Do you go for the speed of an SSD or the capacity of a traditional HDD? If you said 'both,' you're halfway to the finish line on this one. Silverstone's new HDDBoost gadget promises to take the best of both worlds, combine the two together, and yield up to a 70 percent increase in performance over that of an existing host hard drive.
The drive enclosure is compatible with most 2.5-inch SDDs and slides neatly into any available internal 3.5-inch drive bay. A SATA cable then connects the enclosure to a mechanical hard drive, and the device does the rest. There's no special software or drivers to muck around with, and it works with any OS tha supports a SATA interface.
Once everything's hooked up, the HDDBoost takes over and copies your most used files to the SSD, and then accesses them first whenever needed. By doing so, Silverstone claims a huge performance boost, all without sacrificing storage space.
Right now the device is only available in Japan and runs about $50. No word yet on when the company plans on shipping it to the U.S. market, but if the HDDBoost lives up to Silverstone's claims, we wouldn't be surprised to see it show up soon.
If Alternate.de's listing is any indication (see here), OCZ is busy readying an update to its Vertex 2 SSD line, the Vertex 2 'Limited Edition'.
Fudzilla says the updated SSDs will be available in 100GB and 200GB capacities, but it's unknown whether the Limited Edition units will use the same SandForce controller as found on the Vertex 2 Pro. Either way, the upcoming drive sports some pretty impressive read and write speeds, with Fudzilla reporting reads to be in the vicinity of 250MB/s to 270MB/s, while writes will cruise along at 235MB/s.
Like most high-end SSDs, the Vertex 2 Limited Edition units aren't likely to come cheap. At the current exchange rate, Alternate.de has the 200GB model listed at roughly $1,237, or about $6.18 per gigabyte.
Super Talent has the high-end enterprise and database server markets squarely in its sights with the unveiling of the company's new TeraDrive SSD series.
"Super Talent has a solid track record of developing leading edge SSDs. Their new TeraDrive series, incorporating SandForce technology, is an impressive advance in enterprise storage," said Thad Omura, VP Marketing at SandForce, Inc.
The TeraDrive series is being offered in capacities from 50GB to 200GB and boast support for SATA 3Gbps. Speed shouldn't be an issue, not on paper, anyway. According to Super Talent, its TeraDrive series come capable of of up to 250MB/s read and write speeds "that will not degrade over time," as well as up to 30,000 IOPS.
In 2009, OCZ emerged as one of the busiest makers of SSDs on the planet, and lest you thought they might kick it down a notch in 2010, take a look at company's roadmap.
There will be no slowing down for OCZ, who is wasting no time in transitioning to 34nm and 32nm NAND flash memory. This will allow OCZ to introduce larger models, including 512GB versions of the Vertex and Agility series. The company's also planning a 1.8-inch SSD built around Indilinx's new Amigos controller.
The next generation of Vertex drives, Vertex 2, will sport a customized SF-1200 controller from SandForce and boast 270MB/s read and 260MB/s write speeds, putting them close to the theoretical bandwidth limits of SATA II.
OCZ also plans to expand its Z-Drive series, which use the PCI-E bus. The upcoming Z-Drive e88 will come rated at up 1400MB/s read and 1500MB/s write speeds, however it will be mainly targeted at enterprise environments. On the desktop front, the Z-Drive p88 will boast 1300MB/s read and 1200MB/s write speeds.
No word yet on pricing for any of the upcoming models.
As storage technology moves inexorably toward solid state, Toshiba is determined to be on the forefront of the changeover. The Japanese tech giant has announced plans to expand their selection of 32nm Multi-Level-Cell (MLC) NAND SSD units. The new lineup will include a “Half-Slim” 128GB SSD suitable for use in netbooks. The drives will be capable of 180MB per second read and 70MB per second write speeds.
