Monday, March 12, 2012
Icy Dock has added another drive adaptor to their extensive lineup of hard drive and SSD kits, the DuoSwap 2.5"/3.5" SATA Hot Swap Drive Caddy (MB971SP-B). The DuoSwap gives users the flexibility to mount both a 2.5" and 3.5" drive simultaneously in a 5.25" bay within a desktop.
Many desktops have an extra 5.25" bay generally reserved for optical drives, with the DuoSwap users can gain access to the native drive connections without giving up ease of access. The DuoSwap supports hot swapping drives, providing flexible access to drive for backup, cloning and the like, without having to use a slower USB-based external enclosure.
Other highlights include dual dust flaps to protect the PC, individual drive LED’s, power and eject buttons and two SATA 6 Gb/s connectors with a single power connection. Icy Dock also uses what they call an “Eagle-Hook” mechanism to lock and secure the 3.5" hard drive in place, to prevent it from coming loose if the PC is moved around.
The Icy Dock DuoSwap 2.5"/3.5" SATA Hot Swap Drive Caddy is due to start shipping soon and comes with a three year warranty. No pricing information was released. Source from Storagereview.com
Friday, March 09, 2012
Icy Dock is well known for their extensive line of drive adapters that solve dozens of issues around fitting x number of drives into y drive bay slots. The net result of each is that users maximize the number of drives their PC can hold. Icy Dock's latest iteration on this concept is the EZ-Fit Pro, which takes two 9.5mm 2.5" SSDs or hard drives and fits them into a 3.5" drive bracket...Full review to Storagereview.com
IntroductionRemember back when you were a kid and you thought that adults knew what they were doing? Then you reached that point, some time in your teens, when you realized that they are basically just as clueless as everyone else and that being an adult is just a massive disappointment. When you were a kid, there was this fantasy that somehow, when you come of age, all questions would be answered and you would know what the right thing is, automatically. Somehow, you thought people had better taste and a sense of what is good and what is counter-productive. Unfortunately, the opposite is true and the world is, in fact, filled with horrible ideas and populated by people who have Keeping Up with the Kardashians and Bridalplasty in their regular television viewing schedule...Full review to Hightech legion
Wednesday, March 07, 2012
Corsair released a new SSD series today branded Accelerator. Like the name suggests, this series is aimed for caching purposes and is bundled with NVELO's DataPlex caching software. Corsair actually showcased the Accelerator series at CES 2012 but it hasn't been available until today.
|Corsair Accelerator Series Specifications|
|Raw NAND Capacity||32GiB||48GiB||64GiB|
The Accelerator series will be available in three capacities: 30GB, 45GB and 60GB. A caching SSD doesn't need to be really large because it only stores the most frequently accessed data; as an example, Intel's Smart Response Technology is limited to 64GB. Caching is also mainly aimed toward average users as utilizing two separate drives can be difficult for a novice user, but more advanced users usually want total control of their data. Keeping the price as low as possible will attract more buyers, especially ones who have not owned an SSD before.
The brief rundown of the two controllers used is that they are both SATA 3Gb/s and are similarly specced in terms of performance. Corsair chose SATA 3Gb/s controllers to keep the prices down, as in the end caching is mostly about price. The only difference between the SF-2141 and the SF-2181 is that SF-2181 supports up to 8 channels whereas SF-2141 is limited to 4 channels. Using SF-2141 in the 30GB model is logical because it consists of four 8GiB dies and hence only four channels can be populated. As for the 45GB model, it uses six out of the eight channels to achieve a raw NAND capacity of 48GiB (6 x 8GiB), which is similar to the 180GB and 360GB versions of OCZ Agility 3.
We haven't taken a look at NVELO's DataPlex solutions yet, but as caching is becoming a more and more popular solution, we hope to be able to review an SSD with DataPlex in the near future...Source from Anand Tech
Today OCZ added two more capacities to their Agility 3 lineup: 180GB and 360GB. Agility 3 isn't the firstSSD series to feature such SSD capacities, but more often we see 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB SandForce based SSDs. However, making a 180GB or 360GB SSD isn't any more difficult. The SF-2281 controller supports up to eight channels but it can also run in 6-channel mode and that's how you make 180GB and 360GB drives.
