Not long after announcing its first Renegade lineup of SSDs, pureSilicon has bettered the range with the new Renegade R2 family, ranging from just 4GB to 256GB capacities.
These drives maintain sequential read and write rates of 255MB/sec and 180MB/sec respectively. They are of course 2.5-inch in size with a height of just 9.5mm, so there should be no issues fitting it in the majority of laptops on the market.
The new Renegade R2 range is said to be shipping as of now, with the exception of the 256GB and encrypted models which are said to arrive during Q1 of next year.
The full press announcement from pureSilicon can be located here.
If security is first and foremost for you when it comes to external storage, you might be interested to know that a company by the name of Origin Storage has just introduced two larger capacity models to its lineup of Data Locker encrypted HDDs.
The new capacities come in at 750GB and 1TB. Dimensions of the drives are 3.13" (W) x 5.11" (D) x 0.91" (H), using USB connectivity.
Security wise, the drives sport a one touch erase functionhardware based malware detection/deflection and military grade AES encryption (128bit for the Data Locker Pro and 256bit for the Data Locker Enterprise).
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Details on a new lineup of flash drives from Mushkin have surfaced today. Dubbed the Mulholland series, these rather standardized looking USB flash drives are black in colour with a transparent cap.
Capacities available in the series right off the bat are 2GB, 4GB, 8GB, 16GB and 32GB. Whilst actual figures haven't been disclosed, Mushkin makes promise of "incredible read/write speeds".
Snow Leopard is has not been having a very good time. After being hailed as the next best thing since the Pizza it launched with lukewarm press coverage. You see normally when Apple launches something the press simply goes nuts and talks about all of its virtues. This trend has been shifting slightly. This is probably due to normal cycles in the fickle press, but also could be due to growing scrutiny of Apple's policies and business practices.
No matter the reason Snow Leopard has had its share of issues. From being labeled as a Microsoft copy (for 64-bit, multi core support, built in malware protection etc), to finding out it shipped with a seriously flawed version of Flash and that the built in Malware Protection can only detect two viruses. Now we hear there is an even larger issue with Snow Leopard.
The problem relates to the way the Guest Account works (something disabled by default in Windows). You see some users are reporting that if they log in using the Guest account and then to their regular user account they find that all of their data is simply gone. It is like something reset their account. The problem has been all over the Apple Support Boards, but until today Apple had not even acknowledged the problem.
Today, while they are saying there is a problem they are dealing with it in typical Apple fashion. They are saying "We are aware of the issue, which occurs only in extremely rare cases, and we are working on a fix" according to a statement given to CNET on Monday. I am sure this is a great comfort to all of the users that have lost their data.
OCZ has just added the new m84 to its Z-Drive family of PCI-Express based SSDs. This comes in a little cheaper than previous Z-Drive models with a choice of 256, 512GB, and 1TB capacities.
It uses a PCIe 8x interface and features MLC based NAND flash memory as well as an on-board RAID controller.
OCZ reports read and write speeds of up to 870MB/sec and 780MB/sec respectively, except for the 256GB model which has read/write speeds of 750/650 MB/s.
"The OCZ m84 Z-Drive is the newest addition to our line of PCI-E solid state drives and is designed to offer consumers a high performance yet aggressively priced solid state solution," said Eugene Chang, Vice President of Product Management at the OCZ Technology Group. "While the previously released p84 and e84 Z-Drives were intended specifically for enterprise applications, the m84 delivers much of the same performance but at a price point that is competitive with standard SSD drives."
Actual pricing hasn't yet been disclosed, but we know the drives will come with a three year warranty and are shipping very soon.
With another round of IDF now underway, Larrabee is in the forefront of most minds and thankfully it was shown off publicly for the first time today, running on a six cored Gulftown based PC.
It was running the traditional game Quake Wars, ported to do raytracing.
Waves moved, geometry was not static, and in general it worked. Instead of multiple four core chips, the new demo was running on the 'GPU', although Intel would not call it that. The only thing on the CPU was the game engine itself, exactly what you would expect from a CPU/GPU machine. As we said earlier, B0 silicon, the bug fixed Larrabee, taped out a month ago, and would possibly be shown at IDF.
Sadly, it has not come back from the fabs yet, so the demo was running on Ax silicon, most likely A6. It worked, but didn't seem to be a huge step forward from four quad core Xeons. Oh wait, one GPU running at sub-10% of hoped for performance beating 16 Xeon cores is a huge step forward.
Also spotted was this monster PCI-E card comprising multiple SSDs; no less than seven. It was tested with a whopping 1.076 million IOPS; fwoooaaar! Intel claims in order to get similar performance from mechanical drives, you'd need in excess of 5,000. They're probably not far off either.
