ADATA hits new highs and lows with the XPG SX8200 Pro

Subject: Storage | February 28, 2019 - 02:27 PM |
Tagged: adata, SX8200 Pro, 1TB, NVMe, SM2262EN

Last year ADATA launched their XPG SX8200 NVMe SSD, which offered impressive speed without a high cost, currently you can grab 1TB for just under $200.  This year they followed up with the XPG SX8200 Pro, using Silicon Motion's new SM2262EN controller, paired with the same 64-layer Micron TLC flash as used on the original.  The Tech Report tested it out and found it to be almost a chart topper, surpassing many other more famous brands, and the best news is it is a mere $10 more than the previous version

If you are looking for a PCIe 4x M.2 NVMe drive, this one should be on your list!

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"Last year's XPG SX8200 was a great NVMe drive, but Adata thinks it can do even better. The XPG SX8200 Pro is mostly the same hardware with just a couple of small changes. Join us to find out whether those end up making all the difference."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

MWC: SanDisk Announces 1TB UHS-I MicroSDXC Card With Western Digital Flash

Subject: Storage | February 27, 2019 - 11:02 AM |
Tagged: UHS-I, uhs-1, sneakernet, smartphone, sandisk, microSD

SanDisk recently announced new microSDXC cards in 512GB and 1TB capacities that it claims are the fastest cards [soon to be] on the market. The SanDisk Extreme UHS-I micro SD cards conform to the C10/V30/U3/A2 speed classes (only USB-IF is more confusing heh) and are able to hit up to 160 MB/s reads and 90 MB/s write speeds reportedly thanks to Western Digital’s (who owns SanDisk) proprietary flash (though the PR and product page do not go into details on which version it is using it is likely some version of 96-layer BiCS flash).

SanDisk Extreme UHS-I MicroSDXC 1TB Memory Card.png

In addition to transfer speeds, the micro SDXC UHS-1 cards offer A2 class enhanced application performance with up to 4,000 read IOPS and 2,000 write IOPS. As a result, the cards allegedly support faster load times and random access of applications run from the microSD card (e.g. Android applications installed to the expansion card rather than internal storage).

According to the product page, the cards are rated for temperatures ranging from -13F to 185F (cold is much worse for flash memory than heat) when in use and down to -40F when not in use.

It is impressive to see 1TB and even 512GB of storage available in such a small physical format when just a few years ago 64GB was considered large! Many smartphone do not even (officially) support higher than 256GB or less for their expandable storage though so long as the cards are formatted correctly these new cards should still work.

Brian Pridgeon, Director of Marketing for SanDisk at Western Digital was quoted in the press release in stating:

“People trust SanDisk-brand cards to capture and preserve their world. Our goal is to deliver the best possible experience so consumers can share the content that’s important to them,” said Brian Pridgeon, director of marketing for SanDisk-branded products, Western Digital.

4K UHD and soon enough 8K video recording on a smartphone or dedicated camera seems to be an obvious use case for these new higher capacity cards as well as the ability to sneakernet files and mail off data for offsite backups easily thanks to the tiny size and weight.

Note that a full card would take just over 2 hours to copy from card to computer and just over 3.5 hours to fill at maximum transfer speeds of 160 MB/s and 90 MB/s respectively. Western Digital's SanDisk Extreme UHS-I is slightly faster than Micron's 1TB microSD card in reads while the two are about even in writes with Micron's microSDXC card hitting up to 100 MB/s reads and 95 MB/s writes.

The increased storage space doesn’t come cheap though with MSRPs on the new micro SDXC cards being $199.99 for the 512GB UHS-I card and $499.99 for the 1TB model. SanDisk is offering the cards for pre-order on its website with wider retail availability expected April 2019.

Will you be picking up a 1TB microSD card? Personally, I’m still a ways away from filling up my 64GB mSD card though I do use Sync to copy my photos and videos off of my phone and regularly delete them from my phone. The wife might be able to make use of one of these high capacity cards since she’s constantly running out of space on her phone and needs to pay for cloud storage – if only she didn’t have an iPhone!

Source: SanDisk
Author:
Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Synology

Synology DS1019+ Review

Synology this week is launching the DS1019+, a 5-bay counterpart to last year's 4-bay DS918+. Like most of the company's "Plus" series devices, it is aimed at higher-end home users and small businesses with a price (without drives) of $649.99.

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Synology loaned us a review unit of the DS1019+ prior to launch, and after adding it to our growing shelf of network storage devices, we spent some time seeing how this new model compares to its predecessors and counterparts.

Specifications & Design

The design of the DS1019+ is virtually identical to that of the DS918+, with the same style of drive bays, same case material and color, same basic layout of ports and status lights, and even an almost identical list of technical specs. The biggest difference between the two by far is simply the addition of a fifth drive bay on the DS1019+. So, if you liked the look and feel of the DS918+, you should feel the same way about the DS1019+.

