OCZ Trion150 240GB and 480GB Solid State Drive Review

Introduction



OCZ introduced us to the Trion series about half a year ago and the first drive already impressed us with its performance versus value offering and now OCZ is back with the next generation of Trion drives. The newly released Trion 150 series brings the newest in TLC NAND technology coupled with a great controller in order to provide an amazing drive for people on a budget. Today I’m taking a closer look at this series as I’ll be testing the 240GB and 480GB models.

The OCZ Trion 150 SSD is aimed at people who want to make the move from traditional mechanical hard disk drives and into the modern flash-based storage. There is no comparison when it comes to performance and access speeds, the SSD wins this by miles. Traditional storage does however have the benefit of more capacity per dollar and that is where TLC-NAND based drives come into play. They offer a great capacity at a lower price compared to MLC or SLC-based drives.

The new drives are built around Toshiba’s own controller and their latest Triple-Level-Cell NAND. This combination allows the drive to achieve a performance up to 550 MB/s when reading and 530MB/s when writing while the random performance still provides up to 91K IOPS reading and 64K IOPS writing. With a performance like this, you’ll seriously decrease your system’s boot-up times as well as any other loading process. It’s also one of those upgrades every system should have, an SSD.

The OCZ Trion 150 is available in a wide variety of capacities which means that there is a size for everyone’s need. It is available in capacities of 120GB, 240GB, 480GB, and 960GB. One of the downsides to TLC NAND is that it doesn’t have the same endurance as MLC and SLC NAND, but that isn’t something that should scare you away as a normal user. Despite the lower endurance, these drives will easily outlive their time of operation in most systems and it shouldn’t be something you need to worry about. The Trion 150 has an endurance rating of up to 240TB total bytes written which should be plenty for almost any normal scenario.

The new 15nm Toshiba TLC NAND used in this series is quite a bit better than the previous 19nm thanks to the optimized manufacturing processes and it shows in this drive. Ordinary flagship drives can easily handle write loads of 50GB data at once, but that’s a problem for most TLC drives. They are just as fast with small area writes as the bigger brothers, but when they have to write more than a few GB in one instance, they suffer some performance loss. To combat this, a part of the NAND is being run in SLC mode as a kind of burst area. You can easily copy large amounts of data to the drive at once, but once the SLC cache has been exceeded, the performance will drop a little bit. The good news here is that the new series offers almost twice the write speed that the Trion 100 was able to offer during these scenarios. That’s a bold statement and one that will be interesting to see if the drive can live up to in the tests.

Despite being a budget drive, the OCZ Trion 150 is still backed by a 3-year warranty and it isn’t just a normal warranty either. OCZ gave the Trion 150 the ShieldPlus Warranty for the entire time and it’s pretty much the best drive warranty you can get anywhere. Especially for free and included. In the unlikely event that a drive needs to be replaced, you got a worry-free customer service experience which eliminates all the hassle and cost surrounding traditional support and warranty claims consumers often have to deal with; OCZ has you covered.

OCZ packed the Trion 150 series with the basic features such as Trim, Garbage Collection, and SMART monitoring, but other than that they don’t feature much. They are, after all, basic drives.

As most SSDs these days, the Trion 150 is also built with a snap-together screwless case that holds the PCB in place. The two drives look the same once I got them opened, but there are a few differences. The most noticeable difference is actual not a difference – the amount of NAND chips. Despite the capacity difference, OCZ used the full set of chips in both models. That’s most likely also one of the reasons that these drives promise as great a performance as they do.

Once we remove the PCBs from the case, we also find another difference on the other side. The 480GB model is utilizing a Micron cache chip while the 240GB has a Nanya chip. Both drives use the same Toshiba controller and 15nm NAND chips.

Feature Highlights

  • Next Gen TLC Technology
  • Superior balance of price and performance
  • 100% Toshiba technology
  • Optimized for lower energy consumption
  • ShieldPlus Warranty

Specifications

Packaging

The Trion 150 comes in a colourful box showcasing the drive design as well as the capacity on the front.

The rear of the box lists the drives features as well as little about OCZ and the Trion 150 drive itself.

