While SSDs are getting plenty of attention from us (and everyone else) these days, it's way too early to shovel the dirt over the classic spinning-disk hard disk drive technology, eWeeksuggests. You already know a couple of reasons: capacity and price per GB.
However, even if you can afford to give up some storage capaciy and a lot more cash, there are other reasons to think twice before turning your existing hard disk drive into a paperweight. At last week's DiskCon 2008 storage conference, experts cited by eWeek pointed out that NAND flash memory, the most common type of flash memory in use today, drops in performance with use, and that data retention is much shorter than with traditional disk drives.
So who's really excited about SSDs? Corporate data centers. In one case study described at DiskCon, a data center replaced hard disks with SSDs. The installation used one SSD for read, the other for write, and realized a 10x improvement in read/write speed and 5x less power consumption.
So, how do you feel about SSDs? Are you ready to pony up the extra dough and trade off some capacity to give SSDs a try today, or are you waiting until SSDs' price per GB, capacity and long-term behavior more closely mirror what hard disks provide today? See us after the jump for your chance to put in your feedback.
Arguably no other company is doing more to push SSDs into the mainstream than OCZ, who earlier this year released its Core Series SATA II SSD drives, undercutting the competition in price and hurdling past in performance. Now the company is at it again, slashing prices one more time.
It was just a week ago that OCZ's 32GB Core SSD dropped down to just $99 after mail-in-rebate, and now the company's 64GB model is receiving similar treatment. Newegg is now selling the bigger model for the same price after a $70 mail-in-rebate, which means you can now get double the storage space for a single C-note than what you could have received last week.
It's not all peaches and cream, though, as the price cuts come on the heels of heavy criticism by Anandtech, who faulted the drives for random write issues resulting in "horrible stuttering/pausing/lagging."
Is the new low price per gigabyte enough to make up for SSD technology's shortcomings?
Buffalo Technology, makers of high-end storage and networking peripherals (their products are apparently very popular in Japan), today announced several new products which they hope will bolster their market share in the US. One of the more exciting products they showed us is the Mini-Station portable hard drive, which is easily the smallest hard drive we’ve seen, period. The 60GB storage device is a mere 5 millimeters thick (.2 inches), and measures 3.4 by 2.2 inches. Inside the tiny frame is the smallest external spinning hard drive on the market, a single platter 1.8” drive.
It seems everyone is getting bitten by the high-performance SSD bug, and that now includes Dell. The dudes at Dell have started selling its 2.2-pound Latitude E4200 with the only storage option being solid-state drives. But that doesn't mean you don't get a choice. Customers picking up the E4200 can opt for either a standard SSD or "Ultra."
As you might have surmised, the Ultra bumps up the performance specs a notch with a rated 100 MB/s read speed and 80 MB/s write speed. According to Samsung, these numbers represent a 60 percent performance hike over SATA I drives, and Dell's own testing claims a boost over its 5400RPM drives.
"Our labs benchmarked this drive in a Latitude notebook and saw a 35 percent overall system performance increase a over a standard 2.5-inch 5400RPM notebook hard drive using SYSmark '07," Dell said."That's even more impressive when you realize that the difference between standard 5400RPM and performance 7200RPM drives (in the same generation) is 10 percent on average."
Monday, Western Digital joined Seagate in breaking the half-terabyte barrier for portable hard disks, with its rollout of two new 500GB portable hard disks, My Passport Essential and My Passport Elite. For those with slightly lower capacity requirements (and a bit less ready cash), WD also offers these drives in 400GB (and lower) capacities.
My Passport Essential's 500GB version costs $199.99, compared to My Passport Elite's $219.99, while the 400GB versions run $179.99 and $199.99 respectively. As we told you in our review of the 320GB version of My Passport Elite back in April , the Elite and Essential drives differ primarily in cosmetics and software bundle: Elite offers backup and file-sync software as well as the MioNet remote access program (which we liked), while Essential offers only file-sync software.
However, Elite now offers an additional feature: plug it into a PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, and you can play media files stored on the Elite through your console. Elite offers a 5-year limited warranty, while Essential's limited warranty is only 3 years.
To learn how WD's My Passport Essential and Elite drives compare to Seagate's new FreeAgent|Go drives feature-wise, join us after the jump.
The Iomega Zip drive once was synonymous with consumer-friendly data backup. Seagate aims to change that with a huge makeover of its FreeAgent line of external hard disks and a companion advertising campaign designed to tug at the heartstrings of today's increasingly media-consuming families.
Announced Monday, Seagate's new FreeAgent models include the portable FreeAgent|Go and the desktop FreeAgent|Desk (both available in separate editions for Windows PCs and Macs) as well as the high-performance desktop FreeAgent|XTreme for Windows PCs. The goal of the new line of products is to "Save, Share. Simplify."
To learn more about how Seagate plans to make its slogan come true, join us after the jump.
There's online storage, and then there's Dropbox. If you haven't heard of the latter, it's only the greatest thing to come to online storage since, well, ever. And now it's available to the public.
Dropbox purports to offer an easy way to share and store your files, but what makes Dropbox so unique is its ability to integrate with all your PCs, including Linux. It will even play nice with your Mac. Make a change to a file, and Dropbox will automatically update the changed file to any computer linked to your account. Not only that, but it will only transfer the part of the file that changed. Other goodies include the ability to designate shared folders, public folders for non-Dropbox users, drag-and-drop friendly, and AES-256 encryption.
Free accounts come with 2GB of storage, with a 50GB account available for $10/month, or $100/year.
Thanks to Toshiba, geeks will soon have reason to try and get on Santa's 'Good' list this holiday shopping season. The company's Storage Device Division (SDD) today announced what it claims is the world's first dual-platter 240GB 1.8-inch hard drive for use in portable media players, camcorders, and other gadgets. Toshiba also introduced a single-platter 120GB model.
The two new PATA hard drives take areal density up to an impressive 344 gigabits-per-square-inch. Toshiba said the feat was made possible using its fourth-generation perpendicular magnetic recording technology, which bodes well for future devices utilizing the 1.8-inch form factor.
In addition to offering a higher capacity, Toshiba said its 240GB drive comes optimized for power performance and offers a 33 percent overall improvement in energy consumption efficiency when compared to the company's previous generation two-platter 160GB drive.
No word yet on pricing or specific availability, though Toshiba did say its "new 1.8-inch HDDs will be incorporated into CE and mobile PC products shipping this holiday season."
Let's start with the good news. Intel's new SSDs aren't just fast, they appear to be stupid-fast. The chip maker claims read speeds up to 250MB per second and write speeds up to 70MB per second, along with an 85ms read latency. And while Maximum PC has yet to put these numbers to the test, initial reports (BAM, POW) at least look promising.
Now the bad news. While Intel might be helping SSD technology regain its reputation for speed, the company's also pushing SSDs right back into stratosphere pricing tiers at a time when vendors are making a push for higher price/GB ratios. Intel announced its 80GB version will cost $595 (available now), and that's in 1,000 quantities - yikes! The 160GB model will debut later this year for an unspecified amount, but it's probably safe to assume it will command over $1,000.
Anyone think the additional speed is worth the pricing premium?
SSDs with a 64GB storage capacity fetched close to a grand last year. But their outrageous prices have become subdued with the passage of time. Now, if you act quickly, OCZ’s brand new Core V2 OCZSSD2-2C60G 2.5” 60GB SSD could be yours for $240 – approximately $4/GB. The SSD boasts read speeds of 170MB/sec and write speeds of 98MB/sec. It also features a built-in USB 2.0 port for firmware updates, and can serve as a replacement for your notebook’s HDD.