Samsung has ramped up production of what it claims is the industry's first PCI-Express solid state drive (SSD) for next generation ultra-slim notebooks. Dubbed XP941, these new drives come in the new M.2 form factor and measure just 80mm by 20mm. They weigh a scant 6g, which is about 9 times less than a standard 2.5-inch SSD, Samsung says. Though they're small and light, these drives kick out some heavy-hitting performance numbers.
Intel this week announced a new line of solid state drives for data centers and cloud computing servers. Dubbed DC S3500, the new series of SSDs are designed for read-intensive applications such as web hosting, cloud computing, and data center virtualization, the Santa Clara chip maker says. The S3500 line is also being billed as a cost-effective replacement for traditional hard drives.
SanDisk today unveiled its Extreme II SSD series, a follow-up to the original Extreme SSD that we reviewed last year (we evaluated the 240GB model). The Extreme II SSD line is supposedly faster than the original in most instances, part of which is due to the use of a select amount of single-level cell (SLC) NAND flash memory for what SanDisk describes as a "two tier caching" setup.
New SSD line gets its kicks from the Indilinx Barefoot 3 Series controller.
One thing OCZ had yet to do up to this point was deploy in-house ASIC technology on its Vertex family of solid state drives. That changes with the introduction of the Vertex 450 Series, which OCZ is marketing as a mid-range performer that sits between its value offerings and flagship Vector line. The Vertex 450 Series uses OCZ's Indilinx Barefoot 3 M10 controller, essentially a newer iteration of the Barefoot controller found in the Vertex 4.
Seagate, one of the largest suppliers of hard drives in the world, announced on Tuesday a new portfolio of flash-based storage solutions. Among the portfolio of products is a new Seagate 600 Series solid state drive, the company's first client-based SSD and one that's available in multiple z-heights, including an industry first 5mm-high drive that can squeeze into ultra-thin devices and laptops alike.
Three USB hard drives: WD My Passport vs Toshiba Canvio Plus vs Adata DashDrive Elite
There are times when a USB key can’t handle the action we’re throwing at it and we need something bigger to step in and get the job done. Like a police officer calling for backup, it’s at these times that we summon a USB 3.0 hard drive. This latest batch of drives offers something for everyone, from WD’s huge 2TB jobbie to Adata’s super-thin, sexy little thang. Toshiba’s 1.5TB drive is thrown into the mix, too, for folks looking for a basic, affordable, high-capacity solution.
Note: This article was taken from the February 2013 issue of the magazine.
A quick and easy way to compare solid state drives.
The same people who brought you CPUBoss and GPUBoss have now launched a similar comparison website for solid state drives. SSDBoss.com is nearly identical in form and function to the other two sites, offering storage shoppers an easy way to compare the performance and value of different SSDs. You can also look up full spec comparisons of various drives, all under the hood of a single site.
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 in December of 2012 due to its well-rounded package of decent performance at a great price. In our estimation, the new drive fulfills the same well-rounded role, 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 pant-tightening 1TB version at just $600, making it the market's first truly affordable 1TB SSD. 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.
Mushkin is now serving up its new 1.8-inch Chronos Go SATA 6Gbps solid state drives, or so the company says. The only place we could find the new drives for sale is on Ebay, as we lucked out in our search at the usual online suspects, and even at a few unusual corners. Be that as it may, the new line is supposed to be available in 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB capacities, each one built around the 1.8-inch form factor as opposed to 2.5 inches.
When we last paid a visit to the Corsair Neutron GTX in the December 2012 issue, we declared it one wicked-fast SSD, but it was unfortunately nicked at the finish line by the Samsung 840 Pro. Corsair isn't too worried about that, though, and seems to have adopted an "upwards and onwards" mentality we see manifested in the capacious 480GB variant of the GTX that landed on our test bed this month. Like its smaller-capacity brethren, it's sporting a brand-spankin'-new Link A Media controller (LAMD) that is exclusive to Corsair at this time, and it's wedded to Toshiba 24nm toggle-NAND. Running the show is an ARM microcontroller that pumps data through a SATA 6Gb/s connection. The Neutron GTX is also a slim 7mm jobbie, so it'll fit in even the most anorexic Ultrabooks. Desktop jockeys are also given consideration via the included 3.5-inch bay adapter.
Note: This review first appeared in the January 2013 issue of the magazine.