This morning ADATA announced its first offering to the enterprise market. The two new solid state drives are part of the SX1000L SSD line and are being offered in 100GB and 200GB capacities.
The SX1000L line takes advantage of ADATA's expertise in NAND flash memory technology which lends an unprecedented level of performance and reliability to thew new modules. The line employs static wear-leveling technology that raises the mean time between failures to 1,500,000 hours.
The SX1000L utilizes advanced controller technology to enhance read/write performance with sequential read speeds reaching 560MB/s and sequential write speeds approaching 340MB/s, with IOPS of 73,000 and 45,000 (maximum 4K random read and write, respectively). The use of multi-level cell NAND flash memory combined with advanced chip sorting lends to outstanding sustained performance lower latency and superior endurance.
Tweakipedia: Upgrading the SSD in your Apple MacBook Air with OWC's 480GB Aura Pro Solid State Drive
Our Tweakipedia section has a new post.
We have been provided an Other World Computing (OWC) 480GB Aura Pro SSD to upgrade our late-2010 MacBook Air with, so we've done an upgrade guide with some step-by-step instructions and some benchmarks between the stock 256GB Samsung SSD and the upgraded 480GB OWC drive. You can read more on the Tweakipedia article right here!
It's been a long time coming, but ADATA finally has TRIM for its LSI SandForce based SSDs. If you have a SX910, SX900, SP900, SP800, S511, S510 or S396, we recommend you update the drive to the new 5.0.7a firmware today - grab it from source #1 below. Below is a list of the changes.
1. Fixed a power management condition where the device failed to respond to COMWAKE, which might have resulted in the SSD not responding without being reset by the host
2. Fixed the normalized value calculation for SMART Attribute 9 (Power-On Hours)
3. Fixed a SATA error recovery sequence coming out of PS1
4. Fixed an issue during SMART self-test extended that could cause an unexpected read error
5. Fixed an issue that could have caused the read thresholds to be artificially low during read disturb operations
6. Fixed an issue that could have caused the drive to be unresponsive based on a flash program failure
7. Fixed a theoretically possible instance where an UECC on the flash media while processing unaligned write commands that cannot be corrected by the ECC engine and RAISETM causes invalid data to be returned.
ADATA have just announced the release of some new SSDs that are lighter and thinner than their predecessors. The models replaced were just 9.5mm thick, but these new drives are an astonishing 7mm thick.
The standard thickness for 2.5-inch drives is 9.5mm, so getting them down to just 7mm with no loss of performance, capacity, or durability is a credit toward ADATA. The new SSDs come with 2.5mm plastic holders, so that you can continue to use them with existing 9.5mm drive slots.
Our Tweakipedia section has a new post.
One of our first Tweakipedia articles covers backing your Mac up, sure it's not a PC-related post, but there are countless of you - like me - who own a Mac. We've written an article stepping you through this process, and while it might not be for you, you might have a family member in need of backing their Mac up - so share this on their Facebook to get them out of your hair!
Today OCZ Technology released a firmware update for Vector. The new firmware, version 2.0, is available through OCZ's Toolbox and is a mass production release (not beta). At the time of writing the release notes weren't available but Alan, a long time TweakTown reader provided the benchmarks below from a system in steady state with the Vector 512GB used as a boot drive.
He states that "IOPS are great" and "the performance has definitely increased, you will want to run this against the Samsung 840 Pro and maybe reevaluate which is drive is faster in all capacity sizes."
You can find the thread discussing the new update on OCZ's Forums. Firmware update instructions are located here. Do note that C-States were enabled in this tests. We'll have a full article with all three Vector capacity sizes updated in a few days here on TweakTown.
LSI have announced that their Nytro WarpDrive family of PCIe-based flash cards have been validated for use with NetApp, Inc.'s Flash Accel software. LSI have worked with NetApp to offer a complete server flash caching solution that injects some serious speed into application performance by converting server-based flash into 'hot' data cache for critical business applications.
Nytro WarpDrive cards are some of the first PCIe-based products to be tested and qualified to work with NetApp's intelligent server caching software. Tim Russell, VP of data lifecycle ecosystem group with NetApp, says:
Flash memory adoption in the enterprise is a powerful complement to hard-disk-based network storage. Deploying flash as a high-speed cache in the server is a simple and cost-effective way to reduce latency and I/O bottlenecks, while providing enterprise-level data protection and manageability for the entire infrastructure. Working with our server cache partners, we're able to offer customers a complete end-to-end, high-speed solution.
LSI and NetApp server caching solutions provide the following:
- Automated and intelligent caching of hot data to PCIe flash storage
- Increased application responsiveness and reduced latency
- Optimised cost per IOPS and cost per gigabyte across flash and HDDs
- Power, cooling and physical footprint savings, reducing TCO
- Tested end-to-end solution simple to use
Earlier today we attended a Thecus press announcement in Taipei where the company introduced its two newest NAS devices, the N2520 and N4520.
