storage en Nifty Infographic Explains Inner Workings of a Hard Drive <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/hdd_infographic.jpg" alt="HDD Infographic" title="HDD Infographic" width="228" height="176" style="float: right;" />Virtual autopsy of a hard disk drive</h3> <p>You probably already have at least a basic understanding of how a mechanical hard disk drive (HDD) works, but have you ever tried to explain it someone less savvy? It's a little more difficult than it seems -- there's a lot going on inside a hard drive. <strong>This is where infographics can come in handy, and eBuyer just sent us a rather neat one that takes a look at the various parts inside your typical HDD</strong>.</p> <p>Compared to more complex parts like CPUs and GPUs, hard drives are relatively easy to understand and there might not be anything new for you in the infographic. However, if you've taken someone under your wing and recently introduced them to the wonderful world of PCs, this is one of those things you'll want to share with them.</p> <p>The infographic covers the various internal bits, such as the printed circuit board (PCB), shock mount, actuator, read/write heads, spindle, and so forth. There's also a history lesson sprinkled in.</p> <p>"They may be getting smaller, thinner, and lighter every year, but that's certainly not how hard disks started out. Back in 1956, IBM's RAMAC 305 system used 50 platters, originally called 'fixed disks' or 'Winchesters', that were 61cm wide and housed in a unit bigger than a pair of fridges!," the infographic explains. "All this just to store a trifling 5MB of data for the inconceivable cost of more than $400,000 in modern dollars."</p> <p>It also offers up some definitions, such as seek time being the time between the CPU's request for a file and the point at which the first byte is delivered.</p> <p>Give it a look, and if you know someone that's new to PCs, pass it along.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u69/small_hdd_infographic_0.jpg" alt="Small HDD Infographic" title="Small HDD Infographic" width="620" height="528" /></a><strong><br />Click for the full infographic<br /></strong></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 Hard Drive Hardware HDD infographic storage teardown News Tue, 27 Jan 2015 15:47:53 +0000 Paul Lilly 29317 at Pricing for 240GB Solid State Drives Could Fall to $70 in 2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/apacer_ssd.jpg" alt="Apacer SSD" title="Apacer SSD" width="228" height="211" style="float: right;" />Apacer exec expects another free fall in SSD pricing</h3> <p>Solid state drives may never reach the tantalizing price-per-gigabyte ratio that mechanical hard disk drives enjoy, though that's okay, we're willing to pay a premium for performance. However, that premium might not be finished shrinking. We already saw NAND flash memory pricing take a nose dive, which in turn led to more affordable SSDs, and now <strong>we hear that the cost of SSDs could drop even lower this year</strong>.</p> <p>According to <em>Digitimes</em>, Apacer Technology general manager CK Chang believes prices for 256GB SSDs will fall below $70 in the second half of 2015, while prices for 128GB SSDs will hit $40. At present, 256GB SSDs street for around $100 -- there's an <a href="" target="_blank">Apotop model</a> on Newegg that's priced on sale for $90, while the rest of the 256GB models sell for $100 or more -- and 128GB models go for $60 and up.</p> <p>The reason for the predicted drop in price once again relates to NAND flash memory. Upstream chip vendors have transitioned to 14nm, 15nm, and 16nm, and in doing so, production costs have come down. According to Chang, this will lead to lower priced SSDs.</p> <p>As for Apacer, the company shipped about 4 million SSDs in 2014, accounting for 30 percent of its more than $318 million in revenue.</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 Drives ssd storage News Fri, 23 Jan 2015 16:45:49 +0000 Paul Lilly 29303 at Hey Look, Dropbox is Now Available for Windows Phone <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/dropbox_windows_phone.jpg" alt="Dropbox for Windows Phone" title="Dropbox for Windows Phone" width="228" height="151" style="float: right;" />Better late than never</h3> <p>Look who's showing up fashionably late to the Windows Phone party. It's <strong>Dropbox, which is now available as an app download for Windows phones and tablets</strong>. According to Dropbox, this marks the next phase of its partnership with Microsoft -- the two somewhat joined forces in November of last year to ensure that Dropbox and Microsoft Office would work well together, and also be widely available.