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Subject: Storage | September 13, 2011 - 05:13 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: sandforce, Sandforce SF2281, ssd, roundup, corsair, kingston, ozc, patriot, sata 6Gps
Four companies with seven SSDs that all share the same controller were tested at X-bit Labs to see if there is any noticeable difference in their performance. The price per gigabyte varies on the different models as they all use slightly different flash memory as well as different interfaces. X-bit tries to come out with a general statement about performance and captures the heart when they state "SSDs with synchronous MLC NAND flash are generally faster but also more expensive whereas SSDs with asynchronous flash are cheaper and slower". That generalization doesn't quite capture the results fully however as even within those two categories there are some choices better than others. Check out the full review to see which drives came out on top.
"We tested seven high-speed solid state drives built on second generation SandForce controller that support SATA 6 Gbps. Please welcome our heroes: Corsair Force 3, Corsair Force GT, Kingston HyperX, OCZ Agility 3, OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS, Patriot Pyro and Patriot Wildfire."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Super Talent TeraDrive CT3 64GB SSD Review @ Legit Reviews
- Corsair Force Series GT 120GB SATA 6Gb/s Solid-State Drive Review @ ThinkComputers
- Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 240GB SATA 3 SSD Review @ The SSD Review
- Corsair Force GT SSD 120 GB @ Metku
- Crucial M4 256GB Update: The Power of Firmware @ Hardware Canucks
- Corsair Force GT SATA 3 240GB SSD Review @ The SSD Review
- Kingston HyperX 120GB SandForce SF-2281 @ Tweaktown
- Patriot Wildfire 120 GB SSD Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Areca ARC-1882i and Corsair Force GT 7 Drive SATA III RAID 0 Setup @ Tweaktown
- Synology DiskStation DS411 Review @ HardwareHeaven
- ICYBOX USB3.0 HDD Enclosure Review @ HardwareLOOK
- Synology Rackstation RS2211+ @ kitguru
- StarTech.com Portable SATA Duplicator & USB / eSATA Dock @ AnandTech
- Western Digital My Book Studio Edition II 6TB @ AnandTech
- Seagate Goflex Satellite 500GB hard drive @ The Inquirer
- Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex 4TB Desk External Drive Review @ Legit Reviews
- QNAP vs DROBO @ CoD
Subject: Storage | September 8, 2011 - 11:01 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Seagate, Hard Drive, goflex, 4TB
Seagate has broken the capacity ceiling for single disk hard drives with their new GoFlex external hard drive reaching a beefy 4 TB of storage capacity. No specific details on performance have been released; however, Seagate has stated that the new four terabyte drive will be housed in their new industrial design enclosure and will carry an MSRP of $249.99.
The new enclosure is a glossy black design that the company claims delivers a smaller footprint then their previous models. The front face holds a capacity meter that shows the used capacity in 25% increments. Connectivity options on the rear of the drive include FireWire 800 and USB 2.0. Users are also able to pair the 4TB GoFlex drive with a GoFlex adapter that enables USB 3.0 transfer speeds.
Currently, the 4TB hard drive is available for purchase from Seagate’s website, and will be available for purchase from online retailers within the month. More photos of the drive are available here. Personally, I had been holding off on the terabyte craze until a drive with at least four terabytes came out; however, storage needs required me to jump on a 2TB drive a bit earlier than I expected. Are you using a TB+ hard drive, or are you holding off for a certain capacity before jumping into the terabyte era?
Podcast #169 - SSD Decoder Update, Antec SOLO II, ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, Ultrabook news and a Drobo contest!!
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards, Processors, Storage, Mobile | September 8, 2011 - 03:23 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: ultrabook, ssd, podcast, eee pad transformer, drobo, decoder, asus, antec
PC Perspective Podcast #169 - 9/08/2011
Join us this week as we discuss the MARS II combo on Newegg, an update to the SSD Decoder, the new Antec SOLO II chassis, our review of the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer tablet, news on Ultrabook development and even announce a new contest partnership with Drobo!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
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Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom, Allyn Malventano
This Podcast is brought to you by
- 1-888-38-PCPER or email@example.com
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- MARS II Combo for $4000!
- SSD Decoder Update
- Kingwin Stryker 500W Fanless Power Supply Review
- Video Perspective: Antec SOLO II Chassis Review
- ASUS Eee Pad Transformer TF101 Review: Assemble!
- This Podcast is brought to you by MSI Computer, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!
- Zotac Releases New ZBOX Nano AD10 Series Mini PCs
- Toshiba Unveils Portege Z830 Ultrabook Series
- Bulldozer Infused Trinity APU Specifications Confirmed
- Intel Unveils 16 New 32nm Processors
- AMD Ships Bulldozer for Revenue- Interlagos though- will write up after the podcast and post on front page.
