For every season, there is a spin. Intel’s first consumer SSDs, the X-25M series, didn’t have the fastest performance, but they gained a reputation for reliability. We had high hopes for Intel’s 320 Series SSDs, which turned out to be really great 3Gb/s SATA drives, at a time when everyone else was shipping 6Gb/s drives. When Intel did ship a 6Gb/s SATA drive, the 510 Series, it used a Marvell controller, not an Intel one. Well, Intel has finally released its second 6Gb/s consumer SSD series, and it’s powered by… SandForce?
Yep. The 520 Series may ship in Intel’s familiar 7mm aluminum chassis with a 2mm black spacer, but inside it’s running the same SandForce SF-2281 as everyone else. It does use 25nm Intel synchronous NAND and Intel-validated firmware, which Intel says makes it better, faster, and more reliable than plain-Jane SF-2281-based drives.
Fujitsu will have to wait longer to get rid of its blighted hard disk drive business as talks between the Japanese company and Western Digital failed to bear any results. Kuniaki Nozoe, Fujitsu’s President, stated in the most unequivocal fashion possible that the deal is off. According to him, the talks fell off after Western Digital refused to accede to Fujitsu’s demands.
Fujitsu was keen on selling its Japanese plants and the ones abroad as a bundle. It even insisted upon most of the people employed in its hard drive business retaining their jobs. According to a Japanese newspaper, the asking price was $550 million.
For most enthusiasts, choosing a hard drive usually comes down to performance specs. This includes spindle speed, areal density, what size buffer it comes equipped with, and any special features like NCQ. But as solid-state drives (SSDs) start to trickle into the mainstream, expect to see a greater importance placed on the mean time before failure (MTBF) rating.
It'd be nice if hard drives could last forever, but like every other component that makes up your PC, hard drives eventually die. And it's never a pretty sight, either. Sometimes a HDD will give up the ghost without warning, leaving you frantically looking for ways to revive the drive long enough to extract your data (remember the freezer trick?). Other times you're given ample warning of an impending failure, typically in the form of unpleasant grinding noises, disk errors, an unusual clicking noise that wasn't present before, S.M.A.R.T. warnings, and other telltale signs that it's time to backup your data.
Learn more about MTBF ratings and how that translates into real-world life expectancy after the jump.