Akasa MAX MT Fanless NUC Chassis Review

Introduction


Big chassis get all of the fame and glory, but there are a lot of cool things happening in the world of ultra-compact chassis. Akasa is one of the biggest names when it comes to the smallest products and their range of NUC chassis is virtually unmatched. With Intel offering up some truly incredibly NUC motherboards, packing many of the latest Intel Core products, M.2 memory support, USB 3.0 and so much more, there’s now a huge range of applications for this type of system, at home in the workplace and beyond.

• Aluminium fanless CPU cooling design
• Stylish front panel diamond effect
• Two bay 2.5″ SATA mobile tray
• Support one serial port
• Support IR remote function
• Compatible with the following Intel® NUC Board
NUC5i5MYBE / NUC5i5MYHE / NUC5i3MYBE / NUC5i3MYHE
NUC5i5RYH / NUC5i5RYK / NUC5i3RYH / NUC5i3RYK

With full aluminium construction, support for a range of NUC boards, a compact form factor, dual 2.5″ drive trays and more, the MAX MT is certainly appealing, but let’s dive right in and take a closer look at what this chassis has to offer.

There are all kinds of accessories included in the box, included a second backplate to expand the motherboard compatibility, a pass through cable for COM connectors, a short and slim SATA cable and more.

The chassis is made from thick and beautifully machined aluminium, with a sleek black finish. While this does add to the aesthetics, the construction is incredibly practical too, as it is durable and the whole bulk of the chassis acts as a passive heat sink for the CPU, allowing it run completely silent.

Down each side of the chassis, you’ll see a fin array, this gives us a greater surface area to help dissipate heat.

The front panel is certainly interesting. As much as this chassis is designed to be tucked out of the way, it’s still very attractive and I’d have no issues have it out on show as part of my desktop setup or a home AV setup and the trimmed silver edges of the front panel certainly add to the appeal.

Aside from the IR port, the power button, USB and the HD audio, you’ll also notice the most important feature of this chassis; dual 2.5″ drive bays. These can be opened at the front, allowing for easy hot-swapping of 2.5″ drives, making this a great option for a compact NAS, workstation or HTPC.

around the back, you’ll find a com port, motherboard I/O, two rubber pegs which can be removed to mount WiFi antenna and a Kensington lock fitting. Of course, you can also swap this backplate for the other included in the box, which offers support for some other NUC motherboards.

across the top, even more thick fins in the aluminium, which will help improve the cooling performance even more, but also keeps the design uniform with the sides of the chassis.

The base of the chassis is compatible with VESA mounting kits, meaning you can easily install it on a bracket, on the back of a compatible monitor or TV and a whole host of other places. There are four screws here too, as the base is the only access point for installing your hardware.

Crucial BX100 1TB Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


After having tested the Crucial BX100 500GB SSD a little while ago, it has now become time to take the 1TB model a test drive on my test setup.

“We designed the MX200 and BX100 to meet the varied needs of the market, making it easier for anyone to move to an SSD, whether they are a seasoned computer enthusiast or an absolute beginner, all while keeping value top of mind,” said Jonathan Weech, senior worldwide product manager, Crucial. “These drives leverage Micron’s years of heritage in storage technology to deliver advanced features and performance, resulting in an unparalleled SSD experience for our consumers.”

The BX100 is a budget series of SSD drives, but that doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice a whole lot of performance. The drive still promises sequential operations up to 535MB/s reading and 450MB/s when writing – on all file types. The random performance is rated for up to 90k IOPS.

The BX100 series is the first of Crucial’s drives to use the Silicon Motion SM2245EN controller, a controller we’ve seen perform great in other drives. Inside the drive, we also find 16 Micron NAND and two Micron RAM cache chips.

The BX100 also has a pretty good feature list with thermal monitoring, data path protection, active garbage collection, TRIM and SMART support as well as Error Correction Code (ECC). The only thing that could be considered missing is the hardware encryption.

It has comes rated with a life expectancy of 1.5 million hours MTBF and an endurance rating of up to 72TB total bytes written (TBW). That would equal 40GB of data being written every day for a five year period – two years longer than the three-year warranty, so the stability and safety on this drive should be guaranteed.