- Magma Unveils the First Three-Slot Thunderbolt Expansion Chassis
- Drobo contest
- Email from Wes about GPU selection
- Email from Chris about GPU whine
- Email from Lee about SSD security
- Email from a mystery writer about GPU stuttering
- Finally, a VIDEO QUESTION from David!
- Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
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Subject: Storage | September 6, 2011 - 10:12 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: hitachi, hdd, deskstar, cinemastar, 1TB Platter
Hitachi GST (Global Storage Technologies) today announced that the company is beefing up their product line by moving to 1 TB per platter technology. With an aerial density of 569 Gb/in^2 (569 Gigabits per square inch) for desktop drives, both Deskstar and CinemaStar product lines will be infused with the new platter technology and will range in capacities from 250 GB to 1 TB. We are currently awaiting an update as to whether the lower capacity drives are using older technology or fractions of the 1TB per platter drives, so stay tuned for an update. This will be important for the performance of the lower capacity drives because the improved aerial density of the 1TB per platter technology brings a healthy performance boost over the older technology due to the amount of data that is able to be read at a time.
The Deskstar lineup is for consumers and enthusiasts while the CinemaStar drives are low power drives best suited for A/V work in streaming HD video and/or writing HD streams to the disk. Such applications include security cameras, IPTV, and DVRs. The new Deskstar drives are available for purchase now; however, the CinemaStar hard drives will not be available until later this fall.
The Deskstar drives come in two flavors, the higher performance 7200 RPM 7K1000.D and the low power 5K1000.B hard drives that employ Hitachi’s Coolspin technology. Both models feature 32MB of cache, SATA 3 (6 Gb/s) interfaces, and power savings versus their predecessors. The HVERT and 8th generation power management technology has allowed Hitachi to claim 15% idle power savings on the 7K1000.D. On the other hand, the 5K1000.B sees a 23% idle power savings versus its predecessor.
The CinemaStar drives also employ 32MB of cache and the SATA 3 (6 Gb/s) interface. Hitachi claims that 90% of demand (for AV oriented hard drives) lies in single disk hard drives between 250 GB and 500 Gigabytes in capacity. Just like the Deskstar variants, the CinemaStar lineup is also broken up into faster 7K1000.D and low power, slower spinning 5K1000.B products.
While Hitachi is moving to 1 TB per platter, they are slated to be acquired by Western Digital in Q4 2011. The company will continue to ship the drives until “their logical end of life.” The important bit; however, is that Hitachi GST product warranties will continue to be honored after the acquisition. Have you used Hitachi drives lately, or have you moved on to the larger manufacturers?
Subject: Storage | September 6, 2011 - 03:00 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: vertex 3, ssd, SF-2281 controller, sata 6Gps, ocz, linux
The majority of reviews of solid state drives have been focussed on the performance of the drives under Windows, thankfully Phoronix can be counted on to differ from that and present a reveiw of an SSD under Linux. This particular time it is the OCZ Vertex 3 240GB SSD under Ubuntu 11.10 with the Linux 3.0 kernel and an EXT4 file-system. The OS had no problems recognizing the drive and it is obvious that Linux has no problems fully utilizing the SATA 6Gb/s interface as the drive blows the competition out of the water. The only problem is that the price of the drive remains prohibitive no matter what OS you use, but your money will not be wasted.
"It's been a while since last providing a Phoronix review of a solid-state drive from OCZ Technology, but now with Serial ATA 3.0 support becoming more prevalent on modern Intel and AMD motherboards, they have been releasing a number of updated products to take advantage of SATA 3.0. In the review we have our hands on an OCZ Vertex 3 240GB SSD as we see how this SATA III SSD performs under Ubuntu Linux."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- OCZ Agility 3 240GB Solid State Drive Review @ eTeknix
- Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 120GB SSD Review @ Hardware Canucks
- OCZ Agility 3 120GB Review @ HardwareLOOK
- OCZ Vertex 3 240 GB @ techPowerUp
- ADATA S511 240GB Solid State Drive @ Tweaknews
- Kingston HyperX 240GB SSD @ Techgage
- Patriot Wildfire 120GB Solid State Drive @ Pro-Clocker
- The Crucial m4 SSD Update: Faster with FW0009 @ AnandTech
- Kingston HyperX SandForce SSD Bundle Kit @ TechwareLabs
- OCZ Technology RevoDrive 3 X2 PCI-E 480GB SSD @ Tweaktown
- Western Digital AV-GP (WD30EURS) 3 TB @ TechARP
- Samsung EcoGreen F4 (HD204UI) 2 TB @ TechARP
- File Server Builder's Guide @ AnandTech
- Enermax Brick 2.5 inch USB 3.0 External HDD Enclosure Review @ Real World Labs
- Super Talent USB 3.0 Express RC8 50GB (SF-1200) SSD Flash Drive Review @ The SSD Review
- Using QNAP's RTRR with Windows Server @ Computing on Demand
- SilverStone SST-DC01B Network Data Center Review @ Legit Reviews
- Zalman ZM-MH200 U3 USB 3.0 Dual HDD Docking Station Review @ Real World Labs
- HornetTek Slipper USB 3.0 Hard Drive Dock @ TechwareLabs
- Lexar Echo MX 32GB Backup Thumb Drive Review @ Techgage
- Akasa Flexstor DiskLink USB 3.0 Adapter Review @ eTeknix
- HighPoint's RocketU 1144A PCIe x4 USB 3.0 Controller: A Big Back-end @ AnandTech
Subject: Storage | August 31, 2011 - 01:29 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: revodrive, PCIe SSD, ocz, hybrid ssd
SAN JOSE, CA - Aug. 31, 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 RevoDrive Hybrid PCI Express (PCIe) storage solution. Designed to dramatically accelerate applications and system responsiveness, the RevoDrive Hybrid's superior combination of SSD and hard disk drive (HDD) technology is a revolutionary step forward for high-performance, economical storage.
