Subject: Storage | February 3, 2016 - 03:31 PM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: Trion 150, toshiba, tlc, ssd, slc, sata, ocz, A15nm
*Note* This piece originally stated 'A15nm', however this was an error in the Trion 150 spec sheet at OCZ. It has been corrected in this article (as well as at the OCZ web site).
2015 was a bit of a rough year for OCZ, as their integration with parent company Toshiba ran into a few performance bumps in the road. First was the Vector 180 launch, which saw some particularly troublesome stalls during writes and TRIM operations. The Trion 100 launch went a bit smoother, but we did note some inconsistencies in caching performance of those TLC/SLC caching SSDs.
OCZ hopes to turn things around by kicking off 2016 with some updates to their product lines. First up is the just announced Trion 150:
Looking at the spec sheets of the Trion 100 and 150, it may be difficult to spot any differences. I’ll save you the trouble and say that only *one digit* changes, but it is an important one. The Trion 150 will use Toshiba 15nm TLC flash (the Trion 100 used A19nm). What is interesting about this is that the Trion 150 carries the same endurance rating as its predecessor. A flash memory die shrink typically comes with a corresponding reduction in endurance, so it is good to see Toshiba squeeze this likely last die shrink to their planar flash for all of the endurance they can. Further backing up that endurance claim, the Trion 150 will carry OCZ’s ShieldPlus warranty, which offers shipping-paid advance-RMA (without receipt) of this product line for three years!
OCZ has Trion 150 samples on the way to us, and we will get a full performance review of them up as soon as we can! Full press blast follows after the break.
NVMe was a great thing to happen to SSDs. The per-IO reduction in latency and CPU overhead was more than welcome, as PCIe SSDs were previously using the antiquated AHCI protocol, which was a carryover from the SATA HDD days. With NVMe came additional required support in Operating Systems and UEFI BIOS implementations. We did some crazy experiments with arrays of these new devices, but we were initially limited by the lack of native hardware-level RAID support to tie multiple PCIe devices together. The launch of the Z170 chipset saw a remedy to this, by including the ability to tie as many as three PCIe SSDs behind a chipset-configured array. The recent C600 server chipset also saw the addition of RSTe capability, expanding this functionality to enterprise devices like the Intel SSD P3608, which was actually a pair of SSDs on a single PCB.
Most Z170 motherboards have come with one or two M.2 slots, meaning that enthusiasts wanting to employ the 3x PCIe RAID made possible by this new chipset would have to get creative with the use of interposer / adapter boards (or use a combination of PCI and U.2 connected Intel SSD 750s). With the Samsung 950 Pro available, as well as the slew of other M.2 SSDs we saw at CES 2016, it’s safe to say that U.2 is going to push back into the enterprise sector, leaving M.2 as the choice for consumer motherboards moving forward. It was therefore only a matter of time before a triple-M.2 motherboard was launched, and that just recently happened - Behold the Gigabyte Z170X-SOC Force!
This new motherboard sits at the high end of Gigabyte’s lineup, with a water-capable VRM cooler and other premium features. We will be passing this board onto Morry for a full review, but this piece will be focusing on one section in particular:
I have to hand it to Gigabyte for this functional and elegant design choice. The space between the required four full length PCIe slots makes it look like it was chosen to fit M.2 SSDs in-between them. I should also note that it would be possible to use three U.2 adapters linked to three U.2 Intel SSD 750s, but native M.2 devices makes for a significantly more compact and consumer friendly package.
With the test system set up, let’s get right into it, shall we?
Subject: Storage | January 29, 2016 - 04:49 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: pny, CS2211, CS1311, tlc, mlc, phison, xlr8
Over at the SSD Review you can check out PNY's newest SSDs, the TLC based CS1311 and the faster MLC based CS2211 which offers ECC RAM and extra data security features as well as a copy of Acronis. Inside the CS2211 which is the drive featured in this review, you will find an 8-channel Phison PS3110-S10-X controller and 15nm Toshiba MLC, the cache is DDR3L-800, 256MB on the 240GB model and 512MB on the 480GB. This replaces PNY's original Silicon Motion powered XLR8 and it improves upon performance as well as offering a 4 year warranty. Check out all the benchmarks right here.