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Following the design trends of other Synology NAS devices in recent years, the DS1019+ is compact considering its capabilities. It measures in at 166mm x 230mm x 223mm (about 6.5 x 9.0 x 8.8 inches) and weighs about 5.6 pounds without drives. Included in the box is the power adapter with region-appropriate power cord, two five-foot Cat5e Ethernet cables, an accessory kit with two keys for the drive bay locks, 20 screws for mounting 2.5-inch drives in the 3.5-inch drive bays, and a quick installation guide.

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Like almost all Synology NAS devices, the DS1019+ ships without drives, so you'll need to add your own mechanical or solid state drives in order to use the device. If want to configure the NAS with a traditional RAID, you'll want to populate the drive bays with drives of the same capacity and ideally from the same vendor. If you need to mix-and-match drive vendors, at least aim to use drives with identical performance specifications. Similar in concept to Drobo, Synology also offers a "Hybrid RAID" (SHR) option that allows users to combine drives of different sizes or later expand the array by replacing smaller drives with larger ones. Depending on drive types and size mismatches, however, there is a performance penalty to going this route compared to a similar RAID configuration utilizing identical disks.

As alluded to, the 1019+ is powered by the same CPU found in the DS918+: the Intel Celeron J3455, a quad-core 10-watt Apollo Lake part. With base and boost clocks of 1.5GHz and 2.3GHz, respectively, the J3455 is more than powerful enough to accommodate the transfer and management of data on the NAS, and it also supports hardware video transcoding, which is a huge advantage for services like Plex.

Continue reading for our complete review of the Synology DS1019+!

Ok Team, Group Delta'S TUF ... RGB SSDs ASUS'd as ready

Subject: Storage | February 12, 2019 - 03:48 PM |
Tagged: team group, delta TUF RGB, ssd, RGB, QLC, S2258

Team Group and ASUS have ... collaborated ... to bring you a new TUF branded SSD with all the RGBs you could want.  Inside is 64 layer 3D TLC NAND from Micron, attached to Silicon Motion's SM2258 controller, which tells you just about all you need to know about the performance.  If you aren't familiar with how that particular combo performs compared to the competition then the Guru of 3D will be more than happy to show you.

What this drive does do differently is provide you with a 12V RGB header to allow ASUS' AURA software to colourize your storage.  If your SSD is mounted plain sight and not contributing to the light show in your case, this might be a good way to feed your need for more RGB light bleed.

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"Today, we have a relatively new product from Taiwain based company Team Group to review. Part of their new collab with Asus' long lived 'TUF' lineup, this SSD brings beefy looks, RGB, and solid specifications to the 240GB, 500GB, and 1TB storage points. Let's check it out."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Source: Guru of 3D
Author:
Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: iStorage

datAshur Pro Encrypted USB Flash Drive

Editor's Note: This review was originally published at TekRevue and is republished here with permission.

When it comes to protecting your data, there are options such as local encryption or using an online storage service that offers encryption in the cloud. But one major weakness that affects both businesses and consumers is the "sneakernet:" moving data physically between computers or users via mediums such as flash drives or external hard drives. For example, delivering the latest W-2 forms to the HR department or taking your yearly tax information to your accountant's office.

While it's possible to move data in this manner securely by using software-based encryption, the simple reality is that many users and employees don't take data security into consideration, or they just forget. The thought is "the data is in my hands, it's safe." But, of course, when that flash drive or hard drive gets left behind at the coffee shop, or the bag containing them gets swiped at the airport, this false notion crumbles immediately.

UK-based iStorage is one company that recognizes this issue, and the company has built its entire product line around hardware-based encryption for external storage devices. These are devices that automatically encrypt the data stored on them, completely preventing access to the data unless the correct PIN is physically entered on the device. As long as employees or family members use a device like this for their external data storage, they never need to "think" about encryption since the data is automatically secured as soon as it's unplugged from the computer.

While iStorage offers a range of devices including external hard drives, we spent some time with one of the company's flash drives. The datAshur Pro is a USB 3.0 drive that is available in capacities ranging from 4 to 64GB. We're reviewing the 32GB model, which has a current street price in the US of about $125.

10 gigabits and 252 TB, it's a seriously NASty peice of kit from Synology

Subject: Storage | February 5, 2019 - 04:05 PM |
Tagged: 10 gigabit, synology, ds 1819+, NAS

Synology's DS 1819+ is quite the piece of NAS hardware, supporting an obnoxious amount of RAID varieties and can be specifically configured for just about any task you might want to assign eight SATA drives to, or 18 if you pick up the expansion kit.  More important are the choices of PCIe NICs you can choose from, including a 10GbE SFP+ on PCIe 2.0 x4, a pair of 10GbE SFP+ or RJ45 on PCIe 3.0 x8 or a single 10GbE RJ45 PCIe 3.0 x4 card.

If you are looking for a NAS that can do just about anything you want, and don't mind paying around $1000 for the device, take a look at Modders Inc for the full story.