The RevoDrive Hybrid integrates the benefits of both SSD and HDD technology into a single solution to offer both enhanced responsiveness and ample storage capacity. The drive comes bundled with Dataplex caching software which dynamically manages the use of the 100GB SSD with the 1TB HDD for superior overall storage performance. This combination creates an environment where the most frequently used "hot" data stays on the ultra-fast SSD, while the "cold" data remains on the larger capacity HDD. Advanced caching algorithms learn user behavior and adapt storage policies to ensure optimal performance for each individual user, maximizing productivity for the most demanded programs and applications. In addition, the drive not only eliminates the SATA bottleneck unleashing ground-breaking bandwidth up to 910MB/s, but also features up to 120,000 IOPS (4K random write) for high transactional workloads delivering true SSD-level performance. Finally, the RevoDrive Hybrid provides unique benefits to users by incorporating features of OCZ's proprietary Virtualized Controller Architecture (VCA) 2.0.
"The RevoDrive Hybrid leverages the best attributes of both solid state drives and traditional hard drive technology to deliver dynamic data-tiering on a single easy to deploy PCIe storage drive," said Ryan Petersen, CEO of OCZ Technology Group. "Leveraging Dataplex software to efficiently manage frequently accessed data delivers superior performance and capacity, making the RevoDrive Hybrid the ideal solution for high performance computing and media content creation."
Click on the picture for a slightly larger version.
The all-new OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid 1TB comes backed by a three-year warranty and will be available worldwide for an MSRP of $499.99, delivering the industry's best price per GB for SSD-level performance.
Subject: Storage | August 31, 2011 - 12:27 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: ssd, storage, corsair, sandforce, SATA3
Today Corsair announced two new high capacity SSDs that have joined the company’s Force GT solid state drive lineup. The new drives come in 180 GB and 240GB flavors, a nice increase from the current 60 GB and 120 GB drives.
The new Force GT SSDs utilize the SATA 3 (6Gbps) interface, and are powered by the SandForce SF-2280 controller. In addition, the drives are powered by ONFI synchronous flash memory. The hardware results in random IOPS of 85K, read speeds of 555 MB/s, and write speeds of 525 MB/s. Thi La, the VP of Memory Products for Corsair stated the new 180 GB and 240 GB SSDs are best suited for enthusiasts systems that require large amounts of high performance storage.
The Force GT drives will come with a 3.5” adapter for cases that do not have 2.5” drive bays. The SSDs are available for purchase now, and carry an MSRP of $379 USD for the 180 GB model and $489 USD for the 240 GB SSD.
Crucial, a relatively new but successful entrant to the SSD space recently released a new firmware for its M4 lineup that promises faster boot up times and improved write performance. Specifically, the new firmware is version 0009, and users can directly update their m4 SSDs from either revision 0001 or 0002. The update is installed by downloading and burning a bootable CD.
According to Tom’s Hardware, the company is promising up to a 20 % performance improvement in sequential read speeds. Further, the official firmware change log includes improvements in throughput performance, write latency, and compatibility with the latest chipsets. In synthetic application testing, Crucial noted an increase in the PCMark Vantage benchmark score using the new firmware update. The company has also improved compatibility between SATA 2 (3Gb/s) chipsets and the SATA 3 (6Gb/s) solid state drives. Lastly, the new firmware reduces the chances for a failed cold boot up (starting the computer from a completely powered down state) of the SSD on certain systems.
Its is certainly nice to see firmware fixes that both squash bugs and offer up some free performance improvements. You can find the firmware download for your specific m4 solid state drive in addition to update instructions here. Let us know what you think of the new firmware.
