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If you've picked up a 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro and weren't happy with the included storage space inside of it, you might be thinking of upgrading. Or, before you've purchased it, you've balked at the price of the 512GB SSD option through Apple, which is $800.
OWC is here to save the day offering up their 480GB Mercury Aura Pro SSD for just $580. Sure, $580 for an SSD is expensive, but it is over $200 cheaper than Apple's option. OWC's latest SSD is certified for use with Apple's latest Retina-sporting MBP.
OWC have also stated that additional capacity sizes will be announced in November, so you could also hold out if 480GB was too much, or too expensive. I'm loving the fact that SSD prices are coming down like a sack of bricks, it's glorious.
Intel have begun shipping their latest SSD, which the chipmaker describes as the most efficient multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash currently available. Intel's 335 Series SSD are also the first to use 20nm NAND flash which was built in a joint effort between Intel, Micron and IM Flash Technologies.
Intel's 335 Series SSD use the now-standard SATA 6Gbps interface, sports a SandForce SF-2281 controller running custom Intel firmware. The only drive available at the moment is a 240GB model, which comes with 500MB/sec read, 450MB/sec writes and ramps up to 42,000 read / 52,000 write IOPS using 4KB data.
The 20nm IMFT NAND uses a new cell structure that is said to enable more aggressive cell scaling than conventional architectures. Hi-K/metal gate planar cell technology is used to get around problems that come with this advanced process tech, enabling performance and reliability that we enjoyed with the 25nm process.
Storage giant Seagate have introduced a USB 3.0-powered Backup Plus for Mac which is available through Amazon right now, and will be made available through the Apple Stores in November.
Both the Backup Plus Portable for Mac, and Backup Plus Desktop for Mac both sport the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 connectivity, which is of course backwards compatible. Seagate provides their Backup Plus devices with a software feature that lets them backup content from social networks like Facebook and Flickr.
Seagate Backup Plus Portable drivers will ship in 500GB and 1TB sizes for a MSRP of $109.99 and $129.99, respectively. The Backup Plus Desktop drives will be made available in 2TB and 3TB for $129.99 and $179.99, respectively.
Intel's 330 series of SSDs are looking to be a bit old now that the Santa Clara-based company has begun shipping out their 335 Series drives, in Japan at least.
The very first Intel 335 Series drive has been codenamed SSDSC2CT240A4K5 and has hit a Japanese retailer shelf. The drive looks to come in a 240GB size, the usual 2.5-inch form factor at 9.5mm thickness, SATA 6.0 Gbps interface, rocks a SandForce SF-2281 controller, and uses 20nm MLC NAND Flash memory.
The Intel 335 Series SSD sports read/write speeds of up to 500/450MB/sec, holds 3-year warranty and costs around $214. We should also expect smaller variants like 80 and 180GB in Q1 2013.
SanDisk hasn't released the details or even mentioned the new firmware on their website yet but if you run the SanDisk SSD Toolkit your Extreme SSD can be updated to firmware version R211, a TRIM fixing release.
We're in the middle of testing the Extreme SSD 480GB now and plan to finally test our 120GB soon. After that we have some RAID testing with RAID 0 working on a pair of Extreme SSD 240GB drives.
You can download SanDisk's SSD Toolkit at this link. Have an empty thumb drive handy so it can flash your drive without looking for an empty optical disk.
A new start-up has produced viable optical disks that can hold 1TB or 2TB of data, an incredible feat considering Blu-ray disks usually hold 25GB, or 50GB in a dual layer version. Magnetic spinning disc drives have just recently topped the 2TB barrier with 3TB and even 4TB drives finally being available on the market.
However, an optical disk will be much cheaper to purchase for data back-up, though it can only be written to once. But for back-up, this really doesn't pose any sort of problems. And, since it is a disc, data can be located upon the surface in mere seconds instead of the minutes it can take to wind through magnetic tape, the current standard for backing up data.
