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.
Remember Indilinx? The company’s Barefoot SSD controller was the first really good solid-state controller. It was one of the first controllers to offer Trim support, as well as sustained read and write speeds near 200MB/s, and it ruled the roost until SandForce’s SF-1200 controller leapt ahead of Barefoot’s capabilities. The company’s next-gen controller was delayed, and in March 2011 OCZ bought the company. It’s been nearly a year, but OCZ finally has a consumer drive with the new Indilinx Everest controller. Was it worth the wait?
The 512GB Octane drive sent to us by OCZ contains 16 256Gb 25nm Intel synchronous NAND modules, two 2Gb Micron DDR3 SDRAM cache modules (512MB total), and, of course, the Indilinx Everest controller, all in a standard 2.5-inch SSD form factor. In CrystalDiskMark, it averaged 445MB/s sustained reads (35–40MB/s slower than the SandForce drives we’ve tested) and 315MB/s sustained writes (15MB/s faster). Its single-queue-depth 4KB random writes were competitive at around 5,600 IOPS, but at QD32, it only put out 22,000 IOPS—Samsung’s 830 Series does 35,000 and the Patriot Pyro SE does over 90,000. The Octane’s maximum response time in Iometer, at 429ms, is a bit worrying, too—its competitors have max response times of around 40ms. The Octane’s video encoding performance was within seconds of the other drives, and its PCMark Vantage and PCMark 7 scores, though lower than the rest, weren’t too shabby.
Back in the day (as in, before solid state drives), Western Digital's VelociRaptor line was the cat's meow in terms of high speed storage. Fast and expensive, VelociRaptors were the tool of choice by power users willing to drop a bit of extra coin for better performance. Flash forward to today and you'll find SSDs are the popular option among power users, but just like billionaire InGen CEO John Hammond brought back dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, Western Digital has injected new DNA into its VelociRaptor line and is now shipping its most capacious mutation to date.
Western Digital has begun shipping its new WD Scorpio Blue 7mm hard drive line, the newest edition to its mobile HDD family and the one with the lowest power consumption. These 2.5-inch drives are fully compatible with industry-standard 9.5mm slots found in mainstream notebooks and slimmer laptops, but they're really designed to shine in Ultrabooks as an alternative to costly solid state drives that fall short on storage space.
HGST, the company formerly known as Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, is wasting no time in showing new owner Western Digital how it rolls in the storage space by unveiling what it claims is the world's first 4TB enterprise-class hard drive family. The Ultrastar 7K4000 represents a new generation of 512e Advanced Format drives and offers up oodles of storage space for both traditional enterprise customers and the ever growing cloud/Internet market.
Sure, the prices of mechanical hard disk drives are going to stay above preflood levels. That sucks, but not all the news on the storage front is as bleak, or as expensive: a number of e-tailers have accidentally leaked details about a new, low cost line of Intel SSDs that are due to hit the streets very, very soon.
Good news for all you mechanical drive freaks out there: the beleaguered and washed-out hard disk drive industry is on track to pull its head back above water in the second half of the year. Yay! Bad news for all you mechanical drive freaks out there: even though HDD output will fully catch up to previous levels, HDD prices are still going to stay above the "dirt cheap" range they were at before the Thailand floods.
So you're thinking about selling your Xbox 360 console, perhaps because you pre-ordered the Limited Edition Kinect Star Wars Bundle and want to offset part of the cost, or maybe you're going all-in with PC gaming. Whatever the reason for getting rid of your Xbox 360, there are some things you need to know before tossing it up on eBay or Craigslist, and it has to do with your credit card information.
Way back in May of last year, OCZ announced it was rolling out a new firmware update for its Indilinx SSD controllers, the more-than-a-mouthful "Arowana Flash Translation Layer" update. Vertex Plus owners received the swanky new software in relatively short order, but it took until now -- nearly 10 months later -- for Indilinx Barefoot-controlled SSDs to garner the same attention. They say it's better late than never, though, and initial reports claim that Arowana delivers some solid results.
Seagate has become the first hard drive maker to achieve a storage density of 1 terabit (1 trillion bits) per square inch, the company said Monday. It managed this feat using a next-generation recording technology called heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR). The company foresees 3.5-inch hard drives based on this technology reaching “extraordinary” storage capacities over the next decade. Hit the jump for more.