The Crucial BX100 SSD isn’t the fastest drive on the market, but it’s not designed to be. By treating all data the same, the Crucial BX100 allows you to do everything quickly whether you’re saving an image, accessing a ZIP file, or loading a video – on a budget.

With a 1TB capacity like we’re getting from this drive, we decrease the consideration to replace the old mechanical drives significantly. An SSD such as the BX100 will perform over fifteen times faster than a typical hard drive, be two times more reliable, be over twice as energy-efficient, and generally be more durable due to better shock resistance and lower heat creation. If the price matches the performance, it could be a winner.

Enermax EMK3104 Hybrid 2.5-inch Docking Station Review

Introduction


There are many types of drive enclosures on the market; some are internal, some are external and some are hybrids. The Enermax EMK3104 Mobile Rack is a hybrid solution and a smart one at that.

The enclosure can take 2.5-inch hard disk and solid state drives and convert them into a 3.5-inch standard sized drive. This allows the easy use of a smaller 2.5″ drive in a 3.5″ drive bay that otherwise wouldn’t allow the use of them.

But it does more than that, it also allows easy front access to switch and replace the drive, or just remove it. It also allows you to lock the drive to both prevent tampering with your drive as well as accidental ejection.

On the inside, it uses a patented non-scratch SATA connector to guarantee a maximum life span with up to 50.000 drive insertions and it can handle both SATA III and SAS drives.

The Enermax EMK3104 doubles as a mobile disk rack and allows you to connect it via USB 3.0 instead of using the normal SATA connectors on the rear. To the rear of the enclosure, you’ll find a micro USB 3 connector and the cable needed is included with the drive array.

If it was to be docked in a 3.5-inch drive bay, you could just eject it and take it with you as USB 3.0 portable drive.

The hot-swap system allows you to quickly change the HDD or SSD when you need another one. Inside is a simple mechanism that will eject the drive when opened and automatically retracted it when closed.

When enclosing a drive in such a small space, you’ll need to make sure that it stays cool. To aid this, the EMK3104 has an aluminum cover on the top and ventilation holes on the bottom. This should provide the best passive cooling capability.

 

Inateck FE2005 USB 3.0 Tool-Less 2.5″ HDD Enclosure Review

Introduction


Having an external enclosure for your Hard Disk and Solid State Drives can come in very handy for a multitude of reasons. You might have those old Hard Disk drives from a laptop you’ve upgraded with an SSD, or an old SSD you’ve upgraded to a bigger and better one, or maybe even both. If you could answer yes to one of those questions, the Inateck FE2005 tool free 2.5″ external enclosure might be just the right choice for you.

Inateck have designed the FE2005 as a tool-less solution and there is no need for any screws or other fastening tools. You just slide your drive into the enclosure, connect it to a USB port and you’re ready to go. It is compatible to all systems with USB ports; Mac OS, Windows and Linux and supports automatic sleep and spin down of the drives.

The first few times you’ll open the enclosure it will be very tight but once it has been open a few times, the operation will become much smoother. You just pull on the clamshell and the enclosure slides apart. You can also push at the rear bottom in case it is too tight at first and you don’t want to risk accidental damage. Fold the clamshell down, slide the drive in, fold it back and push the enclosure together. That’s it.

The exterior is kept very simple and the only detail added is the name on the top of the enclosure. It is manufactured in a combination of ABS plastic and aluminium to give it an improved heat dissipation.

The choice of materials also helped Inateck to keep the weight down at just 75 grams, without a drive inserted. The enclosure is equally small as it is light and the external dimension equal those of a 3.5-inch drive.

The Connection to your computer is done by a USB micro-B connector, a common choice. It’s also a choice that might give you a bigger choice on what cable you will be using, if the included shouldn’t be the right match for your needs.

A dual-coloured activity LED will tell you what connection mode is active. It will shine white on USB 2 mode and blue on USB3 mode. Inateck also added a slide-lock to prevent accidental or unwanted opening of the enclosure.

