Storage

Anyone who follows the NAS game will likely recognize the name Synology, but we’d wager most home users aren't quite as familiar with them. That’s simply because Synology storage devices have typically targeted a more advanced crowd, such as readers of this website. If you had ever met someone who was running a Synology NAS at home, you knew right away they were an enthusiast, advanced user, neckbeard, etc. Newbies use more mainstream products, but hardcore guys and gals use Synology--or something like that. Well, times are changing, and Synology is trying to get in on the “cloud storage” game... Read more...
The WD My Cloud EX2100 is a new prosumer-oriented NAS drive from WD that continues the company's adventures in the realm of "personal cloud" storage. These drives are aimed directly at people who use Cloud storage such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Box.com, and others. The marketing speak from WD is that those services require a monthly payment for a small amount of storage, and you have to store your data on someone else's cloud. For example Dropbox charges $10 a month for 1TB of storage, and Google charges the same. WD's pitch is you can get multiple terabytes of storage with one of its drives, and... Read more...
Solid State Drives continue to be one of the more sought after (and effective) upgrades for both desktop and mobile systems. But as drives have matured, and newer generations have been released, the bandwidth limitations of the legacy SATA interface have become increasingly more apparent. Even relatively affordable, mainstream solid state drives are bumping into the SATA bandwidth limit right alongside more expensive flagship drives, which makes it difficult to differentiate between them based on performance alone.The answer to eliminating the bandwidth limitations of the SATA interface is PCI... Read more...
Today, Intel is taking the wraps off new NVMe PCI Express Solid State Drives, which are the first products with these high speed interfaces that the company has launched specifically for the enthusiast computing and workstation crowds. Historically, Intel's PCI Express-based offerings, like the SSD DC P3700 Series, have been squarely targeted for datacenter or enterprise applications, with price tags to match. However, today Intel is throwing performance enthusiasts another bone with the launch of the Intel SSD 750 series. We've historically been big on PCI Express SSDs here, because they get around... Read more...
Samsung is introducing a number of new members to their SSD 850 EVO line-up of Solid State Drives, based on different form factors than the standard 2.5” drives we showed you here. The brand new mSATA and M.2 Samsung SSD 850 EVO drives being announced today, however, leverage all of the same technology. The last few generations of Samsung’s 2.5” Solid State Drive utilized PCBs that barley filled up half of their encloses, and a large portion of those PCBs were dedicated to the standard SATA power and data cable connectors, so it’s no shock to see these new, smaller variants arrive with mSATA and... Read more...
OCZ Technology is at the ready with yet another new Solid State Drive, built around the company’s tried-and-true Barefoot 3 controller. The Vector 180 series drive we’ll be showing you here today is packing some of Toshiba’s latest A19nm MLC NAND flash memory and has some welcomed features and additions normally reserved for more expensive, enterprise-class drives.And the Vector 180 isn’t the only thing OCZ has in store today. Launching alongside this new SSD is a brand new utility, dubbed OCZ Guru, geared for easy management and tuning of OCZ’s enthusiast-class drives. The OCZ Guru utility will... Read more...
When they first came out, solid state drives were cost prohibitive for many people and they remained that way until NAND flash memory prices came crashing down like the careers of every actor on "The Celebrity Apprentice." Now not only are SSDs affordable, they're comparatively capacious and much faster than many of the older models, and as a result they've barged into the mainstream market -- that laptop your Aunt Ethel bought from Best Buy could be rocking an SSD. Save for when massive amounts of cheap storage space is needed, SSDs have effectively (and finally) begun to replace HDDs, which is... Read more...
The Western Digital Passport Wireless is a member of a new class of storage devices that combine run-of-the-mill USB storage with wireless hotspot and media center functionality. These devices essentially marry what used to be two separate drives - an external USB device and a media device that can stream data wirelessly to connected devices. They also help address the relatively small amount of storage that is included with today's mobile devices, as they let you store and access terabytes of data on your smartphone or tablet without having to store it locally. It's an interesting combination,... Read more...
Last year, Plextor introduced its M6e family of solid state drives. The drives are / were offered in M.2 and PCI Express flavors, though technically the PCIe-based models were the same M.2 drives parked in a PCIe-to-M.2 adapter card. Regardless of the technicalities involved, the Plextor M6e’s specifications and performance were relatively strong, with peak read speeds topping the 770MB/s mark.The original Plextor M6e, however, wasn’t much to look at. It featured a basic, green PCB and the M.2 SSD sat right in the middle for all to see. Plextor decided to kick things up a few notches with a new... Read more...
The hard drive market has become a lot less sexy in the past few years thanks to SSDs. What we used to consider "fast" for a hard drive is relatively slow compared to even the cheapest of today's solid state drives. But there are two areas where hard drives still rule the roost, and that's in terms of overall capacity and cost per gigabyte. Right now you can buy a 4TB hard drive for the same cost as a 256GB SSD, so the two are in separate universes in that regard. We love SSDs and think just about everyone should run their OS on one, but most aren't large enough to hold all user data over a long... Read more...
Samsung is at the ready with a brand new family of mainstream solid state drives, targeting the market segment previously occupied by its popular SSD 840 EVO series. The new Samsung SSD 850 EVO series is the follow-up to the company’s current flagship SSD 850 PRO, but the new EVO is Samsung’s first to pack 32‐layer 3D V‐NAND 3-bit MLC flash memory. The move to 32‐layer 3D V‐NAND 3-bit MLC flash (a.k.a. TLC) brings costs down, but doesn’t adversely affect endurance because the cell structure doesn’t suffer from the same inherent limitations of planar NAND, since the cells are stacked vertically... Read more...
When we took at look at SanDisk's Extreme II series of solid state drives in June of last year, we began our article by noting, "odds are, if you’ve bought anything that uses flash memory in the last 20 years or so, you already own a small piece of SanDisk technology. The company has been a leader in flash memory storage since the late ‘80s and manufactures products used in everything from smartphones and portable media players to digital cameras and camcorders. With such a long history in the flash memory business, it’s should be no surprise that SanDisk offers an array of solid... Read more...
One of the disadvantages to buying an Apple system is that it generally means less upgradeability and flexibility than a system from a traditional PC OEM. Over the last few years, Apple has introduced features and adopted standards that made upgrading or using third-party hardware progressively more difficult. Now, with OS X 10.10 Yosemite, the company has taken another step down the path towards total vendor lock-in and effectively disabled support for third-party SSDs. We say "effectively" because while third-party SSDs will still work, they'll no longer perform the TRIM garbage collection command.... Read more...
Samsung made some waves earlier this year with the introduction of its 850 Pro family of solid state drives and the first commercial use of 3D stacked NAND Flash memory. Micron is striking back today with a lower manufacturing process geometry in conventional NAND, however, and a new Flash technology it claims, will accelerate performance more effectively than other competing solutions. The new Micron M600 family of solid state drives will launch at capacities ranging from 128GB to 1TB across multiple form factors. Conventional 2.5” SATA drives, mSATA, and the PCIe-capable M.2 platform... Read more...
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