Tag Archives: Storage

Synology World Backup Day 2024 Briefing + Demo!

Ahead of World Backup Day on March 31, Synology held an exclusive briefing and demo of its cutting-edge data management, and security features! Watch the video, and find out what Synology demonstrated!

 

Synology World Backup Day 2024 Briefing + Demo!

On 21 March 2024, Jason Sin, Country Manager at Synology Malaysia, gave an exclusive briefing and demo of its latest data management, and security features, in Kuala Lumpur.

The live session showcased Synology’s exclusive backup features like Active Backup Suite, and Snapshot Replication; highlighting practical use cases against malicious access, accidental deletion, and ransomware threats.

Jason Sin also emphasised the importance of data integrity, and data recovery in the face of virus or ransomware attacks.

Recommended : Synology DiskStation DS223j 2-Bay NAS Review!

During his presentation, he showcased three critical phases of a robust data protection process using Synology solutions:

Prevention of Ransomware Attacks

Synology demonstrated Secure SignIn, a secure login framework designed to enhance account security of Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM), the operating system that powers every Synology NAS.

This feature verifies sign-ins using multiple methods, including approved sign-ins, verification codes (OTP), and hardware security keys. This allows users and businesses to significantly reduce the risk of unauthorised access and potential ransomware attacks.

Centralised Data Protection

Active Backup for Business is Synology’s all-in-one data protection solution. Synology highlighted its ability to centralise protection across diverse IT environments, including virtualised environments, physical servers, file servers, and personal computers.

In the demo session, Synology showcased how administrators can efficiently deploy and manage data protection strategies through a centralised admin console, ensuring comprehensive backup coverage and seamless continuity of operations.

Recommended : 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) Hard Disk Drive Review!

Comprehensive, Streamline Data Recovery

Synology demonstrated how Snapshot Replication efficiently streamlined data recovery, providing backup capabilities against threats like accidental deletion and viruses. Synology also simulated a ransomware attack by encrypting a file, followed by a swift data recovery conducted through Snapshot Replication.

This showcased its effectiveness in restoring systems to a previous state and emphasized that only a rapid, comprehensive data solution is effective for both end users and enterprises. Administrators can configure scheduled snapshots and retention settings, ensuring efficient data management and recovery, even in scenarios where ransomware attacks occur.

 

Selected Synology NAS Drives

If you are interested in purchasing Synology NAS drives, here are some highly-rated options you can buy online.

Please note that Tech ARP may receive a referral fee through these and other purchase links.

 

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He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Synology DiskStation DS223j 2-Bay NAS Review!

In this review, we are going to take a close look at the Synology DiskStation DS223j – its latest 2-bay NAS system, and find out how well it performs!

 

Synology J Series NAS Systems

The Synology J Series are its entry-level NAS systems – offering an affordable way to get networked storage for backup, or personal storage. They also have a more consumer look, with a white chassis.

The Synology J series comes in below the Value series, and lacks hot-swappable drives, and front USB ports. However, it has most of its key features, including support for the Btrfs file system.

Synology currently has two J series models – the 2-bay DS223j, and the single-bay DS120j.

 

Synology DiskStation DS223j Price

As its entry-level 2-bay NAS system, the Synology DiskStation DS223J comes at an affordable price point.

It has a suggested retail price of US$189.99 (diskless), but you can get some pretty good deals online, with or without bundled drives:

 

Synology DiskStation DS223j Specifications

Here are the key specifications of the Synology DiskStation DS223j 2-bay NAS system:

Specifications Synology DiskStation DS223j
CPU Realtek RTD1619B
4 x ARM Cortex-A55 cores @ 1.7 GHz
Hardware Encryption Engine
Memory 1 GB DDR4 (non-ECC)
Drive Bays 2
Drive Compatibility 3.5-inch SATA
2.5-inch SATA (with optional adaptor)
Hot Swappable No
Internal File System Btrfs / EXT4
NAS Features Power Recovery
Scheduled Power On/Off
Wake on LAN / WAN
Front Ports None
Rear Ports 1 x RJ-45 1GbE LAN port
2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports
Internal Fan Yes, 92 mm
Noise Level 18.2 dB(A)
Thermal Output 55.62 BTU/hour (active access)
13.64 BTU/hour (HDD hibernation)
Power Consumption 16.31 W (active access)
4 W (HDD hibernation)
Power Supply 60 W power adaptor
Power Input 100 V to 240 V DC power input
50/60 Hz, single phase
Operating Temperature 0°C to 40°C (32°F to 104°F)
Storage Temperature -20°C to 60°C (-5°F to 140°F)
Size 165 mm high
100 mm wide
225.5 mm deep
Weight 0.88 grams
Warranty 2 Year Hardware Warranty

 

Synology DiskStation DS223j Box Contents

The Synology DiskStation DS223j comes in a large cardboard box, with a label to let you know exactly what’s inside the box. On opening the box, you will find the following items:

  • Synology DiskStation DS223j NAS system
  • 3.5-inch drive bay bracket
  • Pack of 10 drive screws
  • Pack of 3 chassis screws
  • Pack of 3 bracket screws
  • 60 watt power adaptor
  • AC power cord
  • RJ-45 LAN cable
  • Quick installation guide

Recommended : 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) Hard Disk Drive Review!

Next Page > Synology DS223 Performance

 

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Synology DiskStation DS223j Performance

We tested three NAS systems, with these settings:

WD MyCloud EX4100

  • 4 x 6TB WD Red drives
  • RAID 1 with EXT4 file system

Synology DS223j

Synology DS214+

  • 2 x 4TB WD Red drives
  • RAID 1 with EXT4 file system

We then compared their read and write performance to a 1TB SDD, using a Gigabit LAN connection, and these two file sets:

  • Large File : Movie with a 9.3 GB file size
  • Small Files : 2193 photos with a 9.48 GB file size

Large File Read Speed

When it comes to transferring very large files like a movie, the Synology DS223j did very well, offering an average read speed of just over 100 MB/s!

Even the much older DS214+ model did very well, almost delivering 100 MB/s of throughput, and beating out 4-bay MyCloud EX4100 by 23%!

Recommended : 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) Hard Disk Drive Review!

Large File Write Speed

However, when it comes to writing files to the NAS, the number of bays, and the drive speeds are what counts.

The 4-bay MyCloud EX4100 is far ahead, because it’s able to write to two drives at the same time (in RAID 1).

The faster 4TB Synology Plus drives used in the DS223j allowed it to pull ahead of the DS214+ by 16%.

Small Files Read Speed

This is quite a surprising result. For some reason, the Synology DS214+ did very well in this test, beating even the 4-bay MyCloud EX4100 by almost 30%!

And the Synology DS223j, which is much faster in every way, delivered a much lower speed of just under 48 MB/s.

Small Files Write Speed

That’s completely flipped when it came to write speed – copying small files to the NAS systems.

Again, the 4-bay MyCloud EX4100 has the advantage here, because it can write to two drives at the same time.

But the Synology DS223j did very well here, coming within 23% of the MyCloud EX4100. This is likely due to its faster 4TB Synology Plus drives.

Next Page > Synology DS223j Verdict + Award

 

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Synology DiskStation DS223j Verdict + Award

The Synology DiskStation DS223j is a cheap but solid 2-bay NAS system. Its plastic chassis feels cheap, but it packs all of the key features most home users would need.

You get an affordable RAID 1 backup solution, with fast Gigabit LAN connectivity, and two USB 3.0 (rebranded as USB 3.2 Gen 1) ports at the back for when you need to copy files to or from a USB flash drive or portable HDD.

It also gives you access to the excellent Synology DiskStation Manager operating system, as well as hundreds of add-on packages which you can use to add capabilities to your NAS.