</p> <p>Using the Dropbox app on Windows phones and tablets, users can automatically backup their files to Dropbox, mark files as favorites so that they're always available (with or without an Internet connection), and enjoy access to both personal and work accounts at the same time.</p> <p>The Dropbox team also molded the app for the Windows platform -- you can pin any Dropbox folder to the Start screen for quick access.</p> <p>Dropbox arrives on the Windows Phone platform just in time to see Microsoft talk about Windows 10. It's partially a rebranding play on mobile, though Windows 10 will bring about a bunch of new features to Windows Phone devices as well. You'll get your first look at Windows 10 on phones in a few weeks when it emerges in preview form.</p> <p>As for Dropbox, you can download it from the <a href="" target="_blank">Windows Phone Store</a>.</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 mobile storage windows phone News Thu, 22 Jan 2015 16:26:55 +0000 Paul Lilly 29296 at Backblaze Takes a Second Look at Hard Drive Reliability, Finds Capacity Matters <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/hitachi_4tb.jpg" alt="HGST 4TB" title="HGST 4TB" width="228" height="189" style="float: right;" />Making the case for 4TB hard drives</h3> <p>It was a year ago that cloud backup firm <a href="">Backblaze revealed</a> some interesting data it had collected in regards to hard drive failure rates. For a number of reasons, trying to analyze the reliability of hard drive brands and models can be complicated, though when the dust settled, Backblaze determined that Hitachi brand HDDs were the best. With another year of operation under its belt, <strong>Backblaze has more data to share, though Hitachi remains a solid option</strong>.</p> <p>At the end of 2013, Backblaze was running 27,134 hard drives. That number increased to 41,213 at the end of 2014, giving Backblaze a large sample size to evaluate. It's also worth noting that most of the new drives Backblaze purchased were 4TB, along with a few 6TB HDDs. As the firm discovered, size matters when it comes to HDD reliability.</p> <p>So does brand. Backblaze recorded a frightening 43.1 percent failure rate among 3TB Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 HDDs, though just a 2.6 percent failure rate among 4TB Seagate Desktop HDD.15 drives.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/backblaze_data.jpg" alt="BackBlaze Data" title="BackBlaze Data" width="620" height="638" /><br /><em>Source: Backblaze</em></p> <p>"We like every one of the 4 TB drives we bought this year. For the price, you get a lot of storage, and the drive failure rates have been really low," Backblaze said. "The Seagate Desktop HDD.15 has had the best price, and we have a LOT of them. Over 12 thousand of them. The failure rate is a nice low 2.6 percent per year. Low price and reliability is good for business.</p> <p>"The HGST drives, while priced a little higher, have an even lower failure rate, at 1.4 percent. It’s not enough of a difference to be a big factor in our purchasing, but when there’s a good price, we grab some. We have over 12 thousand of these drives."</p> <p>Brand, model, and capacity all seem to matter to some extent, which makes coming to a definitive conclusion a bit tricky. And of course this is but a single company's results. Generally speaking, however, HGST put on the best showing with the lowest failure rates at each capacity.</p> <p>Check out <a href="" target="_blank">Backblaze's blog post</a> for more details.</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> Backblaze Build a PC data center Hard Drive Hardware reliability storage News Thu, 22 Jan 2015 15:57:00 +0000 Paul Lilly 29295 at Samsung Portable SSD T1 Review <!--paging_filter--><h3>The little engine that could</h3> <p>With the US still lagging behind the rest of the developed world when it comes to the availability of high-speed Internet, there's still a lot of need for high-capacity external storage. It's also a good idea to have local system backups. A few years ago, your choices were mostly clunky 3.5-inch drive enclosures that needed external power. We've since graduated to sleek 2.5-inch units that get their juice straight from USB 3.0 cables that shuttle bits between the drive and your PC. Today, Samsung is taking it a step further with the Portable SSD T1, an external solid-state drive that can operate in the neighborhood of SATA III speeds.