Tag Archives: Storage

Delay IDE Initial - BIOS Optimization Guide

Delay IDE Initial – BIOS Optimization Guide

Delay IDE Initial - BIOS Optimization Guide

Delay IDE Initial

Common Options : 0 to 15

 

Quick Review

Motherboards are capable of booting up much faster these days. Therefore, initialization of IDE devices now take place 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 Delay IDE Initial BIOS feature comes in. It allows you to force the BIOS to delay the initialization of IDE devices for up to 15 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 leave the delay at the default value of 0 for the shortest possible booting time. Most IDE devices manufactured in the last few years 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 1 second. If that doesn’t help, gradually increase the delay until all your IDE devices initialize properly during the boot up process.

 

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 that came with your ancient 386 system in your spanking new Athlon XP system! However, even backward compatibility cannot account for the slower motors used in the older drives.

[adrotate banner=”4″]Motherboards are capable of booting up much faster these days. Therefore, initialization of IDE devices now take place 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 Delay IDE Initial BIOS feature comes in. It allows you to force the BIOS to delay the initialization of IDE devices for up to 15 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 leave the delay at the default value of 0 for the shortest possible booting time. Most IDE devices manufactured in the last few years 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 1 second. 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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Chenbro RM23624 Server/Storage Launched

March 9th, 2016 – Taipei, Taiwan – Chenbro today announced its new high performance 2U server/storage chassis – the Chenbro RM23624. Features 24 hot swappable 2.5” drive bays for HDDs or SSDs and a 12Gb/s SAS expander that provides higher performance and reliability that data centers demand.

Chenbro RM23624

The Chenbro RM23624 provides a high density storage solution that achieves superior IOPS performance with the on-board 12Gb/s SAS expander to meet the growing demands of high speed storage solutions.

“Cooling challenges encountered by placing this many hard drives in a 2U chassis are countered through a strong thermal design by experts from Chenbro, we’ve established the RM23624 as a reliable and high performing chassis for enterprise storage, online transaction processing, database servers, and other I/O constrained applications.” said ST Kuo, VP of Product Development of Chenbro.

12Gb/s SAS Expander with LSI DataBolt

With the 12Gb/s SAS expander the RM23624 allows system integrators and OEMs to build high-performance server/storage solutions to achieve high IOPS performance for the most demanding enterprise applications. Also adapting LSI Databolt™ technology that enables bandwidth enhancement to 12Gb/s from existing 6Gb/s SAS structure for performance-intensive enterprise storage environments.

24-Bay Hard Disk /SDD Capacity

The Chenbro RM23624 maximizes storage capacity in a 2U form factor by offering 24 hot swappable drive bays for HDDs or SSDs. Plus, an additional HDD cage that supports two internal 2.5” drive bays to provide flexibility for OS and system software deployment.

Reliable Thermal Design and Power Supply

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Designed with optimal airflow and heat ventilation which provides a reliable thermal structure with up to four patented anti-vibration fans with smart speed control configuration, in addition, two optional 40mm rear fans are also available to achieve maximum thermal performance.

Power supply options include a choice of a single power supply for budget-savvy load outs or 1+1 redundant power supplies are available to prevent system failure and downtime risks.

Easy Maintenance

The Chenbro RM23624 is easy to maintain with hot swappable drives, cooling fans, and redundant power supplies and tool-less installation of the backplane. Optional 3 (Full height) or 7 (low profile) PCIe expansion slots provide flexibility for expansion needs.

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How The Right Surveillance Storage Improves The System

When the first event music, “Video Killed the Radio Star” premiered on MTV in 1981, it started a video revolution. A lot has changed since then, but video’s relevance in our culture, has increased, and our lives and security have come to depend on it.

Market research firm IHS estimates that one surveillance camera has been installed for every eight people (about 40M) in the U.S. alone. Stats from 2014 certainly back that up – according to the IHS Video Surveillance Intelligence Service Market Insight report from August 2015, the U.S. was ranked as the second largest market for video surveillance equipment, worth $2.8 billion dollars.

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With our obsession over video and corresponding camera capabilities such as HD and 4K, it’s easy to miss an equally crucial component that can make or break the effectiveness of an entire surveillance system: storage. Unfortunately, many surveillance professionals are using the wrong drive.