Inside the box is a reminder not to return the drive to the shop where you bought it and instead handle possible RMAs through OCZ directly as well as a setup guide and naturally the drive itself.

ZOTAC Announces the Sonix PCIe NVMe SSD

During our visit to CES last month, we had a first look at Zotac’s first PCI-Express based solid state drive and we already liked what we saw there. Now Zotac officially announced the new drive and gave it the Sonix branding. The Sonix PCI-Express SSD will initially be released as a 480GB drive, but we can be pretty sure that more options will become available down the line.

Zotac displayed their specifications on the low-end when they first showcased the drive during CES 2016 and the final version got a 100MB/s bump on both the sequential read and write speed specifications. The Sonix 480GB PCIe SSD has a rating of up to 2600 MB/s reading and 1300 MB/s writing. Weirdly enough, Zotac didn’t specify any kind of random read and write performance so far, so we’ll have to wait for independent reviews to learn about those.

The Zotac Sonix is built with a 512MB DDR3 RAM buffer, Toshiba MLC flash memory, and a Phison E7 controller which then is coupled to your system via an NVMe 1.2 PCIE Gen3 interface with x4 lanes. The card in itself is a low-profile card and it also comes bundled with a low-profile bracket for use in SFF systems. Feature wise the drive comes with advanced technologies such as End-to-end Data Path Protection and Dynamic Wear Leveling.

The Sonix isn’t just a great performing drive, it also looks great with its full metal chassis. This is also a feature that will help the drive staying cool by acting as a giant heatsink. Drives of this kind can get quite warm depending on the airflow in your system and it’s a great extra safety to have.

Zotac didn’t reveal any pricing nor official availability date at this time, but I’m sure that we don’t have to wait long for either. Let’s just hope that it will be a competitive price as we definitely need more PCIe NVMe drives on the market.

Mushkin Striker 480GB Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


It has been a while since we had a closer look at Mushkin’s lineup of solid state drives which makes today’s review a little more interesting than just looking at a great perming drive. On the test bench today is the Mushkin Striker 480GB 7mm slim solid state drive and I’ll put it through the usual tests to see how well it performs.

Mushkin built the Striker series with a performance that should satisfy the most demanding users, at least on the SATA3 connection. The Striker is built with Phison’s PS3110-S10 quad-core 8-channel controller which is coupled with quality MLC NAND. Three of the cores are dedicated for flash management and the controller also supports 256-bit AES encryption and Opal 2.0. These things coupled make for a great performing drive and this 480GB model is rated for up to 565 MB/s read and 550MB/s write speeds. The IOPS are rated around 90K for both read and write.

Performance is only one aspect of a drive, it also has to be reliable and keep your data error free. The Phison PS3110-S10 controller supports end-to-end data path protection, SmartECC, SmartRefresh, SmartFlush, and GuaranteedFlush. The end-to-end data protection makes sure that the data stays uncorrupted during the travels through the different parts of the hardware until it reaches the NAND flash.

SmartFlush is a proprietary algorithm to minimize DRAM utilization for user data. The Smart On-the-fly Flushing and Smart Triggered Flushing constantly flush data and re-organize random data chunks in the cache to minimize the time data stays in the cache as well as keep your data safe.

SmartRefresh consists of two parts that essentially are the wear-leveling algorithms. The run-time media scan and idle-time media scan detects ECC bit during read and idle operations and reallocated data to healthy blocks when the ECC bit exceeds the threshold.

Overall, the drive has all the features that you will want in a drive and that should make sure that you have a great performing drive for many years to come. Next to the ECC, garbage collection, and wear-level algorithms, the Mushkin Striker also supports DevSleep (DEVSLP), TRIM, and SMART.

The drive in itself is very plain with its simple black enclosure and sticker on the top. You’ll find all the relevant information such as serial number and capacity on that label, and what else do you need on a solid state drive? Mushkin backs the Striker SSD with a 3-year warranty and it’s also worth mentioning that drives all are assembled in the US.

