We talk SSD bait-and-switch, pricing of DDR4, and more
Kingston dropped by for a quick visit to show off some new HyperX toys and we figured we’d bring them into the podcast room so you could also get a front seat in on the conversation. On episode #230 of the No BS Podcast, Jimmy and Tom are joined by Kingston’s Senior Technology Manager Mark Tekunoff, Public Relations Manager David Leong, and Reverb Communications Public Relations Director Douglass Perry. In the short half-hour podcast, we look at the company’s new HyperX Cloud headset and discuss the fairly recent “bait and switch” SSD controversy in which synchronous NAND was later swapped out with slower asynchronous NAND on retail shelves. We also talk about the future of DDR4, particularly in regards to pricing, yields, and performance.
That last time we heard from OCZ was back before the end of 2013, when the company was in the grips of bankruptcy and nobody was sure what its future held. Fast forward to March 2014, and things are looking rather good for the formerly beleaguered company, much to everyone’s surprise. Rather than simply dissolve and fade away like we had feared, the company has been acquired by storage behemoth Toshiba, and is now operating as an independent subsidiary.
Note: This review was originally featured in the May 2014 issue of the magazine.
When Toshiba acquired OCZ's storage division and rebranded it as OCZ Storage Solutions, it freed the bankrupt company to concentrate solely on building solid state drives rather than balancing the business side of securing affordable NAND flash memory and trying to contend with shortages. We're starting to see the fruits of this relationship, as OCZ today announced its new ARC 100 SSD Series intended to deliver "exceptional performance an an enticing price point."
Every mobile user who is limited to just one storage bay wants the best of both worlds: SSD speeds with HDD capacities. Both Seagate and WD have a one-drive solution to this problem, with Seagate offering a hybrid 1TB hard drive with an SSD cache for SSD-esque performance, and WD offering a no-compromise 2.5-inch drive with both an SSD and an HDD. These drives are arch rivals, so it’s time to settle the score.
The WD Black2 is an answer to the prayers of mobile users who have just one drive bay but want the speed of an SSD with the capacity of a hard drive. Unlike a hybrid drive, which stores all data on a hard drive but uses a limited amount of flash storage for caching, the WD Black2 features an all-new design whereby a single 2.5-inch enclosure houses both a hard drive and an SSD—two distinct drives that appear to the OS as such, so you can put your OS on the SSD and your data on the hard drive. It’s a brilliant solution that unfortunately gives up a bit of performance in order to conform to the small form factor, but if we had just one storage bay in our notebooks, we’d upgrade to this bad mutha immediately.
Affordable storage packed with advanced security features
Intel announced a new addition to its solid state drive (SSD) family, though it's not intended for home consumers. Instead, Intel's new SSD Pro 2500 Series is intended to bring security features and lower cost of ownership to businesses in need of the kind of "blazing fast" performance SSDs afford. They'll get that with SSD Pro 2500 family, which comes in capacities ranging from 120GB to 480GB.
Kingston Technology today introduced the latest addition to its SSDNow V300 series, the V310. What's special about the V310 is that it's a 960GB SSD, the largest capacity available in Kingston's entire stable of SSDs (the second largest is 480GB, which is available in Kingston's HyperX 3K and V300 Series). The V310 also swaps the custom LSI controller found in the V300 Series for a Phison 3108 controller.
Solid state drives are starting to feel like a dime a dozen, but don't mistake Samsung's newest line for just another ordinary SSD. Samsung's 850 Pro is the first SSD to sport the company's cutting-edge 3D vertical NAND (V-NAND) flash memory technology. In case you've never heard of V-NAND, it features a proprietary vertical cell structure that overcomes the density limit currently facing planar NAND architecture.
Retail Optima SSDs were found to be using different controllers than the ones sent to reviewers
PNY put itself in a somewhat sticky spot when it decided to equip its Optima solid state drives bound for retail with a different brand controller than the ones that were sent to reviewers. Once it was discovered by the public, there were cries of wrongdoing over what buyers considered a bait-and-switch tactic. We reached out to PNY for an official explanation on the matter and here's what the company told us.
If you're not rocking a solid state drive in your system, there's a good chance the cost of entry is what's preventing an upgrade. Even after the various price drops in the past year or so -- SSDs are easily found for less than $0.50 per gigabyte these days -- they're still relatively expensive next to mechanical hard drives. Well, guess what? Word on the web is that SSD makers are preparing an aggressive price war.