SSD Freaks - Articles & Guides http://www.ssdfreaks.com Solid State Drive news portal Wed, 13 Jun 2012 22:43:53 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 MyCE (CDFreaks) changes ownership & I’ve returned http://www.ssdfreaks.com/content/983/myce-cdfreaks-changes-ownership-ive-returned http://www.ssdfreaks.com/content/983/myce-cdfreaks-changes-ownership-ive-returned#comments Fri, 13 Apr 2012 10:10:56 +0000 Seán Byrne http://www.ssdfreaks.com/?p=983 [...]]]> Some may or may not remember the user DoMiN8ToR at MyCE, he’s the original founder of CD Freaks, which rebranded as MyCE a few years ago.  With him now the new owner, I’ve been invited back, which I’ve accepted.  For any further press releases/news I receive, I’ll write about them at MyCE.
E-mail your document to paul@editorsean.com.

I originally left last November between the all the changes that were made to the site that I didn’t get on with, topped off with a final tipping point incident (don’t ask.)  In fact, I started this blog in 2010 to start my transition away from MyCE.

I’m glad about this change of ownership and to be back again as a result, especially after most of their staff contacted me by e-mail, MSN, etc. wondering if I’d come back, as well as all as countless people contacting me welcoming me back afterwards.

For anyone who still happens to check this blog, this is probably going to be the last story here.  I’ll continue helping out on The SSD Review forum, but I’m very unlikely going to have the spare time I use to for writing articles on this blog.

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OCZ Vertex 4 Review – The new milestone @MyCE http://www.ssdfreaks.com/content/977/ocz-vertex-4-review-the-new-milestone-myce http://www.ssdfreaks.com/content/977/ocz-vertex-4-review-the-new-milestone-myce#comments Wed, 04 Apr 2012 14:50:23 +0000 Seán Byrne http://www.ssdfreaks.com/?p=977 [...]]]> MyCE published an in-depth review of OCZ’s latest SSD, the Vertex 4, with its Indilinx Everest 2 controller claiming to handle up to 85K 4K IOPS and 120K maximum IOPS. This SSD sure sets a milestone, unaffected by data compressibility or shallow queue depths and probably the first SATA based SSD to score in excess of 1100 in AS SSD without RAID.

As with Dee’s other reviews, she has carried out extensive real world testing including small/large file handling, single drive copy tests, boot/application performance and software installation timings. The review also includes their proprietary MyCE Reality Suite where throughput is measured at the port level during scripted heavy multitasking tests.

To see how the SSD performs against rivals such as the Vertex 3 & Intel 520, please check out the review.

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RunCore to showcast its latest SSD range at CeBIT 2012 http://www.ssdfreaks.com/content/967/runcore-to-showcast-its-latest-ssd-range-at-cebit-2012 http://www.ssdfreaks.com/content/967/runcore-to-showcast-its-latest-ssd-range-at-cebit-2012#comments Sat, 03 Mar 2012 22:37:43 +0000 Seán Byrne http://www.ssdfreaks.com/?p=967 [...]]]> RunCore, a company which specialises in SSD products for consumers, industrial products, enterprise and defense told us that they will be displaying their latest SSD offerings at CeBIT 2012, the world’s largest IT fair in Hannover, Germany.  They will be located in Hall 11, Booth A11-1-5-1 from the 6th to the 10th of March.

One product they will be demonstrating is the RunCore Xapear, which is a split-zone SSD solution where the OS and sharable data can be placed in one zone data and its secure zone can only be accessed with a special RID key, which can also be remotely destroyed by SMS text for added security.

Their consumer products include their affordable but fast reliable RunCore Pro V Max series (120GB review @ The SSD Review) and their RunCore Pro V 2.5″ ultra 7mm SATA III series, featuring read/write performance of 50,000 IOPS and 60,000 IOPS, respectively.  These SSDs will come in a choice of capacities ranging from 60GB and 480GB.

They also have an rSSD series for embedded systems, which is an 104-ball FBGA measuring just 14 x 18 x 1.8mm.  This series features capacities of 4GB to 32GB SLC and 8GB to 64GB MLC with read/write speeds of 100MB/s and 80MB/s, respectively.  Being non-removable, these SSDs are intended for ultra-compact products such as thin-client computers, hardware firewalls, hand-held devices and so on.

