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Apple's draconian move to disable TRIM software support in the latest versions of OS X has left only one third-party SSD manufacturer that supports TRIM. Angelbird natively supports TRIM in OS X, a feat others haven't been able to accomplish without TRIM Enabler software. Apple removing TRIM Enabler compatibility has forced users to expose their system to malware by disabling key security features, or to simply not use TRIM with their third-party SSDs. Other third-party SSD manufacturers rely upon garbage collection in lieu of TRIM, but as any enthusiast with rudimentary knowledge can explain, garbage collection doesn't keep performance as snappy as a TRIM-enabled system.
Angelbird's wrk SSD now comes in capacities up to 1TB. The wrk utilizes an SMI 2246EN controller, and the case is made of a matte-black anodized aluminum. Sequential read/write speeds weigh in at 564/456 MB/s, respectively. The SSD also tops out at 72,000 random read IOPS. The 1TB wrk retails for $599.99, which is comparable to other Apple-specific SSDs, especially considering it is the only line of SSDs that natively supports an integral feature required for sustained performance.
ASUSTOR has announced the launch of their new 50T and 51T NAS products. There are four new high-performance models that leverage the Intel Celeron 2.41Ghz dual-core processor and a more powerful Celeron 2.0Ghz quad-core processor. The processors also feature turbo functionality to provide higher burst speeds during peak processing activities. Each model comes with either 1GB or 2GB of SO-DIMM DDR3L memory, which can be upgraded to 8GB for more discerning users.
The new products come with the ADM 2.3 operating system, which was recently optimized to deliver a more refined interface. The models support HDMI and S/PDIF, allowing the NAS units to operate as the hub of the home entertainment system. Other features include smart system sleep and instant wake mode, which helps keep power costs down. Both models come with a 3 year warranty and are available now from dealers. We will be posting a review of the units soon in our NAS section.
Corsair is one of the companies that helped forge the third-party SSD ecosystem as SSDs entered the mainstream. The new Neutron XT is a continuation of that theme, but leverages the new Phison quad-core S10 controller. Phison and Silicon Motion have been grabbing SSD controller market share as we await new competitive products from SandForce and Marvell. The SSD also features Toshiba A19nm 2bit MLC NAND.
Chris posted the Corsair Neutron XT SSD Preview as an early look at the new drive, but withheld final scoring until concrete MSRP information was available. Corsair has released the MSRP guidelines. The 240GB SSD is $149.99, the 480GB is $269.99, and the 960GB weighs in at $539.00.
Galaxy is a name associated with top-tier GPU's, but they also recently announced a new HOF PCIe SSD. The Hall of Fame (HOF) series of products from Galaxy represent their top tier products, so an SSD with blistering speed fits the bill nicely. The PCIe SSD is geared for gaming usage and comes with the requisite high performance specifications. The new SSD features a custom Heracles JMF811 JMicron controller developed specifically for Galaxy. While details are scant, we do know that the new Heracles SSD controller communicates via a PCIe 2.0 x4 connection and features sequential read/write speeds of 1,600 MB/s.
There is no word if the new SSD communicates via the AHCI or NVMe protocol. It will come in capacities of 1TB, 2TB and 4TB. These are rather large capacities that will surely command a hefty price, but for gamers looking for the bleeding edge of performance it might be worth the investment.
With CES fast approaching we expect an increasing number of storage-related product launches. LiteOn leads the pack with the release of their new ZETA Series of SSDs. These SSDs are being launched in the Asian market, but these products often appear later in North American and European markets. The SATA 6Gb/s ZETA comes in three capacities of 128, 256, and 512 GB, and utilizes up to 512MB of DDR3 as a cache buffer.
The drives feature 520 MB/s of sequential read speed for all capacity points, but write speeds vary by capacity and top out at 430 MB/s. The random read IOPS weigh in at 83,500, and random write speeds top 80,000 IOPS. The ZETA leverages the relatively rare Hynix 16nm MLC NAND and is geared for the value market. Current pricing is 439 yuan ($70 USD) for 128GB, 799 yuan ($129 USD) for 256GB, and 1599 yuan ($258 USD) for the 512GB capacity point. A smattering of typical SSD features, such as TRIM, NCQ, and AES 256 encryption, round out the ZETA. There is no word on the controller, but Hynix has been rumored to only sell their NAND to customers who also purchase their LAMD controllers. This has led, in part, to the relatively rare use of Hynix NAND, though Intel is utilizing it in some of their offerings.