Synology updates its DiskStation Manager regularly, which is great, because it fixes bugs that may cause considerable grief. For example, when I started testing the DS223j, I encountered a problem accessing it on macOS with a VPN enabled.

No matter what I did, the Mac computer simply could not “see” or “locate” the DiskStation on the network. The only way was to disable the VPN. Fortunately, the problem “magically” went away a few updates later. *

Mac users will also be happy to know that it supports Time Machine backup. While it requires some simple setting up, it works perfectly… which is not something I can say about the MyCloud EX4100!

Prosumers might want to spend a bit extra to upgrade to the non-J version – the DiskStation DS223 from the Value series. Not only does it come with a front USB port (for more convenient use), it allows you to hot swap drives.

If any drive fails on the DS223j, you will need to power it down and open it up to swap out the drive. On the non-J version, you can simply slide out the old drive and replace it with a new one without even powering down the DS223 NAS. But of course – this is a nice feature that most home users probably won’t need.

Performance-wise – the DS223j runs on the same Realtek RTD1619B process as the non-J model. Its four Arm Cortex-A55 cores is more than fast enough for transferring files. Its CPU usage is usually less than 50%. Even when I ran data scrubbing, its CPU usage was around 15% on average.

And if you are wondering about whether you can live with just 1 GB of RAM on the DS223j, yes, you can. The RAM usage is usually less than 20% on our DS223j.

Generally, if you want something cheap and good from Synology, you can’t go wrong with the DiskStation DS223j. For these reasons, we think it deserves our Reviewer’s Choice Award!

* It would have lost the award if Synology did not manage to fix the accessibility problem for macOS.

 

Synology DiskStation DS223j : Where To Buy?

As its entry-level 2-bay NAS system, the Synology DiskStation DS223J comes at an affordable price point.

It has a suggested retail price of US$189.99 (diskless), but you can get some pretty good deals online, with or without bundled drives:

 

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4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) Hard Disk Drive Review!

In this review, we are going to take a close look at the 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) hard disk drive, and find out how well it performs!

Updated @ 2023-11-09 : Updated with operating temperature results, and minor changes.
Originally posted @ 2023-10-05

 

Synology Plus Series (HAT3300) NAS Drives

The Synology Plus Series (HAT3300) hard disk drives are designed to populate their Network-Attach Storage (NAS)  systems for homes and small businesses.

These Synology Plus Series drives are designed for light-to-intermediate use. Based on the Conventional Magnetic Recording (CMR) technology, they are similar to the WD Red and Seagate Iron Wolf range of NAS drives, with a 1 million hour MTBF and 180 TB per year workload rating.

The main advantage of these drives is that their firmware can be automatically updated using the DiskStation Manager (DSM) in Synology NAS systems.

 

4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) Price

The 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) hard disk drive commands a slight premium over comparable drives like the 4TB WD Red (Price Check) and the 4TB Seagate IronWolf (Price Check).

Retailing at about $90 as of 3 October 2023, it works out to a cost of $22.50 per TB. Here are some online purchase options:

The 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) drive also comes bundled with certain Synology NAS systems.

Recommended : MSI Hit By $4 Million Ransomware Attack + Data Theft!

 

4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) Specifications

The Synology Plus series offers storage capacities of 4TB, 6TB, 8TB and 12TB. With the exception of the 12TB model, all drives in this family are air-filled, and have a 5,400 RPM spindle speed.

