Solid state drives (SSDs) are becoming increasing popular, especially as prices drop. Super Talent now joins OCZ in leading the movement toward affordable solid state drives. Super Talent’s MasterDrive LX is available in 64GB and 128GB capacities in a 2.5" form factor. As with other SSDs, the MasterDrive LX offer about five times better resistance to shock and vibration, support a wider range of operating temperatures and altitudes, consume less energy, and are absolutely silent.
To ensure the highest level of reliability and compatibility, the MasterDrive LX underwent SuperTalent’s formidable arsenal of validation tests. The SSD is completely interchangeable with mechanical hard disk drives since they use the same SATA-II 3Gbps interface. Built with NAND flash, these SSDs provide read/write speeds that max out at 100MB/s and 40MB/sec accordingly. The lifespan of the SSDs are significantly lengthened by the integrated ECC, bad bit management, and wear leveling systems.
The 64GB model costs around $179, while the 128GB SSD is priced at the bargain value of $299. The drives a certainly an attractive option for the stocking of a tech-savvy individual this holiday season!
OCZ has released the new Solid Series SATA II SSDs. These solid state drives are very similar to OCZ’s Core V2 Series drives, offering good performance, affordable pricing, and the benefits that are inherent to SSDs. Solid state drives effortlessly enhance productivity in everyday computer use as well as heavy-load situations. The Solid Series also features a micro-USB port which permits clients to update the firmware with new versions as they become available. Firmware updates help to enhance performance and compatibility with future operating systems.
Available in three capacities (30GB, 60GB, and 120GB), the Solid State SSDs provide sustained transfer speeds of 155MB/s read and 90 MB/s write and virtually undetectable seek times of <0.35ms. These characteristics combined give the Solid Series (and most other SSDs) the title of being up to 10x faster (in terms of seek time) than some of the best performing 2.5" hard drives. Another significant benefit of the Solid Series SSDs is that they consume 50% less energy. It is important to note that these new SSDs perform best in notebooks produced after 2006 since they are optimized for the latest mobile platforms.
Like all other solid state drives, the OCZ SSDs have absolutely no moving parts, which helps protect them from damage and improve reliability. They feature an aesthetic and strong, yet lightweight alloy housing. The drives provide a 1.5 million hour mean time before failure, which means you’ll almost certainly have a new hard drive before one of these fails on you. All Solid Series SSDs come with a two-year warranty. The OCZ Solid Series drives are priced at $89.95 (30GB), $175.95 (60GB), and $299.95 (120GB).
Seagate’s Savvio 15K.2 second generation, 2.5-inch hard drive claims to be the fastest and greenest mechanical disk drive in the world, with the highest performance and reliability of any HDD on the market today. The 15,000 RPM drive also features a self-encrypting option that helps protect data from being stolen or hacked, while maintaining minimal power requirements with Seagate’s onboard PowerTrim(TM) technology (70% better power efficiency than comparable 3.5-inch 15,000 RPM drives). Power consumption is a major factor for server farms that run hundreds of hard drives since any decrease in power consumption can make a significant impact on the monthly power bill. 146GB and 73GB versions are available. Both variations use the same SAS 2.0 6Gb/s speed interface, which offers 100% faster maximum data throughput and higher signal strength from the previous interface revision. The new interface makes the drive particularly well-suited for RAID configurations, which can yield as much as a 115% improvement for system-level performance. The Seagate Savvio 15K.2 will begin shipping in December, 2008.
The Thermaltake Blacx Hard Drive Docking Station functions as an external hard drive enclosure, but with the brilliant benefit of being able to quickly and easily insert and eject the disk drive without having to get inside the hard drive enclosure. The unit has many useful purposes for providing extra disk space anywhere needed. We’re currently using it to provide extra disk space to a network media player. It could also be used to move large data that will not fit on a USB flash drive between rooms, offices, etc. The Blacx handles both desktop and notebook drives at sizes up to 1TB. It also features hot swap support for drives. The docking station is fully USB 2.0 complaint, to offer speeds as high as 480Mbps, and it works with both PCs and Macs. The Thermaltake Blacx is very affordably priced at $39.99.
At the time of this writing, the Buffalo MiniStation Shinobi is the world’s smallest hard disk drive (not flash drive). The drive has a thickness of only 5mm, and weighs a mere two ounces. It features a stylish glossy black housing as well as TurboUSB technology, which delivers up to 20 percent faster transfer speeds than standard external drives. The Buffalo MiniStation Shinobi is compatible with Windows and Mac PCs and is available in 30GB ($120) and 60GB ($170) capacity models.
OCZ’s Core V2 60 GB SSDs are now available for purchase online. The affordable price tag of $239 after rebate marks an important milestone in the transition to SSD for data storage. Of course, buyers trade disk capacity for performance, but the $239 cost is in the same range as mechanical hard drive options, making them a viable option for a much wider demographic. The OCZ Core V2 SSDs feature read speeds of 170MB/sec and write speeds of 98MB/sec, which is very attractive for those seeking top system performance. Comparable solid state drives from other companies cost as much as $400 more per disk.
MSI is rumored to be introducing a new version of the MSI Wind U100 ultraportable notebook. The current MSI Wind release features an 80GB disk drive. However, the new edition will boast a 160GB drive. Interestingly, this enhancement seems to be fueled by Microsoft’s new 160GB minimum hard drive requirement for Windows XP licensing. This change may cause a number of other hard drive size increases in the ultraportable segment in the near future.