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Intel has decided that AES encryption feature of the 520 Series SSD (Cherryville) does not actually feature 256-bit encryption. It turns out that the SSD actually only supports 128-bit encryption, which should be plenty for most users. These details have come to light after Intel published an updated specification document for the series.
Intel is doing the right thing and offering a refund for users who feel 128-bit isn't enough:
Intel stands behind its products and is committed to product quality, and is working to bring AES 256-bit encryption to future products. If, however, our customers are not satisfied with the 128-bit encryption in an Intel 520 Series SSD purchased before July 1, 2012, they can contact Intel customer support prior to October 1, 2012 to return their product and Intel is offering to provide a full refund of the purchase price. For further information or questions about this specification change, consumers should contact Intel Customer Support.
Intel asserts that 128-bit is enough for most consumers, and I have to agree. The bit number refers to the length of the key and 128-bit keys are pretty hard to crack. The longer the key, the longer it takes to crack due to a larger keyspace. 256-bit is only really needed for military and super secret applications. But then again, if you aren't careful with the password, a huge key doesn't matter.
Computex 2012 - Just moments ago, we brought you the world exclusive first looks of 19nm Toshiba Toggle Flash and 20nm IMFT ONFi2 Flash paired with the SandForce SF-2281 controller. The testing circumstances were not the best but good enough for a first look.
Now we're running at the new Biwin NuvoDrive NX based on NovaChips upcoming Bugatti controller. At Computex the case was sealed up so we don't know what flash this drive is paired with but we do know once again C-States were turned on and the driver used on the systems was the baseline Microsoft default.
Today we're looking at the 320GB drive but due to the system setup (X79, MS driver and C-States) we can't compare these numbers to anything...
Computex 2012 - Just moments ago we brought you the world exclusive first numbers of a SandForce SF-2281 controller paired with Toshiba's upcoming 19nm Toggle Mode flash. The system we tested on was provided by LSI and was NOT our normal test system optimized for solid state drive performance. We now have a little something to compare the 19nm test with and it is yet another world exclusive!
SandForce had three drives at their suite of interest to us. The first being the 256GB 19nm Toshiba Toggle Mode product and the other two are 128GB IMFT drives. One drive equipped with 20nm Intel ONFi2 flash and the other with Micron 20nm ONFi2 flash. We've learning that IMFT is a little behind Toshiba in the development of their next generation flash and right now the focus is on ramping up endurance. The performance improvements will come after the endurance is increased.
We're just going to run over the numbers with brief commentary. At the end we'll talk about what we're seeing.
Computex 2012 - Computex is starting to wrap up and we only have one day left to run the halls. So far I've only visited half of the companies I planned to, but all is not lost as we made a few changes to the schedule to bring you some really nice exclusive coverage.
The first of our exclusive coverage comes from SandForce and what makes this particular SF-2281 controlled drive special is it's paired with Toshiba's upcoming 19nm Toggle Mode flash!
We're just going to run over the numbers with brief commentary. At the end we'll talk about what we're seeing...
Computex 2012 - Today was our last day on the Computex 2012 show floor as tomorrow is public day and it just gets way too crowded, bur our sore legs can only take us so far at this stage of the week.
We stopped by the HighPoint booth where the obvious push for the storage company was with new Thunderbolt based products. The one product which caught my eye was the RocketStor 5212 which is a dual SATA 6G dock which of course features the speedy new Thunderbolt interface which is making its way on to new Intel Z77 Express based motherboards around this time.
The RocketStor 5212 supports both 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch hard drives and solid state drives. The docket is rather light in weight and features a glossy white plastic that looks quite nice. We don't have any details on pricing or availability yet, but are looking forward to getting a unit in for review sometime a little later this year.
Computex 2012 - A blink and you'll miss it NAS was in the Synology booth in the halls of Nangang yesterday, where we spotted Synology's DS411slim. The Synology DS411slim is a 4-bay, 2.5-inch HDD based network attached storage (NAS) device.
The DS411slim can take 4 x 2.5-inch drives, and provide you with a great performing NAS that is tight on both physical space and power consumption. It sports a single-core 1.6GHz processor, 256MB of RAM, Gigabit Ethernet, 2 x USB 2.0 ports, and a single eSATA port. All of this weighs in at less than 0.66kg, yes, under 1kg! It's not noisy, either, with a rated noise level of just 21.1dBA.
Computex 2012 - We nearly walked past this, but then saw it just in time and boy does it look good. Promise's Pegasus J4 is a Thunderbolt-based storage solution on the smaller side of the scale. It sports 4 bays for 2.5-inch drives, supporting both HDDs and SSDs.
It features 2 x Thunderbolt ports that can deliver speeds of up to 600MB/sec. The Pegasus J4 supports RAID0, RAID1 and JBOD. One of its outstanding features is the ability to daisy chain up with other Pegasus devices, where you can link up 6 of these beasts for up to 24TB of storage. I'll take 6, thanks.
Computex 2012 - Biwin is also making news in the 2.5" form factor market with the new NuvoDrive NX SSD. This drive uses the fresh Novachips NVS3600A controller, AKA Bugati. Hopefully the Biwin NovaDrive has Bugatti performance and not a Bugatti price!
This is an enterprise targeted product so all bets are off on the price. The designer of the controller has a history of producing solid SSD controllers, we can thank him for a large part of the Indilinx Barefoot design.
The performance looks really good, at least with the benchmarks provided by Biwin. We've very excited to benchmark this drive in the coming weeks... or maybe hours.
Computex 2012 - Biwin, the Chinese SSD manufacturer with their sights set on the US market today unveiled a new PCI Express 8-lane product. The new PCIe card using a LSI 1064E controller but there are two significant downsides. The first is the PCIe interface is PCIe 1.0 and the second is the flash is asynchronous. A SLC model is in the works though but the cost of ownership will be significantly higher we expect.
The card was under glass so we didn't get a very good shot of it but we promise to have some more data to share tomorrow.
On the screen, Biwin had an ATTO run to display. The numbers look very good but we expect more from the SLC model.
Computex 2012 - Today we met with KingSpec and had some hands on time with their new PCI Express product that has up very excited.
The new card is designed for the entry level enterprise market but with the low price of around 3,500 USD (2TB, projected price) we see this product making it's way to the high end workstation market as well.
We now have a bit more info on the card. At first we thought only one side of the card was populated but as you see in this image, both sides hold mSATA ports for a total of eight. The performance should be amazing and we are quite excited to have one on the way. For our review we'll test the new card in our standard consumer / workstation tests and then ship it over to Paul for a round of enterprise tests.
KingSpec also manufactures 2.5" form factor SSDs. Here we see a standard 9.5mm model and a new updated 7mm model.
We have products in bound from KingSpec and lining up KingSpec with some contacts that might be able to bring the brand to the US market.