Other World Computing has just announced the Envoy Pro EX ultra-portable solid state drive. This portable drive is small enough to fit in your pocket and is made of anodized aluminum so it goes great with both Macs and PCs. The drive uses a USB 3.0 connection for both power and data transfer. Inside you have OWC’s own SandForce Driven OWC Aura Pro 6G SSD and you can expect speeds of up to 436 MB/s.
ASUS is readying their first enthusiast solid state drive, the ROG RAIDR. The RAIDR is a PCI-Express solid state drive that uses two SandForce SF2281 driven SSD drives stripped in a RAID 0 configuration. Each solid state drive uses 19 nm MLC flash NAND chips. A few photos of the drive and spec sheets were posted on SweClockers. The drives both sport a pretty cool EMI shield and backplate.
Finally Akitio has added a larger capacity drive to their Thunderbolt storage line. Last year they introduced a 120 GB version, but these days with HD video and other large files 120 GB is just not enough. Today they are announcing a 256 GB version of their Neutrino Thunderbolt Edition. By using a solid state drive and a high performance SATA controller this drive is able to achieve transfer speeds of up to 464 MB/second making it the fastest one bay, bus powered external storage device on the market.
Silicon Power has released a new solid state drive series known as the Velox V50. These drives are SATA 6GB/s drives and come in 4 different capacities: 32 GB, 64 GB, 129 GB and 256 GB. Using “the latest controller technology” these drives have rated speeds of 530 MB/s read and 200 MB/s write, although it is not clear exactly which controller these new drives are using. The drives do sport MLC NAND flash.
It looks like OCZ is readying their Vertex 5 solid state drive. This would of course be the successor to the very popular Vertex 4 drive. With its release it should become the new flagship product for the company. The Vertex 5 line is said to be comprised of 128 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB models and will launch towards the end of May 2013.
Crucial has now started shipping their new M500 Series solid state drives. These drives use Micron 20 nm MLC NAND flash combined with a Marvell controller. The M500 series will be available in 2.5-inch (7mm with 9mm bracket), mSATA and NGFF M.2 form factors. All three drives use SATA 6GB/s connectivity and are available in 120 GB, 240 GB, and 480 GB capacities. The 2.5-inch SATA model also has a 960 GB “terabyte-class” model.
ADATA is moving their solid state drive business into the enterprise segment with their first enterprise-grade solid state drive, the SX1000L. This drive is made to last a long time as it employs static wear-leveling technology to maximize device mean time between failures (MTBF) to 1,500,000 hours. The drive is a standard 2.5-inch drive and has read and write speeds of 560MB/s and 340MB/s respectively.
ADATA’s current lineup of 2.5-inch solid state drives are 9.5mm thick. While this does conform to the standard many new devices like slim laptops and ultrabooks require drives to be only 7mm thick. ADATA has now reduced the size of their 2.5-inch solid state drive lineup to 7mm. This way you can use ADATA drives in these devices. These new 7mm drives will ship with plastic holders so they can still be placed in 9.5mm slots.
Samsung is a very large player in the solid state drive market, but you may not have known. This is because they sell their drives in bulk to companies like Apple to use in their products. That is why they are not an known in the consumer or enthusiast market. In fact Samsung is the largest producer of flash memory in the world. One thing that is great about Samsung solid state drives is that everything inside is made by Samsung, the NAND, controller and DRAM cache. This makes it very easy for Samsung to correct issues or fix problems because everything is done in-house. We saw this on Samsung’s 830 Series solid state drive and the big difference between the 830 and 840 is that the 840 Series uses TLC NAND chips instead of MLC. We will get to the difference in just a bit. The controller on the 840 Series has also been updated. The 120GB version we are testing today has read and write speeds of 530MB/s and 130MB/s respectively so it sort of fits into the entry-level segment. Let’s take a look…
Last week we showed you Plextor’s TLC NAND-based 2.5-inch drive they were showing off at CeBIT. Plextor also had a next generation from factor (NGFF) TLC NAND-based drive on display. We have seen a lot of NGFF drives at CES. They are small 42 x 22mm modules with a PCI-Express 2.0 interface. They are designed for use in next generation Ultrabooks. Plextor will be selling these drives in 128GB and 256GB capacities.
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