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Late last week GIGABYTE invited us to the fancy Miramar Garden hotel in Taipei where they were setup to shoot their own promo videos of its forthcoming Intel Z68 based motherboards launch.
We went along to check them out and snap some photos for our preview of the Z68 UD3H and UD7. Inside the hotel suite GIGABYTE had two identical systems setup with the Z68 UD7 platform with the only difference being that one was configured with an SSD using Intel's new Smart Response caching technology and the other just with a standard hard drive configuration.
What is Intel Smart Response Technology? In short since we can't go into extensive detail here, it is in my opinion a way of gaining some of the benefits of an SSD without blowing your bank account or having to settle for limited storage space. The idea is that you can pick up an affordable 20GB SSD, put it in a RAID array with your large spinning hard drive and regular data that is most often accessed is cached on the SSD for quicker access.
It's not like you will see the full benefits of going out and picking up say a high-performance 200GB+ SSD and running your complete OS and programs on it, but in the video above, you can see there are some gains to be had and at what should turn out to be a reasonable cost of entry.
OWC Announces Mercury Aura Pro Express 480GB As Industry's Largest Capacity High Performance Solid State Drive For 2010 Apple MacBook Air
For those not impressed with the stock options of Apple's MacBook Air SSD upgrades, look no further than this news post. OWC have just announced an SSD drive upgrade to 11.1-inch and 13.3-inch models in four sizes, 180GB, 240GB, 360GB and finally, 480GB. The drives use SandForce controllers and are up to 3.5 times faster in 4K random read/writes than Apple's factory options.
With the release of the 480GB model, this continues OWC's position as the only aftermarket SSD manufacturer for the 2010-based Apple MacBook Air. The OWC Mercury Aura Pro Express has a peak data rate of 275MB/sec which is a 68-percent increase over the factory-installed SSD's. Another benefit of the OWC drives is they don't slow down with use like ordinary SSDs. Over time traditional SSDs experience significant write speed degradation over repeated usage. The OWC Mercury Aura Pro Express SSD's ultra-efficient Block Management and Wear Levelling technologies are able to eliminate virtually any reduction in data transfer speeds over heavy long term usage of the drive and without dependency on less than effective OS TRIM management.
Deal of the Day: 2TB Hitachi Deskstar 5K3000 HDS5C3020ALA632 (0F12117) 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive for $64.99 after Rebate with FREE Shipping!
Our Deal of the Day today is the Newegg - 2TB Hitachi Deskstar 5K3000 HDS5C3020ALA632 (0F12117) 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive for $64.99 after Rebate with FREE Shipping!.
Offer: Use coupon code: EMCKFHB25 for an additional $5 off this 2TB Hitachi SATA 6.0Gb/s internal hard drive with 3 year warranty, taking the price down to just $64.99 after $10 mail in rebate. The deal expires TONIGHT, 5/4/11, but the rebate expires 5/15/11.
Seagate today have unveiled the world's first 3.5-inch hard drive that features 1TB of storage capacity per disk platter - shattering the 1TB areal density battier to help meet explosive worldwide demand for digital content storage at both the home and office.
Seagate's own GoFlex Desk products will be the first to feature the new 1TB per platter technology with capacities of up to 3TB and an areal density of 625 Gigabits per square inch - the industry's highest. Seagate is looking to release a 3.5-inch Barracuda desktop hard drive with 3TB split across 3 platters in mid-2011, there will also be 2TB, 1.5TB and 1TB flavors.
Apple has been at this for a while but things are finally starting to materialize for their cloud-based solutions for iOS and Mac users. Included in these plans are a revamped MobileMe and an iTunes-based "digital locker", sans the naked, old men and filled with more digital-ness. The new rumor is that it will be powered by a huge data center in Maiden, North Carolina and dubbed "iCloud".
