Thursday, November 14, 2013

ICY News: Toshiba Unveils Q-Series Pro SSDs with New-Generation NAND Flash Memory.

"Toshiba’s Digital Products Division (DPD), has announced the Toshiba Q-series Pro solid-state drives. The new drives will serve high-performance desktops and laptops and will replace previous-generation Q-series SSDs. Keeping in mind that performance of modern solid-state is very close to limitations of Serial ATA-6Gb/s interface, it is illogical to expect Q-series Pro to be significantly faster its predecessor.

“Toshiba’s comprehensive ecosystem of devices positions the company at an advantage when understanding consumer needs for storage. The Q Series Pro PC Internal Solid State Drive offers industry-proven caliber and authenticity with leading performance, speeds and capabilities,” said Maciek Brzeski, vice president of product marketing and development of branded storage products at Toshiba America Information Systems.

Toshiba did not reveal any technical details about the new Q-series Pro solid-state drives, but said they will be available in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB capacities. Moreover, the company even did not indicate how much faster the Q Pro is compared to Q family of drives."

Monday, November 11, 2013

ICY TIP: Maximize Storage Density - Build a Six 2.5" SSD/HDD RAID server with MB996SP-6SB

Maximize Storage Density -
Build a Six 2.5" SSD/HDD RAID server with MB996SP-6SB
According to Moore’s Law, the number or transistors on integrated circuits doubles approximately every two years (18 months). However the speed of advancement is not outpacing the growing demand for faster access of greater amounts of data. To keep up with this demand, greater space storage is important to today’s data servers. The problem many servers face today is not able to fit enough storage capacity into the limited amount of space while keeping your data safe. It seems that the 2.5” hard drive and SSD are the answer as they are significantly smaller, lighter and use less energy compare to the 3.5” hard drive. The question is how you optimize the space you have in your computer chassis, to fit as many as 2.5” HDD / SSD as possible.

ICY DOCK’s solution is to use 2.5” hard drive disks (HDD) or Solid State disks (SSD) with the ToughArmor MB996SP-6SB 6x2.5” SATA HDD Hot Swap Mobile Rack. This model allows six 2.5” HDDs/SSDs of 7mm to 9.5mm height to fit into a single standard 5.25” bay. The MB996SP-6SB allows for a dense yet highly efficient use of HDDs/SSDs.
Why 2.5” HDDs over 3.5”HDDs?
Though 2.5” HDDs/SSDs are smaller in size than 3.5” drives, 3.5” drives have capacities up to 4TB while the highest amount currently for a 9.5mm height 2.5” HDD is 1.5TB.

However, in one 5.25” bay, you can only fit one 3.5” drive which keeps your options limited. With the MB996SP-6SB, you can fit drives such as the HGST Travelstar 5K1500 1.5TB 2.5" Hard Drive for a total of 9TB of storage space. With 6 drives and a higher storage capacity, you have the options of a high performance compact storage unit with RAID (redundant array of independent disks) function.
Space Saving with RAID
Most servers have precious data and normally use a RAID function to protect the data. Typically, RAID functions require a big amount of physical space to fit more storage capacity with redundant drives for data protection. For example, RAID 5 and RAID 6 normally take up a lot of physical space because a minimum of three hard drives are required for RAID 5 and a minimum of four hard drives are required for RAID 6. However with 6 x 2.5” HDD in our MB996SP-6SB, you have the option of using certain RAID functions such as RAID 5 or RAID 6 which will give you better performance yet great data protection all in a 5.25” bay.

RAID 5 uses block striping with a distributed parity which gives it faster read/write speeds (speeds similar to RAID 0) while protecting the data. With RAID 5, the increased performance speed depends on the number of drives. The more drives the faster the speed. So a 6 x HDDs in RAID 5 will be faster than 3 x HDDs in RAID 5. When using 1.5TB HDDs in our MB996SB-6SB, the total capacity with RAID 5 will be 7.5TB with performance speeds up to 5x faster than a single drive and a fault tolerance of one drive.

