Thursday, August 25, 2011

Breaking News : Fallen Apple: Steve Jobs resigns

The tech community tonight experienced its version of an earthquake.
Steve Jobs has resigned as chief executive officer of Apple (AAPL). The company has promoted chief operating officer Tim Cook to the position of CEO and said that Cook will join the company's board of directors. Jobs will become Apple's chairman.
Here is a copy of Jobs' resignation letter:
To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community:
I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple''s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.
I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.
As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.
I believe Apple''s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.
I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.
Apple board member Art Levinson, chairman of Genentech, issued the following statement on behalf of the Apple board:
"Steve's extraordinary vision and leadership saved Apple and guided it to its position as the world's most innovative and valuable technology company. Steve has made countless contributions to Apple's success, and he has attracted and inspired Apple's immensely creative employees and world class executive team. In his new role as Chairman of the Board, Steve will continue to serve Apple with his unique insights, creativity and inspiration."
We have no additional details yet on why Jobs is leaving, although the spot assumption is that it's related to the pancreatic cancer for which he received a liver transplant in 2009 (during which time Cook was in charge). The fact that Jobs is taking over as board chairman, rather than resigning that seat too, would seem to indicate that his condition isn't imminently debilitating -- but there also is a strong possibility that the chairmanship is more symbolic than operational.
Apple shares today traded up $2.58 to close at $376.18 per share. As of 6:53pm, it already had lost $22.18 per share, or 5.9% of its value.
In 2008, Fortune took a close look at Jobs' successor Tim Cook, 'The genius behind Steve.'
The most influential promoter of Steve Jobs' indispensability, of course, is Steve Jobs. But another person who is very much with that program is the one executive who has actually filled in for Jobs as CEO. That would be Tim Cook, Apple's chief operating officer and its interim chief executive for two months in 2004, when Jobs was recovering from cancer surgery.

Icy News:Acronis True Image Home 2012

"Acronis Inc. is launching Acronis True Image Home 2012, the latest version of its consumer software.

Acronis combines online backup, local backup and file synchronization in one product, not only protecting home PCs but also giving home users access to their digital lives, wherever they are, whenever they want. 

Acronis True Image Home 2012 brings together Acronis' disk imaging backup and recovery technology with file synchronization. The software allows home users to sync their files no matter where they are stored - PC, USBs, NAS, as well as in the cloud via Acronis True Image Online. If a change is made in one location, it is automatically updated in others, meaning home users can access their most up-to-date data anywhere, any time. Consumers can also share data securely with their family and friends.

Until now, file synchronization technology has been found in dedicated file sync products but not in disk imaging backup products, which is used to capture an entire PC, including the operating system, applications and files for fast and reliable recovery. Acronis True Image Home 2012 offers all these technologies in one easy-to-use solution.

The file sync is as simple as setting up a folder (akin to My Documents) and placing data in that folder. The information is automatically transferred and available between the different locations that the user wants to access. Home users can also choose to sync their data securely with family and friends with Acronis True Image Home 2012 installed on their PCs and laptops. Synchronization is easy via a home network or over the internet.

"Since 2002, we've been trusted by home users worldwide to protect their most valuable information. We've built a strong user base that provides us with excellent feedback to further enhance our products," explains Jason Donahue, CEO of Acronis. "With the new version, we've thought beyond traditional backup features, to really give people an easier computing experience. People have spent years saving their files to flash drives or emailing themselves the latest version of their documents and it's messy and ineffective. Our latest developments will enable home users to take that extra leap, from hoping you have the latest version, to knowing that you do."

"The product is very simple to install, very fast, responsive and is really easy to use," said beta tester Phil Coats. "I found that the 'Get Started Tutorials' were easy to understand. Logging also gets a big thumbs up."

Other new or improved features
in the product include:
New: Extended support large disks (2TB+)
Improved: Acronis Nonstop Backup  now compatible with NAS, plus better optimized network load
Improved: Enhanced NAS support
Improved: Enhanced GUI
Pricing and availability
Acronis True Image Home 2012 is available through select retailers and online. Recommended retail price is €49.95. The Acronis True Image Home 2012 Plus Pack add-on is availableonline and through retailers for €29.95. It enables users to restore the backed up image to dissimilar hardware, regardless of make, model or installed components.

Licensing is one perpetual license per machine. Each computer to be synchronized requires a license. Acronis True Image Online license covers up to 5 PCs."" -via

Acronis back up software is a great tool to keep your computer safe and secure. Using this software you can backup your entire computer to your Icy Dock hard drive enclosure. The new software adds some new features and improves on an awesome product. Let us know what software you use to back up your computer to your Icy Dock hard drive enclosure

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Icy News: Microsoft Throws Support Behind USB 3.0 With Windows 8