Subject: Storage | August 29, 2011 - 05:19 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: plextor, PX-LB950UE, bluray, external drive
That isn't the case anymore as you can pick up the Plextor PX-LB950UE for $220 and plug it in externally to burn single or dual layer Blu-ray disks, as well as DVDs. With both USB 3.0 and eSATA connections you should have no trouble with compatibility and you will want the fast transfer rates due to the volume of data that Blu-ray can handle. Unfortunately PCStats could not get the Plextor to play back the movie that they were using for testing, no matter what software they tried to use to play it. A diagnostic showed nothing wrong with the disk nor with the player and a Google search showed that many people have similar problems with a wide variety of disks and players. They did have a very early version of the firmware; perhaps an updated version will resolve that particular problem. Certainly something to keep in mind before picking up this external drive.
"In recent weeks the talk of the town has been a sleek black external 12x Blu-ray WRITER from the folks at Plextor. The Plextor PX-LB950UE connects via USB 3.0 or eSATA cables and is capable of burning single layer Blu-ray Disk (BD) media at 12x, double layer BD media at 8x and DVD-R media at 16x speeds. In addition, it supports the playback of Blu-ray 3D movie titles. The bonus to going the Blu-ray writer route, is that BD-R media is even more useful than DVD media for archiving MASSIVE amounts of data."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Battle of the SATA 3.0 Controllers @ Techgage
- Apacer Handy Steno AH130 USB 2.0 Flash Drive Review @ Madshrimps
- HornetTek Slipper U3 External Dock @ Bjorn3D
- Thermaltake Max 5G USB 3.0 HDD Enclosure Review @ Tweaknews
- Synology DS110J NAS @ XSReviews
- ineo 3.5? USB3.0 External Enclosure Review @ TechwareLabs
- Corsair Force 3 vs. Force GT 120 GB Solid State Drive Review @ Hardware Secrets
- OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G 240GB SSD w/ SF-2282 & Toshiba Toggle @ Tweaktown
- Corsair Force Series 3 - 240GB SSD @ HardwareHeaven
- Plextor PX-M2 128GB SSD @ Hardwareoverclock
- Crucial M4 256GB SSD Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Crucial M4 SSD Firmware Update (0009) Posted - Tests Display Definite Performance Increase @ The SSD Review
- Runcore T50 mSATA SATA 3 (SF-2281) EXCLUSIVE Review - The Worlds First 6Gbps mSATA SSD Hits The Streets @ The SSD Review
IBM knows how to go big or go home, and their Almaden, California research lab’s current storage project exemplifies that quite nicely. With a data repository that dwarfs anything we have today, IBM is designing a 120 Petabyte storage container. Comprised of 200,000 hard drives, the new storage device is expected to house approximately 1 trillion files or 24 billion 5MB MP3 files. To put that in perspective, Apple has sold 10 billion songs as of February 24, 2010; therefore, you could store every song sold since the Itunes Store’s inception twice and still have room for more!
More specifically, the Almaden engineers have designed new hardware and software techniques to combine all 200,000 hard drives into horizontal drawers that are then all placed into rack mounts. In order to properly cool the drives, IBM had to make the drawers “significantly wider than usual” to cram as many disks as possible into a vertical rack in addition to cooling the disks with circulating water. On the software side of things, IBM has refined their disk parity and mirroring algorithms such that a computer can continue working at near-full speed in the event a drive fails. If a single disk fails, the system begins to pull data from other drives that held copies of the data to write to the replacement disk, allowing the supercomputer to keep processing data. The algorithms control the speed of data rebuilding, and are able to adapt in the event multiple drives begin failing.
In addition to physically spreading data across the drives, IBM is also using a new file system to keep track of all the files across the array. Known as the General Parallel File System (GPFS), it stripes files across multiple disks so that many parts of a files can be written to and read from simultaneously, resulting in massive speed increasing when reading. In addition, the file system uses a new method of indexing that enables it to keep track of billions of files without needing to scan through every one. GPFS has already blown past the previous indexing record of one billion files in three hours with an impressive indexing of 10 billion files in 43 minutes.
The director of storage research for IBM, Bruce Hillsberg stated to Technology Review that the results of their algorithms enables a storage system that should not lose any data for a million years without compromising performance. Hillsberg further indicated that while this 120 Petabyte storage array was on the “lunatic fringe” today, storage is becoming more and more important for cloud computing, and just keeping track of the file names, type, and attributes will use approximately 2 Terabytes of storage.
The array is currently being built for a yet-to-be-announced client, and will likely be used for High Performance Computing (HPC) projects to store massive amounts of modeling and simulation data. Project that could benefit from increased storage include global weather patterns, seismic graphing, Lard Hadron Collider (LHC), and molecular data simulations
Storage research has an amazing pacing, and seems to constantly advance despite pesky details like heat, fault tolerance, aerial density walls, and storage mediums. While this 120 Petabyte array comprised of 200,000 hard drives is out of reach for just about everyone without federal funding or a Fortune 500 company's expense account, the technology itself is definitely interesting and will trickle down advancements to the consumer drives.