</p> <p>An enterprising gearhead can get most of the T1's functionality by purchasing an internal SSD and a drive enclosure that supports UASP (USB Attached SCSI Protocol). In short, UASP lets an external storage device use commands normally reserved for internal storage devices. The two key differences between UASP and standard USB are the ability to deal with data requests in an arbitrary order, and the ability to process multiple data requests at once. This can boost your performance by hundreds of mehabytes per second, putting UASP drives in a completely different performance class from USB 3.0. As you might imagine, this also requires a more sophisticated USB controller on the motherboard, and a driver for your operating system. Your mobo manufacturer customarily provides drivers or software to enable the UASP function of its USB controller.</p> <p><img src="/files/u160416/samsung_portable_beauty_620_corrected.jpg" alt="Samsung Portable SSD T1" title="Samsung Portable SSD T1" width="620" height="413" /></p> <p>The Portable T1 has an additional advantage, however, and it's not the compact dimentions. It has integrated drive encryption. When you plug it into your PC, it will ask you to set a password for your new drive. You don't have to set one immediately. You can do it later by double-clicking the turquoise gear icon in your system tray and clicking on the arrow next to the drive's security status. Your password can be up to 22 characters, which isn't as long as we could like, but the only way to reset it is to wipe the drive. This is actually a good thing. An external drive whose encryption can be bypassed with a physical switch or a call to customer support isn't all that encrypted.</p> <p>You can set up all kind of fancy encryption with that SSD that you've put into a UASP enclosure, but it's not going to offer encryption out-of-the-box. It needs third-party software to interact with the drive before it's secured. Having this built into the drive is a big advantage for non-expert users. If you don't need encryption, or you don't mind the logitistics of using third-party encryption software, then getting your own internal SSD and a UASP enclosure is definitely more cost-effective; the 250GB version we tested has a list price of $179.99. The 500GB version comes in at $299.99, and the 1TB is $599.99. They may end up selling for much less than the list price, which happens frequently with PC components. But it's starting out on the high end. Right now, you can get a 960GB Sandisk Ultra II internal SSD for $350 from NCIX US, and a UASP enclosure from Amazon for less than twenty bucks (which comes with a USB 3.0 cable). Most internal SSDs in that size range hit between $400 and $450, but the price difference is still pretty significant.</p> <p>Its performance isn't too shabby, either. Without UASP, the drive will transfer data in the neighborhood of 200MB/s, which is very respectable. It still leaves the Sandisk Extreme Pro at the top of the heap when it comes to external storage speeds. That's ironic, because it's just a thumb drive. The Portable T1 has 250GB, 500GB, and 1TB capacities, though, so there's that. The Extreme Pro's largest size is 256MB.</p> <p>With UASP in the mix, the Portable T1 leaps ahead of the pack, with a sustained read speed of 433MB/s, and a sustained write speed of 355MB/s, according to CrystalDisk Mark. But your results will vary. When paired with an Asus Rampage IV Extreme motherboard, we couldn’t manage a sustained read speed of more than 350MB/s. When we plugged it into a USB 3.0 port on the back of a Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H, we could read at around 450MB/s, but the write speed maxed out at only 85MB/s. We tried another port on the back, and the sustained write speeds jumped up to 355MB/s. It's not the drive's fault, but it is disappointing to see this much variance from one USB controller to another, even on the same motherboard (which will sometimes use multiple controllers). PCMark Vantage also locked up while attempting to test this drive, but it reports a somewhat abstract score, rather than actual performance numbers, so it's not critical to our understanding of the drive's capabilities.