Much like most other equipment launched into space, the NASA rover Opportunity utilizes tried-and-true flash memory for data storage on its trek across the surface of Mars. Flash memory isn't as susceptible to vibration as other forms of data storage and operates better in temperature extremes, which works out great for equipment hurling its way through the cosmos. The rigors of spaceflight and the surface of Mars can push even the most durable equipment to the edge, as witnessed by the latest round of memory failures onboard the Opportunity rover.
Scientists reformatted the flash memory on the resilient little rover over the weekend, but things didn't go quite as planned. Now the rover is suffering from amnesia events and system resets. NAND is a persistent memory technology, it can retain data even without power, unlike RAM. The rover stores all data collected during the day in its onboard RAM memory, but when the rover 'sleeps' at night that data is typically copied over to NAND flash storage. The problems encountered during the flash formatting have placed the rover in a RAM-only mode, and data has to be beamed off to Earth each night before sleep. Scientists are working diligently to code a workaround that will avoid using one of the seven banks of NAND that is experiencing the issue.
As according to a newly issued press release, networking giants Barracuda have just placed Ken Grohe on their payroll. This well-known storage expert has just come off employment with some large name companies spanning his massive 26+ year campaign in the industry.
Barracuda is a provider of cloud-connected security and storage solutions, with their goal set to simplify IT. Their solutions are reportedly used by more then 150,000 organizations worldwide. With Grohe appointed as their Senior Vice President & General Manager of Emerging Products, he will oversee the CudaTel and CudaEye product lines while helping drive sales for the Barracuda copy (file syncing and sharing) and SignNow (eSignature) services.
Steve Duplessie, founder and senior analyst at ESG praised Grohe's previous achievements and work ethic, stating that he "an industry star joining a growing company", further stating that "Barracuda continues to impress with its talent acquisition and its relentless execution."
OWC has announced the availability of their latest upgrade SSD, the Aura. The new Aura SSD comes in 1 and 2TB capacities, which is more than 8 times the capacity of 2013 Mac Pro factory shipping models. The Aura is also the first SSD that is custom-engineered and tested for compatibility with the 2013 Mac Pro.
The SSDs are available at $899 for the 1TB, and $1499 for the 2TB version. The SSDs come complete with all tools required for the upgrade and a step-by-step installation video. The Aura features transfer speeds up to 730/698 MB/s read/write, and a three year limited warranty. As a bonus the kit also includes a freebie Envoy enclosure, which allows users to repurpose their original Mac Pro SSD for use as a USB 3.0 external enclosure. The Aura leverages 4 SandForce SF-2281 controllers with 7% overprovisioning behind a Marvell 88SE9230 RAID controller on a custom blade design. This will provide fast transfer speeds, and also increase endurance and sustained performance.
Coming out of San Jose, CA - Addonics Technologies has recently announced their UDD25, a pocket-sized device family that can read multiple data storage devices ranging from 2.5-inch HDD's to CF Cards.
Said to provide the user with up to 6Gbps in both internal and portable versions, Addonics also claims support for write-protected devices that support read only. Their external Pocket UDD25 model can read/write to 2.5" SATA drives at the same speeds that any normal internal drive could, the same being said for their internally mounted option - which can be sat in your case in any 3.5-inch drive bay. Both of these models connect through a USB 2.0 or 3.0 port.
When connected to an eSATA 3.0 port, these devices claim a peak transfer speed of 6 Gbps, lowered slightly to 5 Gbps if you're utilizing a USB 3.0 connection. With new products like this on the market listed for a low $45, alongside SSD's reaching an ultra-low pricing structure, don't be surprised to see some people using this kind of technology to start transferring data compared to your standard 500 GB+ pre-built HDD enclosure. Not only is this smaller and lighter, it's going to be a lot faster too.
The keys to the future of SSDs revolve around the NVMe interface, TLC NAND, 3D NAND, and low power consumption. Marvell has announced a new design that brings all three of these together to enable refined SSD designs. The 88NV1140 supports both NVMe 1.1b and AHCI through a x1 PCIe 3.0 interface. The controller supports TLC NAND and 3D NAND, along with other types of NAND. This new controller is targeted for the mobile market, such as Chromebooks, laptops, and 2-in-1 devices.
Marvell turns to NVMe 1.1b and the first DRAM-less NVMe controller design to deliver a lower power threshold. DRAM-less designs feature lower power draw and are typically more resilient during power loss events. Tacking on support for the newer NVMe revision 1.1b also leverages improvements in low power state management. Marvell also announced the DRAM-less 88NV1120, which supports the SATA interface in PC systems and leverages DevSlp functionality.