Inside the two-piece snap-together enclosure is a 2/3rd length PCB. One side holds four of the NAND chips as well as the Phison S10 controller and the Nanya cache chip.

On the other side of the PCB are four more NAND chips in order to provide the 480GB capacity.

Feature Highlights

  • 3-Year Warranty
  • Optimal Data Flow
  • TRIM Support
  • Schock-Resistant
  • Extreme Performance

Specifications

Packaging

The Mushkin Striker comes in a simple blister package that showcases the included drive itself on both sides.

It is surrounded by a simple inlay that also shows the drive’s main features on the rear. Other than that, there isn’t much to the package.

ZOTAC Unveils Company’s First PCIe SSD @ CES 2016

CES 2016: Performance storage devices now have the capability to reach unbelievable read and write speeds due to PCIe bandwidth. NVMe SSDs in particular can often report speeds in excess of 2500MB/s which makes traditional SATA3 6Gb/s products seem quite outdated as the interface tops out around 550MB/s. Currently, Samsung and Intel are dominating the high-end storage market. However, companies like GALAX and now, ZOTAC have started to create their own performance PCIe SSDs.

ZOTAC’s first PCIe comes in a 480GB capacity and features a very impressive read speed of 2500MB/s. Furthermore, the drive has a reported sequential write rate of 1200MB/s and utilizes a Toshiba NAND. Aesthetically, the SSD looks fantastic and should work pretty well across a wide range of system designs. ZOTAC is planning to launch the drive next month and we should have a price point for you very soon.

Patriot Ignite 480GB Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


It has been quite a while since we had any of Patriot’s drives on our test bench and it is as such a pleasure to be able to put the 480GB capacity Patriot Ignite through the paces. The Patriot Ignite is available in several versions and capacities, both M.2 and 2.5-inch form factors and it is also available in various capacities.

Patriot named the drive Ignite because that is its goal, to ignite and enhance your computers performance. The more traditional form factor and SATA3 connection makes it compatible with almost any system and would be a great upgrade from a traditional mechanical disk drive.

The drive measures 7mm in height and that also makes it perfect for ultrabooks and laptops that usually are limited to that height in their 2.5-inch drives. Patriot’s Ignite 2.5-inch SSD comes in two large sizes that provide plenty of space from a single drive: 480GB and 960GB.

The Ignite doesn’t just offer a lot of capacity, it also offers great transfer speeds. The drive series is rated for up to 560MB/s while reading and 545MB/s while writing. The random performance is equally impressive with 80K IOPS while reading and 75K IOPS while writing.

The Patriot Ignite doesn’t just come in a traditional form factor, the same goes for the design. The drive itself is packed inside a black enclosure and it features a sticker on each side. The top shows the drive name and company logo as well as the capacity while the bottom sticker  shows pretty much the same information on a white sticker.

Feature wise the drive packs everything you’ll want. You got the basic TRIM and Advanced Garbage Collection, but the drive also feature Smart ECC that’s able to recover 115bits/2KB, end-to-end data path protection (ETEP), and Advanced wear leveling together with Smart Refresh. Overall a feature list that should make sure that the drive runs stable for a long time.

Inside the drive, we find a short PCB featuring the Phison S10 series controller paired with MLC NAND for a great performance. The 480GB model that I’m taking a closer look at today features 512MB DRAM Cache while its bigger brother with 960GB capacity features a full GB of cache.

The Patriot Ignite is backed by a 3-year warranty and has a mean time before failure rating of 2 million hours. It sure sounds like a great drive, so lets put it to the test.

Features

  • Phison S10 Series SSD Processor paired with qualified MLC NAND flash for best performance value and reliability
  • DRAM Cache: 480GB = 512MB
  • SATA3 6Gbps/SATA2 3Gbps
  • TRIM support (O/S dependent)
  • End-to-end data path protection (ETEP)
  • Advanced wear-leveling
  • Advanced Garbage Collection
  • Smart ECC
  • Smart Refresh
  • Operating Temperature – 0° ~ 70°C
  • Native Command Queuing (NCQ) – Up to 32 commands
  • ECC Recovery: Up to 115bits/2KB
  • MTBF: 2,000,000 hours

Packaging

The Patriot Ignite comes in a beautiful blue box that showcases the important features on the front as well as the drive itself through a window in the packaging.