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"Just like everyone graduated from IDE drives and AGP cards it is time to change how we use home and small office storage. Gigabit Ethernet is still very popular however, it is time to consider the next Ethernet technology. Yes, I am talking about 10 Gigabit (10GbE) enabled devices."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Source: Modders-Inc
Author:
Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: OWC

OWC USB-C Dual-Bay Drive Dock Review

Editor's Note: This review was originally published at TekRevue and is republished here with permission.

Industry trends, such as increasingly compact PCs and Macs that are incapable of being upgraded, and faster connections to network-attached storage devices, have made the traditional “bare” 3.5-inch or 2.5-inch drive far less common in typical homes and businesses. But for those who still use bare drives for backup, archiving, data transfer, or troubleshooting, the importance of a solid drive dock is crucial.

These devices, which generally accept the SATA connections of bare mechanical and solid state drives and allow access to the drives via a more handy external I/O protocol, have been around for years, with certain devices offering access via USB 2.0, FireWire, eSATA, USB 3.0, and even Thunderbolt. But the ones you find today in typical online marketplaces often suffer from reliability issues or limited functionality, such as the inability to boot from a connected drive.

One company that has long offered a range of external drive docks is OWC, and although it has been several years since I used an OWC drive dock, I recall that the company’s products suffered none of the aforementioned drawbacks. And so when my most recent USB 3.0-based drive dock from StarTech recently died, I was interested to see that OWC had continued to update its drive dock product lineup, adding a USB 3.1 Type-C option last year.

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I spent the last few weeks evaluating a review loan of this latest OWC Drive Dock, and found it to be a well-built, high-performance device that is a significant upgrade over my previous drive dock. Read on for my more detailed impressions of the device’s design and performance.

Mercury Systems Ships First Space-Qualified Commercial SSD for LEO Satellites

Subject: Storage | January 23, 2019 - 05:35 PM |
Tagged: TRRUST-Stor VPX RT, ssd, slc, radiation, amusing

Mercury Systems are well known for providing military grade secure storage, which means a little more than a truck commercial, but is still just FIPS 197 which is also know as AES.  Mercury uses AES-256 but both AES-128 and AES-192 can be classified as FIPS 197. 

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The security of the drive above is not what makes it worth mentioning however, it is the fact it is rated for use in low earth orbit which is interesting.  The drive is as Al says, "a bunch of SLC in a poly filled enclosure", with the poly offering the following (PDF link):

  • Rad-Tolerant Design (RTG4 Based): Configuration upsets immunity to LET > 103 MeV.cm2/mg
  • Single-event latch-up (SEL) immunity to LET > 103 MeV.cm2/mg
  • Registers SEU rate <10-12 errors/bit-day (GEO Solar Min)
  • Single-event transient (SET) upset rate < 10-8 errors/bit-day (GEO Solar Min)
  • Total ionizing dose (TID) > 100 Krad

The 440GB of SLC flash is capable of reading and writing at 1GB/s with a 26 PB write minimum life expectancy.  If you are serious about long term resilient storage, and can afford paying governmental rates you could drop them a line to get on the waiting list. 

Conversely, the next time you are playing a post apocalyptic RPG, you are now fully able to complain about the crappy storage media the game provides and demand something a little bit better.  It won't be quite as easy to hack into as a RobCo terminal but if you can get at the data those logs will load a whole lot faster.

 

Samsung's new 970 EVO is almost double Plus good

Subject: Storage | January 22, 2019 - 03:27 PM |
Tagged: storage, ssd, Samsung, NVMe, M.2 2280, M.2, IOPS, EVO, 970 EVO, 3d nand

Jim was not the only one who completed benchmarking Samsung's new 970 EVO Plus, The Tech Report also chewed on the new gum stick for a while.  Whereas we had the 1TB model, it was the 500GB model which they reviewed and while many of the specifications are the same there are some slight differences worth investigating.  Their custom RoboBench tests real performance and shows just how impressive this drives performance is.  Not only is this drive faster than the previous generations, the price is also much more attractive as we are supposed to see this 500GB drive sell for $130 and the 1TB for $250; let's hope that is the case!

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"Samsung's 900-series EVO drives have been mainstays since NVMe went mainstream. The company has released a newly refreshed version of the 970 EVO that's so good they gave it a "Plus" suffix. We take it apart to see if it's as good as it sounds."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Author:
Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Samsung

Samsung today is launching a new member of its consumer-targeted family of NVMe SSDs, the Samsung 970 EVO Plus. Thanks to the upgrade from 64-layer to 96-layer V-NAND, this new drive promises significantly better write performance, a slight bump to overall responsiveness, and improved efficiency all in the same single-sided package at capacities up to 2TB.

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This new drive, a mid-cycle refresh that keeps the well-regarded 970-series on the market, looks impressive on paper. But do those soaring advertised IOPS and insane write speeds hold up in reality? Check out our initial review of the Samsung 970 EVO Plus.