Seagate NAS 8TB (ST8000VN0002) Hard Disk Drive Review

Introduction


Just as you wouldn’t use a low-end graphics card for high-end usage, you shouldn’t use the wrong hard disk drive in your storage system either. There is a reason for every product and you should always pick the one suited for the task at hand, especially when you deal with your storage. Today I’m taking a closer look at Seagate’s impressive 8TB NAS HDD and we will take a look at how well it performs.

As said, when you pick your storage, you need to pick the right one for the task and not just grab anything you can find. This is particularly important when we talk about systems that have to run continuously and in environments with a lot of drives closely packed together. The Seagate NAS HDD goes beyond the standard desktop drives in this regards as it is built exactly for these scenarios.

Vibrations can damage your drives and the can also have a direct impact on your drives speed, and the more drives you install close to each other, the more vibrations you’ll get. The Seagate NAS HDDs are rated for usage in systems with up to 8 bays which gives you an impressive raw capacity of 64TB. The Dual-plane balance system enhances drive performance in aggressive NAS workloads for better vibration tolerance.

The Seagate NAS 8TB drive comes packed with 256MB cache, which is double that of the 6TB model. It uses the default SATA3 6GB/s interface that makes it compatible with pretty much any NAS system. The performance isn’t without either as it comes with a rating of 150 IOPS and above and a sustained sequential read performance up to 230MB/s, an exceptional performance for a mechanical drive. The pure capacity is pretty nice too considering the default 3.5-inch form factor and it has an areal density of 1333Gb per square inch. The average seek read and write latencies are rated to be 8.5ms and 9.5ms, or lower. The whole thing is rounded off with an 180TB per year workload rating, a 1 million hour mean time before failure, and a 3-year warranty.

The great performance comes from Seagate’s years of experience that the put into the hardware and also the firmware that controls the drive. NASWorks is optimized for use as storage drives and it has been tuned to deliver higher performance, a better reliability and interoperability with popular NAS enclosures, and it has the RAID Recovery feature that prevents the NAS from a full RAID rebuild if the RAID degrades. Extended error recovery controls correct data without the need for full drive rebuilds.

Performance isn’t everything, but as we’ve seen above, that part is well covered. There are two further factors that need to be considered before you decide which drives to use: Acoustics and power consumption. A drive that consumes a lot of power can quickly drive up the total cost of ownership and it’s also bad for the environment. The Seagate NAS 8TB drive has an average power consumption of 9W during active operations and an idle power consumption of 7.2W. When in sleep or standby mode, the drives will consume as little as 0.6W. The 8TB NAS HDD doesn’t make much noise either and is rated for just 2.6 bels during operation and 2.5 bels when idle.

Seagate also offers the optional +Rescue Data Recovery Services for extra peace of mind. With this extra service, Seagate has your back and can recover the data from a possible failed drive. Whether the error is due to mechanical failure or accidental damage, most data can be recovered when done right. It is a fast and easy recovery process where your data can be restored in 15 days or less. This is also a field that Seagate is very successful in with an approximately 90% success rate in data recovery.

So if you need drives for backup and disaster recovery, multimedia server and storage, file and print server sharing, archival, remote access, virtualization, or a private cloud storage, then this might be just the right drive for you.

Feature Highlights

  • 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1TB capacity options
  • Seagate NAS HDDs are built and tested to provide industry-leading performance for small NAS systems.
  • NASWorks technology supports customised error recovery controls, power management and vibration tolerance for optimal performance and reliability with workloads up to 180TB/year workload rate limit (WRL).
  • NAS error recovery controls optimise drive health by helping to ensure drives are not dropped from the NAS and sent into a RAID rebuild.
  • Improved vibration tolerance and emission in multi-drive systems with dual plane balance.
  • Advanced power management supports multiple power profiles for lowpower, 24×7 performance.
  • Quiet drive operation enhances the customer experience in living room or office environments.
  • Optional 3-year Rescue recovery service plan protects against data loss from viruses, software issues, or mechanical and electrical breakdowns in a NAS or RAID environment.

Specifications

Package and Accessories

SilverStone TS11-C USB 3.1 Docking Station Review

Introduction


We have tested quite a few of SilverStone’s storage solutions in the past and while the new TS11-C external hard drive docking station might look like previous models, it is special as it comes with the newest technologies. In the past, we have been limited by the USB 3.0 protocol and its maximum 5Gbps transfer speeds even though we connect a 6Gbps capable drive to the docking station. SilverStone’s new TS11-C should make up for this as it uses the USB 3.1 connector for a transfer speed of up to 10Gbps.

SilverStone’s TS11-C is an external hard drive docking station that is made to accommodate either a 2.5-inch or a 3.5-inch drive at speeds up to 10Gb/s with its USB 3.1 Gen2 capability and it also features the new Type-C connector. Since USB is plug and play, as long as you have your USB drivers installed, which also means that this docking station is plug and play. You don’t need any additional drivers to get going, just plug it in, add a drive and turn it on. It is almost a given with a docking station like this, but it’s still worth highlighting that the TS11-C supports USB Attached SCSI protocol (UASP) which allows much better transfer rates in systems that support this compared to those who don’t.

The body itself is gold coloured and made of aluminium. This aids the passive unit itself to stay cool, but it also helps the inserted drive to dispose of its heat. This isn’t as much an issue when used with solid state drives, but mechanical drives need quite a bit of cooling. The cover itself is made of plastic to prevent your drives from being scratched. The top slot cover is a two-piece item that automatically folds back as you insert a drive. The small gap for 2.5-inch drives also helps with the positioning on top of the connector.

The docking station is built around an ASMedia ASM1351 chipset that provides this unit with its USB 3.1 Gen2 capability with speeds up to 10Gbps through the Type-C connector. The included USB cable uses a normal type USB connector which also makes it easy backward compatible with USB 3.0, 2.0 and 1.1. The internal SATA3 interface is also backward compatible with SATA2 and SATA1 drives, as it should be.