The baby of this family, which we are reviewing today, is the 4TB Synology Plus drive, which has a model number of HAT3300-4T. Here are its key specifications:

Specifications 4 TB Synology Plus
Model HAT3300-4T
Capacity 4 Terabytes
Form Factor 3.5-inch
Drive Design Air
Recording Technology Conventional Magnetic Recording (CMR)
Interface SATA 6 Gb/s
Cache 256 MB
Rotational Speed 5,400 RPM
Max. Data Transfer Speed 202 MB/s
Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) 1,000,000 hours
Workload Rating 180 TB / year
Power Consumption Idle : 3.96 W
Random Read : 4.85 W
Random Write : 4.85 W
Operating Temperature 0°C to 65°C
32°F to 149°F
Non-Operating Temperature -40°C to 70°C
-40°F to 158°F
Operating Shock 80 Gs (2 ms duration)
Non-Operating Shock 300 Gs (2 ms duration)
Operating Vibration 10 Hz to 22 Hz: 0.25 Gs, Limited displacement
22 Hz to 350 Hz: 0.50 Gs
350 Hz to 500 Hz: 0.25 Gs
Non-Operating Vibration 5 Hz to 22 Hz: 3.0 Gs
22 Hz to 350 Hz: 3.0 Gs
350 Hz to 500 Hz: 3.0 Gs
Acoustics Idle : 23 dBA
Seek : 27 dBA
Size 20.20 mm high
101.85 mm wide
147 mm long
Weight 490 g
Warranty 3 Years

 

4TB Synology Plus HDD Unboxing + Hands-On

The 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) hard disk drive comes in a large cardboard box, with a window to let you peek inside.

On opening the box, you will see that the drive is well-protected. It’s sealed in an anti-static bag, placed within a plastic enclosure, and further protected from shock and vibration by two large foam inserts.

Recommended : MSI Users At Risk Of Rogue BIOS / Firmware Updates!

Next Page > 4TB Synology Plus Features + Temperature

 

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4TB Synology Plus HDD Key Features!

The 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) hard disk drive is designed for the light-to-intermediate usage requirements of personal and SMB (small and medium business) NAS systems. Here are its key features:

Manufactured By Seagate

Synology does not make this hard disk drive, which was manufactured by Seagate. Think of this as a Seagate IronWolf hard disk drive that was customised to Synology’s requirements, and with custom firmware for Synology.

Under The PCB

In the following video, we took a look under its PCB, and here was what we found:

The 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) comes with a large 256 MB SDRAM cache, courtesy of a Samsung K4B2G1646F memory chip. This is a DDR3-1866 SDRAM chip with 16 memory banks, and a peak transfer rate of about 466 MB/s.

It also uses a Seagate Dillon motor drive controller, which features ST Microelectronics’ proprietary Smooth Drive pseudo-sinusoidal digital drive technology. The drive controller itself has a thermal pad to help keep cool, by transferring heat to the drive chassis.

Finally, this NAS drive has two sensors on its PCB, which allow it to better detect shock and vibration events, and dynamically adjust the flying height of the read/write heads to avoid head crashes.

Recommended : Samsung Unveils 2023 QLED, OLED TVs + Monitors!

Always-On Operation

The 4TB Synology Plus is backed by a million hour MTBF (Mean Time Before Failure) rating, and is rated for a workload of 180 TB per year.

That works out to 15 terabytes per month, and is about par for the course for consumer-grade NAS drives.

Easy Firmware Updates

Unlike third-party NAS drives from Western Digital or Seagate, you can easily update the firmware of the 4TB Synology Plus hard disk drive using DiskStation Manager (DSM) in Synology NAS systems.

This is a convenient feature for those who use Synology NAS systems – you won’t need to remove the drive, or use a separate computer, to update its firmware.

Low Power Consumption

Power consumption is pretty low, at just under 5 watts. Even if you run this drive 24/7, it will only consume 42.5 kW per year.

Real world usage will be significantly lower, since NAS systems are designed to power down drives during periods of inactivity.

 

4TB Synology Plus Operating Temperature

We monitored the surface temperature of the three hard disk drives while idle, and during their benchmarks. The following chart shows their operating temperature range, from idle to maximum load.

Please note that instead of giving you the absolute numbers, we are showing the temperature delta, which is the difference between the actual temperature and the ambient room temperature.

The 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) appears to run slightly hotter than the 4TB WD Red, but significantly cooler than the 6TB WD Red. This is good news, because it can get really hot inside the NAS enclosure!

