Tag Archives: Storage

2021 Kingston Limited Edition Mini Cow USB Drive!

2021 Kingston Limited Edition Mini Cow USB Drive!

To celebrate 2021, Kingston just launched the Limited Edition Mini Cow USB flash drive! Take a look at this cutesy USB drive!

 

2021 Kingston Limited Edition Mini Cow USB Drive!

The 2021 Kingston Limited Edition Mini Cow USB drive is one of the 12 collectible designs from their New Year USB Flash Drive – Mini Collection.

For over a decade now, Kingston has introduce a specially-designed USB drive, inspired by the animals of the Chinese zodiac.

This year’s flash drive features an adorable cow figurine that’s encased in a unique milk bottle package. Definitely something unique!

The Mini Cow USB drive itself features a cute, ovular-shaped design that “embodies joy, fullness and prosperity”. It even comes with a keychain ring that turns it into a personal lucky charm!

This particular bovine lucky charm has a storage capacity of 64 GB, and USB 3.2 Gen 1 performance. That’s basically good old USB 3.0 – with a maximum speed of 5 Gbps.

 

2021 Kingston Limited Edition Mini Cow : Key Specifications

Here are its key specifications :

  • Storage Capacity : 64 GB
  • Speed : USB 3.0 (USB 3.2 Gen 1)
  • Dimensions : 43.16 x 28.96 x 27.31 mm
  • Warranty : 5-year warranty with free technical support
  • Compatibility : Windows 7 (SP1) onwards, macOS 10.10.x onwards, Linux 2.6.x onwards, Chrome OS

 

2021 Kingston Limited Edition Mini Cow : Price + Availability

The 2021 Kingston Limited Edition Mini Cow USB drive is available starting 21 January 2021, with a recommended retail price of RM 89, which is about US$22 / £16 / A$28 / S$29.

Here are some online purchase options :

 

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Dell EMC PowerStore 9000 | 5000 | 1000 : A Quick Primer!

Dell EMC just launched PowerStore – their new storage appliance, built around a unified data-centric architecture.

Here is a quick primer on the Dell EMC PowerStore 9000, PowerStore 5000 and PowerStore 1000 storage appliances!

 

Dell EMC PowerStore : What Is It?

Dell EMC PowerStore is a new mid-range storage appliance, with a flexible, container-based architecture, and end-to-end NVMe design.

It promises to offer 7X better performance with 3X lower latency than previous mid-range storage appliances, as well as the ability to scale up to 2.8 petabytes per appliance, and up to 11.3 petabytes per cluster.

 

Dell EMC PowerStore : Advantages

Dell EMC promises that PowerStore will offer these advantages to organisations looking to transform their data center operations :

Designed For Any Workload

Dell EMC PowerStore will support any workload, whether traditional or modern workloads.

Its PowerStoreOS container-based software architecture offers portability, standardisation, as well as rapid deployment.

It also supports AppsON, which allows organisations to run applications directly on the appliance.

High Performance, Massive Storage

Thanks to its end-to-end NVMe design, and support for dual-ported Intel Optane Storage Class Memory (SCM) SSDs, it is seven times faster with three times lower latency than its predecessor, Unity XT.

Each appliance can offer up to 898 TB of storage, which can be scaled up using expansion enclosures to 2.8 petabytes. It can also be scaled out to eight nodes, offering 11.3 petabytes of storage in the cluster.

It also automatically dedupes and compresses the data, offering a guaranteed 4:1 data reduction.

Autonomous Appliance

When scaled out, Dell EMC PowerStore are loosely coupled, allowing a machine learning engine to intelligently place data to rebalance storage volumes.

The machine learning engine is continuously and autonomously monitoring resources of each appliances and data requests, for maximum efficiency.

Cloud-Ready

Dell EMC Cloud Storage Services can directly connect PowerStore to all major public clouds. It can be deployed as a storage option within Dell EMC PowerOne autonomous infrastructure.

 

Dell EMC PowerStore : Models + Specifications

At launch, Dell EMC is offering three PowerStore appliances, with these specifications :

Specifications
Per Appliance
PowerStore
1000
PowerStore
5000
PowerStore
9000
Base Enclosure 2U, 2-node enclosure with twenty-five 2.5-inch NVMe drive slots
Expansion Enclosure 2U enclosure attached to PowerStore base enclosure
with twenty-five 2.5-inch SAS drive slots
Maximum 3 per appliance
Power Supplies 2 dedundant power suppliers per enclosure
Max Drives 96 96 96
NVRAM 2 4 4
RAID Options RAID 5 (4+1 or 8+1)
CPUs 4 x Intel CPUs
32 cores (1.8 GHz)
4 x Intel CPUs
64 cores (2.1 GHz)
4 x Intel CPUs
112 cores (2.1 GHz)
System Memory + Cache 384 GB 1,152 GB 2,560 GB
Mezzanine Cards 2 2 2
IO Modules 4 4 4
Embedded SAS IO Ports 4 x 4 lane 12Gb/s SAS ports for back-end connection
Front End Ports 24 24 24
16/32Gb FC End Ports 16 16 16
10 Gbase-T / iSCSI Ports 24 24 24
10/25 GbE / iSCSI Ports 24 24 24
Max Raw Capacity 898.56 TB 898.56 TB 898.56 TB
Power Consumption 1597 W max 1758 W max 2047 W max
Heat Dissipation 5,449 Btu/hr 5,995 Btu/hr 6,985 Btu/hr

 

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Hard Disk Pre-Delay from The Tech ARP BIOS Guide!

Hard Disk Pre-Delay

Common Options : Disabled, 3 Seconds, 6 Seconds, 9 Seconds, 12 Seconds, 15 Seconds, 21 Seconds, 30 Seconds

 

Hard Disk Pre-Delay : A Quick Review

The Hard Disk Pre-Delay BIOS feature allows you to force the BIOS to delay the initialisation of your hard disk drives for up to 30 seconds. The delay allows your IDE devices more time to spin up before the BIOS initializes them.

If you do not use old IDE drives and the BIOS has no problem initializing your IDE devices, it is recommended that you disable this BIOS feature for the shortest possible booting time. Most IDE devices will have no problem spinning up in time for initialisation.

But if one or more of your IDE devices fail to initialize during the boot up process, start with a delay of 3 Seconds. If that doesn’t help, gradually increase the delay until all your IDE devices initialize properly during the boot up process.

 

Hard Disk Pre-Delay : The Full Details

Regardless of its shortcomings, the IDE standard is remarkably backward-compatible. Every upgrade of the standard was designed to be fully compatible with older IDE devices. So, you can actually use the old 40 MB hard disk drive that came with your ancient 386 system in your much newer Athlon XP system!

However, even backward compatibility cannot account for the slower motors used in the older IDE drives. Crucially, motherboards are capable of booting up much faster these days, initialising IDE devices much earlier.

Unfortunately, this also means that some older IDE drives will not be able to spin up in time to be initialized! When this happens, the BIOS will not be able to detect that IDE drive and the drive will not be accessible even though it is actually running just fine.

This is where the Hard Disk Pre-Delay BIOS feature comes in. It allows you to force the BIOS to delay the initialisation of your hard disk drives for up to 30 seconds. The delay allows your IDE devices more time to spin up before the BIOS initializes them.

If you do not use old IDE drives and the BIOS has no problem initializing your IDE devices, it is recommended that you disable this BIOS feature for the shortest possible booting time. Most IDE devices will have no problem spinning up in time for initialization.

But if one or more of your IDE devices fail to initialize during the boot up process, start with a delay of 3 Seconds. If that doesn’t help, gradually increase the delay until all your IDE devices initialize properly during the boot up process.

 

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How To Fix NAS Connection Failure In macOS Catalina!

One of the issues you may face after upgrading to macOS Catalina is a sudden failure to connect to your NAS. And no matter what you do – you just can’t access your NAS!

Fortunately, we have the solution for this problem. Here is our guide on how you can fix the NAS connection failure in macOS Catalina!

 

The macOS Catalina NAS Connection Issue

After upgrading to macOS Catalina, you may experience a sudden and persistent inability to connect to your NAS.

When you try to access your NAS, it will say Connection Failed. And nothing happens when you click the Connect As… button – you don’t get the usual security pop-up to log into your NAS.

This is beyond annoying, because you have now lost all access to your NAS on macOS Catalina.

It is definitely a macOS Catalina issue because if you try using a Windows PC or an old macOS system, you will have no issue accessing the same NAS.

So what should you do?

 

The Cause Of The macOS Catalina NAS Connection Failure

From what we can tell, this issue is happening because Apple apparently dropped support for SMB1 and SMB 2.0 in macOS Catalina.

With many NAS defaulting to SMB1 for compatibility reasons, users will immediately lose the ability to connect once they upgrade to macOS Catalina.

 

How To Fix The macOS Catalina NAS Connection Failure

The key is to set your NAS to use SMB 3.0 or later. This should not be a problem if your NAS is less than 5-6 years old, because SMB 3.0 was introduced in 2012.

In our guide, we are going to use the screenshots from our Synology NAS. But it should be similar in concept to NAS from other brands like QNAP and WD :

  1. Log into your NAS
  2. Go to Control Panel > File Services.
  3. Under the SMB section, click on Advanced Settings.

  1. In the Advanced Settings pop-up, you will find that the Maximum SMB protocol is probably set to SMB1.
  2. You need to set the Maximum SMB protocol to SMB3.

  1. Now, this is not necessary, but while you are here, you might as well just set the Minimum SMB protocol to SMB2 and Large MTU.
  2. Then click Apply at the bottom of the Advanced Settings pop-up to save the settings.

  1. If it works, you should be able to connect to your NAS after you log out of your NAS. However, in many cases, you need to take an additional step by manually connecting to your NAS.
  2. To do that, you need to select Go > Connect to Server… in Finder.
  3. Then key in smb://ServerName/ (in our example, smb://DiskStation/) and click Connect.
  1. This should finally launch the security login pop-up, where you can key in your Name and Password to log into your NAS.

After logging into your NAS, you should have no issue accessing your NAS. You can also drag and add your NAS folders to the Favourites list in Finder.

 

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Dell PowerMax Updates : Storage Class Memory + NVMe-oF!

Dell Technologies just announced a slew of major updates to Dell EMC PowerMax, including Storage Class Memory (SCM) and NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF)!

Find out what Dell EMC has just announced for their PowerMax data storage family!

 

Industry First : Dell PowerMax With Storage Class Memory + NVMe over Fabrics!

Dell EMC PowerMax is the first-to-market with Storage Class Memory (SCM) as persistent storage. Specifically, they are offering the new dual-port Intel Optane SSDs that they co-developed with Intel.

Dell Technologies also announced that NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF) is now available for all PowerMax arrays, delivering true end-to-end NVMe for better performance and lower latency.

The new end-to-end NVMe on PowerMax capability is made possible by :

  • newly-qualified PowerMax 32Gb FC I/O modules,
  • 32Gb Connectrix switches, directors and NVMe host adaptors
  • Dell EMC PowerPath multipathing software

Dell EMC PowerPath is the first enterprise-class SAN multipathing software with full support for NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF).

According to Dell Technologies, this combination of Dell EMC PowerMax and Storage Class Memory will deliver these performance improvements :

  • Up to 15 million IOPS
  • Up to 350 GB/s bandwidth
  • Up to 50% better response time
  • Sub 100 µs (microseconds) read response time

In addition, PowerMax has a built-in machine learning engine that leverages predictive analytics and pattern recognition to automatically place data on the correct media type – SCM or Flash, based on its IO profile.

 

Dell PowerMax Now Supports Automation, Management + Containerised Workloads

Dell EMC PowerMax now allows for automated infrastructure operations and DevOps workflows, including containerised workloads, through these new features :

  • VMware vRealise Orchestrator (vRO) plug-in, available in the VMware Solutions Exchange, allows customers to develop end-to-end automation routines including provisioning, data protection and host operations.
  • Pre-built Ansible modules, available on Github, allow customers to create Playbooks for storage provisioning, snapshots and data management workflows for automated operations.
  • New Container Storage Interface (CSI) plug-in for PowerMax, available on Github, allows customers to provision and manage storage for containerised workloads running on Kubernetes.

 

Dell PowerMax Now Offers Cloud Flexibility

Customers can now incorporate Dell EMC PowerMax into their multi-cloud strategies in a variety of ways.

The newly-released Dell Technologies Cloud Validated Design for Dell EMC PowerMax lets organisations build their own hybrid cloud infrastructure with deployment flexibility for unique workloads, independent capacity scaling and integrated data protection.

Both PowerMax and Unity XT are the first to be validated by VMware Cloud Foundation with Fibre Channel as primary storage, in addition to existing support through Network File System (NFS) protocol.

Dell EMC Cloud Storage Services delivers Dell EMC Storage as a public cloud service for Disaster Recovery across AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure.

 

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V-Link Data 2X Support From The Tech ARP BIOS Guide!

