Starting off the week in style, Samsung today announced its fastest solid state drives (SSDs) yet, the 840 and 840 Pro Series. These new drives feature an updated MDX controller comprised of three ARM Cortex-R4 cores running at 300MHz. The beefier controller allows the new drives to run faster and handle new features, like full-drive AES-256 encryption, and paves the way for blistering fast IOPS rated at up to 100,000 (random reads) on the Pro models.
One thing the storage market doesn't lack is a healthy selection of solid state drives (SSDs), and you can be up to your eyeballs in options when shopping a new drive. How does a company separate itself from the pack? If you're Plextor, you tap Marvell to provide the controller chipset and then boast about "unique enterprise-grade double-data protection technology" baked into each SSD.
Corsair's no newcomer in the SSD market, but its new Force Series GS SSDs bring something new to the company's table: toggle NAND flash memory. Corsair claims that one tweak has made the Force Series GS drives the fastest models in its SandForce 2000-series lineup.
If you watched HDD prices soar after the Thailand floods and found yourself grumbling that SSDs should be cheaper, good news! Your wish has come true, at least to some degree. The hardworking souls over at The Tech Report and Camelegg have analyzed scads and scads of SSD price points over the past year and found that prices are down nearly 50 percent in that time frame, with several models now dropping below the vaunted $1/GB price point.
One of the big knocks against SSDs is that they simply don't have the same storage capacities as traditional mechanical HDDs. Well, that argument's about to fly out the window: OCZ is finally making good on its promise to deliver a 1TB SSD as part of its 2.5-inch Octane lineup.
Eight out of ten geeks agree: once you've taken an SSD's blazing fast speeds for a whirl, it's hard to go back to standard HDDs. (The last two geeks horde ripped HD video files like they're going out of style.) The problem is, the comparatively sky-high price point of SSDs have kept most folks away from their oh-so-sweet performance. New reports indicate that may change in the coming months, however, as the big movers and shakers in the SSD industry lower prices to try and squeeze out the little guys.
Let’s play a little game. We have three solid state drives—one each from Patriot, OCZ, and Intel. Two of them are powered by the ubiquitous SandForce SF-2281 controller, and the other marks the consumer debut of a new 6Gb/s SATA controller. Guess which drive has the new controller?
If you guessed the Intel drive, time for a spit-take. It’s the OCZ drive that’s got the new controller, and the Intel drive which is SandForce-powered. What in the name of the MLC gods is going on?
In last month’s roundup of solid-state drives, Intel’s entrant bore Marvell’s 9174 6Gb/s SATA controller, rather than an Intel one. While the Intel 510 SSD performed respectably among its 6Gb/s SATA peers, it’s not the top-to-bottom Intel drive fans have been waiting for. That drive is finally here, and despite the Intel 320 Series nomenclature, this is the third generation in Intel’s X25-M series of mainstream solid-state drives. But is a drive with a 3Gb/s SATA controller really going to cut it in 2011?
If the automotive world progressed as fast as the computer industry, the old joke goes, we‘d all have $1,000 cars that get 400 miles to the gallon, never need maintenance, and crash catastrophic-ally every eight weeks for no reason. Ancient punch lines aside, comparing this year’s storage options to those of even half a decade ago would be like entering a Bugatti Type 35 in the Preakness Stakes.
It seems like just yesterday that we said farewell to our June 2010 issue and with it our second-ever solid state drive roundup. But no sooner had we shipped that issue to the printers than a new pile of tasty solid state drives landed on our doorstep. This month, the OCZ Vertex 2 (the sequel to that “limited edition” drive from June) bumps heads with another SandForce drive—Corsair’s Force F100—as well as the Patriot Zephyr, which uses JMicron’s new JMF612 controller. The SandForce SF-1200 controller seems to be replacing Barefoot’s Indilinx as the go-to performance chipset, but what about JMicron? Its JM602 controller was largely responsible for the poor write performance of first-gen SSDs, so can the JMF612 wash that bitter taste out of our mouths? You can bet your second-favorite platypus that we’ll find out. Don’t bet your favorite platypus; that’s just irresponsible.