Next Page > CrystalDiskMark Performance Results

 

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4TB Synology Plus CrystalDiskMark Performance Results

Let’s take a look at the 4TB Synology Plus hard disk drive’s sequential read and write performance, compared to the 4TB WD Red, and the 6TB WD Red drives.

Sequential Read Performance

With a queue depth of 1, the 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) delivered a maximum sequential read speed of 215 MB/s.

This is about 6% over its rated transfer rate of 202 MB/s, and puts it 20% ahead of the 6TB WD Red drive, and 39% ahead of the 4TB WD Red.

When queue depth increased to 8, the 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) delivered a maximum sequential read speed of just under 217 MB/s.

This is about 7% over its rated transfer rate of 202 MB/s, and puts it 20% ahead of the 6TB WD Red drive, and 38% ahead of the 4TB WD Red.

Sequential Write Performance

With a queue depth of 1, the 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) delivered a maximum sequential write speed of 214 MB/s.

This is about 6% over its rated transfer rate of 202 MB/s, and puts it 29% ahead of the 6TB WD Red drive, and 42% ahead of the 4TB WD Red.

When queue depth increased to 8, the 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) delivered a maximum sequential write speed of just over 214 MB/s.

This is about 6% over its rated transfer rate of 202 MB/s, and puts it 24% ahead of the 6TB WD Red drive, and 42% ahead of the 4TB WD Red.

Now, let’s take a look at the 4TB Synology Plus hard disk drive’s random read and write performance, compared to the 4TB WD Red, and the 6TB WD Red drives.

Random Read Performance

With a queue depth of 1, the 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) delivered a maximum random read speed of 670 KB/s.

That puts it 6% ahead of the 6TB WD Red drive, and 15.5% ahead of the 4TB WD Red.

When queue depth increased to 32, the 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) delivered a maximum random read speed of 2.08 MB/s.

That puts it on par with the 6TB WD Red drive, and just 4% ahead of the 4TB WD Red.

Random Write Performance

With a queue depth of 1, the 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) delivered a maximum random write speed of 1.85 MB/s.

That puts it 23% behind the 6TB WD Red drive, but 44.5% ahead of the 4TB WD Red.

When queue depth increased to 32, the 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) delivered a maximum random write speed of just over 1.8 MB/s.

That puts it 24% behind the 6TB WD Red drive, but 43% ahead of the 4TB WD Red.

Next Page > ATTO Results, Conclusion, Where To Buy

 

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4TB Synology Plus ATTO Benchmark Performance Results

Let’s take a look at the 4TB Synology Plus hard disk drive’s peak read and write speeds, compared to the 4TB WD Red, and the 6TB WD Red drives.

Peak Read Performance

The ATTO Benchmark shows that the 4TB Synology Plus drive delivered a peak read speed of just under 205 MB/s, putting it 12% ahead of the 6TB WD Red, and 36% ahead of the 4TB WD Red.

Peak Write Performance

The ATTO Benchmark shows that the 4TB Synology Plus drive delivered a peak write speed of just over 205 MB/s, putting it 25% ahead of the 6TB WD Red, and 48% ahead of the 4TB WD Red.

Peak Read IOPS

The ATTO Benchmark shows that the 4TB Synology Plus drive delivered a peak read IOPS of just under 64.75K, putting it 50% ahead of the 6TB WD Red, and 65% ahead of the 4TB WD Red.

Peak Write IOPS

The ATTO Benchmark shows that the 4TB Synology Plus drive delivered a peak write IOPS of just over 61.25K, putting it 46% ahead of the 6TB WD Red, and an incredible 81% ahead of the 4TB WD Red.

 

4 TB Synology Plus Review Conclusion

The 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) is, without doubt, a fast NAS hard disk drive. Our benchmark results show that it consistently outperforms the 4TB and 6TB Western Digital Red drives.

