It’s difficult to thrive in the solid-state drive world. Unless you’ve got just the right controller and flash memory, most performance-minded PC users will rarely give you a second glance. Samsung muscled its way into that narrow view with the SSD 830 last year; it intends to lock our attention with the new SSD 840 and SSD 840 Pro. The Pro’s 520MB/s and 450MB/s sequential read and write speeds are only modest bumps over the 830, but they don’t tell the whole story of just how fast it gets. The upgraded MDX controller boosts the random read access to a nicely rounded 100,000IOPS, and random writes have more than doubled to 78,000IOPS or 90,000IOPS, depending on who you ask and what drive you use. The improved performance in either direction is a useful boost to on-the-ground performance, as both AnandTech and Storage Review will tell you. We’re waiting on details of the ordinary triple level cell-based 840 model beyond its 120GB, 250GB and 500GB capacities, although there won’t be an enormous premium for the multi-level cell 840 Pro over existing drives when it arrives in mid-October — the flagship line should start at $100 for a basic 64GB drive, and peak at $600 for the ultimate 512GB version.
Bored by Plextor’s safe and steady M3S? Then ponder on its new performance model, the 2.5-inch, SATAIII-sporting M3 Pro. It notches up random read/write speeds by around seven percent to 75,000/69,000 IOPs, while sequential read/writes have also had a marginal bump to 540MB/s and 450MB/s. It’s not yet clear how much the new drives will cost when they reach stores in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB varieties next month, but the use of 24nm toggle flash — which squeezes more storage onto less silicon — should help to keep pricing relatively sane. Oh, and the 7mm height also means that the M3 Pro will slide happily into the compressed bowels of your Ultrabook — unless that slot has already been reserved for a Crucial. Read on for the press release.
The recently announced Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook is now available with a solid state drive (SSD) and energy-efficient second-generation Intel Core i7 processor power. This new breed of ultra-light-weight PCs are just half-an-inch thin and weigh about 3 pounds. New technology lets them power on instantly and connect to the Web in seconds. Available this week at several retailers including Amazon, NewEgg, TigerDirect and BestBuy.com, the Core i7 version of the Aspire S3 Ultrabook retails for $1299 (Core i5 versions begin at $899).
Who hasn’t needed to upgrade their personal workstation when running short on funds? We’ve definitely been there. As luck would have it, SanDisk offers all of us who are a bit strapped for cash an option for improving our aging PCs. The company announced today that its latest offerings, the Ultra SSDs, are heading out to retailers as we speak. Promising 280MB / sec reads coupled with 270MB / sec write speeds, the drives provide a welcome tune-up for, ahem, experienced machines. Random speeds on these disks clock in at up to 3Gb / sec with three sizes available: 60GB, 120GB, and 240GB, ranging from $130 to $450. So save up your extra lunch money, as this is certainly a nice way to breathe new life into your current set-up without going completely broke. Who knows, maybe you can use those dollars you’ll save on some of this. As for the full rundown, scope out the PR after the break.
We got a chance to spend some time with the lovely folks from OCZ here at Computex for a tour of their latest and greatest SSD products, the RevoDrive 3 X2 and RevoDrive Hybrid. Both are PCIe x4 cards featuring up to 4 SandForce SF-2200 controllers and RAID 0 (striping) for blazing performance. The RevoDrive 3 X2 is available in capacities from 240GB ($699) to 960GB and improves upon the RevoDrive X2 with TRIM support and double the performance. We were treated to a demo that achieved truly ludicrous speeds — 1.5GBps reads and 1.2GBps writes — the kind of numbers that’ll perk up even the most jaded PC enthusiast. The RevoDrive Hybrid builds upon the same SSD technology as the RevoDrive 3 X2 to cache the contents of a 2.5-inch hard drive, with capacities starting at 500GB with a 60GB cache ($350). OCZ’s demo showed a 20 times performance improvement going from a regular hard drive to the RevoDrive Hybrid. Both products are expected to ship in July, but we suggest you ogle them right now in the gallery below and in our hands-on video after the break.
Popping up in everything from tablets to servers, plain old solid-state drives are becoming as mundane as floppy disks were in the ’90s, so it’s about time someone got a little creative with the soldering iron. OCZ’s RevoDrive Hybrid takes a HDD and puts it where it doesn’t belong — on top of an SSD. But unlike that deep fried Oreo you really shouldn’t have “tasted” at the state fair, this pairing has potential to keep the juices flowing, caching reads and writes for both drives on a single PCIe card. Shipping in July, the $350 base Hybrid is expected to include a 500GB HDD and 60GB SSD, with a premium model doubling both capacities (and we assume price). With OCZ out of the memory game, we hope to see the now strictly SSD company bring innovative, affordable flash-based goodies to market, and it looks like we’re off to a decent start.