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.
Solid state drives (SSDs) are best known for the potential performance gains, but the numbers currently being touted could be just the tip of the iceberg. Engineers and researchers at the IBM Hursley development lab in England and Almaden Research Center in California have taken SSD technology to new heights by demonstrating performance results that surpass the world's fastest disk storage solution by 250 percent.
Using a combination of flash solid-state technology and IBM's storage virtualization technology, the company managed to transfer data at a sustained rate of over one million Input/Output (I/O) per second boasting a response time of under one millisecond. When pitted against the fastest industry benchmarked disk system, the company claims not only was performance improved by 250 percent, but it did so at less than 1/20th the response time and by taking up 1/5th the floor space, all the while requiring only 55 percent of the power and cooling.
Based on the name alone, one would expect Qnap’s TS-209 Pro II NAS box to offer more features than its predecessors—particularly our leader in this storage category, Qnap’s TS-109 Pro. And while the former does allow for increased capacity, it does not provide significant improvements in performance or offer more features than the TS-109 Pro, which has been out for more than a year.
Monday, we told you about the forthcoming SATA Revision 3.0, also known as SATA 6Gb/s. Given the fact that conventional hard disks still don't saturate the original SATA 1.5Gb/s bus, let alone the mainstream SATA Revision 2.0 3Gb/s bus, why bother with another speedup?
In a word: SSDs. The Inquirerreports that the new Intel solid-state drives introduced this week at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) come very close to saturating the SATA 3Gb/s bus with 250MB/s read speed, while blowing the doors off conventional hard disks and third-party SSDs. And, they're not alone. As we reported Monday, Indilinx isn't far behind, offering the 230MB/s Barefoot SSD drive controller.
To learn more about why some SSD drives are faster than others, and what else SATA-IO is working on for the near future, join us after the jump.
So, what makes some SSD drives faster (or slower) than others? SSD drive performance is affected by two factors: the speed of the controller and the speed of the SSD memory chips. Currently, the fastest SSD drives use single-level cell (SLC) NAND flash, while drives using multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash trade higher capacity for slightly slower performance. As capacities climb and performance zooms, it's going to be an interesting fall and winter in the SSD business.
That's the good news. The Inquirer also reports that the SATA-IO's Power over eSATA initiative, announced in January, is now expected to be released in early 2009 (rather than late this year as was originally expected). Power over eSATA will enable eSATA drives to pull their power from the eSATA port, just as many USB drives get their power from the USB port. Whenever Power over eSATA appears (and let's hope they come up with a cooler acronym than the logical "PoeSATA"), it will be very helpful in getting eSATA to become mainstream.