storage en Micron Unveils High Speed, Low Power M600 SATA SSD, Comes in Different Form Factors <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/micron_m600.jpg" alt="Micron M600 SSD" title="Micron M600 SSD" width="228" height="141" style="float: right;" />Comes in more than a dozen capacities and form factors</h3> <p><strong>Micron, the memory chip maker based in Boise, Idaho, announced its M600 SATA solid state drive</strong>. According to Micron, the M600 represents a next-generation design that sets a new bar for low-power, high-performance storage for PCs. There are 13 different variations to choose from ranging in capacity from 128GB to 1TB and in 2.5-inch/7mm, mSATA, and M.2 single-sided form factors.</p> <p>The M600 sips less than 2mW in sleep mode and averages 150mW during active use, compared to a typical laptop hard disk drive, which chugs 130mW in sleep mode and 1,400Mw to 2,000mW when active.</p> <p>On the performance side, the M600 boasts random reads up to 100,000 IOPS and sequential reads of up to 560MB/s for all capacities.&nbsp; Random write performance is rated at 88,000 IOPS while sequential writes top out at 510MB/s, which is again for all capacities.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">According to Micron</a>, the M600 benefits from using its unique dynamic write acceleration technology to deliver consistently high write performance regardless of SSD capacity. This technology switches NAND cells to behave more like higher-grade flash (from MLC to SLC) on-the-fly, which in turn creates a cache that is sized according to what the drive needs rather than sacrificing user capacity for a permanent cache. Micron says this method reduces power and improves write performance by as much as 2.8 times compared to non-cached systems, while leading to greater longevity to boot.</p> <p>The M600 SSD is currently in production and is sold directly to OEMs. You can look for the M600 to show up in a variety of products, including Ultrabooks, tablets, video capture systems, and performance-oriented PCs.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Build a PC Hardware m600 micron solid state drive ssd storage News Tue, 16 Sep 2014 15:27:15 +0000 Paul Lilly 28541 at Microsoft Bumps OneDrive File Size Limit to 10GB <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/onedrive_1.jpg" alt="OneDrive" title="OneDrive" width="228" height="155" style="float: right;" />OneDrive's file size limit increases from 2GB to 10GB</h3> <p>In a forum post back in August responding to a user inquiry about OneDrive's low file size limit, Microsoft insisted that the 2GB ceiling wasn't an arbitrary restriction, though conceded it's become obsolete in today's broadband landscape. Microsoft said it was working on increasing the limit, and so it has -- <strong>OneDrive now supports file sizes up to 10GB</strong>, an 8GB bump over the previous max.</p> <p>"We’re excited to announce that you can now upload files up to 10 GB using the desktop apps for Windows and Mac, all of the mobile apps, and the OneDrive website! We recognized that people not only have more files than they did before, but they have bigger files as well. This is a top feature request we’ve received and we’re excited to deliver it!" Microsoft stated in a <a href="" target="_blank">blog post</a>.</p> <p>Business customers are still buried under the old 2GB limit, though Microsoft says it's working on enabling the same increase to 10GB and will offer another update when it's ready.</p> <p>In the meantime, all users will soon be able to enjoy an improved desktop experience in which Microsoft increased the number of files that can be downloaded or uploaded at any given time on PCs and Macs. According to Microsoft, internal testing of this parallel syncing netted a threefold increase in syncing speed. The feature is being rolled out worldwide within the coming weeks.</p> <p>Other changes to OneDrive include file sharing from within Windows Explorer and folder uploads via, both of which Microsoft says were popular feature requests.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> cloud microsoft onedrive storage News Thu, 11 Sep 2014 14:12:09 +0000 Paul Lilly 28518 at HGST Takes Capacity Crown with 10TB Helium Filled Hard Drive <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/10tb_market_applications_hr.jpg" alt="HGST 10TB" title="HGST 10TB" width="228" height="228" style="float: right;" />The world's first 10TB hard disk drive</h3> <p>It's been a long time since we measured hard drive storage in megabytes, let alone gigabytes. This is the terabyte era, and though it's been overshadowed a bit by the cloud, hard drive makers are still pushing ahead with increasing capacities. Forget about that 4TB or even 6TB HDD that seemed massive just a short while ago -- <strong>Western Digital's HGST subsidiary announced the world's first 10TB HDD</strong>!