It may be sold at a slight price premium, but its better performance and the ability to conveniently upgrade its firmware (rare as that may be) directly using the DiskStation Manager (DSM) makes it a no-brainer choice for Synology NAS users.

If you are planning to use a Synology NAS system for your home or SMB use, you would be well-served to purchase the Synology Plus drive to populate it. We definitely think it deserves our Reviewer’s Choice Award!

 

4 TB Synology Plus : Where To Buy?

The 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) hard disk drive retails at about $89.90 as of 3 October 2023, it works out to a cost of $22.50 per TB. Here are some online purchase options:

The 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) drive also comes bundled with certain Synology NAS systems.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Japan To FINALLY Kill Off Floppy Disks + CD-ROM!

Japan is being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century – its government has FINALLY decided to kill off floppy disks!

 

Japan Is Still Using Floppy Disks + CD-ROM!

Most of the world began transitioning from floppy disks to USB flash drives and rewritable CDs (yes, they exist!) in the late 1990s.

By the 2000s, floppy disk sales tanked globally … except in Japan, where they continued to thrive.

That’s partly because government agencies in Japan continue to require data to be submitted using floppy disks or CD-ROM.

So while the world moved to USB flash drives capable of storing gigabytes of data, Japan remained loyal to floppy disk with its storage capacity of 1.44 MB or 2.88 MB.

Today, Japan is arguably the only country in the world where kids do not stare blankly if you mention “floppy disk”.

 

Japan To FINALLY Kill Off Floppy Disks + CD-ROM!

On 31 August 2022, Taro Kono – the Minister of Digital Transformation of Japan, announced that the government will rewrite rules requiring the use of floppy disks or CD-ROM.

This is part of the Japanese government’s plan to introduce a national identification number for its citizens, called MyNumber.

MyNumber will be the lynchpin for many of the Japanese government’s future digital services, and will require significant amounts of data to be uploaded to its online databases.

That was when Kono’s department found more than 1,900 regulations regulating how data should be shared with the government, and many of them required the use of floppy disks or CD-ROMs. Even worse – uploading data over the Internet was forbidden for security reasons.

So the Ministry of Digital Transformation will have to fix these regulations before both the Japanese government and its citizens can rid themselves of 1970s-era technology once and for all.

Digital Minister declares a war on floppy discs. There are about 1900 government procedures that requires business community to use discs, i. e. floppy disc, CD, MD, etc to submit applications and other forms. Digital Agency is to change those regulations so you can use online.

But updating those old regulations is only part of the solution. Kono still has to deal with poor digital literacy, as well as the bureaucratic and conservative culture in Japan which are obstacles to its digital transformation.

Some Japanese government officials continue to insist that floppy disks offer a degree of security and authenticity that an email just cannot. Yoichi Ono – a Tokyo official – claimed in 2021 that floppy disks “almost never broke or lost data”.

That is not true, as many tech old-timers who had to put up with a corrupt disk or two in a multi-disk installation can attest to. But it speaks to the great reluctance in many Japanese organisations to do away with old tech.

Unbelievably, many Japanese companies and government agencies continue to rely significantly on an even older technology from the past – the fax machine.

I’m looking to get rid of the fax machine, and I still plan to do that,” Kano told a news conference this week.

He will be fighting against hundreds of government officials who claim that “banishing fax machines would be impossible” because of “security of sensitive information” and “anxiety over the communication environment (email)”.

I wish Minister Kono all the best in his attempt to drag Japan into the 21st century.

 

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Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Samsung 980 Pro : Why It’s Now A Fast + Affordable SSD!

The Samsung 980 Pro is still the epitome of a fast gaming SSD that will let you boot up instantly, and load massive games quickly.

Find out why it is still the favourite SSD for discerning gamers all over the world!

 

Samsung 980 Pro : Super Fast Gaming SSD!

When it was launched back in September 2020, the Samsung 980 Pro was amongst the best and fastest gaming SSD money could buy.

