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Computex Taipei 2013 - Once you go black....you never go back to blue? Western Digital's performance line for consumers is the Black Series. With flash increasing performance the company decided it was time to add a little flash magic to their proven mechanical products.
The result is Western Digital's first SSHD. SSHD, the industry term for hybrid drive is part SSD and part spinner. In this case, the marriage of a special SanDisk iSSD that is between 8GB and 24GB depending on the OEM customer, and a 5mm slim Western Digital hard drive.
We finished testing Western Digital's 5mm Blue drive right before walking out of the door for Computex.
Look for a review of that product first and a follow up from Tyler on the UltraSlim Black SSHD.
Computex Taipei 2013 - We know it's coming and coming sometime soon but that isn't good enough when OCZ Technology teases it at CES and Computex in 2013.
With two Indilinx Barefoot 3 controllers and up to 1TB of NAND flash, we know you want it too. If the PCIe version of Vector includes SCSI unmap, a form of TRIM, then we'll do back flips followed by cartwheels. Wouldn't that be a sight to see?
As far as I know, this is the first back side picture of the card. All together there are 32 NAND flash chips, four DRAM buffers and two Barefoot 3 controllers. Bridging the two controllers to the PCIe 4 lane is an OCZ VCA II. This is a full height card for desktop use. When they finally come out I want six for RAID 5 in a prosumer SAN.
Computex Taipei 2013 - MemoRight had a sizable booth this year at Computex and inside we found a product we're ready to try. To date, only Samsung has shipped consumer grade SSDs with triple-level cell (TLC) flash but that's about to change now that Toshiba has their 1Xnm TLC in production.
The MemoRight XT3 Series will use a Marvell controller with MemoRight's own firmware and pair it with Toshiba's new TLC NAND.
There aren't a lot of details yet but MemoRight expects performance in the 540 MB/s sequential read and 300 MB/s sequential write area. Wear-leveling will be very important with TLC NAND and MemoRight even mentions Global Wear-Leveling on the spec card. This will be an interesting one for sure.
Computex Taipei 2013 - It's been a few years now but we tested a product from a company called PhotoFast with two SF-1200 controllers. KingFast is using that idea to get to the magic 1TB mark but this time with SATA III and LSI SandForce's SF-2281 controller.
The KF2510MCF03 packs two small 512GB SSDs inside standard 2.5" form factor, 9.5mm housing. A RAID controller couples the two internal drives together in RAID 0 and that's how KingFast managed to get past the SF-2281 density limitation.
KingFast also had a few other products on display at the show including their SLC model that also uses a LSI SandForce SF-2281 controller.
Computex Taipei 2013 - The storage market is growing rapidly and for good reason. Cloud storage is booming, but not just for consumers looking to keep family photos in two or more secure locations. QNAP had two demos and more than one product in the racks are unannounced as of this time.
The first rack we looked at was titled Scale-up. In this picture we can see a 20-bay 2.5-inch form-factor model that has us quite excited. Several products in this rack connect to a central NAS via expanders. It's a good way to increase density while working with a smaller budget.
With the Scale-out option, you're increasing density through full NAS products. This increases both drive count and increases compute power at the same time.
We have a few QNAP rackmount systems in our lab and appreciate their versatility. A NAS is no longer a NAS when the feature set is stacked as deep as it is in these products.
Computex Taipei 2013 - We have a few stories from QNAP in the works, but this one will affect the largest number of new buyers. Until now, the 10GbE Ethernet option was available only on larger NAS systems, platforms with eight or more drives.
In a bold and exciting move, QNAP has brought 10GbE to six-bay and four-bay models. The TS-670 Pro uses six drive bays and has the processing power to go with it.
We're starting to see 10GbE ship on workstation and server boards, mainly from on-board Intel X540 parts. Intel X540 add-in cards are available for less than $300 if you look around for good deals. The add-in cards allow you to add 10GbE capability to any system, including desktop computers.
We're using 10GbE in the office now and love the performance. Transferring files to and from the NAS with roughly a 10x increase over gigabit Ethernet not only reduces the wait time, but also increases the number of users who can comfortably connect to the NAS at the same time.
Computex Taipei 2013 - Intel has hacked together some Thunderbolt-powered thumb drives. These 128GB drives interface using Intel's still relatively unused Thunderbolt connection to boost theoretical transfer speeds above those that are possible using a traditional USB 3.0 or SATA 3 interface.
We doubt that the thumb drive will hit Thunderbolt's theoretical 10GB/s limit, but it should outperform SATA 3 6Gpbs. Interestingly, the hacked device makes use of a SanDisk SSD rather than an Intel SSD. It's not clear why they didn't make use of their own technology in the device.
While a Thunderbolt drive would be awesome, it's still quite expensive. It's cost-prohibitive to produce these devices until the cost for Thunderbolt comes down. The cost for Thunderbolt will likely only come down as adoption picks up. We're stuck in situation where one thing has to move first, but which will?
Computex 2013 Taipei - I wanted to bring you this story yesterday, but one of the images didn't turn out too well so I swallowed by pride and returned to the ADATA booth at Computex Nangang to do it right today.
Less than 24 hours ago we published a short news story about ADATA's new enterprise products, among them included another 1800MB/s part. This gumstick sized piece of engineering marvel (but not from Marvell) uses four PCIe 2.0 lanes just like the enterprise SX2000, but it uses the consumer m.2, known around these parts as NFGG interface.
Just like the enterprise part, this unit has the same bandwidth as the higher cost server model. In years past we've seen enterprise products come to market first but that isn't the case this time around. Several new Ultrabooks and at least one motherboard is ready for NGFF in some form or another today.
Computex Taipei 2013 - Just a few days ago we set a PCMark Vantage world record with an Areca ARC-1882-ix-16 and 16 Mushkin Chronos Deluxe drives in a BitFenix Prodigy system, you can read about that over here.
We can't help to imagine what might have been possible with a new 12Gb/s Areca controller. With a 12Gb/s expander, we could have the same performance for less cost.
The two top ports you see are part of the new SAS cable standard that shrinks the connector size. From these two ports, each with four 12Gb/s channels, we could go to what's called an expander. The expander would take a 12Gb/s channel and divide it by two, thus giving us performance equal to 16 6Gb/s channels.
Computex Taipei 2013 - The enterprise SSD market is a tough nut to crack, just ask OCZ. That doesn't mean others aren't seeing the same projections that show enterprise storage revenue on the rise. With the consumer PC market shrinking as mobile increases, some are looking at other areas of growth and enterprise is where the action is for the next few years.
Contrary to what was reported yesterday by The Preview Site, the new ADATA SX2000 is not a SAS 12Gb part; it uses a PCIe connector that looks similar to SAS. The interface isn't exactly new; Micron's P320h uses it and Dell has already shipped several 12 generation PowerEdge servers with the technology.