"Just last week we announced PNY's latest SSD products for the new year, the CS1311 and CS2211. It just so happens that today we have some in our hands for review."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Lexar USB 3.0 Portable SSD (256GB) @ SSD Review
- Synology DiskStation DS1515+ Network Attached Storage @ Modders-Inc
- Synology DS416 4-bay NAS @ techPowerUp
Subject: Storage | January 26, 2016 - 04:41 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: kingston, HyperX Savage, 128GB USB drive, usb 3.1
Once USB drives were everywhere, they weren't particularly fast nor large but they were more portable that HDDs and much more durable. With the arrival of SSDs, flash storage moved from slower thumb drives to SATA which has now become the bottleneck for speed as the drives themselves can actually exceed the transfer capabilities of SATA. That leaves the USB drive out in the cold, with prices matching or even exceeding lower end SSDs and a form factor only slightly more portable than an SSD in an enclosure.
Kingston's Digital HyperX Savage 128GB USB drive is $86 and Kitguru saw sequential reads topping 400MB/s and writes around 200MB/s which comes close to the limits of the USB 3 connection it uses. The question is, does the smaller size and admittedly attractive packaging draw you to choose this over a low cost SSD and enclosure?
"Kingston has earned a reputation with its HyperX brand over the last few years. Today, we are taking a look at the HyperX Savage 128GB USB drive, which supports first-generation USB 3.1 technology and promises ‘blazing fast’ read and write speeds. How does it hold up? Let’s find out!"
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Basic Solid State Drive Features Explained @ eTeknix
- QNAP TS-451+ @ Legion Hardware
- Synology DiskStation DS216play 2-Bay Multimedia-Optimized NAS @ eTeknix
- Adam Elements iKlips @ Kitguru
Subject: Systems, Storage | January 19, 2016 - 09:44 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: M.2 SATA, M.2, LIVA, ECS
Back in November, Sebastian reviewed the ECS LIVA X2. While the device always had an M.2 slot, its storage options were soldered eMMC chips with capacities of their 32GB or 64GB. They were also pretty slow, with 150MB/s reads and 40MB/s writes in his testing. To exceed that, you need to install your own M.2-based SSD, which was a bit of a difficult process.
According to Links International, via FanlessTech, we are now seeing options that include M.2 SSDs without eMMC. In this case, they are using an Intel-based, 120GB drive. Its signal is M.2 SATA though, which is slower than M.2 PCIe, but a device with this performance characteristic will probably not care about that extra bump in performance. You probably couldn't do much high-bandwidth data crunching with the Braswell processor, and just about every other way on or off of the device is limited to less than or equal to a gigabit of bandwidth. You might be able to find a use case, but it's unlikely to affect anyone interested in this PC.
The jump from eMMC, on the other hand, might.
Subject: Storage | January 15, 2016 - 01:53 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: silicon power, Slim S55, 240gb, Phison PS3110-S10, tlc
At 7mm the Silicon Power Slim S55 is perfect for older ultraportables that need a drive upgrade, though they will certainly slip into a 2.5" bay in any system. The drive uses the Phison PS3110-S10, found in a variety of drives which Al compared last summer. The controller is paired with a 128MB cache of Nanya DDR3 and TLC NAND, which lowers the price to an impressive $65 for the 240GB model. It also performs decently, eTeknix saw 556MB/s in ATTO and 530MB/s in CDM; you can check out more tests in their full review here.
"Silicon Power’s Slim series of solid state drives all come with a 7mm thickness, making them perfect for ultrabooks and similar portable computers that require this form factor. Traditional 2.5-inch mechanical drives mostly come with a 9.5mm thickness, ruling them out as an option. The Slim S55 SSD is the little brother in this series, but it doesn’t need to be ashamed of that."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- ADATA Premier SP550 240GB @ eTeknix
- WD Blue SSHD (WD10J31X) 1TB @ TechARP
- Synology DiskStation DS416 4-bay High-Performance NAS @ eTeknix
- Thecus W4000+ Windows Server NAS Review @ Madshrimps
- QNAP TurboNAS TS-451+8G NAS Server Review @ NikKTech
- Synology DS216se 2-Bay Entry-Level and Cloud NAS @ eTeknix
- Toshiba 16GB TransMemory U401 USB 2.0 Flash Drive Review @ Madshrimps
Got a high bandwidth video camera that fills a piddly 4TB SSD in too short of a time? How about a 13TB SSD!
