This is fast turning out to be world storage week, or so it seems. A day after Seagate upped the hard drive capacity ante with its ultra-capacious 4TB FreeAgent GoFlex Desk external hard drive, Dell has begun offering the Precision M6600 and M4600 mobile workstations it launched back in May with the option of 512GB SATA3 Mobility SSDs, “giving users lightning quick 500MB/s read and 300MB/s write times.” What’s more, those interested in the M6600 now have the option of configuring the machine with more than 1TB of SATA III solid-state storage.
If you've been pouting all week because Samsung announced its first SATA 6Gbps SSD line -- PM830 SSD series -- would only ship to OEMs, you can go ahead and turn that frown upside down. The drive maker today cut the ribbon on the home consumer version and said it will start shipping its new SSD 830 series in October.
Remember Samsung's 470 SSD series? That marked Samsung's first foray into the retail SSD market, and we rated the 256GB version a solid 8 for its competitive performance. Representing another first for Samsung, meet the PM830, the only SATA 6Gbps SSD in Samsung's stable and offered in up to 512GB of capacity.
Hold onto your bootstraps because Intel's promising breakneck speeds with its new 510 Series solid state drives. The new SSDs sport a SATA 6Gpbs interface, making possible up to 500MB/s read and up to 315MB/s sequential write speeds. According to Intel, the 510 Series is the fastest consumer SATA SSD available today.
Western Digital's Caviar Blue line is the cheapest of all the Caviars (which includes Green and Black label drives), which makes the addition of a SATA 6Gbps interface a groovy addition, even if not fully utilized.
"We've added a SATA 6Gbps interface to our award-winning WD Caviar Blue and WD Caviar Black desktop hard drives in capacities from 250GB to 2TB," Western Digital said. "This transition to a SATA 6Gbps interface aligns with the introduction of SATA 6Gbps supporting chipsets and motherboards coming to the market."
As far as the Blue label Caviars are concerned, these come in capacities ranging from 250GB to 1TB with anywhere from 16MB to 32MB of cache. Street pricing ranges from around $45 (250GB) to $80 (1TB).
This morning, Western Digital officially announced (and started shipping) the next generation of its VelociRaptor hard drives, and we’ve got tasty benchmark numbers for you.
The new Velociraptors are SATA 6Gb/s-enabled and come in 450GB and 600GB flavors (a 300GB bump from the previous-gen’s 150GB and 300GB). Like their predecessors, the Velociraptors spin at 10,000rpm and desktop versions are mounted on IcePack heatsinks that let them fit in standard 3.5-inch SATA hard drive bays. IcePack-less 2.5-inch models are available for enterprise servers, but at 15mm high, they won’t fit in your laptop.
The new VelociRaptor with its top off.
The much-needed refresh bumps the Velociraptor line back into the enthusiast market, where solid-state drives and super-speedy terabyte drives have nibbled away at their market share. Enough yammering outta us, though; let’s go to the benchmarks!
Wish to experience the blazing speeds of USB 3.0 and/or SATA 6Gbps? Or do you just want something new to brag about to your friends? If yes, then an add-on card is the way to go for you, especially if you wish to live your USB 3.0/SATA 6Gbps dream on a shoestring.
The USB 3.0 card features two ports on the rear panel. The SATA 6 Gb/s card on the other hand features one internal port and a lone eSATA 6 Gb/s connection. There is no word on the price or availability of the cards.
With some of the first USB 3.0 and SATA 6 devices already released, the first capable motherboards are now available for purchase. Asus and Gigabyte were both known to be working on new boards earlier this summer and both companies are now shipping their latest models.
Asus is shipping two boards, one with a P55 chipset, and the other with an X58. Due to the single lane bandwidth bottleneck of the P55 chipset, Asus uses a bridge chip (PLX8613) and four PCIe lanes so the board can run in SLI and Crossfire modes. Gigabyte is shipping seven different boards in the P55A series. Gigabyte opted to avoid the bridge chip so dual-card modes will not be enabled in the board.
These motherboards are shipping despite delayed chipset releases from Intel supporting the latest interfaces. Manufacturers do not expect to have new Intel chipsets with USB 3.0 support until 2011.
Intel may be content to wait until 2011 before jumping on the USB 3.0 bandwagon, but that isn't stopping third-party mobo makers from taking advantage of the SuperSpeed spec right now. Take Asus, for example, who has just launched a pair of motherboards the company claims features "true" USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s performance.
So what exactly is all this talk of 'true?' According to Asus, a special expansion bridge chip outfitted to its P7P55D and P7P55D-E series alleviates bandwidth constrictions for both the USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s controller chips, whereas other solutions might knock the theoretical bandwidth down by as much as 50 percent.
Other features of the new boards include CrossFireX and SLI support, eSATA, up to 10 USB 2.0 ports (and 2 USB 3.0 ports), Firewire, DDR3 2200 support, and full Windows 7 support.