While SATA III (with a throughput of up to 6Gbps, double that of what we've been limited to for quite some time now) is the talk of the town in the performance storage sector now, the guys also have another ace up their sleeve with the upcoming introduction of mini-SATA (or mSATA for short).
The picture above gives you a good idea of just how miniature we're talking with the Toshiba based drive on the left using a standard sized SATA connector whilst to the right is a drive based around the new mini-SATA standard.
It's been said mSATA continues to support both 1.5GB/s and also 3GB/s transfer rates and the interface is primarily designed for very small drives no bigger than a business card.
If you're excited about the new Barracuda XT family of desktop hard disks from Seagate which we made mention of yesterday, you may like to check out some of the extra media since provided to us by Seagate detailing many of the specifications and performance characteristics of these new 6Gbps equipped enthusiast oriented drives.
A full presentation with stacks of graphs and other bits and pieces in PDF format can be obtained here, whilst both a data sheet and full product overview (also in PDF format) was also sent over to us which along with the typical marketing talk has extensive information the press release didn't cover that may be of interest.
Much like Western Digital with its energy-efficient Green series, mainstream Blue series and high-performance/enthusiast oriented Black series desktop HDDs, Seagate now has a three-tier arrangement in place with their latest high-performance XT series of drives shipping to distributors as of today. Seagate also has the existing Barracuda LP series drives for low-power users and of course the standard Barracuda 7200 series for mainstream.
Only one drive is known in the new XT series thus far, this being a 2TB model packed with 500GB platters, spinning at a rate of 7,200RPM. The cache system comprises a whopping 64MB and the drive carries a lengthy 5 year warranty. The best thing about this drive versus Western Digital's Caviar Black 2TB unit is that the XT 2GB from Seagate boasts support for 6Gbps host-to-disk transfer rates, so you'll be next-gen ready if you purchase one of these drives. However, as Tech Report point out, while the interface and amount of cache alone make it possible to use the extra bandwidth, the physical media cannot and Seagate themselves quote a maximum sustained data rate of around 140MB/sec.
As expected, the drive won't be cheap given its capacity and feature-set; an MSRP of around $300 USD, but WD's 2TB Caviar Black carries the same RRP so it will be interesting to see how the two compare. We hope to bring these results to you in the near future once we get hold of a sample.
Solid State is one of the current buzz-words in the computing world. Everyone is rushing to enter the market and to have the fastest/largest drive.
This competition has led to a wide range of standards and performance. Many companies are striving to reach the 1TB goal and a few have hit this glorious goal that took the magnetic storage industry many years to reach.
OCZ wants to be one of those companies. They have been toying with the release of a PCI-e based SSD that features 1024GB of space. While we have not really seen the drive in the flesh there are some nice new renders of the card popping up on the internet along with what appears to be final specifications. The specs look pretty nice indeed including 256MB of onboard cache, a built in RAID controller, and read speeds of up to 878MB/s.
There is no word on a release date or price but you can bet it will cost a small fortune.
Western Digital has decided to toss the Green and go for gold. To do this they have released a pair of 7200 RPM versions of their 2TB drive.
One will be a consumer version called the Caviar Black while the Enterprise edition will be called simply the RE4. Both drives will have 64MB of cache and four 500GB density platters. Both run on the SATA 3Gbps standard so no 6G SATA controller there just yet.
The Caviar will set you back around $300, while the enterprise class RE4 has no official pricing but lists a MTBF (Mean Time between Failures) of 1.2 million hours.
Interesingly enough the enterprise flavor has some good power saving features (active power save) as well as a shock absorbing system too.
WD is certainly looking to cater to the needs of long term reliable storage with these.
In our most recent poll, we asked our readers what type of storage setup they use in their computer system.
We had a fairly good number of voters totaling around 2,200 votes. Out in front, 45% of our readers use a HDD based system with up to 3TB of storage. Quite healthy, indeed!
31% said their system uses a single HDD.
Those who have entered the SSD era account for 12% of the people who voted. 5% use a single SSD, while a lucky 7% enjoy the impressive speed and performance of SSDs in a RAID array.
We have plenty of storage freaks - 8% have HDD storage up to 6TB, 1% up to 9TB and an amazing 3% have over 9TB of storage.
For the actual numbers, go here.
In our latest poll, we want to know who is your favorite motherboard maker. Let us know! Please go here to vote!
Not too long ago we told you how many mainboard manufactures were removing the SATA 6Gbps chips from Marvel from their mainboards. We later found out that there were some fairly serious issues that were behind the cuase. At one point we were even told that a respin of the control ships would be needed.
This little fact meant that for many SATA 6Gbps would not be a reality when the P55 launched.
