Corsair on Thursday announced its new 64GB Flash Survivor USB drive, which the company claims is the "most rugged high-capacity flash drive on the market." And by the looks of things, they're probably right.
Encased in CNC-milled, aircraft grade aluminum, Corsair says the new drive is pretty much indestructible. Each unit comes molded in a shock-dampening collar and EPDM seal, providing water-resistance up to a depth of 200 meters. Corsair notes that reviewers have dropped, baked, boiled, microwaved, and even run over the Survivor with an SUV in an attempt to show just how durable the drive really is.
"The new 64GB Flash Survivor takes the industry's most popular rugged USB drive and takes it to the next level, with a huge amount of storage space, plus best-in-class performance," said Jim Carlton, VP of Marketing for Corsair. "The 64GB Survivor is ideal for storing and transporting your music, videos, pictures, and other important files, safe in the knowledge that your data will be safeguarded inside the Survivor's protective shell."
The drive is available now with a street price around $170. To help justify the cost, Corsair says each drive comes bundled with a USB extension cable and dog tags, and comes backed by a 10-year warranty.
SanDisk on Tuesday announced that it has begun shipping flash memory cards based on the company's X4 flash memory technology. Chips built using the new technology hold four bits of data in each memory cell, or twice as many as the cells in conventional multi-level cell (MCL) NAND chips, the company said.
"The development and commercialization of X4 technology represents an important milestone for the flash storage industry," said Sanjay Mehrotra, president and chief operating officer, SanDisk. "Our challenge with X4 technology was to not only deliver the lower costs inherent to 4-bits-per-cell, but to do so while meeting the reliability and performance requirements of industry standard cards that employ MLC NAND."
SanDisk called the shipment of X4 memory a "necessary evolution" for the industry, noting that the technology will result in a cost advantage for consumers.
OCZ on Monday announced its latest Z-Drive PCI-Express SSD, the m84. Unlike previous Z-Drives, the m84 doesn't target enterprise users and instead is intended for the 'mainstream' power user crowd.
"The OCZ m84 Z-Drive is the newest addition to our line of PCI-E solid state drives and is designed to offer consumers a high performance yet aggressively priced solid state solution," said Eugene Chang, Vice President of Product Management at the OCZ Technology Group. "While the previously released p84 and e84 Z-Drives were intended specifically for enterprise applications, the m84 delivers much of the same performance but at a price point that is competitive with standard SSD drives. This is the first time that such a high performance PCI-E based SSD that is optimized for media editing, gaming, and workstation productivity, has been so within the reach of power users."
The m84 comes built with multi-level cell (MLC) NAND and a bootable internal RAID 0 configuration. OCZ says users can expect read speeds up to 750MB/s and write speeds up to 650MB/s, at least in the 256GB model. Other capacities include 512GB and 1TB, with both of the higher capacity models improving read and write speeds to 870MB/s and 780MB/s, respectively. All three boast sustained write speeds in the neighborhood of 600MB/s.
We’re finally out of the woods. After nearly a year in which the Intel X-25M was virtually the only solid state drive on the market not to suffer from severe latency during sustained random writes, the past few months have brought us sweet relief in the form of new SSDs with stutter-less memory controllers from such manufacturers as Samsung and Indilinx. This month, we tested the 128GB Patriot Torqx, which uses an Indilinx “Barefoot” memory controller and 64MB DRAM write cache to end the stuttering problem once and for all.
Right out of the box, Patriot impresses with the thoughtful inclusion of a 3.5-inch tray adapter for its 2.5-inch drive. It’s just a simple sheet of pot metal with screw holes and rail mounts, but it’s appreciated. The drive enclosure itself is all brushed-metal—black on top, silver on the bottom—and screws into the adapter easily.
Toshiba last Thursday unveiled a new line of performance-oriented 2.5-inch notebook drives that purport to offer the best of both worlds: Performance and capacity.
Available in 160GB, 250GB, 320GB, and 500GB capacities, Toshiba's new MKxx56GSY series promises "significant performance improvements" over the company's previous generation of 7200RPM drives. Just how much faster are they, you ask? Toshiba claims the new series offers a 23 percent boost in data transfer speeds at 1,255MB/s, while also raising energy efficiency by 28 percent.
The gains come courtesy of improved magnetic head and disk layer technology, which paved the way for an areal density of 395Gb per square inch. Other specs include a 16MB cache buffer, 25dB noise levels during both idle and seek, and 11-12ms average seek times.
Toshiba didn't announce any pricing info, but did say it plans to start mass producing the new drives in October, 2009.
Seagate today announced it has begun shipping what it claims is the "world's fastest, largest-capacity mainstream desktop hard drive" dubbed the Barracuda XT. While the Barracuda XT isn't the first 2TB hard drive to sport a 7200RPM spindle speed, it is the first one to feature a SATA 6Gb/s interface.