"Microsoft is incorporating a software stack in its upcoming Windows 8 OS to natively support devices based on the USB 3.0 interconnect, which is in a battle for adoption with Intel's Thunderbolt.
USB 3.0 is the successor to USB 2.0 standard and can transfer data 10 times faster between computers and external peripherals such as cameras and storage devices. Most laptops and desktops today come with USB 2.0 ports and many PC makers are offering USB 3.0 ports as an option. The current Windows 7 OS does not include native support for USB 3.0, but device makers offer drivers to ensure products are compatible with the OS.
The growing support for USB 3.0 and wide usage of USB 2.0 was a compelling reason to improve the USB software stack, said Dennis Flanagan, Microsoft's director of program management for the devices and networking group, in an entry on the company's Building Windows 8 blog.
"By 2015, all new PCs are expected to offer USB 3.0 ports, and over 2 billion new 'SuperSpeed' USB devices will be sold in that year alone," Flanagan wrote.
Microsoft is writing a new software stack and controller for Windows 8 based on the "design principles" of USB 3.0, which will bring plug-and-play support for new devices such as external storage, webcams and keyboards, Flanagan wrote. The company is retaining the existing software stack to support older USB devices.
But there are few USB 3.0 devices available today, so to create the new software stack the company had to simulate and build virtual USB 3.0 hardware, including ports, hubs and devices.
The hardware support for USB 3.0 is also growing. Intel has already said it will integrate USB 3.0 support in chipsets for processors code-named Ivy Bridge, which will reach PCs early next year. AMD has already integrated support for USB 3.0 in its Fusion chipsets, which are already shipping for PCs.
USB 3.0 transfers data at speeds of up to 5 gigabits per second, which is slower than the transfer speed of rival interconnect technology Thunderbolt. Developed by Intel, Thunderbolt can transfer data between host computers and external devices such as displays and storage at up to 10 gigabits per second. Thunderbolt has been viewed as an alternative to USB 3.0, but Intel has the said the technologies are complementary. Apple uses Thunderbolt in its products.
Thunderbolt currently supports the PCI Express and DisplayPort protocols, and the interconnect does not require any OS support beyond existing software stacks for those protocols, an Intel spokesman said in an e-mail.
But Microsoft's backing will aid the fast growth of USB 3.0 and provide higher transfer speeds for consumer devices, said Jim McGregor, research director at In-Stat.
"Thunderbolt will be one of many peripheral options available, just like IEEE1394 and Firewire, but I think USB will be the predominant interface because it is so heavily tied to the largest growth segment of the market, mobile devices, for both interconnectivity and power," McGregor said.
Thunderbolt is based on copper wires, but ultimately will be based on optical technology. That will boost the interconnect's transfer speed and distance, Intel has said.
"[USB 3.0] will still not be as fast as the Thunderbolt optic link, but copper never will be as fast as optics," McGregor said.
Wireless charging could trump both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt, provided it takes off, McGregor said. The transfer speeds may not be as fast, but device makers are showing interest in the technology, he said.
"It may eventually eliminate the need for peripheral connectors on mobile devices and then everyone will look to wireless interfaces," McGregor said.
Other than enthusiast users, drivers aren't something average PC users need to worry about, but native support for USB 3.0 in Windows 8 can't hurt, said Nathan Brookwood [CQ], principal analyst at Insight 64.
"When they are talking about the history of Windows 8, they are going to be talking about the user interface and ... touch," Brookwood said." - via

With Windows 8 supporting USB 3.0, will this boost sales on USB 3.0 devices? Will this native support push Intel's Thunderbolt interface to the side? Let us know what you think Windows 8 support for USB 3.0 will do in the device world. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Icy News: Seagate GoFlex Satellite Mobile HDD Supports Android

"Seagate Technology LLC unveiled a new app for Android operated mobile devices that will provide a wireless connection to 500GB of storage to stream up to 300 HD videos. 

Introduced in May of this year, GoFlex Satellite mobile wireless storage is a battery-powered external hard drive to wirelessly extend the storage capacity of any Wi-Fi enabled mobile device. 

Although previously compatible with Android tablets and phones by using the device's browser, the experience with GoFlex Satellite mobile wireless storage will now be enhanced through the connectivity and added features of the GoFlex Media App for Android.

Devices are wirelessly connected directly to the GoFlex Satellite drive by use of the free GoFlex Media App-available now on Android Market and iTunes for iOS devices-or a web browser. GoFlex Satellite mobile wireless storage is currently available worldwide for a manufacturer's suggested retail price of$199.99 USD..." - via Storage Newsletter

Seagate releasing an app for Android to use with their GoFlex Satellite to access their files is a pretty neat idea. However, is this too late? With the internet being as big as it is, is there is a need for this on android where YouTube and Netflix are available. Let us know what you think!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Icy News: Intel SSD 320 Firmware Update Published

"UPDATE 8/17/2011: Intel posted the firmware update two weeks early

In late July, we reported on an issue that affected all Intel SSD 320 models which under certain power conditions could render the drives inoperable. Called the "Bad Context 13x Error", this problem caused drives to show as 8MB in capacity and users would lose their ability to read or write from the SSD. Intel has now said that a firmware bug has been identified and updated software to fix this problem will be released in two weeks.
Users who aren't suffering from the problem are still strongly urged to update their SSDs. While regular backups are reccomended, Intel has come out and said that this firmware update will not cause a secure erase of the drive. Given the severity of the problem (not being able to read or write to the drive if affected) if you are a currentl Intel SSD 320 owner, keeping an eye on the firmware release should be a top priority.
SSDs showing symptoms of this problem report a capacity of 8MB and have the serial number field showing the message "BAD_CTX 0000013x"." - via Storage Review
If you are using Intel's 320 model, they have released an update for it to resolve the issue with the power that rendered drives inoperable. A good quick response by Intel as most likely their initial sales may have taken a hit from this. Now that this critical issue is fixed, will you have the confidence to purchase? Let us know!