Rather than being designed for continuous capture of HD or FHD video from multiple cameras, a drive that is not optimized for surveillance systems can drop frames, or even consume more power, generating more heat to create a major reliability issue. This could drastically reduce the life of a drive, adversely affecting the read and write operations in a surveillance system. These solution may cost the customer less upfront, but eventually could affect your business when performance, reliability and even your reputation.

The right surveillance storage solution offer high performance, efficiency and capacity that has been tested in harsh surveillance environments. But how to tell the difference?

 

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: What to Look For In Surveillance Storage

There are several specific things to look for when evaluating whether a drive has been designed with surveillance in mind:

  • Always on: A surveillance system works 24×7. If the storage drive hasn’t been designed for constant, never-ending read/write operations, it won’t be able to keep up.
  • Performance Reliability: Some drives, like WD’s Purple surveillance-class hard drive family, include special technology (called AllFrame in this case) that improves playback performance and works with ATA streaming to reduce errors and frame loss.

  • RAID-enabled: To increase peace-of-mind for your customer, you may also want to look for a drive with RAID or Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disk capabilities. A drive with this capability can use two or more hard disks to create a safety net for failed hardware by ensuring that the image is still being captured even if one drive isn’t working. This lessens interruptions in productivity and decreases the chance of data loss.
  • Low power consumption: While “low power consumption” might not be first on your list of things to look for in a hard drive, the need for always-on capability makes this crucial. Having a drive that calculates the optimum seek speeds won’t generate as much heat, even in passively-cooled storage enclosures, making it more reliable and friendlier to your customer’s wallet.
  • High camera count support: A high number of cameras, an NVR system or a longer retention period will require higher storage use and an even greater need to ensure you have chosen a drive that will meet the customer’s needs. Look for one with up to 6 TB of capacity on a single drive.
  • High system bay count support: The right drive will include hardware vibration sensors to enable higher drive-count systems as well as higher system and hard drive workloads.
  • Extensive compatibility with cameras: Needless to say, the drive you select needs to work with the cameras you are planning to install. One that works with most of the different cameras you could install will make it even easier to keep the right drive on-hand, regardless of your current installation scenario.
  • Rugged exterior: In some cases the drive may need to live, and perform continuously in harsh environments. In this case, you’ll want one with tarnish-resistant PCBA protection.
  • Easily upgradable: In an ideal world, your customer occasionally asks to upgrade or expand their existing surveillance system. A drive that scales with a system when the need to expand arises and makes your job easier.

Considering the importance of storage in surveillance systems, you may also find it helpful to use a capacity calculator to help determine how much storage is needed for the length of time data is to be maintained for a particular surveillance system. Vendors like WD offer calculators and drive selection tools to help find the right drive and capacity that best suits your needs.

 

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WD HelioSeal Technology Expands Storage Capacity to 8TB

2 March 2016 – Western Digital Corporation today announced the expansion of its award-winning portfolio of performance storage solutions with 8TB capacity drives for NAS, video surveillance and desktop external applications. Increasingly centralized, rich-content, which continues to grow in popularity among enterprises, small business and consumers alike, is driving demand for greater storage capacities.

Launching throughout the first half of 2016, My Cloud personal storage devices (My Cloud, My Cloud Mirror, My Cloud EX2 Ultra), My Book external hard drives (My Book, My Book for Mac, My Book Duo and My Book Pro), WD Red, WD Red Pro and WD Purple hard drives will all be designed with the new high-capacity configuration. Each storage solution offers purpose-driven engineering and HelioSeal helium-technology with the new 8TB drives for maximum and efficient performance in the applications for which each model is designed.

The increase to 8TB or 16TB (with two 8TB drives in RAID 0) capacity applies to the following WD products:

 

External Hard Drives

  • [adrotate banner=”4″]My Book/My Book for Mac -– An external hard drive solution that provides complete backup and storage with USB connectivity.
  • My Book Duo/My Book Pro – Dual-drive external hard drive solutions which provide ultra-fast storage in RAID-0 and complete backup and storage with USB and/or Thunderbolt connectivity and up to 16TB capacity.
  • My Cloud/My Cloud Mirror – A personal storage device that plugs into your router at home to provide consumers with their very own private cloud.
  • My Cloud EX2 Ultra – As part of the creative professional series of My Cloud products, the My Cloud EX2 Ultra provides high-performance two-bay network attached storage.