"A disc will be on the capacity scale of magnetic tapes used for archival data storage," said Kenneth D. Singer, the Ambrose Swasey professor of physics, and co-founder of Folio Photonics. "But, they'll be substantially cheaper and have one advantage: you can access data faster. You just pop the disc in your computer and you can find the data in seconds. Tapes can take minutes to wind through to locate particular data."
The technology uses something I had previously read about. The new start-up has layered 64 data layers of optical film onto a standard DVD plastic base. Slight modifications to a standard disc drive allow the laser to read the different layers without any interference from the layers above or below the current layer being read.
Apple announced late last week that they'll be expanding their iMac 1TB Seagate Hard Drive Replacement Program, which would increase the number of machines eligible under the program to include iMacs sold between October of 2009, and July of 2011 with 1TB Seagate HDDs:
Apple has determined that certain Seagate 1TB hard drives used in 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMac systems may fail. These systems were sold between October 2009 and July 2011.
Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP) will replace affected hard drives free of charge.
The Cupertino-based company launched the program back in July 2011, but at the time it only covered certain machines covered between May 2011 and July 2011. Apple have demanded that the program be extended, and pushed further back to previous-dated iMacs, including machines as old as those sold back in October 2009.
I still remember the days of owning a 500MB HDD and thinking this was amazing, then the days of 8GB - 20GB HDDs were out when I was into the LAN scene and now we're looking at 3-4TB HDDs in a single drive, the storage industry really is just insane.
Well, WD are now offering their My Book Thunderbolt Duo 8TB drive, with 8TB in a single external storage option. On top of 8TB in a single package, you're also going to get the amazing Thunderbolt technology for some truly mind-blowing transfer speeds. WD even includes a Thunderbolt cable in the box, which is on one hand great to see, but I would expect a Thunderbolt cable to be in the box when selling me a product with Thunderbolt in the name.
The storage giant also offers the My Book 4TB storage drive which sports USB 3.0. WD's entry into 8TB is the first time the company has crossed the 8TB mark with a My Book device. WD's My Book Thunderbolt Duo 8TB is available in select US retailers, or on their online store for $849.99 MSRP. The My Book 4TB drive is available for $249.99.
Data centers and archivers, TDK has your back. They have been working on increasing the storage density of traditional hard drives and managed to squish 1.5TB onto a single square inch of platter. This means a 3.5-inch disk's platter can hold 2TB of data. Multiply that by 5 platters and we will soon have 10TB drives.
The new technology relies on H/TAMR (Heat/ Thermal assisted magnetic recording) technology. This allows the bits to be flipped on the ultra dense platters. The technology has not yet been squished into a working hard drive, but rather the 2TB per platter was tested on a spin plate.
Drives based upon the new technology is due out commercially by the end of 2013, or early 2014. A working 10TB drive based upon this technology is set to be exhibited at the CEATEC show in Japan. This is the single largest jump forward for hard disk technology in a long time and will have large effects on notebook drives and data centers.
Large data is becoming more and more prevalent, especially with the rise of the cloud. People are collecting larger collections of music, videos, and files. As Internet speeds continue to increase, the web will become even more media intensive and require larger hard drives to store all of this data.
This is where TDK's new work shines. They have managed to squish 1.5TB into a single square inch, which is really impressive. At this density, a single platter inside the drive will be able to hold 2TB. Just remember how 2TB was hard to achieve just a few years ago. Now, imagine squishing 3 platters into a drive.
That would equate to a 6TB drive, seemingly more than enough for most desktop users, and an increase for servers that are running multiple 2TB drives. The new technology also has implications on mobile 2.5-inch drives. Mobile users will be able to carry more on their internal drive and shouldn't need to rely on an external solution.
The increase in density came from improvements in the read head as well as improvements in the hard disk medium. Mass production isn't expected to begin until 2014, though, so who knows where SSD technology will be by that point.