While the future of Ultrabooks might be in question, there's no doubt that manufacturers are trending towards thinner, lighter, and more powerful machines, and that has peripheral and component makers all vying a piece of the pie. Enter Mushkin, which just announced a line of slim 7mm solid state drives intended for Ultrabooks. In addition to their slim profile, Mushkin's new Chronos Deluxe SSDs sport performance-oriented SandForce controllers and SATA 6Gbps interfaces.
OCZ has typically reserved its Vertex label for the highest-performing SSDs in a given generation—using synchronous NAND, for example, rather than the asynchronous NAND found in its less expensive Agility series. The 256GB Vertex 4 carries on that tradition, with 16 128Gb IMFT 25nm synchronous NAND packages on a board with 512MB of DDR3 DRAM cache and OCZ’s new Indilinx Everest 2 controller.
The Everest 2 controller in the Vertex 4 is a modified Marvell controller with custom Indilinx firmware.
SSD vendors that make one or more components of their drives tend to do better than those who just slap commodity parts on a board and call it a day. Sounds reasonable, right? SanDisk’s Extreme SSD is yet another drive based on the LSI SandForce SF-2281 controller, a 6Gb/s SATA SSD controller with speedy sequential reads and an emphasis on hyper-fast queued random writes.
However, because it is a NAND manufacturer, SanDisk has the means to use its own 24nm toggle-mode NAND—eight 256Gb packages in the 240GB version—instead of commodity NAND. Like other SF-2281-powered drives, the Extreme SSD uses the extra 16GB of NAND for overprovisioning and write caching.
SanDisk’s Extreme is a plain black metal box with a sticker on it and speed inside.
Corsair and Samsung debut new SSDs and controllers in a battle for SSD-ominance
The pace of development in the SSD world is staggeringly awesome, as each generation of SSD controllers has delivered substantial increases in performance and reliability, while at the same time we’ve seen flash prices drop like a stone. It’s a great time to be storing and accessing data, for sure, but we’ve also seen the market dominated by a trio of SSD controllers from SandForce, Marvell, and Indilinx, with different vendors applying their own tweaks to the drives’ firmware to differentiate them. Though these controllers are all pretty sweet, we were beyond stoked to see two brand-new drives from Samsung and Corsair arrive this month, both with all-new SSD controllers. Will either of them put a dent in the SandForce/Marvell juggernaut? Read on to find out!
It's not really fair to pit an enterprise grade PCIe solid state drive (SSD) against a typical consumer grade model sporting a SATA interface, like Samsung's 840 Series announced earlier today, but that doesn't mean we're any less impressed with the fact that RunCore's new Kylin III SSD manages 3 million random read IOPS and 1.4 million random write IOPS. It's safe to say it can run Crysis, and anything else you throw at it, though it's really meant to tackle workstation tasks that include database chores, web servers, analytic engines, and anything involved with high performance computing servers in general.
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.
Hey kiddos, today's top deal is Dell's 15.6" Vostro 3555 AMD A6-3420M 1.5GHz quad-core Laptop. This Vostro is equipped with 4GB of Ram, a 320GB hard drive, a backlit keyboard, Windows 7 Professional, and comes with a $100 gift card. Normally priced at $519, with the gift card, this essentially brings the overall cost down to $419. You can check out the deal here.
LSI Corporation today announced an injection of enhanced features into its SandForce SF-2200 and SF-2100 series of client flash storage processors (FSPs) specifically designed to play nice with Ultrabooks. The new features are said to extend battery life by as much as one hour, cut down on resume times when waking from sleep mode, and "enhance the overall user experience."
For those of you paying attention, it's hard not to notice the downward trend in solid state drive pricing, which in some cases has fallen below a buck per gigabyte on high end SSDs. Be that as it may, market research firm IHS iSuppli believes mechanical hard disk drives (HDDs) will remain the dominant storage platform now and in the near term future, even as Microsoft's Surface tablet and other competing SSD-only devices enter the market place.
Here's an interesting tidbit for those Maximum PC readers who were wondering why the two biggest players in mechanical hard drives have yet to seriously jump into the SSD waters: OCZ's shares are currently spiking after insider rumors claimed that Seagate and Micron are considering buying out the company.