The N2520 is the baby of the two products and is a two-bay unit that notably is the world's first NAS unit to use Intel's Atom SoC. It also is very conservative when it comes to power consumption only drawing a claimed 9-watts and idle and just 14-watts when loaded. It's also claimed to be ultra-quiet at just 20dB - at that level, you will not hear the device operating, so it's essential silent. We also liked the fact that the N2520 includes a tool-less design for installing the two 3.5-inch or 2.5-inch HDDs / SSDs.
Thecus is also rounding out the features list with 5 minute complete installation, Quick NAS accessibility, easy connection through DDNS, HDMI output for multimedia playback and the inclusion of the auto flashback photo gallery in the new Thecus Intelligent NAS software application for Windows and Mac.
A request has come from the very top level of AMD to remove this news story.
We are sorry.
Today we were invited out to the Acer headquarters here in Taipei, Taiwan where we were given an introduction to the company's take on cloud storage which they named AcerCloud.
Acer's cloud system is different ones such as Apple's iCloud, Google's Drive or Dropbox. Instead of sending your data up into the cloud, AcerCloud is more personal in nature. In technical terms, that means that your data is not stored on servers on the web. The data is instead accessed from your PC or laptop which has AcerCloud software installed and is of course connected to the internet.
AcerCloud launched towards the end of last year, but it was our first chance to go hands-on with it today, and it's quite good. Within AcerCloud are separate applications including clear.fi Media, clear.fi Photo, clear.fi Music, clear.fi Video. Each app handles different files and allows you to view saved files on any device with AcerCloud - that is a PC running Windows 7 or Windows 8, and iOS device running OS version 5.0.1 or above and any Android device running OS version 2.3 and above.
CeBIT 2013 - OCZ have taken the time out of CeBIT to unveil their new Vector PCIe device, a PCIe-based Vector SSD. The new PCIe Vector has improved IOPS performance, which provides the user with superior sustained performance, no matter if the data streamed are compressed, or uncompressed.
The new drive comes on a PCI Express 2.0 x4 interface, which provides it with plenty of bandwidth and on the PCIe Vector itself we find dual Indilinx Barefoot 3 controllers. The PCIe Vector outpaces OCZ's current SATA 3.0-based Vector SSDs and RevoDrive 3 Series, which is really saying something. We're looking at up to 1GB/sec in transfer speeds, and a crazy 140,000 IOPS. The new PCIe Vector includes a huge 5-year warranty, and comes in 240GB, 480GB and 960GB capacities.
The PCIe Vector is bootable as a direct-attach storage device, and has been designed for Windows-based client, and workstation machines. No word on price just yet.
Seagate ships its first 3.5-inch hybrid drive 'SSHD', third-gen 2.5-inch hybrid drives also hit the market
Hybrid Hard Drives are nothing new, and certainly not something Seagate is a rookie at. The company has been shipping 2.5-inch hybrid drives for years now, which have been awesome for the laptop market, but desktop PC enthusiasts who demand high capacity as well as speed have been left out until now.
This week Seagate has finally shipped a 3.5-inch version hybrid drive that features 2TB of spinning platters alongside 8GB of flash storage that help speed up disk intensive task without sacrificing precious storage or buying a dedicated SSD. Seagate says that the new SSHD should be as much as four times faster than traditional HDDs. That claim, of course, will depend on what you're doing on your system at the time.
The company also announced that it has updated its line of 2.5" hybrid drives and is now shipping 1TB regular height laptop drives as well as 500GB super slim versions that measure in at just 7mm thick. The new 2.5-inch hybrid drives are said to be as much as 40 percent faster than previous generations.
It looks like 2.5-inch 7200RPM HDDs are about to get their first nail in the coffin from Seagate, who has confirmed they will discontinue their faster 7200RPM 2.5-inch drives later this year. RIght now we have four drives in the 7200RPM 2.5-inch lineup, Momentus 7200.4, 7200.2, Momentus Thin 7200 and Momentus XT.
The move shouldn't be a shock with the massive price shifts we're seeing in SSDs, where they're close to $1 per GB now. Not only are they cheaper, but they offer far superior performance to mechanically-driven drives, with less heat and noise which is all better for a notebook. Just because Seagate are moving in this direction, it doesn't mean we'll see them completely dive out of the performance HDD Market, as they'll put more focus into hybrid drives.
As time goes on, we'll most likely see HDDs expand past 4TB and SSDs level out at around 512GB to 1TB at less than $1 per GB. Storage, like all technology, is a constantly changing market and we as consumers all benefit the most.
Solid-state drives contain more NAND than is required to meet the listed capacity on the box. The reasoning for this is that the controller requires some of it for garbage collection and to replace cells when they go bad. The concept of over-provisioning an SSD is one that isn't always understood by the consumer, so Kent Smith of LSI has written an article to help you understand.
