I am planning on building a new video-editing system and have never configured SATA devices before.
Does the SATA architecture work in a similar fashion as IDE (i.e., master and slave devices per channel) or are the ports single-homed? I was planning on building a system with RAID 1 OS drives, a separate swap file drive, and RAID 1 data drives. That would use up five ports if they are single-homed. Which brings me to my second question: Is there a benefit to having SATA optical drives or should I put them on the IDE channels?
SATA 3.0 will double transfer speeds to 6Gbps, and will be fully backwards compatible with earlier versions of SATA. And, for those of you looking forward, you’ll enjoy the new streaming commands for isochronous data transfers between audio and video applications, and the Low Insertion Force (LIF) connector for smaller 1.8-inch drives.
It’s expected that there will be demonstrations of SATA 3.0 at Computex, but there’s no real word on how long it’ll take for this technology to make its way to the masses.
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.
As it turns out, both Seagate and Maxtor-brand SATA drives can be affected by firmware problems. So, how can you find out exactly which models may be on the naughty list and when Seagate has a firmware fix that's ready for prime time? Join us after the jump for details.
Confused by terms like SATA II, SATA Gen 2, and SATA 3Gb/s? You're not alone. With today's release (link in PDF format) of the PHY (physical layer) portion of the forthcoming SATA revision 3.0 specification (details here), SATA-IO, the trade association responsible for defining Serial ATA specifications, is trying hard to stomp out the many misidentifications of SATA specifications and features over the years.
SATA revision 3.0 doubles the speed of the current 3Gb/s version, reaching transfer speeds of 6Gb/s. So, what should you call the newest member of the SATA specifications family? According to the SATA Naming Guidelines, here's what works:
The first reference in a document should be: "Serial ATA International Organization: Serial ATA Revision 3.0." Additional references can be to either "SATA Revision 3.0" or "SATA 6Gb/s."
To find out how SATA-IO is also working to clear up confusion for current technologies, join us after the jump.
Solid state drives (SSDs) are usually considered to be more power efficient, faster, and in some respects more reliable than hard disk drives and they command a hefty premium over other drives. Dell's offering of a 128GB solid-state drive as an option on its Latitude, XPS, Alienware, and Precision laptop models for $649 is a steep drop price drop since many SSDs with half of that capacity still sell for more than $700. Is it really worth it? The IDC released a report that claims the performance gap between SSDs and lower-cost high-performance hard disk drives is not that significant at the system level.
TargetTech.com quotes David Reinsel, one of the authors of the report, "Many tests have been done comparing 4,200 rpm hard drives to SSDs, but 5,400 rpm is now mainstream and even 7,200 rpm disks are available." He adds that the gap between performance in systems with 7,200 rpm 2.5-inch drives and systems with SSDs was much smaller than expected, mainly because of the performance of the system as a whole rather than just the storage device. Reinsel goes on to say, "There will be what's called a 'period of interdependency' with this technology. It isn't just plug and play." He suggests that system redesigns will be necessary in PCs and enterprise systems to gain the full benefit from flash.
If you are the ultra curious type and have ten grand to blow you can grab the report here. My credit card just laughed at me for trying.
Even though SSDs have dropped in price, they still are not a good performance item for the price point. A Fujitsu 120GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb OEM notebook drive is going for $99, versus a $640 SSD with the same capacity. The price savings can buy you a lot of other goodies. We will have to wait for systems to be updated to take advantage of SSD drives and of course in the mean time, the price will continue to go down. When will it be the right price point versus performance for you to make the switch?
The Drobo storage robot adds FireWire 800 ports for faster performance, and provides a discount for first-generation models. USB 2.0 users also get faster performance, and it's easy to figure out exactly how many (and how large) the drives you need to add to get the storage you want. So, how much is the new Drobo, what can you save on an "old" Drobo, and what else is different?
I built an Intel-based system that’s running on a Gigabyte 945P-S3 motherboard. I’m chugging on three SATA hard drives—a 120GB, 250GB, and 500GB. The processor is a Core 2 Duo E6300 running at 1.86GHz, along with 4GB of 667MHz memory and a GeForce 5800 Ultra Extreme 512MB graphics card.
So what’s my problem? The system runs OK with 64-bit Vista Ultimate SP1, but I have a problem with the 500GB drive disappearing. It doesn’t show up in any of the installed diagnostic programs, Windows disk management, or anywhere else. If I swap the power supply connector around, the drive will show up for a while, but then it disappears again. (The power supply is a Thermaltake 800W unit that’s about a year old, and it has swappable plug connectors.)
Most times a reboot shows the disk in the BIOS as “BzBzBzBz...” What’s going on?
Data Robotics, the creators of Drobo, "The World's First Storage Robot" and DroboShare, which adds network capabilities to Drobo, have taken Drobo to the next level. Endgadget reports that Data Robotics has opened Drobo+DroboShare up to developers through its new Drobo Developer Community (DDC) and SDK program.
To understand why the network media server category has just gotten even bigger, catch me after the break.
Ever since Plextor stopped manufacturing the PX-755SA DVD burner, we’ve been on the hunt for a worthy replacement. We loved the Plexy’s SATA interface, so we’re not settling for anything less going forward. (It’s just plain foolish to opt for a drive with an oversized, outdated parallel connector when SATA models are available.) Since SATA drives from Lite-On and Asus failed to win us over in the August issue, we corralled a couple new contenders, including Plextor's new PX-810SA.