The 8GB Atari 810 Drive, now with flash memory support

Subject: General Tech, Storage | May 5, 2011 - 06:05 PM |
Tagged: mod, microSD, atari 810

It is common knowledge that technology gets smaller as time advances. There is, however, a point where a certain level of advancement trots along the border to absurdity and makes you think about exactly what is possible with modern technology and occasionally an innovative spirit. Leave it to the hackers to consistently push that boundary and entertain the rest of us less talented individuals.

Recently a blogger by the name of Rossum detailed on their Posterous blog their project of creating a microSD reader as a model replacement of an Atari 810 disk drive.
 
atari810sd.png
Image from Rossum
 
The original Atari 810 disk had the storage of 88K which is about 90,000 times smaller than the 8GB microSD card used in the miniaturized model 810 drive. Rossum claims to provide all the models, schematics, and code for the project in the near future for anyone wishing to dust off their soldering irons and create their own.

Very colourful and extremely fast; meet OWC's Mercury Extreme Pro 6G

Subject: Storage | May 5, 2011 - 04:29 PM |
Tagged: owc, ocz, ssd, 120gb, sata 6Gps, sandforce

OWC appeared on the SSD scene in partnership with Apple, though they sold drives to PC users as well.  Their current generation uses SandForce's Release Candidate firmware for the SF-2281 controller as opposed to OCZ's official firmware that is present in the Vertex 3 SSDs.  That is not the only difference, OCZ rolled their own PCB while OWC went with a design that caused a few raised eyebrows at AnandTech.  Read their full review to see how the performance evened out.

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"I still don't get how OWC managed to beat OCZ to market last year with the Mercury Extreme SSD. The Vertex LE was supposed to be the first SF-1500 based SSD on the market, but as I mentioned in our review of OWC's offering - readers had drives in hand days before the Vertex LE even started shipping.

I don't believe the same was true this time around. The Vertex 3 was the first SF-2200 based SSD available for purchase online, but OWC was still a close second. Despite multiple SandForce partners announcing drives based on the controller, only OCZ and OWC are shipping SSDs with SandForce's SF-2200 inside."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Audio Corner

Source: AnandTech

Seagate Shows Off 1TB Per Platter Hard Drives

Subject: General Tech, Storage | May 5, 2011 - 08:28 AM |
Tagged: Hard Drive, Areal Density, 1TB Platter

 In an amazing feat of data density, Seagate has once again made a leap to the next level of storage technology unveiling 1 Terabyte per platter drives. WIth an areal density of 625 Gigabytes per square inch, Seagate claims the new drives are capable of storing “virtually countless hours of digital music,” and “1,500 video games.”

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The move to 1TB per platter drives is an especially important step for high capacity drives. Current 1TB+ drives are using two 500 GB platters, while current 3TB drives are using either four 750 GB platters in the form of the WD Caviar Green 3 TB that PC Perspective has reviewed here, or the five 600 GB platters. With Seagate’s new technology, they will be able to cut the number of platters in their highest capacity 3 TB drives almost in half. By moving from five platters to three, their drives will run cooler, faster, and with less power draw. Improved areal density also reduces the number of moving parts, and thus decreases the points of failure, even with the inclusion of newer and more sensitive read heads.

The place in the market where this new technology will make the most noticeable difference is in the mobile segment. With just a single platter, mobile users will have close to 1.5 terabytes of internal storage in a two platter drive, or 750 GB in a one platter drive while using less power and being capable of faster reads. This means that road warriors will be able to keep more of their files with them without reducing battery life compared to the current crop of mobile hard drives.

Unfortunately, mobile users will have to wait, as Seagate has only announced 3.5” desktop and external drives. These drives will be branded under both the Seagate Barracuda XT and GoFlex lines respectively.

GoFlex_USB3.jpg

For desktop users, they can currently expect capacities ranging from 1TB to 3TB drives. In a RAID array, these new lower power and potentially faster drives would make for a great addition to an HD video editing rig. Call me crazy, but I’m going to hold onto my old school 320 GB Seagate drives until I can jump straight to 4 TB. So, where’s my 4 platter, 4TB drive Seagate?

Are you excited about this new platter technology? What would you do with 3 terabytes of storage?

Source: Seagate

What is AIDA64 Extreme Edition? Only the new improved replacement for the Everest benchmarking tool

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Systems, Storage | May 4, 2011 - 06:43 PM |
Tagged: ssd, everest, benchmarking, benchmark, aida64, aida

BUDAPEST, Hungary - May 04, 2011 - FinalWire Ltd. today announced the immediate availability of AIDA64 Extreme Edition 1.70 software, a streamlined diagnostic and benchmarking tool for home users; and the immediate availability of AIDA64 Business Edition 1.70 software, an essential network management solution for small and medium scale enterprises.

aida64.jpg

The new AIDA64 release further strengthens its solid-state drive health and temperature monitoring capabilities, and implements support for the latest graphics processors from both AMD and nVIDIA.

