OCZ's Enyo Portable SSD solution might very well be the world's sexiest external storage device, and it's certainly one of the fastest. That's because OCZ slapped a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface on the drive, which already sports an SSD inside.
"We are continually searching for new ways to make the benefits of solid state storage available to consumers, and our new Enyo SSD is designed to make those benefits portable," said Ryan Petersen, CEO of the OCZ Technology Group. "The Enyo is a sleek external SSD that makes use of the increasingly popular SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface to make transferring anything from spreadsheets to high definition movies significantly faster than traditional media. Consumers never have to leave home without their valuable files again."
The Enyo supports up to 260MB/s read and 200MB/s write speeds for blazing fast transfers compared to USB 2.0. According to OCZ, the Enyo can transfer a 500MB YouTube clip in just 1.6 seconds, far faster than the 17 seconds it would take with a USB 2.0 port. But the real benefit is in extra large transfers, such as a moving a 1TB backup file in 47 minutes compared to 9.3 hours with USB 2.0
OCZ's sleek Enyo will be made available in 64GB, 128GB, and 128GB capacities. No word yet on price.
With all the fancy new controllers out there—the SandForces, Toshibas, Da Vincis, and what have you—we were a little concerned that vendors would forget the little controller that made it all possible: the Indilinx Barefoot controller. Yep, the one that powers our current Best of the Best Patriot Torqx, as well as every other top-performing SSD of the past year. In this land of the new, can Corsair’s Nova V128, which sports the classic Barefoot controller, still push bits with the best of ‘em?
Yep. Though the SandForce-based drives in the roundup push the best sustained write speeds yet, the Nova V128’s Indilinx controller with 64MB of cache still sustains the fastest reads of the drives in this roundup, averaging 210MB/s on our test bed (the Torqx’ read speeds are slightly higher). And the V128’s average writes of 163MB/s are right up there with the 128GB Torqx.
OCZ clearly hopes the perceived rarity of its Limited Edition Vertex drive will increase desire for the product. A limited run of 5,000 is one way to do that. But if you’ve got a drive with performance this good, wouldn’t you want everyone to buy one?
Like the OWC Mercury Extreme Enterprise, the OCZ Vertex Limited Edition is a 100GB drive built on the SandForce SF-1500 controller. It’s the same architecture as OCZ’s cancelled Vertex 2 Pro, and when the 5,000 Limited Edition drives run out, there will doubtless be a successor waiting.
The SSD market is a meritocracy. Controller companies live and die on the strength of their products. Who had heard of Barefoot before its Indilinx controller pushed SSD speeds to new heights? SandForce is another promising young company whose controllers have started appearing in drives, including this month’s OCZ Vertex LE and the OWC Mercury Extreme Enterprise.
OWC markets mainly to Mac users, but don’t hold that against its SSD. It’s a modern, SandForce SF-1500-powered drive that supports TRIM. And given that OS X doesn’t support TRIM, well, we don’t even think that platform deserves performance this good.
We’re not mad. We’re just disappointed. When Plextor announced in February that it, too, was entering the SSD market, we were cautiously optimistic. After all, more competition is always a good thing, and Plextor wouldn’t put out a subpar product just to try to capitalize on a trend—would it?
The Plextor PX-128M1S is the first drive we’ve tested that is built on the Marvell 88SS8014-BHP2 “Da Vinci” controller—and if its performance is indicative of the platform as a whole, we hope it’s the last.
Western Digital has finally dipped its toe into the SSD pond, a move we’ve been expecting since last year’s acquisition of SiliconSystems. The first consumer SSD to be born of this acquisition is the SiliconEdge Blue. Can one of the biggest names in mechanical hard drives compete in the solid state world?
Western Digital seems to be banking on two things with the SiliconEdge Blue: first, that seeing Western Digital’s name on an SSD will draw consumers, and second, that the strength of its custom firmware and rigorous performance testing will enable it to compete with drives running the high-performing SandForce and Barefoot Indilinx controllers. WD won’t say whose controller the SiliconEdge Blue uses, but it’s not developed in-house and it isn’t SandForce or Barefoot.
Covering both ends of the solid state drive (SSD) spectrum, Corsair today announced the addition of two new drives to its Nova Series SSDs in 32GB and 256GB form.
The 32GB model is now the lowest capacity Nova drive Corsair carries. Read and write speeds check in at 195MB/s and 75MB/s, respectively, and like the other Nova drives, the 32GB model supports the TRIM command used by Windows 7.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, the 256GB model is Corsair's largest Nova SSD to date, but it's not just about capacity. The largest drive ups the performance ante with 250MB/s read and 195MB/s write speeds. Both drives sport the popular Indilinx Barefoot controller, 64MB of cache, and a SATA II interface.
Corsair didn't announce a price for either drive, but give the street prices of the 64GB and 128GB models, we expect the 32GB to check in at around $100 and the 256GB somewhere in the vicinity of $700.
G.Skill, which is primarily known for its system memory products, wants to also build a reputation for blazing fast solid state drives (SSDs), and the company's new Phoenix drive should go a long way towards that.
On paper, the MLC-based Phoenix SATA II 2.5-inch SSD has all the makings of an enthusiast grade part. The heart of the SSD consists of the increasingly popular SandForce SF-1200 controller. Combined with high-speed NAND flash memory, G.Skill says its Phoenix drive will rip through data with up to 280MB/s read and 270MB/s write speeds, positioning the SSD as one of the fastest on the market.
"In order to continually satisfy computer enthusiasts and gamers' continuing thirst for performance technology, G.Skill has worked with SandForce to integrate its latest technology that provides previously unseen performance, quality, and reliability in G.Skill's Phoenix drive," G.Skill said.
The Phoenix line will ship in 50GB, 100GB, and 200GB capacities. No word yet on price or availability.
It seemed like déjà vu to us, too—didn’t we review a Kingston SSDNow V+ as recently as December? Turns out we’re not crazy (at least in this respect); that was the first-generation SSDNow V+, built on the same Samsung controller as the Corsair P256. The second-gen SSDNow V+, by contrast, uses Toshiba’s T6UG1XBG SSD controller, which features TRIM support (for clearing deleted blocks) and has theoretical maximum reads and writes of 230MB/s and 180MB/s, respectively.
On the outside, the SSDNow V+ looks, well, like every other SSD out there. Unlike most of them, however, the second-gen SSDNow V+ comes as a Performance Upgrade Kit, which includes Acronis-based drive-cloning software, a USB external enclosure, a SATA cable, and adapter rails for 3.5-inch hard drive bays. Sure, you can get all of those things elsewhere, but it’s a thoughtful kit for the upgrader.
Here's some sobering news if you're hoping to pick up a low cost, high capacity solid state drive (SSD) any time in the near future. According to A-Data chairman Simon Chen, the SSD market won't experience robust growth for at least another two years.
NAND flash chips are at the root of problem. While the development of chip controllers have matured and TRIM support is now commonplace, NAND flash memory still costs way too much to push SSDs into the mainstream on any kind of level approaching hard drives.
Chen did note that NAND flash chip prices have come down a little bit since the fourth quarter of 2009, but not nearly enough to make an impact. Market research firm DRAMeXchange backs Chen's claims, noting that contract quotes for mainstream 16Gb (gigabit) multi-level cell (MLC) chips have stayed high at $4.06 so far this month.