With an external device like this that is highly portable, you might want to take it on the road with you too in order to connect extra storage to your mobile devices such as laptops and modern smartphones. SilverStone thought of this too and added a power adapter with exchangeable plugs to be used in pretty much every place on earth no matter what plug type or voltage available.

Feature Highlights

  • USB 3.1 type-C connector with Gen2 up to 10Gb/s super speed transfer rate
  • Supports UASP (USB Attached SCSI Protocol) function for even faster performance
  • Aluminum body with tool-free and tray-less design
  • Supports all 2.5 and 3.5-inch SATA drives up to any capacity
  • Plug & play with support for hot-swapping
  • Multinational adapter socket included

Specifications

The specifications are taken directly from the manufacturers information and might as such be subject to changes in possible future revisions of the product.

Package and Accessories

The box uses the same gold colour as the device and is overall a great looking product packaging. The front shows how the docking station looks and tells you what it is.

The rear of the box contains the specifications and a few more details about the docking station and what drives it can take.

Inside the box, we find a USB 3.1 Type-C to Type-A connector, a user manual, and the multi-regional power adapter next to the docking station itself.

Transcend Introduces MST800 1TB M.2 Solid State Drive

Transcend introduced a new tiny drive with a large capacity as their newest drive available now sports an impressive 1TB capacity in a standard M.2 2280 form factor module. Sadly this isn’t an NVMe drive, but the new MTS800 is still a drive that I’m sure will become very popular due to its size versus capacity.

The MTS800 would be a perfect fit for most ultrabooks and similar thin systems where you still require a large amount of local storage. It is built with MLC NAND which provides a great reliability and performance at the same time. Besides basic features such as SMART and Trim, the drive also supports Global Wear-leveling, Advanced Garbage Collection, and Device Sleep mode.

Being an SATA3 (AHCI) based drive, it does come with some limitations. The speeds are rated for up to 560MB/s reading and 460MB/s writing which still is fast. Customers who want less than 1TB can get the modules all the way to 32GB, so the MTS800 should satisfy almost any users needs.

The small form factor that M.2 is, comes with another benefit when the drives support it like this one does. I’m talking about Intel’s Smart Response Technology (ISRT) which can use an SSD as a cache between a traditional hard disk drive and the system. We know the principle from SSHDs, but they only provide a small amount of NAND buffer where this drive can give you up to 1TB.

Transcend’s MST800 series adds to the MTS400 and MTS600 M.2 SSD models which are available in 32GB to 512GB capacities. The entire MTS series is backed by a three-year limited warranty. Transcend didn’t reveal any official pricing at this time, but with an availability announcement, we’ll know soon enough when they hit the retail market.

Which is your preferred storage form factor? Do you still use the older 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch form factor drives or have you moved onto the NGFF such as mSATA and M.2? Let us know in the comments.

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.

SilverStone Releases SATA and USB 3.1 Add-In Cards

SilverStone has been on a frenzy lately, releasing a lot of new products. Among them are two new PCI-Express add-in cards that could come in very handy and add some modern features or extra functionality to your system. The two new PCI-Express cards are the ECS03 2-port Hardware RAID SATA controller and the other is the ECU04 internal USB 3.1 add-in card.

The SilverStone ECS03 is a PCIE-Express Gen.2 x2 add-in card that will give you system another two SATA3 ports. The card has an ASMedia 1062R controller that supports RAID 0, RAID 1, SPAN, and non-RAID modes. The controller supports normal SATA 6Gbps drives and it’s backwards compatible with previous SATA generations. It also supports port multiplier for those that wish to split the ports up or use it with external multi-drive enclosures. The low-profile design also makes sure that it’ll fit almost any chassis and setup.

 

The SilverStone ECU04 is a PCI-Express card that will add an internal USB 3.1 19-pin header to your system, allowing you to get speeds up to 10 Gbps. The card is compliant with both the eXtensible Host Controller Interface (XHCI) specification Revision 1.1 and the USB Attached SCSI Protocol (UASP) Revision 1.0 to give you maximum compatibility and performance. The ECU04 also comes with a low-profile slot cover for usage in SFF builds. The extra power requirements to the card will be provided through the normal SATA power connector on the card.

Thanks to the XHCI support, you won’t need any drivers for the ECU04 on operating systems that support this, and most do. Windows 7 users will need to install the provided drivers, but everyone else should have a plug and play experience.

The ECS03 comes with an MSRP of 40.15 USD and the ECU04 has an MSRP of 29.59 USD. Both cards should be available now. Does your system have enough of these ports or are you tempted by either of these new cards. Let us know in the comments.

SilverStone Releases TS11-C USB 3.1 Docking Station

SilverStone has quite a few external docking solutions for both SSDs and HDDs, but they newest of them that’s just been released is the fastest of them all. This is at least the case when we exclude the external RAID solutions. The new external docking station from SilverStone is called the TS11-C (SST-TS11G-C) and it comes with a USB 3.1 Type-C Gen2 connector with up to 10Gb/s super speed transfer rates.

Besides the connection options, the TS11-C is a pretty ordinary desktop styled docking station for hard disk drives and solid state drives. It can take SATA drives with a 2.5-inch form factor of any height as well as 3.5-inch drives. Just plug them in from the top and turn the docking station on. The docking station supports plug-and-play as well as hot-swapping of the drives for even easier usage.

The body of the TS11-C itself is made of aluminium while the top cover is made of plastic-ABS. The top is black while the rest of the unit has been gold coloured. A fitting colour for a premium docking station like the TS11-C is. While it comes with the newest standards in both USB and SATA, it is backwards compatible on both to previous generations. The operating system support is specified to Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1, Windows 10, and future releases of Mac OS 10.5 or above.

SilverStone made sure to use a controller chip, the ASM1351, that supports UASP (USB Attached SCSI Protocol) for the fastest possible transfer speeds and prevent bottlenecks on the USB connection.

A 2.5-inch SSD will easily get enough power through a USB connection, but a 3.5-inch hard disk drive will draw too much power. For this, the TS11-C comes with a 12V DC adapter and it also has a very convenient power button that allows you to have it connected all the time without actually using it.