</p> <p>HGST's 10TB drive is a data center class storage device and is intended for cloud and cold storage applications. According to HGST, its new drive will set the bar with the lowest price-per-terabyte and watt-per-terabyte, though the company didn't reveal any specific metrics.</p> <p>What we do know about the drive is that it's a hermetically sealed, helium-filled HDD as part of HGST's HelioSeal platform. This allows for higher capacities while significantly lowering power and cooling requirements, and improving storage densities.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">HGST said</a> it's currently sampling 10TB HDDs to customers.</p> <p>The company also announced that it's shipping its 8TB Ultrastar He8 helium-filled HDD. It delivers 33 percent more capacity and 23 percent lower power than HGST's 6TB drive, and like the 10TB model, it's intended for data center applications.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> 10tb 8tb Build a PC Hard Drive Hardware HDD helium hgst storage News Wed, 10 Sep 2014 14:16:36 +0000 Paul Lilly 28510 at Dropbox Keeps It Simple, Consolidates Pro Plans to a Single $10 Per Month Tier <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/dropbox_1.jpg" alt="Dropbox" title="Dropbox" width="228" height="179" style="float: right;" />Get 1TB of cloud storage for $10 per month</h3> <p>Dropbox helped popularize the concept of cloud storage, and in effort to remain relevant (and competitive), it's now offering users more storage for less money, and simplifying things to boot. Instead of offering users a choice of 100GB, 200GB, and 500GB of storage priced at $10, $20, and $50 per month, respectively, <strong>Dropbox is now touting a single Pro plan with 1TB of storage for $10 per month or $99 per year</strong>.</p> <p>That's twice as much storage as the previous top tier plan for half the price, or ten times the storage of the cheapest plan for the same price. However you want to slice it, Dropbox is offering <a href="" target="_blank">more storage for less money</a>, and is likely to attract a wider audience as a result.</p> <p>In addition to beefing up storage and consolidating its plans into a single offering, Dropbox added some features to its service, such as new sharing controls. You can now issue passwords for shared links, set expirations for shared links, and issue view-only permissions for shared folders.</p> <p>There's also a new remote wipe feature that lets you delete your Dropbox files from a lost or stolen device while keeping them backed up in Dropbox.</p> <p>Current Dropbox Pro users will update to the new plan automatically in the next couple of days. Otherwise, you can sign up at <a href="" target="_blank">Dropbox's website</a>. Other available plans include Basic (Free, 2GB of storage) and Business ($15 per user).</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> cloud dropbox storage News Wed, 27 Aug 2014 15:18:29 +0000 Paul Lilly 28424 at Seagate Goes Big, Ships Industry's First 8TB Hard Drive <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/seagate_hdd_3.jpg" alt="Seagate 8TB" title="Seagate 8TB" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />Go big or go home</h3> <p>Anybody remember when hard drives were measured in megabytes? How far we've come from those primitive days in computing. Further distancing us from the stone age of storage, <strong>Seagate today has begun shipping the world's first 8TB hard drive</strong>. The feat comes a mere five months after Western Digital's HGST subsidiary shipped the first 6TB HDD -- could a capacity war be at hand?</p> <p>We're not sure, though Seagate did previously mention 10TB models in the not-too-distant future. For now, 8TB is as capacious as single HDDs get in the 3.5-inch form factor. Details of the new drive are in short supply, though Seagate did confirm that it sports a SATA 6Gbps interface and features multi-drive RV tolerance for use in high-density environments such as data centers.