Image Copyright comedy_nose via Flickr Creative Commons
Subject: Storage | August 24, 2011 - 11:40 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: usb 3.0, USAP, NEC/Renesas, fresco logic, etron, asmedia, amd
VR-Zone gathered every USB 3.0 controller they could get their hands on, including AMD's A75 chipset, the ASMedia ASM1042, the Etron EJ168A, the Fresco Logic FL1009, the NEC/Renesas µD720200, the Renesas µD720201 and the VLI VL800 ... everyone but TI essentially. The NEC/Renesas is a bit different from the other controllers as it has implemented a not quite finished standard called USB Attached SCSI Protocol or UASP, something none of the other controller support. That introduced some interesting results as not all USB 3.0 drives can support the protocol. Another fly in the ointment were the cables, it seems that not all USB 3.0 cables are equal and some will cause you great frustration. By the end of the review you will have a lot of data on how the controllers perform and the hit your CPU will take, but with no clear winner it is hard to hand out a performance crown.
"Believe us when we say that this is one of the most epic reviews we've ever put together. Not because it was the hardest roundup we've ever done, but it's by far the most time consuming one and it doesn't even have anything to do with the benchmarks we ran. We thought it'd be a good idea to do a comparative review of the various USB 3.0 host controllers out there, as by now we've finally reached a stage where there's some competition in the market with at least three major players and a couple of smaller ones. VR-Zone is also proud to have a world exclusive first review of the upcoming Renesas D720201 host controller which is launching later this year as part of this roundup."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- OCZ RevoDrive3 X2 SuperScale PCI-E SSD @ Benchmark Reviews
- Kingston HyperX 240GB SSD Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Patriot Memory Supersonic 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive Review @ Real World Labs
- Future Storage 240GB SATA 3 SSD Review - SandForce Makes Strides Worldwide @ The SSD Review
- Plextor Portable 500GB Hard Disk Drive @ Tech-Reviews
- Performance Testing Eight Patriot WildFires SF-2281 6Gbps SSDs on a LSI 9265-8i MegaRAID Card @ The SSD Review
- Drobo FS @ Computing on Demand
- SilverStone DC01: An Entry Into The Linux NAS Market @ Phoronix
- Zalman ZM-VE200 External HDD Case + Virtual Drive Review @ Real World Labs
- QNAP TS-659 Pro II NAS @ Legion Hardware
Subject: Storage | August 24, 2011 - 10:03 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: drobo, SAS, BeyondRAID
SAN JOSE, Calif. – August 24, 2011 – Drobo, makers of award-winning data storage products for businesses and professionals, today introduced a new Drobo for business solution, the Drobo B1200i, which features technological breakthroughs and an unprecedented combination of automation, affordability and application awareness for the small and medium business (SMB) market.
The new 12-bay Drobo provides business customers with a unique storage solution for VMware, Microsoft Exchange and other business applications – offering advanced and sophisticated capabilities for customers without large enterprise budgets or deep storage expertise. The new Drobo takes an application-driven approach to storage, cutting cost and complexity while automating modern data protection, capacity planning and application performance.
The new Drobo B1200i builds on Drobo’s track record of providing “Small Box, Big Storage” by delivering a solution that is uniquely:
- Automated BeyondRAID™ technology optimizes advanced data protection without the need for specific storage expertise or configuration
- Automated thin provisioning and reclamation delivers enterprise-class expandability and storage utilization features in a simplified, automated manner
- New, automated data-aware tiering solves performance tuning issues that have traditionally taken storage administrators weeks or months to address
- Adjusts in real-time to changes in application workload, without the need for user or admin intervention and tuning
- Uniquely utilizes SSD technology in the same pool as conventional disk drives to accelerate the most demanding operations – automatically, based on application workload Affordable
- Available at prices starting under $10,000 for 12 TB of SAS storage
- The most efficient and cost-effective way to utilize SSD technology – unlike traditional tiering or SSD solutions, Drobo allows customers to incrementally add SSD drives in the same box and in the same storage pool as traditional media – resulting in optimal price-performance
- Designed, like all Drobos, to be the easiest to use and most automated product in the market, resulting in reduced configuration and tuning time, and lower operating costs
- B1200i Overview: http://info.drobo.com/resources/b1200i
- The Automated Tiering Experience: http://www.drobo.com/resources/tiering.php
- Drobo for Business: http://www.drobo.com/products/drobosanbusiness.php
The new Drobo 12-Bay iSCSI SAN storage for business model B1200i is available now for purchase at http://www.Drobo.com and through select partners and resellers.