 

Internal Hard Drives

  • WD Purple – Engineered for 24/7, always-on, high-definition surveillance security systems that use up to eight hard drives and up to 32 cameras
  • WD Red – Optimized for personal, home and small business NAS (network attached storage) systems
  • WD Red Pro – Optimized for small business and enterprise class NAS systems with high performance and reliability.

 

Availability and Pricing

My Book 8TB will be available in March at select retailers and is distributed by Eternal Asia (M) Sdn Bhd in Malaysia. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for the My Book 8TB (model #: WDBFJK0080HBK) is RM 1,499.00 (~US$ 359).

My Cloud, My Book for Mac, My Book Duo, My Book Pro, WD Red and WD Purple 8TB configurations will be available during the first half of 2016.

 

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Setting Up A Secure Storage System For Team Collaboration

Small businesses often operate in lean teams, with each staff member behaving as a “jack of all trades.” This attitude can be useful for acquiring customers and putting in the extra effort SMBs sometimes need, but it doesn’t work for data management and security.

Cyberattacks are not only a risk to large companies like Target or Sony, but are a costly danger to small businesses as well. According to a report by the National Small Business Association, 50 percent of small businesses experienced a cyberattack in 2014, costing an average of more than $20,750.

Storing, managing and protecting sensitive company and customer data is a cumbersome process that can become even more daunting with an expanding team. With tight budgets and an often non-existent IT department, implementing a strong system becomes even more challenging.

Small businesses need a secure storage solution that offers cloud access with local back-up abilities and is scalable (that is, robust enough to meet their current needs, but also able to grow and adapt to future demands). Here are four steps a small business should take to set up and maintain a strong, fast and adaptable secure storage system:

 

1. Identify needs and create a plan.

Work with your key decision makers to determine what kind of file access and management the business needs. Does your sales team need access to documents outside of the office, or does your customer service team need to be able to review complete customer records at any given time?

Identify who in the organization needs access to which data, and develop a written plan. The file management plan should include who will manage the content and be responsible for data backups and who has access to the most sensitive information. The plan will also help determine what storage hardware solutions best fit your needs.

 

2. Set up a scalable storage server.

A network attached storage (NAS) device is an easy and affordable solution that allows designated users to share and access files, media and more from multiple computers and devices. Instead of being tethered by USB cables, users can access data across the business’ personal cloud, via your Wi-Fi network, and still back up data locally.

At a minimum, you’ll want to choose storage that gives you the ability to manage permissions and folder privileges. But to maximize your investment, you should look for a drive that can scale. Some storage drives, like Western Digital’s Red Drive, are built from the ground up to combine easily, so that as your business grows, it’s easy to increase the number of users needing access.

With the WD Red drive, your employees are able to quickly share their files and back up folders reliably. It also comes with software that enables seamless integration with your existing network infrastructure.

 

3. Optimize systems to maximize performance.

Be sure to keep your entire technology network up to date before, during and after installation of a storage server. Ensuring a healthy ecosystem of your storage, router, and modem units is crucial to delivering services to customers in a timely manner and avoiding bottlenecks in the system.

 

4. Enable and manage user access.

When storing sensitive company data, restrictions on security and access are your primary concern. Implement a storage system that allows you to grant file access to those that need it, and rescind it for those that don’t. User access should be described in detail in the written plan, so staff know exactly where to place and find the data they need.

Small businesses typically try to grow quickly, which means shifting roles and responsibilities. When new employees come on, and old ones depart, make sure you are able to maintain control of all of your data. When an employee leaves, revoke access immediately, and when on-boarding an employee, take the time to review your policies and expectations when handling company data and information.

 

5. Develop a good file naming strategy and folder structure.

[adrotate banner=”4″]Keeping your centralized storage system organized, makes it less likely that information will be mismanaged. “Document A” and “Spreadsheet 3” are useless filenames when you are searching through hundreds of documents for one particular file. Use names that are meaningful, but still short.