By adding a foam-pad inside the enclosure, Inateck made sure that 7mm drives will be securely mounted even though the enclosure also can handle 9.5mm drives. A minor thing to do, but one that gives a big bonus, is that Inateck also included an extra foam pad with the packaging in case you need to remove the pre-installed and later want to add it back to once again safely use 7mm drives.

The enclosure doesn’t have any external anti-vibration features in the form of rubber feet or similar, but covers it internally instead. The bottom of the enclosure is fully padded to protect your drive from scratches and help to eliminate vibrations when mechanical drives are used.

Inateck used the JMicron JMS567 chipset for direct conversion from SATA-III to USB 3.0 with support for USB Attached SCSI Protocol (UASP) and a Winbond chip for caching. This combination should ensure us as close to the practical speeds possible. There will be a minor impact on the transfer speeds here just as there is with any conversion, but it should be marginal.

Within the package is everything you need to get going. A manual to get started, a USB 3 cable to connect the enclosure and with your PC as well as a replacement foam-pad as mentioned earlier.

ADATA launches HC500 External Hard Drive for TV & PC

Ever since the digital TV signal was launched, most set-top boxes and TVs have supported broadcast-recording to USB devices. ADATA has just launched the latest addition to their external drive line-up in form of the HC500 2.5” Hard Drive with TV recording support features.

The new USB 3.0 hard drive is housed in a sand blasted metal case and will be available in the colours Gold and Titanium-black. The available capacity choice is 500GB, 1TB or 2TB. Besides just being an ordinary external drive, it has one additional feature you might find useful, or not. The built-in G-Shock sensor will use the activity LED to warn you with a flashing red light when a shock with too much G-force occurs and it will stay red if the disk has been damaged. This won’t really help you protect your disk more than usual, but it will at least tell you if there is a problem.

The new drive comes bundled with some software as well. With NTI’s Backup Now EZ you can easily create backups of your valuable business and personal files while NTI’s MiST cloud software allows you to create your own personal cloud-drive on this hard drive. NTI’s Backup Now is available for most platforms including mobile ones where the MiST cloud software is a windows only system. The free personal-cloud software is only free for the first year after which you’ll have to pay to continue to use the service.

The physical dimension of this drive are 115 x 77.6 x 15.5 mm and it weighs between 178 and 216 grams depending on capacity. The HC500 USB3 drive comes with a 3-years warranty. There is no word on pricing or availability yet. There aren’t any transfer speeds mentioned either, but it can be assumed that it’s a 5400 RPM drive that is being used inside the housing.

Thank you ADATA for providing us with these information

Images courtesy of ADATA

Micron Release Next Generation Client-SSD’s

Micron is one of the leading manufacturers of memory chips, and as such they’ve just released their next generation consumer-class solid state drive; the M600 SATA SSD. We as end-users won’t have the pleasure of buying this drive right away, because it will start as an OEM-only drive. It could however very well be at the heart of the next mobile gadget you purchase. We can also expect it to appear as a Crucial drive in the not so distant future.

“The M600 sets a new bar for power, security and efficiency in client SSDs and delivers on our vision to provide the most advanced storage solutions,” said Darren Thomas, vice president of Micron’s storage business. “OEMs expect Micron to deliver leading-edge SSDs that give their products an advantage and a noticeably better user experience. The M600 fulfills that promise.”

There are two things that sets this drive apart from the rest. The first of them is the power consumption, as the M600 consumes less than 2 mW in sleep mode and has an average power draw of 150 mW during active use. As a comparison, a traditional 2.5-inch hard drive uses up to 2000 mW when used and 130 mW in idle. The gap isn’t as big when we compare to other SSD’s on the market, but it is still a difference.

Micron didn’t have to compromise the performance in any way to achieve this low power consumption, the drive actually promises exceptional performance. The drive has been tested to perform 100K IOPS on random reads and 90K on the writes. The numbers for the sequential tests are just as impressive with 560 MB/s when reading and 510 MB/s when writing. Even the smallest 128 GB model can deliver these speeds. That is something new and it is the second thing that sets the M600 apart from the crowd.

This is achieved by using Micron’s own 16 nm process technology, the most advanced flash on the market. It is packed in Micron’s 128 Gb NAND so even the smallest form-factors can benefit from large storage. The longevity should be guaranteed as well with the 1 TB model being rated to reach up to 400 TB total bytes written (TBW), that is enough for 220 GB a day, every day, for five years.