Using RAID 6 will give you twice data protection but you will lose some performance and storage capacity compared to RAID 5. So with the 1.5TB HDDs in our MB996SB-6SB, there will be a 6TB capacity and performance speeds of up to 4x faster than a single drive but a fault tolerance of two failed drives. With the two drive failure tolerance, your data is protected even if a second drive fails while the array is rebuilding after one drive failed or when a wrong disk is hot-swapped due to operator error. Though RAID 5 has slightly better performance, RAID 6 is the better option when a large and reliable storage is required.
RAID 5 vs RAID 6 Comparison Chart
Block-level striping with distributed parity
1 drive
Block-level stripping with double distributed parity
2 drives
Performance Comparison with 1.5TB HDD
4x 2.5” HDD 1.5TB
6x 2.5” HDD 1.5TB
Improve Performance with SSD
With solid state drives (SSD) becoming better and cheaper, many are turning to them to replace their current HDD solution. SSDs may have slightly lower capacity and a higher price, but the added benefits they provide outweighs their drawbacks. With a small size, SSDs save physical space yet have lower power usage, generates less heat which lengths drive lifetime, better shock protection and of course, faster read/write speeds compared to HDDs.

When tested our MB996SP-6SB with six 200GB Kingston SSDNow E100 enterprise SSDs, they measured a total write speed of 1,395MB/s and a read speed of 3,240MB/s. They also tested random 4K transfers and received faster random access speeds with write speeds of 262,628 IOPS and read speeds of 341,114 IOPS when performing random 4K transfers. This means that SSDs, along with the MB996SP-6SB, are great for highly used servers where random access speeds are important.

With the MB996SP-6SB all metal build and 6 SAMSUNG 840 EVO MZ-7TE1T0BW 2.5" 1TB SATA III TLC SSD in RAID 5, you can have a robust, compact 5TB server with excellent data protection in the space of a 5.25” bay. The MB996SP-6SB is designed to fit any 2.5” HDD/SSD in both 7 & 9.5mm drive height. So whether you prefer using the newer 7mm height SSD such as Intel 530, Crucial M500, Samsung 840, Mushkin Enhanced Chronos, Seagate 600 & Kingston SSDNow or any standard 9.5mm height 2.5” SSD such as Intel 335 / 520 series, Crucial C300 / M4, OCZ Vertex 4 & Kingston HyperX, it will all mount with the MB996SP-6SB.
The MB996SP-6SB is part of our ToughArmor series mobile rack. The designs are great for industrial, military and medical systems as well as high performance server builds. The ability to fit 6 x 2.5” HDD into a 5.25” bay allows support for a wide range of applications in a high capacity and space saving design. Not only can it run RAID 5 and RAID 6, it allows the option of doing different combinations of RAIDs such as putting 4 drives in RAID 0 plus a RAID 1 array for back up.

The MB996SP-6SB is capable of holding up in various environments with the heavy duty full metal construction. The superior heat dissipation of the metal body along with anti-vibration technology and EMI grounding provides a stable environment for the hard drives or SSDs used and improves their lifespan and reliability.

As a product for 2.5” small form factor, the MB996SP-6SB and other similar products consists of many small parts and having durable parts is very important. However, unlike the MB996SP-6SB which has an all metal build, other similar products use plastic parts which will break much easier than metal. The all metal build of the MB996SP-6SB is a huge advantage when it comes to product durability and protecting your costly investments inside. Lastly, like all of our products, the MB996SP-6SB comes with our 3 year warranty.
MB996SP-6SB Key Features:
Full metal construction from the inside out which is perfect for rugged applications
and is compliant with flammability requirements
Drives are fully removable & hot?Swappable
High density design, fits up to 6 x 2.5” SSD in a single 5.25” device bay
Support latest 2.5” SSD or HDD from 7mm to 9.5mm height
Covered by 3 year warranty with global customer support
Manufacturer direct support - provided by ICY DOCK
Please check out our ToughArmor series for even more build options.
1 x 2.5” SSD or Hard Drive Mobile Rack in 3.5” Floppy Bay
Fits 7 -15mm Height Drive
1 x 2.5” SATA HDD/SSD
Fits 7 -15mm Height Drive
2 x 2.5” HDD/SSD Mobile Rack
in 3.5” Floppy Bay
2 x 2.5” HDD/SSD + 1 x ODD
in 5.25” Device Bay
2 x 2.5” SATA HDD/SSD
Fits 7 - 9.5mm Height Drive
Fits 7 – 15mm Height Drive
1 x SATA Slim Optical Drive
4 x 2.5” HDD/SSD Backplane in 5.25” Device Bay
Fits 7 - 15mm Height Drive
4 x 2.5” SATA HDD/SSD
Fits 7 - 15mm Height Drive
6 x 2.5” HDD/SSD Backplane
in 5.25” Device Bay
6 x 2.5” SATA HDD/SSD
Fits 7 -15mm Height Drive
Tech Email:
Sales Email:
Tel: 626.956.8800

International Sales : +886 2 2999-3251 Ext. 804
e-mail :
Skype: roycremax

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

ICY News: Seagate releases industry's thinnest 2TB HDD

Seagate today announced it is shipping its highest density laptop drive, a standard 9.5mm thick model with up to 2TB of capacity.