For further info on RunCore’s SSD range, see their website.

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Greenliant announces shipping of its 2-8GB SLC NANDrive http://www.ssdfreaks.com/content/960/greenliant-announces-shipping-of-its-2-8gb-slc-nandrive http://www.ssdfreaks.com/content/960/greenliant-announces-shipping-of-its-2-8gb-slc-nandrive#comments Thu, 01 Mar 2012 22:15:47 +0000 Seán Byrne http://www.ssdfreaks.com/?p=960 [...]]]> Greenliant Systems, a company which specialises in miniature energy efficient secure SSD products has announced production of its industrial grade SATA NANDrive.  The NANDrive is currently available in a choice of 2GB, 4GB and 8GB, all SLC and features a 145 ball-pin BGA for mounting to a system motherboard.  Being a non-removable soldered-on drive, it is designed for long-term installation such as robotics, automotive and military systems.

The SSD features 70MB/s read, 60MB/s write, advanced password protected security with four independent zones for different levels of protection as well as allowing secure erase of a zone instead of the entire drive.  It also claims to protect data against power loss, operate between -40C and +85C and use wear-levelling algorithms that would allow the SSD to last for the life of its installation (considering it’s non-removable.)

While this SSD would obviously be too small to support Windows installation, it would probably make a good caching drive coupled with a HDD.  Even on its own, it would handle a compact Linux distribution (like the original Asus EEE), making it ideal for a fast-booting compact PC that could be used for browsing the web, e-mail and checking social updates.

Thanks to Tara for letting us know about this news; the full press release can be read here.

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OCZ Vertex Plus 120GB quick review with real world Netbook tests http://www.ssdfreaks.com/content/931/ocz-vertex-plus-120gb-quick-review-with-real-world-netbook-tests http://www.ssdfreaks.com/content/931/ocz-vertex-plus-120gb-quick-review-with-real-world-netbook-tests#comments Mon, 19 Dec 2011 23:01:50 +0000 Seán Byrne http://www.ssdfreaks.com/?p=931 [...]]]> When I first got my Samsung N120 Netbook, I really liked its compact size, very long battery life and how well it handles even heavy multimedia websites. With the lengthy time it took to open the web browser, launch applications and go into and out of hibernation, I knew it was time to replace its HDD with something quicker.

As the HDD LED was flashing regularly especially during boot, I decided to try Seagate’s Momentus XT hybrid HDD. While this helped cut down the boot time, it only cut a little off the hibernation, since its SSD cache only works for frequently read data and not the individual offloading of RAM to disk each time the laptop goes into hibernation. Another problem with this hybrid HDD is that whenever the Netbook was placed on a table or other hard surface, it hummed stronger than the original Hitachi HDD.

I was initially put off trying an SSD due to all the 120GB SSDs costing over half the price of the Netbook, but with the Vertex Plus 120GB priced at €115, I finally decided to give this a try.

Before I start, let’s have a quick look at the main OCZ Vertex Plus 120GB Specifications:

  • Read speed: Up to 250 MB/s (sequential)
  • Write speed: Up to 160 MB/s (sequential)
  • Random 4K: 4,800 IOPS (Aligned)
  • TRIM Support
  • Seek Time: 0.1ms
  • Weight: 88g
  • Power consumption: 1.5W Active, 0.3W Standby
  • Shock resistant up to 1500G
  • RAID Support
  • MTBF: 1.5 million hours
  • 3-Year warranty

Full specifications are available at OCZ Technology.

Installation:

For this quick review, I carried out real-world tests of this SSD in the following two Netbooks:

  1. Dell Inspiron mini 10v – (Atom 1.6GHz, 1GB RAM)
  2. Samsung N120 – (Atom 1.6GHz, 2GB RAM)

Dell Netbook: I installed Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit on a Hitachi 160GB, fully patched up to date (apart from 5 .Net Framework patches to test timing) and with any necessary drivers added. Apart from Avast home edition, no other software was installed. This was then mirrored to the SSD using dd_rescue.

Samsung N120: I mirrored the existing Windows XP installation to the SSD using dd_rescue, which includes all the software, updates and usage since it was originally purchased. Due to two years of usage, this installation has also slowed down significantly, so the boot test would give an idea how the SSD would perform on a Netbook with an aged Netbook OS.

