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.
Excuse us a moment as we wipe the dribble from our chin and compose ourselves. You see, we just received word that Samsung lowered the gauntlet by launching a massive 1TB solid state drive that performs in between its 840 Series and 840 Pro Series. The new Samsung 840 EVO is a potential game changer, given the aggressive price points. If nothing else, it will certainly make users think twice about pairing a large hard drive with a small capacity SSD when you can now have the best of both worlds.
We’re giving away a Crucial M500 120GB solid state drive and a three-year license for iolo’s System Mechanic software
We know there are two things that our readers love; Pure PC Power, and free stuff. Since we’ve always got your PC power needs covered, we figured you might need some gear, and we love running contests, so here’s our newest one. In this contest one winner will receive both a Crucial M500 120GB SSD and a three-year license to iolo’s System Mechanic software. You can check out the review of Crucial M500 SSD here on the Maximum PC website. Though we haven’t reviewed System Mechanic software, we’ve heard good things about it.
Click the "Read More" button to see how to enter the contest.
Several months ago, the supreme high-end SSDs from Corsair and Samsung faced off in the Octagon known as the top of our desk area that holds drives being tested. In that blood-curdling battle (in which neither drive moved nor made a sound), the Samsung 840 Pro was victorious, vanquishing its opponent by a slim margin in a contest where zero trash talk was delivered by either storage device. This month, Round Two commences as the companies’ value-conscious SSDs clash like cars in a demolition derby by sitting quietly on a test bench while we perform benchmarks upon them. Neither of these drives is as fast as their top-tier brethren, but they are priced accordingly, and both are a damned-good value.
Note: This article originally appeared in the March 2013 issue of the magazine.
Savvy move by Western Digital is low risk, high reward
There will always be those who doubt or remain skeptical of the long-term reliability of solid state drives (SSDs), but at this stage of the game, they're generally viewed as a viable storage medium, even among enterprise clients. Hence Western Digital felt compelled to spend approximately $340 million in cash ($6.85 per share) acquiring Stec, a Santa Ana firm that specialize in flash memory-based solutions and the first vendor to develop SSDs for large-scale enterprise storage.
Samsung has ramped up production of what it claims is the industry's first PCI-Express solid state drive (SSD) for next generation ultra-slim notebooks. Dubbed XP941, these new drives come in the new M.2 form factor and measure just 80mm by 20mm. They weigh a scant 6g, which is about 9 times less than a standard 2.5-inch SSD, Samsung says. Though they're small and light, these drives kick out some heavy-hitting performance numbers.
Intel this week announced a new line of solid state drives for data centers and cloud computing servers. Dubbed DC S3500, the new series of SSDs are designed for read-intensive applications such as web hosting, cloud computing, and data center virtualization, the Santa Clara chip maker says. The S3500 line is also being billed as a cost-effective replacement for traditional hard drives.
SanDisk today unveiled its Extreme II SSD series, a follow-up to the original Extreme SSD that we reviewed last year (we evaluated the 240GB model). The Extreme II SSD line is supposedly faster than the original in most instances, part of which is due to the use of a select amount of single-level cell (SLC) NAND flash memory for what SanDisk describes as a "two tier caching" setup.
Before the advent of solid state drives (SSDs), storage was often the bottleneck of a typical PC. Are you letting a mechanical hard drive bog your system down? If so, check out today's top deal, which is for a Plextor M5P Xtreme Series 256GB SATA III MLC Internal SSD for $200 with free shipping (normally $230). It has 512MB of DDR3 cache, is rated for up to 540MB/s reads and up to 460MB/s writes, and is backed by a 5-year warranty.
For other deals that include an AOC 23-inch monitor, click the "Read More" button.
New SSD line gets its kicks from the Indilinx Barefoot 3 Series controller.
One thing OCZ had yet to do up to this point was deploy in-house ASIC technology on its Vertex family of solid state drives. That changes with the introduction of the Vertex 450 Series, which OCZ is marketing as a mid-range performer that sits between its value offerings and flagship Vector line. The Vertex 450 Series uses OCZ's Indilinx Barefoot 3 M10 controller, essentially a newer iteration of the Barefoot controller found in the Vertex 4.