SilverStone’s new TS11-C will be available on January the 28th for a recommended end user price of $53.35 USD (excl. VAT). We will also have a review ready for you on just this docking station very soon, so stay tuned for more.

Transcend Introduces Full SLC SSD Lineup

Transcend revealed their SSD570 almost three months ago and now they’re ready with the full lineup surrounding the SSD570 SLC SSD and with most current form factors. SLC NAND has quite a few advantages over MLC and TLC NAND, but it also comes at a higher price and with less capacity. MLC NAND is used in mainstream and enthusiast drives while TLC NAND is used in the newer budget oriented drives for three times the capacity per chip used over SLC.

But Transcend’s new lineup is full of SLC drives that have the superior performance and reliability. There are normal 2.5-inch slim SSD drives and half sized case-less drives as well as mSATA and M.2 of various sizes. The 2.5-inch, half-slim, and mSATA versions come as both SATA3 and SATA2 drives while the M.2 come in two different lengths, 42 and 80 mm, but both SATA3 models and the default 22mm wide.

SLC NAND has a higher durability than MLC that is found in most consumer products and SLC can withstand up to 50,000 program and erase cycles at the same time as it can perform with up to three times the speed of MLC flash. On top of that comes a lower power consumption and error rates, making these perfect for mission critical applications.

The drives feature all the normal features such as S.M.A.R.T. function to monitor the drives health status, but they also feature more advanced features such as DevSleep. DevSleep is the newest power saving feature that sets the drive into the lowest possible power state. Transcend also added error correction code (ECC) and wear-leveling algorithms to these SLC SSDs. The final feature is necessary when we’re talking mission critical data, and that is the Power Shield function that ensures data integrity in the event of a sudden power loss.

The new line contains the SATA3 SSD570K and SATA2 SSD520 2.5-inch drives, the HSD570 SATA3 and SSD25H-S SATA2 half-slim SSDs. The SATA 2 and SATA3 mSATA SSDs are called MSA520 and MSA570 respectively while the M.2 drives are called MTS870 and MTS470.

SilverStone Releases PTS01 USB 3.0 Enclosure for NUCs

Small form factor PCs such as the Intel NUC systems are great and they provide an impressive amount of power in a very compact shape. They do however have one issue most of the times and that is when it comes to storage. Most of the NUCs only support mSATA drives which will increase the costs per GB over 2.5-inch sized drives as well as generally limit the available storage options. SilverStone now released a new drive enclosure that will fix that issue by adding almost any 2.5-inch drive to such a system via a USB 3.0 connection.

Now USB 3 drive enclosures aren’t anything new, but SilverStone’s new PTS01 drive enclosure also matches the layout and compatibility of the NUCs or SilverStone Petit Series chassis. The PTS01 is built with aluminium and steel that both helps with the heat dissipation and keep the drive operating at an optimal efficiency. The enclosure has room for one 2.5-inch SSD or HDD with a height up to 9mm and it connects through a micro USB 3.0 type B cable.

The smart design and compatibility also mean that you don’t have to find a new way to place everything just because you expand with a SilverStone PTS01 enclosure. Being compatible with the NUC mounting options, you can simply put it between the NUC and your mounting system such as the backside of your monitor and forget all about the addition except for the increased storage abilities.

The recommended end-user price for SilverStone’s PTS01 is set to $29.20 USD plus tax and it will be available on December 2nd.

ADATA Launches the ICFS332 CFast Card with SLC and 560MB/s Throughput

Industrial grade products gain their name because they are able to work in much harsher environments than ordinary parts and that is no different when it comes to storage. AData just released a new ICFS332 industrial grade CFast card for that delivers SSD performance and reliability in a very compact form factor.

The ICFS332 CFast card utilizes the SATA3 interface to deliver speeds up to 560MB/s while reading and impressive 400MB/s when writing. The ICFS332 uses SLC NAND that also provides the best reliability, also visible in the 2 million hour mean time before failure rating.

As previously mentioned, industrial applications are run in environments that are a lot harsher, which isn’t a problem for the Adata ICFS332 CFast card that can operate in temperatures between minus 40 degrees and plus 90 degrees Celcius. The cards allow for long-term deployment in these conditions, making the optimal system drives here.

The AData ICFS332 is available in 4GB to 64GB capacities and employs a full range of technologies including ECC and S.M.A.R.T. for high-reliability data transfer and improved security, but also more advanced wear leveling technology to extend the longevity. They come with open API (application programming interface) support that allows customer implementation of intuitive interfaces to easily manage data, monitor storage health, customize features, and integrate web services.

Seagate SSHD 2TB Solid State Hybrid Drive Review

Introduction


When we think storage, we usually think in one of two directions. Either we think of the traditional mechanical hard disk drives with large capacities for a low-cost or solid state drives with the higher speeds but smaller capacity. There is a third group of drives that shouldn’t be forgotten in all of this and it is placed right in between the HDD and SSDs, taking a little of both worlds in order to create a hybrid drive. Today I’m taking the look at just such a drive, the Seagate Solid State Hybrid Drive (SSHD) with 2 TB capacity.

Solid State Hybrid Drives deliver speed and capacity for gaming and high-performance desktop applications in an intelligent way, by combining a small amount of NAND flash to keep the hot files with a large portion of mechanical storage for everything else. That is also where the simple term Hybrid Drive comes from. The Seagate SSHD is able to boot Windows 8 in less than 10 seconds and perform up to five times better than a 7200 RPM desktop hard drive, measure in PCMark Vantage. It can also improve the overall system responsiveness by 30% over a traditional hard disk drive. It is a drive that will give you the best of both worlds.

The smart algorithm used is Seagate’s Adaptive Memory technology that effectively identifies the most frequently used data and stores it in the NAND flash. The self-learning software algorithms make laptop hardware, firmware, and high-speed NAND flash work together to create a perfect balance. The software technology monitors data usage dynamically and determines what data should be copied to the flash. The result, you get boot times that are greatly increased and very close to SSD levels. The same goes for your frequent used application loading times and overall system responsiveness.

