Mtron 32Gb SSD - Solid State Drives take the lead

Samll but deadly.
When you consider the purchase of a fast (really fast) hard disk, you can either choose a Raptor or enter the SCSI world of 15000 rpm for something speedier. Now, there's a third choice: Solid  State Drives.

Anandtech reviews the 32G Mtron SSD to find out what $1500 can buy you in the storage market. Comparing it directly with the Western Digital Raptor 150GB, the surprise is that the king has been dethroned. "Game level load times" is the test that decides the match; in my opinion, a 20% improvement over the Raptor is nothing sort of impressive.

Just one word of caution (if you have that much money to burn): Intel chipsets have an 80 Mbs/s limit with SSDs that tamper with the performance of the drive, you must go the nVidia way. That one was unexpected, keeping in mind all the data corruption and speed limitations the 680 has suffered since it's introduction.


Online storage sites to choose from

More than eighty sites that offer file hosting are listed in this post at You will find there: online backup, sending services and sharing. Some are free, others come with a size and/or time limit, but you can always combine them to increase that limit.

Current prices for optical storage are so cheap that it looks like a useless service, but it might get in handy if you are away from your computer, your DVD burner gets broken or you want to give something to a friend you can't contact physically. Specially interesting:

- - Unlimited storage and automated backup for $4.99 a month. Actually, a reasonable price if you need terabytes of secure backup.

- - Send an unlimited number of files up to 500MB each in size and forget about your email cap.

- - Unlimited file storage, inactive files files deleted after 45 days for free members, never for premium members.


100+ Mb/s transfer rates from Seagate

TGDaily has the story. 

"Following Hitachi and Samsung, Seagate now has announced 1 TB desktop hard drives as well. The 11th generation barracuda drive, officially called 7200.11, increases the maximum capacity of its predecessor from 750 GB to 1 TB. In terms of storage density, Seagate lands in the middle of the pack, storing 1 TB on a total of four platters (250 GB per platter; 205 Gb/square inch). Hitachi needs five platters to reach 1 TB (144 Gb/square inch), while Samsung needs only three (241 Gb/square inch). However, Seagate claims that it has the lead in performance as well as operating noise. According to the company, a data transfer speed of 105 MB/s is the fastest ever achieved on a desktop drive; the drive is promised t be virtually silent, running at 2.7 bels idle and at 2.9 bels during seek processes. Power consumption is rated at 8.0 watts when idle and 11.6 watts when active."

Impressive numbers. Except for the 250 Gb platter density, that had already been announced, which gets beaten by the 334 Gb plates Samsung is using. But just look at that speed, even faster than a 10.000 rpm Raptor! Let's hope Western Digital gets his terabyte drive soon and then we will see who is faster, runs cooler and produces less noise. As for prices, they all seem pretty competitive.


Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 1TB Hard Drive Review


Hitachi were quick off the mark marketing the world's first 1 Terabyte Hard Drive - the Deskstar 7K1000. With an effective price of about £0.05 per GB, the 7K1000 is the ultimate solution to your storage needs.

Who really needs 1TB of storage you ask? If you are the average user using the PC for checking mail, doing office work, you won't definitely need it. But in todays world of cheap camcorders, iTunes and iPods and next gen games, 1TB is the ultimate luxury. Power users with loads of HD videos, music albums, dozens of latest games understand the need for a 1TB hard drive and are ready to worship at the alter of one Terabyte.


First HDD with a 250GB disc from Seagate

The actual press release title is: Seagate Ships the World's Highest Areal Density Desktop Drive to Extend Perpendicular Magnetic Recording Leadership. Just try saying that to any booth babe at the next big industry show and your home dry. The thing about perpendicular recording is old news, almost everybody is using it right now. And "World's Highest Areal Density Desktop Drive" means exactly that, 180 Gb per square inch may be an industry-leading data density for 3.5” drives, but Hitachi’s recently announced 250 GB 2.5” (for example) is rated at 205 Gb per square inch.

"The Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 drive, the industry's most advanced 3.5-inch desktop drive, is built with a fast SATA 3Gb/s interface and will serve as the foundation for Seagate's 1-terabyte desktop, enterprise, consumer electronics and external hard drives."

If you think that terabyte hard drives are nothing to get excited about, keep in mind that Hitachi's solution needs five plates. That translates into higher power consumption, worse acoustics and (theoretically) less performance due to the lower platter density.



Hitachi Global Storage Technologies today announced volume shipment of the industry’s highest-performing and lowest power-consuming laptop hard disk drive at a quarter terabyte of capacity. The Travelstar™ 5K250 hard drive combines the fastest application performance in PCMark testing with the best power-efficiency of any 250 gigabyte1 (GB) 5400 RPM drive in its class. The newest 5400 RPM 2.5-inch hard drive from Hitachi – developed for notebook PCs, external storage devices, gaming consoles and other mobile devices – also features a host of category-leading features including 400G shock protection, quiet acoustics and optional Bulk Data Encryption for hard-drive level data security.

