This month the doctor tackles HDDs and SSDs, Ripping Woes, XP Drivers and many more
I just bought a WD Velociraptor WD1000DHTZ hard drive from Newegg. The performance of this drive is not what I expected it to be. I have an Asrock 870 Extreme3 R2.0 motherboard. When I bought this board on Newegg a year ago it was advertised as a SATA6 motherboard, but when I check the Asrock website it states that it is a SATA3 motherboard. Does the underperformance of my Velociraptor have something to do with this, or did I just expect too much?
Note: This feature was originally featured in the August 2013 issue of the magazine.
Fancy yourself a digital packrat? If oodles of storage options float your boat, you're going to love what ASRock has done with its new Z87 Extreme11/ac motherboard. This slice of silicon is, according to ASRock, "the most high-end Z87 motherboard on the face of the earth!" It's certainly one of the most storage friendly with 22 SATA3 ports, including 6 SATA3 ports by way of Intel's Z87 chipset, and another 16 SAS-3 12.0GB/s ports from the added LSI SAS 3008 controller plus 3X24R Expander.
Marvell this week said it's ready to start shipping its new 88SS9187 SATA controller with on-chip RAID technology for NAND flash memory devices. The on-chip RAID solution is able to recognize and retire defective NAND, and is one of a handful of new "game changing" features baked into Marvell's third generation SATA 6Gbps controller, such as a "groundbreaking correction capability" courtesy of its high performance ECC engine.
More power is a good thing when you’re talking desktops, but for notebooks, more power means less battery life – and in this age of Ultrabooks and ultraportables, that just isn’t acceptable to a lot of manufacturers. In yet another step towards making those Ultrabooks ultra long lasting, the SATA-IO organization announced a new feature yesterday: SATA DevSleep. Basically, DevSleep lets PHY and other circuitry drop into an almost completely powerless state – rather than a still power-consuming “Partial” or “Slumber” state – when it isn’t being used.
What to do when an SSD just isn’t fast enough? Super Talent would like you to buy its new TerraNova SSD. This little piece of silicon is capable of a theoretical max 540MB/s read and write speeds. The drive packs up to 480GB of storage and uses a new SandForce 2200 controller to get those insane speeds.
We had a recent incident in our lab where SATA 6Gb/s performance inexplicably dropped going from one motherboard to the next. In theory, both boards should have offered the same performance on the SATA 6Gb/s port as both used the same south bridge chip in the board and the same SSD. When we couldn’t diagnose it as drivers or a mis-configured benchmark run, we decided to swap out the SATA cable for a “real” SATA 6Gb/s cable. Like magic, the performance went back to what we expected.
This got us wondering if there is actually a need to run “real” SATA 6GB/s cables with high performance SSDs. The official word from the SATA International Organization is no, not at all. We decided to test it and see.
SanDisk is pushing hard for a new SATA standard that will purportedly enable OEMs to offer solid state drives with SATA performance while consuming significantly less power than today's devices. The spec is called SATA DEVSLP, and SanDisk has the support of several tech giants, including Intel, Samsung, and Microsoft, all of which have a vested interest in reducing power requirements for mobile devices.
Lost in the buzz surrounding the latest DirectX 11 GPUs and hexacore CPUs is the ability to actually store and retrieve your stuff. Your applications, games, photographs, digital music and everything else lives on your hard drive. But that boring old rotating magnetic disk just doesn’t seem exciting or high tech – even though the technology in a hard drive is actually pretty incredible.
We’ll first touch briefly on technology and jargon, then look at several different scenarios, and try to focus on what storage options might be appropriate and cost effective. But first, let’s talk tech. We’ll first briefly discuss hard drives, then take a quick look at SSDs.
If you're talking music, mashups are so, like, 2005. To be honest, we never really got into mixing Disturbed with the Backstreet Boys to begin with. But when you start talking data transfer specification mashups our ears start to perk up. Our sonic receptors are standing at full attention today, after the Serial ATA International Organization announced the development of a new specification that combines the SATA infrastructure with the PCIe interface to form a Voltron-like super-spec.
From the outside, the Enermax Hoplite doesn’t really stand out. Its generic industrial look has been done before, and better—it owes a lot to Cooler Master’s HAF series, by way of example. What it lacks in the looks department, however, it makes up for with ease of use. Couple that with a $100 price tag and a pretty spiffy LED-enabled front fan, and you’ve got yourself a deal. Kind of.