"The M9T drive is also available in a 1.5TB model. Both the 2TB and 1.5TB drive models use a 6Gb/s SATA interface. While there are 2TB laptop drives today, they come in 12.5mm and 15mm form factors, which are around a half in inch thick. At 9.5mm, the M9T is about .37-in thick. Laptop drives are standard in 7mm and 9.5mm form factors." 

M9TDesktops won't have any issues using them, however if your case does not have 2.5-inch bays or 2.5" to 3.5" converters.

See: Full Article

Introducing the ICY DOCK EZ-Fit Lite MB290SP-B 2 x 2.5” to 3.5” Drive Bay SATA/IDE SSD/HDD Mounting Kit / Bracket / Adapter

The EZ-Fit Lite MB290SP-B is a great choice if you’re looking to install 1 or 2 SSDs/2.5” HDDs into a single 3.5” bay. If you’re looking for storage density, compatibility, flexibility, and durability without the hassle of a complicated installation, go with the EZ-Fit Lite MB290SP-B. It’s never been easier to effortlessly install 2.5” drives in a system. We, IcyDock, put a lot of thought into the design to fulfill the needs of our customers, whether they’re building Home Theater Systems (HTPC), Gaming PCs, or Mini-IPX systems. Our EZ-Fit Lite MB290SP-B certainly doesn’t disappoint.
Effortless Installation

IcyDock continues to raise the level of exceptional craftsmanship and design that our products are renowned for. The EZ-Fit Lite is our newest 2.5” HDD/SSD bracket and we’ve pulled out all the stops to engineer this unit to be both user-friendly and highly advanced. The EZ-Fit Lite accepts up to 2 x 2.5” SATA, or IDE SSD/HDD drive from 7mm to 9.5mm in drive height, which uses a completely new flex design system to simplify our drive installation process –all you need to do is insert the drive, and push inwards until it “clicks.” Our EZ-Fit Lite MB290SP-B has self adjusting tabs on the side that automatically conform to different drive heights (7mm and 9.5mm) to securely lock it in place. Lastly, the eject button allows for quick hard drive swapping in a matter of seconds without removing the entire bracket from the chassis. The best part about this device is it’s completely tool-less drive installation –just insert the drive and you’re set. It doesn’t get any easier.
Brilliant Design

We have blended a combination of flexibility & compatibility to create the EZ-Fit Lite MB290SP-B - a product that cannot be replicated by any of our competitors. The EZ-Fit Lite MB290SP-B provides a whopping 60 screw holes to accommodate 3.5” bay installation in practically every computer chassis. Compare this with a standard 3.5” hard drive that only offers a measly 10 screw holes, and you’re offered a lot more options. In addition to 60 screw holes, there are 12 different ways you can mount the EZ-Fit Lite MB290SP-B in your system in comparison to the 2 positions you get with a standard 3.5” drive; this gives you option to finely tune and adjust your drive installation. There are screw holes located both on top of the unit and on bottom to give you extra compatibility. Furthermore, the plethora of screw holes provides a backup measure in case of installation failure.
Unbelievably Lightweight with Remarkable Cooling

Our EZ-Fit Lite MB290SP-B is constructed with highly robust ABS plastic and fuses desirable traits such as durability and lightweight. One piece construction means there are less moving parts to be concerned with, which in turn means it’s less likely break. Additionally, creating a one-piece design makes manufacturing this unit very cost efficient and allows us to pass the savings onto our customers. The frame has a weightless flexible stabilizer that secures the drive in place and provides shock absorption and anti-vibration properties –great for protecting your drives against impact. Open air designs allow the drive to be cooled by the fans in your chassis. With our skeletal design, the EZ-Fit Lite MB290SP-B allows airflow in all the crucial areas of the drive which helps drive performance. Elevated ridges on the platform raise the drive just enough to allow heat dispersion keeping your SSD/HDD cooler. We’ve also included side vents on the bracket to let heat escape from the drive
Suggested Applications

Desktop PC, Gaming PC, Home Theater PC, Mini-ITX Systems, Home Server Systems
Key Features