To help with version control, employ a date and initial system that tells you when and who last updated the document. Descriptive folders will also help you and your team navigate media quickly. Designate folders for financial, sales and operations documents to keep everyone organized.

File storage is only one piece of the puzzle to consider when growing your business, but when properly implemented, can save you and your business thousands of dollars and countless hours. There are a lot of factors to consider, but if you take the time to determine your needs and develop an actionable plan for your company now, as well as in the future, it will give you time to explore your options and make the best choice possible.

 

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PQI iConnect mini – World’s Smallest iPhone Drive

Taipei, Taiwan, February 1st , 2016 – PQI, the world’s leading brand of peripheral storage accessories for portable devices, announces the availability of the revolutionary iConnect Mini Lightning flash drive for Apple devices. The iConnect mini features an incredibly large storage space for its small size and is very accessible with its main features available via a single button press.  The iConnect mini will be available to buy soon on Amazon.

The iConnect Mini measures at an astoundingly small size of only 44.6mm x 12.6mm x 8mm, (approx. 1 ½” x ½” x ¼”), or roughly equivalent to the size of an average person’s thumb.  Yet, the iConnect Mini still offers storage capacity up to 128GB, which is made possible through PQI’s exclusive COB 3.0 technology.

[adrotate banner=”4″]The iConnect Mini offers a one button photo and video back-up function, allowing the user to back up all photos and videos stored on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod within a matter of minutes.  This feature can be performed manually or automatically.

When the iConnect Mini is attached to an iPhone, it can automatically save all images and videos directly to the device, so that the iPhone storage capacity is not impacted and remains untouched. For added security, the iConnect Mini supports the Apple Touch ID security, using an individual’s unique finger print to prevent others from accessing or altering any of your images and videos.

“Independent research has reported that the average iPhone owner uses their camera app at least 3 times a day.  With the average picture size from an iPhone 6S at nearly 3MB, and the most popular iPhone storage capacity being only 16GB, it’s easy to see why 64% of iPhone users want more storage space.” proclaimed PQI Global CEO, Spencer Chiu. “The iConnect Mini’s tiny size makes it easier to carry it in your pocket or on a keychain to dramatically increase your storage capacity and avoid the dreaded, “Cannot Take Photo”, prompt when you are trying to use the camera app on your iPhone.”

The iConnect Mini is an ideal companion for owners of iPhones with a lightning connection as it provides up to 128GB of added storage, backs-up photos and videos with Apple Touch ID protection, and easily transfers content quickly between your iPhone and a computer or tablet through its high speed USB 3.0 connection.

 

Increase iPhone’s Storage Capacity

The PQI iConnect Mini expands your iPhone’s storage capacity, especially on the lower capacity 16GB iPhones. The iConnect mini allows you to take more high-resolution 12 megapixel photos, live photos, 4K videos, and store them directly in its memory without using up precious storage on the iPhone’s internal memory.

The iConnect Mini has an extendable Lightning connector that allows it to stay connected to an iPhone without needing to remove the exterior protective casing.

 

Instant One-Button Back-Up

The PQI iConnect Mini allows the user to backup images and videos with the push of a single button. The iConnect Mini is so fast that it can back-up over 1,000 pictures captured through the iPhone camera and transfer it to the iConnect Mini in just over 4 minutes.

 

Transfer Between All Your Devices

iConnect Mini lets you easily transfer and share files on all your devices without needing to interface through iTunes or iCloud. Share content stored on your iPhone directly to your computer or from your computer on to your iPhone, via the iConnect Mini with dual-interface USB3.0 and Apple-certified Lightning connector. Easily back-up your data from your iPhone to your Mac or PC, or transfer media and other files from your Mac or PC onto your iPhone.

 

Made To Match Your iPhone Colour

The sleek and modern design of PQI iConnect Mini is made to match your iPhone with matching metallic finish to pair it with your gold, grey and rose gold device. The 360 rotating cap conveniently protects the connector when not in use and can be attached to a keychain or carrier for easier transport and storage.

 

Apple-Certified

The PQI iConnect Mini are engineered to meet Apple’s design specifications and are MFI (Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod) Certified.