</p> <p>The Portable T1's cable is also extremely short, measuring only about four inches long. This is perfect for laptop users, but desktop users will have the device basically dangling off one the ports on their case. We also regret to report that it uses a bright blue LED to indicate connectivity, though it's a small one, thankfully. It doesn't look like the electronics industry is in any hurry to return to the red LEDs we used for decades that never distracted the retina. On the bright side, it continues to push the envelope of external storage performance. In that light, our benchmark chart compares the drive to internal SSDs, since it completely outclasses non-UASP external drives. It's still not ideal for sustained high-bandwidth things like HD video editing, but it's a surprisingly snappy little unit otherwise.</p> external drive Portable T1 Review samsung solid state drive ssd storage UASP USB 3.0 Reviews SSD Tue, 20 Jan 2015 15:06:33 +0000 Tom McNamara 29278 at Samsung Starts Mass Producing Crazy Fast SM951 PCIe SSD for Laptops <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/samsung_sm951.jpg" alt="Samsung SM951" title="Samsung SM951" width="228" height="142" style="float: right;" />Low power SSD hits ultra high speeds (2,150MB/s reads, 1,550MB/s writes)</h3> <p>One of the biggest developments in the solid state drive market has been that of falling prices over the past couple of years. We hope that trend continues, though it's not the sole storyline -- there's also the transition to PCI Express, and with it comes much faster speeds than their SATA 6Gbps counterparts. How fast are we talking? Well, <strong>Samsung's SM951 SSD for ultra-slim laptops and workstations is rated to read and write data at up to 2,150MB/s, and 1,550MB/s, respectively</strong>.</p> <p>Those figures represent ultra-slim laptops and workstations that choose to adopt the PCIe 3.0 interface. In those situations, Samsung says the SM951 is about four times faster at sequential reads than current SATA SSDs, while also remaining power efficient -- it requires about 450MB/s per watt for sequential reads and 250MB/s per watt for sequential writes, which is more than a 50 percent improvement over the XP941, its predecessor.</p> <p>Samsung's drive also supports PCIe 2.0. When installed in PCIe 2.0 system, it can read and write data at up to 1,600MB/s and 1,350MB/s, respectively, along with random read speeds of up to 130,000 IOPS and random writes of up to 85,000 IOPS. That's still pretty darn fast.</p> <p>"We are helping to accelerate growth of the ultra-slim notebook PC market with the introduction of this energy-efficient, high-speed PCIe SSD," <a href="" target="_blank">said Jeeho Baek</a>, Senior Vice President of Memory Marketing at Samsung Electronics. He added that, "We will continue to introduce next-generation high-density SSDs with improved performance and increased differentiation, as we further strengthen our business competitiveness in global SSD market."</p> <p>Outside of raw speed, the SM951 is notable because it's the first SSD to adopt the L1.2 low power standby mode. This is a mode defined by the PCI-SIG standards body, which allows for all high-speed circuits to be switched off when a PC is in sleep or hibernation mode.</p> <p>No word yet on cost, though Samsung says the SM951 comes in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB capacities.</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> Hardware samsung sm951 solid state drive ssd storage News Mon, 12 Jan 2015 14:04:15 +0000 Paul Lilly 29239 at CES 2015: Plextor Puts on Display M6e Black Edition PCI Express SSD <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/plextor_m6e_black_edition.jpg" alt="Plextor M6e Black Edition" title="Plextor M6e Black Edition" width="228" height="212" style="float: right;" />Fast storage in a sexy package</h3> <p>The fastest SATA 6Gbps SSDs top out at around 590MB/s, and if you want to go faster, one way to do that is by utilizing PCI Express. That's exactly what Plextor has done. Yes, the same Plextor that made a name for itself with high-end optical drives, back when that sort of thing mattered. These days<strong> Plextor's been focusing on more modern products, like its new M6e Black Edition SSD</strong>.