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.
World's fastest thumb drive uses Thunderbolt, not USB 3.0.
At the Computex trade show in Taipei, Intel was showing off a prototype thumb drive that it claims is the fastest in the world. Intel can make that claim because unlike most other thumb-size flash drives, it plugs into a PC's Thunderbolt port rather than a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port. In true thumb drive fashion, it plugs in without the aid of a cable, giving users fast access to 128GB of flash storage.
PC users have been in a bit of a quandary about the new Thunderbolt interface from Intel. On the one hand, we’re all about maximum performance, so given its sizable speed advantage over USB 3.0, at least on paper, we’re eager to adopt it. On the other hand, there are three issues that have prevented us from jumping on the Thunderbolt bandwagon with both feet. The first is the fact that it debuted on the Apple platform. Granted, we’re a bit sensitive, but this just rubbed us the wrong way. Second, Thunderbolt doesn’t exist on LGA2011 due to a requirement for integrated graphics. And finally, we already have USB 3.0, so do we really need Thunderbolt? Sure, it’s twice as fast on paper (10Gb/s versus 5Gb/s), but will we see that benefit in the real world, and is it worth the cost? To help us answer all these nagging questions we snagged a very special hard drive, the Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt, which has both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt ports, allowing us to test both interfaces back-to-back and make an apples-to-apples comparison.
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.
Bulky hard drives, be gone! Western Digital today announced it's begun shipping what it claims is the world's thinnest 1TB-class hard drive, the new 2.5-inch WD Blue 7mm. The WD Blue hard drive family is available in smaller capacities too, down to 320GB, all of which measure 7mm in height. They're designed to usher in increasingly slimmer and lighter notebooks, though they're also compatible with industry standard 9.5mm drive slots, WD says.
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.
An end-around solution to storing common files in Flickr.
In the process of overhauling Flickr, Yahoo announced that photographers would be allowed to upload up to 1TB of photos and videos for free, the only restrictions being the size of each individual file (200MB for photos and 1GB for 1080p videos) and length of clips (up to 3 minutes long). Other than those caveats, it's a generous storage container that's big enough to hold half a million photos shot at 6.5 megapixels. But what if you could also upload common files? There's a way you can do that.
Yahoo wasn't just content to spend $1.1 billion acquiring Tumblr, it also went out and revamped its Flickr photo sharing service in a significant way. The first thing you'll notice is a tiled interface with larger size images. Users are able to upload full resolution photos, and to make sure you have plenty of online space to store your photography, Yahoo is offering 1TB of online storage for free in an attempt to make the service "awesome again."
HGST, a wholly owned subsidiary of Western Digital, announced on Tuesday what it claims is the highest storage density of any hard drive and highest capacity HDD for the mainstream mobile market, the Travelstar 5K1500. The new Travelstar 5K1500 is purportedly the industry's first 9.5mm to offer 1.5TB of storage capacity, though that's not all it brings to the table. High shock protection and low power performance are also traits of HGST's newest HDD.
A cloud of common sense just landed on Google, and instead of offering users separate storage caps for Google Drive, Gmail, and Google+ photos, the sultan of search has decided to offer up 15GB of unified storage for free. In doing so, users are in complete control of how much each of Google's cloud services can hold, which is particularly great if you're deeply invested in Drive and/or Google+ Photos, two services that were previously limited to 5GB combined.