Subject: Storage | August 19, 2011 - 12:03 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: kingston, ssd, sandforce, SF-2281 controller
Kingston has moved on to the new SandForce 2281 controller and synchronous flash memory with their new series of HyperX SSDs. Like previous models, cables and brackets and sometimes even ghosting software are included in the packaging in addition to a 3 year warranty. The drive comes in two varieties of package, one is intended for those planning a complete reinstall of Windows when they add the SSD to their system. The other is an upgrade kit, which has everything you need to move your OS onto the SSD, up to and including a USB casing to ease the transfer. [H]ard|OCP has the scoop here.
"Kingston's move into the SandForce SSD market is great news for the consumer. With its new HyperX branded solid state drives in hand, we take a look at these amazingly fast SSDs and examine if an SSD from Kingston should be on your short list for your next storage purchase."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Kingston HyperX 120GB SATA 3 SSD Review @ t-break
- Samsung 470 128GB SSD @ XSReviews
- Plextor PX-128 M2S 128 GB SSD @ XSReviews
- Crucial M4 128GB SSD @ OC3D
- Kingston HyperX 240GB SATA III SSD @ Bjorn3D
- Hard Disk Drive Myths Debunked! @ TechARP
- Western Digital Scorpio Blue 1TB Mobile Hard Drive Review @ Techgage
- WD Scorpio Blue 1TB Notebook Hard Drive Review @ Legit Reviews
- Seagate Barracuda XT 3TB SATA 3 HDD Review @ Real World Labs
- Icy Dock MB982SPR-2S Dual 2.5" to 3.5" SATA HDD / SSD Converter Review @ eTeknix
- Flash Drives and Controllers: USB 3.0 vs. USB 2.0 @ X-bit Labs
- Silverstone RVS02 USB 3.0 2.5" HDD Enclosure @ Pro-Clockers
Subject: Storage | August 19, 2011 - 02:35 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: ssd, ONFI, Force Series 3, corsair, asynchronous NAND, 90GB
Corsair recently added two new solid state drives to its SSD lineup. The new drives weight in at 90 GB, and make an interesting choice for those that need a bit more space than Corsair’s 60 GB drives provide but not enough to justify a higher priced 120 GB drive. Of the two drives, one will be labeled a Force Series 3 drive, and the other will be a Force Series GT SSD. Tweaktown quoted Corsair in stating:
“We're happy to add the world's first 90GB SSD to our product lineup. With 50% more storage capacity than our 60GB models and at pricing significantly lower than our 120GB models, they help make the Force Series 3 and Force Series GT among the most robust and flexible SSD lines on the market.”
The new 2.5” drives are powered by Sandforce 2281 controllers, and the SATA 3 (6Gb/s) interface. Using the benchmarking utility IOMeter 08, Corsair measured the IOPS (input/output operations per second) of the two drives to be 85,000. The Force Series 3 90GB SSD uses asynchronous NAND, and is capable of sequential read and write speeds of 550MB/s and 500MB/s respectively. On the other hand, the Force Series GT 90GB SSD uses ONFI synchronous flash, and features a slight performance edge with sequential reads of 555MB/s and sequential writes of 505MB/s.
The 90GB SSDs supports SMART monitoring, the TRIM command, and have a MTBF (mean time before failure) of 2 million hours. Further, the drives carry a three year warranty. The drives are available now from authorized retailers with an MSRP of $159 for the Force Series 3 drive and $199 for the Force Series GT SSD.
Samsung today announced a new lineup of consumer solid state drives (SSD) with the SATA 3 (6Gb/s) interface called the SSD 830 Series. We reported last week on this series of SSD's OEM variant, the PM830 Series, and this week is the unveiling of the consumer versions.
The new 830 SSD series builds on its Samsung 470 predecessors while upgrading the controller interface to SATA 3 (6Gb/s), providing twice the amount of available bandwidth. Further, the consumer drives differentiate themselves from the PM830 OEM versions in three distinct manners, including capacity sizes, exterior design, and bundled components.
On the aesthetic front, the 830 drives have a dark brushed aluminum body with a silver colored Samsung logo and orange corner accent, while the OEM PM830 drives are more simple in design with a dark casing and information sticker.
Further proving that the drives are meant for consumer usage, Samsung provides a full upgrade bundle that (in addition to the SSD itself) includes a copy of Norton Ghost to image an old drive onto the new SSD, a 2.5" to 3.5" adapter bracket, all the necessary cables, and detailed instructions on how to use the drive. A notebook oriented upgrade bundle will also be available that includes the SSD itself, manuals, Norton Ghost software, and a USB to SATA adapter to image the old drive onto the new SSD before switching the new drive into the laptop.
The full upgrade kit for desktops.
