Latest SSDs from Intel use a 3rd generation controller built in-house
Intel on Thursday launched a new line of solid state drives built specifically for power users and enthusiasts. The new 730 Series enters the performance storage scene wielding 20nm MLC (multi-level cell) NAND flash memory chips and a third generation Intel controller rather than SandForce silicon as found on the company's 530 Series. According to Intel, the 730 Series was built with DNA extracted from the data center and tuned for gamers and other consumers that require speed and reliability.
If you thought Toshiba might simply hand over all solid state drive chores to its recently acquired OCZ Storage Solutions subsidiary, think again. Toshiba will continue to build its own brand SSDs alongside OCZ and today announced its new HG6 series. It's the newest edition to the HG family and is intended for a wide range of applications, everything from ultrabooks and ultrathins to data center servers.
The Samsung 840 Pro landed on our Best of the Best list when it was launched in December 2012, and it has remained at the top of the SSD pile ever since, thanks to its blistering speed, impeccable pedigree, and superb software. Shortly after the Pro launched, Samsung debuted a non-Pro drive, named simply “840,” that was designed for those who wanted a less expensive drive with a smaller three-year warranty. This month, Samsung is replacing the regular 840 with the 840 Evo, an all-new drive that slots in below the 840 Pro, thanks to its three-year warranty (the Pro’s is five years) and more reasonable pricing. The Evo is also offered in a full range of capacities, from 120GB all the way up to 1TB, making it the first Samsung SSD available at that size and putting the 1TB Crucial M500 directly in its sights, although the Evo does cost $50 more at $650 MSRP.
Note: This review was originally featured in the October 2013 issue of the magazine.
On the same day that Toshiba announced it finalized its acquisition of OCZ Technology, the newly formed and wholly owned subsidiary OCZ Storage Solutions rolled out its first product release, the Vertex 460 SSD Series. The new family of SSDs is an evolution of the 20nm-based Vertex 450 Series. It employs OCZ's proprietary Barefoot 3 (BF3) M10 controller with Toshiba's 19nm multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory for a high performance solution at mainstream prices.
Toshiba on Wednesday finalized the purchase of OCZ Technology Group, making it a wholly owned subsidiary and thus officially marking the end of an era that began over a decade ago. However, it's also a new beginning of sorts -- or a second chance, if you will -- as Toshiba said the division will operate independently as OCZ Storage Solutions and continue to churn out high performance solid state drives.
At this point in the game, it's safe to say that solid state storage devices are here to stay. They've proven reliable (mostly), are insanely fast compared to mechanical hard drives, and continue to drop in price. At CES, Adata was all about showing off its upcoming solid state solutions, including a 2TB SSD for big capacity needs, and a micro SSD solution that combines NAND flash memory and the chipset controller into a single package.
Lacie has a lineup of products it plans to demo at CES in Las Vegas this week, and among them is the Little Big Disk, one of the first storage solutions enabled by Thunderbolt 2. According to Lacie, it's the fastest portable storage solution on the market. By stuffing high-performance solid state drives (SSDs) inside, the Little Big Disk delivers speeds up to 1375MB/s over Thunderbolt 2.
Samsung's caching technology unlocks an insane speed boost on select SSDs
One thing we didn't cover in Samsung's earlier unveiling of a 1TB 840 Evo mSATA solid state drive (SSD) is the immediate availability of the company's Magician (version 4.3) software. This is notable because it introduces two big upgrades to Samsung's current SSD product lineup, including RAPID (Real-time Accelerated Processing of I/O Data) Mode for Samsung's 840 Pro family of SSDs, and a security features for the company's Evo SSD line. It's the RAPID Mode that really excites us, however, as it offers a significant speed boost to an already insanely fast SSD lineup.
Ultrabooks and laptops in general aren't getting any chunkier these days, and to accommodate increasingly thin profiles, mSATA form factor solid state drives (SSDs) are taking the place of 2.5-inch drives. That doesn't mean you'll need to give up storage space. Samsung today launched its 840 Evo mSATA SSD line, among which is the industry's first 1TB mSATA-based SSD, the company claims.
Imagine swapping out that 1TB mechanical hard drive that's been making grinding noises with a 2GB solid state drive. Talk about an upgrade! If your pockets are stuffed with enough cash and you can justify spending what's likely to be a small fortune on a 2TB SSD in 2.5-inch knickers, you'll have your chance in 2014. So says a leaked Intel roadmap outlining the company's SSD plans.