Icy News: Corsair Adds 60GB and 90GB SSDs to Force 3 and Force GT Lines

"Corsair has added 60GB and 90GB capacities to their family of Force GT and Force 3 SSDs. The 90GB drives are the first SandForce SF-2200 SATA 6Gb/s SSDs to ship thus far. While they may be small in capacity, these SSDs still offer tremendous speeds, with the 60GB Force GT cranking out 555 MB/s reads.
In terms of specs the 60GB and 90GB Force 3 SSDs look nearly identical to the rest of the Force 3 drives, leveraging SandForce SF-2281 processors and 25nm asynchronous NAND to deliver 550 MB/s read speeds. The 90GB capacity offers and 500 MB/s writes and 85,000 IOPS, where the 60GB turns 490 MB/s writes and 60,000 IOPS.
On the Force GT (Force GT Review) side of the coin, the 60GB and 90GB also leverage SandForce SF-2281 processors, but this time with 25nm synchronous NAND. Both of the new capacities offer 555 MB/s reads; the 90GB drive posts 505MB/s write speeds and 85,000 IOPS, while the 60GB drive 495 MB/s writes and 80,000 IOPS.
The new SSD capacities help open new consumer markets that have been holding back on a SATA 6Gb/s SSD purchase due to budget constraints. The 60GB and 90GB drives are ideal in dual-drive scenarios where the speedy SSD houses the operating system and frequently used programs. All four of the new drives are available now with an MSRP of $159 for the Force Series 3 90GB and $199 for the Force Series GT 90GB." - via Storage Review
Now with the Corsair Force GT released, this is a great addition to the many other SATA III drives that are out there. The read and write speeds are also no slouch leaving almost no room for the SATA III maximum bandwidth. However, is the starting cost of $159 worth the speed? Will you purchase? If so, why? Let us know!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Icy News: Samsung's 6Gbps SSD gets a consumer label, October release date

“Many SSDs could easily blow away that legacy spinning drive in your notebook, but there's always room for a performance boost when it comes to tech. Announced last week, Samsung's 830-series SSD packs up to 512GB of storage, and full support for SATA's 6Gbps max throughput -- a 100 percent boost over Samsung's previous gen drive. There's only one problem with last week's version: it's only available to OEMs, leaving a DIY upgrade out of the question. Well, today Samsung announced consumer availability for the same drive, letting any Joe Bag O' PC Upgrades pick one up at retail come October. Drives will be available in 64, 128, 256, and 512GB capacities, with pricing details coming at the official launch this fall. Jump past the break for the full PR, should you care to read all about the drive's "precision engineered" brushed metal enclosure, with "deep black" highlights and a "stylish and chic exterior" -- exactly the features you should be looking for in an SSD.” 

SSDs are being improved on it seems like everyday. Samsung is no exception in the ever improving SSD world. With the improvement on SSDs it seems like they are always trying to make them look better. Samsung's new SSD has a dark brushed metal look. Let us know if it matters to you what your SSD looks like. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Icy News: Windows 8 prerelease launching in coming months

"Windows 8 is set to hit the prerelease stage over the coming months, according to a blog posted yesterday by Microsoft President Steven Sinofsky.

Though the term prerelease version is a bit vague, Sinofsky is likely referring to the beta of Windows 8 since he said that the company wants to "begin an open dialogue with those of you who will be trying out the prerelease version over the coming months."
Aiming the new blog series, "Building Windows 8," at customers, developers, and users in general, Sinofsky used the post to provide tidbits of information but not much detail yet as he acknowledged that "people express frustration over how little we've communicated so far about Windows 8."
Among other comments, Sinofsky said that "Windows 8 reimagines Windows," however he stressed that the company is committed to supporting Windows 8 on all existing Windows 7 PCs and hardware.
Though the initial blog, "Welcome to Building Windows 8," was short on specifics, Sinofsky promised to reveal more over the next few weeks.
"There is so much packed into Windows 8 and there are so many unique and important lenses through which to view Windows 8, and so we want to be sure to take the time to cover as many of these topics as possible, to build up a shared understanding of why we've taken Windows where we have," he wrote. "So in the next weeks we will just start talking specifics of features, since there is no obvious place to start given the varying perspectives. From fundamentals, to user interface, to hardware support, and more, if something is important to you, we promise we'll get to it in some form or another."
The B8 blog, as Sinofsky referred to it, will be updated on a regular basis as different people from Microsoft share the latest information on the development of the new OS.
"As a team we're all going to participate--many of us will author posts, and all of us will read and take note of your comments on this blog," Sinofsky wrote. "We'll participate in a constructive dialogue with you. We'll also make mistakes and admit it when we do. It is almost certain that something will hit a nerve, with the team or with the community, or both, in the blog posts or in the product, or both."
The new blog series comes at a time when rumors have been flying the past several months over when Windows 8 might debut." - via

Windows 8 is starting to be a very hot topic in the computer world with the release coming soon. With the new OS coming out what kind of changes would you like to see? Let us know what you think about the OS and if you will be getting the Beta version. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Icy News: 512GB Samsung SSD

"6Gb SATA, 20nm MLC, in volume production
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, announced today volume production of SSDs that support the Serial ATA Revision 3.0 interface with data transmissions at 6Gb/s. The new PM830 SSDs* are available at up to 512GB densities.