The Travelstar 5K250 hard drive offers 56 percent more capacity, a 23 percent shock improvement and an 8 percent overall application performance boost over its predecessor, the Travelstar 5K160 hard drive. According to the PCMark05 Benchmark, the Travelstar 5K250 hard drive offers 10 to 25 percent faster application performance than competing 5400 RPM drives.

"Today’s notebook PC users are sophisticated and expect high returns on investment. The Travelstar 5K250 with ultra-high capacity of a quarter-terabyte enables our notebook users to create or access multimedia files with speed, assuring enhanced efficiency,” said Campbell Kan, Vice President of Mobile Computing Business Unit, Acer Inc. “Acer is partnering with top-tier suppliers that help Acer accomplish its goal of designing empowering technologies that improve people’s lives at work or at leisure.

1.8" drives reach 100 Gb

Small enough for you?
Hitachi was the first to conquer the terabyte mark for the 3.5" form factor (yes, you can finally buy one of those), while Seagate's Momentus line houses the biggest of the 2.5" drives. Who has been first in the ultra-mobile segment? None of the mentioned above, nor Samsung nor even Maxtor, but Toshiba.

Before you go out and buy a 3000$ notebook, be aware that capacity is not everything and that, due to space constraints and a desire to limit power requirements, it will lose every benchmark compared to bigger drives. The MK1011GAH in particular, with a 4200 RPM speed and 8 Mb of cache, will not make it to a 30 Mb/s tranfer rate. More details can be found at Tom's Hardware, for expamle: it still uses the UltraATA/100 interface (less energy), has two platters and weights only 59 grams.

But if you are happy with such a slow drive, it may be a good choice. 3.5" drives require 20W on average, 2.5" ones need only 5W and this one beats them hands down: 1.8 watts. And is actually not so slow compared to older drives in this segment; after all, it uses perpendicular recording technology, which helps making faster and larger hard drives.

In the end, if you can wait, I would hope for the second generation solid-state/flash hard drives to focus on the 1.8" form factor instead of the 2.5" one.


Mass Storage Evolving

If you know anything about your computer you're familiar with the fact that the design of hard disk drives are the true dinasours of personal computer systems. Oh sure there has been some evolution of the hard drive over the years, but nothing really significant. Even the Western Digital 10,000 RPM wonder, appropriately named the Raptor, and currently the top dinasour, can create a significant bottle-neck when it comes to your computers' ability to process data. After all, your CPU,GPU and RAM, no matter how fast they are, can only process the data that is feed to them as quickly as it's feed to them. The hard drive, simply due to it's design, is limited to how much data it can cough up. However data storage as we now know it is about to become extinct!

One of the products of this evolution is hybrid magnetic drives. These drive use solid-state flash memory for faster speeds. Two of the key advantages of this type of drive is the magnetic drives do not spin as often and the flash memory data is moved even faster then the magnetic platters alone. Samsung has already released the MH80 series and Segate and Hitachi plan to release there own versions of the hybrid magnetci drive later on this year.

Solid State Flash Drives 



DVD Security Group Says It Has Fixed AACS Flaws

The IBT website talks about a fix to the security breech of the HD DVD and Blu-ray media formats. "Makers of software for playing the discs on computers will offer patches containing new keys and closing the hole that allowed observant hackers to discover ways to strip high-def DVDs of their protection. On Monday, the group that developed the Advanced Access Content System said it had worked with device makers to deactivate those keys and refresh them with a new set."

Full Story


Terabyte Deskstar, where are you?

Hitachi Deskstar
Deskstar 7K100
Earlier this year, Hitachi announced availability of their Deskstar 7K1000 for the first quarter of 2007. Did they mean "worldwide"? Well, we've already said "goodbye" to March, and you still can't find one in Europe.

The Anandtech article shows it's fast, quiet and runs cool. If we believe the suggested street price of 40 cents per Giga, it's not even expensive (or it won't be, once it stops being invisible).

Paper launches have been usual in the GPU arena, but I think this is a first for the storage market. I guess they could always find two retail custumers who supposedly bought one unit before the 31st (let's assume they get along and share it), but that's not the question. What we're asking here today is simple: Terabyte, where are you?


A-Data RB19 USB Flash Drives For Sporty Lifestyles

A-DATA USB2.0 Flash Drive

If you love sports and the great outdoors, A-DATA have the perfect flash drive for rugged lifestyles. The A-DATA RB19 USB flash drive has been designed to withstand water, dust and shock to keep your data safe under extreme conditions. The small USB 2.0 flash drive has all the normal features you'd expect to find including LED indication and hot plug and play. It's also got a few more tricks up it's sleeve and takes advantage of Windows Vista Readyboost to offer outstanding read / write speeds.

The design is certainly eye catching and will no doubt be lapped up by adventurous people and street smart geeks. Available in 1GB to 8GB capacities with choice of colours.

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