</p> <p>"As our world becomes more mobile, the number of devices we use to create and consume data is driving an explosive growth in unstructured data. This places increased pressure on cloud builders to look for innovative ways to build cost-effective, high capacity storage for both private and cloud-based data centers," <a href="" target="_blank">said Scott Horn</a>, Seagate vice president of marketing. "Seagate is poised to address this challenge by offering the world’s first 8TB HDD, a ground-breaking new solution for meeting the increased capacities needed to support the demand for high capacity storage in a world bursting with digital creation, consumption and long-term storage."</p> <p>Seagate seems to be taking aim at data centers and cloud computing providers, though the thought of slapping several of these drives in a NAS box has us salivating at the sheer amount of storage space.</p> <p>In any event, the 8TB drive is shipping now to select customers and will be more widely available next quarter.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> 8tb Build a PC Hard Drive Hardware HDD seagate storage News Tue, 26 Aug 2014 15:56:08 +0000 Paul Lilly 28421 at OCZ Builds an ARC 100 Solid State Drive, Invites Value Conscious Users to Hop Aboard <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/ocz_arc_100.jpg" alt="OCZ ARC 100 SSD" title="OCZ ARC 100 SSD" width="228" height="151" style="float: right;" />Respectable performance at a reasonable price</h3> <p>When <a href="" target="_blank">Toshiba acquired OCZ's storage division</a> and rebranded it as OCZ Storage Solutions, it freed the <a href="">bankrupt company</a> to concentrate solely on building solid state drives rather than balancing the business side of securing affordable NAND flash memory and trying to contend with shortages. We're starting to see the fruits of this relationship, as <strong>OCZ today announced its new ARC 100 SSD Series</strong> intended to deliver "exceptional performance an an enticing price point."</p> <p>The new drives use next generation Toshiba A19nm NAND flash memory paired with the familiar Barefoot 3 M10 controller, which OCZ says emphasizes real-world performance. Reliability and endurance are also areas of focus -- OCZ rates its ARC 100 SSDs as being able to deliver 20GB of host writes per day under a 3-year warranty.</p> <p>OCZ's ARC 100 comes in three capacities:</p> <ul> <li>120GB: 475MB/s max read, 395MB/s max write, 75,000 random read IOPS, 80,000 random write IOPS</li> <li>240GB: 480MB/s max read, 430MB/s max write, 75,000 random read IOPS, 80,000 random write IOPS</li> <li>480GB: 490MB/s max read, 450MB/s max write, 75,000 random read IOPS, 80,000 random write IOPS</li> </ul> <p>A point of emphasis in introducing these drives is OCZ's new "ShieldPlus Warranty" that's intended to eliminate the hassle of dealing with support claims. If a drive goes bad, no original proof of purchase is required -- just provide the ARC serial number and, if deemed defective, OCZ will advance ship a brand new ARC SSD of the same capacity, along with a pre-paid return label for the faulty drive.</p> <p>The 100 ARC Series will be available in the next few weeks and priced at $75 for the 120GB model, $120 for the 240GB model, and $240 for the 480GB model.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> arc 100 Build a PC Hardware ocz solid state drive ssd storage toshiba News Wed, 13 Aug 2014 14:30:37 +0000 Paul Lilly 28338 at SanDisk Ultra Fit USB 3.0 Flash Drives Move Big Data in a Small Package <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/sandisk_ultra_fit.jpg" alt="SanDisk Ultra Fit" title="SanDisk Ultra Fit" width="228" height="185" style="float: right;" />Don't be fooled by the Ultra Fit's small size</h3> <p><strong>SanDisk today released its high-speed Ultra Fit USB 3.0 Flash Drive family</strong>. Available in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB capacities, these tiny drives are only small in stature (19.1 x 15.9 x 8.8 millimeters / 0.75 x 0.63 x 0.35 inches (LxWxH) without cap), not performance -- according to SanDisk, you can transfer a full-length movie in 40 seconds using an Ultra Fit drive, which offer speeds up to 10 times as fast as USB 2.0.</p> <p>All three capacities are rated to read data at up to 130MB/s -- certainly respectable, though not record breaking. As for write speeds, <a href="" target="_blank">SanDisk says</a> the 16GB model can write data at up 5 times faster than USB 2.0, while the 32GB and 64GB drives offer write performance that's up to 10 times as fast as USB 2.0. That translates into about 20MB/s for the 16GB and 40MB/s for the 32GB and 64GB drives.