Samsung's new high-speed SSDs are suited for use in high-performance OEM notebooks and tablets. Sample production of the SATA 6Gb/s 512GB SSDs began in May, with volume production initiated earlier this month. The new drives are expected to replace SATA 3Gb/s-based SSDs by year-end.

"Samsung's new line up of advanced SSDs will raise the performance bar to the next level for ultra-slim notebooks and tablets and accelerate growth of the market for high-performance SSDs," said Wanhoon Hong, executive vice president, memory sales & marketing, Device Solutions, Samsung Electronics. "The industry is expected to quickly embrace SATA 6Gb/s-based SSDs, which also will help increase market interest in 256GB and higher densities significantly," he added.

The SATA 6Gb/s SSD shortens system boot-up time to about 10 seconds, while its high-performance allows users to download up to five DVD video files in less than a minute.

The 512GB SSD utilizes Samsung's  20nm class 32Gb MLC NAND memory chip incorporating the toggle DDR interface. A proprietary NAND controller facilitates performance levels that take advantage of the toggle DDR architecture and the SATA 6Gb/s interface. The new SSD doubles the performance of a SATA 3Gb/s drive, with sequential read speeds of 500 MB/s and sequential write speeds of 350MB/s.

The drive also features AES 256-bit encryption algorithm to protect personal or corporate data from unauthorized access.

Samsung's SATA 6Gb/s SSDs are available in 512GB, 256GB and 128GB densities. The new SSD line-up is targeted for use in premium OEM notebooks, and tablets.

According to market research firm IDC, the global outlook for client-side SSDs is expected to grow ten-fold from 11 million units in 2011 to 100 million units in 2015. Moreover, the use of NAND in 256GB SSDs is forecast to more than double from 19 percent of all NAND used in SSDs in 2011 to 42 percent in 2015. Further, demand for 512GB SSDs is expected to grow from a 0.3 percent portion in 2011 to eight percent in 2015, also underscoring the growing interest in higher density SSDs." - via

SSDs are now becoming the standard for data storage. Samsung is now making it a standard in the notebook and tablet market. Do you think that other companies will follow Samsung with their new target customer? Let us know what you think. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Icy News: SandForce First To Pair 24nm Toshiba NAND With Own Controllers

"At Flash Media Summit 2011, SandForce was the first to show off 24nm Toshiba MLC NAND working with their existing SATA 6.0Gb/s SF-2000 processor. As flash manufacturers continue to shrink existing NAND sizes, having compatibility means more options and ultimately lower prices for buyers.

Toshiba NAND is cropping up in quite a few SandForce SSDs lately, especially high performance models like the new OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G, OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS, and the Patriot Wildfire... all of which use their very fast 3xnm toggle NAND. Needless to say, expect to see more flash options in upcoming SandForce-powered drives, besides the current toggle, synchronous, and asynchronous options already the market." - via Storage Review
Toshiba going with the sandforce controller is interesting, will you be looking into this product by them? What's your reason for switching to a SSD? Let us know!

ICY TIP: Keep your cheap low capacity solid state drive alive with ICY DOCK Xpander Hybrid SSD Adapter

The performance gain of an SSD over a hard disk drive comes with an increased price and a decreased capacity. This can cause a problem for users that are on a budget who want a low cost or cheap way to upgrade their system. SSDs offer speed and performance far greater than any HDD, but the prices of SSDs are still very expensive especially higher capacity SSDs. When purchasing a higher capacity SSD for the first time or upgrading your current SSD you will pay big bucks. For example, a 128GB SSD would probably cost you about $200-$300 and a 256GB SSD nearly $500. Another down side of buying an expensive high capacity SSDs is after 6-12 months; you may find that the same capacity SSD are selling for less than 50% of the original price that you paid for. And if you already had a SSD, you’ll find that the SSD capacity has never been enough. Buying or upgrading a higher capacity SSD has never been cost efficient…until we developed the Xpander “Hybrid” SSD adapter.

The MB882HX-1SB SSD Xpander is the perfect solution for anyone who can’t afford an expensive SSD or someone already have an SSD that wants to expand their capacity without purchasing an expensive new SSD. The Xpander allows for a cheap, low cost upgrade with the performance boost that rivals the higher end SSDs. The Xpander combines the SSD with regular 3.5” SATA hard drive and automatically creates a “Hybrid” partition and a “Storage” partition. The hybrid partition capacity doubles the SSD capacity that has been used while maintaining similar transfer speed of the SSD. The unused capacity of the 3.5” hard drive goes to the storage partition. Install the OS, intensive software and games to the hybrid partition for highest performance, and other software, games, music and videos to the storage partition.