</p> <p>Aimed at gamers, the M6e Black Edition is a PCI Express solution using Toshiba's syncrhonous Toggle NAND flash memory. Plextor rates the drive as being able to sequentially read and write data at up to 770MB/s and 625MB/s, respectively. It also boasts 105,000 IOPS of random-read performance and 100,000 IOPS of random-write performance.</p> <p>Also helping with performance is the company's newly developed PlexTurbo 2.0 intelligent SSD software cache technology. It uses up to 4GB of system memory to boost storage and beef up performance, while containing safeguards against data loss.</p> <p>No word yet on when the M6e Black Edition will be available or for how much.</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 M6e Black Edition pci express PCIe plextor solid state drive ssd storage News Thu, 08 Jan 2015 20:25:55 +0000 Paul Lilly 29226 at CES 2015: Mushkin Announces High Performance Striker SSD Line <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/mushkin_striker.jpg" alt="Mushkin Striker" title="Mushkin Striker" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />Speedy and capacious</h3> <p><strong>Mushkin this week unveiled its new Striker line of solid state drives</strong>. The new drives are built for speed and reliability, which largely boils down to the type of controller -- in this case, Mushkin opted for a Phison PS3110-S10 controller, which boasts a quad-core, 8-channel design. It also features 256-bit AES encryption, Opal 2.0, end-to-end path protection, and a few other technologies.</p> <p>The Striker line uses MLC NAND flash memory and is rated for up to 565MB/s of sequential read performance, up to 550MB/s sequential writes, and up to 90,000 IOPS. As you can probably tell from the performance metrics, the Striker line sports a SATA 6Gbps interface.</p> <p>"Mushkin is committed to giving our customers the best performing and most reliable SSDs and our new STRIKER family of drives delivers," <a href=";ref_no=NTk4Mzcz%250A" target="_blank">said Brian Flood</a>, Director of Product Management at Mushkin. "With an ever-increasing demand for greater performance, the new STRIKER drives provides the ultimate combination of speed and reliability for today’s demanding applications."</p> <p>Mushkin was mum on pricing info, though did say it will launch in capacities ranging from 240GB to 960GB in the first quarter of this 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> Build a PC ces2015 Hardware mushkin solid state drive ssd storage Striker News Thu, 08 Jan 2015 19:21:07 +0000 Paul Lilly 29224 at CES 2015: Patriot Lights Up SSD Space with High-Capacity Ignite Series <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/patriot_ignite.jpg" alt="Patriot Ignite SSD" title="Patriot Ignite SSD" width="228" height="193" style="float: right;" />Go big (capacity) or go home</h3> <p>Now that it no longer requires taking out a second mortgage to fund a solid-state drive upgrade, maybe we'll start seeing an influx of high capacity SSDs. Is that too much to ask? Not of <strong>Patriot Memory, which arrived at the Consumer Electronics Show with its new and capacious Ignite line of a SATA 6Gbps SSD products</strong>. And for good measure, the company also brought along a couple of new USB flash drives, which we'll get to in a moment.</p> <p>Patriot's Ignite line comes in just two capacities: 480GB and 960GB. Either one is big enough to run an operating system and several programs and games, though we'd still advise sweeping all those RAW vacation photos and high definition videos over to a storage drive (long live the mechanical hard drive, right?).</p> <p>Armed with a new Phison S10 controller and SATA 6Gbps interface, Patriot's Ignite line boasts sequential read and write speeds of up to 560MB/s and 545MB/s, respectively. We've seen higher speed ratings in the SATA 6Gbps category, though not by much.</p> <p>"These are some of the fastest drives that we have had in our lab," Said Les Henry, VP of Engineering at Patriot. "As you can see we are able to advertise some of the fastest sequential speeds in the market for these capacities. We were able to hit scores above 1,000 using the AS SSD benchmark test with these drives."</p> <p>Patriot says you'll be able to purchase its <a href="" target="_blank">Ignite SSDs</a> this month with attractive MSRPs set at $215 (480GB) and $405 (960GB).