Further more, some of the models use the Dynamic Write Acceleration (DWA) technique. A fake SLC caching mechanism that works in real-time to dynamically switch between SLC and MLC conversions in the NAND. This is the what makes the small drives just as fast as the large ones.

Encryption is more important than ever these days, and Micron of course have added an AES-256-bit hardware encryption to the drive. It complies with the TCG Opal 2.0 standards and the Microsoft eDrive protocol for easy management under Windows 8 environments. The drive also has a long list of other features we’re used to and are expecting by now, such as RAIN on-board fail-over protection and client-class power-loss protection for data in the buffer. The adaptive thermal-monitoring dynamically adjusts power consumption based on system temperature, ideal for ultra-small, thermally constrained systems.

The Micron M600 is offered in 128, 256 and 512 GB mSATA and M.2 module configurations, where the M.2 module is offered in both 80mm and 60mm versions. The 2.5-inch, 7 mm drive will be available in capacities from 128 GB to 1 TB. Shipping has already started, so expect products to be available very soon.

Thank you Micron for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Micron

Synology DS414slim 4-Bay NAS Review

Introduction


When looking at bulk storage and consequently network storage, the generic blueprint that virtually every vendor follows is a desktop or rackmount system with an even number of drive bays, each with the capacity to hold the largest drives that can be bought on the market today – which come in a 3.5″ format, although we do find a few situations where 2.5″ SSDs are used based on the application of the storage array. Whilst this blueprint is perfectly fine, on the consumer end of the market where we are not always looking at jaw dropping capacities and performance, a typical 4-bay system is not exactly the easiest of things to tuck away under the desk or in the closet and then we have to factor in the cost of getting up and running. 3.52 drives are the only way to go if you want large amounts of storage on hand, but if you want a more modest setup with a system the doesn’t end up acting like a foot rest under your desk, there are barely any options out there to choose from.

2.5″ drives are, for the most part, forgotten about when it comes to mass storage. Unless you are talking about solid state drives, we generally find people taking the 3.5″ route, without even considering 2.5″ spinning platters, which are left for the entry-level notebooks and budget ultra-SFF systems and this is reflected [as highlighted above] in the NAS market from bottom to top. Wanting to break away from this generalised blueprint, Synology have made an ambitious move to shrink down their popular DS414 line of systems into a tiny, baby-NAS like package which runs solely on 2.5″ drives, making the presence of a NAS in the home a lot more subtle than before.

With a top end raw capacity of only 4TB, Synology’s DS414slim is not going to be a storage monster for those who have tons of films, music and photos to store, but for the average Joe who is looking for a tidy, compact system to blend in with their minimalist desktop setup with a nice and reasonable storage capacity of 3TB (when in RAID5), the slim does start to sound like an interesting investment. It’s size is not a sign that we are working on skeleton features either. Whilst we only find a pair of USB3.0 ports and a pair of GbE ports alongside four drive bays, the number of software features that are at your disposal are virtually the same as those found on a full-on NAS such as the DS414 which this is related to. By the time we factor in the lower cost of drives; around £55 / $76 each for one of Western Digital’s 1TB Red drives which are build primarily for the consumer NAS market and what you can have here is a tidy little system that offers just as much as its larger siblings.

Whether or not this move turns out to be a successful move by Synology comes done to the build, features, ease of use and ultimately the performance. After all there is not point in getting such a tiny system if the performance is not worth the cost.

Packed in to the relatively tiny box, Synology provide a power adaptor with regional mains plug, a pair of patch leads, a set of screws, a quick installation guide and something a little bit different – a base on which the unit sits.

Aerocool Launches DS 200 Midi Tower With Special Insulation and Built-In Fan Controller

Aerocool has launched a new addition to its Dead Silence chassis series, the DS 200, sporting a variety of features, such as having both side-panels equipped with special insulation mats in order to reduce the noise inside the PC. In addition to the latter, the DS 200 also features an integrated fan controller as well as 0.8 mm SECC material.