According to GigaOm, a Swedish-based company called Xcerion had until just recently been using the domain iCloud.com to run a cloud-based storage service of the same name. Xcerion has just rebranded the service "CloudMe, and a source for GigaOm claimed that the domain name for iCloud.com has been sold to Apple for a tidy sum of $4.5 million
OCZ unveils VeloDrive PCI-Express-based SSD drives for SMB's, Enterprise Clients and System Integrators
OCZ have today unveiled the VeloDrive PCI-Express SSDs which are designed to meet the needs of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), enterprise clients and system integrators. The OCZ VeloDrive optimizes high-performance computing and storage applications, which provides "unparalleled versatility and simplified integration".
Daryl Lang, VIP of Product Management of OCZ Technology Group says:
The VeloDrive is the latest addition to our comprehensive lineup of PCIe SSDs. A truly configurable solution, it helps a range of customers accelerate their application performance. he ability to run the VeloDrive in multiple modes provides clients with the freedom to use the raid stack of their choice. This maximizes performance and creates faster, more seamless deployments with RAID stacks that may already have been qualified for their unique usage model.
Some juicy information has just landed in the laps of the sexy boys and girls of TweakTown, the information is in the form of Intel's upcoming Z68 Express motherboards. ASRock have an upcoming Z68 Extreme 4 motherboard out and someone has found a nice little PDF file with info, check out the pic below:
The picture shows what a system is capable of if using one of these Z68-based boards with an Intel 20GB Larsen Creek solid state drive with the additional herbs that Intel sprinkle on in the form of Intel's SSD caching technology which (as the picture above shows) provides a huge performance increase for a much lower price than a standalone SSD drive. More details should be provided soon, but as this is only a leak, details are scarce.
We all love the idea of using an SSD to replace our hard drives but there are just situations where it's just too expensive, like say in a server. Let's imagine that we can speed up our servers and make our hard drives seem as fast as if we'd replace them all with SSDs. Let's take a look at a hybrid array of HDDs and SSDs specifically the demo we saw put on by Adaptec MaxIQ at IDF Beijing 2011.
The increased speed and performance are achieved by automatic storage acceleration, which is facilitated using MaxIQ SSD Caching. The storage controller is in a unique position to monitor storage traffic and make decisions regarding "hot" data areas that can be copied to SSDs, automatically and dramatically increasing the speed of any system. Analysis of traffic patterns is made and copies frequently-read "hot" data are made to the SSD cache pool. This automatically increases performance without adding any management issues. The data in the SSD cache pool is simply a copy of the hot data residing on the HDD, eliminating many of the data migration concerns that get involved in placement algorithms.
This is the basic overview of what is explained in depth by Neil Cameron field engineer at Adaptec PMC, it's a very interesting interview in which I felt I learned a lot... and trust me when I say that SSD caching isn't usually something that I would cover, unless it was REALLY interesting!!
It has been confirmed - Samsung are set to combine their Hard Disk Drive Operations with Seagate. Samsung set to receive significant equity ownership in Seagate while extending and enhancing the existing cross-license agreement between both companies. Included is a NAND flash memory supply agreement in which Samsung will provide Seagate with market-leading semiconductor products for use in Seagate's enterprise solid state drives, solid state hybrid drives and other products.
A disk drive supply agreement under which Seagate will supply disk drives to Samsung for PCs, notebooks and consumer electronics. Expanded cooperation between both companies to co-develop enterprise storage solutions. Finally, a shareholder agreement in which an executive from Samsung will be nominated to join Seagate's Board of Directors.
The combined value of the above transactions, agreements and love is worth approximately $1.375 billion USD which will be paid by Seagate to Samsung in teh form of 50-percent stock and 50-percent cash.
Samsung is looking to sell its money-losing hard disk drive business to raise cash to invest in new growth areas - yes, Samsung are looking to close up their HDD business and sell up shop. Samsung is looking to sell the unit for $1.5 billion and may consider deals under $1 billion.
A potential buyer of the business? Seagate. There's not much else known about this yet - but I'm sure we'll find out soon enough.