 

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ARMD Emulation Type – BIOS Optimization Guide

ARMD Emulation Type

Common Options : Auto, Floppy, Hard Disk Drive

 

Quick Review

ARMD is actually short for ATAPI Removable Media Device. It refers to devices that use removable media. Examples include the LS-120, Magneto-Optical (MO) and Zip drives.

To boot up any operating system from these drives, it is essential for them to emulate a floppy drive or a hard disk drive. This is especially true for older operating systems like DOS.

This BIOS feature allows you to select the type of emulation used during the boot sequence.

When set to Auto, the BIOS automatically sets the emulation type used by ARMD drives.

When set to Floppy, ARMD drives will emulate a floppy drive at boot up.

When set to Hard Disk Drive, the ARMD will emulate a hard disk drive at boot up.

To be safe, this BIOS feature should be set to Floppy. It is the safest emulation type, and the one that most accurately describes ARMD drives. They are, after all, more like large-capacity floppy drives than hard disk drives.

 

Details

ARMD is actually short for ATAPI Removable Media Device. It refers to devices that use removable media. Examples include the LS-120, Magneto-Optical (MO) and Zip drives.

To boot up any operating system from these drives, it is essential for them to emulate a floppy drive or a hard disk drive. This is especially true for older operating systems like DOS.

This BIOS feature allows you to select the type of emulation used during the boot sequence.

When set to Auto, the BIOS automatically sets the emulation type used by ARMD drives.

When set to Floppy, ARMD drives will emulate a floppy drive at boot up.

When set to Hard Disk Drive, the ARMD will emulate a hard disk drive at boot up.

Emulating the hard disk drive may provide better performance, if the operating system supports a disk cache. However, that may introduce data synchronization problems should you eject the media before the disk cache has a chance to write to the media.

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Emulating a floppy drive does not normally present with this problem. Only reads from floppy drives are normally cached, thereby avoiding this problem. In addition, certain operating systems (e.g. Windows XP) will only load drivers from a floppy drive during the installation process.

If you desire better performance, you should set this BIOS feature to Hard Disk Drive. However, you must treat the device like a hard disk drive and refrain from ejecting the media unless you are sure the cached data has been written to it.

To be safe, this BIOS feature should be set to Floppy. It is the safest emulation type, and the one that most accurately describes ARMD drives. They are, after all, more like large-capacity floppy drives than hard disk drives.

Go Back To > The BIOS Optimization Guide | Home

 

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WD Blue SSHD (WD10J31X) 1TB Review Rev. 2.0

WD Blue SSHD

Western Digital has finally moved into the Solid State Hybrid Drive (SSHD) market with their new WD Blue SSHD drives.

The WD Blue family of mainstream 5400 RPM drives is designed for less strenous use at home and in the office. Like their now-discontinued WD Green family, the emphasis is on reduced power consumption , thermal output and cost, instead of high performance.

That changes with the SSHD variant, which pairs a regular WD Blue drive with an 8 GB SSD. These hybrid drives are able to offer pseudo-SSD performance with the storage capacity and lower cost of regular hard disk drives.

The Western Digital Blue SSHD models support the following features :

8 GB NAND flash for blazing performance – An optimal amount of built-in NAND flash SSD technology enables WD Blue SSHDs to perform at up to four to five times faster than traditional 5400 rpm HDDs, based on PCMark Vantage.

Self-learning technology – Utilizing an advanced set of algorithms, WD Blue SSHDs track SSHD data usage, prioritizing frequently used data for fast access in the solid state portion of the device, adapting, learning and optimizing as new applications and command requests change over time. These advanced algorithms reside in the SSHD firmware, enabling it to make intelligent determinations of which data to store in NAND flash memory, without any influence from the host or related storage device drivers. By pairing SSD-like performance with massive hard drive capacity, WD has created an intelligent hybrid drive that truly offers the best of both worlds.

Synergy delivers value – WD Blue SSHD is equipped with the optimal amount of NAND flash to deliver fast, SSD-like performance over high-capacity storage, significantly lowering the $/GB compared to the higher cost and lower capacity of standalone SSDs.