Essentially, over-provisioning allocates a portion of the total flash memory available to the flash storage processor, which it needs to perform various memory management functions. This leaves less usable capacity, of course, but results in superior performance and endurance. More sophisticated applications require more over-provisioning, but the benefits inevitably outweigh the reduction in usable capacity.
You can read the entire article over at EDN.
It's not like you needed any persuasion to buy OCZ'z awesome Vector SSD, but this might just tip you over into buying one. The SSD maker are offering a free copy of Far Cry 3 with 256GB and 512GB models of the Vector SSD.
You can only secure yourself two copies of Far Cry 3, if you were to buy two Vector SSDs, and the offer expires on July 14, 2013. The offer is available to North America, South Ameria, EMEA and Asia region customers only.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has come out swinging during an interview with Bloomberg, where he was bragging up their just-released Office 2013 which would beat Dropbox, saying that the 100 million users that use Dropbox, myself included, "sounds like a pretty small number to me".
Ballmer must've realised he was dropping a pretty big bomb, recovering himself by saying "I'm not beating on Dropbox", adding "They're a fine little startup and that's great". 100 million users constitutes "a little startup" now does it, Ballmer? Wow. Considering from what I've seen and used, Dropbox seems far more popular and easier to use than SkyDrive, I don't know what Ballmer must be thinking other than defending his company.
With Intel shifting gears and reversing out of the motherboard business, moving into their Next Unit of Computing (NUC) and reducing power consumption on their processors, a new SSD has been unveiled by the Santa Clara-based chipmaker.
Welcome the new Intel SSD 525 Series, which comes in an mSATA form factor attached to the 6Gb/s SATA standard. Intel will be providing the SSD 525 Series to OEM customers, channel and tech enthusiasts as an ultra-portable, low-power storage solution in "one-eighth the space of a traditional 2.5-inch hard disk drive". In other words, Ultrabooks, tablets and embedded applications.
Thanks to its PCIe mini-connector, the SSD 525 Series drive will sport the same performance of the Intel SSD 520 Series, making the SSD 525 the perfect choice for all-in-one desktops, notebooks, Ultrabooks and more - such as cars, digital signage, embedded video and retail solutions, too.
I have multiple systems here in my home office, and every single one of them features an SSD or three. I can't stand to use mechanically-driven storage drives as my OS drives anymore, and with the price dropping almost on a weekly basis, most users are doing the same.
According to IHS analyst, Ryan Chien, the "fate of the SSD business is closely tied to the market for Ultrabooks and other ultra-thin PCs that use cache drives." The SSD market is set to really expand this year thanks to the push of Ultrabooks and other new form factors, such as SFF and Intel's NUC-type systems.
According to IHS' Storage Space Market Brief, worldwide shipments of SSDs will go from 39 million units in 2011 to 83 million units this year. By 2016, we should be in a world where 239 million SSDs are shipped, which will represent around 40% of the entire HDD market in that year. This is all thanks to the constantly declining price of SSDs, which is helping them get pushed into more and more systems and new form factors thanks to its low-power consumption, noise and heat.
Facebook's Jay Parikh, VP of infrastructure engineering, wants to move everyone's photos to flash memory for both quality and energy saving purposes. The only issue is that the proper kind of flash memory needed simply does not exist in commercial scale.
Our own Anthony Garreffa recently reported that Facebook users uploaded a massive 1.1 billion photo uploads on New Year's day alone, and it is metrics like that that is pushing Facebook into looking for better image storage methods than the old school mechanical hard drive method.
It's not that the hard drive storage method isn't working, but rather it is inefficient, slow, and consumes a ton of power when compared to solid state storage. That is why Parikh is calling upon the world to create a new kind of flash memory that is designed for occasional data retrievals, unlike current technology that is designed for persistently accessed files - that is, high performance NAND. This truly is one of those "If you build it, Facebook will come" scenarios.
Ever wonder how an SSD is made? No longer will this burning question keep you up at night as Crucial has just posted up to YouTube a behind-the-scenes video detailing the creation of a solid state drive, from inception to delivery.
In the video, they explain the process in a quick manner, so pay attention. They cover silicon design, wafer production, individual chip production, testing, assembly, more testing, packaging, and delivery. Watch the video and let us know something cool you learned from it that you didn't know before.
Foremay, an OEM SSD manufacturer, has released the world's first 2TB SSD drives with a standard 2.5" SATA interface. Both new models seem to only be available for OEM and industrial applications though at this stage.
Foremay is offering the SC199 (for mission-critical applications) and TC166 (for terminal computing) product families in either commercial or industrial grades to suit end-user's specific applications. Features include Advanced Power Management, Advanced Error Correction, Military Secure Erase, and hardware based encryption.
"By leveraging Foremay's patent pending technologies, we are proud to deliver the world's first 2 TB SSD in standard 2.5" SATA form factor," said Jack Winters , Foremay's CTO and co-founder. "We hope our high reliability 2 TB SSD drives can help create more design freedom and storage space for both mission-critical and enterprise applications."