* Durable one-piece design
* Anti-Vibration design for improved reliability
* Fits 2 x 2.5” SATA/IDE SSD/HDD into one 3.5” drive bay
* Compatible with 2.5” SSD & HDD with 7mm to 9.5mm drive height
* Quick release eject mechanism for hassle free tool-less drive installation
* Universally designed screw placement for maximum compatibility
* 60 screw holes provide maximum flexibility of installation

Quick links:

MB290SP-B Product Page

MB290SP-B Product images
MB290SP-B Datasheet


Tel : +886 2 2999-3251 Ext. 804
Fax: +886 2 2999-3478
Sales e-mail:
Support e-mail:

MB994SP-4SB-1 & MB991SK-B ToughArmor review - posted by

IcyDock MB994SP-4SB-1 & MB991SK-B: Drive bay domination continues
MB994SP-4SB-1 -- Four for one, and one for all

The 4SB is a 5.25” form-factor drive bay that is able to accommodate up to 4 x 2.5” SATA drives. IcyDock offers an even denser array with the MB996SP-6SB (not surprisingly, storing 6 drives) but, unlike the MB996, the trays for this series support drives up to 15mm in height.

MB991SK-B -- You weren’t using that 3.5” bay anyway

The 991SK-B is a 3.5” bay device that can fit a single drive. It uses the same size tray as the 4SB. The tray is lockable for convenient way to make sure the drive doesn’t walk off or get ejected unintentionally.

With almost complete disappearance of 3.5” floppy drives from the modern PC, it only makes sense to put that empty location to good use for extra storage..........Read More

ToughArmor MB991SK-B Product Page:

ToughArmor MB994SK-4SB-1 Product Page:

Monday, November 04, 2013

ICY News: Western Digital's HGST Announces Its New Ultrastar He6 Drives


3.5-inch Helium Platform Enterprise Hard Drive
  • World’s first helium HDD – Patented HelioSeal™ technology enables this new building block for future growth

  • Industry’s first 6TB HDD – Innovative 7Stac™ disk design enables the world’s highest capacity

  • TCOptimized™ platform – Delivers higher capacity, lower power, cooler and quieter operation in a standard 3.5-inch form factor

The reduction in turbulence for the spinning disk allows HGST to offer a seven-disk design in a traditional 3.5-inch form factor. In addition to being the world’s first helium-filled hard drive, HGST Ultrastar He6 is also the first hard drive in the industry to offer a 6-terabyte capacity. This design delivers a 50% capacity gain and still reduces the energy needed to run the drive by up to 23%.

Read more at: HGST Ultrastar He6

Friday, November 01, 2013

ICY News: Toshiba Introduces Enterprise-Class SSD with 1.1GB/s Throughput.

Toshiba Reveals Enterprise SSD with Up To 800GB/s Capacities

"Toshiba Corp. has introduced its latest enterprise-class solid-state drives (eSSDs) that boast high capacities as well as extreme speeds. The new Toshiba PX02SS eSSDs will provide up to 800GB of storage space and up to 1.1GB/s data read speed. The eSSD is designed for various write-intensive enterprise applications and is ideally suited for large workloads, such as data processing and online transactions....Read More"

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

MB992SK-B ToughArmor review - posted by

ICY DOCK MB992SK-B Dual 2.5in Enclosure Review
Icy Dock MB992SK-B Dual 2.5" Drive Enclosure

Almost all of us have spare drive bays on the front of our PCs and a fair number of us have either got spare parts kicking about or have run out of space inside our system for hard drives. Icy Dock are looking to problems like these with their drive racks/cages which are designed to add storage space to our otherwise empty front of case bays. One such model is the MB992SK-B which we have on our test bench today..........Read More

ToughArmor MB992SK-B Product Page:

Monday, October 28, 2013

ICY News: The SSD Endurance Experiment: 200TB update. The first bad blocks appear!

"Solid-state drives have revolutionized the PC storage industry. Their wicked-fast access times deliver a palpable improvement in overall system responsiveness, and prices have fallen enough to make decent-sized drives affordable for all. There's just one catch: due to the nature of flash memory, SSDs have limited endurance.

For one of the SSDs, the first signs of weakness appeared when we polled the field after 100TB of writes. The SMART attributes of our Samsung 840 Series 250GB SSD revealed 11 reallocated sectors—bad blocks, in other words. Since the 840 Series' three-bit TLC NAND has lower write endurance than the two-bit MLC flash typically found in consumer-grade SSDs, we weren't surprised that it was the first to exhibit failures. All of our other candidates use MLC flash."