The new 830 SSD lineup will come in consumer friendly capacities of 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB (for comparison, the OEM PM830 versions only come in capacities greater than 128GB).
Unfortunately, Samsung has not yet announced pricing or detailed specifications on the new drives, instead opting to withhold that information until the official product launch in October 2011. If the OEM versions are any indication on the speed front; however, the consumer versions are looking at MLC NAND capable of respectable 500MB/s read and 350MB/s write speeds.
Update 8/25/2011: We recently came across a few more tidbits of information on the Samsung 830 consumer SSDs. Specifically, the drives will be powered by a triple ARM9 based controller that is similar to their previous generations. The NAND flash that the drives will use is 20nm class rated, which is marketing speak for any NAND manufacturing node that is between 20nm and 29nm. In Samsungs case, they are likely utilizing 25nm MLC NAND for their 830 series drives. Finally, the company will be releasing their own "software toolbox" to keep the SSDs healthy by performing secure erase, monitoring, and user adjustible over-provisioning. Over-provisioning is a process that reserves a specificied amount of NAND cells so that the SSD controller can replace bad and/or worn out cells and keep performance and capacity at stable levels.
End of Update.
Stay tuned to PC Perspective for more information on the new drives as we get closer to the official launch date.
Image credit: Samsung
We reported a few weeks ago that Intel was able to reproduce the 8MB firmware bug in it's lab and was working on a fix. Officially called the Bad Context 13x Error, the 8MB bug is a rather serious firmware issue that a small percentage of users ran into when their drives unexpectedly lost power due to improper shutdown procedures or power outage at an especially wrong time. Once the drives were powered on again, they reported a capacity of 8MB to its users, who were able to restore the drive using secure erase but not the data.
Fortunately, a fix is on its way very soon, as Computer World quoted Intel in stating "the new firmware update is in final validation testing and is targeted for release on Intel Communities within the next two weeks."
Further, users will be able to apply the firmware fix without needing to secure erase the drive; however, none of the lost data can be recovered. As with any drive, SSD or otherwise, be sure to perform regular backups to mitigate the amount of data one can lose in drive failure. Intel is also recommending that users ensure they shut down their computers properly and to avoid unplugging the SSD from a powered on machine.
Stay tuned to PC Perspective for more information on the Bad Context 13x Error as it develops. Until then, rest assured that a fix is on the way soon.
Subject: Storage | August 15, 2011 - 02:23 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ssd, SF-2281 controller, sata 6Gps
The good and the bad are obvious, unparalleled transfer speeds and a very high price per gigabyte are familiar to anyone keeping up with the new storage medium. The ugly is the reliability, as we have seen a variety of manufacturers and controllers spawn significant problems for users. That is before you consider how long an SSD will last, something that we have yet to fully see the scope of as niether the technology nor the drives have been on the market long enough for MTBF to be tested in the real world.
If you are willing to risk the possible failures that some users have been seeing with the SF-2281 controller, AnandTech have rounded up several drives which use that specific controller. Head over to see if you can pick a winner in this incredibly close race.
"It's a depressing time to be covering the consumer SSD market. Although performance is higher than it has ever been, we're still seeing far too many compatibility and reliability issues from all of the major players. Intel used to be our safe haven, but even the extra reliable Intel SSD 320 is plagued by a firmware bug that may crop up unexpectedly, limiting your drive's capacity to only 8MB. Then there are the infamous BSOD issues that affect SandForce SF-2281 drives like the OCZ Vertex 3 or the Corsair Force 3. Despite OCZ and SandForce believing they were on to the root cause of the problem several weeks ago, there are still reports of issues. I've even been able to duplicate the issue internally."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Corsair Force GT SATA III 120GB SSD Review @ Legit Reviews
- Strontium Matrix Series 120GB Solid State Drive @ Tweaktown
- Patriot Wildfire 120GB SSD Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Kingston HyperX 240GB 6Gbps SSD Review @ Legit Reviews
- Kingston HyperX 240GB SATA 3 SSD Review @ The SSD Review
- OWC Upgrades SATA 3 6G SSD Line To Toshiba Flash and SandForce SF-2282 Processor @ The SSD Review
- Crucial M4 SATA 6GB/s Solid State Drive @ Pro-Clockers
- Strontium Gamma Series 115GB Solid State Drive @ Tweaktown
- Patriot Pyro SATA III 120GB SSD @ Modders-Inc
- OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G SSD @ Benchmark Reviews
- Hitachi UltraStar 7K3000 3TB SATA 3 HDD Review @ Real World Labs
- Icy Box IB-NAS5220 NAS @ Rbmods
- Archgon MH-2624 Hard Drive Enclosure Review @ BayReviews
- ineo I-NAU320U Plus USB 3.0 HDD Docking Station and I-NC05 HDD Protection Box Review @Hi Tech Legion
- WD My Book Essential USB3.0 3TB Review @ t-break
- Synology DiskStation DS2411+ NAS @ Techspot
- Patriot Javelin S4 Network Attached Storage Review @ TechwareLabs
- QNAP Turbo NAS Firmware 3.5 @ CoD
- Thecus N2200XXX @ PC Review
- Thecus N2200XXX Dual-Bay NAS @ Bjorn3D
- ADATA Classic Series CH11 1 TB USB 3.0 @ techPowerUp
- ICY DOCK MB982SPR-2S Dual 2.5" -3.5" Raid SATA HDD/SSD Converter Review @Hi Tech Legion
- LSI MegaRAID CacheCade Pro 2.0 Review - Total Storage Acceleration Realized @ The SSD Review
- SilverStone Ultra Slim EC02 USB 3.0 ExpressCard Adapter @ Pro-Clockers
Samsung recently announced volume production of a new lineup of SSDs using the fast SATA 3 (6Gb/s) interface and will be available in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB capacities. The new SSDs are called the PM830 series, and Samsung expects the drives to replace their SATA 2 (3Gb/s) drives by year-end.