V-Link Data 2X Support

Common Options : Enabled, Disabled

 

V-Link Data 2X Support : A Quick Review

In VIA chipsets, the IDE / SATA controller (known as the VIA DriveStation) is linked to the south bridge chip using a dedicated V-Link bus that offers twice as much bandwidth as the PCI bus.

However, there are occasions where it may cause data corruption as well as boot failures with some storage disk drives. This is where V-Link Data 2X Support comes in.

The V-Link Data 2X Support BIOS feature controls the operation of the V-Link bus between the VIA DriveStation and the south bridge chip.

It is slaved to the Serial ATA Controller BIOS feature. If the Serial ATA Controller BIOS feature is disabled, this BIOS feature will be grayed out.

When enabled, the V-Link bus connecting the VIA DriveStation to the south bridge chip will run at full speed, delivering 266 MB/s of bandwidth.

When disabled, the V-Link bus connecting the VIA DriveStation to the south bridge chip will run at half speed, delivering 133 MB/s of bandwidth.

It is recommended that you enable this BIOS feature for maximum performance from storage devices attached to the VIA DriveStation. However, if you experience data corruption or boot problems, disable this BIOS feature.

 

V-Link Data 2X Support : The Full Details

In VIA chipsets, the IDE / SATA controller (known as the VIA DriveStation) no longer runs off the PCI bus. To ensure maximum performance, it is linked to the south bridge chip using a dedicated 8-bit, quad-pumped V-Link bus running at 66 MHz.

This V-Link bus offers twice as much bandwidth as the PCI bus, allowing data transfers of up to 266 MB/s.

In addition, the IDE/SATA controller does not need share this bandwidth with any other device, as it would have to, if it was on the PCI bus.

However, all is not peachy with the use of the faster V-Link bus.

There are occasions where it may cause data corruption as well as boot failures with some storage drives.

This issue only affects storage drives connected to the VIA DriveStation. It does not affect drives connected to third-party IDE/SATA controllers because they use the PCI bus.

This is where V-Link Data 2X Support comes in. It controls the operation of the V-Link bus between the VIA DriveStation and the south bridge chip.

It is slaved to the Serial ATA Controller BIOS feature. If the Serial ATA Controller BIOS feature is disabled, this BIOS feature will be grayed out.

When enabled, the V-Link bus connecting the VIA DriveStation to the south bridge chip will run at full speed, delivering 266 MB/s of bandwidth.

When disabled, the V-Link bus connecting the VIA DriveStation to the south bridge chip will run at half speed, delivering 133 MB/s of bandwidth.

It is recommended that you enable this BIOS feature for maximum performance from storage devices attached to the VIA DriveStation. However, if you experience data corruption or boot problems, disable this BIOS feature.

 

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Kingston DC500 SSDs Are Now Certified VMware Ready!

Kingston Technology just announced that their DC500 enterprise-grade SSDs are now certified VMware Ready. Find out what this means!

 

Kingston DC500 SSDs Are Now Certified VMware Ready!

After the VMware Ready validation process, the Kingston DC500 family of enterprise SSDs are now certified for VMware vSAN and vSphere in production environments.

The Kingston DC500 family of enterprise SSDs had earlier been validated by NAS providers like QNAP and Synology, but this is their first enterprise-class validation.

This gives their enterprise clients assurance that the Kingston DC500 SSDs can be deployed in production environments without worry.

The Kingston DC500 drives have been tuned using comprehensive QoS test scripts developed in-house that measure IO and latency patterns at varying block sizes and queue depths. This allows them to deliver low latency out to six 9s (99.9999 percent) of consistency while delivering high throughput and predictable IO.

The VMware Ready program is a co-branding benefit of the VMware Technology Alliance Partner (TAP) program that makes it easy for customers to identify partner products certified to work with VMware cloud infrastructure.

 

The Kingston DC500 SSD Family

The Kingston DC500 SSD family consists of two models – DC500R and DC500M that are tuned for different use cases :

Kingston DC500R : Read-Centric SSD

The Kingston DC500R is highly optimised for read-centric workloads, delivering high I/O speeds and response times at lower price points than write-intensive SSDs.

Kingston DC500M : Mixed-Use SSD

The Kingston DC500M, on the other hand, is tuned for mixed-use workloads which demand a mix of read and write operations. It offers greater write endurance with strict performance consistency for datacenters.

Kingston DC500 Common Features

Both Kingston DC500R and DC500M SSDs incorporate end-to-end data path protection, which guarantee that all data will be written to the SSD and is protected against transient errors.

They also include on-board Power-Loss Protection (PLP) using tantalum capacitors. This ensures that data-in-flight is written to the flash memory in the event of unexpected power loss. The PLP also ensures that the drives’ mapping table (FTL) is updated before the drive powers down.

These safeguards reduce the risk of data loss, and ensure that the drive will initialise properly when the server powers up again.

 

Kingston DC500 SSD Family Specifications

For your convenience, we compare both DC500R and DC500M models in this table :

Specifications Kingston DC500R Kingston DC500M
Form Factor 2.5-inch
Interface SATA 3.0 (6 Gbps)
Storage Capacities 480 GB / 960 GB / 1.92 TB / 3.84 TB
NAND Flash Type 3D TLC NAND
Built-In Encryption 256-bit AES Encryption
Power Loss Protection Tantalum capacitors
QoS Read Latency < 500 µs
QoS Write Latency < 2 ms
Sequential Read Speed 480 GB : 555 MB/s
960 GB : 555 MB/s
1.92 TB : 555 MB/s
3.84 TB : 555 MB/s
480 GB : 555 MB/s
960 GB : 555 MB/s
1.92 TB : 555 MB/s
3.84 TB : 555 MB/s
Sequential Write Speed 480 GB : 500 MB/s
960 GB : 525 MB/s
1.92 TB : 525 MB/s
3.84 TB : 520 MB/s
480 GB : 520 MB/s
960 GB : 520 MB/s
1.92 TB : 520 MB/s
3.84 TB : 520 MB/s
Steady-State Random Read 480 GB : 98,000 IOPS
960 GB : 98,000 IOPS
1.92 TB : 98,000 IOPS
3.84 TB : 98,000 IOPS
480 GB : 98,000 IOPS
960 GB : 98,000 IOPS
1.92 TB : 98,000 IOPS
3.84 TB : 98,000 IOPS
Steady-State Random Write 480 GB : 12,000 IOPS
960 GB : 20,000 IOPS
1.92 TB : 24,000 IOPS
3.84 TB : 28,000 IOPS
480 GB : 58,000 IOPS
960 GB : 70,000 IOPS
1.92 TB : 75,000 IOPS
3.84 TB : 75,000 IOPS
Endurance 480 GB : 438 TBW
960 GB : 876 TBW
1.92 TB : 1752 TBW
3.84 TB : 3504 TBW
480 GB : 1139 TBW
960 GB : 2278 TBW
1.92 TB : 4555 TBW
3.84 TB : 9110 TBW
Power Consumption Idle : 1.56 W
Average : 1.6 W
Max. Read : 1.8 W
Max. Write : 4.86 W
Vibration (Non-Operating) 20 G peak (10-2000 Hz)
Vibration (Operating) 2.17 G peak (7-800 Hz)
Storage Temperature -40°C ~ 85°C
Operating Temperature 0°C ~ 70°C
Dimensions 69.9 mm x 100 mm x 7 mm
Weight 92.34 g
Warranty 5 Years

 

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IDE Bus Master Support from The Tech ARP BIOS Guide!

IDE Bus Master Support

Common Options : Enabled, Disabled

 

Quick Review of IDE Bus Master Support

The IDE Bus Master Support BIOS feature is a misnomer since it doesn’t actually control the bus mastering ability of the onboard IDE controller.

It is actually a toggle for the built-in driver that allows the onboard IDE controller to perform DMA (Direct Memory Access) transfers.

When this BIOS feature is enabled, the BIOS loads up the 16-bit busmastering driver for the onboard IDE controller. This allows the IDE controller to transfer data via DMA, resulting in greatly improved transfer rates and lower CPU utilization in real mode DOS and during the loading of other operating systems.

When this BIOS feature is disabled, the BIOS will not load up the 16-bit busmastering driver for the onboard IDE controller. The IDE controller will then transfer data via PIO.

Therefore, it is recommended that you enable IDE Bus Master Support. This greatly improves the IDE transfer rate and reduces the CPU utilization during the booting process or when you are using real mode DOS. Users of DOS-based disk utilities like Norton Ghost can expect to benefit a lot from this feature.

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Details of IDE Bus Master Support

The IDE Bus Master Support BIOS feature is a misnomer since it doesn’t actually control the bus mastering ability of the onboard IDE controller.

It is actually a toggle for the built-in driver that allows the onboard IDE controller to perform DMA (Direct Memory Access) transfers.

DMA transfer modes allow IDE devices to transfer large amounts of data from the hard disk to the system memory and vice versa with minimal processor intervention.

It differs from the older and processor-intensive PIO transfer modes by offloading the task of data transfer from the processor to the chipset.

Previously, this feature is only available after an operating system that supports DMA transfers (via the appropriate device driver) is loaded up.

But now, many BIOS come with a built-in 16-bit driver that allows DMA transfers. This allows the onboard IDE controller to perform DMA transfers even before the operating system is loaded up!

When this BIOS feature is enabled, the BIOS loads up the 16-bit busmastering driver for the onboard IDE controller. This allows the IDE controller to transfer data via DMA, resulting in greatly improved transfer rates and lower CPU utilization in real mode DOS and during the loading of other operating systems.

When this BIOS feature is disabled, the BIOS will not load up the 16-bit busmastering driver for the onboard IDE controller. The IDE controller will then transfer data via PIO.

Therefore, it is recommended that you enable IDE Bus Master Support. This greatly improves the IDE transfer rate and reduces the CPU utilization during the booting process or when you are using real mode DOS. Users of DOS-based disk utilities like Norton Ghost can expect to benefit a lot from this feature.

Please note that since current operating systems (i.e. Windows XP) load up their own 32-bit busmastering driver, this feature has no effect once such an operating system loads up. Still, it is recommended that you enable this feature to improve performance prior to the loading of the operating system’s own driver.

 

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HUAWEI Outsmarts SD + microSD Ban With NM Card! 2.0

HUAWEI has just been removed as a member of the SD Association, because of the Trump ban. But they got an ace up their sleeves this time – their NM Card format!

Find out how the HUAWEI NM Card format lets them bypass the SD and microSD ban, and what else HUAWEI can do moving forward!

Updated @ 2019-05-31 : The SD Association quietly restored HUAWEI as a member. Seriously.

Originally posted @ 2019-05-25

 

What SD + microSD Ban?

The HUAWEI Trump ban keeps expanding its reach. Even the international SD Association has been forced to remove HUAWEI as a member.

This prevents HUAWEI and HONOR from making and selling any products that use the SD standards. Effectively, all future HUAWEI and HONOR smartphones can no longer be manufactured with microSD support.

 

What About Current Smartphones?

Don’t worry! Your HUAWEI and HONOR smartphones will continue to work normally with microSD cards.

These actions by the US Department of Commerce and the SD Association only apply to HUAWEI and HONOR smartphones that have not been released by 15 May 2019 onwards.

Recommended Reading : The HUAWEI Trump Ban – Everything You Need To Know!

 

NM Card To The Rescue!

HUAWEI now seem absolutely prescient when they released their own NM Card format together with the HUAWEI Mate20 smartphones last year.

The NM Card, or the HUAWEI Nano Memory Card in full, is 45% smaller than the microSD card. Precisely designed to mimic the shape and size of a nano SIM card, it allows for a more compact hybrid SIM tray design.

But more importantly, in the context of the Trump ban, the NM Card is a HUAWEI standard, and not a SD Association standard.

 

What Are Their Options?

Option A : Switch To NM Card

Thanks to their foresight in creating the NM Card standard, HUAWEI can easily replace microSD card slots with NM Card slots in their future smartphones.

Now, to be certain, the NM Card is neither cheap nor ubiquitous. The only company making and selling them is HUAWEI.

Hence, they have so far been introduced only in their flagship smartphones, like the HUAWEI Mate20, HUAWEI Mate20 ProHUAWEI Mate20 X, HUAWEI P30 and HUAWEI P30 Pro smartphones.

We expect HUAWEI to continue this trend, perhaps introducing NM Card into their higher mid-range devices; while simultaneously cutting prices on NM Cards.

Option B : Skip microSD Card

Switching to NM Card will not work well for their mid-range and entry-level smartphones, because the greatest appeal of microSD cards is their low cost and ubiquity.

If the Trump ban does not get resolved soon, the best option would be to skip the microSD card slot entirely and just increase the internal storage of their mid-range and entry-level smartphones.

We have already seen this trend with some Android smartphones like the OPPO R17 Pro, the Xiaomi Mi A2, and the HONOR 10. Apple iPhones never had the option in the first place, and they are still selling well!

Recommended : HUAWEI Legal Motion Too Late, But China Has A Trump Card!

 

Why Did The SD Association Remove HUAWEI?

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The problem isn’t really the SD Association per se. It is the fact that the SD licence is owned and enforced by a US company, SD-3C LLC.