Looks like Samsung 840 series aren't doing so well.

To Read more from TechReport: Full Story

Friday, October 25, 2013

ICY News: The mysteriously disappearing drive: Are power outages killing your SSDs?

"SSDs offer enormous benefits over traditional spinning discs. They’re up to an order of magnitude faster in certain operations, weigh less, and consume less power under load. They’ve become increasingly popular with enthusiasts and mainstream customers alike — but a report from the 11th Usenix Conference on File and Storage Technologies (FAST 13), given early this year, suggests most models have a fundamental problem with sudden power loss. While the paper came out in mid-February, I only recently came across it, after a reader asked if I’d look into a rather puzzling recovery program recommended by Crucial for its M4 SSD line."  

NAND flash

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

ICY News: Research team designs and builds a disk drive that stores data for a million years

"A research team out of the Netherlands has produced a storage medium that can last a million years. Standard magnetic disk drive storage, which was introduced nearly 70 years ago by IBM, has improved significantly over the years in many ways, but the duration in which the data can be stored largely remained the same. Current disk drives offer about a decade of reliable data storage. "

To read more: Full Story 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

ICY News: TDK Develops Hard Drive Technology Capable Of 40TB Capacity

"It sounds like a pipe dream, but for those who have followed the industry, you'll know that we've been dreaming about multi-terabyte hard drives for quite some time and capacities up to 4TB exist today. Prototypes have already made the rounds once or twice, but TDK has a new project that could enable 40TB hard drives by 2020. That's right, folks: 40TB on a single drive. At once, all of your archiving problems would be solved... until you outgrew even that, of course.

Presently, HDD recording density is boosted by the use of a technology called "high magnetic coercivity," but as you could probably guess from the lack of true increases recently, that's about at its limit. TDK's approach involves a heat-assisted recording technology. According to the company, in the new system "the coercivity of the medium, or the amount of reverse magnetic field required to change the value of the stored data, is temporarily reduced by heating it with a laser, which enables writing. As a result, the recording density is further increased."

Link to the entire Article: TDK Develops Hard Drive Technology Capable Of 40TB Capacity

Friday, October 11, 2013

ICY News: WD Black HDD Enhancements Announced

"WD has announced updates across the WD Black line of high-performance 7,200 RPM 3.5-inch hard drives. The WD Black family is available in capacities from 1TB to 4TB and is engineered for applications such as workstations, gaming PCs, and all-in-one devices that benefit from higher performance and high capacity. The refreshed drives feature model numbers in the format of WD(#)003FZEX where the third digit represents the capacity in terabytes.

According to WD, design improvements made possible through the company’s dual core processor technology have resulted in performance increases that range from a 26% increase for the 1TB drive up to a 48% increase for the 4TB model. WD has also added a new high resolution controller that doubles the processing capacity of the controller itself, which improves tracking precision and thereby speeds up both read and write operations. Each of the drives features 6 Gb/s SATA connectivity." 

Since Western Digital is improving their HDD quality, would you still buy their HDD or just get a SSD instead?

Link to the article: WD Black HDD Enhancements Announced (StorageReview)

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

ICY News: Six SSD DC S3500 Drives And Intel's RST: Performance In RAID, Tested

"Intel lent us six SSD DC S3500 drives with its home-brewed 6 Gb/s SATA controller inside. We match them up to the Z87/C226 chipset's six corresponding ports, a handful of software-based RAID modes, and two operating systems to test their performance.
Intel hasn't launched any desktop-oriented drives based on its own SATA 6Gb/s controller yet. Those are reserved for some of the company's more enterprise-class SSDs. Both the SSD DC S3700 and S3500, which we reviewed in Intel SSD DC S3700 Review: Benchmarking Consistency and The SSD DC S3500 Review: Intel's 6 Gb/s Controller And 20 nm NAND, benefit from the processor's exceptional consistency, even if that latter model is better suited to read-heavy applications.
We're actually seeing an increasing number of drives similar to the SSD DC S3500, which are built to handle very specific workloads. Comparatively lower prices and solid performance in the applications they're designed for make up for the fact that all-around utility isn't a selling point. Given what you save on the initial investment, it's cheaper to simply tear the old drive out when it fails and pop in a new one. In certain environments, that's actually preferable to spending big on a high-endurance SSD from the outset, which may never need the pricier enterprise-class storage inside."