The Indilinx powered OCZ Enyo 64GB USB 3.0 drive

Subject: Storage | April 11, 2011 - 02:19 PM |
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With the rise of flash memory and more importantly the improvements made to the controllers to make SSDs as spectacular as they are we are seeing a new breed of removable drives hit the market.  They do not have an integral plug as a typical thumb drive sports, nor are they in the familiar rectangular shape, but they do share the hardiness of that type of drive.  Instead you must suffer the need to carry around a USB 3.0 cable and a drive that is slightly smaller than your average smartphone but gain not only increased storage space but also significantly increased transfer speeds.  TechARP's testing showed the Enyo hitting 130.60 MB/s read and 99.59 MB/s write during one IO Meter test, not too shabby for an external drive.

"The OCZ Enyo is a unique device that blurs the definition of portable drives as we know them. It is a solid state drive that looks like a portable hard disk drive but works more like a USB flash drive. As such, we will be comparing it not only to portable hard disk drives but also USB flash drives. Let’s take a look."

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Source: Tech ARP

Fastest Spindle in its class, the 3TB Seagate Barracuda

Subject: Storage | April 5, 2011 - 05:50 PM |
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If you have a new motherboard with UFEI BIOS so it can boot off of a 3TB drive, you might have already sprung for an SSD and you don't have to worry about booting off of your storage drive.  Others will not have purchased the new SSD will want to boot from this drive as Bjorn3D has called it the fastest mechanical drive they've seen.  Sure it can't compete with SSDs for speed, but SSDs aren't available at $0.08/GB!

"The Seagate Barracuda XT 3TB is the fastest mechanical drive that we have tested. The drive has excellent sequential read and write up to 150MB/s. While SSDs may grab the market headlines, they are still relatively expensive at $1.5 per gigabyte and with capacity limited to a few hundred gigabytes. At 0.08 cents per gigabyte, the Seagate Barracuda XT offers an excellent pricing as a secondary drive to complement the limited storage capacity of the SSD. With 3TB of space, 64MB Cache, 7200 RPM and SATA 6Gb/s interface, the Barracuda XT 3TB definitely won’t bog down a system. It is also hard to say no to the drive considering that it comes with a 5 year warranty, while most mainstream hard drives now only carry 3 year warranty."

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Source: Bjorn3D

OCZ's new X2 100GB PCI-E SSD is so fast its REVOlting

Subject: Storage | March 31, 2011 - 06:42 PM |
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If you need fast, not SATA 6Gb/s fast but PCIe 4x fast and don't mind spending a lot of money, say $4/GB or so to start, then check the OCZ RevoDrive X2 out.  In the tests where this RAIDed SSD drive doesn't win it is arguable that the benchmark its self is just unable to handle the ridiculous read and write speeds this drive can reach. The only drawback, as Think Computers is quick to point out, is no TRIM support.

 

"OCZ is no stranger to creating some of the fastest solid state drives available. We know this from our reviews of the original RevoDrive and the Vertex 3 drive. Today OCZ has sent us their X2 version of the RevoDrive, which is to be faster and available in larger capacities. It boasts max speeds of 740MB/s read and 720MB/s write and capacities of up to 960GB. If you are a person that always needs to have some of the fastest components available in your system then the RevoDrive X2 is for you. Let’s see if it will become the fastest solid state drive we have tested to date!"

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Honey I shrunk the Flash ... Intel's new 25nm 320 series of SSDs

Subject: Storage | March 28, 2011 - 12:25 PM |
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Not too long ago we saw the performance of Intel's new 510 lineup of SSDs, intended to be their faster SATA 6Gbs series in comparison to the soon to be released SATA 3GBs 320 series.  Al was not overly impressed with the performance of the 256GB 510 model he tested, not so much because it was not fast but because it didn't destroy the competitions like the previous generation of Intel SSDs did.  The Tech Report examines the SSD intended as a mid-range product, with brand new 25nm flash and the Intel controller we have become familiar with. 

Take a look to see where its performance sits in the SSD environment

 

Take a look at Al's coverage of the the drive here as well!

"Intel has another new solid-state drive, and this time it's an all in-house affair with 25-nano flash. Keep reading for the skinny on the Intel 320 Series SSD."

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Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Intel
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Introduction, Specifications and Packaging

Less than a month after the introduction of the 510 Series SSD, Intel has released the 320 Series. This is essentially a 'G3' X25-M, running at the usual SATA 3Gb/sec speeds. While it won't be as fast in a straight line as the 510 series, the 320 has the extremely nimble 10-channel controller under its belt. Check out our review to see how it fared against the competition, as well as against the other Intel models.

Introduction:   
 
Today we take a look at the third generation of Intel's native SSD controller solution. What started life as the X25-M series has now been dubbed the 320 Series. This falls in line with Intel's new naming scheme, where all SSD lines get some form of a 3-digit number. 3xx Series are SATA 3Gb/sec, while 5xx Series are 6Gb/sec.
 