Fortunately ASRock might have an answer to the problem. Instead of trying to drop a Marvel SATA controller onto the board they have placed it on a PCI-e x1 card.
This simple solution should prevent the stabiltiy and performance issues that were reported with the Marvel chips placed on the board.
The ASRock board that will have this extra feature is the ASRock P55 Deluxe. We will still have some time to wait before SATA 6Gbps drives are out but these new controllers should allow your existing SSDs to stretch their legs a little more.
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There is more news in the world of Intel NAND flash this morning. Intel has released a new firmware for its newest SSDs to fix a corruption issue when a BIOS password is used in conjunction with these new drives.
The issue reared its ugly head when someone put a BIOS password in place and then changes the password or removes it. At that point the data on the drive becomes corrupted.
This issue is the latest in the saga of Intel SSDs, the last one was a performance issue where the drive becomes more and more fragmented due to write tables put in place to prevent inconsistent writes to the cells on the drive. This was evident in the X25-M drives and required a firmware to fix the problem.
While the issues are concerning it is good to see Intel working to correct them in a timely manner and not sweeping them under the rug like other companies have.
It's well known that SSD performance can be improved drastically through means of superior firmware, which tends to happen in baby steps. OCZ is one such SSD manufacturer that enjoys the idea of being able to fine-tune their drives through the means of firmware updates which make for a free and easy boost in performance to the end-user.
With that said, PC Perspective were lucky enough to have OCZ send them over a test sample Vertex drive with a new beta version of their Indilinx based firmware to play with, which promises better management with regard to fragmentation issues seen on their SSDs in the past.
This new update came with a very short list of what to look for, the most interesting of which being "background garbage collection". This feature is supposed to take advantage of idle time by undoing the fragmentation previously caused by combined writes. Write combining is one of the tricks employed by nearly all current SSDs in order to increase random write performance and therefore prevent the familiar stuttering experienced by earlier generation drives.
While it's not perfect and shows a couple issues yet to be delt with, the firmware is indefinitely a good step forward for the most part.
You can view all the results in a decent array of tests within the full article here.
It seems like it was just yesterday that Intel announced there was a data corruption problem with the X25 SSD. Well I guess it is yesterday that it was announced. But it is not the one you are thinking of.
The first generation of SSDs had an issue where the drive would become fragmented and loose performance over time. This could also lead to data corruption in severe cases.
Now the issue is with the latest 34nm X25 SSDs. The problem is connected to a very small number of drives becoming corrupted when a BIOS password is used. Still to ensure that this does not become a major issue Intel has suspended shipments of the new drive and are working on a firmware fix for this problem.
I can remember buying a 1.2 GB drive and thinking that I would never run out of space. The same thing crossed my mind when I received my first 20GB notebook drive. It is funny how things change so quickly. We have 2TB drives for the desktop and now, thanks to Western Digital we have a 1TB drive for your notebook.
But all is not pizza and beer for WD, it seems that they are only getting half the kudos. While they are the first to hit 1TB with traditional magnetic storage they missed the 1TB 2.5 Inch crown by losing out to pureSilicon when they released their 1TG 2.5 Inch SSD.
Still this does open the gates for affordable large capacity storage for notebooks and even netbooks. Plus the added bonus of fitting right in many SFF systems and even a few high end HD-Cameras like the Red One.
During the launch of the new Runcore Pro IV SSDs here in Hangzhou today, we also got a look at the newly launched Runcore Easy Three Step upgrade process for its full range of SSDs.
Runcore bundled some software on all its new SSDs, which allow for easily upgrading your HDD to an SSD. It allows you to entirely move over all files and the actual file system (MBR) and OS from your old drive to your new SSD. Software is included to support both Windows and Mac systems, depending on which SSD you buy, the appropriate software will be included.
The process is rather simple, as you'll see in the video below. Matt from Runcore shows us just how it is done. Runcore has really gone out of its way to make the upgrade process as simple as possible and will probably end up selling more drives as a result.
The next video from here in China will probably be of the factory tour where we follow the making of an SSD from start to finish!
We are here in Hangzhou, China in the technology and development area (or HEDA as it's known officially) at the moment visiting the Runcore office to get a hands-on look at its range of Pro IV SSD drives that will launch later today and go on sale very soon.
We spent some time exclusively testing the new Runcore Pro IV, specifically the 1.8-inch Micro SATA 128GB. We compared the performance of this new SSD against a standard notebook HDD in two identical Lenovo X301 laptops. We confirmed that no funny business was going on and that both systems were identical in terms of setup, clock speeds and so on.
Take a look at the video below. We have an unboxing, look at the tiny SSD, performance numbers, boot up and shut down time comparisons and more.
We'll have some more content online soon from our trip to China to visit the friendly folks at Runcore here in beautiful Hangzhou.