</p> <p>Size really comes down to personal preference. SanDisk describes the Ultra Fit as having a "modern design" for plugging into notebooks, tablets, TVs, gaming consoles, car audio systems, and more, and we can see the benefit on a smaller and thinner items like Ultrabooks and handheld mobile devices. On the flip side, we'd hate to drop one of these in a messy area and go hunting around for it.</p> <p>The <a href="" target="_blank">SanDisk Ultra Fit USB 3.0</a> line is available now for $40 (16GB), $70 (32GB), and $110 (64GB). Each one comes with SanDisk SecureAccess software offering password protection and 128-bit encryption, as well as a one-year subscription to RescuePRO software to recover lost or corrupted files.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Flash Drive Hardware Peripherals Sandisk storage ultra fit USB 3.0 News Mon, 11 Aug 2014 16:27:47 +0000 Paul Lilly 28325 at Intel Launches Business Class Solid State Drive Pro 2500 Series <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/intel_ssd_pro_2500.jpg" alt="Intel SSD Pro 2500" title="Intel SSD Pro 2500" width="228" height="114" style="float: right;" />Affordable storage packed with advanced security features</h3> <p>Intel announced a new addition to its solid state drive (SSD) family, though it's not intended for home consumers. Instead, <strong>Intel's new SSD Pro 2500 Series is intended to bring security features and lower cost of ownership to businesses</strong> in need of the kind of "blazing fast" performance SSDs afford. They'll get that with SSD Pro 2500 family, which comes in capacities ranging from 120GB to 480GB.</p> <p>Performance teeters on the upper end of the spectrum with sequential read and write speeds rated at up to 540MB/s and 490MB/s, respectively. Random 4KB read performance checks in at up to 48,000 IOPS, while writes ramp up to 80,000 IOPS, Intel says.</p> <p>In addition to respectable performance metrics, <a href="" target="_blank">Intel says</a> the SSD Pro 2500 Series offers five low power modes for long battery life. The lower power states can reduce idel power consumption by more than 90 percent compared to a typical mobile hard disk drive.</p> <p>The drives also feature hardware-based 256-bit AES encryption and come in both M.2 and 2.5-inch form factors, all backed by 5-year warranties.</p> <p>No word yet on price.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Build a PC enterprise Hardware intel solid state drive ssd ssd pro 2500 storage News Tue, 22 Jul 2014 19:01:09 +0000 Paul Lilly 28216 at Kingston Adds 960GB Capacity Option to SSDNow Series <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/kingston_v310.jpg" alt="Kingston V310 960GB SSD" title="Kingston V310 960GB SSD" width="228" height="134" style="float: right;" />Largest capacity SSDNow drive to date</h3> <p><strong>Kingston Technology today introduced the latest addition to its SSDNow V300 series, the V310</strong>. What's special about the V310 is that it's a 960GB SSD, the largest capacity available in Kingston's entire stable of SSDs (the second largest is 480GB, which is available in Kingston's HyperX 3K and V300 Series). The V310 also swaps the custom LSI controller found in the V300 Series for a Phison 3108 controller.</p> <p>Capacity is the main selling point here, as the V310 won't break any speed records. Kingston rates the read and write speeds at 450MB/s, along with random 4k read and write performance of up to 40,000 IOPS and 20,000 IOPS, respectively. These are respectable, if not a tad underwhelming figures across the board.</p> <p>"Since 2009, our V ‘Value’ series solid-state drives have delivered the best price to performance ratio as possible to enable consumers on a budget or entry-level users to experience the benefits of SSD technology. Our new V310 continues that along with providing the biggest capacity ever in a Kingston SSD," <a href="" target="_blank">said Ariel Perez</a>, SSD business manager, Kingston. "SSDNow V310 with its large 960GB capacity is the perfect upgrade to an existing system as it improves boot speeds and application load times helping maximize one’s computer investment."</p> <p>The V310 will be available as a standalone drive as well as all-in-one upgrade kits for desktops and notebooks. While it's out of stock on <a href="" target="_blank">Kingston's website</a>, <span style="text-decoration: line-through;">it appears that pricing will be in the neighborhood of $910</span>, pricing has yet to be determined.</p> <h3>Update</h3> <p>Kingston reached out to <em>Maximum PC</em> to let us know that the price will NOT be $910, as reflected on its website. Apparently that's an intentionally inflated MSRP so that it doesn't compete with in-stock items on Kingston's website. Kingston's currently working on ramping up inventory and expects the usual suspects -- Newegg, Amazon, TigerDirect -- to sell the drive at a much cheaper price within the next few days.