Samsung's 3D Vertical NAND (V-NAND) technology is no longer reserved for just its premium solid state drives (SSDs). With the introduction of its affordable 850 Evo SSD family, mainstream customers now have access to the same technology that was previously only found in Samsung's 850 Pro line released earlier this year. What that ultimately means for consumers is access to SSDs that are presumably more reliable and less expensive.
Solid state storage (SSD) drives are relative newcomers to the storage scene compared to media like mechanical hard disk drives. So the question remains, are SSDs reliable? Barring a time machine and enough plutonium to keep it running, it's a tough question to answer. In the absence of a DoLorean equipped to race back and forth in time, the next best way to test SSDs for endurance is to bombard them with writes. Turns out such a test is taking place with two SSDs having survived 2 petabytes of write tests so far.
OCZ may have learned a lesson from its competitors that swapping NAND flash memory in an existing solid state drive line tends to irritate customers. Rather than go that route with its Vertex 460 line and risk a public outcry, OCZ this week announced its new Vertex 460A SSD family using newer A19 Multi-Level Cell (MLC) NAND flash memory chips provided by its parent company, Toshiba.
Hey, if Ubisoft and Samsung want to start handing out free games, we'll all for it. In this case, the free title is Assassin's Creed Unity, which you're eligible to receive if you purchase a Samsung U28D590D (UD590) 4K Ultra HD monitor or a Samsung 850 Pro solid state drive (256GB, 512GB, or 1TB) from a participating retailer -- don't worry, there are several to choose from.
Today's high performance SATA 6Gbps solid state drives top out at around 590MB/s for read and write transfers. If you need something faster, you can slap a pair in a RAID 0 configuration, or switch over to PCI-Express. G.Skill chose both with its new Phoenix Blaze Series. Kicking off G.Skill's Phoenix Blade line is a 480GB PCIe SSD equipped with four LSI SF-2281 SSD controllers in a RAID 0 setup.
For those of you who needed another solid state drive line to consider for your next upgrade, Mushkin today added the Chronos G2 series to its family of SSDs. Part of the pitch from Mushkin is that they're designed and assembled in the U.S., while the other selling point is that the Chronos G2 line offers a high level of performance for users working with a limited budget.
Look for lower priced SSDs in the coming weeks and months
We have to admit, we've been spoiled by solid state drive price drops in the past year or so. While once considered cost prohibitive by many, SSDs are mostly affordable these days, provided you're not trying to match your 4TB hard drive in capacity. SSDs typically sell for less than 50 cents per gigabyte with prices continuing to drop. Accelerating the process is a price war in China that's leading to even lower cost SSDs.
Comes in more than a dozen capacities and form factors
Micron, the memory chip maker based in Boise, Idaho, announced its M600 SATA solid state drive. According to Micron, the M600 represents a next-generation design that sets a new bar for low-power, high-performance storage for PCs. There are 13 different variations to choose from ranging in capacity from 128GB to 1TB and in 2.5-inch/7mm, mSATA, and M.2 single-sided form factors.
That last time we heard from OCZ was back before the end of 2013, when the company was in the grips of bankruptcy and nobody was sure what its future held. Fast forward to March 2014, and things are looking rather good for the formerly beleaguered company, much to everyone’s surprise. Rather than simply dissolve and fade away like we had feared, the company has been acquired by storage behemoth Toshiba, and is now operating as an independent subsidiary.
Note: This review was originally featured in the May 2014 issue of the magazine.
When Toshiba acquired OCZ's storage division and rebranded it as OCZ Storage Solutions, it freed the bankrupt company to concentrate solely on building solid state drives rather than balancing the business side of securing affordable NAND flash memory and trying to contend with shortages. We're starting to see the fruits of this relationship, as OCZ today announced its new ARC 100 SSD Series intended to deliver "exceptional performance an an enticing price point."