OCZ is hoping its new RevoDrive will bring PCI-E based SSD storage to the masses, and given the price points, that's a real possibility.
The drive comes in both 120GB and 240GB capacities with MSRPs set at $390 and $700, respectively. Not exactly cheap, but in line with what other high-performance SSDs are going for. And unlike their SATA based brethren, the RevoDrive SSDs aren't bound by the same bottlenecks.
"The RevoDrive is the first PCIe SSD that delivers both performance and affordability and radically alters the SSD landscape," said Ryan Petersen, CEO of the OCZ Technology Group. "Up to this point PCIe SSDs have been reserved for enterprise applications and priced out of the range of many consumers, the bootable RevoDrive SSD changes the game by delivering a PCIe based solution that costs as low as $3 per gigabyte, exceptional small file write IOPS of over 80K, which is the most available in any low-cost solution."
The RevoDrive features a proprietary RAID 0 design that helps it ramp up transfer rates to up to 540MB/s read and up to 480MB/s write speeds, or nearly twice that of traditional SATA-based SSDs.
USB 3.0 devices are slowly trickling out, but who actually has any USB 3.0 ports to take advantage of them? Those in the market for a new PC or motherboard can get the new standard, but everyone else has to wait. Well, unless they have $40 lying around.
Tokyo-based electronics maker Greenhouse will be releasing a PCI Express PC interface card with two USB 3.0 ports. The firm is claiming the card will be capable of full 5 Gbps transfer speeds. Only time will tell if real world speeds will be that good. The card will be compatible with Windows XP, Vista, and 7. At a mere $40, it’s worth a shot.
Two companies were competing with each other and time to roll out the world's first USB 3.0 hard rive. In the end, it proved to be an anti-climax as one of those two companies, Freecom, failed to deliver the USB 3.0 hard drive that it had announced back in September. It has now pushed back the launch to next year.
The hard drive is three times as nimble as any USB 2.0 drive, and understandably so. Buffalo has also announced the IFC-PCIE2U3, a two-port PCI-E card to help potential DriveStation HD-HXU3 buyers overcome the lack of USB 3.0 support on their PCs. The drive will be available in three capacities: 1TB ($200), 1.5TB ($250), and 2TB ($400) .
OCZ on Monday announced its latest Z-Drive PCI-Express SSD, the m84. Unlike previous Z-Drives, the m84 doesn't target enterprise users and instead is intended for the 'mainstream' power user crowd.
"The OCZ m84 Z-Drive is the newest addition to our line of PCI-E solid state drives and is designed to offer consumers a high performance yet aggressively priced solid state solution," said Eugene Chang, Vice President of Product Management at the OCZ Technology Group. "While the previously released p84 and e84 Z-Drives were intended specifically for enterprise applications, the m84 delivers much of the same performance but at a price point that is competitive with standard SSD drives. This is the first time that such a high performance PCI-E based SSD that is optimized for media editing, gaming, and workstation productivity, has been so within the reach of power users."
The m84 comes built with multi-level cell (MLC) NAND and a bootable internal RAID 0 configuration. OCZ says users can expect read speeds up to 750MB/s and write speeds up to 650MB/s, at least in the 256GB model. Other capacities include 512GB and 1TB, with both of the higher capacity models improving read and write speeds to 870MB/s and 780MB/s, respectively. All three boast sustained write speeds in the neighborhood of 600MB/s.
While Super Talent is busy readying its RAIDDrive, OCZ today announced it has begun shipping its PCI-Express based Z-Drive. This is the same drive that was being discussed at CeBIT earlier this year, and like Super Talent's version, OCZ's model looks to leave behind the confines of the SATA bus for wider pastures on the PCI-E interface more suitable for the ultra fast flash memory.
"Traditional enterprise storage technology typically requires overly complex infrastructures as well as costly maintenance, and is often unable to deliver the level of performance required by OEM applications," said Ryan Peterson, CEO of the OCZ Technology Group. "The new OCZ Z-Drive is an all-in-one high performance plug-and-play bootable PCI-E solid state drive that addresses these challenges head on, and meets the demands of the complete range of enterprise storage and data access requirements."
Sporting an internal RAID 0 configuration, OCZ says its SLC-based Z-Drive can top out at 800MB/s reads and 750MB/s writes, whereas the MLC-based version trails just lightly behind at 750MB/s reads and 650MB/s writes. Both versions also look to consume less power than traditional hard drives.
While OCZ did say the drives have started shipping, it did not announce a price or expected availabilty date.
TGDaily has found out that Super Talent plans to start shipping its first PCI Express RAIDDrive SSDs in early October, so you may want to hang on for a few more weeks if you're currently planning a dream machine build. Why is that? Because these purportedly stupid-fast drives are being designed to thrash the throughput bottleneck in your PC's storage subsystem and leave the SATA bus bandwidth limitation in the dust.