Simple installation with no special software required – The WD Blue SSHD hybrid drive is self-contained in a traditional HDD form factor, and installs as easily as any traditional hard drive without special drivers or downloads required. WD Blue SSHDs are compatible with most typical computer configurations, including PC and Mac.

Today, we will look at the 1 TB WD Blue (WD10J31X) SSHD, which is a 2.5″ drive for laptops. The other member of the WD Blue SSHD family, at this moment, is the 4 TB WD Blue (WD40E31X) SSHD (read our review here), which is a 3.5″ drive for desktops. Let’s see how well the 1 TB WD Blue (WD10J31X) SSHD performs against the main competitor – the 1 TB Seagate Laptop SSHD, as well as other mobile and desktop HDDs!

 

Specification Comparison

The 1 TB WD Blue (WD10J31X) SSHD is a direct competitor of the 1 TB Seagate Laptop SSHD, so let’s compare their specifications.

Specifications Western Digital Blue SSHD (1 TB) Seagate Laptop SSHD (1 TB)
Model • WD10J31X • ST1000UM000
Advanced Format (AF) • Yes, Emulation Mode • Yes, Emulation Mode
Formatted Capacity • 1,000,204 MB • 1,000,204 MB
Guaranteed Sectors • 1,953,525,168 • 1,953,525,168
Bytes Per Sector • 512 bytes (Emulated)
• 4,096 bytes (Physical)
• 512 bytes (Emulated)
• 4,096 bytes (Physical)
Platters • 2 Platters • 2 Platters
Read/Write Heads • 4 Read/Write Heads • 4 Read/Write Heads
Spindle Speed • 5,400 RPM • 5,400 RPM
SDRAM Cache • 64 MB SDRAM • 64 MB SDRAM
NAND Cache • 8 GB MLC • 8 GB MLC
Average
Seek
• NA • 12.0 ms
Track-to-Track Seek • NA • 2.0 ms (average)
Average Latency • NA • 5.6 ms
Drive Ready Time • NA • < 1.0 seconds (average)
Internal
Data Transfer Rate
(Sustained, Maximum)
• 100 MB/s • 100 MB/s
Maximum I/O
Transfer Rate
• 600
MB/s
• 600
MB/s
Interface • Serial ATA 6 Gb/s • Serial ATA 6 Gb/s
Supported SATA
Data Transfer Modes
• 6.0 Gbits/s
• 3.0 Gbits/s
• 1.5 Gbits/s
• 6.0 Gbits/s
• 3.0 Gbits/s
• 1.5 Gbits/s
SATA Hotplug
Capability
• Yes • Yes
Maximum Height • 9.5 mm
• 0.374 inches
• 9.5 mm
• 0.374 inches
Maximum Width • 69.85 mm
• 2.75 inches
• 69.85 mm
• 2.75 inches
Maximum Length • 100.2 mm
• 3.94 inches
• 100.35 mm
• 3.951 inches
Maximum Weight • 120 g
• 0.27 lb
• 115 g
• 0.254 lb
Power Requirements • +12V DC ± 10 %
• +5V DC ± 5 %
• +12V DC ± 10 %
• +5V DC ± 5 %
Power Consumption • 6.5 W (Spin-Up)
• 1.65 W (Read / Write)
• 0.65 W (Idle)
• 0.225 W (Standby / Sleep)
• 3.7 W (Write)
• 3.1 W (Read)
• 1.1 W (Idle)
• 0.53 W (Standby / Sleep)
Ambient Temperature • 0 °C to 60 °C
(Operating)
• -40 °C to 70 °C (Non-Operating)
• 0 °C to 60 °C
(Operating)
• -40 °C to 70 °C (Non-Operating)
Maximum Shock • 400 G @ 2 ms (Read)
• 1000 G @ 2 ms (Non-Operating)
• 350 G @ 2 ms (Read)
• 1000 G @ 1 ms (Non-Operating)
Drive Acoustics • 24 dBA average (Idle Mode)
• 25 dBA average (Performance Seek Mode)
• 22 dBA average (Idle Mode)
• 24 dBA average (Performance Seek Mode)
Non-Recoverable
Read Errors
• 1 error per 1014 bits read • < 1 error per 1015 bits read
Load/Unload Cycles • 600,000 (minimum) • 600,000 (minimum)
MTBF • NA • NA
Warranty • 3 Years Limited Warranty • 3 Years Limited Warranty
Lowest Price
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Packaging

The 1 TB WD Blue (WD10J31X) SSHD came in a sealed anti-static plastic packet, with a sachet of desiccants inside to keep it dry. To remove it, just tear off the top or cut it open, and slide out the drive.