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> 960GB Build a PC Hardware Kingston solid state drive ssd ssdnow v300 storage v310 News Mon, 21 Jul 2014 19:07:32 +0000 Paul Lilly 28208 at HGST Unveils World's First 1.8TB 10K RPM Drive <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/hgst_ultrastar_c10k1800.jpg" alt="HGST Ultrastar C10K1800" title="HGST Ultrastar C10K1800" width="228" height="226" style="float: right;" />High capacity and high performance</h3> <p>No, it's not likely that you're going to pick up HGST's new 1.8TB hard drive for your build, not unless you're erecting a data center. While we've moved on to solid state drives at home, enterprise customers still have a high level of interest in certain mechanical hard drives due, in part, to the price-to-performance ratio. It's those customers that <strong>HGST is targeting with its Ultrastar C10K1800 HDD</strong>.</p> <p>The Ultrastar C10K1800 is a 2.5-inch enterprise-class drive intended for mission-critical storage applications that require 24/7 availability. In addition to a 10K RPM spindle speed, the new drive sports a next generation 12Gbps SAS interface, HGST's media cache architecture (provides up to a 2.5X boost in random write performance and 23 percent improvement in sequential performance over previous generation drives), advanced format options, improved power savings, and a host of security and encryption options.</p> <p>"Our customers continue to contend with explosive data growth, balancing disparate application loads, while needing to improve data center space and power efficiencies," <a href="" target="_blank">said Brendan Collins</a>, vice president of product marketing, HGST. "By fusing unmatched capacity with ultimate performance in the same drive, the Ultrastar C10K1800 offers the optimal balance of capacity, performance and cost. We expect our customers to use the Ultrastar C10K1800 with a complement of SSDs and 15K performance HDDs in tiered pools of storage."</p> <p>HGST has already begun shipping the <a href="" target="_blank">Ultrastar C10K10800</a>, which is being qualified by select OEMs. FIPS certified models will available in January 2015.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> 1.8tb 10k rpm Build a PC c10k1800 data center enterprise Hard Drive Hardware HDD hgst storage ultrastar News Wed, 09 Jul 2014 18:58:27 +0000 Paul Lilly 28137 at Samsung Announces 850 Pro Solid State Drives with 3D Vertical NAND Flash Memory <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/samsung_850_ssd.jpg" alt="Samsung 850 PRO SSD" title="Samsung 850 PRO SSD" width="228" height="172" style="float: right;" />A new breed of SSDs is born</h3> <p>Solid state drives are starting to feel like a dime a dozen, but don't mistake Samsung's newest line for just another ordinary SSD. <strong>Samsung's 850 Pro is the first SSD to sport the company's cutting-edge 3D vertical NAND (V-NAND) flash memory technology</strong>. In case you've never heard of V-NAND, it features a proprietary vertical cell structure that overcomes the density limit currently facing planar NAND architecture.</p> <p>"With the new 850 Pro V-NAND SSD, Samsung is introducing the next major evolution of SSD technology, taking the lead in delivering high-density SSDs with outstanding endurance, performance and energy efficiency," <a href=";searchTextParam=&amp;startYyyyParam=&amp;startMmParam=&amp;endYyyyParam=&amp;endMmParam=&amp;newsId=13541&amp;page=&amp;searchType=&amp;rdoPeriod=A" target="_blank">said Unsoo Kim</a>, senior vice president of branded product marketing team at Samsung Electronics. "We are fully committed to establishing an innovative computing environment by providing customers with leading-edge V-NAND SSDs with unrivaled performance."</p> <p>Samsung also baked in a technology called Dynamic Thermal Guard. This makes the drive maintain ambient temperature while operating to guard against the possibility of data loss due to overheating.</p> <p>In terms of performance, the 850 Pro offers sequential read transfers of up to 550MB/s, sequential write transfers of up to 520MB/s, random read performance of up to 100,000 IOPS, and random write speeds of up to 90,000 IOPS.</p> <p>Samsung's 850 Pro SSDs will come in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB capacities. No word yet on price or availability.