The Seagate SSHD 2TB has 8GB MLC NAND for the intelligent caching mechanism and 64MB DRAM Cache for the normal HDD part. The drive has a spindle speed of 7200RPM and an average seek time of less than 9.5ms. The drive is composed of 4 heads and 2 disks with a load/unload cycle rating of 300,000. With a power consumption of 6.7W during typical operation and 0.75W in sleep and standby modes, it is also an efficient drive.

The great thing with an SSHD drive is that you don’t need any extra configurations, software, or setups. You just plug it in like any other drive, connect data and power cables and it is ready to increase your system’s performance over a standard hard disk drive. Just how much of an improvement will be seen in the benchmarks on the following pages

Specifications

The specifications are taken directly from the manufacturers homepage and might be subject to change in possible future revisions of the drives.

Packaging and Accessories

The Seagate SSHD comes as a kit version and as a bare drive like I got for this review. Below is a shot of how the retail package looks and there isn’t much else in the box beside the drive itself. You do get an installation manual in the kit version, but it is more of a secure sales box for the drives that are sold in the retail market.

Transcend Launches CFast 2.0 CFX700 Memory Cards

Transcend’s newest memory card may not be the largest with a capacity of just 16GB and 32GB, but it is definitely a fast one with transfer speeds of up to 530MB/s and the new Transcend CFX700 memory cards based on the new CFast 2.0 technology can be proud of that.

The new memory cards are built using SLC NAND and utilize the SATA3 interface, which is why they can perform as great as they do. The sequential read speed can reach up to 530 MB/s and the sequential write reaches 260 MB/s on the 32GB Transcend CFX700 memory card. The cards also come with a lot of features you normally find in SSDs, such as S.M.A.R.T., global wear leveling, built-in ECC functionality, and Device Sleep.

The new Transcend CFX700 series is designed for use in embedded systems where they can enhance the overall performance greatly. They are also designed to run in harsh environments and have a working temperature between  -5°C and 70°C. The memory cards provide superb performance here and would be optimal suited as a boot disk, making it a great alternative of a SSD in regards to its lower power consumption and higher portability while they still perform just as good.

Transcend’s CFast 2.0 CFX700 memory cards are available in 16GB and 32GB capacities and are backed by a three-year limited warranty. If you rather want a card with MLC NAND instead, Transcend already has that covered with the CFX600 memory cards.

 

Giada Introduces Compact and Fanless F103D Mini PC

Giada unveiled a new compact and completely silent Mini PC dubbed the F103D. The Giada F103D isn’t the average mini-PC, it is packed with the latest Intel Braswell N3150, N3050, or N3000 Processors with a max TDP of 6W as well as other great features.

The F103D is designed for digital signage and harsh environments, but I see completely different possibilities thanks to the features and specifications. Starting with the dual LAN, powered by two Realtek controllers, the F103D opens up for easy built custom routers and firewalls. This functionality is further increased by an optional upgrade with a WiFi module. It already has the antenna.

The system supports 4K video out at 30Hz via the onboard HDMI and it also comes with a D-Sub VGA connector. There are several COM ports as well as USB ports too. The unit also features 5.1 audio via the display out. You can mount one mSATA SSD as well as a 2.5-inch HDD or SSD in this mini PC.

It comes with 2GB memory onboard and that can be expanded with 2GB more with a DDR3L SO-DIMM slot. Further, you get an onboard IR module and IR sensor on the front, but the remote control is optional. The system is compatible with Windows 7, 8.1, and 10 as well as Linux. Android support is planned for 2016.

ASRock Rack EPC612D4U-2T8R (Intel C612) mATX Server Motherboard Review

Introduction, Specifications, and Packaging


The motherboard that I am taking a look at today is a little bit special as it is considered to be the first mATX motherboard featuring Intel Xeon E5 V3 series with LGA 2011-3 single socket. The ASRock Rack EPC612D4U-2T8R isn’t just a rarely seen form factor in this category, it also packs a huge punch and plenty of features such as quad-channel DDR4 memory support, dual 10 Gigabit Ethernet, dedicated IPMI, and native support for up to 16 storage drives.

Just because you decide to create a motherboard in the mATX form factor as ASRock Rack did here, doesn’t mean that you can’t add plenty of features to it. It’s all about using the available space properly. You get a total of eight SATA3 ports that are powered by the Intel C612 chipset and on top of that you get another eight SAS3 12Gbps ports thanks to the added LSI 3008 RAID controller. If that isn’t enough for you already, then you have plenty of possibilities to expand that with two PCIe Gen3 x16 and one PCIe Gen3 x8 slot.

The networking is a little bit special on this board as it comes with dual 10 Gigabit Ethernet thanks to the Intel X540 network controller. These ports are still RJ45 and backward compatible with normal RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet components. The ASRock Rack EPC612D4U-2T8R also features a dedicated IPMI 2.0 connection based on a Realtek RTL8211E controller that allows you to manage all your servers from a single connection, locally or remotely.

Four DDR4 DIMM slots with quad-channel support allows you to use this motherboard for memory-hungry applications and while the QVR list only has up to 16GB modules so far, you should also be able to use 32GB modules in this motherboard and get up to 128GB memory to support Intel’s latest Xeon E5 processors.

Overall, with the high performance processor, storage, and network all together in a mATX motherboard, the EPC612D4U-2T8R is perfect for the compact storage solution such as mid-range servers, web 2.0 storage servers, and other warm data servers. It also fits snugly into ASRock Rack’s previous released storage solution 1U12L-C612D4U, and currently has EPC612D4U, EPC612D4U-2T, EPC612D4U-8R and EPC612D4U-2T8R for customers’ selection.

Specifications

The specifications are taken directly from the manufacturers homepage and are as such subject to change in possible future revisions.

Key Features

There is always something that sets each and every motherboard apart for the rest, sometimes it’s in features and other times it is the software. On this motherboard, it is most likely the Network and storage capabilities as well as the form factor.