It boasted a brand new 8nm Samsung Elpis controller with a native PCIe 4.0 interface, as well as improved TurboWrite caching.

To keep it running at peak performance, the Elpis controller is nickel coated to improve heat dissipation. It also uses a heat spreader label to keep the NAND chips cool.

The 980 Pro SSD also uses Samsung’s latest V-NAND TLC flash memory, with storage capacities of up to 2 TB in an M.2 2280 form factor.

Each SSD comes with 512 GB to 2 GB of LPDDR4 cache, and uses some of its storage as a fast SLC cache of between 49 GB and 216 GB in size.

Thanks to this combination of both DRAM and SLC caching, the Samsung 980 Pro boasts sequential read speeds of 6.4 GB/s to 7.0 GB/s, and sequential write speeds of 2.7 GB/s to 5.1 GB/s.

Of course, once the write caches ran out, sustained write speed fell to 400 MB/s for the 250 GB model, 900 MB/s for the 500 GB model, and 1.7 GB/s for the 1 TB and 2 TB models. But this was generally not an issue for gaming PCs, where read speed is paramount.

Capacity Fixed Intelligent Total TurboWrite
Speed
After
TurboWrite
250 GB 4 GB 45 GB 49 GB 2.7 GB/s 0.4 GB/s
500 GB 4 GB 90 GB 94 GB 5.0 GB/s 0.9 GB/s
1 TB 6 GB 108 GB 114 GB 5.0 GB/s 1.7 GB/s
2 TB 6 GB 210 GB 216 GB 5.1 GB/s 1.7 GB/s

But note that TurboWrite requires you keeping approximately 20% of the drive’s storage capacity free or empty. If you fill up the drive beyond that, the Intelligent portion of TurboWrite will be reduced.

Also, to fully utilise the Samsung 980 Pro, your gaming PC should  PCIe 4.0. It is backward compatible and will have no issues working with PCIe 3.0, but your drive will be limited to 3.5GB/s for sequential reads.

 

Samsung 980 Pro : Now A Fast SSD That Won’t Break The Bank!

When it was first released, the Samsung 980 Pro was not only expensive, it was much sought after and were consequently hard to come by.

The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t do us any favour, with computer part prices skyrocketing from a combination of increased demand and reduced production.

18 months later – the Samsung 980 Pro remains one of the better gaming SSDs money can buy, only it’s more affordable these days!

Of particular interest are the smaller 250GB and 500GB models. While they don’t offer that much storage space, they are much cheaper on a per GB basis.

Here is a look at the latest deals on the Samsung 980 Pro SSD globally :

Malaysia

Singapore

United States

United Kingdom

Australia

 

Samsung 980 Pro : Specifications

Specifications Samsung 980 PRO
Form Factor M.2 (2280)
Interface PCIe 4.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3c
Controller Samsung Elpis (8 nm)
NAND Storage Samsung 1xxL V-NAND TLC
Capacities 250 GB 500 GB 1 TB 2 TB
LPDDR4 Cache 512 MB 1 GB 2 GB
TurboWrite Cache
49 GB 94 GB 114 GB 216 GB
Sequential Read
6.4 GB/s 6.9 GB/s 7.0 GB/s
Sequential Write 2.7 GB/s 5.0 GB/s 5.0 GB/s 5.1 GB/s
Uncached Write 0.4 GB/s 0.9 GB/s 1.7 GB/s
Random Read 22,000 IOPS
Random Write 60,000 IOPS
Peak Random
Read
500K IOPS 800K IOPS 1M IOPS
Peak Random
Write
600K IOPS 1M IOPS
Endurance 150 TBW 300 TBW 600 TBW 1200 TBW
Security AES 256-bit
FDE, TCG / Opal v2.0, IEEE1667
TRIM Yes
Garbage Collection Yes
WNN No
Dimensions 80.15 mm long
22.15 mm wide
2.38 mm thick
Weight 9.0 grams

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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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.

 

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