</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/patriot_supersonic_drives.jpg" alt="Patriot Supersonic Rage 2 and Magnum 2" title="Patriot Supersonic Rage 2 and Magnum 2" width="620" height="461" /></p> <p>Moving on, Patriot also rolled out its Supersonic Magnum 2 and Supersonic Rage 2 USB 3.0 flash drives. Starting with the Magnum 2, it will be available in "extreme capacities," otherwise known as 256GB and 512GB, with maximum read and write speeds of up to 400MB/s and 300MB/s, respectively.</p> <p>As for the Supersonic Rage 2, it will offer the same performance metrics but come in 128GB and 256GB capacities. It also sports a more compact design.</p> <p>Both will be available in February; 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 ces2015 ignite Patriot solid state drive ssd storage supersonic magnum 2 supersonic rage 2 News Tue, 06 Jan 2015 20:02:03 +0000 Paul Lilly 29200 at CES 2015: Seagate Gets Stylish with Portable Storage Drive Solutions [Video] <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/seagate_products.jpg" alt="Seagate Storage Products" title="Seagate Storage Products" width="228" height="147" style="float: right;" />Who would have thought storage could be so sexy?</h3> <p>Peanut butter and jelly go together, and the same goes for Coke and Rum. Heck, we can think of any number of combinations that make sense, but storage and sex appeal? That's a first for us, and when we heard Seagate was combining the two, <strong>Maximum PC Online Managing Editor and self-proclaimed fashion expert Jimmy Thang made an all-out sprint for Seagate's section at the Consumer Electronics Show</strong>. What he saw was, well, himself! And you could see yourself, too, if you look at the LaCie Mirror, an external hard drive with a mirror finish.</p> <p>LaCie, which is Seagate's premium subsidiary, built a rather unique external storage solution with the help of French designer Pauline Deltour. The <a href="" target="_blank">Mirror</a> consists of a 1TB drive housed in a case made of Corning Gorilla Glass, which itself is intended to rest on an ebony wooden display stand.</p> <p>"You have to look twice to discover the LaCie Mirror's true ambition. Covered by mirrored glass, it's first an elegant and functional object, and only on second glance is it revealed to be a slim and high–performance hard drive," Deltour notes.</p> <p>The asking price? A cool $280 MSRP. Cheaper than an SSD of the same capacity, but obviously on the expensive side for an HDD storage solution, even one that allows us to pull nose hairs, should the need arise (tweezers not included).</p> <p>Seagate also showed off its LaCie Rugged, which features 4TB of storage encased in an orange enclosure. You can configure the drive to run in RAID 0 for speed or RAID 1 for added peace of mind.</p> <p>As for Seagate's own brand products, it brought to the show its Seagate Seven, the thinnest portable hard drive around at just 7mm. At first glance, we thought it might be housing a solid-state drive inside due to its thin stature, but there's actually a spinning hard disk in there, up to 500GB.</p> <p>Check it out, along with other items Seagate had on display, in the video below:</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></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> ces2015 Hardware LaCie mirror mobile seagate storage News Tue, 06 Jan 2015 18:00:30 +0000 Jimmy Thang and Paul Lilly 29195 at Samsung Announces T1 Line of External SSDs <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u160416/untitled_1.jpg" alt="Samsung Portable SSD T1" title="Samsung Portable SSD T1" width="250" height="244" style="float: right;" /></p> <h3>Bigger Isn't Always Better</h3> <p>Samsung announced the <span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">Portable SSD T1 line of external solid-state drive today, the first of its kind for this company. The drive uses a standard USB 3.0 cable to connect to your PC and is backwards compatible with USB 2.0. But you'll definitely want the faster connection -- Samsung claims that the drive can acheive sequential read and write speeds of up to 450MB/s if your motherboard has a UASP mode available. It also comes with 256-bit AES encryption and Dynamic Thermal Guard, the latter of which helps to prevent the drive from overheating.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">The drives, available in 250GB, 500GB and 1TB sizes, come with a three-year warranty and have MSRPs of $180, $300, and $600, respectively. Also, rather than being a standard 2.5-inch SSD inside an enclosure, the T1 uses a fully integrated design, which explains its compact dimensions (about 25% shorter than a regular internal SSD). You can expect these drives to show up at retail within the next few weeks.