Be sure to ground yourself before removing and handling the hard disk drive as static can damage it. In particular, you should try to avoid touching the exposed PCB located on the lower underside of the drive.

Next Page > A Closer Look At The WD Blue SSHD

 

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The WD Blue SSHD (WD10J31X)

Despite having an SSD built-in, the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD looks just like any other 2.5″ notebook hard disk drive. It has a label on the top plate and an uncovered PCB on the underside. The label has a lot of important information, like the hard drive model, storage capacity as well as its date and place of manufacture.

This particular drive was manufactured here in Malaysia on the 28th of May, 2015. Interestingly, Western Digital also added a QR code so you can scan it using your smartphone to learn more about the WD Blue SSHD.

 

SSHD Vs. Dual Drive

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SSHD is short for Solid State Hybrid Drive. It combines a small SSD with a regular hard disk drive. It is not the same thing as a dual drive, like the WD Black2, which is essentially an SSD with a HDD in a single enclosure.

The WD Blue SSHD comes with a much smaller SSD and uses it as a cache. This allows the drive to deliver pseudo-SSD performance at much lower price points. Its SSD component is not user-accessible, unlike the SSD component in a dual drive.

Unlike the WD Black2, there is no special requirement. It behaves just like any other hard disk drive, just with an SSD serving as a secondary cache.

 

Connectors & Jumpers

This is a Serial ATA hard drive, with native support for SATA 6 Gb/s. However, it is backward-compatible so you will have no problem using it with older SATA 3 Gb/s controllers.

The SATA 6 Gb/s interface is necessary for optimal performance since this Western Digital Blue SSHD boasts a maximum sustained internal (platter-to-buffer) transfer rate of 100 MB/s, and a large and fast DDR2 SDRAM cache.

Like all Serial ATA drives, it comes the standard SATA data (left) and power (right) connectors and is hot-pluggable. That means you can connect and disconnect this hard disk drive to your PC while it’s still running.

To the left of the SATA connectors is the jumper block. However, Western Digital does not provide any jumper with their drives. This is because the jumper block should only be used in exceptional cases.

According to Western Digital, jumpering pins 1 and 2 enables Spread Spectrum Clocking (SSC). Placing the jumper across pins 5 and 6 will force the drive to use the slower SATA 3Gbits/s transfer speed. This is only necessary for certain SATA controllers that do not properly implement the SATA 6 Gb/s speed negotiation.

 

Breather Holes

The 1 TB WD Blue SSHD has a small breather hole on the top plate, just above the warning about not covering any drive holes. This hole must not be covered.

Breather holes allow condensation inside the hard disk drive to escape. They also equalize the hard disk drive’s internal pressure with the ambient air pressure. The hard disk drive needs them to function properly, so please make sure you do not occlude these holes.

Next Page > Peeking Under The WD Blue SSHD PCB

 

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What’s Under The PCB

Western Digital has a penchant for keeping all surface-mounted components on the reverse side of the PCB – to prevent static damage and to allow for better cooling. It’s protected by a thin foam cutout on the chassis side, with a thermal pad to help transfer heat from the HDD controller to the hard disk drive chassis.

The 1 TB WD Blue (WD10J31X) SSHD used the Marvell 88i9441 Soleil-H SSHD controller. It comes with two 600 MHz ARM Cortex-R4 processors and supports hardware 256-bit AES encryption, Native Command Queueing and a 6 Gb/s SATA interface.

To manage the integrated 8 GB flash memory, Western Digital used the JMicron JMF608 NAND flash controller. It supports up to 4 read/write channels at up to 300 Mbits/s (read) and 200 Mbits/s (write) per channel. That works out to a maximum throughput of 150 MB/s (read) and 100 MB/s (write).