How it works:

The MB882HX-1SB doubles the SSD capacity while maintaining or increasing the transfer rate of the SSD by taking a spare 3.5" hard disk drive, creating a partition that is of equal size to the SSD, and then coupling the partition and the SSD into a “Hybrid partition” (RAID 0 configuration). The additional space that is left on the 3.5” hard drive after matching the SSD capacity is partitioned as “Storage partition” and can be used for extra storage. RAID 0, otherwise known as data striping, accesses and writes to the two drives in parallel, increasing the combined performance of the two drives because only half of the total amount of data is being written to each drive. The performance gain of a RAID 0 configuration with a solid state disk and hard disk drive can match the performance of the solid state disk alone, and in some cases, depending on the speed of the hard disk drive used, can approach speeds near the performance of the new generation solid state disks. The Xpander can even exceed the SSD in both Widows Boot and Shutdown. The result from real world testing can be found here:
Keep your cheap low capacity solid state drive alive with ICY DOCK Xpander Hybrid SSD Adapter
Read the full review:

The MB882HX-1SB SSD Xpander is a perfect solution for solving your low capacity SSD troubles. We all want the speed and performance of a SSD but may not want to spend a lot on expensive high capacity SSDs. The Xpander is perfect weather you are upgrading your current SSD or purchasing a SSD for the first time; the Xpander will save you money. Paired with any 3.5” SATA drive you can have a hybrid solution that will save money but still keep the performance of your SSD as well as the capacity of your 3.5” SATA hard drive. You can save money now while SSDs are still pricey and upgrade later to a higher capacity and faster SSD when the price per gigabyte comes down.
MB882HX-1SB 2.5” SATA SSD Xpander Hybrid Adapter

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Icy News: Addonics 5-Port Multiplier Connects via eSATA, USB 3.0

"Addonics Technologies has introduced its HPM-XU hardware port multiplier which can connect up to five SATA devices including hard drives to eSATA or USB 3.0. The device features hardware RAID support including RAID 5. The RAID configuration can be set using dip switches or the included software utility.
The device works in such a way that when five hard drives are connected, they appear as five separate drives. 
Operating system support includes all current versions of Windows and Mac OS X 10.4.x plus Linux kernel 2.4. The HPM-XU is available standalone for $99 or as part of the company's RAID Tower Mini for $245. The RAID Tower Mini features a compact design, two fans, a 180W power supply, and supports up to four hard drives." - via Storage Review
Given this new hardware with both eSATA and USB 3.0, Addonics makes a great refresh to USB 3.0 while keeping eSATA with RAID support. Would you upgrade your current system to add this piece of hardware or wait? Let us know what your thoughts are!

Icy News: Hitachi GST Opts for MLC for New Enterprise 6Gb SAS SSDs

"Until recently, conventional wisdom stated that SLC-based SSDs were the only drives suitable for demanding Tier 0 enterprise applications. That has changed with the introduction of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies' (Hitachi GST) newUltrastar SSD400M MLC SSD family. 

As a cost-effective alternative to SLC SSDs, Hitachi GST's enterprise MLC SSDs utilizes Intel's 25nm, highest endurance enterprise-grade, MLC NAND Flash and delivering performance. The result is an enterprise-class MLC SSD that meets the performance, capacity, endurance and reliability demands of today's enterprise and cloud data centers. Targeting enterprise capacity sweet spots, the Ultrastar SSD400M family is available in a 2.5-inch form factor with a 6Gb SAS interface in capacities of 200GB and 400GB.

Not all enterprise MLCs SSDs are created equal. Benefiting from 25nm enterprise-grade MLC NAND Flash combined with endurance-optimized controller technology, the Ultrastar SSD400M 400GB delivers write endurance with 7.3PB lifetime random writes, or 10 full drive writes per day for five years, which satisfies the endurance requirements of most enterprise applications. Hitachi's MLC SSDs also include all of the enterprise features found in the company's Ultrastar SLC SSD family, including end-to-end data protection, error correction and error handling, resulting in the high level of reliability that is critical in enterprise systems." - via Storage Newsletter

Given the change in what cell memory Hitachi is using, this is a surprising step. given the nature of MLC vs SLC wear long term. Since it is known that MLC are less costly, perhaps this is the reason for the change. Now, the important part will be how the controller will handle the read and write without the issues that were seen early with MLC SSDs. Let us know what you think about this!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Icy News: New Standard for Embedded SSDs

"µSSD specs eliminate connector for integration in embedded devices.
The Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO), the consortium dedicated to sustaining the quality, integrity and dissemination of SATA technology, announced a new standard for embedded SSDs.

The SATA µSSD specification eliminates the module connector from the traditional SATA Interface, enabling developers to produce a single-chip SATA implementation for embedded storage applications.

The µSSD standard offers a high-performance, low-cost, embedded storage solution for mobile computing platforms like ultra-thin laptops. The specification defines a new electrical pin-out that allows SATA to be delivered using a single ball grid array (BGA) package. The BGA package sits directly on the motherboard, supporting the SATA interface without a connecting module. By eliminating the connector the µSSD standard enables the physically smallest SATA implementation to date, making it a solution for embedding storage in small form factor devices.

"As tablets and other small computing devices continue to proliferate in the market, the need for scalable small form factor storage solutions rises exponentially," said Mladen Luksic, SATA-IO president. "µSSD provides a new way to leverage the speed, reliability, and low power requirements of SATA technology in these types of products to enable powerful new computing platforms."

SATA-IO is also developing interoperability tests for µSSD products that will help ensure devices based on the µSSD standard will be compatible with other µSSD-based products. Products based on the µSSD specification are already available from SanDisk Corporation. Samsung and Toshiba have also expressed support for the standard.