When the Trump Administration added HUAWEI to the Entity List, SD-3C LLC is forced to stop their licensing arrangements with HUAWEI.

Because Micron is a part owner of SD-3C LLC, technology of US origin is also involved – the same issue that forced ARM to sever business ties with HUAWEI.

Recommended Reading : The HUAWEI ARM Business Suspension – How Bad Is This?

 

And HUAWEI Is Back In Again

Almost as quickly and quietly as the SD Association removed HUAWEI as a member, they restored HUAWEI’s membership around 29 May 2019.

There was no official explanation for both removing HUAWEI or restoring them, all in a matter of days.

 

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The 2019 Dell EMC Unity XT + PowerProtect Primer!

One of big stories out of Dell Technologies World 2019 was about new Dell storage and data management solutions, like Unity XT and PowerProtect.

Here is our primer on the new Dell EMC Unity XT unified storage solutions, the Dell EMC PowerProtect data management platform, as well as updates on Isilon and more!

 

The 2019 Dell Storage + Data Management Solutions Revealed!

In the following 30-minute long video, we have top guns from Dell EMC to showcase the 2019 Dell storage and data management solutions :

  • Jeff Clarke (Vice Chairman, Dell Technologies),
  • John Roese (Dell Technologies President & Dell EMC Chief Technology Officer),
  • Craig Bernero (Senior Vice President, Dell EMC Midrange & Entry Storage),
  • Beth Phalen (President & General Manager of Dell EMC Data Protection), and
  • Chad Dunn (Vice President of Product Management, Dell EMC Hyperconverged Infrastructure)

 

The 2019 Dell EMC Unity XT

The next-generation Dell EMC Unity XT midrange storage system is up to 2X faster than its predecessor, and 67% faster than its nearest competitor.

Optimised for greater data efficiency with up to 5:1 data reduction and 85% system efficiency, the Unity XT is built for a multi-cloud world.

The new Unity XT can run in a public cloud, seamlessly move data to the cloud, and is available as a service through the new Dell EMC Cloud Storage Services. It can also be used as a building block for Dell Technologies Cloud, as part of a validated design.

Unity XT storage arrays use an active-active architecture, and is NVMe-ready. They are designed to simultaneously run applications, process file and block inline data reduction, while delivering operational data services.

 

Dell EMC Isilon Update

Dell EMC also announced a new Isilon release with greatly improved scalability, as well as enhanced cloud integration and security.

The new Isilon OneFS 8.2 provides up to 75% greater cluster scalabilityup to 252 nodes, 58 PB of storage, and 945 GB/s of aggregate throughput per cluster!

 

Dell EMC Cloud Storage Services

To support enterprises looking to extend their on-premise infrastructure to public cloud, Dell Technologies is introducing the Dell EMC Cloud Storage Services.

The new Cloud Storage Services uses Dell EMC storage directly connected to the public cloud through a managed service provider, to give customers multi-cloud agility.

Furthermore, VMware customers can also leverage the automated disaster-recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) in VMware Cloud on AWS.

 

Dell EMC PowerProtect

Dell EMC also introduced their PowerProtect Software platform, and the Dell EMC PowerProtect X400 multi-dimensional appliance.

The Dell EMC PowerProtect Software platform delivers data protection, replication and reuse, as well as SaaS-based management and self-service capabilities. The data owner now has the autonomy to control backup and recovery operations.

VMware customers will benefit from a simple data management solution for their vSphere environments, with automated policy-based backup and recovery, as well as integration with vRealize Automation.

Available as a hybrid, or all-flash data management appliance, the Dell EMC PowerProtect X400 can scale-up with grow-in-place capacity expansion, and scale-out compute power and capacity.

It is also the first Dell EMC data management solution to leverage machine learning for intelligent load balancing.

 

Dell EMC Integrated Data Protection Appliance

For small- and medium-sized businesses looking for improved data protection in an integrated appliance, Dell EMC is offering the Dell EMC DP4400 Integrated Data Protection Appliance with 8 to 24 TB of storage.

The lower storage capacity version of IDPA DP4400 makes it ideal for smaller organisations. yet, it has the ability to grow-in-place up to 96 TB, with the purchase of licence keys and an upgrade kit.

 

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Intel Optane Memory H10 With QLC 3D NAND Revealed!

Intel just revealed Optane Memory H10, which combines Optane Memory with QLC 3D NAND storage! Here is a quick primer on the new H10 storage solution!

 

Intel Optane Memory H10 With QLC 3D NAND Storage!

Intel Optane Memory H10 combines Optane Memory with QLC 3D NAND storage on a single M.2 module to produce better responsiveness and storage capacity.

This tight integration allows both Optane Memory and a solid state drive to be added into thin and light notebooks, as well as space-constrained desktop form factors such as All-in-One PCs and mini PCs.

This eliminates the need for a secondary storage device, while offering a higher level of performance, compared to traditional Triple Level Cell (TLC) 3D NAND SSDs.

 

Intel Optane Memory H10 Benefits

The Intel Optane Memory H10 allows space-constrained designs to benefit from the performance boost from Optane Memory while enjoying a large, affordable storage capacity courtesy of Intel QLC 3D NAND.

When compared to a standalone TLC 3D NAND SSD system, Intel claims the H10 will offer these benefits :

  • Documents will launch 2X faster while multitasking
  • Games will launch 60% faster while multitasking
  • Media files will open up to 90% faster while multitasking

 

Intel Optane Memory H10 Models

Intel will offer these H10 configurations :

  • 16 GB Optane Memory + 256 GB QLC 3D NAND storage
  • 32 GB Optane Memory + 512 GB QLC 3D NAND storage
  • 32 GB Optane Memory + 1 TB GB QLC 3D NAND storage

The first systems will be available through OEMs such as Dell, HP, ASUS, Acer and others.

The H10 will also be available on mobile platforms, starting with the 8th Generation Intel Core U-Series, which will debut in the later part of Q2 2019.

 

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The 2019 Acer Altos Product Showcase + Demonstration!

In addition to their consumer gaming products, Acer also has an Altos subsidiary that offers enterprise-grade cloud computing and network storage solutions. Here is the 2019 Acer Altos product showcase and demonstration!

 

The 2019 Acer Altos Product Showcase + Demonstration

Altos Computing Inc President, Jackie Lee, flew in from Taipei to introduce the 2019 Acer Altos product line-up for business and enterprise users.

Acer Altos QSAN XN3004T Tower 4+1 Bay NAS

The Acer Altos QSAN XN3004T NAS (Network-Attached Storage) runs on the QSM 3 operating system, and comes with a USB One Touch Copy Button, which allows the automatic back-up of USB flash drives and external hard disk drives to pre-set folders.

It has an auto-tiering architecture, that will progressively optimise the data to allow users to retrieve their data quicker. Its real-time remote replication and cloud backup also allows for additional backup of important assets.

Thanks to its hybrid (N+1) storage system, the XN3004T NAS allows you to add a SSD for better data access performance from its four 3.5-inch hard disk drives. It also boasts a screw-less tray design, which allows you to install, upgrade, or replace existing HDDs without tools.

Given the importance of data security, Acer Altos QSAN XN3004T NAS has built-in anti-virus protection. In addition, its self-encrypting drive (SED) technology protects the data from Day 1, and secures it even if the physical drives are stolen or misplaced.

Acer Altos P Series Workstations

The Acer Altos P30 F6 workstation comes with the latest 8th Generation Intel Core processor and NVIDIA Quadro graphics card to deliver the performance and reliability expected by creative professionals, engineers, scientists and financial analysts. It also supports up to 64 GB of RAM and 32 TB of storage.

Acer also offers the Altos P330 F4, which is equipped with the powerful and reliable server-grade Intel Xeon Processor Skylake-W Family and NVIDIA Quadro professional graphics cards. It supports up to 512 GB of RAM, and comes with a 900W power supply as well as a dual-fan option for increased airflow.

Acer AltosCloud VDI Solution

Acer also showcased the AltosCloud VDI (Virtual desktop infrastructure) solution, which allows users to easily set up their own virtual desktop computing system. It is ideal for organisations such as call centers, hospitals and even the library setups of private schools, colleges and universities.

The AltosCloud VDI allows an organisation to provide a desktop computing experience by simply connecting a keyboard, mouse, monitor and a LAN cable to the Acer Altos TC400 or TC410 thin client terminals.

Organisations can also leverage other computing devices like desktop PCs, laptops, Chromebook and even Android smartphones. The AltosCloud VDI solution is powered by the Acer Altos server range at the backend.

Price + Availability

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The complete range of 2019 Acer Altos products will be available for purchase at Acer official online stores, and select Acer authoriser resellers soon.

Equipped with four 2 TB hard disk drives, the Acer Altos QSAN XN3004T Tower 4+1 Bay NAS, will be priced at RM 4,699 / ~US$ 1,149 / ~£ 862.

The Acer Altos P30 F6 workstation is priced from RM 4,280 / ~US$ 1,046 / ~£ 785 onwards, while the Acer Altos P330 F4 workstation is priced from RM 8,799 / ~US$ 2,149 / ~£ 1,615 onwards.

 

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Multi-Sector Transfers from The Tech ARP BIOS Guide

Multi-Sector Transfers

Common Options : Disabled, 2 Sectors, 4 Sectors, 8 Sectors, 16 Sectors, 32 Sectors, Maximum

 

Quick Review of Multi-Sector Transfers

The Multi-Sector Transfers BIOS feature speeds up hard disk drive access by transferring multiple sectors of data per interrupt instead of using the usual single-sector transfer mode. This mode of transferring data is known as block transfers.

There are a few available options, from Disabled and a few different multiple sectors option to Maximum.

The Disabled option forces your IDE controller to transfer only a single sector (512 bytes) per interrupt. Needless to say, this will significantly degrade performance.

The selection of 2 Sectors to 32 Sectors allows you to manually select the number of sectors that the IDE controller is allowed to transfer per interrupt.

The Maximum option allows your IDE controller to transfer as many sectors per interrupt as the hard disk is able to support.

Since all current hard disk drives support block transfers, there is usually no reason why IDE HDD Block Mode should be disabled.

Therefore, you should disable IDE HDD Block Mode only if you actually face the possibility of data corruption (with an unpatched version of Windows NT 4.0). Otherwise, it is highly recommended that you select the Maximum option for significantly better hard disk performance!

The manual selection of 2 to 32 sectors is useful if you notice data corruption with the Maximum option. It allows you to scale back the multi-sector transfer feature to correct the problem without losing too much performance.

 

Details of Multi-Sector Transfers

The Multi-Sector Transfers BIOS feature speeds up hard disk drive access by transferring multiple sectors of data per interrupt instead of using the usual single-sector transfer mode. This mode of transferring data is known as block transfers.

There are a few available options, from Disabled and a few different multiple sectors option to Maximum.

The Disabled option forces your IDE controller to transfer only a single sector (512 bytes) per interrupt. Needless to say, this will significantly degrade performance.

The selection of 2 Sectors to 32 Sectors allows you to manually select the number of sectors that the IDE controller is allowed to transfer per interrupt.

The Maximum option allows your IDE controller to transfer as many sectors per interrupt as the hard disk is able to support.

Since all current hard disk drives support block transfers, there is usually no reason why IDE HDD Block Mode should be disabled.

However, if you are running on Windows NT 4.0, you might need to disable this BIOS feature because Windows NT 4.0 has a problem with block transfers. According to Chris Bope, Windows NT does not support IDE HDD Block Mode and enabling this feature can cause data to be corrupted.

Ryu Connor confirmed this by sending me a link to a Microsoft article (Enhanced IDE operation under Windows NT 4.0). According to this article, IDE HDD Block Mode and 32-bit Disk Access have been found to cause data corruption in some cases. Therefore, Microsoft recommends that Windows NT 4.0 users disable IDE HDD Block Mode.

Lord Mike asked ‘someone in the know‘ about this matter and he was told that the data corruption issue was taken very seriously at Microsoft and that it had been corrected through the Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 2. Although he could not get an official statement from Microsoft, it is probably safe enough to enable IDE HDD Block Mode on a Windows NT 4.0 system, just as long as it has been upgraded with Service Pack 2.

Therefore, you should disable IDE HDD Block Mode only if you actually face the possibility of data corruption (with an unpatched version of Windows NT 4.0). Otherwise, it is highly recommended that you select the Maximum option for significantly better hard disk performance!

The manual selection of 2 to 32 sectors is useful if you notice data corruption with the Maximum option. It allows you to scale back the multi-sector transfer feature to correct the problem without losing too much performance.

 

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1TB Samsung eUFS Chip For Smartphone Details Revealed!

In the first big flash storage news of 2019, Samsung announced that they have begun mass producing the 1TB Samsung eUFS chip for use in the next-generation mobile devices.

Here are the full details, including its performance specifications!

Updated @ 2019-01-31 : Added additional information, and a new picture.

Originally posted @ 2019-01-30


 

The 1TB Samsung eUFS Chip

The new 1TB Samsung eUFS chip is the world’s first embedded Universal Flash Storage 2.1 (eUFS 2.1) device to break the terabyte threshold. It is powered by their fifth-generation V-NAND memory, and a new proprietary controller.