The rear of the package features a few more information and more details on each.

Inside the package isn’t much besides the drive itself. There is a small install guide, but no other accessories.

Team Group Announces L3 EVO Series SATA3 SSD

Team Group just launched their all new L3 EVO SSD that thanks to its SATA3 interface is compatible with almost any system. While M.2 and U.2 along with PCIe might be what the future looks like right now, SATA is still the most compatible interface out there and the one that most people can take advantage of.

The name, L3 EVO, suggest a budget drive and it is, but the Team Group L3 EVO still provides some good performance figures. The drive is also available in a wide variety of capacities, ranging from 120GB over 240GB and 480GB onto the biggest version with 960GB capacity.

The bigger the capacity, the better the performance rating. The 120GB model is rated up to 530MB/s read and 400MB/s write while the 960GB version can read with the same, but write with up to 500MB/s. The figures look about the same when we look at the random performance where the 120GB model can do 70/20K IOPS in 4K read/write benchmarks and the 960GB model performs with up to 85K/60K IOPS.

The new Team Group L3 EVO series has an MTBF of 1 million hours and comes backed by a 3-year warranty. Team Group didn’t announce what NAND or controller they used at this time and a release date and price wasn’t revealed either.

Mushkin Launches New ATLAS VITAL Family of Solid-State Drives

Mushkin announced its latest addition to the ATLAS family of products, the new ATLAS VITAL M.2 2280 Series for Ultrabooks, notebooks, and small form-factor PCs. Atlas Vital is said to be suitable for mobile gamers, professionals, or general end-users looking to take their computing experience to the next level with solid state storage.

The drive comes in a quite a few capacity versions, but all in the M.2 2280 form factor. There will be 120GB, 140GB, 250GB, 480GB, and 500GB versions of this SandForce SF-2000 series based solid state drive. It seems like somewhat of a weird choice to go with a SandForce controller these days, as there are far better ones available. It isn’t a bad controller either and the Atlas Vital drive can perform sequential speeds up to 550MB/s while reading and 535MB/s while writing. The random 4K performance is rated up to 86K IOPS for low-latency and high throughput.

The Atlas Vital is aimed at the value-minded users looking to improve their experience over traditional hard drives and that also explains the choice of controller. It is a cheaper controller that allows Mushkin to create a better performing drive at a lower price, but at the costs of a few features.

Mushkin did not announce the availability or price of the drives yet, but those information are sure to follow very soon.

Samsung Unveils New Class of Solid State Drives for SMBs

Samsung have been incredibly successful with their 840 and 850 series of drives in the consumer market and the drives have been well received for their performance vs price ratio. But Samsung also makes drives for the more business oriented sector and they’ve just introduced the latest high-performance SATA solid state drives for small and medium-sized businesses (SMB), the Samsung PM864 and SM863 SSDs.

The PM863 and SM863 solid state drives are the ideal solution for SMBs as they offer a much higher density in the 2.5-inch form factor which in return saves IT managers precious real estate in the data center without sacrificing power or performance.

The PM863 and SM863 deliver outstanding performance and reliability thanks to the V-NAND technology. The 3-bit MLC V-NAND-based PM863 is developed for mixed pattern applications and ideal for use in content delivery networks and streaming or Web servers. Alternatively, the write-intensive SM863 based on 2-bit MLC V-NAND is an optimal choice for online transaction processing (OLTP) and serves as an ideal choice for email and database servers.

There are plenty and great capacity choices in these two drive series. The Samsung PM863 comes in 120GB, 240GB, 480GB, 960GB, 1.9TB and 3.8TB capacities and offers sequential read speeds up to 540 MB/s and random read speeds of up to 99,000 IOPS.

The Samsung SM863 provides more options for configurable over-provisioning and is available in 120GB, 240GB, 480GB, 960GB, and 1.9TB capacities. It features read speeds up to 520 MB/s and write speeds up to 485 MB/s. Both drives will be available to SMBs in early August 2015 and are already available for the enterprise customers now.

