Corsair today added to its ever expanding line of solid state drives with a new entry level offering, the Force LS Series. These new drives are powered by a Phison SATA 6Gbps controller, the first in Corsair's Force family of SSDs to deviate from LSI's Sandforce SF-2200 controller. They also features multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory built by Toshiba on a 19nm manufacturing process.
You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. It’s time for a crash course in solid-state drive technology
Solid-state drives are taking the PC world by storm with their silent operation, blazing speeds, and ever-sinking prices, and yet you're hesitant to buy one. Maybe you're afraid of SSDs, or you don't think you know enough to make an educated purchase, or maybe a bad SSD controller took all your data down to Chinatown. Regardless of the reason for your trepidation, every horsepower junkie should be getting in on the SSD action, and to do that you need a little bit of cash and a whole lot of knowledge. Over the next several pages we will attempt to answer all of your SSD-related questions. We'll walk you through all the reasons why you need an SSD first, then break down the terminology so you can talk like an SSD badass at the next LAN party, then show you the parts of an SSD so you know how it all fits together, and we'll wrap it up with a discussion of the software you'll need to monitor and optimize your drive. Though SSDs might seem complicated with their 24nm synchronous MLC Toggle NAND flash and their AHCI-enabled SATA 6Gb/s IOPS gobbledygook, you're about to find out they are not as scary as you thought they were.
Note: This feature was originally featured in the June 2013 issue of the magazine.
The folks at Plextor are planning a special launch at the upcoming Flash Memory Summit in Santa Ana, California, next week, the company revealed to Maximum PC in an email. On tap is the unveiling of Plextor's new M6 Series solid state drive (SSD) family. It will feature the next generation of Plextor's proprietary TrueSpeed technology working in tandem with the Marvell 88SS9187 controller to deliver "enhanced performance and reliability," the company said.
It doesn't matter if you own a motherboard with a legacy BIOS or one sporting a newfangled UEFI BIOS, the RAIDR Express from Asus ROG will play nice either way. It's a PCI-E based solid state drive (SSD), and supposedly the first of its kind with a DuoMode feature that allows it to work with either type of BIOS. Just flip the hardware switch to the appropriate setting and you'll be off an running with a spectacularly fast SSD.
Excuse us a moment as we wipe the dribble from our chin and compose ourselves. You see, we just received word that Samsung lowered the gauntlet by launching a massive 1TB solid state drive that performs in between its 840 Series and 840 Pro Series. The new Samsung 840 EVO is a potential game changer, given the aggressive price points. If nothing else, it will certainly make users think twice about pairing a large hard drive with a small capacity SSD when you can now have the best of both worlds.
We’re giving away a Crucial M500 120GB solid state drive and a three-year license for iolo’s System Mechanic software
We know there are two things that our readers love; Pure PC Power, and free stuff. Since we’ve always got your PC power needs covered, we figured you might need some gear, and we love running contests, so here’s our newest one. In this contest one winner will receive both a Crucial M500 120GB SSD and a three-year license to iolo’s System Mechanic software. You can check out the review of Crucial M500 SSD here on the Maximum PC website. Though we haven’t reviewed System Mechanic software, we’ve heard good things about it.
Click the "Read More" button to see how to enter the contest.
Several months ago, the supreme high-end SSDs from Corsair and Samsung faced off in the Octagon known as the top of our desk area that holds drives being tested. In that blood-curdling battle (in which neither drive moved nor made a sound), the Samsung 840 Pro was victorious, vanquishing its opponent by a slim margin in a contest where zero trash talk was delivered by either storage device. This month, Round Two commences as the companies’ value-conscious SSDs clash like cars in a demolition derby by sitting quietly on a test bench while we perform benchmarks upon them. Neither of these drives is as fast as their top-tier brethren, but they are priced accordingly, and both are a damned-good value.
Note: This article originally appeared in the March 2013 issue of the magazine.
Savvy move by Western Digital is low risk, high reward
There will always be those who doubt or remain skeptical of the long-term reliability of solid state drives (SSDs), but at this stage of the game, they're generally viewed as a viable storage medium, even among enterprise clients. Hence Western Digital felt compelled to spend approximately $340 million in cash ($6.85 per share) acquiring Stec, a Santa Ana firm that specialize in flash memory-based solutions and the first vendor to develop SSDs for large-scale enterprise storage.
Samsung has ramped up production of what it claims is the industry's first PCI-Express solid state drive (SSD) for next generation ultra-slim notebooks. Dubbed XP941, these new drives come in the new M.2 form factor and measure just 80mm by 20mm. They weigh a scant 6g, which is about 9 times less than a standard 2.5-inch SSD, Samsung says. Though they're small and light, these drives kick out some heavy-hitting performance numbers.
Intel this week announced a new line of solid state drives for data centers and cloud computing servers. Dubbed DC S3500, the new series of SSDs are designed for read-intensive applications such as web hosting, cloud computing, and data center virtualization, the Santa Clara chip maker says. The S3500 line is also being billed as a cost-effective replacement for traditional hard drives.