The 1TB Samsung  eUFS chip offers twice the storage capacity of its predecessor in the same package size (11.5 mm x 13.0 mm), by stacking 16 layers of Samsung’s 512 Gb V-NAND flash memory.

The larger storage capacity is important as 4K videos become more popular, and smartphone cameras increase in resolution. The recently-launched HONOR View20, for example, sports a 48 MP camera whose photos come in at about 15 MB in size!

The 1TB storage capacity will allow you to record approximately 43 hours of 4K videos, or 67,000 photos from a 48 MP camera. Your entire life can literally be stored in this one chip!

Higher Performance

In addition to doubling single-chip storage capacity, the 1TB Samsung eUFS chip is significantly faster. With a read speed of up to 1 GB/s, it is about twice as fast as solid state drives used in high-end laptops!

Samsung also improved its random read and write speeds by 38% and 25% respectively over its 512 GB predecessor. This means it is approximately 500X faster than a typical microSD card!

Memory Sequential
Read Speed
Sequential Write Speed Random
Read Speed
Random
Write Speed
1TB Samsung
eUFS 2.1
(Jan. 2019)
1000 MB/s 260 MB/s 58,000 IOPS 50,000 IOPS
512GB Samsung
eUFS 2.1
(Nov. 2017)
860 MB/s 255 MB/s 42,000 IOPS 40,000 IOPS
Samsung eUFS 2.1
for automotive
(Sept. 2017)
850 MB/s 150 MB/s 45,000 IOPS 32,000 IOPS
256GB Samsung
UFS Card
(July 2016)
530 MB/s 170 MB/s 40,000 IOPS 35,000 IOPS
256GB Samsung
eUFS 2.0
(Feb. 2016)
850 MB/s 260 MB/s 45,000 IOPS 40,000 IOPS
128GB Samsung
eUFS 2.0
(Jan. 2015)
350 MB/s 150 MB/s 19,000 IOPS 14,000 IOPS
eMMC 5.1 250 MB/s 125 MB/s 11,000 IOPS 13,000 IOPS
eMMC 5.0 250 MB/s 90 MB/s 7,000 IOPS 13,000 IOPS
eMMC 4.5 140 MB/s 50 MB/s 7,000 IOPS 2,000 IOPS

Such high performance is important for flagship smartphones, because it allows them to support high-speed photography and video recording at 960 frames per second or faster!

 

1TB Samsung eUFS Availability

Samsung has already begun mass-producing the 1TB Samsung eUFS chip. We should see devices using this new storage chip this year.

In fact, they anticipate strong demand for the chip in 2019, and plan to expand the production of their 5th generation 512 Gb V-NAND memory at their Pyeongtaek plant in the first half of 2019, to meet this demand.

 

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The GIGABYTE AORUS RGB SSD Series Revealed!

At CES 2019, GIGABYTE revealed their latest storage product – the AORUS RGB SSD Series! And they are launching it in not one, but two, form factors – AIC and M.2.

The GIGABYTE AORUS RGB SSD Series Revealed!

AORUS RGB M.2 SSD

The GIGABYTE AORUS RGB M.2 SSD is available in two storage capacities – 256 GB and 512 GB. It delivers sequential read speeds up to 3480 MB/s and sequential write speed up to 2000 MB/s and is built with anodized, aluminium heatsinks.

The AORUS RGB M.2 SSD also features digital LED lighting that synchronises with AORUS motherboard, and a hairline finish on its heatsink.

AORUS RGB AIC SSD

The AORUS RGB AIC SSD offers larger storage capacity sizes of 512 GB and 1 TB, with sequential read speeds up to 3480 MB/s and sequential write speeds up to 3080 MB/s.

It comes with a 5 mm thick dark grey aluminium matte heatsink with a cross-cut design for increased heat dissipation area, as well as a thick LAIRD thermal pad.

The AORUS RGB AIC SSD’s heatsink has also been treated with fine sandblasting on the surface, multi-step anodisation and laser engraving. Even its screw holes were CNC processed for accuracy and aesthetics.

Finally, it boasts frontside RGB lighting with default RGB wave patterns. You can also customise its lighting effects using the new RGB Fusion 2.0 app.

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The Transcend StoreJet 25C3S Ultra Slim Drive Revealed!

Transcend introduces StoreJet 25C3S with an ultra-slim stylus aluminium design

Transcend just introduced the StoreJet 25C3S portable hard disk drive. As part of their StoreJet Luxury series, it features a premium aluminium alloy case with a USB 3.1 Gen1 interface.

Slim and Elegant

The Transcend StoreJet 25C3S external hard disk drive is ultra-slim at just 9.95 mm. Housed in an aluminium alloy, the drive weighs in at just 133 g. The sleek aluminium casing is also polished, sandblasted, and anodised. with CNC-finished edges.

Fast and Capacious

The StoreJet 25C3S has a USB 3.1 Gen 1 interface with UASP (USB Attached SCSI Protocol) support, providing transfer rates of up to 5 Gbps. It comes pre-formatted with the NTFS file system, and up to 2TB of storage capacity.

The StoreJet 25C3S comes with both a USB Type-C cable and a USB Type-C to Type-A cable to accommodate desktops and laptops featuring the USB Type-C or USB 3.1 interface.

Transcend Elite and RecoveRx

For additional value, it comes with exclusive data management and data recovery software – Transcend Elite and RecoveRx. Both can be downloaded from Transcend’s website for free.

Transcend Elite is an advanced data management software that keeps important files organised, protected, and up-to-date. It can even protect files with 256-bit AES encryption.

RecoveRx is a free data recovery utility that allows you to recover erased files including digital photos, documents, music, and videos.

Transcend StoreJet 25C3S Storage Capacity + Warranty

The Transcend StoreJet 25C3S portable hard disk drive is offered in 1 TB and 2 TB capacities. Both are backed by Transcend’s Three-year Limited Warranty.

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The 512 GB GIGABYTE M.2 SSD Revealed!

GIGABYTE just revealed their 512 GB GIGABYTE M.2 SSD, an affordable solid state storage solution for the mainstream market. Learn more about GIGABYTE’s latest M.2 solid state drive!

 

The 512 GB GIGABYTE M.2 2280 SSD Revealed!

Based on the NVMe architecture, the 512 GB GIGABYTE M.2 SSD utilises PCIe Gen3 x2 lanes to deliver higher bandwidth and transfer speeds compared to the traditional SATA interface. Like the earlier 128 GB and 256 GB models, the 512 GB GIGABYTE M.2 SSD supports TRIM and S.M.A.R.T technologies.

The 512 GB GIGABYTE M.2 SSD is built around TLC flash memory, with Host Memory Buffer (HMB) to improve performance at a more affordable price point.

 

Why PCIe x2, Not PCIe x4?

With reduced SSD prices in recent years, many users have made the transition from SATA devices to M.2 devices. Despite the upgrade, storage performance from their M.2 SSDs is often bottlenecked by the utilization of SATA 6Gb/s lanes on their storage devices.

The SATA 6Gb/s interface cannot match the read/write speeds of the SSDs, holding back their storage devices. NVMe based storage devices that utilize PCIe Gen3 lanes circumvent this issue but these devices usually come with PCIe Gen3 x4 lanes which makes them significantly more expensive.

While users are looking for better performance, NVMe based PCIe Gen3 x4 solid state drives are expensive. GIGABYTE M.2 SSD is based on NVMe architecture but uses PCIe Gen3 x2 lanes to reduce cost, while using Host Buffer Memory (HMB) to maximise performance.

HMB technology uses system memory to cache and improve the SSD‘s performance. This eliminates the need for dedicated cache memory, allowing GIGABYTE to keep costs low.

 

GIGABYTE M.2 SSD Price + Availability

The GIGABYTE M.2 SSD series comes with a 3 year warranty, and three capacity sizes of 128GB, 256GB and the newly-announced 512GB. Here are some direct purchase links (with prices accurate as of 24 December 2018) :

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United States

United Kingdom

Malaysia

 

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ADATA ISSS316 and IMSS316 3D NAND SSDs Revealed!

The new ADATA ISSS316 and IMSS316 3D NAND SSDs have just been launched. Discover what these two new solid state drives offer!

 

ADATA ISSS316 and IMSS316 3D NAND SSDs Launched!

ADATA launched 2 new solid-state drive (SSD) – the ADATA ISSS316 2.5″ SSD and IMSS316 3D TLC mSATA SSD. Both are industrial-grade and equipped with next-generation 3D NAND Flash.

ADATA ISSS316 and IMSS316 Key Features

The ADATA ISSS316 and IMSS316 3D NAND SSDs provide higher storage capacity, efficiency, and reliability than 2D NAND and comes in capacities ranging from 32GB to 1TB. Both SSDs support LDPC (Low-Density Parity-Check) error correcting code technology to ensure data integrity and extended lifespans.

The ISSS316 delivers read/write speeds of up to 550/520MB per second while the IMSS316 delivers read/write speeds of up to 540/530MB per second.

The ISSS316 is ideally suited for computing, gaming, surveillance, healthcare, defense, and general automation industries. The smaller form factor of the IMSS316 makes it suitable for thin clients, and embedded applications.

Both SSDs support a number of technologies including Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology (S.M.A.R.T.). Both these technologies can indicate possible imminent drive failures and provide added stability and reliability.

NCQ and Windows TRIM Command can boost performance.

Customers can use ADATA’s SSD Toolbox which facilitates the monitoring and managing of the drives for convenient management of the SSDs. This added technology comes with drive status, wear level, and lifespan information.

 

ADATA ISSS316 and IMSS316 Price + Availability

The exact price and availability of the ADATA ISSS316 and IMSS316 SSDs vary by region.

 

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Kingston IronKey D300S Encrypted USB Drive Launched!

Kingston Technology just introduced an improved version of their D300 encrypted USB drive – the Kingston IronKey D300S. Find out what’s new and improved in the Kingston D300S encrypted USB drive!

 

The Kingston IronKey D300S Encrypted USB Drive Launched!

The new Kingston IronKey D300S encrypted USB drive introduces two new features to enhance its advanced level of security and ability to safeguard sensitive data.

Serialised Drive

IronKey D300S will have a unique serial number and bar code on the drive itself that allows network administrators to read or scan the code instead of plugging it into the drive.

When a drive is deployed, returned or during any physical auditing or asset management of hardware, this feature will make the process more efficient and streamlined.

Virtual Keyboard

The second feature, a virtual keyboard will enable users to enter a password with clicks of the mouse instead of a physical keyboard. It provides a greater level of protection against any possible keylogging when using D300S on other computers.

“We’re not content on standing pat with any of our products, no matter how good they are,” said Kingston “The data protection provided by IronKey D300 is already top notch, and we’ve listened to requests from our customers. These two enhancements in the D300 series add to its industry-leading data-protection capabilities. With Kingston’s 30-plus years of expertise in quality technology solutions behind it, along with the latest NAND Flash memory and controller technology, users of any D300 drive can rest assure that their confidential data and information are well protected from the risks and threats associated with loss, theft, or stolen digital devices.”

 

Kingston IronKey D300S Price + Availability

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The new Kingston IronKey D300S drives will also be available as a Managed model (D300SM) that requires IronKey EMS or SafeConsole by DataLocker , allowing central management of drive access and usage across thousands of drives.

This will be the first IronKey drive that will be supported on SafeConsole, thus enabling it to be used by customers who already have it installed.

IronKey D300SM will be available in the first quarter of 2019.

 

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The ADATA SU630 3D QLC NAND SSD Launched!

ADATA just unveiled their Ultimate SU630 solid state drive, expanding their business into 3D QLC NAND flash storage. Let’s take a look at the new ADATA SU630 3D QLC NAND SSD!

 

ADATA Launches SU630 Flash Storage!

The ADATA SU630 is a 2.5” SATA 6Gb/s SSD, and is their first 3D QLC NAND flash storage product. With next-generation QLC (Quad-Level Cell) 3D NAND Flash, the SU630 promises to deliver terrific value, great performance, and superb reliability.

Performance and Reliability without Breaking the Bank

Delivering excellent performance with the same great value as SSDs, the SU630 gives HDDs a run for their money. It comes in 240GB, 480GB, and 960GB capacities and sports 3D QLC NAND Flash to deliver improved reliability, longevity, and performance over its TLC counterparts.

Reinforced by performance-boosting SLC Caching, the SU630 reaches speeds of 520MB/s read, and 450MB/s write for smooth and fast boot, file transfers, and downloads.

The ADATA SU630 SSD also features characteristics that work to keep data safe, including a shock rating of 1500G/0.5ms and resilience to temperature changes (0°C ~ 70°C). It is also more energy-efficient and quieter than HDDs.

LDPC ECC Technology, SSD Toolbox, and Migration Utility

With support for LDPC (Low-Density Parity-Check) ECC (error correcting code) technology, the SU630 can detect and fix errors to ensure data integrity and deliver an extended lifespan. With the purchase of the SU630, users qualify to download ADATA’s SSD Toolbox and Migration Utility free of charge.