Note: To reduce testing time, I ran different tests on both Netbooks, with the only test in common being the boot up timing.

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Corsair Performance Pro aims to battle the competition http://www.ssdfreaks.com/content/923/corsair-performance-pro-aims-to-battle-the-competition http://www.ssdfreaks.com/content/923/corsair-performance-pro-aims-to-battle-the-competition#comments Tue, 22 Nov 2011 15:02:37 +0000 Seán Byrne http://www.ssdfreaks.com/?p=923 [...]]]> At a first glance, Corsair’s latest SSD the Performance Pro may not seem anything exceptional with read/write figures similar to SandForce 2 based SSDs, but what makes it stand out is its ability to deliver its performance regardless of compressibility of the data.  According to Corsair’s blog, its built-in advanced background garbed collection allows it to consistently perform even without the help of TRIM, such as in a RAID configuration.

SandForce 1 & 2 based SSDs achieve their high performance based on the assumption that most data can be easily compressed.  This is indeed true for average use such as storing the OS, software, documents and databases, which all consist of easily compressible data.  However, when it comes to video, audio and photos such as use in video production, a music studio or photography, this data cannot be compressed any further (at least not without resorting to lossy-compression), meaning that SSDs using the SandForce processor run in their worst case scenario in such environments.

This is not the case for the Corsair Pro, which uses a Marvel 88S-9174 6Gbps chipset that doesn’t rely on data compression to achieve its performance.  With sustained read/write ratings of 515MB/s and 440MB/s respectively and up to 65,000 Random 4K IOPS, this looks to be one seriously fast SATA3 SSD that will not slow down when faced with incompressible data.

So how does it perform?  Well check out the review at The SSD Review!  It’s worth noting that the PC Vantage results in this review are also more realistic than the results obtained on SSDs affected by data compressibility (e.g. SandForce based SSDs).  For example, have a look at the PC vantage results for any SandForce SSD and compare the throughputs against the AS SSD sequential write result in the same review.

In theory, the throughputs for picture, video and music content should not be higher than the AS SSD sequential write result as this type of data is incompressible and AS SSD uses incompressible data for its testing.  However, in the cases I’ve seen, the PC Vantage results showed much higher throughputs on SandForce based SSDs, indicating that it is using 00-filled or FF-filled dummy audio, video and picture files for its tests.  It would be interesting to see how the PC Vantage scores would have been affected in those reviews had it actually used incompressible data in its tests.

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AData S510 review & Super Talent Upstream PCIe 1st look @TheSSDReview http://www.ssdfreaks.com/content/911/adata-s510-review-super-talent-upstream-pcie-thessdreview http://www.ssdfreaks.com/content/911/adata-s510-review-super-talent-upstream-pcie-thessdreview#comments Sat, 05 Nov 2011 17:04:33 +0000 Seán Byrne http://www.ssdfreaks.com/?p=911 [...]]]> The SSD Review has sent in two review announcements, one of the AData S510 SATA 3 120GB 2.5″ internal SSD and another of their first exclusive look at the Super Talent PCIe 200GB SSD, an enterprise class drive. 

Like the AData S511, the S510 model uses the same high performance SandForce SF-2281 and sATA3 interface, the difference is the type of NAND flash they use.  The S511 uses higher performance ‘sync’ NAND, while the S510 uses cheaper ‘async’ NAND, which has a lower performance rating when handling incompressible data such as video.  How does this perform compared to the S511?,  Well, head to the review.

The Super Talent Upstream PCIe 200GB SSD is a prototype SSD that is currently having some final tweaking down by Super Talent, so it is not released yet.  This SSD features 4 x SandForce SF-1200 SSD processors using 32 x 25nm 8GB async NAND modules, giving a total 256GB RAW capacity.  Being targeted at the enterprise market, this SSD uses 28% over-provisioning, giving a total user-addressable capacity of 200GB.  The 4 SSD processors are interfaced using the LSI 1064e SATA RAID controller.  It may be outside your price range, but if you’re an SSD freak, it doesn’t cost anything to drool over its first impressions;-)

If all goes well, I should be back to some more regular posting here; I’ll explain later.