  • UATX 9.6”x9.6”
  • Single Socket LGA 2011 R3 Intel Xeon processor E5-1600/2600 v3 series
  • Supports Quad channel DDR4 2133/1866 RDIMM/LR DIMM/NV DIMM, 4 slots
  • Support 8 SATA3 by C612 and by 8 SAS3 LSI 3008
  • Supports 2 x PCIe 3.0 x16, 1 x PCIe 3.0 x 8
  • ASPEED 2400. Integrated IPMI 2.0 with KVM and Dedicated LAN (RTL8211E)
  • Supports Intel Dual 10GLAN by Intel X540

Packaging and Accessories

A server motherboard doesn’t need to come in a fancy box with flashy images and slogans, and that is why we don’t get that here. The EPC612D4U-2T8R comes in a simple black box with a little graphic and basic keywords.

The rear of the box doesn’t provide much more information either, but it will tell you a little bit about ASRock Rack as a company.

I really like that ASRock Rack also packed the motherboard properly like seen below. It provides that extra bit of protection during the transport from factory to end-customer over a motherboard that’s just loosely packed into a cardboard box.

Besides the motherboard itself, you’ll find an IO Shield, driver disk, and manual along with six SATA3 cables inside the box. It is nice to see a printed manual come along as it will help a lot with the basic task of finding the headers and pins you need to set it up.

Supermicro X10SDV-F Xeon D-1540 SoC Motherboard Review

Introduction, Specifications, and Packaging


The motherboard I’m taking a look at today is a little something special. It is a tiny board yet it packs a punch that is worthy of a large right hook. The Supermicro X10SDV-F is a Mini-ITX motherboard with an onboard Intel Xeon D-1540 System-on-a-Chip (SoC) processor and lot of other goodies to go along with it. The Intel Xeon D-1540 is an octa-core processor with sixteen threads. It runs at 2GHz with a boost of up to 2.6.GHz. You will also need a lot of RAM to go along with that kind of CPU and that isn’t any problem for this tiny Supermicro board. It supports up to 128GB DDR4 memory with its 4 DIMM slots. You also get six high-speed SATA3 ports, a PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slot, a full speed PCIe Gen3 x16 slot and two Intel Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports. The bigger brother of this board is called the X10SDV-TLN4F which also features two integrated 10 Gigabit Intel Ethernet ports for those that need even more connectivity from a tiny board. Further, you get two USB 3.0 connectors on the rear I/O while USB 2.0 is provided via two headers. The remote management with a dedicated Realtek Ethernet port and built-in Aspeed graphics solution for maintenance and setup is another great feature and one that shouldn’t be missing on a server-grade motherboard.

There isn’t much you won’t find here. You can also choose whether you want to power it via a standard 24-pin power header or rather use 12V connectors depending on your power supply options. With a thermal design of just 45 watts TDP, the CPU can be passively cooled, but it is recommended that you cool the chassis properly.

Specifications

The specifications are taken directly from the manufacturers homepage and are as such subject to change in possible future revisions.

Key Features

There is always something that sets each and every motherboard apart for the rest, sometimes it’s in features and other times it is the software. On this motherboard, it is most likely the SoC and up to 128GB DDR4 memory support in this form factor.

  • mITX
  • Intel Xeon D-1540 SoC with 45W TDP
  • Up to 128GB DDR4 ECC Memory
  • ATX and 12V Dual power abilities and low power consumption
  • Dedicated IPMI Remote Management and SuperDoctor 5
  • 6 SATA3 ports, M.2 slot, USB 3.0 on-board, Dual Intel i350-AM2 Gigabit LAN
  • PCI-E gen3 x16 slot

Packaging and Accessories

As reviewers we don’t always get the retail package on these products as we simply don’t need them and the companies wish to get the products to us as fast as possible for review. In this case, I got the motherboard in a simple OEM box without any accessories. Normally however the motherboard includes two 57.5 cm flat SATA cables and a standard I/O shield.

Synology Releases Rackmounted NAS Scalable up to 1.4PB

If you can’t get enough storage space then Synology might have a good answer for you with their latest NAS and expansion units that together provide the biggest NAS that the company has produced so far.

The new RackStation RS18016xs+ and expansion unit RX1216sas can provide you with up to 1440 TB of raw storage using 8TB drives. That is a lot of storage right there at your disposal, but all that storage also has to be fast or it wouldn’t be of any use to anyone. The unit is capable of a performance over 3900MB/s throughput and 348K sequential IOPS in an RAID5 setup with VLAN.

The RS18016xs+ has four gigabit LAN ports as standard, but you can expand that with more gigabit or 10Gbit ports thanks to the two PCI 3.0 x8 expansion slots. You also get several USB 3.0, USB 2.0 and SAS ports.

It comes equipped with 8GB ECC RAM and is upgradable up to 32GB ECC RAM. The processor is an Intel Xeon E3 quad-core with 3.3GHz. The Both the NAS and the extension units have 12 ports for SATA or SAS drives.

Redundant power supplies and an amplitude of business features will make sure that these units perform the task they should and consistently. Synology’s DSM system also offers backup and fail-over solutions that should meet any companies needs.

Neither the NAS nor the expansion unit are cheap when you look at the price, but I honestly think it’s a fair price all things considered. The RS18016xs+ was a recommended price of £4398.00 including VAT or €4765.00 before tax and the RX1216sas will set you back £1992.00 including VAT or €2160.00 before tax.

ASRock Rack EPC612D4U-2T8R Micro ATX Motherboard Launched

ASRock is mostly known for their consumer products, but they also have a range of server equipment in the ASRock Rack branding. Just that division has just announced the latest motherboard in their lineup and it is a unique little board.

The new EPC612D4U-2T8R comes in a rare form factor for an E5 motherboard and it can be considered the first mATX motherboard with support for Intel’s Xeon E5 v3 series with its LGA2011-3 single socket.

It further comes with four DDR4 DIMM slots for quad-channel memory and eight SATA 3.0 ports for storage. It further comes with an LSI 3008 controller with support for eight SAS3 ports. With two full PCI-Express 3.0 x16 and one x8 slot, you can expand the capabilities even further.

