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OCZ has today branched out its Z-Drive family of PCI Express based SSDs with its next-generation series in the Z-Drive R4, giving astonishing performance figures with up to 2,800MB/sec speeds on tap.
Making use of the Virtualized Controller Architecture (VCA), the Z-Drive R4 uses either four or eight SandForce controllers as well as a proprietory SuperScale Storage controller from OCZ. The models using four SandForce chips are half height, while the SandForcex8 powered drives are full height cards.
The Z-Drive R4 series use the PCI-E x8 interface and have TRIM/SCSI Unmap support, 128-bit & 256-bit AES encryption, using MLC (multi-level cell) NAND Flash memory chips. OCZ quotes IOPS of up to a whopping 500,000 in ideal conditions, with random 4k write performance topping out at around 410,000 IOPS.
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Buffalo has expanded its LinkStation family of NAS devices this week with a new 2TB dual-drive unit. Using 2.5-inch sized drives (2x1TB) running in RAID 0 out of the box, measurements are kept down to just 40 x 82 x 135 mm.
The LS-WSX2.0TL/R1 has a Gigabit ethernet port as well as USB 2.0 connectivity for adding additional storage. It can be set up as a DLNA server, an iTunes server as well as being able to take care of bittorent downloads and auto data backup functions.
Silverstone has outed a new accessory for storage devices today which is essentially a stripped down type of external storage enclosure, part aluminum part plastic, that makes for easy switching between HDDs on your desktop.
The SD01 external hard drive pad, as SilverStone call it, can take both 2.5 and 3.5" sized drives using either the SATA or SAS 3/6Gbps interface. Dimensions of the pad come in at 195 (L) x 121.5 (W) x 31.5 (H) mm with a weight of just 180g.
Despite the fact that the SSD market is clearly ruling these days when it comes to wanting the ultimate in storage performance, WD still sees fit that there's room for a couple updated models in its once dominant VelociRapter series of mechanical disk drives.
There are updated versions of both the 150GB and 300GB models coming that use the SATA 6.0Gbps interface and like previous iterations, will be a 2.5" base drive housed in a 3.5-inch mounting/heatsink frame.
The new drives, dubbed the WD1500HLHX and WD3000HLHX will continue to run at 10,000RPM with 32MB of cache onboard, 3ms latency and read rates of up to 126MB/sec. WD backs them by a 5 year warranty and they have an MTBF of 1.4 million hours.
So far they have been spotted up for preorder in Europe at 109 Euro for the 150GB model and 132.41 Euro for the 300GB.
So, I just got off the phone with the folks at Kingston who had some very interesting news to share about their first HyperX SSD.
They recently took delivery of the latest SandForce firmware and after some tinkering around on their drive they managed to boost performance even further over the originally claimed numbers. The drives are already packed up and ready to ship this week and they will come with the old firmware that provides the SSD with a 525MB/s read and 480MB/s write.
The new firmware which will be on the Kingston website soon for download improves things even more and gives the HyperX SSD a read speed of 555MB/s and a write speed of 510MB/s. This makes it a smidgen faster than the best 2.5-inch SATA III drive from OCZ and others who have drives that operate at 550MB/s.
Our storage guru Chris has a drive on the way and of course he will update to the latest firmware for his testing. Once he does, he could well be testing the fastest 2.5-inch SATA III SDD on the planet.
UPDATE - Okay, so there was some confusion yesterday. It turns out all drives will operate at the new speeds of 555 / 510, it just might be the case that some retail boxes may have the older speeds printed.
Patriot has today announced the Supersonic Xpress USB 3.0 flash drive that is meant to combine portability and a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface for maximum performance at an affordable price. The Patriot Supersonic Xpress USB 3.0 flash drive sports a stylish cap-less design that hides the USB 3.0 connector when it's not in use, all that is required is to push the drive like a pen which then reveals the connector.
Patriot Memory's Flash Product Manager, William Lai talks about the Supersonic Xpress USB 3.0 flash drive:
We reached the perfect balance of performance and portability with the Patriot Supersonic Xpress USB 3.0 flash drive. The cap-less design lets users carry the drive with them while never having to worry about losing the cap. The USB 3.0 interface enables maximum performance when connected via USB 3.0 as well as backwards compatibility via USB 2.0.
The Supersonic Xpress USB 3.0 flash drive packs a 2-channel memory controller capable of delivering read/write speeds of 60MB/sec and 25MB/sec on the 32GB flavor, whilst the 8GB and 16GB variants will achieve 50MB/sec and 20MB/sec for read/write speeds respectively. The availability of the Supersonic Xpress USB 3.0 flash drives should be later this month and are backed by a 2-year warranty.
Patriot Memory is readying up another series of consumer level 2.5" SSDs with its new Pyro lineup. These are SandForce SF-2281 controlled SATA III 6.0Gbps drives, utilizing MLC NAND Flash.
Patriot gives impressive sequential read and write rates of up to 550MB/sec and 520MB/sec on the 120 and 240MB models, and up to 515MB/sec read / 490MB/sec write speeds on the 60GB model. As for IOPS rates, the 120 and 240GB models offer 85,000 4k random write performance, while the 60GB one offers 80,000.
Patriot backs the new Pyro series by a three year warranty and they should hit shelves anytime soon> pricing has not yet been disclosed.
WD have announce it has started volume shipments of its new WD Scorpio Blue 9.5mm 2.5-inch 1TB HDD which is designed for mainstream notebooks. The new WD Scorpio Blue 1TB drive sports 500GB per-platter areal density and now that it's available in the industry-standard 9.5mm, two-platter form factor, it will fit most mainstream notebooks. The WD Scorpio Blue 1TB mobile hard drive also achieves better power and performance which makes it the ideal solution for notebook computers and other portable devices that require extended battery life and cool, ultra quiet operation.
Matt Rutledge, vice president and general manager of Client Storage for WD says:
With the release of the 1 TB WD Scorpio Blue notebook drive in a 9.5 mm package, WD is able to offer the greatest storage capacity available for use in portable computing environments. Mobile users no longer need to choose maximum capacity over thin and light, WD is ready with storage options, achieved without compromise to performance and reliability, that prove ideal for mobile digital devices of all kinds including PC and Mac notebook computers; external storage; and digital media players.
Following its official launch back in March, Seagate's new Pulsar XT.2 enterprise SSD family is finally starting to hit distribution channels primarily for the enterprise market looking to go faster with more reliability and security.
These 2.5" form factor SSDs come in capacities of up to 400GB, using SLC (single-level cell) NAND flash memory along with a SAS 6Gbps interface. Read and write rates are up to 360MB/sec and 300MB/sec, respectively, with random read and write performance of up to 48,000 / 22,000 IOPS.