Toshiba on Wednesday announced a new high-performance, low-power hard drive series aimed at the enterprise crowd, the first of its kind for Toshiba, and a feat the company attributes to "the integration of Fujitsu Limit's enterprise-directed magnetic drive business into Toshiba's HDD business."
The new MBF2600RC enterprise HDD series comes in three different capacities: 300GB, 450GB, and 600GB. Each drive spins at over 10,000RPM, but that isn't the only performance-oriented feature. Improvements to the magnetic recording head and disk's magnetic layer gives the drives an area density of 595Mbit/mm2, the highest so far for 2.5-inch enterprise drives.
Other features include an internal transfer rate of 216MB/s, which is 13 percent faster than the previous generation MD2300RC; optional drive-based encryption; and power management schemes allowing for dynamic spin speeds.
On paper, Linux doesn't seem susceptible to any of the performance pitfalls associated with transitioning from 512-byte to 4096-byte sector hard drives, but is that really the case? According to Timothy Miller, founder of the Open Graphics Project, Linux is just as vulnerable to the potential performance impact as Windows XP.
Miller came to his conclusion after picking up a pair of new Western Digital Caviar Green drives and putting the paper assumption to the test.
"The problem most likely to hit you with one of these drives is very slow write performance," Miller wrote on his blog. "This is caused by improper logical-to-physical sector alignment. OS's like Linux use 4K blocks (or multiples of 4K) to store data, which matches well with the physical sector. However, nothing restricts you from creating a partition that starts on an odd-numbered 512-byte logical sector. This misalignment causes a performance hit since the drive has to read and rewrite the 4K sectors with whatever 512-byte slices changed."
Miller's findings fly in the face of WD's claims, who says that both Mac OS X and Linux would be "unaffected." During Miller's testing, he found that 1000 random aligned 4K writes consistently took between 7 and 8 seconds, while the same number of unaligned 4K writes took between 22 and 24 seconds, or three times longer.
"We've known about this issue for LONG time, and now it's here, and we haven't fully prepared," Miller added.
The market for ultra rugged eSATA portable hard drives has to be pretty small, but hey, here at Maximum PC we're all about catering to a niche right? If your still with us then you might want to check out the LaCie Portable Bus Powered eSATA drive which unfortunately, currently only comes in a 500GB capacity.
The manufacturer promises write speeds of up to 90MB/s, and even offers up a trusty old USB 2.0 connection just in case you find yourself without access to eSATA. The transfer speeds and storage capacity of this drive definitely makes it a compelling product, but some might find the $240 price tag a bit on the high side.
Is this amount of high speed portable storage worth the price?
Seagate on Tuesday said it has begun shipping what it claims is the "world's highest-capacity, most reliable small form factor enterprise drive," the Savvio 10K.4 HDD. As the model number suggests, this one spins at 10,000 RPM, but don't get too excited desktop denizens, this 600GB drive is destined for servers.
"Our customers face challenging storage needs requiring the most efficient use of space and power while maintaining the highest performance possible," said Howard Shoobe, senior manager, Dell Storage Product Management. "The new 2.5-inch 10K-rpm 600GB capacity point allows a doubling of capacity within the same rack space of current 3.5-inch 15K 600GB drives while increasing overall system-level performance and decreasing power usage."
The Savvio drives also come with either a 6Gbps SAS interface with dual-port communication, or a direct 4Gbps Fiber Channel connection. Other specs include 16MB of cache, a 4.6W power draw when idle, and various data protection and power saving features Seagate claims "can reduce the total cost of ownership to IT organizations and administrators."
Do you go for the speed of an SSD or the capacity of a traditional HDD? If you said 'both,' you're halfway to the finish line on this one. Silverstone's new HDDBoost gadget promises to take the best of both worlds, combine the two together, and yield up to a 70 percent increase in performance over that of an existing host hard drive.
The drive enclosure is compatible with most 2.5-inch SDDs and slides neatly into any available internal 3.5-inch drive bay. A SATA cable then connects the enclosure to a mechanical hard drive, and the device does the rest. There's no special software or drivers to muck around with, and it works with any OS tha supports a SATA interface.
Once everything's hooked up, the HDDBoost takes over and copies your most used files to the SSD, and then accesses them first whenever needed. By doing so, Silverstone claims a huge performance boost, all without sacrificing storage space.
Right now the device is only available in Japan and runs about $50. No word yet on when the company plans on shipping it to the U.S. market, but if the HDDBoost lives up to Silverstone's claims, we wouldn't be surprised to see it show up soon.
There's something green in the air this week, what with NEC announcing its carbon footprint conscious AS171 monitor, and Samsung introducing a new line of eco-friendly hard drives, the F3EG.