The price isn’t all that bad, but it is of course a premium price over ordinary desktop drives such as the Samsung 850 series. The PM863 120GB, 240GB, 480GB, 960GB, 1.92TB, and 3.84TB capacities have an MSRP of $124.99, $159.99, $289.99, $1099.99, and $2199.99 respectively. The SM863 drives will cost you $139.99, $179.99, $329.99, $869.99, and $1259.99 respectively for the 120GB, 240GB, 480GB, 960GB and 1.92TB drives.

Kingston HyperX Predator PCIe 480GB Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


HyperX is Kingston’s high-performance product division and it is logical that they released their new M.2 based SSD under this label. Today I’m taking the Kingston HyperX Predator PCIe 480GB Solid State Drive for a test ride on my test bench to find out just how great this new M.2 SATA-based drive can perform.

The Predator SSD offers a large capacity up to 480GB, but it is also available as a 240GB model for those that need less storage or just don’t want to spend as much on a storage drive as others. The drive is rated for speeds up to 1400MB/s reading and 1000MB/s writing and it is a perfect drive for ultra-responsive multitasking as well as just an overall faster system.

The drive is built around the PCIe Gen 2.0 x4 interface and comes as either just the M.2 drive or coupled with a half-height, half-length (HHHL) PCIe adapter like the one I’m having a look at today. The drive is a lot faster than the traditional SATA SSDs thanks to the increased bandwidth that the PCIe connection offers over the relative old SATA standard.

The drive is powered by a Marvell 88SS9293 controller and coupled with Toshiba A19 Toggle NAND to achieve this great performance. The drive further has 1GB of 1600MHz DDR3 memory in two 512MB packages for caching purposes and general operation. All in all, that is a lot of hardware packed onto this small 2280 gum stick shaped solid state drive.

Kingston’s HyperX Predator PCIe SSD has a mean time before failure of 1 million hours and this 480GB version is rated for 882TB total bytes written (TBW) which equals to 1.7 full drive writes per day (DWPD). The smaller 240GB model has an almost identical rating with 1.6 DWPD which equals to 415TB TBW over the drive’s lifetime.

Kingston opted for a fully black device and I like this. The black PCB is a nice touch and one that is followed through from M.2 SSD to PCIe adapter board. There is also an extra foam pad mounted next to the connector to stabilize the inserted M.2 drive and prevent accidental damage.

Kingston backs this drive with their great customer service and a three-year warranty. The package with the PCIe adapter also included a low-profile replacement bracket for mounting abilities in SSF chassis, a key for Acronis True Image disk cloning software, and a cool HyperX sticker for your case.

Time to dive into the tests and see how this drive performs, it sure sounds like an awesome one.

Corsair Adds 480GB and 960GB Capacities to Force LS Series

Corsair expanded their Force LS solid state drive lineup with two new and larger capacities. The Force LS series is now also available as 960GB and 480GB sized models for those of you who need more space than the previous 240GB, 120GB, and 60GB models had to offer.

The Corsair LS series of drives provide consumers with a cost-effective way to upgrade their notebook or desktop PCs to faster and more reliable solid-state storage. The drives come as 7mm high 2.5-inch form factor, as most SSDs do, which makes the drive universally usable across all platforms and systems. The drives are using SATA3 technology but are backwards compatible with both SATA2 and SATA.

The Force LS series of solid state drives can deliver file transfer speeds of up to 560MB/s read and 540MB/s write. Feature-wise the drives support TRIM, garbage collection, and S.M.A.R.T commands and include built-in an advanced dynamic and static wear-leveling algorithm to extend the lifespan of the drive’s flash memory. The downloadable Corsair SSD Toolbox software allows you to keep track of everything as well as update firmware and perform secure erase of your drives.

The Force Series LS 960GB and 480GB SSDs are estimated to sell at an average price of $379.99 and $189.99 respectively. The SSDs are available immediately from Corsair’s worldwide network of authorized retailers and are backed by a three-year warranty.

