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.
The last time we saw the SanDisk Extreme SSD it wasn’t exactly “extreme.” It was a fine drive and all, and we awarded it a “what a nice boy” verdict of 8 because it was decent, but it didn’t blow off our anti-static leashes or anything. The problem was it was a “me, too” SSD, using 24nm toggle NAND and an LSI SandForce SF-2281 controller, which was all the rage in the ancient SSD era of 2012. Times have changed though, and SandForce isn’t the only game in town anymore. SSD manufacturers are now trying to separate themselves from the pack of wannabes by going with different combinations of controllers and NAND flash, and that’s the tactic SanDisk has employed this time around by changing both the NAND flash and the controller, making the Extreme II SSD an all-new drive.
Note: This review was originally featured in the September 2013 issue of the magazine.
You may recall that several years back, OCZ gave up its DRAM memory business so that it could focus more of its attention on solid state drives (SSDs). Since then, OCZ has launched several different models, though no other SATA III SSD line in the company's portfolio is rated as fast as its newly announced Vector 150 Series. The latest 19nm NAND flash process geometry and an in-house controller design are what power these new drives.
A winning package of low price and high performance
The Crucial M500 is the company’s third-generation 6Gb/s SSD, and the successor to the often-praised M4 SSD, which we named the “Best Bang for your Buck” SSD back in December 2012 due to its well-rounded package of decent performance at a great price. In our estimation, the new drive follows suit, though with much-improved write speeds and massively increased capacities at lower prices, thanks to its move to smaller-process NAND flash. Not only does it come in the standard 120GB, 240GB, and the 480GB version you see before you, but it’s also offered in a pants-tightening 1TB version at just $600, making it the only truly affordable 1TB SSD ever offered. Since the terabyte drive was not available at press time, we’re taking a look at the 480GB version, which sports the exact same specs as its big brother.
Note: This review was originally featured in the July 2013 issue of the magazine.