Remember that SandForce drives use about 7% for over-provisioning by default plus possibly RAISE as well depending on the SSD. Hence these SSDs have 192GiB and 384GiB of actual NAND in them. 2.5" drives usually have 16 NAND packages but to run in 6-channel mode, you only use 12 packages (i.e. two NAND packages per channel). For the 180GB model, that means twelve 16GiB NAND packages with two 8GiB dies per package. 360GB simply doubles the dies per NAND package so you have twelve 32GiB packages with four dies each...Full news to Anand Tech
ADATA has released three new SSD lineups: XPG SX900, Premier Pro SP900, and Premier SP800. XPG is ADATA's high-end brand aimed at gamers and enthusiasts and SX900 is the first SSD entry to XPG family. ADATA also uses the Premier brand in their other products and it's mainly used with middle-class products.
|Specifications of ADATA's New SSDs|
|Model||XPG SX900||Premier Pro SP900||Premier SP800|
|Controller||SandForce SF-2281||SandForce SF-2281||SandForce SF-2141|
|NAND||MLC Synchronous||MLC Asynchronous||MLC Synchronous (?)|
|Interface||SATA 6Gb/s||SATA 6Gb/s||SATA 3Gb/s|
|Maximum Sequential Read||550MB/s||550MB/s||280MB/s|
|Maximum Sequential Write||530MB/s||520MB/s||260MB/s|
|Maximum 4KB Random Write||85K IOPS||85K IOPS||44K IOPS|
|Capacities (GB)||64, 128, 256, 512||64, 128, 256||32, 64|
SX900 and SP900 are both fairly normal SF-2281 based drives. ADATA's product positioning is very similar to OCZ's: SX900 is equivalent to Vertex 3 and SP900 is ADATA's Agility 3. SX900 comes with synchronous NAND (see Anand's explanation), which provides increased random read and write performance (see our Vertex 3 and Agility 3 comparison in SSD Bench). We are looking at 550MB/s read and 520-530MB/s write, which is typical for SF-2281 based SSDs.
SP800 is ADATA's budget drive: It offers small capacities and SF-2141, which is SandForce's second generation SATA 3Gb/s controller. It offers higher random I/O performance but has only four channels, which makes it ideal for small capacity SSDs.
The interesting thing about ADATA's new SSDs is the fact that they offer ~7% more capacity than other SandForce based SSDs. Generally, SandForce based SSDs use ~7% of the NAND for over-provisioning and usually manufacturers don't mention that NAND in the total capacity. This means your 120GB SandForce drive actually has 128GB of NAND in it. However, SandForce has recently released a new firmware that allows manufacturers to modify the over-provisioning percentage and ADATA is taking advantage of that.
The new firmware allows over-provisioning of as low as 0%, which means a 128GB SandForce drive finally has 128GB of usable capacity (before formatting, of course). 0% over-provisioning introduces some potential problems, though. SandForce drives have no DRAM cache so the over-provisioned NAND has worked as a cache. Without any over-provisioning, performance may take a hit because wear leveling and garbage collection may not work optimally. Fortunately, there is still some extra capacity left thanks to translation between gigabytes and gibibytes. (The SSD Review has a more detailed explanation on this).
Unfortunately, ADATA has not revealed pricing so comparing their offerings with other products is hard. In the end, SandForce SSDs are all very similar in features and performance, hence price is a crucial factor. ADATA may not be the most well-known SSD brand, but they've been around as a memory manufacturer for a very long time and they've been gaining momentum lately in the SSD world. For example, NewEgg is selling ADATA SSDs and the reviews are there are fine (yes, I know—take Newegg reviews with a generous helping of salt!), although the drives are nowhere as popular as e.g. OCZ and Crucial drives are.
