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.
Now all Vector SSDs are eligible for OCZ's free game offer.
It has come to our attention that OCZ Technology is no longer limiting its free Far Cry 3 promotion to just the 256GB and 512GB solid state drive (SSD) models. Those who purchase the 128GB version are now eligible as well, so no matter which capacity Vector drive you buy, you'll receive an activation code and URL to download the full version of Ubisoft's entertaining first person shooter (FPS).
New and existing OCZ Vector SSD (256GB and 512GB) owners are eligible receive Far Cry 3 for free.
Boy oh boy, with the free promotions out there adding up, it's starting to look like if you paid for Far Cry 3, you're doing it wrong. Far Cry 3 was featured in AMD's "Never Settle" game bundles, Samsung was giving it away with the purchase of its 840 Series solid state drives (SSDs) during Cyber Monday, and now OCZ is working the free Far Cry 3 promotion with the purchase of select Vector SSDs.
The switch to 20nm NAND flash memory should lead to lower cost drives.
OCZ announced a new 20nm NAND flash version of its popular Vertex 3 solid state drive (SSD) Series dubbed Vertex 3.20. Like the original, the Vertex 3.20 Series features a 6Gbps interface, multi-level cell (MLC) memory, and the same LSI SandForce SF-2200 controller. Performance specs are similar too, so why the switch? It all boils down to money, and in this case, 20nm has had time to mature and drop in price.
A number of factors will lead to declining hard drive shipments this year, IHS iSuppli says.
Facing stiff competition from tablets, smartphones, and solid state drives (SSDs), mechanical hard disk drive (HDD) shipments are expected to fall 12 percent this year, according to market research firm IHS iSuppli. HDD revenue will drop at about the same clip, declining 11.8 percent to $32.7 billion in 2013, down from $37.1 billion in 2012, and remaining flat in 2014.
Solid state drive (SSD) shipments are forecast to more than double in 2013.
It's going to be several years before solid state drives (SSDs) reach the same or similar market share as mechanical hard disk drives (HDDs), but in the meantime, one of those storage sectors is seeing explosive growth. According to IHS iSuppli, a new generation of lower-cost and more appealing Ultrabooks will help double the number of SSD shipments to 83 million units in 2013, up from 39 million in 2012. By 2016, IHS iSuppli believes SSD shipments will reach 40 percent the size of the HDD market.