SSD Toolbox allows users to monitor and manage the SU630, with drive status, wear level, and lifespan information. The Migration Utility is especially helpful for users making the switch from HDD to SSD, as it allows for simple and straightforward backup and migration of data, including the operating system.

 

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Dell EMC Unity + SC Storage Arrays Get Major Updates!

Dell EMC just announced major software operating system updates to Dell EMC Unity and SC Series storage arrays, giving customers powerful new features and a big boost in the performance, functionality and longevity of their investments.

 

Dell EMC Unity and SC Storage Arrays Get Major Updates!

As part of the software built into both Dell EMC Unity and SC Series All-flash and Hybrid storage arrays, customers can upgrade their operating system non-disruptively and at no cost (for customers with active ProSupport agreements) to improve workload performance, storage capacity and data protection and availability.

New Dell EMC Unity OE features

The new Dell EMC Unity operating environment gains the following new replication, data mobility and security features to ensure uninterrupted operations of applications that support the business:

Array-based file replication

  • New Metrosync array-based file replication protects transactional file applications with rapid recovery and automated failover to a secondary data center
  • 2-Way NDMP improves performance for better NAS backup times while reducing WAN/LAN network congestion

Data Mobility

  • Built-in data mobility capabilities to migrate block data from third-party storage arrays directly to Dell EMC Unity

Security Enhancements

  • LDAP/AD enhancements for performance, availability, and search flexibility for Microsoft environments

The addition of Metrosync for file delivers a complete complement of array-based replication, with synchronous and asynchronous block and file replication options now included with every Dell EMC Unity Hybrid and All-Flash configuration. These replication options combine to improve transactional application data RPO and RTO, long distance disaster recovery, and data aggregation and distribution.

 

Dell EMC SC Series Improvements

For the past several quarters, Dell EMC engineers have embarked on a top-to-bottom code optimisation of SCOS to extract higher performance and efficiency from SC Series hybrid and all-flash arrays, while also improving management, analytics and monitoring. New SCOS 7.3 features include:

MajorIOPS performance boost

  • Now up to 2.2M max IOPS per array, over 20M in federated multi-array environments
  • 2X increase in maximum IOPS across every current SC array model
  • 50,000-100,000 more mixed-workload IOPS across every SC array

Improved management for single and multi-array environments

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  • New Unisphere for SC HTML5 Web UI simplifies and automates common storage management tasks; shares common look and feel with Unisphere for Dell EMC Unity

Easier, more cost-effective upgrades and expansion

  • Up to 2X increase in maximum capacity per array
  • Data-in-place upgrades for the popular SC4020 offers cost-effective option for customers to migrate data to newer SC models
  • SCv2000 can now federate/replicate with other SC Series arrays

More enterprise-class efficiency and availability

  • Support for 100Gb and 25Gb iSCSI network hardware offers customers future-proof solutions and buying assurance
  • Distributed sparing, for greater I/O efficiency and up to 500% faster rebuilds
  • Live Volume enhancements designed to deliver lower latency and reduced network traffic in high availability environments

By upgrading to the new SCOS 7.3, SC Series customers can gain an overnight boost in workload performance. Three SC array models now provide over 1 million IOPS. Dell EMC tests show real-world applications such as VDI and SQL OLTP can perform 33% to 54% faster with SCOS 7.3.

 

Dell EMC Unity OE 4.4 and SC Series SCOS 7.3 Availability

Dell EMC Unity OE 4.4 and SC Series SCOS 7.3 are now available in Malaysia as no-cost software upgrades for customers with an active Dell ProSupport agreement.

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2018 WD Black 3D NVMe SSD Price + Specifications Revealed!

The WD Black NVMe SSD may be fast, but WD is now introducing a faster WD Black 3D NVMe SSD that combines a new NVMe controller with 3D NAND! Check out the details below!

 

2018 WD Black 3D NVMe SSD Delivers Higher Speeds!

At their recent Computex 2018 showcase, WD demonstrated the performance of the WD Black NVMe SSD. They even showed how they can be used to create an 8TB SSD that is as fast as DDR4 memory!

Today, they introduced the new WD Black 3D NVMe SSD, that features their own SSD architecture and controller, and paired with their 3D NAND. It was engineered from the ground up on a new NVMe architecture, using a new NVMe SSD controller paired with their 3D NAND.

The WD Black 3D NVMe SSD (Price Check) boasts a sequential read speed of up to 3.4 GB/s, and a sequential write speed of up to 2.8 GB/s! It also delivers up to 500,000 random read IOPS, and 400,000 random write IOPS, so it will easily handle any kind of workload, even the most intensive multi-threaded applications.

It comes in three capacities – 1 TB, 500 GB and 250 GB. The 1 TB model can handle up to 600 terabytes of writes (TBW) in its lifetime, while the 500 GB model can handle 300 TBW and the 250 GB model will handle up to 200 TBW.

 

2018 WD Black 3D NVMe SSD Specifications

Specifications1 TB Black 3D NVMe500 GB Black 3D NVMe250 GB Black 3D NVMe
Model NumberWDS100T2X0CWDS500G2X0CWDS250G2X0C
Form FactorM.2 2280M.2 2280M.2 2280
InterfacePOIe 3.0 x8 (4 lanes)POIe 3.0 x8 (4 lanes)POIe 3.0 x8 (4 lanes)
Sequential Read3.4 GB/s3.4 GB/s3.0 GB/s
Sequential Write2.8 GB/s2.4 GB/s1.6 GB/s
Random Read500,000 IOPS410,000 IOPS220,000 IOPS
Random Write400,000 IOPS330,000 IOPS170,000 IOPS
Endurance600 TBW300 TBW200 TBW
MTTF1.75 million hours1.75 million hours1.75 million hours
Average Active Power140 mW110 mW110 mW
Low Power (PS3)100 mW70 mW70 mW
Slumber (PS4)2.5 mW2.5 mW2.5 mW
Operating Temperature0 °C to 70 °C0 °C to 70 °C0 °C to 70 °C
Shock1,500 G1,500 G1,500 G
Operating Vibration5.0 gRMS, 10–2000 Hz, 3 axes5.0 gRMS, 10–2000 Hz, 3 axes5.0 gRMS, 10–2000 Hz, 3 axes
Dimensions22 mm wide
80 mm long
2.38 mm thick
22 mm wide
80 mm long
2.38 mm thick
22 mm wide
80 mm long
2.38 mm thick
Weight7.5 g7.5 g7.5 g
Warranty5 years5 years5 years

 

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2018 WD Black 3D NVMe SSD Price + Availability

The new WD Black 3D NVMe SSD (Price Check) is available at the end of July 2018 at the following price points :

All three models will come with a 5-year limited warranty.

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The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD Revealed!

Western Digital today launched two portable SSD drives – the My Passport Wireless SSD and the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD. Let’s hear from WD’s Albert Chang on the key features of these new portable SSD drives. He will also introduce the upcoming G-Technology family of professional storage solutions!

 

The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD

The rugged SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD (Price Check) delivers high-speed transfers with up to 550MB/s read speeds, making it perfect for saving and editing high resolution photos and videos. Its IP55 dust- and water-resistance rating mean it can stand up to hazards such as rain, splashes, spills and dust.

Offered in capacities up to 2 TB, the new SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD (Price Check) is perfect for extensive photo shoots – giving users the capacity to take their portfolio with them on the go, or back up instantly while out in the field.

  • High-speed transfers with up to 550MB/s read speeds
  • Rugged, water- and dust-resistant (IP55 rated)
  • Shock-resistant solid state core for greater durability
  • Compact and designed to fit in the palm of your hand
  • Works with both PC and Mac computers and comes with a 3-year limited warranty

The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD (Price Check) delivers high-performance and capacity in a pocket-sized drive.

For more on WD portable SSDs, take a look at our coverage of The WD Portable SSD Showcase @ Computex 2018

 

SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD Price + Availability

The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD (Price Check) has a three-year limited warranty and is available now at all leading IT retail outlets across Malaysia & online stores including Lazada, 11street and Shopee. Here are its Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) :

 

An Introduction To G-Technology

G-Technology is a Western Digital brand that focuses on professional-grade storage solutions. Albert gives us a quick overview of G-Technology, and the kind of storage drives they create.

 

Suggested Reading

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My Passport Wireless SSD For Photographers Revealed!

Western Digital today launched two portable SSD drives – the My Passport Wireless SSD and the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD. Let’s hear from WD’s Albert Chang on the key features of these new portable SSD drives. He will also introduce the upcoming G-Technology family of professional storage solutions!

 

My Passport Wireless SSD

The new My Passport Wireless SSD (Price Check) is an all in one portable drive that helps preserve photos and videos captured on cameras or drones. The device features one-touch card copy to enable editing and sharing of content out in the field, as well as a new capability to directly access the device within third-party mobile creative apps, like FiLMiC Pro and LumaFusion.

  • Built-in SD card reader with up to 65 MB/s read speeds and one-touch copy button that makes it easy to quickly back up photos and videos from an SD card without a computer or additional software
  • Durable, shock-resistant SSD inside that helps keep content safe from shock, vibrations and drops up to one (1) meter, even when the drive is in operation
  • Fast SSD transfer speeds (up to 390 MB/s read) when using the USB 3.0 port to move files to and from PC or Mac computers
  • All-day battery life (up to 10 hours of continuous use)
  • Wirelessly stream 4K videos and view photos with the My Cloud mobile app
  • RAW image support

For more on WD portable SSDs, take a look at our coverage of The WD Portable SSD Showcase @ Computex 2018

 

My Passport Wireless SSD Price + Availability

The My Passport Wireless SSD (Price Check) is backed by a two-year limited warranty and will be available by end of July 2018 at all leading IT retail outlets across Malaysia & online stores including Lazada, 11street and Shopee. Here are its Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) :

 

An Introduction To G-Technology

G-Technology is a Western Digital brand that focuses on professional-grade storage solutions. Albert gives us a quick overview of G-Technology, and the kind of storage drives they create.

 

Suggested Reading

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PIO Mode from The Tech ARP BIOS Guide

PIO Mode

Common Options : Auto, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4

 

Quick Review

This BIOS feature allows you to set the PIO (Programmed Input / Output) mode for the IDE drive.

Setting this BIOS feature to Auto lets the BIOS auto-detect the IDE drive’s maximum supported PIO transfer mode at boot-up.

Setting this BIOS feature to 0 forces the BIOS to use PIO Mode 0 for the IDE drive.

Setting this BIOS feature to 1 forces the BIOS to use PIO Mode 1 for the IDE drive.

Setting this BIOS feature to forces the BIOS to use PIO Mode 2 for the IDE drive.

Setting this BIOS feature to 3 forces the BIOS to use PIO Mode 3 for the IDE drive.

Setting this BIOS feature to forces the BIOS to use PIO Mode 4 for the IDE drive.

Normally, you should leave it as Auto and let the BIOS auto-detect the IDE drive’s PIO transfer mode. You should only set it manually for the following reasons :-

  • if the BIOS cannot detect the correct PIO transfer mode.
  • if you want to try forcing the IDE device to use a faster PIO transfer mode than it was designed for.
  • if you want to force the IDE device to use a slower PIO transfer mode if it cannot work properly with the current PIO mode (i.e. when the PCI bus is overclocked)

Please note that forcing an IDE device to use a PIO transfer rate that is faster than what it is rated for can potentially cause data corruption.

 

Details

This BIOS feature allows you to set the PIO (Programmed Input / Output) mode for the IDE drive. Here is a table of the different PIO transfer rates and their corresponding maximum throughputs.

PIO Data Transfer Mode

Maximum Throughput

PIO Mode 0

3.3 MB/s

PIO Mode 1

5.2 MB/s

PIO Mode 2

8.3 MB/s

PIO Mode 3

11.1 MB/s

PIO Mode 4

16.6 MB/s

Setting this BIOS feature to Auto lets the BIOS auto-detect the IDE drive’s maximum supported PIO transfer mode at boot-up.

Setting this BIOS feature to 0 forces the BIOS to use PIO Mode 0 for the IDE drive.

Setting this BIOS feature to 1 forces the BIOS to use PIO Mode 1 for the IDE drive.

Setting this BIOS feature to forces the BIOS to use PIO Mode 2 for the IDE drive.

Setting this BIOS feature to 3 forces the BIOS to use PIO Mode 3 for the IDE drive.

Setting this BIOS feature to forces the BIOS to use PIO Mode 4 for the IDE drive.

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Normally, you should leave it as Auto and let the BIOS auto-detect the IDE drive’s PIO transfer mode. You should only set it manually for the following reasons :-

  • if the BIOS cannot detect the correct PIO transfer mode.
  • if you want to try forcing the IDE device to use a faster PIO transfer mode than it was designed for.
  • if you want to force the IDE device to use a slower PIO transfer mode if it cannot work properly with the current PIO mode (i.e. when the PCI bus is overclocked)

Please note that forcing an IDE device to use a PIO transfer rate that is faster than what it is rated for can potentially cause data corruption.

