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."
Intel has largely been absent from the high-end SSD market for many years, which has been a real head-scratcher, considering the original X-25M’s dominance back in 2009. That all changes this month with the release of its all-new 730 series SSD. It springs from the loins of its data center SSDs, which use validated NAND and Intel’s enterprise-level controller technology. To emphasize this heritage, Intel isn’t bragging about the drive’s overall speed, but instead notes the drive is rated to handle up to 70GB of writes per day, which is higher than any other SSD on the market by a huge margin. It features capacitors to protect data being written in case of a power outage, which is an unusual but not unprecedented feature on a consumer SSD. Intel also backs the drive with a five-year warranty.
Note: This review was originally featured in the May 2014 issue of the magazine.
Affordable storage packed with advanced security features
Intel announced a new addition to its solid state drive (SSD) family, though it's not intended for home consumers. Instead, Intel's new SSD Pro 2500 Series is intended to bring security features and lower cost of ownership to businesses in need of the kind of "blazing fast" performance SSDs afford. They'll get that with SSD Pro 2500 family, which comes in capacities ranging from 120GB to 480GB.
Kingston Technology today introduced the latest addition to its SSDNow V300 series, the V310. What's special about the V310 is that it's a 960GB SSD, the largest capacity available in Kingston's entire stable of SSDs (the second largest is 480GB, which is available in Kingston's HyperX 3K and V300 Series). The V310 also swaps the custom LSI controller found in the V300 Series for a Phison 3108 controller.
Solid state drives are starting to feel like a dime a dozen, but don't mistake Samsung's newest line for just another ordinary SSD. Samsung's 850 Pro is the first SSD to sport the company's cutting-edge 3D vertical NAND (V-NAND) flash memory technology. In case you've never heard of V-NAND, it features a proprietary vertical cell structure that overcomes the density limit currently facing planar NAND architecture.
Retail Optima SSDs were found to be using different controllers than the ones sent to reviewers
PNY put itself in a somewhat sticky spot when it decided to equip its Optima solid state drives bound for retail with a different brand controller than the ones that were sent to reviewers. Once it was discovered by the public, there were cries of wrongdoing over what buyers considered a bait-and-switch tactic. We reached out to PNY for an official explanation on the matter and here's what the company told us.
If you're not rocking a solid state drive in your system, there's a good chance the cost of entry is what's preventing an upgrade. Even after the various price drops in the past year or so -- SSDs are easily found for less than $0.50 per gigabyte these days -- they're still relatively expensive next to mechanical hard drives. Well, guess what? Word on the web is that SSD makers are preparing an aggressive price war.
The first of several drives to boast "Made in the USA"
Edge memory is feeling patriotic these days. Never heard of them? According to the company's About Us page, Edge Memory's roots date back to 1986 when a 14-year-old took $2,500 that he saved from his paper route and began buying and selling computer parts in the Dallas Morning News. Now a full fledged business, Edge Memory's newest product is the Revolution, a 7mm solid state drive proudly made in the U.S.
PlexTurbo software gives M6 Pro SSD series a serious performance boost
Every so often, we hear from Plextor, the former go-to company for high performance optical drives back when that was a thing. Now the company focuses primarily on solid state drives, and Plextor's newest release is the M6 Pro SATA SSD, the first consumer SSD from Plextor to pass its new ultra-strict enterprise-grade Zero Error standard of 400 units surviving 1,008 hours (up from 500 hours). That's not the only reason to like this drive.
Color us impressed with Micron's marketing of its new Crucial MX100 solid state drive line. Rather than try and oversell the drive with exaggerated rhetoric and fancy pants nomenclature, Micron is billing the Crucial MX100 SSD as a drive that offers cost-effective mainstream performance. Indeed, while the drive's sequential read and write speeds of up to 550MB/s and 500MB/s, respectively, are no longer unique, they're still some of the fastest available in the SATA space.