With the US still lagging behind the rest of the developed world when it comes to the availability of high-speed Internet, there's still a lot of need for high-capacity external storage. It's also a good idea to have local system backups. A few years ago, your choices were mostly clunky 3.5-inch drive enclosures that needed external power. We've since graduated to sleek 2.5-inch units that get their juice straight from USB 3.0 cables that shuttle bits between the drive and your PC. Today, Samsung is taking it a step further with the Portable T1, which is an external SSD that can operate in the neighborhood of SATA III speeds.
Low power SSD hits ultra high speeds (2,150MB/s reads, 1,550MB/s writes)
One of the biggest developments in the solid state drive market has been that of falling prices over the past couple of years. We hope that trend continues, though it's not the sole storyline -- there's also the transition to PCI Express, and with it comes much faster speeds than their SATA 6Gbps counterparts. How fast are we talking? Well, Samsung's SM951 SSD for ultra-slim laptops and workstations is rated to read and write data at up to 2,150MB/s, and 1,550MB/s, respectively.
The fastest SATA 6Gbps SSDs top out at around 590MB/s, and if you want to go faster, one way to do that is by utilizing PCI Express. That's exactly what Plextor has done. Yes, the same Plextor that made a name for itself with high-end optical drives, back when that sort of thing mattered. These days Plextor's been focusing on more modern products, like its new M6e Black Edition SSD.
Mushkin this week unveiled its new Striker line of solid state drives. The new drives are built for speed and reliability, which largely boils down to the type of controller -- in this case, Mushkin opted for a Phison PS3110-S10 controller, which boasts a quad-core, 8-channel design. It also features 256-bit AES encryption, Opal 2.0, end-to-end path protection, and a few other technologies.
Now that it no longer requires taking out a second mortgage to fund a solid-state drive upgrade, maybe we'll start seeing an influx of high capacity SSDs. Is that too much to ask? Not of Patriot Memory, which arrived at the Consumer Electronics Show with its new and capacious Ignite line of a SATA 6Gbps SSD products. And for good measure, the company also brought along a couple of new USB flash drives, which we'll get to in a moment.
SanDisk targets tablet and laptop users with new SSD options
We've already seen solid state drive pricing drop to around 50 cents per gigabyte and below for high performance models, and here's hoping even lower prices are bound for 2015. In the meantime, SanDisk just unveiled a couple of new SSD lines at CES -- the SSD Plus and Ultra II mSATA SSD. The former is a 2.5-inch entry-level drive targeting laptop and desktop users, while the latter is for laptop and tablet users.
Cloud computing and IoT are pushing demand for more storage
Don't feel too bad for storage players as the prices of hard drives and solid state drives continue to come down -- there's still money to be made. Lots of it. By Western Digital's estimation, the global storage market will reach $38 billion by the end of this year, up from $36 billion a year ago. And that's not all -- WD sees the growth continuing into next year and beyond, with 2015 seeing $42 billion in storage sales.
Falling prices have vendors more willing to adopt low capacity SSDs
Solid state drive pricing has fallen off a cliff in recent years, which is largely the result of lower cost NAND flash memory chips. Since then, SSDs have continued to trickle downwards in price, though at a much slower pace. Nevertheless, with costs still trending downward, laptop vendors are expected to offer more business-class laptops with both SSD and HDD storage options inside.
Tired of seeing the same old players participate in the solid state drive wars? If so, you'll be glad to know another warrior is entering the battlefield. That warrior is Lite-On, and come CES, the company that's perhaps best known for manufacturing affordable optical drives (dating back to when optical drives weren't necessarily affordable) will try its hand at making consumer grade SSDs.
It's been about a month since Corsair first began showing off its Neutron XT solid state drive family, and at the time, the company wasn't ready to talk about pricing details. That's a secret Corsair can't keep forever -- the drives are reportedly supposed to launch to public in the coming weeks -- so last night, Corsair spilled the beans on how much its Neutron XT SSD line will street for.