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SanDisk ships SanDisk Ultra SSD series to retailers http://www.ssdfreaks.com/content/901/sandisk-ships-sandisk-ultra-ssd-series-to-retailers http://www.ssdfreaks.com/content/901/sandisk-ships-sandisk-ultra-ssd-series-to-retailers#comments Mon, 25 Jul 2011 21:19:07 +0000 Seán Byrne http://www.ssdfreaks.com/?p=901 [...]]]> SanDisk has introduced a new series of SSDs the SanDisk Ultra® targeted at the retail market claiming to offer excellent price/performance, extend the life of desktop and portable computers, greater durability and more efficient power consumption over a traditional hard disk.

Highlights include:

  • SATA II connection with TRIM and SMART support.
  • Up to 280MB/s sequential read and 270MB/s sequential write.
  • Silent operation and low power consumption (due to no moving parts.)
  • Long-term reliability, with an MTBF of up to 1 million hours.

It’s unclear what its random IO performance is, but with the press release mentioning up to 3 Gb/s random speeds (i.e. up to the SATA II upper limit), it’s quite likely this either uses a SandForce processor or a competing chipset claiming similar performance.

The SSD is now available to purchase from NewEgg.com and SanDisk.com, with MSRPs of $129.99, $219.99 and $449.99 for the 60GB, 120GB and 240GB capacities, respectively.

Thanks to Ronda Scott from Lyman PR for sending us the press release.

29th July – Update: This SSD contains the SandForce SF-1222 SSD processor, according to a NewEgg video review.

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SSD Reviews Friday discontinued http://www.ssdfreaks.com/content/894/ssd-reviews-friday-discontinued http://www.ssdfreaks.com/content/894/ssd-reviews-friday-discontinued#comments Fri, 17 Jun 2011 14:58:36 +0000 Seán Byrne http://www.ssdfreaks.com/?p=894 [...]]]> At its peak around March and April, the SSD Reviews Friday articles were getting a few hundred page views over the week, but unfortunately the interest has dropped to the point where last Friday’s article (10th June) received just 14 views, making it no longer worth the 2 to 3 hours of effort each Friday building the review list and writing the article.

One possibility is a decline in interest in SSD reviews, since unlike the early days of SSDs, pretty much any modern SSD will give a blazing fast PC.  So I assume that most are simply ignoring the reviews and just heading for the cheapest SSD for the desired capacity.

For now, I’ll likely just use this blog for posting my own SSD articles, but unfortunately no more news/review announcements apart from user-submitted news/reviews.

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SSD Reviews Friday – 10th June 2011 http://www.ssdfreaks.com/content/882/ssd-reviews-friday-%e2%80%93-10th-june-2011 http://www.ssdfreaks.com/content/882/ssd-reviews-friday-%e2%80%93-10th-june-2011#comments Fri, 10 Jun 2011 19:45:14 +0000 Seán Byrne http://www.ssdfreaks.com/?p=882 [...]]]> Over the past few couple of weeks, most of the reviews were focusing on a few specific SSDs such as the Intel 510, OCZ Vertex 3 and the Crucial M4.  This week, there is finally a nice variety of reviews including a Corsair Force F40, Memoright FTM-25, Silicon Power V20 and even a few USB3 flash drives. 

Two reviews included from last week were announced at Benchmark Reviews, a review website worth keeping an eye on as they tend to announce affiliate SSD (and other) reviews not usually indexed by meta-news crawlers such as Google News.  One thing I sure miss is the good old days where most review websites had many affiliates regularly announced their affiliate reviews (not just SSD).

Since I started this “SSD Reviews Friday” series, I am not aware of any website that carries out SSD reviews other than Benchmark Reviews that still announces reviews carried out on third party websites.  Most now use Twitter and Facebook for their announcements instead of the good old days of making friends with third party news/review websites to become affiliates.

The following are the SSD reviews published since our last reviews Friday:

Legend:

  • Real World – Includes real world tests, such as boot, app launch, file copy, etc. timings.
  • Sim – Simulated real world tests, such as replay of read/write traces.
  • Trim – Review looks at the SSD’s TRIM performance.
  • SATA3 – SSD features an SATA 3.0 6Gbps interface.
  • USB3 – External SSD that has a USB3 interface
  • Pen – USB flash drive, but with SSD-like performance.
  • Short – Quick review, similar in size to a typical magazine review

If you came across an SSD review over the past week not listed, please let us know!

We’re not on Facebook and as for the blue bird, …  kitty ate it. ;-)

So please check back next Friday for the next round of reviews. :-)

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