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WD Portable SSD Showcase @ Computex 2018

In addition to their WD Black NVMe SSD showcase, Western Digital also showed off their wide range of portable SSD drives under the SanDisk, WD and G-Technology brands. Join us for our tour of the WD Portable SSD showcase at Computex 2018!

 

The WD Portable SSD Showcas

Western Digital currently has portable SSDs under three brands – SanDisk, WD and G-Technology. Western Digital’s Jared Peck gives us a tour of these portable SSDs, and their key features. He even demonstrates how crushproof the G-DRIVE portable SSD is!

SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD

The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD is a tough, IP55 dust- and water-resistant drive. It offers capacities up to 2 TB, with transfer rates of up to 550 MB/s.

  • 2 TB SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD : $599
  • 1 TB SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD : $299
  • 500 GB SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD : $139
  • 250 GB SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD : $99

WD My Passport Portable SSD

WD is increasing the capacity of their My Passport SSD drive to 2 TB. It offers up to 540 MB/s in transfer rate, with 256-bit AES hardware encryption built-in.

  • 2 TB WD My Passport Portable SSD : $599
  • 1 TB WD My Passport Portable SSD : $306
  • 512 GB WD My Passport Portable SSD : $139
  • 256 GB WD My Passport Portable SSD : $99

WD My Passport Wireless SSD

The WD My Passport Wireless SSD is the SSD version of the WD My Passport Wireless drive. Designed for photographers on-the-go, it not only comes with an internal battery and WiFi-AC connectivity, it also has a SD card reader built-in.

  • 2 TB WD My Passport Wireless SSD : $799
  • 1 TB WD My Passport Wireless SSD : $499
  • 500 GB WD My Passport Wireless SSD : $299
  • 250 GB WD My Passport Wireless SSD : $199

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G-DRIVE Mobile SSD

The G-Technology G-DRIVE Mobile SSD has a built-in heatsink that keeps the drive cool and makes it crushproof (up to 450 kg / 1000 lbs). It is also IP67 dust- and water-resistant.

  • 2 TB G-DRIVE Mobile SSD : $670
  • 1 TB G-DRIVE Mobile SSD : $299
  • 500 GB G-DRIVE Mobile SSD : $169

G-DRIVE Mobile Pro SSD

The G-DRIVE Mobile Pro SSD uses NVMe and Thunderbolt 3 technologies to achieve transfer rates of up to 2,800 MB/s! It also comes with a heatsink core that doubles as a crushproof cage (up to 450 kg / 1000 lbs).

  • 1 TB G-DRIVE Mobile Pro SSD : $298

G-DRIVE Pro SSD

This is a desktop version of the G-DRIVE Mobile Pro drive above, although it’s arguably portable as well. It has an enterprise-grade SSD inside, with storage capacities of up to 7.68 GB, and transfer rates of up to 2,800 MB/s. You can even daisy-chain multiple G-DRIVE Pro SSDs together.

  • 3.84 TB G-DRIVE Pro SSD : $3,999
  • 1.92 TB G-DRIVE Pro SSD : $1,999
  • 960 GB G-DRIVE Pro SSD : $1,299

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Transcend 500S and 300S SD and MicroSD Cards Launched!

Transcend Information, Inc. just announced the availability of the Transcend 500S and 300S series of SD and microSD cards. These memory cards are available in capacities of up to 512 GB and feature transfer speeds of up to 95 MB/s!

 

Transcend 500S and 300S SD and MicroSD Cards

The gold Transcend 500S series, constructed of durable MLC flash, is ideal for action cameras and drones, while the silver Transcend 300S series SD and microSD cards are offered in capacities up to 512 GB.

Transcend 300S Meets A1 Performance Specifications

Transcend’s 128GB 300S microSD cards meet the SD Association’s latest Application Performance Class 1 (A1) standards for responsiveness, which call for performing 1,500 IOPS on random read operations and 500 IOPS on random write operations, and sequential speeds of at least 10 MB/s. The Transcend 300S series tops out at 95 MB/s read and 45 MB/s write speeds, making it ideal for storing and running mobile apps.

Transcend 500S : UHS V30 Compliance For Ultra HD 4K Recording

The Transcend 500S series SD and microSD cards are UHS Video Speed Class 30 (V30)-compliant, allowing for smooth, uninterrupted Ultra HD 4K video capture. These cards meet V30 specifications of at least 95 MB/s read and 60 MB/s write speeds. The Transcend 500S SD cards are offered in capacities of up to 256 GB.

Secure and reliable

Transcend microSD memory cards undergo a set of rigorous tests. These cards can perform at temperature extremes of -25° to 85°C as well as being waterproof, shock and vibration proof, and X-ray proof. Native error-correcting code embedded on the devices fixes most common file errors, ensuring files remain readable.

Transcend RecoveRx Software

Transcend offers the exclusive RecoveRx data recovery and storage device management software for use with its products. RecoveRx allows users to search deep within a storage device for traces of erased photos, documents, music, and videos. RecoveRx can also format and write-protect flash memory cards.

 

Price + Availability

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  • Transcend 300S SD cards : 16 GB to 512 GB
  • Transcend 300S microSD cards : 16 GB  to 128 GB
  • Transcend 500S SD cards : 8 GB to 256 GB
  • Transcend 500S microSD cards : 8 GB to 128 GB.

All of Transcend’s memory cards are covered by Transcend’s Five-Year Warranty.

Here are some purchase links for your convenience :

  • 32 GB Transcend 300S microSD : $10.99
  • 64 GB Transcend 300S microSD : $21.99
  • 128 GB Transcend 300S microSD : $43.99

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The 1TB WD Blue 3D SSD (WDS100T2B0A) Review

The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD is the first Western Digital solid state drive to feature their 64-layer 3D NAND technology that delivers higher storage capacities, performance and endurance, with lower power consumption. Let’s see if the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD delivers on that promise!

 

The WD Blue 3D NAND SSD Family

The WD Blue 3D NAND SSD family consists of four models built upon the same technology. They mainly differ in storage capacities, with some performance characteristics. Here’s a table comparing their key specifications :

Specifications2 TB WD Blue 3D SSD1 TB WD Blue 3D SSD500 GB WD Blue 3D SSD250 GB WD Blue 3D SSD
Model NumberWDS200T2B0A WDS100T2B0AWDS500G2B0AWDS250G2B0A
Storage Capacity2048 GB (Total)
2000 GB (Effective)
1024 GB (Total)
1000 GB (Effective)
512 GB (Total)
500 GB (Effective)
256 GB (Total)
250 GB (Effective)
Overprovisioning48 GB (2.4 %)24 GB (2.4 %)12 GB (2.4 %)6 GB (2.4 %)
SSD ControllerMarvell 88SS1074-BSW2Marvell 88SS1074-BSW2Marvell 88SS1074-BSW2Marvell 88SS1074-BSW2
NAND Flash Type64-layer WD 3D NAND (BiCS3)64-layer WD 3D NAND (BiCS3)64-layer WD 3D NAND (BiCS3)64-layer WD 3D NAND (BiCS3)
SDRAM CacheNoneNone512 MB DDR3256 MB DDR3
InterfaceSATA 6 Gb/sSATA 6 Gb/sSATA 6 Gb/sSATA 6 Gb/s
Peak Sequential Read560 MB/s560 MB/s560 MB/s550 MB/s
Peak Sequential Write530 MB/s530 MB/s530 MB/s525 MB/s
Random Read I/O95,000 IOPS95,000 IOPS95,000 IOPS95,000 IOPS
Random Write I/O84,000 IOPS84,000 IOPS84,000 IOPS81,000 IOPS
Write Endurance500 TB400 TB200 TB100 TB
Slumber Power56 mW56 mW56 mW56 mW
DEVSLP Power5-12 mW5-12 mW5-7 mW5-7 mW
Mean Time To Failure (MTTF)Up to 1.75 million hoursUp to 1.75 million hoursUp to 1.75 million hoursUp to 1.75 million hours
Ambient Temperature0°C to 70°C (Operating)
-55°C to 85°C (Non-Operating)
0°C to 70°C (Operating)
-55°C to 85°C (Non-Operating)
0°C to 70°C (Operating)
-55°C to 85°C (Non-Operating)
0°C to 70°C (Operating)
-55°C to 85°C (Non-Operating)
Vibration Range5.0 gRMS, 10-2,000 Hz (Operating)
4.9 gRMS, 7-800 Hz (Non-Operating)
5.0 gRMS, 10-2,000 Hz (Operating)
4.9 gRMS, 7-800 Hz (Non-Operating)
5.0 gRMS, 10-2,000 Hz (Operating)
4.9 gRMS, 7-800 Hz (Non-Operating)
5.0 gRMS, 10-2,000 Hz (Operating)
4.9 gRMS, 7-800 Hz (Non-Operating)
Shock1,500 G @ 0.5 ms half sine1,500 G @ 0.5 ms half sine1,500 G @ 0.5 ms half sine1,500 G @ 0.5 ms half sine
Dimensions100.5 mm x 69.85 mm x 7.0 mm100.5 mm x 69.85 mm x 7.0 mm100.5 mm x 69.85 mm x 7.0 mm100.5 mm x 69.85 mm x 7.0 mm
Weight57.9 g37.4 g37.4 g37.4 g
Warranty3 Years3 Years3 Years3 Years

 

The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD Up Close!

The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) comes in a deceptively light cardboard box. Let’s unbox it and take a closer look!

The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) is a low-profile 2.5″ drive, with a thickness of only 7 mm. This is thinner than the regular 9.5 mm drives, making it suitable for all 2.5″ drive bays, even in thin laptops.

Next Page > 3D NAND, nCache 2.0 Technology, SSD Controller & SATA Interface

 

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The WD 3D NAND Technology

Western Digital first announced their 64-layer 3D NAND technology, also known as BiCS3, last year. However, it was only slated for commercial volume production in the first half of 2017.

BiCS3 was developed jointly with their technology and manufacturing partner, Toshiba. It not only uses 64-layers, but also 3-bits-per-cell technology to achieve high capacity (256 to 512 gigabits per chip) and performance at a much lower cost.

 

SanDisk nCache 2.0 Technology

SanDisk nCache 2.0 is a proprietary pseudo-SLC caching technology that greatly increases the write performance of the solid state drive. Here is an old infographic (from their Ultra II SSD) that shows how it works :

A small portion (about 4%) of the NAND memory blocks are set to run in the SLC mode, which allows for a much higher write speed. This SLC portion serves as a fast write cache for all writes to the drive, allowing for write speeds of up to 530 MB/s.

The data is later transferred to the TLC portion using the special On Chip Copy feature. This proprietary feature allows the transfer to occur internally on-die without affecting any other transfers.

In a 1TB drive, about 40 GB is reserved for use as the nCache 2.0 write cache. That translates into an effective write cache size of about 13 GB.

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The Marvell 88SS1074 SSD Controller

The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) uses the Marvell 88SS1074 SSD controller, which boasts the following key features :

  • Supports up to 4 NAND channels, with up to 8 NAND chips per channel
  • Features Marvell’s third-generation NANDEdge low-density parity check (LDPC) technology
  • Supports SATA 3.2 (6.0 Gbps)
  • Toggle 2 and ONFI2 support at up to 400 MT/s
  • Integrated DEVSLP (Device Sleep) mode for low power support
  • Supports 256-bit AES hardware encryption
  • Built on 28 nm CMOS process

The Marvell NANDEdge LDPC technology allows for reliable on-the-fly error correction of the 3-bit TLC flash memory, with minimal impact on latency, performance and power consumption.

However, the Marvell 88SS1074 is likely to fall short in sustained throughput, because it only supports 4 NAND channels. Competing controllers like the Phison S10, for example, boast 8 NAND channels, allowing twice as many NAND chips to be accessed simultaneously.

 

SATA 6 Gb/s Interface

The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) is a Serial ATA drive, with native support for SATA 6 Gb/s interface. It is backward-compatible, so you will have no problem using it with older SATA 3 Gb/s controllers. However, the faster SATA 6 Gb/s interface is necessary for optimal performance because this SSD is capable of a peak transfer rate of 560 MB/s.

Like all Serial ATA drives, it comes with the standard SATA data (left) and power (right) connectors, and is hot-pluggable. That means you can connect and disconnect this solid state drive while the PC is still running. There is no jumper block, because there’s really nothing for you to set. It’s just plug and play!

Next Page > SSD Endurance & Maintenance

 

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SSD Endurance

The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) is rated for a lifetime write lifespan of 400 TBW (Terabytes Written). That does not seem like a lot (equal to overwriting the drive just 400 times), but it is considered enterprise-grade endurance. Many consumer-grade SSDs of equivalent capacity are rated at around 75-100 TBW.

Based on a typical consumer DWPD (Drive Writes Per Day) of 20 GB per day, this 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) will last at least 54 years.

Please note that this long lifespan is due to the large capacity. The 500 GB and 250 GB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSDs are rated at 200 TBW and 100 TBW respectively. That corresponds to an estimated lifespan of 27 years and 13.5 years respectively.

