Surely SandForce must have had it's fair share of suitors that may have included Intel, Corsair, SanDisk, Western Digital, and others. But it wasn't any of these of solid state drive (SSD) players who rolled the dice on SandForce, and instead it was a company called LSI who scooped up the popular SSD chipset maker. Now the question is, what does the future hold for SandForce and its clients, and in particular OCZ?
Well here's a bit of a shocker. A company called LSI has signed a definitive agreement to acquire SandForce, makers of all those high-speed solid state drive (SSD) controllers that are so popular in the performance category. Most people assumed it would be a company like Intel, or even Corsair who would eventually swoop in and scoop SandForce up, just as OCZ did with Indilinx.
OCZ has finally issued a fix for the BSOD/disconnect issue plaguing its SF-2200 based solid-state drives (SSDs). The problem isn’t limited to OCZ drives alone, but is known to affect drives with Sandforce SF-2200 controllers from other vendors as well. However, OCZ is the first vendor to issue a fix, which comes in form of a firmware update.
Adata is totally stoked about its new high performance XM13 mSATA solid state drive. According to Adata, the XM13 is the fastest SSD in its class and represents the company's "increasingly strong R&D capabilities" while also establishing a firm foundation in the small form factor market. The XM13 uses 25nm MLC NAND flash memory and a modern SandForce chipset.
We didn't come up with that question out of the blue, and we only started wondering about the logistics of such a move after hearing rumors that Intel and SandForce are fast becoming pals. According to news and rumor site Fudzilla, Intel is at the very least seriously considering outfitting some of its high-end solid state drives with SandForce controllers, which would be just another notch -- albeit a very big on -- on SandForce's belt. But that's not all Intel is thinking about.
This isn’t Patriot’s first rodeo. The company’s Torqx drive (reviewed September 2009) was one of the best Indilinx SSDs on the market for a while, and the Inferno (October 2010) was a perfectly cromulent first-gen SandForce drive, only lagging behind those SF-1200-based SSDs with specially tweaked “Max IOPS” firmware. The Wildfire (a name that actually seems like a step down from Inferno) is Patriot’s first SF-2281-based drive, and we put the 120GB version through its paces.
Any fears we had that the OCZ Vertex 3’s speeds were due solely to some voodoo magic or secret deal with SandForce were unfounded. OWC’s Mercury Extreme Pro 6G—a product name that contains three too many buzzwords—goes toe to toe with the Vertex 3 in nearly every benchmark, and exceeds it in some.
OCZ already ships two drives with the blazing-fast SF-2281 controller—the Vertex 3 and the firmware-tweaked Max IOPS Vertex 3. So, why a third? Like its predecessors the Agility and Agility 2, the Agility 3 is OCZ’s “mainstream” SSD for this generation. So what distinguishes it from the Vertex 3, and is there any reason to buy it?
SandForce has built quite a name for itself by building high-end solid state drive controllers employed in a number of enthusiast level SSDs, and the company doesn't show any signs of slowing down. After launching its second generation SF-2200 (SATA 6Gbps) and SF-2100 (SATA 3Gbps) chipsets earlier this year, SandForce says it's now prepared to demonstrate a prototype SSD built with Toshiba's 24nm multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory.