’s not as flashy as Thermite)!
Just keep your cat away from the red button if you know what’s good for your hardware!
In terms of performance, the RunCore SSD is capable of up to 240MB/s reads and 190MB/s writes. The drive features a SATA II interface, and it is available with either MLC or SLC NAND flash. The internals are placed in a green 2.5” form factor case and–in addition to SATA data and power cable connections–it also comes with one red and one green button connected to the drive by two wires. The new solid state drive is now official, but pricing and availability have yet to be announced. More information on the drives can be found on the RunCore website, and you can see the data destruction in action in the video below.
Subject: Systems, Storage | May 11, 2012 - 04:34 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: x79, sandy bridge-e, RevoDrive 3 X2, ramrod, just delivered, dv nation
Just Delivered is a 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 you are a little fish in the great big pond of PC builders, you need to do something to stand out from the rest. The people behind DV Nation apparently were well aware of that when entering the system vendor business and offering up SSDs to every single system configuration. Through a new system they are offering, provocatively named the "RAMRod PC", DV Nation provides a pre-built system that has some very unique components and configuration settings.
Built around the Antec Three Hundred Two chassis, the first glance at the RAMRod doesn't really indicate anything special is going on under the hood. But let's take a quick look at the specs:
- Intel Core i7-3820 @ 4.4 GHz
- 64GB DDR3-1600 Memory from G.Skill
- Radeon HD 6990 4GB
- 2x Seagate Momentus XT 750GB Hybrid HDD in RAID-0
- OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 480GB PCIE SSD
- RAMCache: SuperSpeed Supercache 8GB on PCIE SSD, 8GB on Momentus
- RAMDisk: 42GB ROMEX Primo rated at 8000 MB/s
- Cost: $5,400
Obviously there is a LOT of storage work going on in the RAMRod and the purpose of the rig is to be the fastest pre-configured storage available anywhere. If you are looking for a cheaper version of this system you can get a base model with 16GB of memory, 10GB RAMDisk, 2GB RAMCache, 240GB PCIe SSD, single standard hard drive and even at GTX 680 for $2999.
Let's take a quick walk around the rest of the system.