New features & improvements

  • LGA1155 B3 stepping motherboards support
  • Preliminary support for AMD “Bulldozer” and “Llano” processors
  • Intel 320, Intel 510, OCZ Vertex 3, Samsung PM810 SSD support
  • GPU details for AMD Radeon HD 6770M, Radeon HD 6790
  • GPU details for nVIDIA GeForce GT 520, GT 520M, GT 550M, GT 555M, GTX 550 Ti, GTX 590

Pricing and Availability
AIDA64 Extreme Edition and AIDA64 Business Edition are available now at www.aida64.com/online-store. Additional information on product features, system requirements, and language versions is available at www.aida64.com/products. Join our Discussion Forum at forums.aida64.com.

AIDA64 license renewal is now available. For more information, visit www.aida64.com/aida64-renewal.
A migration program is available for all EVEREST customers at www.aida64.com/everest-upgrade.

Source: AIDA

More on the Z68's love affair with SSDs

Subject: Motherboards, Storage | April 28, 2011 - 06:49 PM |
Tagged: z68, ssd, ssd caching, Intel

Since it would be cruel to leave you only with the leaked SSD family from Intel and a few hints from ASRock about the performance increase from even a 20GB SSD, here is some more information from VR-Zone.  Bear in mind we are still in the territory of leaked info and informed guessing but the topic is one worth keeping up with.

VRZ_Z68.png

"Intel plans to officially launch Z68 Express chipset on May 18th but you will be able to see reviews online from 12th onwards. Of course, those who can't wait for the official launch can already purchase the Gigabyte Z68X-UD7-B3 board from the retail market, first available in Taiwan and then the rest of the world in the coming weeks. Other brands like ASUS and ASRock are set to hit the retail next. Those enthusiasts hoping they can overclock their Sandy Bridge better on Z68 than the P67 will probably be disappointed but there is one important feature of Z68 that matters, and that is the SSD caching."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Source: VR-Zone

OCZ Technology Announces VeloDrive PCI-Express Solid State Drive

Subject: Storage | April 28, 2011 - 06:35 PM |
Tagged: ssd, PCIe SSD, enterprise

OCZ_Logo_Orange.jpg

SAN JOSE, CA—April 27, 2011—OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCZ), a leading designer, manufacturer and distributor of high-performance solid state drives (SSDs), today unveiled the VeloDrive PCI-Express SSD. Designed to meet the needs of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), enterprise clients and system integrators, the VeloDrive optimizes high-performance computing and storage applications, providing unparalleled versatility and simplified integration.

“The VeloDrive is the latest addition to our comprehensive lineup of PCIe SSDs. A truly configurable solution, it helps a range of customers accelerate their application performance,” said Daryl Lang, VP of Product Management, OCZ Technology Group. “The ability to run the VeloDrive in multiple modes provides clients with the freedom to use the raid stack of their choice. This maximizes performance and creates faster, more seamless deployments with RAID stacks that may already have been qualified for their unique usage model.”

The VeloDrive can be run in either hardware or software RAID mode and can be deployed in half-height or full-height system requirements. When compared with competing PCIe flash-based solutions, the highly-efficient VeloDrive has a minimal impact on system resources including CPU utilization and the system’s DRAM footprint.

Eliminating the SATA/SAS bottleneck, the PCIe-based VeloDrive has the ability to delivers transfer speeds of up to 1GB/s and 130,000 4KB random write IOPS, and features SandForce® SF-1565 SSD processors for enhanced reliability and power loss data protection. The VeloDrive utilizes MLC NAND flash and will be available in 300GB, 600GB, and 1.2TB configurations.

Source: OCZ

Next gen SSD controllers pushing for TLC flash

Subject: Storage | April 27, 2011 - 10:06 PM |
Tagged: tlc, ssd, slc, ocz, mlc, flash

A while back, Intel and Micron jointly announced the beginnings of 20nm flash memory production, promising a 50% increase in die count per wafer (or a 50% reduction in per die production cost, depending on how you slice it). This shrink only did just that - shrink the die. Capacity remained at 64Gbit (8GB).