The company distinguishes the DS series from the rest of the products by granting a variety of color options, having the DS 200 coming in six colors: classy black, black/white, red, orange, blue and green. It is said that all chassis options equipped with a special top-cover which can be removed and replaced by a mesh-style cover in order to boost the airflow capacity. Aerocool even offers an optional side panel window for customers who would like to show off their build.

The built-in fan controller is another interesting feature, having it be located on the topside of the chassis. It is said to support a total of 25W shared by three channels, having the fans be controlled simultaneously. The fan controller is said to have three speed options, namely low, medium and high, while also boasting the capability of stopping a fan channel when needed. The temperature is said to be displayed on the large round display, having to choose from seven color options for the display illumination. Lastly, the I/O panel is said to feature two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, and HD audio and a microphone connector.

On the inside, the DS 200 is said to have enough space for even the latest hardware components, a tool-free rack for both optical and disk drives and support for the ATX, Micro-ATX and Mini-ATX. The company states that up to five 3.5″ HDDs or seven 2.5″ HDDs/SSDs can be mounted inside the case, as well as VGA cards with a length of up to 29 cm (41 cm if removing the center 3.5″ cage). When it comes to cooling, the DS 200 is said to offer support for both air and water cooling solutions, having room for big CPU cooler with a length of 17 cm as well as several pass-through openings with rubber protection located in the mainboard tray. Aerocool states that 240 or 280 mm water-cooling solutions can be mounted in the front or the top of the DS 200, having enough room for even a PSU of 22 cm in length.

In terms of noise output, the DS 200 is said to have both side panels insulated with mats, while having all the 2.5″ and 3.5″ bays as well as the PSU equipped with anti-vibration shock-proof rubber. In addition to the latter, two silent case fans are pre-equipped and ready to provide steady airflow out of the box. Aerocool has stated to also introduce the “Lite Edition” option, which includes the DS 200 with standard non-insulated side panels and comes without the center 3.5″ cage and auto-eject front-panel.

When it comes to prices, Aerocool is said to offer the entry-level DS 200 Lite Black Edition at a price of $120.90, the Black Edition at $158.90, while the Red, Orange, Black/White, Blue and Green Editions are said to all come at the same $163.90 price tag. Additionally, the DS 200 Window Panels are said to be sold separately, having a price tag of $13.00.

Images courtesy of Aerocool

ADATA Launches its Stylish HV611 USB 3.0 External Hard Drive

ADATA has just announced the launch of its latest portable HDD solution featuring the latest USB technology, the HV611 USB 3.0 External Hard Drive, coming with simplistic design, vivid colours and unique puzzle patterns, as well as a compact size.

The company states that the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface clearly makes a difference in the efficiency of data transfer compared to similar external HDD solutions featuring USB 2.0 technology. Also, ADATA emphasises de HDD’s unique stylish interlocking shiny and matte puzzle piece lines present in its design, which the company considers to be an eye-catching ‘magnet’ along with the bright blue LED indicating data transfer status.

In terms of specifications, the HV611 is said to have a standard 2.5″ SATA HDD size, measuring in at 115 x 75 x 15 mm and weighing in at 151g, while operating at USB DC 5V. Customers who desire to purchase the HV611 are said to also be eligible for free downloads from ADATA’s proprietary OStoGO and HDDtoGO software, as well as receive a 3-year warranty for the product at hand.

The HV611 is said to come in capacities of 500GB and 1TB, having them available in four colours: black, starry white, shining blue and hot pink. In terms of pricing, the 500 GB version is said to have a recommended £41.99 set by ADATA, while the 1 TB version is said to come in at £55.99.

Synology Compact DS414Slim NAS Announced

Synology’s DiskStation NAS products are once of the more popular options out there on the market today and as the demand for systems goes up exponentially, there is a growing demand for systems that cover smaller and smaller desktop footprints. To keep up with this demand, Synology have today announced their latest consumer targeted system that is built on their latest DiskStation Manager (DSM) 5.0 operating system, the DS414Slim. As the name suggests, the DS414Slim is a compact 4-bay solution that works solely with 2.5″ drives, offering up the RAID5 security that a full-sized 3.5″ set of drives would offer, but in a form factor that only takes up around two-thirds that of the DS414j for example.

