The Samsung 840 Pro landed on our Best of the Best list when it was launched in December 2012, and it has remained at the top of the SSD pile ever since, thanks to its blistering speed, impeccable pedigree, and superb software. Shortly after the Pro launched, Samsung debuted a non-Pro drive, named simply “840,” that was designed for those who wanted a less expensive drive with a smaller three-year warranty. This month, Samsung is replacing the regular 840 with the 840 Evo, an all-new drive that slots in below the 840 Pro, thanks to its three-year warranty (the Pro’s is five years) and more reasonable pricing. The Evo is also offered in a full range of capacities, from 120GB all the way up to 1TB, making it the first Samsung SSD available at that size and putting the 1TB Crucial M500 directly in its sights, although the Evo does cost $50 more at $650 MSRP.
Note: This review was originally featured in the October 2013 issue of the magazine.
Newest NUC boasts support for a single 2.5-inch drive
Intel has its eye on the mini PC market with the introduction of its Next Unit of Computing (NUC) systems, though a limitation of early run versions is that they all used mSATA solid state drives. That in itself isn't a deal killer (though mSATA may not be long for this world), but what did cause problems is having the Wi-Fi card plopped right on top of the mSATA SSD. There were several reports of Wi-Fi issues with first run models (which is something we observed ourselves), possibly as a result of overheating, but with the newest NUC kit, Intel added a 2.5-inch drive bay.
On the same day that Toshiba announced it finalized its acquisition of OCZ Technology, the newly formed and wholly owned subsidiary OCZ Storage Solutions rolled out its first product release, the Vertex 460 SSD Series. The new family of SSDs is an evolution of the 20nm-based Vertex 450 Series. It employs OCZ's proprietary Barefoot 3 (BF3) M10 controller with Toshiba's 19nm multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory for a high performance solution at mainstream prices.
Toshiba on Wednesday finalized the purchase of OCZ Technology Group, making it a wholly owned subsidiary and thus officially marking the end of an era that began over a decade ago. However, it's also a new beginning of sorts -- or a second chance, if you will -- as Toshiba said the division will operate independently as OCZ Storage Solutions and continue to churn out high performance solid state drives.
At this point in the game, it's safe to say that solid state storage devices are here to stay. They've proven reliable (mostly), are insanely fast compared to mechanical hard drives, and continue to drop in price. At CES, Adata was all about showing off its upcoming solid state solutions, including a 2TB SSD for big capacity needs, and a micro SSD solution that combines NAND flash memory and the chipset controller into a single package.
Lacie has a lineup of products it plans to demo at CES in Las Vegas this week, and among them is the Little Big Disk, one of the first storage solutions enabled by Thunderbolt 2. According to Lacie, it's the fastest portable storage solution on the market. By stuffing high-performance solid state drives (SSDs) inside, the Little Big Disk delivers speeds up to 1375MB/s over Thunderbolt 2.
Revisiting the top tech headlines of the past year
Another year is in the books and you know what? The PC isn't dead! Not that we ever thought our beloved platform was ever in jeopardy, though you wouldn't know it if you listened to analysts and market research firms predicting all kinds of gloom and doom for the desktop. We're happy to say the sky didn't fall, and as we look ahead to 2014, we're more excited than ever about all the advances in technology -- 3D printing, wearable computing, and advances in storage are just some of the things gaining momentum as we head into the new year.
Before we look too far down the road, however, we wanted to take a moment and reflect on some of the biggest news stories of 2013. We've put together a list of the most popular happenings of the past year based on a variety of factors including traffic, reader engagement, and of course editorial discretion. Some are included here because of their lasting impact on the industry, and others because they piqued the interest of you, our readers, and sparked lively debates.
Ready to get nostalgic with us? Then off we go as we relive the top 13 news stories of 2013!
Samsung's caching technology unlocks an insane speed boost on select SSDs
One thing we didn't cover in Samsung's earlier unveiling of a 1TB 840 Evo mSATA solid state drive (SSD) is the immediate availability of the company's Magician (version 4.3) software. This is notable because it introduces two big upgrades to Samsung's current SSD product lineup, including RAPID (Real-time Accelerated Processing of I/O Data) Mode for Samsung's 840 Pro family of SSDs, and a security features for the company's Evo SSD line. It's the RAPID Mode that really excites us, however, as it offers a significant speed boost to an already insanely fast SSD lineup.
Ultrabooks and laptops in general aren't getting any chunkier these days, and to accommodate increasingly thin profiles, mSATA form factor solid state drives (SSDs) are taking the place of 2.5-inch drives. That doesn't mean you'll need to give up storage space. Samsung today launched its 840 Evo mSATA SSD line, among which is the industry's first 1TB mSATA-based SSD, the company claims.
Imagine swapping out that 1TB mechanical hard drive that's been making grinding noises with a 2GB solid state drive. Talk about an upgrade! If your pockets are stuffed with enough cash and you can justify spending what's likely to be a small fortune on a 2TB SSD in 2.5-inch knickers, you'll have your chance in 2014. So says a leaked Intel roadmap outlining the company's SSD plans.