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!


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

Speedy and secure; the best of the encrypted thumb drives

Subject: Storage | April 21, 2011 - 05:56 PM |
Tagged: secure, encryption, usb, thumb drive

If you haven't heard of the FIPS 140 Publication Series it is the Federal Information Processing Standard which accredits encrypted flash drives to one of four levels, with 1 being relatively secure and 4 representing encryption that is almost able to defend its self from penetration.  Adding that level of security can slow things down, which is why Legit Reviews bought a few drives off of NewEgg to test.


"On paper it looks like the IronKey solutions should be faster, but you can't believe everything a company tells you when they are marketing a product they are trying to sell you. Since security is such a big deal to corporations these days we decided to order in these Flash drives and do some testing of our own. We've heard rumors and have experienced ourselves that review sites often get 'cherry picked' samples, so we ordered in as many drives as our $1000 self-prescribed budget would allow. You can look at our receipts from Amazon.com, TigerDirect.com and PConnection if you'd like..."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:


SSD and HDD transfer speeds over a 1Gbit/s LAN

Subject: Storage | April 14, 2011 - 06:36 PM |

Armed with a LAN that can theoretically handle 1Gb per second, Techgage set out to see what effect storage drive technology would have on the speed at which files are transferred.  They paired Corsair's F160 SSD and Seagate's Barracuda 7200.11 1TB to see how an SSD to SSD transfer varies from an SSD to HDD or HDD to HDD.  Read on to find out the fastest way to transfer an 11GB folder and a 22.2GB file over your network.


Intel, Micron jointly release 20nm flash memory

Subject: Storage | April 14, 2011 - 11:30 AM |

Just over a year ago, PC Perspective witnessed IMFT production of 25nm flash memory. Today Intel and Micron have announced that IMFT will be cranking out 20nm flash!

The Indilinx powered OCZ Enyo 64GB USB 3.0 drive

Subject: Storage | April 11, 2011 - 02:19 PM |

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."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:


Source: Tech ARP

Fastest Spindle in its class, the 3TB Seagate Barracuda

Subject: Storage | April 5, 2011 - 05:50 PM |

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."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:


Source: Bjorn3D

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

Subject: Storage | March 31, 2011 - 06:42 PM |

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!"

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:


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

Subject: Storage | March 28, 2011 - 12:25 PM |

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."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:


Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Intel

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.

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.


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.

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 |

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."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:


Source: Tech ARP