Perhaps the biggest question that still looms is whether or not the BSOD issues with SF-2200 controllers is really fixed. ADATA hasn't been the first out of the gate with firmware updates for the SandForce SSDs, and we've had experience with at least one SSD running the latest firmware where we still get the STOP 0x000000F4 error, but another drive from the same manufacturer running the same firmware doesn't have problems. We'd like to say that we're out of the woods with regards to SF-2281 BSODs, but unfortunately we're not quite there yet. Source from Anand Tech
Western Digital has announced the family of S25 SAS hard drives, their third generation. The S25 hard drives feature a 2.5" form factor, with 10,000 RPM spin speed, 32MB cache and SAS 6 Gb/s interface and delivers 204 MB/s transfer rates. The S25 comes in 300GB, 450GB and 600GB capacities, along with a new 900GB offering.
The W25 is highlighted not just by performance and capacity, but reliability as well. Western Digital offers a five year warranty with the S25 and a MTBF of 2 million hours. The S25 is also power friendly, taking down under 8 watts when active, and is the first to include support for T10 Protection Information (PI) for advanced data integrity, and the first to provide optional models that feature drive-level self-encryption that meets the Trusted Computing Group's specification for Enterprise Class A encryption.
WD S25 Specs
- Rotational Speed 10,000 RPM (nominal)
- Buffer Size 32 MB
- Transfer Rate (Buffer To Disk) 204 MB/s (Sustained)
- Capacities - 300GB, 450GB, 600GB and 900 GB
- Interface SAS 6 Gb/s
- Form Factor 2.5-inch Drive
- 0.59" x 3.94" x 2.75"
- Weight 0.51 Pounds
- Operating Shock (Read) 65G, 2 ms
- Non-operating Shock 300G, 2 ms
- Idle Mode 30 dBA (average)
- Seek Mode 0 37 dBA (average)
- Operating 41° F to 131° F
- Non-operating -40° F to 158° F
- Read/Write 7.80 Watts
- Idle 5.30 Watts
- MTBF - 2 million hours
- Five year warranty
WD S25 hard drives are currently shipping to OEMs with general availability expected in the second quarter.
STEC has released the MACH16, a slim form factor SATA SSD that offers enterprise grade technology for embedded applications. STEC's MACH16 is designed to be a drop-in replacement for 2.5" hard drives and even SSDs that offers 22-pin SATA support with high data integrity, endurance and reliability thanks to STEC's own enterprise SSD controller and firmware in a form factor that's just 54mm X 39mm X 4mm. The SATA 3Gb/s SSDs offer sustained read performance up to 245 MB/s for 128K operations and writes of up to 150 MB/s.
STEC MACH16 Slim SSD Specs
- Capacity 25/50GB
- Interface SATA-II (3Gbps)
- Form Factor Slim SATA (MO-297)
- Performance Transactional Performance (Read IOPS) 24,000
- Transactional Performance (Write IOPS) 5,000
- Average Response Time <50μs
- Transfer Rate (Read) Up to 245MB/s
- Transfer Rate (Write) Up to 150MB/s
- Physical Dimensions (mm) 54mm (L) X 39mm (W) X 4mm (H)
- Environmental Operational Temperature -40°C to 85°C
- Non-Operating Temperature -55°C to 95°C
STEC sees a wide array of use cases for the MACH16 slim SSD including embedded solutions like network and telecommunication systems, military vehicles, rugged PCs, gaming systems, digital signage, transportation systems, ATM machines, kiosks, point-of-sale machines, cash registers, printers, GPS systems, vehicle infotainment systems, data loggers and medical equipment and other systems that use small-format system boards like Mini-ITX, Pico-ITX and CompactPCI.
All STEC enterprise SSDs include proprietary technologies like: CellCare flash management, Secure Array of Flash Elements (SAFE) Technology, which improves reliability, PowerSafe data protection in the event of an unplanned power failure, data-path protection and advanced error code correction, and advanced wear-leveling.
The STEC MACH16 Slim SATA embedded SSDs are available now, with capacities of 25 and 50GB.