Lest you assume that Toshiba has forgotten the performance space, there will also be new high performance SSDs. These standard 2.5-inch drives will be capable of 250MB per second read and 180MB per second write speeds. They will be available in sizes ranging from 64GB all the way up to 512GB.
If you’re weary of SSD reliability, fear not. These drives will support the new TRIM commands implemented in Windows 7. The first production samples should show up in Q1, with wide availability in Q2. No pricing information was available.
OCZ this week announced that enterprise solid state drive (SSD) provider WhipTail Technologies will tap into OCZ's "premium" SSDs for products and services the company offers.
"We are proud to support WhipTail with our enterprise class OEM SSD products," commented Ryan Petersen, CEO at the OCZ Technology Group. "WhipTail’s unique Racerunner solution takes full advantage of all the benefits of solid state drives to provide their customers with an exceptional storage appliance that gives their customers a competitive advantage."
WhipTail will use OCZ's SSDs to configure its Racerunner SSD appliances, which consists of a proprietary software stack and are touted as the "fastest flash-based appliances currently on the market."
Seagate’s new line is called Pulsar. According to Seagate, Pulsar is intended for blade and general server applications--which means they will be targeted to the enterprise market segment.
The drives will be built with chips of Seagate’s own design, making use of single-level cell (SLC) technology (for reliability), fit into a 2.5-inch form factor, use a SATA 3Gb/s interface, and will be available in capacities up to 200GB.
Mechanical hard drives still hold the advantage when it comes to capacity and price-per-gigabyte, but there's no touching the speed of a quality solid state drive (SSD). OEMs know this, and while mobile PC users might not be willing to pay the premium placed on SSDs, they may be willing to step up to a 7200 RPM hard drive. In fact, Seagate reckons that by 2011, half of all mobile hard drives will spin at 7200 RPM in order to better compete with their pricier brethren.
By 2012, Seagate predicts most mobile PCs -- even netbooks -- will have transitioned to 7200 RPM hard drives. That's good news for power users more concerned with performance than they are with maximing battery life. The theoretical performance difference between a 5400 RPM and 7200 RPM hard drive sits at about 33 percent, but it can be even more, depending on cache, areal density, and other factors.
The move to faster mobile hard drives at lower price points might not bode so well for SSD adoption, however. SSDs will still trump HDDs in everything from boot times to how long it takes to load an application, but it won't be as pronounced as when compared to a 5400 RPM HDD.
If you're looking for the fastest solid state drive available for your notebook or desktop PC, Micron says look no further than its RealSSD C300 drive. According to Micron, the new drive improves performance in a number of areas, including faster OS boot and hibernate times, speedier application loads, and peppier data transfer and file copying.
"The C300 SSD not only delivers on all the inherent advantages of SSDs -- improved reliability and lower power use -- but also leverages a finely tuned architecture and high-speed ONFI 2.1 NAND to provide a whole new level of performance," said Deal Klein, vice president of memory system development at Micron.
Micron says the performance gains are even better when paired with a SATA 6Gb/s interface. How much so? Try up to 355MB/s reads and up to 216MB/s writes. And in its own internal benchmarking, Micron's C300 scored 45,000 in PC Mark Vantage's HDD Suite.
See a side-by-side showdown between Micron's RealSSD C300 and a hard drive in this YouTube video.
Intel X25-M G2 SSD owners should be lauded for their patience. Don't believe it? See here, here, and, here. We won't fault anyone who takes this next bit of news with guarded optimism, but Intel's newly released 02HD firmware purports to restore TRIM support, and do so without bricking the previously problematic drives.
So far at least, user response in Intel's support forums have been fairly positive. Nobody yet has reported any major problems in the firmware's main support thread, which is a positive sign given the SSD's past problems.
The 02HD firmware applies to both 80GB and 160GB Intel X25-M G2 SSDs built on a 34nm manufacturing process, and in addition to restoring TRIM support, Intel says it also contains "several continuous improvement optimizations intended to provide the best possible user experience."