The µSSD specification was developed as part of SATA-IO's continued mission to provide low-cost, high performance storage solutions optimized for a variety of device segments. Since its introduction in 2001, SATA technology has evolved to enable storage options for a number of applications beyond traditional hard disk PC storage. SATA is now implemented in applications including solid state and optical drives, embedded mobile devices, consumer electronics products and enterprise storage.

SATA specifications are available for members to download at no cost. Non-members may purchase the specification for a nominal fee.

Industry Support for µSSD
Flash industry leaders are supportive of the µSSD initiative. SanDisk currently utilizes the new specification in its iSSD integrated storage device, the world's smallest, fastest 128GB (SATA 6 G/bs) SSD, and other companies are making plans to follow suit.

"The SATA µSSD standard is a significant industry achievement that brings high-performance SSD storage in a BGA form factor," said Kevin Conley, senior vice president, client storage solutions, SanDisk. "This is enabling OEM designs of new super-thin Ultrabooks and tablets with high SATA performance."

"The µSSD specification will enable embedded storage applications to give designers greater design flexibility," said Scott Nelson, VP Memory Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. "Toshiba is pleased to support the development of this specification, which will help enable the continued evolution of thinner and smaller personal computing devices."" via -

It seems like everyday they are making advances in SSD technology and today being no different. With this advance in embedded SSDs do you think that we will start seeing more of this technology? Let us know what you think and what products will see the real benefits of this technology. 

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Icy News: Can Seagate's Thin Hard Drive Stave Off Threat of SSDs?

"This is a Press Release edited by on Tue, August 9th, 2011
A report from IHS iSuppli
Seagate Technology LLC's introduction of a super-slim HDD could help the HDD industry stave off the incursion of SSDs in the notebook PCs and media tablet markets, according to data from the IHS iSuppli Memory and Storage Service from information and analysis provider IHS.

"Although shipments of SSDs for notebooks will be miniscule compared to HDDs during the next few years, the solid state drives are shaving off points of market share that are critical to maintaining the growth of the hard drive business," said Fang Zhang, analyst, storage systems, for IHS. "Furthermore, SSDs are universally employed in media tablets, which are eating into the sales of notebook and netbook PCs. Seagate's new Momentus Thin HDD represents an attempt by the hard drive industry to answer the challenge of SSDs in notebooks-and even in media tablets-by undercutting the cost of solid-state drives while providing higher densities."

SSD shipments in notebooks will rise to 16.8 million units in 2015, up from 4.7 million in 2010, as presented in the figure below. This will represent only a single-digit percentage of the notebook storage market compared to HDDs through the year 2015.However, this small percentage is impacting the growth of the notebook HDD market.

The notebook HDD market set to expand at a 9.7 percent CAGR from 2010 to 2015. The combined market for HDDs and SDDs will rise at a CAGR of 10.2 percent. This indicates the solid-state drives will shave off half a percentage point of growth from the notebook HDD market during the five year period.

The rising sales of media tablets could have an even bigger impact on notebook HDD sales. Media tablets, which employ flash memory for storage, are expected to have a negative impact on sales of notebook PCs, and thus the HDDs used in them.

Seagate's Momentus Thin HDD could find acceptance in netbook and notebook computers, preventing SSDs from making further inroads. However, the near term opportunity for these drives in tablets is limited. HDD-based models are expected to account for 2 percent or less of the total tablet market in 2012, IHS predicts.

A Momentus event for storage
Seagate in June announced its Momentus Thin HDD, a 2.5-inch drive that is only 7 millimeters thick. The Momentus is set to be available in September. The HDD has capacities ranging from 160GB to 320GB, with speeds of 7,200RPM and 5,400RPM, and 16MB of cache.

The thin form factor makes the Momentus suitable for mobile platforms.

However, the Momentus may really set itself apart from SSDs in terms of cost and capacity.

Seagate said the Momentus Thin HDDs are being used in what it called the world's first handheld tablet computers with hard drives: the G9 8- and 10-inch tablets from Archos. The manufacturers' suggested retail prices for the Archos 80 G9 and Archos 101 GB tablets are $279 and $349. Seagate said that was a significantly lower price than competitive flash-based tablets, which cost between $349 to $829, with densities from 16GB to 64GB.

A tablet using the Momentus Thin HDD can have 10 times the storage capacity of a flash-based tablet. Momentus Thin HDD-based tablets also can be significantly lighter than HDD-based netbooks due to the reduction of the 2.5-inch drive size.

HDD disadvantages
The disadvantages of HDD-based tablets include a potentially shorter battery life, a longer boost time and a relatively heavy weight compared to flash-based tablets. These drawbacks may serve as a disincentive to some tablet users who require speed and mobility." - via

Momentus drives have been very popular in the past due to the price per gigabyte and the performance of the drives. Still, the SSD out does the performance of these drives. Do you think that the thinner Momentus drives will boost their sales and surpass the SSD? Or will they still be the second choice in drives under the SSD? Let us know what your thoughts are.

MB982SPR-2S review - posted by

ther than “My computer is too slow” one of the most common complaints I hear is “I need more storage”, which is usually followed by “Maybe I should get an SSD”. My answer to these questions are “what do you want storage or speed?” The average consumer does not realize that if you’re on a budget the cost to get both storage and speed out of an SSD is probably more than they are willing to the full review

Monday, August 08, 2011

Icy News: Patriot Memory Pyro 6Gb SATA SSD

"With SandForce SF-2281 processor, 60GB to 240GB
Patriot Memory LLC expanded its new line up of SATA III solid-state drives with the launch of its Pyro line powered by SandForce's new SF-2281 SSD processor.