They haven’t skimped on the network connectivity either with Intel’s X540 that supports two 10Gbased-T connections. All of this put together makes up one very powerful motherboard for an high-end processor in a very compact form factor.

Key Specification

  • Micro ATX 9.6″ x 9.6″
  • Socket LGA 2011 R3 Intel Xeon processor E5-1600/2600 v3 series
  • Supports Quad channel DDR4 2133/1866/ ECC DIMM, R DIMM, LR DIMM
  • Intel® C612: 6 x SATA3 6.0Gb/s(support RAID 0, 1, 5, 10); 2 x sSATA3 6.0Gb/s(support RAID 0, 1)
  • Supports 8-port SAS 3 by LSI:3008
  • Supports 2 x PCIe 3.0 x16, 1 x PCIe 3.0 x 8
  • Integrated IPMI 2.0 with KVM and Dedicated LAN (RTL8211E)
  • Supports 1 x Intel®X540

This motherboard won’t come cheap and will set you back around 500 bucks at the time of writing. We’ll also have a full review of this board ready for you soon, so stay tuned.

OCZ Will Unveil New TLC-Based Trion 100 SATA Client SSD at Computex

We’ve seen a lot of amazing things from OCZ since they became part of Toshiba, the last being the impressive new Z-Drive 6300 NVMe add-in card. The Z-Drive is mostly aimed at businesses and data centers, but that doesn’t mean that OCZ has forgotten their consumer-class fans.

During this year’s Computex in Taipei, OCZ will demonstrate their new value-oriented option, the Trion 100 SSDs. These drives are built to provide an easy and affordable way for entry-level users to optimize their mobile or desktop systems.

The Trion 100 series is based on Triple Cell (TLC) NAND made by Toshiba in their A19 TLC flash technology. The drives will also utilize Toshiba’s own Alishan SSD controller, making it another complete in-house designed drive.

The Trion 100’s preliminary performance ratings don’t sound bad at all after we’ve heard the terms budget and affordable. Sequential transfer speeds are measured up to 550MB/s and random 4K performance clocks up to 91,000 read IOPS.

“Computex is the ideal venue for us to unveil our upcoming TLC NAND-based Trion 100 SSDs,” said Alex Mei, CMO and GM of the Client Business at OCZ Storage Solutions. “By leveraging controller and TLC NAND technology from Toshiba, we are pleased to be able to bring to market the exciting new Trion 100 SSD Series which will offer end-users an optimal mix of performance, features, and value, making it easier than ever for value-conscious consumers to leverage the benefits of a high quality yet affordable SSD that delivers improved desktop and mobile computing experiences.”

OCZ will be demonstrating the new Trion 100 series, but also the NVMe Z-Drive 6000 series and probably a few more surprises. We’ll make sure to check it all out for you in our event coverage.

 

SanDisk Announces Z400s SATA SSD

SanDisk latest SSD, the new Z400s, is aimed more at the replacement of mechanical hard drives in embedded systems than home systems, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it.

The new SanDisk Z400s is available in multiple form factors and capacities. Whether you need a 7mm high 2.5-inch drive, an M.2 2242 and 2280, or an mSATA form factor, SanDisk has it covered. Capacity wise it starts at 32GB and tops out at 256GB.

The sequential performance is rated at 549MB/s reading and 330MB/s writing while the random performance is rated to 33K read and 62K write.

The Z400s strength lies in power consumption where it only draws 50 mW during active power, 20mW in slumber mode and less than 5mW with DEVSLP.

The endurance is rated to 20TB total bytes written for the 32GB, 40TB for the 64GB, and 72TB for the 128GB and 256GB models and all models are backed by a three-year warranty.

There are many areas where this drive could come in handy, from Digital Signage over POS to Security-Surveillance. Effectively anywhere you need fast storage that doesn’t draw a lot of power nor generates much heat. An SSD beats a traditional HDD on every of those aspects and also in reliability.

The new SanDisk Z400s is sampling with customers immediately in all form factors and all capacities.

OWC Announced Accelsior S PCIe Card for 2.5-Inch Drives

Other World Computing, or OWC for short, has specialized itself in SSD and memory upgrades of both Apple and PC devices over the last 25-years and as such their latest product doesn’t come as a big surprise. The new Accelsior S PCIe card brings 6GB/s speeds to any system with a PCIe slot.

It isn’t a normal SATA controller, but you are rather meant to mount the drive directly onto the expansion card. This has ups and downs as it doesn’t require you to have a free drive slot but in return mostly is suited for SSDs that have a lighter weight and no vibrations.

“The Accelsior S provides legacy Mac Pro, PC tower, and Thunderbolt interface expansion chassis users with storage expansion and a speed bump,” said Larry O’Connor, Founder and CEO, Other World Computing. “This is a fantastic upgrade for the legacy Mac Pro, which is speed limited by its native SATA 3Gb/s architecture. The Accelsior S is fully equipped to support the flexibility and full speed of a cutting edge 6Gb/s OWC SSD.”

In return, you get another high-speed SATA 6Gb/s port for your system that might lack this natively. Many people, and especially the last generation intel users, are limited to two SATA3 ports and for those this could be a great way of adding a third high-speed drive to the system.

No extra drivers are needed and the drive attached to the card can also be used as the boot drive in your system.

It isn’t the cheapest add-on on the market and will set you back $57.75. You do on the other hand get a great products that is backed by a three-year warranty and US-based 24/7 technical support.

Kingston HyperX Savage 240GB Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


There have been a lot of PCIe, M.2 and new generation NVMe drives in the news lately and we’ve also tested some of them already, but the go-to standard for most people will still be the default SATA III connection for a while. Today I’m taking a closer look at such a drive and it’s a beauty at the same time, the brand new Kingston HyperX Savage SSD with 240GB capacity.

HyperX is Kingston’s gaming and high-end division and there is no doubt about that when opening up for this drive. It is presented in all its glory right away. The design looks great with the overall design resembling the X in HyperX. The red and white theme will also make it fit great with most gaming equipment as a lot of that carries the same

The design looks great with the overall design resembling the X in HyperX. The red and white theme will also make it fit great with most gaming equipment as a lot of that carries the same colour scheme.

