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RunCore is back in the limelight with an upgrade to their existing enterprise-grade SSDs - the Kylin II series. Where the Kylin II originally came out using the SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) interface, RunCore is now bringing Kylin II to market with the much more popular SATA 6.0 Gbps interface and a second-gen SandForce controller.
The new 2.5-inch sized Kylin II drives have an MTBF of 2 million hours and come in either SLC (single level cell) or MLC (multi level cell) form. RunCore states that they are capable of 4KB random read/write performance of 45,000/60,000 IOPS, whilst they give sequential read and write rates of up to 540MB/sec and 500MB/sec, respectively.
The updated line of Kylin II series drives from RunCore include both MLC and SLC versions of the 50GB, 100GB, 200GB, 300GB, and 400GB models.
While their upright standing "QUickPort" range of HDD/SSD docking stations tend to be more popular, there is another similar type of docking station Sharkoon has on the market dubbed the "QuickDesk" which primarily differs in that the drives are inserted into it laying flat, as opposed to standing up.
In keeping with the times, a new version of the QuickDesk has just been launched today - the QuickDesk Pro complete with USB 3.0 connectivity and stacking feet.
Both 2.5 and 3.5-inch sized drives can be inserted horizontally into the front, open end of the QuickDesk Pro. For 2.5-inch sized drives, a rail fixed to the floor folds up to secure the drives in place. An ejection lever makes it simple to detach the drive from the QuickDesk.
Forget just wanting my two front teeth for Christmas, this puppy has just gone straight to the top. All I want for Christmas is OCZ's newly announced RevoDrive 3 Max IOPS solid state drive. This devil combines a proven cutting-edge PCI Express-based architecture and OCZ proprietary Virtualized Controller Architecture (VCA) 2.0 flash virtualization layer with premium NAND flash components that deliver exceptional 4KB random write performance of up to 245,000 IOPS, as well as increased transfer rates of 1900MB/sec reads and 1725MB/sec writes.
Daryl Lang, VP of Product Management for OCZ Technology Group says:
The new RevoDrive 3 Max IOPS solid state drives further expand on our original PCIe series, and are designed to deliver even more bandwidth for the most demanding applications. Engineered to leverage the benefits of multi-threaded processors and applications, the Max IOPS provides both the performance and features required by clients to address the most intensive workloads common in high performance computing and workstation environments.
Buffalo is now preparing shipments of its BDXL-format supporting "BRXL-PCW6U2-BK" external/portable Blu-ray writer.
The unit connects via USB 2.0 and includes support for both 3-layer (100GB) and 4-layer (128GB) BDXL discs. The drive runs measurements of 145 x 19 x 153 mm with a weight of 340 grams. It will ship with a couple built-in USB cables whereby one acts as the data path and the other for power.
As for write speeds, the drive can do up to 4x for BDXL media, 6x for BD-R (single- and dual-layer), 2x for BD-RE, 8x for DVD-R/+R/+RW, 6x for DVD-R DL/+R DL/-RW, 5x for DVD-RAM, 24x for CD-R and 16x for CD-RW.
Referring back to the recent acquisition of bigtime SSD controller maker SandForce by LSI, it looks like this was most probably a best case scenario being played out considering what could (and most likely would) have happened had LSI not swallowed them up.
It's been said that some of the other, much more aggressive, consumer focused mobs were really eyeing off SandForce as well; this including the likes of Intel, Micron, SanDisk, Seagate and Western Digital. A piece written by Fuad of Fudzilla gives good insight to the (much uglier) scenario that would have likely taken place had one of these other mobs snapped up SF.
If one of these big boys had picked up Sand Force, a possible scenario was to push out Sand Force partners and use the technology only for their own drives. LSI will let the other players have it and OCZ Technologies told us this in a brief talk we had with some of the managers.
Seagate currently have their GoFlex external drives using the 1TB platter technology, but they feature 5400 RPM and are not as fast as the usual 7200 RPM drives. But, with 7200 RPM drives, there's usually less GB per platter. Seagate don't want this, and neither do we.
Seagate will now intro a bunch of new drives sporting the 7200 RPM spindle rate, with 1TB platters on a SATA 6Gbps interface. The new drives will have a model number ending in M00x which represents the new drive and its 7200 RPM speed.
Tech wise, platter capacity plays quite a big role in just how much storage a hard drive can hold, but it can also impact performance. Areal density is key, which is a measurement of how many bits are squeezed into each square inch. The more bits per square inch, the more data passes under the drive head with each revolution of the platter.
QNAP Systems, Inc. have extended the number of compatible peripherals for their Network Attached Storage line up of products, the Turbo NAS range. They now include two external storage devices, two 3.5-inch hard drives, four IP cameras, and three third-party backup applications.
The Turbo NAS series models are now compatible with the Astone RD-230 Dual Bay and Tandberg Removable Cartridges (160 and 640GB) external hard drives and two models of Hitachi-branded 3.5-inch internal hard drives, Hitachi HUA723020ALA640 and HDS5C3030ALA630. On top of this, three new third-party backup applications from FarStone are now compatible with QNAP Turbo NAS models including Total Recovery Pro, Total Backup Recovery Advanced Server, and Total Backup Recovery Advanced Workstation.
IP camera options added to the compatibility list are: D-Link DCS-900(A) and DCS-900(B1/ B2), Panasonic BL-C111 and Vivotec IP 7330.
Jason Hsu, QNAP product manager says:
The QNAP development team works continuously to grow the range of peripheral compatibility and to ensure our users have flexible selections.
Intel has just released version 3.0 of its "SSD Toolbox" which sports an entirely new UI and rolls in a ton of new features.
The management and diagnostics of your Intel based SSD with this tool is now about as complete as could be with SMART status, Summary Drive Health and Estimated Life Remaining bars, used/unused capacity pie charts, diagnostics, system information summary and contextual help that integrates one-click same-page help pointers.
With SSDS typically having a limited rewrite cycle count (the amount of times data can be rewritten onto its NAND cells before it's game over and the SSD becomes a doorstep), while the cycle count equates to many, many years of use even for the all day every day user, it's still nice to have peace of mind about the rewrite cycle status.
For those of you who love your SSDs like me, you'll enjoy an interesting blog piece from Corsair. It's done by long time Corsair forum member Rafael Jaimes III, or by his forum name "Synbios". He sent Corsair some documentation of SSD life testing utilizing Corsair's Force F40-A SSDs.
The submission is quite long, so I won't go into it too much (and to avoid spoilers from the results), but it goes into a very lengthy discussion about the lifespan and the general users questions on how long it will be. Because SSDs are a very new technology when compared to the now ageing mechanical platter-based tech, the number of failures of SSDs are currently quite low. But because they haven't been around as long as their competition, its hard to get a handle on what type of return rate they have.
Kingston is starting to add a bunch more functionality to its flash drive lineups via the use of a new app it's now polished off.
Several of Kingston's DataTraveler models are now being pre-loaded with the new app called "urDrive", which provides security features, easier file management, multimedia functions and even a simple web browser that provides "kid-safe" browsing.
In its entirety, urDrive gives quick and easy access to a photo viewer, MP3 player,a PC Checkup tool from Norton to keep virus infections and performance issues at bay, a Maxthon 3 web browser, cloud-based backup service which includes super easy file sync'ing and the "Fooz kids" web browser. There's also a service that throws some entertainment into the mix, allowing access to the latest mini-game titles from EA Games and PopCop Games.