OCZ Vector 180 480GB Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


We have had a look at the 960GB capacity of the new Vector 180 series already and today it’s time to take a closer look at the smaller sibling with 480GB capacity. The new mainstream and entry-level server SSD is packed full of great features and performance, and the 480GB capacity will probably hit the sweet spot for most people interested in this drive.

The drive is aimed at the mainstream market but still delivers more performance than most do in this segment and it lands right in the middle of features and performance. OCZ’s Vector 180 is built around the in-house created Indilinx Barefoot 3 M00 controller that has been coupled with the latest generation of Toshiba’s A19 MLC NAND flash for great sequential speeds up to 550MB/s and a random performance up to 100k IOPS. This is surely a drive that will wake the interest of enthusiast.

The drive doesn’t just come with great speeds, it also has a great endurance with an official rating of 50GB/day. OCZ’s Power failure management plus (PFM+) is a great new feature that prevents partial data loss and corrupting in case of power failure. There are capacitors that ensure the data at rest is safe but all user data in the DRAM buffer will still be lost in the case of sudden power loss. The capacitors ensure that all metadata is safe and that the drive will continue to operate normally after a power loss, i.e. the NAND mapping table won’t be lost, which can brick the drive or at least slow down the next boot up as the drive has to go through recovery process. While not perfect, it’s a really great feature and extra security to have.

The 480GB model is using a total of 16 Toshiba A19nm NAND and two Micron RAM chips just like the 960GB model does, but they’re half the capacity, of course.

You can easily relax for the next five years as OCZ’ ShieldPlus warranty covers your drive, even without receipt or proof of purchase. This is absolutely one of the best warranty services around. Vector 180 comes with a full bundle including 3.5-inch adapter and Acronis True Image disk cloning software. Other available capacities are 120GB, 240GB, and 960GB

Patriot Launched new Ignite SSDs

Patriot wants to ignite the speeds in your system with their newest solid state drive, the Patriot Ignite SSD. The new 2.5-inch 7mm drive will come in two sizes, 480GB and 960GB and features some impressive speeds. The new drive features a lot of great features such as error correction and end-to-end data protection besides the normal features such as TRIM, wear-leveling and garbage collection.

“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 1000 using the AS SSD benchmark test with these drives.”

Patriot Ignite utilises the new Phison S10 controller and is paired with high quality NAND memory to reach reach maximum sequential read and write speeds of up to 560MB/s and 545MB/s while boosting random figures of 80K IOPs reading and 75K IOPs writing.

 

The new Patriot Ignite SSDs come backed by a three-years warranty and will be available for purchase this month or early February. NewEgg already has the drives listed for pre-order for $199.99 and $399.99 respectively.

Specifications

  • Phison S10 Series SSD Processor paired with qualified MLC NAND flash for best performance value and reliability
  • DRAM Cache: 480GB = 512MB | 960GB = 1024MB
  • SATA3 6Gbps/SATA2 3Gbps
  • TRIM support (O/S dependent)
  • End-to-end data path protection (ETEP)
  • Advanced wear-leveling
  • Advanced Garbage Collection
  • Smart ECC: Recovery up to 115bits/2KB
  • Smart Refresh
  • Operating Temperature – 0° ~ 70°C
  • Native Command Queuing (NCQ) – Up to 32 commands
  • MTBF: 2,000,000 hours
  • 4K Aligned Random Read & Write: 80K IOPs Read | 75K IOPs Write
  • Sequential Read & Write Transfer: Up to 560MB/s Read | 545MB/s Write
  • O/S Support: Windows® XP / Vista / 7 / 8 / Mac® OS / Linux

Thanks to Patriot for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Patriot

Kingston Unveiled HyperX Predator PCIe SSD

Kingston has presented their new HyperX Predator M.2 PCIe 2.0 x4 Solid State Drive. The new SSD is based upon the Marvell 88SS9293 controller and comes as both a half-height half-length (HHHL) PCIe card and as bare M.2 2280 gum stick module.

The new PCIe SSD has some great figures with reading speeds up to 1.4 GB/sec, writing speeds up to 1 GB/sec, and will comes as 240 GB, 480GB, and 960GB capacity options. It also uses AHCI instead of NVM Express, making it bootable on standard desktop boards. NVMe still has some issues in this area.