Sound familiar? That's because the EcoGreen F3EG series replaces the F2EG line, and with it bumps up the flagship model to a 2TB capacity consisting of four 500GB platters. By Samsung's math, that equates to 880 hours of DVD videor or 500,000 (or more) songs in MP3 format.
"Storage-hungry multimedia professionals, gamers, and home PC users contnue to increase the amount of video, music, photo, and other personal data they store and back-up," said In Cheol Park, vice president, Storage Sales, Samsung Electronics. "The F3EG delivers all the benefits of a low-power drive yet features high performance and is environmentally friendly."
Also in the eco-friendly F3EG mix is a 1.5TB model, and along with the 2TB drive, both boast Samsung's EcoTriangleTM technology comprised of low-power, low-noise components, and no halogen content.
BenQ is upping the ante in “ultra-portable” netbooks with the introduction of the Joybook Lite U103. BenQ’s “sub-one-inch wonder” will come with “Intel’s new Atom processor” (or, if you will, the N450, “Pine Trail M”), Windows 7, and dual drives. That’s right--two drives: a regular 500 GB HHD and an optional 32 GB SSD.
The U103, which is “meticulously designed to bring the digital worlds into harmony with consumer lifestyles,” will have 16 x 9, 10.1-inch “UltraVivid” LED backlit display, a 1.3 megapixel webcam, a multi-touch touchpad, SRS TruSurround sound, 802.11 b/g/n/ WiFi, and a 92% full-sized keyboard. Bluetooth is an option. BenQ doesn’t say what the default memory configuration is, or what processor options will be available. Total weight a mere 2.4 pounds.
Battery life will depend. The default 3-cell battery BenQ says will give up to four hours, while an optional 6-cell battery will last up to 8. BenQ also says its “Q-Charge” system will “recover” 4.5 hours of battery life (in the 6-cell) in an hour.
Colors: Arctic White and Ocean Blue. Price: unknown. Availability: now, if you happen to live in China, Taiwan, or Thailand. There’s no word on when we here in the U.S. can get our hands on one.
The non-profit science and nature nuts managed to cram "120 years of amazing discoveries, fascinating maps, and the world's best photography" into a portable 160GB hard drive. The Complete National Geographic collection includes every issue of the popular magazine digitally reproduced in high resolution.
At $200, it's also the most you're ever likely to spend on a 160GB external drive, and if that's too steep, you can kick it old school (and risk being labeled an old fart) with the 6-DVD version for $60.
We were expecting Seagate to lift the wraps on its 7mm thick thin hard drive next month during CES, but we guess the HDD maker just couldn't wait. Rather than wait a month, Seagate today announced the Momentus Thin drive, which the company claims is the "world's thinnest 2.5-inch hard drive" designed for ultraportables and entry-level laptops.
"The Momentus Thin drive promises to help computer makers differentiate on mobile-computing form factor and better compete in the fast-growing markets for thin laptop PCs and netbooks," said Dave Mosley, executive vice president of Sales, Marketing, and Product Line Management at Seagate. "Seagate is committed to helping its OEM and system integrator partners meet market demand for thinner laptop PCs and plans to expand storage capabilities for thin laptops as demand for these slimmer models continues to grow."
At just 7mm in height, the thin drive is 25 percent slimmer than traditional 9.5mm, 2.5-inch laptop hard drives. Seagate's Momentus Thin is so far available in 160GB and 250GB capacities, both of which come with an 8MB cache buffer, SATA 3Gb/s interface, and a 5400 RPM spindle speed.
Seagate says it will begin shipping its new drives to OEM and integrator partners in January 2010.
Somebody's been eating their Wheaties lately, and that somebody is Seagate. How else do you explain the flurry of activity? The company recently released the world's first SATA 6Gb/s hard drive, and pretty soon, Seagate will finally make the jump into the SSD market. On top of it all, the company is planning to unveil a new 2.5-inch 640GB Momentus HDD during CES next month.
The new drive will sport dual-320GB platters with an areal density of 507Gb (that's gigabit) per square inch, which is a 29 percent increase over previous 500GB hard drives with 394Gb per square inch. It will also come with an 8MB cache buffer and spin at 5400 RPM.
But wait, that's not all. In addition to the 640GB drive, Seagate also plans to introduce the world's first 7mm 2.5-inch drive, also during CES. That's 25 percent thinner than the 9.5mm standard. So why so small? It's safe to say that netbooks are more than just a passing fad at this point, and ultra-thins are fast becoming the next must-have portable PC.
"The new slimline product allows our OEM customers to continue to reduce the thickness and weight of their notebook platforms," stated Robert Whitmore, Seagate's Chief Technology Office.