Following the 'better late than never' motto, Plextor today announced it will try its hand in the SSD market with a pair of high performance offerings, the PX-64M1S and PX-128M1S.
"We're excited to leverage Plextor's expertise in optical storage and enter the SSD market as it continues to grow," said Esteban Kim, Director of New Business Development at PLDS. "PCMark, SYSmark, and HD Benchmark industry utility tests scored Plextor SSDs high and we're proud to have the new lineup available to our customers."
With the recent spate of SSDs boasting read and write speeds well above 200MB/s, Plextor may be stretching things a bit in classifying these as "high performance." The 64GB PX-64M1S comes rated at up to 110MB/s sequential reads and 65MB/s in sequential writes, while the 128GB PX-128M1S sports 120MBs and 70MB/s read and write speeds, respectively.
Both drives are available now for $225 (64GB) and $400 (128GB).
Another solid state drive (SSD) hits the streets today. This one, the G3, is from SanDisk, which claims the G3 offers “a compelling alternative to a 7,2000RPM hard disk drive.”
The G3 comes in capacities of 60GB and 120GB. SanDisk claims the drives will open files up to twice as fast as a 7,200RPM HDD, allowing for faster boot times and snappier system performance. The drives will allow read speeds up to 220MB/s, and write speeds up to 120MB/s.
SanDisk uses a proprietary smart flash management system, called ExtremeFFS, to accelerate random write performance, which SanDisk says increases performance and endurance of the G3. SanDisk estimates the 120GB drive can endure up to 80TB of data written to it during its lifetime. This, plus “rigorous shock and vibration testing”, allows SanDisk to offer the drives with 10-year limited warranties.
The G3 drives are Windows 7 certified, and compatible with XP and Vista, as well as Linux and Apple’s OS X Snow Leopard.
As with all other SSD offerings of late, this new technology doesn’t come cheap. The 60GB drive will cost you $229.99, while the 120GB drive will set you back $399.99.
OCZ has introduced another tempting SSD, the Vertex LE, which offers some pretty impressive specs. But, for some reason, OCZ has decided to offer up the 100GB and 200GB drives as limited editions, so if you want one you’ll have to act fast.
The Vertex LE is a 2.5-inch SATA II drive built with dense dense multi-level cell (MLC) flash memory. It comes with an upgraded SATA 3GB/s controller that allows read speeds to reach 270MB/s, and write speeds to reach 250MB/s. (OCZ says sustained write speeds can hit 235MB/s.) The Vertex LE has native TRIM support, which avoids slowdowns when used in Windows PCs.
How much these limited edition drives will cost OCZ has yet said. But OCZ does say they’ll be in the hands of resellers in the next few weeks.
At what capacity point are enthusiasts ready to make the crossover from magnetic storage to solid state? For some, that mark is a quarter-terabyte. If that sounds like you, Patriot’s new 256GB Torqx, featuring the hot Indilinx controller, could be the SSD you’re after. We pitted the 256GB Torqx against the 128GB Torqx and Intel’s second-gen 160GB X25-M SSD to find out which would be the new SSD king.
On our new Core i5 test bed, the 256GB Patriot Torqx significantly outperformed both its smaller sibling and Intel’s X25-M—at least in sustained reads and writes. (To restore performance on the latter two drives to like-new levels, we used Patriot’s and Intel’s SSD-optimizing utilities on their respective drives before testing.) For the first time, we found a drive with average sustained reads and writes above 200MB/s—on the same platform, the 128GB Torqx averaged 178MB/s reads and 168MB/s writes, while the X25-M achieved 185MB/s and 94MB/s, respectively. These aren’t quite the numbers we saw when we originally tested the 128GB Torqx or the X25-M, a difference we chalked up to the new test bed. Regardless, the 256GB Torqx surpassed both other drives in average sustained reads and writes, though Intel’s drive is still the champion in random-write access times, as well as in our Premiere Pro and PCMark Vantage tests, where the 256GB Torqx lagged far behind. Strangely, the smaller-capacity Torqx also outperformed the 256GB in the latter two tests.
Fast just isn’t fast enough anymore, not with USB 3.0 now available. Hardware upgrades await, both internal and external, before the promise of USB 3.0 can be realized. And Active Media Products is offering us an external upgrade: the Aviator-2 SuperSpeed external USB 3.0 drive enclosure.
The Aviator-2 is just a bit over 3-inches by 5-inches in size, and can accommodate any standard 2.5-inch SATA 3Gbps HDD. Active Media tells us that with a SATA HDD installed, the “Aviator-2 removes the bottleneck of external USB 2.0 HDDs.” But perhaps that’s not fast enough. In which case you can opt for the Aviator-2 with either a 64GB or 128GB Predator X7 SSD card, both of which are built with MLC NAND flash. Active Media claims read speeds up to 230MB/sec and writes speeds up to 160MB/sec (with the 64GB SSD installed).
As for specs, they’re pretty simple: the case is steel, ECC Error Correction is used, bad bits are managed, and there’s a “sophisticated wear leveling algorithm” to ensure a long lifetime. The Aviator-2 is backward compatible with USB 2.0 and 1.1, and is USB powered, with a USB 2.0 cable included to meet the higher power demands of some SATA HDDs. (No idea what’s up with the DC power port.)