Fixstars certainly gets cool points for launching such a high capacity SSD, but there are a few things to consider here. These are not meant to be written in a random fashion and are primarily geared towards media creation (8k RAW video). Filling at saturated SATA bandwidth, these will take about 7 hours to fill, and just as long to empty onto that crazy high end editing machine. But hey, if you can afford 13TB of flash (likely ~$13,000) just to record your video content, then your desktop should be even beefier.
The take home point here is that this is not a consumer device, and it would not work out well even for pro gamers with money to burn. The random write performance is likely poor enough that it could not handle a Steam download over a high end broadband link.
Subject: Storage | January 13, 2016 - 02:38 PM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: Seagate, helium, hdd, enterprise, 3.5, 10TB
Seagate updated their Enterprise Capacity line of HDDs this morning with a monster of a 10TB unit:
To achieve this capacity, Seagate switched over to a sealed, Helium filled design (similar to what HGST has been doing for a few years now). Since filling the space of a HDD with Helium helps reduce head flutter and platter thickness, Seagate was able to fit seven platters into a standard 3.5" housing. As an additional note, this drive uses the same PMR (Perpendicular Magnetic Recording) as other recent generation units, and not the SMR (Shingled) employed in their recent 8TB Archive HDD. PMR is a good thing here, as it enables random write access without the performance penalty incurred when attempting the same on an SMR drive.
The Helium filling pushes the MTBF up to 2.5 million hours. Unfortunately the release was light on the other details, and we do not have pricing as of yet, but we will certainly be keeping an eye on this one. Seagate states they are 'shipping to select customers', but given that those customers are ordering by the truckload, it may be some time before we see them in the OEM aftermarket channels.
Subject: Storage | January 13, 2016 - 01:20 PM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: synology, NAS, DSM, DS416j, diskstation
Synology has updated their popular DiskStation line with a new sleek looking 4-bay unit:
The DiskStation DS416j is equipped with a Marvell Armada 88F6828 dual-core CPU running at 1.3 GHz coupled to 512MB of DDR3. This boost in specs enables a claimed 37% increase in write speed performance, bringing that spec up to just over 100 MB/sec. Reads are claimed at 112 MB/sec, which basically means it is saturating its Gigabit Ethernet link.
In addition to the four installed HDDs, the DS416j can accept additional external drives via its rear panel USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports (one each). The new DSM 5.2 should run even smother and faster on this updated hardware. Despite the speed increase, the new model looks to be very power efficient, claiming 13W in hibernation (HDDs spun down) and 22W during access.
Subject: Storage | January 10, 2016 - 02:15 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: pci-e, NVMe, M.2, kingston hyper x, kingston
The 2016 Consumer Electronics Show is over, but news is still trickling out from attendees. Maximum PC spotted HyperX's first NVMe solid state drive on the show floor. First shown off at IDF 2015, the HyperX Predator NVMe M.2 SSD made an appearance at CES and the company released a bit more information.
Specifically, the new NVMe SSD will come with an optional PCI-E add-in-card for desktops without an M.2 slot much like its non-NVMe predecessor (AHCI protocol). It will come in 240 GB, 480 GB, and 960 GB capacities and will hit speeds up to 2,585 MB/s reads and 1,354 MB/s writes. Further, Overclockers.com observed a 480 GB model at CES benchmarking at 1,775 MB/s sequential reads and 1,675 MB/s sequential writes.
Beyond that, HyperX (which is the enthusiast division of Kingston Technologies) is not talking details just yet and we do not know which controller or NAND flash they are using. The previous generation Predator uses Toshiba A19 toggle NAND though which is promising.
The new NVMe drive will be available sometime in the second quarter of 2016. Pricing has not yet been announced. Stay tuned to PC Perspective for more details closer to launch. I'm looking forward to the full reviews and what moving to supporting NVMe will do for end users' experiences.
Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!