Like all other current SSDs, the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) comes with certain features to help extend its lifespan :

Wear Levelling

Unlike hard disk drives, flash-based SSDs write and overwrite data in large blocks of 512 KB to 1 MB in size. Even if you only need to write one byte of data, it has to erase and overwrite an entire block. This causes a lot of wear on the memory cells and greatly reduces their lifespan.

To help extend the lifespan of the drive, SSDs perform wear levelling by spreading the writes, so that the flash memory cells have equal wear. The lifespan of the memory cells remain unchanged, but it prevents some of them from failing earlier due to excessive wear.

Write Combine Cache

SSDs also use a write buffer to temporarily store and combine the writes before they are actually written to the flash memory. This reduces the number of block erases required, and consequently, extends the lifespan of the flash memory cells.

The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) uses the aforementioned nCache 2.0 technology instead of a dedicated SDRAM write combine cache. It reserves about 4% of the NAND blocks and uses them in the SLC mode.

The resulting nCache 2.0 write cache may not be as fast as an SDRAM cache, but it is much larger in size. The 1TB WD Blue SSD, for example, boasts a large 1 GB DDR3L memory cache, but that is nothing compared to the 13 GB (or so) SLC cache in the 1TB WD Blue 3D SSD.

TRIM

Current SSDs support the TRIM command, otherwise known as the ATA8-ACS-2 DATA SET MANAGEMENT command. Operating systems that support TRIM (e.g. Microsoft Windows 7) will notify the SSD when data blocks are deleted in the file system. This allows the SSD to perform garbage collection in the background – internally erasing the affected blocks so that they are ready to be written to.

Without the TRIM command, the SSD will not know when a block of data has been deleted by the operating system. When new data is written to the same block of data, it will force the SSD to perform the time-consuming read-erase-modify-write cycle, which not only cripples performance but also increases wear on the affected memory cells.

Multi-Stream

This is a new SSD technology that was introduced in May 2015, as part of the T10 SCSI Standard. Multi-stream greatly improves performance and extends lifespan by reducing or even eliminating garbage collection.

It achieves this by marking data writes that are associated with one another, or have a similar lifetime, with a unique stream ID. This allows the SSD controller to pack all data writes with the same stream ID into the same block.

When the operating system deletes data, it is likely that they are all packed into the same block. If the block has not been written to the SSD, then this eliminates the pending write operation completely. If the block has been written to the SSD, then this would only require that single block to be erased, instead of multiple blocks (which would happen if the data was not all packed into the same block).

 

SSD Maintenance

First of all, you should never, ever defragment solid state drives. Spatial fragmentation of data on the SSD has no effect on its performance. Fragmented data are accessed as quickly as nicely-packed blocks, so it’s pointless to defragment the data blocks. Doing so will only reduce the lifespan of the flash memory cells by putting them under additional wear.

3D NAND flash memory will only last about 1,000 erase/write cycles – about the same as TLC NAND memory. You will want to minimise the number of times each flash memory cell is erased.

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You should also use an operating system that supports the TRIM command. If you are using one of the following operating systems, then you have nothing to worry about :

  • Microsoft Windows 7, or better
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2, or better
  • Linux 2.6.33, or better
  • FreeBSD 8.2, or better
  • Mac OS X Snow Leopard, or better

If not, you should consider upgrading your operating system. Otherwise, you will need to perform manual garbage collection on a regular basis, either using a manufacturer utility, or newer defragmentation software that specifically supports solid state drives.

Basically, these utilities will retrieve the list of free blocks from the operating system’s file system and pass it to the SSD in the form of TRIM commands, so that it will know which blocks to erase internally. Again, these utilities are not necessary if you are using an operating system that supports TRIM.

Next Page > Over-Provisioning, Capacity, Transfer Rate Profile, WinBench Results & Transfer Rate Range

 

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Testing The SanDisk Ultra 3D NAND SSD

Processors Intel Core i7-2600K
Motherboard Intel DP67BG
Memory Four Kingmax 2 GB DDR3-1333 modules
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
SSD & HDD Drives 8 TB Western Digital Gold
1 TB + 120 GB WD Black²
1 TB WD Blue 3D SSD
1 TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD
1 TB WD Blue SSD
1 TB WD VelociRaptor
256 GB OCZ Vector
240 GB HyperX Savage
240 GB Intel 520 Series
160 GB Intel X25-M G2
Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit
Microsoft Windows Vista 32-bit

Testing Methodology

 

Over-Provisioning & Usable Capacity

This 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) has a maximum storage capacity of 1,024 GB, courtesy of eight 128 GB SanDisk 3D NAND chips. Of that, a mere 24 GB has been set aside for garbage collection, wear levelling and replacement of failing blocks.

Ordinarily, the limited 2.4% over-provisioning may impact long-term performance and lifespan. However, Western Digital mitigated that using a large 13 GB pseudo-SLC write cache they call nCache 2.0.

After it is formatted in NTFS, the actual formatted capacity is 1,000,202,039,296 bytes. This is slightly (202 MB) more than the official formatted capacity of 1,000 GB.

With about 124 MB of space allocated to the NTFS file system, the actual usable capacity is just above 1,000 GB.

 

Transfer Rate Profile

We compared the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) to the 1TB WD Blue SSD. As you can see, it has a sustained throughput of about 378 MB/s, which makes it almost twice as fast as the 1TB WD Blue SSD, which uses TLC NAND memory.

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Business Disk WinBench 99

The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) did very well in this test, beating its brother, the 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) by 17%!

Drive Model Capacity Business Disk
WinMark 99
Difference Useful Links
Intel 520 Series 240 GB 77.7 MB/s + 7.2% Review Lowest $
WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB 72.5 MB/s Baseline Lowest $
Western Digital Black² 120 GB 63.1 MB/s – 14.9% Review Lowest $
OCZ Vector 256 GB 62.1 MB/s – 16.7% Review Lowest $
SanDisk Ultra 3D 1 TB 62.0 MB/s – 16.9% Review Lowest $
WD Blue SSD 1 TB 62.0 MB/s – 16.9% Review Lowest $
HyperX Savage 240 GB 61.9 MB/s – 17.1% Review Lowest $
Intel X25-M G2 160 GB 50.4 MB/s – 43.8% Review Lowest $
WD VelociRaptor 1 TB 29.8 MB/s – 143.3% Review Lowest $
WD Gold 8 TB 23.3 MB/s – 211.2% Review Lowest $

 

High-End Disk WinBench 99

The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) did very well in the High-End test, beating virtually all other competitors, except for the 240 GB HyperX Savage and the 240 GB Intel 520 Series SSDs.

Drive Model Capacity High-End Disk
WinMark 99
Difference Useful Links
Intel 520 Series 240 GB Beyond limit NA Review Lowest $
OCZ Vector 256 GB Beyond limit NA Review Lowest $
WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB 283 MB/s Baseline Lowest $
SanDisk Ultra 3D 1 TB 277 MB/s – 2.2% Review Lowest $
HyperX Savage 240 GB 262 MB/s – 8.0% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Black² 120 GB 246 MB/s – 15.0% Review Lowest $
WD Blue SSD 1 TB 220 MB/s – 28.6% Review Lowest $
Intel X25-M G2 160 GB 215 MB/s – 131.6% Review Lowest $
WD VelociRaptor 1 TB 172 MB/s – 164.5% Review Lowest $
WD Gold 8 TB 23.3 MB/s – 212.8% Review Lowest $

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Transfer Rate Range

This chart shows you the range of memory cell-to-controller transfer rates for SSDs, or the range of platter-to-buffer transfer rates from the innermost track to the outermost track in HDDs.

Despite boasting an official peak read speed of 560 MB/s, the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) could only hit 386 MB/s. That is impressive in its own right, but puts it below the 256 GB OCZ Vector and the 240 GB HyperX Savage SSDs.

Next Page > IO Meter Benchmark Results

 

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IO Meter

We compared the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) against the 1TB WD Blue SSD. If you wish to see how the SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD compares to other solid state drives, take a look at our Solid State Drive Performance Comparison Guide, which we will be updating shortly.

 

Throughput (Random Access)

Test 1 TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
512 KB Read 371.71 MB/s 239.84 MB/s + 55.0%
512 KB Write 488.55 MB/s 257.09 MB/s + 90.0%
4 KB Read 32.48 MB/s 24.93 MB/s + 30.3%
4 KB Write 75.94 MB/s 53.31 MB/s + 42.4%

The small random reads and writes are the most important tests for applications that make a lot of random accesses, so these would be key performance indicators for SSDs that are often used as boot drives.

The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) did incredibly well in this test, solidly beating the 1TB WD Blue SSD. Thanks to its built-in nCache 2.0 technology, it delivered almost twice the large random write performance of the 1TB WD Blue SSD!

 

Random Access Time

Test 1 TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
512 KB Read 1.41 ms 2.19 ms – 35.5%
512 KB Write 1.07 ms 2.04 ms – 47.4%
4 KB Read 0.13 ms 0.17 ms – 25.1%
4 KB Write 0.05 ms 0.08 ms – 29.8%

The random write performance of the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) was truly stellar, in comparison to the 1TB WD Blue SSD.

 

Random CPU Utilization

Test 1 TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
512 KB Read 29.50 % 7.16 % + 312.0%
512 KB Write 30.12 % 7.31 % + 312.3%
4 KB Read 32.53 % 9.94 % + 227.2%
4 KB Write 35.72 % 11.91 % + 199.9%

The only downside – the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) uses up a lot more CPU performance than the 1TB WD Blue SSD. About 3X more CPU performance, on average!

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IO Meter (Sequential Accesses)

We compared the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) against the 1TB WD Blue SSD. If you wish to see how the SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD compares to other solid state drives, take a look at our Solid State Drive Performance Comparison Guide, which we will be updating shortly.

 

Sequential Throughput

Test 1 TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
512 KB Read 510.62 MB/s 250.14 MB/s + 104.1%
512 KB Write 494.55 MB/s 255.54 MB/s + 93.5%
4 KB Read 84.74 MB/s 63.35 MB/s + 33.8%
4 KB Write 75.98 MB/s 59.15 MB/s + 28.5%

The sequential read and write performance indicators determine how fast you can copy and move files. This is also important in determining how fast you can launch an application or game.

The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) did marvellously in this test, coming in twice as fast as the 1TB WD Blue SSD in large, sequential reads and writes.  It also had a large boost in small sequential read and write performance.

 

Sequential Access Time

Test 1 TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
512 KB Read 1.03 ms 2.10 ms – 51.2%
512 KB Write 1.06 ms 2.05 ms – 48.3%
4 KB Read 0.05 ms 0.07 ms – 26.7%
4 KB Write 0.05 ms 0.07 ms – 22.4%

 

Sequential CPU Utilization

Test 1 TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
512 KB Read 29.61 % 8.69 % + 240.7%
512 KB Write 29.11 % 5.76 % + 405.4%
4 KB Read 36.38 % 15.93 % + 128.4%
4 KB Write 35.69 % 15.42 % + 131.5%

Again, the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) took up a significant amount of CPU processing power.

Next Page > IOPS Scaling Results

 

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IOPS Scaling (Random)

In these tests, we tested the drive’s ability to tackle multiple input/output operations. We compared the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) against the 1TB WD Blue SSDFor more performance comparisons, please take a look at the Solid State Drive Performance Comparison Guide.

Even though the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) is rated for enterprise-class endurance, its Marvell 88SS1074 controller is just not capable of handling too many simultaneous operations. It appears to handle up to 8 simultaneous transactions.

Its nCache 2.0 technology appears to have compensated for its limited NAND channels, allowing it greatly supersede the performance of the 1TB WD Blue SSD, even though they both use the same SDD controller.

 

4 KB Random Read

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 7,928 IOPS 6,086 IOPS + 30.3%
8 46,297 IOPS 38,444 IOPS + 20.4%
32 64,051 IOPS 36,145 IOPS + 77.2%

 

4 KB Random Write

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 18,539 IOPS 13,015 IOPS + 42.5%
8 49,559 IOPS 39,066 IOPS + 26.9%
32 51,495 IOPS 39,115 IOPS + 31.6%

 

512 KB Random Read

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 709 IOPS 457 IOPS + 55.0%
8 1,075 IOPS 537 IOPS + 100.4%
32 1,077 IOPS 544 IOPS + 97.9%

 

512 KB Random Write

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB WD Blue 3D SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 932 IOPS 490 IOPS + 90.0%
8 946 IOPS 522 IOPS + 81.4%
32 961 IOPS 522 IOPS + 84.3%

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IOPS Scaling (Sequential)

In these tests, we tested the drive’s ability to tackle multiple input/output operations. We compared the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) against the 1TB WD Blue SSDFor more performance comparisons, please take a look at the Solid State Drive Performance Comparison Guide.

The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) did much better than the 1TB WD Blue SSD, even though they both use the same SDD controller.