The HyperX Savage SSD is built around the Phison PS3110-S10 SSD controller and paired with Toshiba’s A19nm MLC flash for great performance. It’s nice to see that Kingston also moves away from the SandForce controller in this drive series as they’re heavily outdated by now. This is without a doubt a great successor to the 3K drive and the Phison controller is probably the most powerful one available in the consumer market right now.

This is without a doubt a great successor to the 3K drive and the Phison controller is probably the most powerful one available in the consumer market right now.

The default 2.5-inch form factor with 7mm height makes the drive perfect for both desktop and laptop use. As always with Kingston drives you can get it either as just the drive or as an upgrade kit with external USB enclosure for easy migration from the old drive to the brand new HyperX Savage.

The speed rating on the HyperX Savage depends on the capacity it comes with and it is available from 120GB to 960GB. The 240GB model that I’m taking a look at today can perform up to 560MB/s read and 530MB/s at sequential compressible data, but its true strength lies with incompressible data and random performance.

The Savage can perform with up to 100K IOPS reading and 90K IOPS writing which is a difference that you’ll feel every day when working with your applications or playing your games.

 

The 240GB Savage SSD is rated for 306TB total bytes written (TBW) which equals to 1.19 drive writes per day (DWDP). The drive is backed by a 3-year warranty and has a life expectancy of 1 million hours (MTBF).

Kingston always has a great accessory bundle with their drives and you get both an internal 3.5-inch adapter and 9.5mm adapter brackets just as you get a copy of Acronis True Image HD cloning software and a cool HyperX sticker for your case.

Everything you need to make your upgrade as easy as possible and show off your HyperX pride at the same time.

TDK Launches SDS1B Series SSDs

TDK is a company that I haven’t thought of in years, actually many years as I don’t think I’ve seen the name since the time of audio cassettes (MC), but they’re still around and still producing a lot of products in various regions of the electronic sectors. One of their newest products is a SATA III SSD built around their own in-house SSD controller, the SDS1B series of SSDs.

TDK developed their own controller for this drive, working from the base of their old controllers. The new GBDriver GS1 NAND flash controller features the recovery and refresh functions of the old controllers as well as a power interruption tolerance algorithm and integrated power supply protection circuit; it will work with both MLC and SLC NAND flash memory.

The new SSDs presented here come without a DRAM or other type of cache, meaning they will run slower than what we’re used to from consumer class drives. The new product can achieve read access speeds up to 440 MB/s and write access speeds up to 240 MB/s with MLC and up to 340 with SLC flash.

These drives are intended for embedded and industrial applications and reliability is more of an issue than the extra speed. Each feature and chip added to something is another part that can fail and stop the drive from functioning and by not adding a caching function, TDK eliminates one more of these.

TDK SDS1B features include global static wear leveling algorithm for the entire drive and improved power interruption tolerance with an internal power supply protection circuit to prevent collateral data errors. The auto-refresh function reads all data including little-used data and automatically performs error correction (ECC) when needed and TDK also added a function for specifying a data range and completely deleting all data in it. The drives feature AES 128/265-bit hardware encryption and also TDK’s proprietary security function that requires mutual authentication from both host and SSD. SMART and TRIM are also present as it should be on any drive.

TDK will demonstrate the drive at the Embedded Systems Expo (ESEC) to be held in Tokyo this week and the new products will be available from August 2015.

Patriot Announces Ignite Series M2 SATA Solid-State Drive

Patriot Memory has launched a new version of their Ignite solid state drive, the Patriot Ignite M2 SSD with up to 480GB capacity. The M.2  form factor makes this drive perfect for ultrabooks, notebooks and ultra-compact PC’s, but they’re also great for high-end gaming PCs with onboard connector. The M.2 slot has at least 10Gb/s at its disposal allowing for impeccable start up times and instant access to data and installed programs.

The Patriot Ignite M2 is a standard gum stick shaped NGFF 2280 casefree module, making it compact and universally usable with almost any M2 capable device. The Ignite M2 can achieve sequential speeds up to 560MB/s while reading and 320MB/s writing and the 4KB random read and write ratings go up to 90 and 70K IOPS.

“We are happy to announce the Ignite M2 addition to our family of SSD products,” Said Les Henry, VP of Engineering at Patriot. “With the Ignite M2, Patriot now offers a full range of SSDs, from 2.5″ SATA 3, to mSATA and now M.2. The Ignite M2 drives are the perfect storage solution for those looking to build/upgrade their small form factor PCs.”

The drive is using MLC NAND, 256MB DRAM Cache per 240GB capacity, and it is powered by a Phison S10 controller. It’s using the SATA interface over the PCIe, but it makes the drive compatible with more devices. Windows Vista and newer as well as Linux are mentioned as supported operating systems. Feature wise it brings end-to-end data protection (ETEP), advanced wear-leveling, advanced Garbage collection, TRIM, NCQ, smartECC, and Smart Refresh.

Patriot is backing the drive with a three-year warranty and it’s also available as a 240GB model next to the 480GB. The MTBF is rated at 2 million hours.

The Ignite M2 SSD will be available at the beginning of May at select online and in-store retailers such as Fry’s Electronics, Amazon and Newegg for a starting MSRP of $109.99 for the 240GB model and $209.99 for the 480GB model.

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.

Kingston SSDnow M2 SATA 120GB Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


Kingston has a long line of storage options for about every usage you could have. Today I’m taking a look at the SSDnow M.2 SATA Solid State Drive with a capacity of 120GB.

The M.2 modules are also known as the Next Generation Form Factor (NGFF) and these thin and compact modules save space in small and embedded systems, ultra-thin devices, or it will just fit snuggly into your motherboards M.2 slot in your desktop system. The caseless design allows easier integration as well as keeping the weight as low as possible; a big factor when used in Ultrabooks and similar devices.