The Patriot Memory Pyro series deliver enterprise-like performance to consumer desktops and notebooks.

It utilizes the SandForce SF-2281 processor enabling it to eclipse previous mid-tier SSD performance scores with up to 550MB/s sequential read and up to 515MB/s sequential write speeds provided through a SATA 6.0 Gb/s interface.

The Pyro series will feature a 2.5-inch form factor for compatibility with notebooks and select desktops and will ship with the latest 3.1.9 firmware.

"The Patriot Memory Pyro will continue to expand on what consumers can expect out of performance class solid state drives," says William Lai, Patriot Memory's Product Manager. "With near enterprise level performance by utilizing the new SandForce SF-2281, coupled with Patriot Memory's reputation; Pyro will deliver unmatched price per performance.""
  • Patriot Pyro series SSDs:
  • 60GB, 120GB, & 240GB capacities
  • SandForce SF-2281 SSD processor
  • SATA 6.0 Gbps interface
  • Up to 550MB/s sequential read speeds
  • Up to 515MB/s sequential write speeds
  • Up to 85K 4K random write IOPS
  • TRIM Support

Our friends over at Patriot Memory always strive to make the best performing products at unmatched prices. The new Pyro 6Gb SSD is no different, offering high performance at a price that is not out of reach for any power user. Patriots new SSD is an excellent way to have the performance of a SATA 6.0 Gbps interface while not breaking the bank. Let us know how you feel about Patriots new SSD and if you will be buying one.   

ICY DOCK Summer 2011 Sponsored Contests

ICY DOCK has made this summer that much better by teaming up to have two amazing contests with some of our newest and hot selling products!
First up is the Icy Dock/Storage Review contest to find the user with the slowest and fastest hard drives! Each category will have prizes of a MB881U3-1SA & MB981U3-1SA and MB982SP-1S & MB882SP-1S-1B, with two winners for both competitions, respectively. Check out below for more information! This contest ends on August 12th, so hurry!

Second up is the Icy Dock/Hitechlegion contest that will go on until August 31st! They will be giving away one item per week, with different requirements and prize, so be sure to always check back for the best chance to win!

Have fun with each contest!

Friday, August 05, 2011

Icy News: HighPoint Releases New USB 3.0 Card Supporting 20GB/s

"Are you looking for a relatively inexpensive way to upgrade your slightly outdated Windows or Linux PC so you can use the latest generation of USB peripherals? HighPoint Technologies is hoping you are because they've begun shipping a 4-port USB 3.0 adapter they're calling the RocketU 1144A. With a list price of $89.00, the PCIe 2.0 x4 adapter is capable of 5GB/s of throughput on each of its ports.
The HighPoint RocketU 1144A is aimed at high-performance desktops and workstations, with a strong emphasis on fast transfer speeds to make the most use out of newer USB3 external SSDs. The PCIe x4 slot also allows this card to support up to 20Gb/s of total bandwidth simultaneously." - via Storage Review
This seems to be a very good solution for extending the life of a computer! With use of 4 USB 3.0 ports, slow transfer rate with USB 2.0 is a thing of the past. Will you be buying this? Let us know!

Find more details on Highpoint's website of the RocketU 1144A!

Icy News: Toshiba Also at 1TB for 2.5-Inch HDD 9.5mm High

"Toshiba America Information Systems Inc. announced its first 2.5-inch HDDs featuring capacity up to 1TB using 500GB/platter technology in the industry-standard 9.5mm high form factor.  

With an areal density of 744Gb/in², Toshiba has increased the quantity of data stored per square inch by over 37 percent compared to prior 2.5-inch models, enabling a boost in data transfer speed.  

Available in capacities ranging from 1TB to 250GB, the MQ01ABD series provides the capacity, performance, and power efficiency necessary for data-intensive and energy-sensitive mainstream storage applications.

The MQ01ABD drives are for high-end notebook and desktop PCs, mobile workstations, gaming consoles, DVR set-top boxes, external storage solutions, and other applications requiring capacity and cost-effective storage.  
Toshiba's MQ01ABD series HDDs have been engineered for energy efficiency  - the series HDDs consume 0.55watts during idle mode. The MQ01ABD drives also offer improved acoustic performance, emitting a maximum of 19dB at idle and 24dB during seek operations. This combination of areal density, power utilization, and acoustic performance enables PC and consumer electronics makers to build differentiated systems based on capacity, performance, heat dissipation, and power efficiency." - Via Storagenewsletter

We talked about the release of Western Digital 1TB that is 9.5mm in height, Toshiba is now following suit with their own 9.5mm SATA 1TB hard drive. Will you be getting these drives when they come out? Which one will you buy? Let us know! 