<br /></span></p> external samsung solid-state drive ssd storage USB 3.0 News Tue, 06 Jan 2015 01:05:07 +0000 Tom McNamara 29190 at SanDisk Rolls Out SSD Plus and Ultra II mSATA SSD Storage Lines <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/sandisk_ultra_ii_msata_ssd.jpg" alt="SanDisk Ultra II mSATA SSD" title="SanDisk Ultra II mSATA SSD" width="228" height="196" style="float: right;" />SanDisk targets tablet and laptop users with new SSD options</h3> <p>We've already seen solid state drive pricing drop to around 50 cents per gigabyte and below for high performance models, and here's hoping even lower prices are bound for 2015. In the meantime, <strong>SanDisk just unveiled a couple of new SSD lines at CES -- the SSD Plus and Ultra II mSATA SSD</strong>. The former is a 2.5-inch entry-level drive targeting laptop and desktop users, while the latter is for laptop and tablet users.</p> <p>Starting with the former, SanDisk says the SSD Plus in 128GB capacity is capable of up to 550MB/s sequential read and up to 180MB/s sequential write performance, while the 240GB model boasts up to 550MB/s and up to 350MB/s sequential reads and writes, respectively. Unfortunately, there's no word on which controller or NAND flash memory SanDisk is using.</p> <p>The SSD Plus line sports a 2.5-inch form factor and will ship to customers in the first quarter of this year for $70 (120GB) and $110 (240GB).</p> <p>As for the Ultra II mSATA line, SanDisk rates them as follows:</p> <ul> <li>128GB: 550MB/s read, 500MB/s write, 74K IOPS read, 39K IOPS write</li> <li>256GB: 550MB/s read, 500MB/s write, 92K IOPS read, 54K IOPS write</li> <li>512GB: 550MB/s read, 500MB/s write, 97K IOPS read, 67K IOPS write</li> </ul> <p>These drives will also ship in the first quarter with MSRPs set at $74 (128GB), $116 (256GB), and $221 (512GB).</p> <p>In somewhat related news, <a href="" target="_blank">SanDisk also unveiled</a> its Ultra Dual USB Drive 3.0, a USB flash drive featuring both a micro-USB and USB 3.0 connector for file transfers between On The Go (OTG) enabled Android devices, PCs, and Macs. It sports a retractable design along with a longer micro-USB connector to accomodate device cases or port covers, and is rated for up to 130MB/s.</p> <p>The SanDisk Ultra Dual USB Drive 3.0 should be be available now (or soon) in 16GB to 64GB capacities ranging in price from $23 to $65 (MSRP).</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 Sandisk solid state drive ssd plus storage ultra ii msata ssd News Mon, 05 Jan 2015 16:43:19 +0000 Paul Lilly 29187 at Western Digital Expects Storage Market to Grow by Billions of Dollars <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/hdd_5.jpg" alt="HDD" title="HDD" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />Cloud computing and IoT are pushing demand for more storage</h3> <p>Don't feel too bad for storage players as the prices of hard drives and solid state drives continue to come down -- there's still money to be made. Lots of it. By <strong>Western Digital's estimation, the global storage market will reach $38 billion by the end of this year</strong>, up from $36 billion a year ago. And that's not all -- WD sees the growth continuing into next year and beyond, with 2015 seeing $42 billion in storage sales.</p> <p>Home computers and PC storage applications account for nearly half of all storage sales, though WD sees enterprise customers becoming bigger buyers in the not-too-distant future, <a href=""><em>Digitimes</em> reports</a>. This is due to a rise in popularity among cloud-based services and the growing Internet of Things (IoT) trend.</p> <p>As it stands, the overall demand for storage reached 4.4 zettabytes in 2013, or 4.4 billion terabytes. A drop in the bucket compared to where things are headed over the next several years -- by 2020, that figure is expected to balloon to 44 zettabytes.</p> <p>WD expects enterprise demand to outpace that of PCs next by either next year or 2016. To ensure it capitalizes on however the market shakes out, WD is planning a series of product lines in varying categories, including new opportunities in cloud compouting, IoT, NAS, and personal cloud applications.