The 2280 module (22mm width, 80mm length) supports advanced garbage collection, wear-levelling and TRIM to keep up the performance over the entire lifetime of the drive; so we should see very stable performance in our tests on the following pages. S.M.A.R.T. is also supported for peace of mind and health monitoring.

At the heart of the drive, we have the Phison PS3108-S8 controller and Kingston equipped this module with a 2GB Nanya NT5CB128M16HP-CG buffer. The NAND chips used are 32 GB Kingston FA32B08UCT1-BC and there are two located on each side of the module.

A drive designed for integrated and portable systems has to be energy-efficient as well. The Kingston M.2 SATA drive also features the DevSleep function that we see more and more drives incorporate. It is relative new to the SATA specifications and is an efficient power management option to minimise power consumption and extend battery life.

For the event that you’d ever run out of battery and your device shuts down unexpectedly, or maybe it just crashes, it features firmware-based power loss protection to maintain the data integrity. This allows the drive to recover in the event of an unsafe shutdown.

The Kingston M.2 SATA drive doesn’t stop there and also supports Intel’s SRT that can combine the capacity advantage of HDD with performance improvements of SSD in dual-storage configuration. Increased peace of mind is added by the free technical support and three-year warranty.

Marvell Reveal Their Next-Gen SSD Controllers

Marvell has created the World’s First DRAM-less NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) SSD controller for mobile computing solutions. The new controller only measures 8x8mm and by that allows for SSDs as small as M.2 2230 (22 x 30 mm). On top of that they come with industry-leading NANDEdge low-density parity-check (LDPC) technology and support for triple-level cell (TLC) and 3D NAND. Marvell’s 88NV1140 and 88NV1120 enable small form factor SSD solutions with unparalleled performance for integration into low-z-height tablets, Chrome devices and the upcoming wave of new 2-in-1 hybrid and detachable mobile PC platforms.

The controller works with both SATA and PCIe SSDs with the same firmware, allowing for easier integration and maintenance. It’s also best-in-class on active power consumption and supports the newest PCIe L1.2 and DevSleep functions. In addition, Marvell’s NANDEdge LDPC technology can support 15/16nm TLC and 3D NAND, resulting in low enabling cost of TLC and 3D NAND. The NVMe design has passed in-house SSD validation and third-party operating system and platform compatibility testing.

Key features of Marvell’s new 88NV1140 and 88NV1120 include:

88NV1140 and 88NV1120 both share:

  • Powerful Dual core Cortex R5 CPU’s
  • Embedded SRAM with hardware accelerators to optimize IOPS performance
  • ONFI3 and Toggle2 NAND support
  • NANDEdge error-correction: 15nm TLC and 3D NAND support using LDPC technology to boost endurance and reliability
  • BGA SSD and M.2/2.5 slim form factor support with thermal optimization and small package size
  • 28nm low power CMOS process

88NV1140:

  • AHCI and NVMe support over PCIe Gen3x1
  • Fully hardware automated NVMe 1.1b support
  • Low power management (L1.2) design

88NV1120:

  • SATA 6Gb/s support
  • SATA DevSlp support

Thanks to Marvell for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of BusinessCheatSheet

Apacer Announces Two New SSDs with Improved ECC

Apacer Technology has launched two new ultra slim industrial SATA3.0 SSDs. The SFD18SH-M that complying with the JEDEC MO-297 standard and the mSATA H1-M that is compliant with the MO-300 standard. Both models are made under 1ynm process and are said to be extremely price competitive for their ultra slim appearance, high speed, and high stability

Both new drives are built with industrial grade flash chips, they are based upon the SATA 3 standard and come in capacities ranging from 16Gb to 256GB. The performance is rated to 515 MB/s for linear reads and 180MB/s for the writes, without any more specifications.

To enhance data security, Apacer improved on the ECC (error correcting code) capability and raised it to 72bit/1K bytes for both the SFD18SH-M and mSATA H1-M. This is quite a bit better than what we’ve seen up until now. The new DEVSLP power saving function has also been added to both models.

While these most likely aren’t SSDs that we ordinary users get to see, the important part here is the improvements on the ECC and that is something I hope will make its way from here and into the consumer and prosumer market.

Thanks to Apacer for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Apacer

Apacer Launches Dual-mode SATA and USB3 SSD

I am one of those people who gets exited every time something new that hasn’t been seen before is launched, especially if it’s storage technology. It’s not only my bread and butter, it’s also my biggest interest. Apacer has just launched its newest AS710 SSD drive and it isn’t like anything we’ve seen before. This is a dual-mode drive that works as-is in two modes. You can either connect it via the default SATA3 interface or you can turn it around a use the USB 3 interface. The new Apacer SSD AS710 is the first SSD that comes equipped with both these ports at the same time.

Apacer is no stranger to making weird storage modules, at least looking from a normal perspective. They’ve both released USB Disk Modules as well as ultra slim SSDs that only measure 5 mm in thickness.

Apacer promises that they only use the best flash chips in these drives, but we wouldn’t expect anything else from them. The speeds look quite promising with a read speed up to 550 MB/s and the sequential write speed reaches up to 530MB/s. It isn’t shy on speed over the USB port either and can offer up to 380/420 MB/s read/write speeds when connected to a USB3 interface. These speeds of course require your USB host to support UASP, but even without it should give great speeds to the possible maximum.

In addition the AS710 supports Microsoft Windows-To-Go. This allows you to store the start-up system of Windows 8 Enterprise on the SSD. When connecting it to other computers via USB, one can enjoy fast start-up and run one’s own Windows 8 desktop. This is a great addition, allowing you to use your own system with full mobility and convenience without having to have all hardware with you.

The drive comes in a simplified black with a metallic cutting design and can withstand 30G vibrations and 3000G shocks, thus also protecting your data from corruption while on the go. It measures a default 7 mm in thickness and weighs 75 gram. It of course has built-in wear levelling and error correction code (ECC) as well as trim support.

The only place this drive lacks a little bit is on the capacity, as the release only mentioned a 120 GB model, which isn’t really that much in today’s storage needs and there’s no word on pricing or availability just yet.

Thank you Apacer for providing us with these information

Images courtesy of Apacer