The X25-M series got off to a shaky start in life, as the initial shipping version was plagued by some long-term fragmentation issues discovered by yours truly. The plague was short lived, thankfully, as Intel stepped up to the plate and corrected these problems in firmware. The second generation model was released without a hiccup, but the addition of TRIM support via firmware saw some problems as well. Those were eventually ironed out and all was good once again.
 
Last month we saw Intel launch the 510 Series. The unit did not live up to our expectations from an Intel controller - mostly because an Intel controller it was not. Just as they were blind sighted and rushed a 6Gb/sec motherboard solution to the market, Intel did the same with the 510, opting for a Marvell controller. Sure they worked some of their own firmware magic into it, but there is only so much you can squeeze out of a given piece of hardware. Their Sandy Bridge launch did not go so great either, as some of our readers are still getting their motherboards replaced with correctly functioning B3 versions.
 
The 320 Series boasts 25nm flash memory. PC Perspective got a first hand look at 25nm production early last year. We had been waiting for this memory to make an appearance in an Intel part, and our wait is finally over. To revisit what 25nm flash does for us, check out this pic:
 
 
 
From left: 130nm (128MB) in 2003, 90nm (512MB) in 2005, 50nm (1GB) in 2007,
34nm (4GB) in 2009, and finally 25nm (8GB) flash now being produced at IMFT.
To the far right is the now standard flash memory TSOP packaging.
 
A single die of 25nm flash holds a whopping 8GB. While multiple dies can be stacked inside each chip package, the more you stack, the greater chance a failed part will cause a TSOP to be considered bad during the production process. For this reason, larger die capacities and fewer dies per chip make things cheaper to produce all around. This should make for some competitive pricing as well.

 
 
Specifications:





An important note: the 320 series, while packaged and sold to consumers, is also rated for enterprise use. This is the first MLC based Intel SSD to make such a claim. The ratings above were for consumer applications. Here are the ratings for enterprise usage where the drive will see heavy random writes spread across 100% of the available drive capacity:
 
 
Intel is failing *way* conservative, assuming no use of TRIM and 100% of the drive full of 4k random writes. This would make many other SSD's choke completely, so I'm shocked to see Intel be brave enough to even provide such a rating. I hit our sample really hard for half a day and was not able to get IOPS to fall as far as their rating.

Packaging:
 
  
 
Our 320 series sample came in the standard OEM packaging with the new style of sticker. The retail packaging comes with a CD and 3.5" adapter bracket in the box.

Supersize your mobile storage with WD's 750GB HDD

Subject: Storage | March 25, 2011 - 12:45 PM |
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Western Digital Scorpio Black 750 GB.  It is not a normal Scorpio Black, in that it is a 5400RPM 2.5" drive, not the larger faster form it is usually in.  The power draw is mitigated by using only two platters and the use Advanced Format Technology helps speed sequential reading.  For random reads and writes however, Tech ARP's testing showed the older 500GB model to be faster.

"Today, we will look at the ultimate drive from the Scorpio Black family - the 750 GB WD Scorpio Black (WD7500BPKT) hard disk drive. With 750 GB of storage capacity packed into just two platters, this drive promises to provide the best combination of performance and storage capacity."

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Source: Tech ARP

Intel's 510 is Marvell powered

Subject: Storage | March 22, 2011 - 03:01 PM |
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Not too long ago Al finished up his review of Intel's new series of SSDs and he was not terribly impressed although he has hopes this new SSD was rushed out for SATA 6Gb/s and that we will see another series that tops the 510 in the near future.  The Tech Report also had a go at this new SSD with it's new controller and saw the drive as an example of compromises, with increased performance in some areas at the cost of other types of performance.  They are withholding their final judgment until more companies release their next generation drives.

 

"Intel's latest 510 Series SSD combines custom firmware with a 6Gbps Marvell controller. We take a closer look at the drive's performance to see how it stacks up."

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Just because Hitachi was bought doesn't mean they don't have new Deskstars

Subject: Storage | March 17, 2011 - 02:17 PM |
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If your storage needs are more about quantity that quality or speed, the growing density of platter based drives is more important to you than the newest generation of SSDs.  That would make The Tech Report's review of the 7,200 RPM Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000 3TB hard drive a rather interesting read.  5 platters with a 411 Gb/in² areal density reside inside this drive ought to beat the 5,400 RPM Caviar Green for performance.  Read on to find out.

"Hard drive makers have been slow to release new models with three-terabyte capacities. Hitachi was the first to reach 3TB with a 7,200-RPM desktop model, and we've tested it against a full house of over 30 different drives to see how the 7K3000 compares."

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OCZ Technology to Acquire Indilinx Co., Ltd!

Subject: Storage | March 14, 2011 - 06:58 PM |
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The purchase of Indilinx by OCZ caught us by surprise here at PC Perspective; not because it makes no sense but because we hadn't heard any news 'behind the scenes' as it were.   A different way of looking at it is that Indilinx now owns about 10% of OCZ, but either way this spells some interesting changes to the already interesting (to enthusiasts) SSD market.  We are getting in touch with OCZ and awaiting the web cast which will occur shortly so keep your eyes on this page for updates as we get them.

