Storage

WD recently updated its mainstream Blue line of solid state drives with new 64-layer 3D BiCS NAND flash memory. When we first took a look at the original WD Blue SSD, we found it to be an admirable performer with competitive pricing. This new generation of drives, however, promises better performance and features all of the firmware tweaks and optimizations WD has gleaned over the Blue SSD line’s lifetime.In addition, SanDisk branded versions of the drive are hitting the market as well. Internally the WD Blue with 3D NAND and new SanDisk Ultra 3D are virtually identical, but the drives will target... Read more...
The new iStorage diskAshur2 is a specialized, external hard drive geared toward security conscious consumers. The diskAshur2 is a little pricey, and although it's no slouch in the speed department (we'll get into that in a bit), it's certainly not going to compete with that shiny new internal SSD you've got your eye on in terms of transfer speeds either. But here's the thing: It's plenty fast enough for just about anything you'd want to do, and just as importantly, it's both rugged and secure. So, despite a somewhat lofty asking price, the diskAshur2 is actually a pretty good deal. If you need... Read more...
The Samsung Portable SSD T3 was a compact, durable, lightweight, and fast external solid state storage device, that offered killer performance when it launched. The T3 has been out for quite a while, however, and Samsung has since released a few newer types of flash memory, which are better suited to low-power, portable storage devices. As such, the company decided to tweak the T3’s design, update it with newer 64-layer 3D V-NAND flash memory, massage the firmware, and the brand-new Samsung Portable SSD T5 was born.We’ve got one of the new Portable SSD T5’s on-hand and have some benchmarks to share... Read more...
Much of the current excitement in the consumer storage space involves blazing-fast NVMe solid state drives, but there are still hundreds of millions (if not billions) of systems packing SATA hard drives that would benefit greatly from an SSD upgrade. As such, many manufacturers continue to introduce SATA-based offerings like the recently-launched Intel SSD 545s series, which feature newer technologies in an effort to drive costs down and capacities up. The Intel SSD 545s series is the first in the company’s SATA-based solid state storage line-up to feature 64-layer TLC 3D NAND. Though this first... Read more...
At Dell EMC World a few weeks back, we gave you a glimpse of an unnamed Toshiba NVMe SSD that featured 64-layer BiCS 3D flash memory. We couldn’t reveal much about the drive back then, but Toshiba eventually lifted the veil, and revealed a new family of drives dubbed the XG5. The Toshiba XG5 is the follow-up to the successful XG3, and is designed to offer a combination of high performance and high density, at what should be competitive price points. If you're unfamiliar with the technology, Toshiba’s BiCS flash memory employs a three-dimensional (3D) stacked cell structure that is designed... Read more...
As modern datacenters grow, so too do their demands. The processor race is heating up with both ARM and AMD vying to unseat Intel from its throne. Banks of RAM are beginning to become augmented by Intel’s Optane memory and other products leveraging 3D XPoint technology. However, some of the most interesting changes in the industry are happening where all this data is eventually stored. Traditional hard drives have served the computing world well for more than half a century. In recent years, however, solid state storage has become increasingly attractive as it offers improvements over spinning... Read more...
Intel Optane Memory is designed to accelerate the storage subsystem on compatible machines, to improve transfer speeds and reduce latency. It is among the first products to leverage 3D XPoint memory technology that was co-developed by Intel and Micron. 3D XPoint offers many of the same properties as NAND flash memory, but with much higher endurance and certain performance characteristics that are similar to DRAM. We revealed many details regarding Intel Optane Memory a couple of weeks ago. To quickly reiterate, Intel Optane Memory products and their associated software are designed to... Read more...
The venerable Samsung EVO brand is well known among PC performance enthusiasts and workstation pros for its speed and reliability with respect to NVMe and SATA-based Solid State Drive (SSD) products. However, you may not recognize the brand so easily as is relates to the microSD card format for Flash memory. What's interesting here though is that microSD cards are getting much more capable, and as you can see, Samsung has some new EVO goodness on tap here as well.  The SD memory card format has been around for many years and has evolved greatly to the point that the newer SDXC card format... Read more...
Modern video surveillance systems with video recording capabilities can an be an expensive proposition, especially if you contract out installation and service. However, the combination of a high-capacity storage device, like a Synology DiskStation NAS (Networked Attached Storage) and IP surveillance cameras is a great alternative way to add a layer of security to monitor your home or business without dropping major dough. The DiskStation, like any Network-Attached Storage (NAS) device, can be used in a variety of ways ranging from simple network storage to a media server. Today, however,... Read more...
Early last week, Intel revealed its Optane SSD DC P4800X featuring 3D Xpoint memory technology. The Optane SSD DC P4800X is an enterprise-class product, targeted at data centers and mission-critical applications where reliable, ultra-low-latency access to large amounts of data is paramount. Today, Intel is introducing another new product featuring 3D Xpoint memory, but this is one quite literally at the other end of the spectrum. The Intel Optane Memory devices we’ll be discussing here looks like other current generation 80mm M.2 “gumstick” type solid state drives. However, Intel Optane Memory... Read more...
When Intel and Micron jointly announced 3D Xpoint memory technology a couple of years back, the two companies made some bold claims. 3D Xpoint is being positioned as a revolutionary non-volatile memory tier that can offer orders of magnitude better performance and endurance than traditional NAND flash memory, with much higher density than DRAM. Our original coverage of the 3D Xpoint announcement is available here if you’d like a quick refresher.Today we have some news regarding the first product that Intel will ship leveraging 3D Xpoint memory technology, the brand new Intel Optane SSD DC... Read more...
Western Digital is the king of the hard drive market but up to now has been a non-factor in SSDs. However, with its purchase of solid state storage giant, SanDisk, the company immediately leaped to the forefront of the market in one fell swoop. Now the company is entering the consumer/commercial SSD market with WD Green and WD Blue SSDs, using a naming scheme borrowed from its hard drive line and technology acquired from SanDisk. WD's Green lineup is for entry level PCs meant to have a low power draw while the Blue SSD series is aimed at mainstream consumers. Both series are available... Read more...
A few months back, Intel updated its enterprise-class solid state storage line-up with a new series of NVMe-based drives – the DC P3520 series -- featuring IMFT 3D MLC NAND flash memory. Like some of its other high-end offerings, the drives featured Intel’s native NVMe PCI Express controller, but the use of more affordable 3D MLC NAND allowed Intel to reduce costs, while keeping endurance relatively high.Since some of the first consumer-class solid state drives hit the scene, Intel has been known to push the envelope in the space, and ultimately drive prices down. Intel did it somewhat recently... Read more...
When Samsung initially announced the SSD 960 PRO and SSD 960 EVO NVMe drives a few months back, we were eager to get our hands on them for some in-house testing. Their specifications, which included transfer speeds in excess of 3.2GB/s, were among the fastest we’d seen to date for consumer-class M.2-based Solid State Drive. Last month, when we were able to dig into the flagship Samsung SSD 960 PRO, we came away impressed. So impressed, that we gave the drive an Editor’s Choice award – you can check out that review right here. Today, we get to take a close look at the more affordable Samsung SSD... Read more...
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