Wanhoon Hong, executive vice president, memory sales & marketing, Device Solutions, Samsung Electronics stated that Samsung's new SSDs "will raise the performance bar to the next level for ultra-slim notebooks and tablets." In addition, he believes that the new high capacity drives will spur competition in that segment and increase market interest in SSDs with greater-than 256GB capacities.
The new PM830 drives use Samsung's 20nm class (their term for a process node somewhere between 20 and 29), 32 Gigabit MLC NAND flash with a toggle DDR interface in addition to a proprietary controller. Samsung claims that the controller and flash are able to take advantage of the SATA 6Gb/s interface by delivering 500MB/s sequential read speeds and 350MB/s sequential write speeds. Further, the drive uses AES 256-bit encryption to secure private and corporate data.
The new SATA 6Gb/s solid state drives are targeted at OEMs for use in notebooks and tablets. They are currently only available to OEMs; however, a consumer variant of the drive is forthcoming and will be announced at a later date.
Subject: Storage | August 9, 2011 - 09:10 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: ssd, mlc, Intel, hitachi, enterprise
Hitachi recently released a new enterprise class SSD based on Intel's 25nm MLC flash. Dubbed the Hitachi SSD400M, the new solid state drive is aimed at Enterprise users and Cloud data centers. It comes in the standard 2.5" form factor, features a SAS 6Gb/s interface, and will be available in 200GB and 400GB capacities.
As an enterprise drive, the Hitachi SSD400M supports end to end data protection, error correction, error handling and self encryption on certain models compliant with the Trusted Computing Group’s Enterprise A Security Subsystem Class encryption specification. Further showing it's intended usage as an Enterprise drive, the 25nm MLC based drive is rated for 7.3 Petabyte lifetime write, which Hitachi says amounts to 10 full drive writes per day for five years. Coincidentally, the warranty of the drive is a five year limited warranty or until the drive exceeds the maximum rated number of petabyte writes per capacity. Hitachi states that they expect a .44 annual failure rate and have projected a 2 million hour MTBF.
Performance of the drive is much better than that of the previously reported Intel drive, as it delivers 495MB/s sequential reads and 385MB/s sequential writes. The SSD is further rated at 56,000 read IOPS and 24,000 write IOPS.
The SSD400M has already shipped to various OEMs and will be available soon. More information on the new SSD can be found here.
According to VR-Zone, Intel's newest enterprise series 710 Lyndonville solid state drives (SSD) will be launching soon in a mid-august time frame, and will be carrying a price-per-gigabyte metric that only a corporate expense account could love.
The Intel 311. The 710 series will have the same 2.5" form factor.
The new drives will come in 100GB, 200GB, and 300GB capacities and will be priced at approximately $650, $1250, and $1900 USD respectively. Featuring 25mm eMLC HET, the drives feature 64MB of cache, user-controllable over-provisioning up to 20% (which helps drive longevity by reserving more of the drive for replacement of worn out cells), and a SATA II 3.0Gbps connection. The SATA 3Gbps connection is not likely to bottleneck the drive as it will only feature 270MB/s read and 210MB/s write speeds.
The eMLC HET flash chips are higher quality MLC chips that Intel hopes will provide enterprise level SLC enduring without the higher cost of the SLC chips. Interestingly, the drives only carry a 3 year warranty that is then further impacted by the state of the E9 wear level indicator so that the warranty expires once the three years are up or the E9 indicator reaches 1, whichever comes first. The consumer grade Intel 320 drives on the other hand carry a longer 5 year warranty.
My aging X-25 drive remembers the days when Intel pushed for driving down the cost of SSDs; however, does Intel still remember that goal?