Thursday, August 04, 2011

MB882HX-1SB review - posted by

The biggest reason we're moving to SSD's, among many others, is the performance gain. They offer a largely noticeable performance gain over any mechanical hard drive and once you're used to it, using a computer with a hard drive will be like racing a tortoise. The only major downside to SSD's right now is their limited storage capacity over a regular Hard Drive. Most SSD's range from 40-120GB - with the larger capacity drives often packing quite price tag. What if you could buy an SSD and through using a special device and your existing hard drive end up with twice the capacity of that the full review

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

ICY TIP: Transfer or clone the data from an IDE (PATA) hard drive to a SATA SSD / HDD with MB881U3-1SA USB 3.0 HDD adapter

If you have built, repaired, or owned computers before 2009, then you probably have data stored on a few IDE interface hard drives. Since 2009, SATA has replaced IDE in most consumer desktop and laptop computers and as a result, IDE interfaces are not as common as they used to be. Some motherboard manufacturers have dropped support the interface altogether, using only SATA I, SATA II or SATA III interfaces. How then do you transfer or access your data, operating system, or applications from those old IDE drives? Icy Dock has the perfect solution: The MB881U3-1SA SATA/IDE USB 3.0 Pro Adapter with Docking Stand.

The MB881U3-1SA hard drive adapter is a user friendly, tool-less, multi-interface hard drive adapter that is compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems. The adapter utilizes a USB 3.0 connection (backward compatible with USB 2.0) to transfer data at up to 5 Gbps for both IDE and SATA hard drives. The MB881U3-1SA is compatible with newer 2.5” and 3.5” SATA hard drives / SSD, as well as older 2.5” and 3.5” IDE hard drives.
The MB881U3-1SA makes accessing the data on your IDE disk simple at blazing fast USB 3.0 speeds. Typically, an IDE drive has a substantially lower capacity than its SATA counterpart, and in most cases, a user’s data is spread out among multiple IDE disks because of their limited capacity, making it difficult to find which disk carries the wanted data. With the MB881U3-1SA JBOD function, you can easily combine the data on multiple IDE disks onto a single SATA disk by transferring the data off each IDE disk at a time, and swapping out the IDE disks after the transfer has finished. The MB881U3-1SA allows for direct data transfer between an IDE drive and a SATA drive with a single adapter, eliminating additional step of copying the data onto an internal hard drive before transferring it over to the new drive, simplifying the combination of multiple disks into a quick and easy process.

Transferring data from an IDE drive to a SATA drive is a two-step process. First plug both the IDE drive and the SATA drive into their respective slots on the adapter and both drives will be accessible by the computer. Second, drag the contents of the IDE drive and drop it into the SATA drive. Repeat this process for any additional IDE drives that you have until all the contents of each IDE drive is stored on the SATA drive, or when the SATA drive reaches capacity (in which case, a hard drive upgrade is necessary). The SATA hard drive now has the entire contents of each IDE drive, and the IDE drives may act as a back up of your data. The process can also be executed in reverse, making backups of the larger capacity SATA drive by spanning the data across multiple IDE drives. Just make sure the content you’re copying is less than the capacity of the IDE drive. You can also make backups of the data if the data size is less than the capacity of both hard drives.

The MB881U3-1SA is also useful when replacing or upgrading the OS hard drives. If the upgraded hard drive uses a SATA interface, you can use the adapter to transfers the entire contents of your IDE drive over to your new SATA drive by using the cloning software such as Acronis True Image and Symantec Norton Ghost. This makes an exact copy of all of the data onto the new drive, keeping all applications and operating systems intact.

Aside from backing up or transferring data, the MB881U3-1SA can also be used as a permanent dock. With the included metal stand, the adapter can be used as an open vertical external enclosure for SATA hard drives. The stand props the adapter vertical to save space and improve airflow. The adapter allows older motherboards that do not have SATA support to utilize SATA hard drives through the USB 3.0 port. Alternatively, this adapter also allows newer motherboards that do not have IDE support to utilize older IDE hard drives through the USB 3.0 port.

The MB881U3-1SA is a versatile tool with performance that exceeds the competition. It is a useful addition for any computer system.
MB881U3-1SA 2.5” & 3.5” SATA & IDE USB 3.0 HDD Adapter with Docking Stand

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Icy News: OCZ's Z-Drive R4 PCIe SSD offers 2,800MB/sec, 500,000 IOPS, plenty of thrills

"Hard to believe that we spotted OCZ Technology's original Z-Drive at CeBIT 2009. Just over two full years have passed, and already we've seen the 600MB/sec claims offered on that fellow eclipsed by a fewsuccessors. Today, the latest in the line is making its debut, with the Z-Drive R4 offering 2,800MB/sec and over 500,000 IOPS with a single SuperScale controller; step up to a dualie, and you'll see 5,600MB/sec transfer rates coupled with 1.2 million input-output operations per second. Not surprisingly, this guy's aimed squarely at enterprise users -- folks who can genuinely take advantage of the speed, and are willing to pay the unpublished rates (yeah, we asked!) that go along with it. It's retaining the PCIe-based form factor, and will be shipped in two standard configurations: a half height version designed for space constrained 1U servers and multi-node rackmount servers, and a full height version. Each of those will be made available with SLC / MLC NAND flash memory, and as with all of OCZ's enterprise kit, customer-specific configurations and functionality are available upon request. Full release is after the break, big spender." via

Z-Drives have been out for some time now and every new model gets faster and faster. With the newer models becoming faster the prices goes up with speed. Do you think that Z-Drives will ever be more consumer based as opposed to the current enterprise users? Let us know what  you think.