 

4 KB Sequential Read

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 20,688 IOPS 15,466 IOPS + 33.8%
8 66,011 IOPS 41,425 IOPS + 59.4%
32 65,146 IOPS 37,963 IOPS + 71.6%

 

4 KB Sequential Write

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB WD Blue 3D SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 18,550 IOPS 14,440 IOPS + 28.5%
8 49,505 IOPS 38,840 IOPS + 27.5%
32 54,477 IOPS 39,188 IOPS + 39.0%

 

512 KB Sequential Read

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 974 IOPS 477 IOPS + 104.1%
8 1,079 IOPS 544 IOPS + 98.3%
32 1,065 IOPS 540 IOPS + 97.2%

 

512 KB Sequential Write

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 943 IOPS 487 IOPS + 93.5%
8 1,025 IOPS 521 IOPS + 96.5%
32 1,026 IOPS 521 IOPS + 96.8%

Next Page > AS SSD Benchmark Results

 

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AS SSD Benchmark

AS SSD Benchmark is a simple and easy-to-use SSD benchmark by Alex Intelligent Software. It not only tests the drive’s sequential transfer rates and access times, but also its performance at both single-threaded and multi-threaded 4K IOPS.

 

Sequential Transfers

Drive Model Read + Write Average Difference Quick Links
HyperX Savage 516.0 MB/s + 1.9% Price, Review
WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 506.6 MB/s Baseline Price
OCZ Vector 500.3 MB/s – 1.2% Price, Review
SanDisk Ultra 3D 493.5 MB/s – 2.6% Price, Review
Intel 520 Series 293.9 MB/s – 42.0% Price, Review
Western Digital Black² 280.6 MB/s – 44.6% Price, Review
WD Blue SSD 260.2 MB/s – 48.6% Price, Review
Intel X25-M G2 179.0 MB/s – 64.7% Price, Review

 

Single-Threaded 4K IOPS Performance

Drive Model Read + Write Average Difference Quick Links
WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 48.2 MB/s Baseline Price
SanDisk Ultra 3D 48.1 MB/s – 0.2% Price, Review
Intel 520 Series 45.7 MB/s – 5.1% Price, Review
HyperX Savage 40.2 MB/s – 16.5% Price, Review
OCZ Vector 38.6 MB/s – 19.9% Price, Review
Western Digital Black² 35.0 MB/s – 27.4% Price, Review
WD Blue SSD 31.7 MB/s – 34.2% Price, Review
Intel X25-M G2 30.7 MB/s – 36.3% Price, Review

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Multi-Threaded 4K IOPS Performance

Drive Model Read + Write Average Difference Quick Links
SanDisk Ultra 3D 347.3 MB/s + 1.5% Price, Review
WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 342.3 MB/s Baseline Price
OCZ Vector 338.6 MB/s – 1.1% Price, Review
HyperX Savage 257.8 MB/s – 24.7% Price, Review
WD Blue SSD 193.6 MB/s – 43.5% Price, Review
Intel 520 Series 177.5 MB/s – 48.2% Price, Review
Western Digital Black² 164.9 MB/s – 51.8% Price, Review
Intel X25-M G2 125.2 MB/s – 63.4% Price, Review

 

Access Time

Drive Model Read + Write Average Difference Quick Links
HyperX Savage 0.065 ms – 13.4% Price, Review
OCZ Vector 0.067 ms – 10.1% Price, Review
WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 0.075 ms Baseline Price
SanDisk Ultra 3D 0.076 ms + 1.3% Price, Review
WD Blue SSD 0.078 ms + 4.7% Price, Review
Intel X25-M G2 0.089 ms + 18.8% Price, Review
Western Digital Black² 0.119 ms + 59.1% Price, Review
Intel 520 Series 0.162 ms + 116.8% Price, Review

Next Page > ATTO Disk Benchmark Results, Verdict, Award & Prices

 

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ATTO Disk Benchmark

ATTO Disk Benchmark is a free benchmark that allows you to compare the performance of solid state drives using a variety of transfer sizes. It also allows us to determine if the SSD performs data compression to improve performance, and extend lifespan.

 

I/O Comparison

Results Compressible Data Non-Compressible Data
Minimum Maximum Minimum Maximum
Read Speed 6.5 MB/s 145.1 MB/s 5.8 MB/s 143.6 MB/s
Write Speed 5.6 MB/s 137.2 MB/s 6.1 MB/s 134.2 MB/s

The Marvell 88SS1074 controller does not perform any data compression, which is why the performance results are the same for both compressible and non-compressible data. The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) reached its peak transfer rate with a block size of 1 MB.

 

Multiple I/O Comparison

Results Compressible Data Non-Compressible Data
Minimum Maximum Minimum Maximum
Read Speed 8.8 MB/s 147 2 MB/s 10.2 MB/s 147.5 MB/s
Write Speed 8.3 MB/s 139.6 MB/s 9.0 MB/s 136.5 MB/s

With just 8 simultaneous transactions, the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) reached its peak transfer rate with a block size of 128 KB.

 

Our Verdict & Award

The first 1 terabyte solid state drive we tested was the 1TB WD Blue (WDS100T1B0A) SSD. While it had a large storage capacity, high endurance and a affordable price point, it was not particularly fast.

That changed with the introduction of the 64-layer 3D NAND technology, which not only increases storage capacity and performance, but also reduces cost and power consumption. Now we can have our cake and eat it too.

The 1TB WD Blue 3D SSD (Price Check) is the first Western Digital solid state drive to make use of the 64-layer 3D NAND technology and it sure impressed us with its performance.

Despite using the same SSD controller as the 1TB WD Blue, the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) was twice as fast in large reads and writes. It accomplished this without using any SDRAM cache, thanks to nCache 2.0 technology.

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The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) will work well as a boot drive, thanks to its excellent small random performance. It will be particularly attractive as an upgrade option for laptops still running on hard disk drives, or smaller SSDs.

Just note that its high performance requires a significant amount of CPU performance. So make sure you pair it with a fast processor.

We like its combination of great performance, large storage capacity and lower cost so much, we think it deserves our Editor’s Choice Award. Great work, Western Digital!

 

WD Blue 3D NAND SSD Prices & Warranty

The WD Blue 3D SSDs are available in storage capacities from 250 GB to 2 TB in the 2.5-inch / 7mm cased drive form factor, at the following price points :

  • 2TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD : $520.97 | RM 3,800
  • 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD : $259.99 | RM 1,596 (MSRP : RM 2,000)
  • 500GB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD : $134.99 | RM 777 (MSRP : RM 1,100)
  • 250GB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD : $83.19 | RM 458 (MSRP : RM 620)

The WD Blue 3D SSD is also available in the single-sided M.2 2280 form factor.

All WD Blue 3D NAND SSDs come with a three-year limited warranty.

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The 4 Transcend Winners Of The 2018 Taiwan Excellence Award!

Transcend Information, Inc. (Transcend) is proud to announce that four of its cutting-edge products have been awarded the 2018 Taiwan Excellence Award for their innovation. The winners include the StoreJet 25M3E and StoreJet 25C3 portable hard drives, CM42 M.2 SSD enclosure kit, and ESD220C portable SSD.

 

The 2018 Taiwan Excellence Award

The Taiwan Excellence Awards are granted by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) on behalf of the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Nominees are put through a rigorous evaluation based on four major criteria – R&D, design, quality, and marketing to be identified outstanding and offer “Innovative Value”. According to TAITRA, 503 products from 226 companies received awards this year.

 

The 4 Transcend Winners Of The 2018 Taiwan Excellence Award

StoreJet 25M3E and StoreJet 25C3 Portable Hard Drive

The award-winning StoreJet 25M3E (1 TB) is equipped with a SuperSpeed USB 3.1 Gen 1 / USB 3.0 interface that allows users to store and back up their files with incredible transfer rates. Featuring three-stage shock protection system that meets U.S. military drop-test standards, the StoreJet 25M3E offers a fully data protection stored in the drive.

The other winning portable hard drive, StoreJet 25C3 (2 TB | 1 TB), features an extra-slim design at just 9.95mm, taking up little space in users’ briefcase on business. Despite its slim dimensions, the StoreJet 25C3 is available in high capacities of up to 2TB and high-speed transfer rates, allowing users to easily store and backup all of their files to a single location.

CM42 M.2 SSD Enclosure Kit

Transcend’s CM42 M.2 SSD enclosure kit (M.2 2242 | M.2 2280/2260) is designed specifically for M.2 SATA SSDs. By following the quick and easy installation guide, users can transform an M.2 SATA SSD into a portable USB 3.1 Gen 1 external drive to maximize utilization. The M.2 SSD enclosure features a lightweight aluminum construction, making it both portable and durable while on the move.

The M.2 SSD enclosure uses the USB 3.1 Gen 1 interface incorporated with UASP that enhances its transfer speeds. To accommodate devices with different USB ports, the M.2 SSD enclosure is engineered to convert to a USB Type-C port, offering flexibility of being used on different platforms with either USB Type-A or Type-C port.

In addition to the Taiwan Excellence Award, the CM42 M.2 SSD enclosure kit also received Japan’s Good Design Award 2017.

ESD220C Portable SSD

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Transcend’s ESD220C portable SSD (480 GB | 240 GB | 120 GB) features both portability and reliability. Taking full advantage of the SuperSpeed USB 3.1 Gen 1 interface and built-in SLC caching technology, the ESD220C achieves exceptional transfer speeds faster than external hard drives.

Engineered with a RAID engine and LDPC (Low-Density Parity Check) coding, a powerful ECC algorithm, and built-in wear-leveling technology, the ESD220C is a reliable data storage that ensures data integrity during transmission.

Besides, the ESD220C is designed with a USB Type-C port and can be used with on-the-go mobile devices, offering the flexibility of being used on different platforms. Its credit-card size can also fit in user’s wallet for businesspeople to take important files on their travels.

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How To Choose The Best Drive For Your PC

Western Digital colour-codes their hard disk drives not to make the drives look sexier, or to help sell more hard disk drives. They created the WD drive colours to help users understand the distinct advantages or use of each drive family. In this article, Western Digital will help us show you how to choose the best drive for your PC.

 

Every Drive Has A Purpose

There is no better person than Albert Chang, Senior Manager of Product Marketing at WD Asia Pacific, to explain why every drive has a purpose. He also points out a key point that users often forget to factor when consumers purchase a drive – the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership).

That’s right. The TCO is often overlooked, because that is ultimately the price you are paying over the lifetime of a drive. So make sure you don’t just buy the cheapest possible drive, because that may result in a high TCO… including the loss of priceless data.

 

Introducing The Five WD Drive Colours

Here is a quick primer on the five WD drive colours, and how they can help you determine the best drive for your PC.

Now, let’s take a closer look at each WD drive colour, and find out what advantages each drive colour boasts!

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WD Blue For Mainstream PCs

The WD Blue (Price Check) family are focused on offering highly-affordable drives with large storage capacities.

The WD Blue family does not just consist of hard disk drives. Western Digital also offers WD Blue SSHDs (solid state hybrid drives) and WD Blue SSDs (solid state drives).

For more information, you can read these WD Blue articles :

 

WD Black For High Performance PCs

The WD Black family (Price Check) is targeted at power users and gamers who want the fastest possible hard disk drives for their PCs.

The WD Black drives offer a much higher spindle speed, a very large cache, and a fast processor. For more information, you can read these WD Black articles :

 

WD Red For NAS Storage

The WD Red (Price Check) family of NAS drives is specifically designed for the “always on” environment of a NAS enclosure. They run cooler and vibrate less, greatly increasing their reliability and lifespan in NAS enclosures.

The WD Red drives are also optimised for NAS usage patterns (80% reads, 20% writes), so you will be able to access your files faster than with a regular hard disk drive.

For more information, you can read these WD Red articles :

 

WD Purple For Surveillance

WD Purple drives (Price Check) are designed to handle the high-temperature, “always-on” environment of the CCTV and DVR systems. Regular drives will fail quickly under such conditions.

They are also designed to handle multiple video streams without dropped frames, or gaps in recorded footage… and do this 24/7 without rest!

For more information on the WD Purple, and why it is the best drive for surveillance and CCTV systems, please read :

 

WD Gold For Datacenters

Qualified for nearline storage use in datacenters, datacenter hard disk drives like WD Gold (Price Check) are designed to offer high storage capacities at maximum performance and reliability while operating continuously 24 hours a day in large drive arrays.

So if you want nothing but the best drive to secure your company’s data, there can be no doubt that the WD Gold (Price Check) is the ultimate storage solution.

For more information, you can read these WD Gold articles :

 

What Is The Best Drive For YOU?

The WD drive colours make it extremely simple for you to choose the best drive for the job.

If you want the best hard disk drive for your gaming PC or laptop, the WD Black drives are your best options.

If you just need to store a large amount of data at very low cost, the WD Blue drives are your best bet.

If you have a NAS enclosure, you will not want to use any other drives but WD Red drives for better performance and reliability.

If you have a CCTV system, you will not want to use any other drives but WD Purple drives for stutter-free recording and a long lifespan.

If you are running a server, you will want the high performance and exceptional reliability of the WD Gold drives.

See? The WD drive colours make it extremely easy for you to find the best drive for the job!

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Disclosure

This post was sponsored by Western Digital.

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