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> 850 pro Build a PC Hardware samsung solid state drive ssd storage v-nand News Tue, 01 Jul 2014 19:06:16 +0000 Paul Lilly 28102 at SugarSync Simplifies Desktop App, Offers New Users 75 Percent Discount <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/sugarsync_0.jpg" alt="SugarSync" title="SugarSync" width="228" height="138" style="float: right;" />Try it free for 30 days</h3> <p>SugarSync lost a portion of its fan base when it decided to cease offering a free tier in favor of paid-only subscriptions. Since then, we haven't heard a whole lot from SugarSync, until today. <strong>SugarSync just retooled its desktop application to make it easier to use and more powerful than before</strong>, beginning with one-click access to folders, devices, and shared files, the company said.</p> <p>The cloud service now offers at-a-glance information about your files and folders across the app. Without having to click on anything, you can see who owns a folder, where it's located, and which files or folders are shared.</p> <p>SugarSync also <a href="" target="_blank">promises</a> better control over who edits or views your files and folders. You can distribute view-only files to others, or just post links to documents on the web. In the retooled desktop app, the "Public Links" and "Shared by Me" offer an easy way to view and manage what you're sharing.</p> <p>Finally, it's now easier to control which folders sync to which devices. For example, you can have all folders share with all your devices, or share your work folders with just your work PC.</p> <p>SugarSync is free to try for 30 days. After that, you have to pony up for a subscription plan -- for a limited time, you can save 75 percent off the first year if you're a first-time user. The cost after savings starts at $18.75 for 60GB/year for consumers, with business plans starting at $137.50 for three users and 1TB of storage per year.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> cloud storage SugarSync News Thu, 26 Jun 2014 18:17:28 +0000 Paul Lilly 28077 at PNY Responds to Optima SSD Controller Controversy <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/pny_optima.jpg" alt="PNY Optima" title="PNY Optima" width="228" height="142" style="float: right;" />Retail Optima SSDs were found to be using different controllers than the ones sent to reviewers</h3> <p>PNY put itself in a somewhat sticky spot when it decided to equip its Optima solid state drives bound for retail with a different brand controller than the ones that were sent to reviewers. Once it was discovered by the public, there were <a href="" target="_blank">cries of wrongdoing</a> over what buyers considered a bait-and-switch tactic. <strong>We reached out to PNY for an official explanation on the matter and here's what the company told us</strong>.</p> <p>"The PNY Optima SSD line is an entry-level and value driven product. As our website states, the Optima SSDs utilize multiple qualified controllers to offer the best available solution to our customers. We do not and have not specified any one particular brand of controller, however we do feature performance specifications which include using synchronous flash and random read/write speeds of up to 60k," PNY told <em>Maximum PC</em>.</p> <p>In other words, it's all about the performance claims. Pricing and availability may dictate which controller PNY uses at any particular time, and while two SSDs from the same product family might sport different parts, performance should be comparable.</p> <p>This is similar to the statement PNY provided when the controller swap first came to light. What people found sketchy, however, was that every Optima SSD sent out to reviewers used SMI controllers, while those in the retail sector were found to be using LSI (SandForce) controllers. PNY offered up an explanation for that as well.</p> <p>"All the reviews units were shipped simultaneously and those Optima SSDs were built with SMI controllers – one of the newer controllers currently available on the market. However the current set of Optima SSDs are being built with LSI controllers, a very reputable line which meet all advertised performance specifications," PNY added. "Either way, consumers should have peace of mind that they are receiving a solid product built with tier 1 synchronous flash. PNY has been completely transparent about the use of multiple qualified controllers which grants us the ability to offer consumers the best possible value and performance."