Powered by a Marvell Armada FPU, the Slim offers 512MB of RAM – twice that of its predecessor, with support for the latest 1.5TB 2.5″ drives, giving a total RAW capacity of 6TB when running in JBOD or RAID0 modes. Connectivity wise we find dual USB3.0 ports and dual-LAN for link aggregated connections as well as all the software features and add-ons that we would find on any other Synology product.

Thadd Well, a PR Manager for Synology’s North America Division spoke out about the system stating, “The DS414slim is really an impressive piece of tech. From the offset, you wouldn’t believe such a small device was actually a server. With DSM 5.0 to bring its components to life, the slim is a fantastic solution for businesses, creative teams, and home enthusiasts looking for compact network attached storage.”

Pricing is set to start at around $299 in the US and around £229 inc VAT in the UK and as samples start to ship out, I’ll be taking a closer look at how the Slim performs in comparison to its full-weight brothers in the coming weeks.

Source and Image courtesy of Synology UK

Western Digital Black² Dual Drive 120GB SSD & 1TB HDD Review

Introduction


Solid state storage as we know it today is certainly the way forward and this is proven by the fact that it is the storage medium of choice for any enthusiast or performance user. Whilst the speeds are fantastic, there is still a slight cause for concern to be seen when it comes to the amount of storage that these pioneering drives have to offer. Whilst flash storage is considerably cheaper than it was a few years ago, a typical 240GB SSD will set you back around £160-180 (~$260-295 US) and if you want to go any higher than this with a 480GB or even a 960GB drive then you really are starting to look at some serious money. On the flip side, the price of traditional mechanical storage is more affordable than ever and with 4TB drives available for as little as ~£133 (~$216 US) it really is a case of prioritising what is the greater need – is it going to be performance or capacity?

In a desktop system, this dilemma is typically not a problem, as the space is available to accommodate both solid state and mechanical drives and this is what we see many users opting for in the market today. When we move over to notebooks and ultra books however, the story couldn’t be any more different. Speaking for the vast majority of laptops that are out on the market today, storage is very limited and typically we find space for just one 2.5″ drive and no more. For a number of people, this is not really a real issue, as there is of course external hard drives and flash drives that can be used to extend your storage capacity, but when we look at it, this is not necessarily a practical option – especially for those of us who are on the go all the time. One option would be to remove the optical drive and install a 2.5″ drive adaptor in its place and this is good, but not every laptop has an optical drive, so this leads us back round to square one – do you choose performance or capacity?

One option that is available to you is to get a hybrid drive that offers up hard drive capacity but with the read performance of flash storage. The catch is that this isn’t really what we would call a proper solid state and hard drive combo as the flash portion of the drive is there purely to cache the commonly used data, making it quicker to access whilst the remainder of the data is still held on the spinning platters. What we really want is to have a drive that is effectively two in one and that is just what Western Digital have to offer with the Black² Dual Drive – to separate storage mediums, but in one single 2.5″ form factor – what we once thought to be a dream is now a strong reality.

Western Digital 2.5″ Red 1TB NAS HDD Review

Introduction


Launched just over a year ago, Western Digital’s Red line of drives, along with an easier to understand product line-up (Greed, Blue, Black and so on) have changed the way that many consumers look at their storage. The Red drives are built primarily for a NAS (Network Attached Storage) environment, but they are also suited for SOHO users who want drives that will deliver enterprise class performance but without the hefty price tag that the higher class of drive tends to come with.

With network storage becoming more of a common entity outside of the enterprise sector, for example in homes and offices, the Red line of drive have delivered enterprise class features and reliability with their three-year warranty for users with one to five bay NAS systems as typically seen in the SOHO and SMB sector where these drives are targeted.

As the density of storage has gone up we’ve seen the Red drives reach up to a whopping 4TB in a 3.5″ format, but with users wanting more compact systems, WD had to think ahead of the game and this leads us to the 2.5″ versions that we now also have on offer today. Offering up either 750GB or 1TB of storage each, the 2.5″ drives run with a, Intellipower spindle speed of 5400RPM and with 16MB of cache on a SATA 6Gbps interface, they are rated to handle a workload of 120-150TB of data per year, which for the most part is well over the data throughput that most small businesses will ever put their drives through.