</p> <p>Image Credit: <a href="" target="_blank">Flickr (Dominik Bartsch)</a></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> Hard Drive Hardware HDD solid state drive ssd storage wd Western Digital News Fri, 19 Dec 2014 17:34:42 +0000 Paul Lilly 29123 at Look for More Business-Class Laptops Pairing SSDs with HDDs in 2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/hdd_ssd.jpg" alt="SSD and HDD" title="SSD and HDD" width="228" height="169" style="float: right;" />Falling prices have vendors more willing to adopt low capacity SSDs</h3> <p>Solid state drive pricing has fallen off a cliff in recent years, which is largely the result of lower cost NAND flash memory chips. Since then, SSDs have continued to trickle downwards in price, though at a much slower pace. Nevertheless, with costs still trending downward, <strong>laptop vendors are expected to offer more business-class laptops with both SSD and HDD storage options inside</strong>.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">According to <em>Digitimes</em></a>, the proportion of hybrid business-use notebooks -- laptops equipped with an SSD for the OS and HDD for storage -- currently sits at around 10 percent, though looking ahead to next year, those in the notebook supply chain say they expect that number to double to 20 percent.</p> <p>This is based on the expectation that the price for a 128GB SSD will drop to $60 in the first quarter of 2015, which would be equal to the cost of a 1TB HDD, <em>Digitimes</em> says. So what's likely to happen is there will be a bunch of business notebooks that pair a 128GB SDD with a 500GB HDD.</p> <p>Why the prominence in business-class laptops? These tend to be more expensive than consumer notebooks, which makes it easier to squeeze in upgrades like this. And with cloud-based storage taking off the way it has, vendors don't need to worry so much about equipping laptops with increasingly capacious HDDs, or so the theory goes.</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> Hard Drive Hardware HDD laptop notebook solid state drive ssd storage News Wed, 17 Dec 2014 17:44:27 +0000 Paul Lilly 29107 at Lite-On to Unveil Zeta Solid State Drive for Consumers at CES <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/lite-on_zeta.jpg" alt="Lite-On Zeta" title="Lite-On Zeta" width="228" height="210" style="float: right;" />Look for Lite-On to light up the SSD scene</h3> <p>Tired of seeing the same old players participate in the solid state drive wars? If so, you'll be glad to know another warrior is entering the battlefield. That warrior is <strong>Lite-On</strong>, and come CES, the company that's perhaps best known for manufacturing affordable optical drives (dating back to when optical drives weren't necessarily affordable) <strong>will try its hand at making consumer grade SSDs</strong>.</p> <p>The company partially spilled the beans in a <a href="" target="_blank">press release</a> on its website, saying it will unveil "ultra high-speed" SSDs featuring True Speed Technology.</p> <p>"TrueSpeed is a technology that works to prevent the drastic write speed degradation that can occur with SSDs and delivers highly stabilized long-term performance, which provides enterprise, corporate, and OEM customers with a real-world performance advantage," Lite-On explained.</p> <p>Chinese-language website <a href=";tl=en&amp;js=y&amp;prev=_t&amp;hl=en&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;;edit-text=&amp;act=url" target="_blank"><em></em></a> tipped the can all the way over and spilled the rest of the beans. If the site's information proves accurate, Lite-On's first consumer SSD will be called Zeta. It will use Hynix 16nm MLC flash memory and come in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB capacities. All three will offer up to 520MB/s read transfers, while write speeds will be rated at up to 150MB/s for the 128GB model, 290MB/s for the 256GB model, and 430MB/s for the 512MB model.</p> <p>Lite-On isn't going after the speed crown obviously, and instead is focusing on price. While it's early, pricing at the moment looks to convert to around $71 (128GB), $129 (256GB) and $258 (512GB) -- respectable, though not spectacular by any means. Here's crossing our fingers that domestic and street pricing end up a bit lower.</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 CES consumer electronics show Hardware Lite-on solid state drive ssd storage zeta News Tue, 16 Dec 2014 19:11:06 +0000 Paul Lilly 29100 at