A few days ago IMFT also announced another way to shrink that die, but this time keeping with the now 'old' 25nm process. It turns out they have refined 25nm to the point where consumer-grade TLC flash can be produced. TLC is Triple-Level-Cell. While SLC (Single) holds 1 bit per cell, and MLC (Multi) holds two, TLC holds 3 bits per cell. Compared to the MLC 25nm dies, this gives a capacity increase without changing much else. IMFT, however, is happy with the 8GB 'sweet spot', so instead of jumping to a 12GB die of the same physical size, they are opting to instead shrink the current 25nm die to 131mm^2.

INTC_Micron_TLC_NAND_350.jpg

25nm TLC die, same 8GB capacity, but less area than the 25nm MLC die.

This gives Intel and Micron two options for ultimately reducing the price of flash - either by shrinking the process and getting more 8GB MLC dies out of a 20nm wafer, or by squeezing more bits into each cell of existing 25nm flash.

This is good stuff. Let's hope it gets even more SSD's into even more machines this holiday season.

PCPer v4.0 Giveaway: Another OCZ Technology Vertex 2 120GB SSD!

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Storage | April 27, 2011 - 02:48 PM |
Tagged: contest, giveaway, ocz, ssd, vertex

As you can no doubt tell, PC Perspective got a HUGE and much needed facelift recently to what we are internally calling "PC Perspective v4.0".  I know there are still some kinks to work out and we are actively addressing any feedback from our readers in this comment thread.  

But we want to celebrate the launch of the new site in style!!  Some of our site sponsors have very generously offered up some prizes for us to give out throughout the coming days...

The seventh (!!) prize is another 120GB OCZ Technology Vertex 2 SSD!!

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What do you have to do to win this wonderful piece of hardware?

Couldn't be easier: post a comment in this post thanking OCZ for its sponsorship of PC Perspective and maybe include a thought or two on the new site design (compliments, constructive criticism, hate filled monologues, whatever).  You should probably have a registered account or at least be sure you include your email address in the appropriate field so we can contact you!

Source: OCZ

OCZ Technology Announces Vertex 3 Max IOPS Solid State Drives

Subject: Storage | April 26, 2011 - 01:36 PM |
Tagged: ocz, vertex 3, sata 6Gps, Max IOPS

OCZ_Logo_Orange.jpg

SAN JOSE, CA—April 26, 2011—OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCZ), a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems, today unveiled a new addition to the highly-awarded Vertex 3 SATA III Series. The Vertex 3 Max IOPS edition drives extend the company’s industry-leading Vertex 3 SSD product line to support users that require greater transactional throughput.

“Following the successful launch of our Vertex 3 SATA III 6Gbps solid state drives we are pleased to introduce the new Max IOPS edition,” said Ryan Petersen, CEO of OCZ Technology Group. “Vertex 3 Max IOPS drives increase random write performance, and are the ideal storage solution for applications that require high aggregate workloads and increased IO throughput.”

The Vertex 3 Max IOPS edition combines the cutting-edge SandForce® SF-2200 SSD processor with premium NAND flash components to deliver exceptional 4KB random write performance with up to 75,000 IOPS. Furthermore, these drives can significantly improve multimedia entertainment and management, and the overall computing experience compared to both traditional mechanical hard drives and competing SSDs.

Vertex 3 Max IOPS will be available in capacities of 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB, and features TRIM support to optimize performance over the drive's lifespan. All Vertex 3 Series drives come backed with a 3 year warranty to ensure customer satisfaction.

Source: OCZ

PCPer v4.0 Giveaway: Thermaltake Max 5G USB 3.0 Hard Drive Enclosure

Subject: General Tech, Storage | April 22, 2011 - 03:24 PM |
Tagged: thermaltake, hdd, giveaway, contest

As you can no doubt tell, PC Perspective got a HUGE and much needed facelift last weekend to what we are internally calling "PC Perspective v4.0".  I know there are still some kinks to work out and we are actively addressing any feedback from our readers in this comment thread.  

But we want to celebrate the launch of the new site in style!!  Some of our site sponsors have very generously offered up some prizes for us to give out throughout the coming days...

The fifth set of prizes is a pair of Thermaltake Max 5G USB 3.0 external hard drive enclosures!

max5g.jpg

It has lights, it has fans AND it runs at USB 3.0 speeds.  What do you have to do to win this wonderful piece of hardware?

Couldn't be easier: post a comment in this post thanking Thermaltake for its sponsorship of PC Perspective as well as your plans for using such a cool USB 3.0 external drive dock.  What other features would you like to see on external enclosures like this? 

You should probably have a registered account or at least be sure you include your email address in the appropriate field so we can contact you!

We will pick the winners tomorrow and move on to the next hardware that finds its way to PC Perspective offices.  Good luck and thanks for reading!!

Source: Thermaltake