The two small cards are coming February while the big one is announced for mid-2015. They will be backed by a three-year warranty and free technical support, but no word on pricing yet.

Thanks to Kingston for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Kingston

OCZ Introduces Saber 1000 Enterprise SSD

OCZ announced its new enterprise-class Saber 1000 SSD series designed for read-intensive applications and targeting high-volume deployments such as hyper-scale, web-hosting, and distributed computing environments. Where we’ve seen many recent enterprise-class SSDs come in other form factors, the Saber 1000 comes as a standard 2.5-inch SATA3 drive.

Using the A19nm NAND flash from Toshiba and OCZ’s own Barefoot 3 controller is a combination that can deliver consistent and sustained I/O performance to the drive that will be available in 240GB, 480GB and 960GB capacities.

Designed for read-intensive applications such as front-end web servers, virtual desktop management or video-on-demand streaming, and many other areas, the Saber 1000 can deliver up to 550MB/s and 470MB/s in sequential reading and writing. The random performance is rated to 98K IOPS reading and 20K writing.

The components used ensure a low power consumption and the drive is said to only drain 3.7 watts during typical usage. While speaking of power, the Saber 1000 SSD uses a technique called Power Failure Management Plus (PFM+) which holds up the circuitry long enough to ensure the integrity of the device in the event of a power failure.

The OCZ Saber 1000 SSD has an MTBF of 2 million hours and features AES-256-bit encryption and Device Activity Signal (DAS). It’s backed by a 5-year warranty and can endure 0.5 full drive writes per day (DWPD).

OCZ has also added the StoragePeak 1000 SSD Management system that enables IT managers to centrally monitor and administer connected Saber 1000 SSDs as well as other OCZ enterprise-class solutions from a web-based management interface. It is a cross-platform system and will work on both Linux and Windows systems and includes warning features as well to alert administrators of impending trouble.

Thanks to OCZ for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of OCZ

SanDisk Extreme Pro 480GB Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


SanDisk is one of the oldest names in flash storage, they actually developed the first flash based SSD more than 20 years ago. Today I have the pleasure of having their Extreme PRO 480GB drive on the test bench, their newest SSD flagship for the consumer market.

This is not a drive that needs to hide anything when it comes to its specifications, as it has a lot to offer. So let’s dive right into mentioning the first thing that springs into our eyes from the packaging; the 10 Year Warranty. This really shows what trust SanDisk have in their drive, besides already calling it both Extreme and PRO, and is something not seen on any other drive in the consumer market. Yes it is true that the Samsung 850 Pro also has it, but that’s really another market segment alltogether and they came to market with it after SanDisk.

The next feature worth highlighting is the nCache Pro technology. This third level of cache will help your drive perform flawlessly through all/most tasks without any stall or stutter. You can count on it every day of every week of every year, as SanDisk says. It works by taking some of the MLC NAND Flash and using it as cache in SLC mode. The SanDisk Extreme PRO drive uses the newest version of this technology, that originally made its début in the Ultra Plus SSD a while ago.

Next our eyes fall on the transfer speeds. The drive promises us some great figures of up to 530MB/s read and 510MB/s write. The previously mentioned nCache technology together with the SanDisk 19nm MLC flash used, and not to forget the overclocked Marvel controller, shouldn’t have any trouble giving us these figures over the entire test line. The IOPS certainly don’t need to hide either with 100K read and 90k write.

The SanDisk Extreme PRO is actually a 512 GB drive under the hood, but the bytes above 480 GB are used for over-provisioning to guarantee a long life under steady performance, but also partly for the nCache feature. The drive also supports TRIM for the everyday garbage collection and SMART to monitor the drives health as well as Native Command Queuing (NCQ) to optimize incoming requests and DevSleep for increased battery life and quick system restarts.

A fact not known to many is that heat actually degrades NAND flash quite a lot, and SanDisk has built in thermal throttling on their drives to protect critical components and ensure data integrity. On top of this, the drive has a great internal heat transfer set-up as you’ll see on the next page.