QNAP Turbo NAS Sytems to Support Latest Red Drives From Western Digital

Geared for the 1-5 bay NAS market, Western Digital’s Red line of drives have certainly made an impact on the performance of small NAS systems for home and small business users alike. Since their initial release however, we have seen their capacity grow and even more recently we have seen the launch of a 2.5″ variant of the network storage designed drives.

Offered in capacities of up to 4TB in a 3.5″ format and 750GB or 1TB in a 2.5″ format, the Red drives offer up enhanced performance capabilities over standard desktop drives as well as better reliability for the data throughput that they are expected to handle.

With this update in both capacity and form factor, QNAP have announced that all of their latest Turbo NAS products will fully support these latest drives and older units too will support the drives with their firmware updates.

Taiwan’s Country Manager for Western Digital said in a statement “The drives are designed and extensively tested for compatibility in the unique 24×7 operating environment and demanding system requirements of home and small office NAS. Our exclusive NASware technology enables seamless integration, robust data protection and optimal performance for NAS and RAID environments.”

The latest Red drives are available to buy now online with the 4TB 3.5″ drive retailing for around £162 whilst the 750GB and 1TB 2.5″ will be on sale for around £60 and £85 respectively.

Source QNAP

Intel 530 Series SSDs To Arrive Next Week

A leaked product roadmap from VR-Zone suggests that Intel is very close to launching its next-generation of performance-orientated consumer SSD. The 530 series of SSDs from Intel will succeed both the 520 and 525 series of SSDs. The 530 Series SSDs from Intel will feature the latest 20nm MLC NAND flash but unfortunately are still stuck using the same LSI-Sandforce SF-2281 controller we have seen on SSDs for the past 2 years or so. Of course this controller will have all the latest revisions and firmware updates allowing it to maximise performance, compatibility and reliability.

The roadmap suggests we should of seen the 530 series last month but apparently the launch was delayed by a month and we will see the new 530 series between the 8th and 12th of July. There will be three form factors for the new SSDs. 2.5″ SATA (7mm), NGFF M2 and mSATA. Capacities will be 80GB, 180GB, 240GB and 360GB for the NGFF M2 and mSATA form factors. The 2.5 inch SATA form factor gets 180GB, 240GB, 360GB and 480GB form factors. Performance and pricing details will come in the next 10 days or so as we get closer to the launch.

Image courtesy of VR-Zone

Mushkin Announce 1.8-inch Chronos GO Deluxe SATA III SSDs

Mushkin are a company who make a lot of SSDs and memory kits for the PC hardware market. Their Chronos range of SSDs are renowned across the industry for the excellent value for money that they provide. Today Mushkin adds another addition to the Chronos series, the GO Deluxe.

You might be wondering what is different or special about these SSDs? If they were just like any other SSD we probably wouldn’t even give them the light of day on our website. What’s interesting about the Chronos GO Deluxe is that they fit into a 1.8 inch form factor, compared to the normal 2.5 inch form factor we find SSDs in.

Mushkin have managed to squeeze 120, 240 and 480GB capacities into this small 1.8 inch form factor. Mushkin claim the GO Deluxe drives are of enterprise quality, reliability and endurance but with the high performance you’d expect from a SATA III SSD.

Expected performance, pricing and availiblity wasn’t disclosed. However, we expect performance will be similar to any other SF-2281 Sandforce based SSD. Mushkin had this to say about their new 1.8 inch Chronos Go Deluxe

“Mushkin continues to push the envelope with higher performance, higher capacity and higher reliability products, and the new line of 1.8-inch Chronos(TM) GO SATA III (6Gbps) SSDs is just one example,” said Nicolas Villalobos, Director of Global Marketing at Mushkin Inc. “With these improvements, the new drives are very well-suited for professionals and for solution providers in demanding environments like digital signage, healthcare and point-of-sale.”

What do you think of this new 1.8″ SSD from Mushkin? Do you have any particular uses for an SSD this small?

Source: PR