Prices: for the enclosure alone it’s $33; with the 64GB SSD it’s $260; and with the 128GB SSD it’s $450.
Kingston this week introduced its second generation SSDNow V Series the company says is targeted towards mainstream users. Kingston also claims these second-gen drives offer higher performance than their predecessors, while also boasting TRIM support.
"Kingston has really increased the performance on the new second generation SSDNow V Series drive without raising the price. A first-generation SSDNow V Series 64GB bundle upgrade kit can be found for about $150 (U.S.) at retailers and e-tailers so maintaining pricing will be huge for our customers," said Ariel Perez, SSD business manager, Kingston. "By bundling together all of the software, hardware and step-by-step instructions with the drive, we make it easy for everyday users to upgrade with an SSD. The addition of TRIM support is a key benefit because it enables the SSD to maintain optimal performance throughout its lifespan."
The new drives will ship in 30GB, 64GB, and 128GB capacities with varying degrees of performance. On the lower end, the 30GB model read speeds up to 180MB/s and writes up to 50MB/s. Both the 64GB and 128GB more than double the write speeds at 110MB/s and 160MB/s respectively, while upping the read speed to 200MB/s.
All drives come with Acronis True Image, while those in the desktop bundle also include a 3.5-inch mounting bracket and SATA data and power cable extenders. The netbook bundle tosses in a 2.5-inch USB SATA external enclosure.
Most of these drives and bundles will start shipping next week with pricing ranging from $110 to $377.
In addition to the SATA-II interface, the drives will use the Indilinx Barefoot controller and MLC NAND. The Nova series will have a 64MB cache and capacities of 64GB and 128GB. The Reactor series will have a 128MB cache and capacities of 60GB and 120GB.
Read/write speeds are pretty snappy for each. The Nova series will max out at 215MB/s for reading, and writing speeds of 130MB/s for the V64 drive, and 195MB/s for the V128 drive. The Reactor’s read/write speeds are higher still, with read speeds topping out at 250MB/s, and write speeds of 110MB/s for the R60 drive and 170MB/s for the R120 drive.
An added bonus on the Reactor series is a mini-USB port, in addition to the SATA II 3.0Gbps interface.
All four drives are expected to be available in the next few weeks. But, so far, they only seem available in Europe. And, even with exchange rates in mind, they don’t look to be priced for the cost-conscious. Fudzilla reports the lowest prices for the Nova series as €160.11 ($224) and €303.35 ($425), and for the Reactor series €151.67 ($212) and €294.93 ($413).
Do you go for the speed of an SSD or the capacity of a traditional HDD? If you said 'both,' you're halfway to the finish line on this one. Silverstone's new HDDBoost gadget promises to take the best of both worlds, combine the two together, and yield up to a 70 percent increase in performance over that of an existing host hard drive.
The drive enclosure is compatible with most 2.5-inch SDDs and slides neatly into any available internal 3.5-inch drive bay. A SATA cable then connects the enclosure to a mechanical hard drive, and the device does the rest. There's no special software or drivers to muck around with, and it works with any OS tha supports a SATA interface.
Once everything's hooked up, the HDDBoost takes over and copies your most used files to the SSD, and then accesses them first whenever needed. By doing so, Silverstone claims a huge performance boost, all without sacrificing storage space.
Right now the device is only available in Japan and runs about $50. No word yet on when the company plans on shipping it to the U.S. market, but if the HDDBoost lives up to Silverstone's claims, we wouldn't be surprised to see it show up soon.
If Alternate.de's listing is any indication (see here), OCZ is busy readying an update to its Vertex 2 SSD line, the Vertex 2 'Limited Edition'.
Fudzilla says the updated SSDs will be available in 100GB and 200GB capacities, but it's unknown whether the Limited Edition units will use the same SandForce controller as found on the Vertex 2 Pro. Either way, the upcoming drive sports some pretty impressive read and write speeds, with Fudzilla reporting reads to be in the vicinity of 250MB/s to 270MB/s, while writes will cruise along at 235MB/s.
Like most high-end SSDs, the Vertex 2 Limited Edition units aren't likely to come cheap. At the current exchange rate, Alternate.de has the 200GB model listed at roughly $1,237, or about $6.18 per gigabyte.
Kingston is refreshing their line of solid state drives with the SSDNow V+. The big advantage users will see in this generation of Kingston drives is support for TRIM. This should keep these pricey drives humming along smoothly throughout their life. The new drives also come in larger sizes, all the way from 64GB up to 512GB. The SSDNow V+ will be capable of 230MB/s read and 180MB/s write.
Kingston is offering a few options for interested customers. The bare OEM drive can be purchased, or for a few extra bucks there will be a bundle that comes with cloning software, a USB enclosure, cabling, and 2.5” to 3.5” mounting brackets. Pricing starts at $268 for the 64GB bare drive, and goes up to a dream shattering $1,969 for the 512GB. Tack on an extra $16 if you want the bundle, and really… at that point why be cheap?