"The PCIe Gen. 2.0 x8 interface used by RAIDDrive SSDs supports 4GB/s bandwidth, more than ten times that of the SATA-II 3Gbps bus, and five times greater than the not yet available SATA-III bus," a Super Talent spokesperson told TGDaily. "Currently, there is no other way to achieve the same performance, except via Fusio-IO - but that costs approximately $10,000 for equivalent speeds."
Super Talent, meanwhile, is targeting a price point below $1,000 in hopes of appealing to both gamers and enterprise users, the spokesperson added. Three versions will be made available, including:
RAIDDrive GS: Aimed at power users and gamers, supports RAID 0 or 5, uses MLC flash, and available in capacities up to 2TB
RAIDDrive ES: For enterprise servers, supports RAID 0 or 5, fits in a 3U rack mount chassis, uses SLC flash, and available in capacities up to 1TB
RAIDDrive WS: Geared towards workstation users, supports RAID 0 or 5, uses SLC flash, available in capacities up to 1TB
Assuming it lives up to the hype, would you drop upwards of $1,000 for a super-speedy SSD configuration?
Don't worry about your swank new motherboard soon being outdated by new models boasting PCI-E 3.0 support, the new specification is running into some unexpected snags, Fudzilla reports.
The main issue boils down to backwards compatibility and getting the PCI-E 3.0 specification to play nice with current PCI-E standards. Before the third gen PCI-E can get a stamp of approval, PCI SIG needs to verify products in the lab, and this is taking longer than expected.
"In this particular case, with pushing the technology so hard, and with PCI gen 3 providing so much more capabilities but with the need to be still backwards-compatible, we had to do the diligence required to move the date," said Al Yanes, president of PCI SIG.
The PCI-E 3.0- specification was originally supposed to be released this year, but now it looks like the second quarter of 2010 at the earliest. This would push shipments of products based on the new spec to 2011.
Let's get this out of the way right off the bat - Asus launched its P6T7 WS SuperComputer motherboard in mid-March, so technically it's not 'new.' But there's no splitting hairs about this workstation board being one of the baddest mobos around thanks to a whopping seven PCI-E x16 slots. Yes, we said SEVEN!
While there's nothing to stop a power user from building a truly brag worthy rig with the P6T7 WS as its foundation, this motherboard was really designed for parallel computing. It's been certified for Nvidia Tesla GPU computing with support for up to three Nvidia Tesla cards and one Nvidia Quadro card. Such a configuration adds up to 960 parallel processing cores pumping out 4 freakin' teraflops of processing power, enough to qualify for a basement level supercomputer.
Other specs include RAID 0/1/5/10 support, up to 12 USB 2.0 ports (6 native and 3 USB connectors supporting an additional 6 ports), 2 eSATA 3Gb/s ports, two nForce 200 chips, three-way ATI CrossFireX and Nvidia SLI support, dual LAN ports, and more.
We don't care one bit that PhotoFast's G-Monster-Promise SSD drive was supposed to be released last month. We're even willing to look past the reportedly obscene price tags being attached to the different sized units, because even more obscene is how freakin' fast the G-Monster claims to be. We're talking about sequential read and write speeds up to 1000MB/s, random 512KB read and write speeds not far behind, and random 4KB read and write speeds still a manageable 66MB/s and 58MB/s, respectively.
The two-slot G-Monster-Promise plugs into a PCI-E X8 slot and comes with a 256MB of ECC DDRII and 64MB x 4 SDRAM cache buffer. PhotoFast bills its new SSD as being ideal for high-end digital and video editing, as well as for a high-capacity data server. On the later front, the G-Monster is being offered in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and even 1TB capacities.
Back to the issue of cost. As expected, these drives won't be cheap, and if rumored pricing holds true, look for a starting price of $1,600, with the 1TB drive commanding $4,500. But did we mention 1000MB/s read and write speeds?
SSD prices have been improving steadily over the past year, but they are still priced out of reach for the average user in any type of practical capacity. That being said, our readers are Maximum right? So for those of you who have been considering SSD’s, you might want to hold out just a bit longer.
The newest entrant into the category comes from OCZ who is preparing to launch their new solid state drive, and the specs are pretty impressive. The new “Z-Drive” will bypass SATA bottlenecks by hooking directly onto a spare PCIe slot. The architecture of the drive has also clearly been tuned for performance with the four Vertex controllers being configured in a four-way RAID 0.
On paper this drive is capable of read speeds up to 510MB/sec, and write speeds to match idling out around 480MB/sec. Of course we won’t be able to verify these speeds until we get one in the lab, but if true, it could be one of the fastest consumer drives to date. The initial launch will see three different capacities made available, 250GB, 500GB, and 1TB. Pricing hasn’t been released just yet, but as with any new cutting edge SSD, expect it to cost more than most PCs.