</p> <p>We checked PNY's website and sure enough, the <a href="" target="_blank">description for its Optima SSDs</a> clearly states that it uses "multiple qualified controllers," which gives the company the flexibility it needs to "stay very competitive in the entry-level SSD market." This is different from, say, the <a href="" target="_blank">PNY's XLR8 SSD line</a>, in which the company lists the controller (SandForce 2281).</p> <p>None of this means you need to like or agree with the practice of swapping parts, especially in situations like this where reviewers and consumers received SSDs with completely different controllers. If nothing else, PNY (and other companies that might be doing the same thing) could avoid these situations by pointing out to reviewers the possibility of using different parts, which could then be included in the review.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Build a PC controller Hardware LSI optimia pny smi solid state drive ssd storage News Tue, 24 Jun 2014 13:50:46 +0000 Paul Lilly 28060 at Microsoft Declares Cloud Warfare, Bumps OneDrive Storage to 15GB and 1TB for Office 365 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/onedrive_tablet.jpg" alt="OneDrive Tablet" title="OneDrive Tablet" width="228" height="133" style="float: right;" />Big price reductions accompany increases in cloud storage capacity</h3> <p>Microsoft is doing its present and future customers a solid by offering more OneDrive storage space for less money. We're not talking about small increases simply to make headlines, either -- <strong>Microsoft today announced that OneDrive will come with 15GB for free, up from 7GB, while all versions of Office 365 will come with 1TB of OneDrive storage</strong>. That sound you just heard was the gauntlet being dropped on the competition.</p> <p>According to Microsoft, three out of four people have less than 15GB of files stored on their PC. Combined with what people have stored on other devices, Microsoft made the decision to more than double up on free storage out of the gate with no hoops to jump through.</p> <p>If you're an Office 365 Home subscriber, your $9.99/month plan will soon get you 1TB of storage per person (up to five people), while Office 365 Personal ($6.99/month) and University ($79.99/4 years) both qualify for 1TB per subscription.</p> <p>"Of course, we also want to give you as much flexibility as possible, so if you need more storage, but don’t need an Office 365 subscription, we will also still provide monthly subscription storage options – at dramatically reduced rates," Microsoft announced in a <a href="" target="_blank">blog post</a>.</p> <p>That's not lip service -- Microsoft dropped storage prices by over 70 percent. You can score 100GB for $1.99/month, down from $7.49, and 200GB for $3.99, down from $11.49 previously.</p> <p>All of these changes take effect next month.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> cloud microsoft office 365 onedrive storage News Mon, 23 Jun 2014 19:01:40 +0000 Paul Lilly 28056 at SSD Players Reportedly Preparing for a Price War <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/crucial_ssd.jpg" alt="Crucial SSD" title="Crucial SSD" width="228" height="174" style="float: right;" />Lower priced SSDs may be just around the corner</h3> <p>If you're not rocking a solid state drive in your system, there's a good chance the cost of entry is what's preventing an upgrade. Even after the various price drops in the past year or so -- SSDs are easily found for less than $0.50 per gigabyte these days -- they're still relatively expensive next to mechanical hard drives. Well, guess what? Word on the web is that <strong>SSD makers are preparing an aggressive price war</strong>.</p> <p>News and rumor site <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Digitimes</em> says</a> it's hearing from "industry sources" that major suppliers such as Micron, Intel, Kingston, SanDisk, and Samsung are looking to outgun one another. With so many big players involved, <em>Digitimes </em>says "fierce price competition" will be the result.</p> <p>The wheels are supposedly already in motion. For example, Micron is said to have reduced sales of its NAND flash chips to other companies in order to support its own brand Crucial SSDs with a goal to double SSD shipments sequentially. Kingston, meanwhile, bumped up its SSD shipments to 600,000 units a month and is competing with SanDisk and Samsung for the top spot in terms of volume.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Build a PC Hardware solid state drive ssd storage News Thu, 19 Jun 2014 16:15:01 +0000 Paul Lilly 28037 at