The SanDisk Extreme PRO doesn’t have a big accessories package, the only thing we get along with the drive is a small card that tells us where we can find and download the pretty great SanDisk SSD Dashboard, a folded user manual and an adapter bracket with adhesive tape to increase the drive height to 9 mm. A bracket like this is either really important to you, because your laptop has a 9mm slide-in slot or it’s totally irrelevant because you’re just mounting it in your normal PC case. It’s still a great thing to add, that doesn’t cost much to produce while increasing the potential market quite a bit.

AMD Unveils Radeon Series SSDs

 

It’s been a while since AMD expanded their product range, the last we saw was the Radeon branded memory. Now they are at it again, and this time it’s gaming SSDs. The Radeon R7 Gaming SSD will come in the usual sizes of 120, 240 and 480 GB.

The disks will be build upon the A19nm Toshiba Multi Level Cell (MLC) Flash design and the Barefoot 3 controller. Encryption will be supported in the form of 256-bit AES and the disk is rated for 30GB/day and come with a 4 year warranty.

The drives are rated for 550 MB/s read speed at 100k random IOPS and 530 MB/s write speed with 90k IOPS. Having those great figures, AMD has lined up a comparison with the competition in form of a graph.

At the time of writing there are no news on pricing yet. Considering both the R7 name and AMDs overall business model one could assume them to be very affordable.

Thank you WCCF Tech for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of EXPReview.com

Intel Launches Lightening Fast New 730 Series SSD

Intel are looking to take back the performance crown and steal some of the thunder from drives such as the Samsung 840 Evo and OCZ Vector.  It hopes to do this thanks to some hefty internal overclocks that have seen the controller bumped up by 50% and the NAND boosted by 20%, making it faster than previous Intel drives, however it remains to be seen if it’ll be fast enough to compete with the rest of the market.

Performance and reliability are certainly the focus and the drive is capable to writing 70GB of data a day, every day, for five years. This is more than three times as much as most other drives would be comfortable with. This makes it ideal for gaming, content creation such as video rendering and basically anything that is going to run the drive at or close to its full potential, because you wouldn’t need anything like this just for booting into Chrome a couple of times to check Facebook.

Available in 240GB and 480GB options means that storage space shouldn’t be an issue, but it does mean that there is no cheaper 120GB option and worse still, you’ll only get the new max performance on the 480GB model, as the 240GB maxes out at a yawn inducing 270MB/s, incredibly short of the 470MB/s of the 480GB!

Both drives are set to ship sometime in March and prices are expected to be $249 and $489 for the 240GB and 480GB respectively.

Thank you Fudzilla for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Fudzilla.

Crucial M500 480GB SSD Review

At the start of the year during CES, the major buzz word of the show as we all know was 4K, but whilst this was a buzz word, in the storage sector there were other goings on the was stirring a whole heap of interest. For many years now we have been watching the solid state drive grow and grow, not only in terms of popularity but also their performance and most importantly capacity. One common factor that is associated with SSDs is with out a doubt their more weighty price tag in relation to their mechanical counterparts, however over the last year or so we’ve started to see the price per GB of storage come right down to a highly affordable level, which in turn has made the drives even more desirable.

During CES, Crucial had something rather special to shout about and when we look back to only a few years ago, what they had to shout about would have then sounded insane. This shout out that I’m referring to is a mainstream consumer 1TB – yes a ONE TERABYTE SSD. Because of the speed at which technology has been moving forward, we’ve seen die sizes shrink and bigger and faster NAND chips appear on the market, making the possibility of greater capacity drives, not only a reality, but also at a price that’s not too outrageous.

So forward comes the M500 SSD from Crucial, a drive that not only packs up to 960GB of storage, but also has the tech inside to ensure that it keeps up the pace right through to the last byte as we will see later on. Like many other drives these days, the M500 fits into an ultra slim 7mm frame, which is quickly becoming a new standard, but as some situations still require the thicker build, Crucial also include a self adhesive 2.5mm spacer which can be quickly stuck onto either side of the drive to make it fit that much better.