"Capacity and performance remain the defining attributes of hard drives for PC gamers, digital multimedia content developers, and many other customers requiring high-end systems at home and in the office," said Dave Mosley, executive vice president of Sales and Marketing at Seagate. "Seagate is meeting these requirements with the first 7200RPM desktop drive to combine 2TB of storage capacity with the fastest Serial ATA interface to date."
Hit the jump to learn more about the SATA 6Gb/s interface and what you can expect out of the new Barracuda XT.
While Super Talent is busy readying its RAIDDrive, OCZ today announced it has begun shipping its PCI-Express based Z-Drive. This is the same drive that was being discussed at CeBIT earlier this year, and like Super Talent's version, OCZ's model looks to leave behind the confines of the SATA bus for wider pastures on the PCI-E interface more suitable for the ultra fast flash memory.
"Traditional enterprise storage technology typically requires overly complex infrastructures as well as costly maintenance, and is often unable to deliver the level of performance required by OEM applications," said Ryan Peterson, CEO of the OCZ Technology Group. "The new OCZ Z-Drive is an all-in-one high performance plug-and-play bootable PCI-E solid state drive that addresses these challenges head on, and meets the demands of the complete range of enterprise storage and data access requirements."
Sporting an internal RAID 0 configuration, OCZ says its SLC-based Z-Drive can top out at 800MB/s reads and 750MB/s writes, whereas the MLC-based version trails just lightly behind at 750MB/s reads and 650MB/s writes. Both versions also look to consume less power than traditional hard drives.
While OCZ did say the drives have started shipping, it did not announce a price or expected availabilty date.
TGDaily has found out that Super Talent plans to start shipping its first PCI Express RAIDDrive SSDs in early October, so you may want to hang on for a few more weeks if you're currently planning a dream machine build. Why is that? Because these purportedly stupid-fast drives are being designed to thrash the throughput bottleneck in your PC's storage subsystem and leave the SATA bus bandwidth limitation in the dust.
"The PCIe Gen. 2.0 x8 interface used by RAIDDrive SSDs supports 4GB/s bandwidth, more than ten times that of the SATA-II 3Gbps bus, and five times greater than the not yet available SATA-III bus," a Super Talent spokesperson told TGDaily. "Currently, there is no other way to achieve the same performance, except via Fusio-IO - but that costs approximately $10,000 for equivalent speeds."
Super Talent, meanwhile, is targeting a price point below $1,000 in hopes of appealing to both gamers and enterprise users, the spokesperson added. Three versions will be made available, including:
RAIDDrive GS: Aimed at power users and gamers, supports RAID 0 or 5, uses MLC flash, and available in capacities up to 2TB
RAIDDrive ES: For enterprise servers, supports RAID 0 or 5, fits in a 3U rack mount chassis, uses SLC flash, and available in capacities up to 1TB
RAIDDrive WS: Geared towards workstation users, supports RAID 0 or 5, uses SLC flash, available in capacities up to 1TB
Assuming it lives up to the hype, would you drop upwards of $1,000 for a super-speedy SSD configuration?
SanDisk today announced a new line of Extreme Pro CompactFlash memory cards the company says is designed for professional photographers.
To that end, SanDisk says it has outfitted its new cards with an advanced memory controller capable of boosting read and write speeds up to 90MB/s, or double the performance from previous SanDisk high-end memory cards.
"The new SanDisk Extreme Pro CompactFlash line is the direct result of SanDisk's passion, commitment, and break-through engineering innovation to provide best-in-class flash memory cards for professional photography," said Eric Bone, vice president, retail product marketing.
In addition to raw performance, SanDisk says its Power Core Controller's firmware algorithms and 42-bit ECC engine also ensure data integrity and a longer life through optimized wear leveling.
The new Pro series will be available in capacities of 8GB to 32GB with an MSRP ranging from about $130 to $375.
Despite the deluge of solid state drives (SSDs) that have inundated the market place this past year, desktop consumers still remain hesitant to adopt the pricey technology when mechanical hard drives offer more storage space for less scratch. But what about on the enterprise side?
Silicon Valley startup Pliant Technology says it can save businesses big bucks with its Enterprise Flash Drives (EFDs) when combined with traditional HDDs. To prove its point, Pliant points to a typical enterprise application performing 640,000 transactions a minute on an 18-terabyte database. According to Pliant, that would normally require about 1,000 small-capacity disk drives to achieve faster access and higher performance, which would take up 40 rack-mount shelves. All told, the final bill would come to $450,000, plus 16,000 watts to run and cool the setup.
But by combing Pliant's EFDs for "hot" current data with regular hard drives for less frequently accessed data, the company says such a hybrid setup would require just six rack-mount shelves and cut costs in half. In addition, such a setup would only require roughly 2,000 watts.