 
** Update **
 
Our Storage Editor, Allyn Malventano, listened in on their web cast earlier this evening. Some points of interest that may answer some of our reader's questions:
  • OCZ does not plan to drop other controller technology from their lineup (i.e. SandForce and Vertex are not going anywhere).
  • Indilinx will continue to supply their controllers to other SSD makers.
  • Indilinx has new(er) controllers in their pipeline.
  • The acquisition will enable OCZ to implement Indilinx chips at close to the cost of the die, which is significantly cheaper than presently available. This will increase OCZ's margin on those SSD's as well as help to drop prices in the future.

Obviously this acquisition creates an interesting dynamic with SSD makers, and we will be seeing ripples from this in the coming months. Even if OCZ's competitors were to all drop Indilinx, there are many Indilinx+OEM relationships that would continue, as they have no connection to OCZ.

 
** Update Part Deux **
 
Ryan pointed out that the 240GB Vertex 2's have dropped to a whopping $1.58/GB over at Amazon. This may be a move to clear out stock, making way for the Vertex 3's.

SAN JOSE, Calif., March 14, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCZ - News), a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Indilinx Co., Ltd, a privately held fabless provider of flash controller silicon and software for SSDs.

Indilinx is headquartered in South Korea and currently sells its line of flash controllers to SSD manufacturers and Tier One OEMs for use in a broad array of products addressing multiple markets, including embedded and industrial as well as laptops and PCs. Indilinx controllers have been deployed within OCZ's SSD products since December 2008, and are currently featured in the Z-Drive series of PCIe-based SSDs. Indilinx's technology is expected to enable OCZ to expand its presence into the embedded, hybrid storage, and industrial markets.

OCZ will gain substantial intellectual property from Indilinx including approximately 20 patents and patent applications related exclusively to the business as part of the transaction. For example, the acquisition is expected to extend OCZ's capabilities with advanced controller technology including Tinkerbell(TM), a high performance eMMC 4.4 x controller that replaces SSDs in consumer electronic devices such as smartphones, tablet PCs, GPS units, and netbooks. Tinkerbell improves the user experience in consumer mobile devices for applications such as internet browsing, gaming, social networking applications, emails, and multimedia play.

Following its acquisition by OCZ, Indilinx will continue to produce and supply its line of controller products to SSD manufacturers and OEMs on a global basis. The Indilinx controller business, and its 45 employees, will remain intact under the leadership of Bumsoo Kim, the founder and President of Indilinx, and Hyunmo Chung, Indilinx's Chief Technology Officer. OCZ will continue its own R&D program to develop new proprietary technologies and products to expand its own solid state drive offerings.

The Indilinx acquisition notwithstanding, OCZ plans to continue utilizing controllers from other manufacturers including long-term partner SandForce, who currently supplies SSD processors for a wide range of the Company's SSD products including the Vertex 2, Agility 2, RevoDrive, customizable Deneva enterprise drives, and the upcoming Vertex 3 family of SSDs.

"This transaction is an important step in OCZ's strategy and significantly enhances our ability to capitalize on the worldwide demand for Solid State Drives," said Ryan Petersen, CEO of OCZ Technology Group. "This combination brings together two organizations that are committed to advancing solid state drive design, and provides a unique opportunity for OCZ to increase both customer and shareholder value as well as expand our reach into embedded markets."

Under the terms of the agreement, OCZ will acquire Indilinx for approximately $32 million of OCZ common stock. Indilinx shareholders will own approximately 9.5% of the OCZ shares outstanding after issuance of the shares. The transaction has been approved by the board of directors of each company, and is expected to close within 30 days, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. OCZ expects the transaction to become accretive to its earnings per share toward the end of this fiscal year on a non-GAAP basis, excluding acquisition-related expenses, restructuring charges, and amortization of intangibles.

Ryan Petersen, CEO, will be a featured speaker at the Roth Capital 23rd Annual Orange County Growth Stock Conference today at 5:30 pm pacific time. To listen to the presentation and view the accompanying slides, please visit the investor relations events section of OCZ website at www.ocztechnology.com and click on the link provided for the web cast.

1TB of USB 3.0 powered storage in a deck of cards with WD's My Passport

Subject: Storage | March 10, 2011 - 03:18 PM |
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At just $100, the Western Digital My Passport Essential SE 1TB USB 3.0offers you serious portable storage in a package roughly the size of a deck of cards.  Thanks to the transfer speeds of USB 3.0, reads and writes between 60 - 70 MB/s according to Think Computers' testing, you won't be waiting hours to transfer your data. 

"Portable storage has always been very popular, it is nice having a hard drive that you can easily take with you anywhere on the go. Western Digital is no stranger to portable storage solutions, they have been marking portable solutions for a while now. With technology advancing and USB 3.0 becoming very popular Western Digital has released versions of its My Passport drives that support USB 3.0. Today we will be looking at the 1TB USB 3.0 My Passport Essential SE drive."

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