The primary cache remains the 64 MB Winbond W9751G6KB-25 DDR2 SDRAM chip – the same memory chip used by the 6 TB Western Digital Red drive. This is is a newer version of the memory chip used in the 4 TB Western Digital RE (WD4000FYYZ), with an operating speed of 800 MHz, 4 memory banks and faster timings of 5-5-5. This gives it a peak transfer rate of 200 MB/s.

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To tie the SSD and HDD components together, Western Digital used the Marvell 88SE9171 PCI Express 2.0 x1 to SATA 6Gb/s switch. This is a 2-port SATA switch.

Unlike the 4 TB WD Blue SSHD (read our review here) which used the ST Microelectronics WDHC8TD motor drive controller, the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD used used a proprietary WD Nautilus motor drive controller.

All of the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD‘s firmware was stored in a 4 Mbit (512 KB) Winbond 25X40CLVIG serial flash memory chip.

Finally, the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD features a single shock sensor, just like the 4 TB Western Digital Blue SSHD (read our review here). The shock sensor allows the drive to detect shock events and automatically park the drive heads to avoid damage.

Next Page > Testing The WD Blue SSHD, Usable Capacity, Temperature

 

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The Testbed

Processors Intel Core i7-2600K
Motherboard Intel DP67BG
Memory Four Kingmax 2 GB DDR3-1333 modules
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570
Hard Disk Drives 1 TB WD Blue SSHD (WD10J31X)
1 TB Seagate Laptop SSHD (ST1000UM000)
1 TB WD Blue Slim (WD10SPCX)

1 TB WD Blue (WD10JPVT)
750 GB WD Scorpio Black (WD7500BPKT)
640 GB WD Scorpio Blue (WD6400BEVT)
500 GB WD Blue Slim (WD5000LPVT)

500 GB WD Scorpio Black (WD5000BEKT)
320 GB WD Scorpio Black (WD3200BEKT)
Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit
Microsoft Windows Vista 32-bit

 

Testing Methodology

We tested in both Windows 7 and Windows Vista, with the latest updates. We chose to use IO Meter 2008 as well as our “old faithful”, WinBench 99 2.0, with the following tests :

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  • Platter Data Transfer Profile
  • Business Disk WinMark 99
  • High-End Disk WinMark 99
  • Disk Transfer Rate (Beginning)
  • Disk Transfer Rate (End)

Business Disk WinMark 99 is a real-world simulation based on three office application suites – Microsoft Office 97, Lotus SmartSuite and Corel WordPerfect Suite 8, as well as a web browser, Netscape Navigator. They are quite dated, but should still reflect the usage patterns of users in an office environment using such applications. The test runs through a script that keeps multiple applications open, while it performs tasks that switches between those applications and Netscape Navigator. The result is the average transfer rate during the script run.

High-End Disk WinMark 99 is a real-world simulation based on AVS/Express 3.4, FrontPage 98, MicroStation SE, Photoshop 4.0, Premiere 4.2, Sound Forge 4.0 and Visual C++ 5.0. However, it differs by running the applications serially, instead of simultaneously. There are individual results for each application but in this comparison, we will be looking only at the weighted average score, which is the average transfer rate during the tests.

Unfortunately, WinBench 99 is not fully compatible with Microsoft Windows 7, registering a SetFilePointer error in the Disk Access Time test. So, we were not able to obtain any Disk Access Time results.

In addition, it would keep crashing if the hard drive was tested with a single partition. This is likely due to a limit on the size of the partition that is supported by WinBench 99. We came up with a workaround by dividing the hard disk drive into 5 partitions of equal sizes. We then tested each partition individually and averaged the results.

 

Usable Capacity

The 1 TB WD Blue SSHD (WD10J31X) has an official formatted capacity of 1,000 GB. We checked that out by formatting it in NTFS using Microsoft Windows 7.

The actual formatted capacity was 1,000,202,039,296 bytes, which is 202 MB lower than the official storage capacity. With about 125 MB allocated to the NTFS file system, the actual usable capacity remained slightly above 1 TB.

 

Maximum Surface Temperature

We monitored the surface temperature of seven hard disk drives 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.

Due to the extra chips and NAND flash memory, the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD has a high idle temperature. It hit a peak case temperature of 23°C above ambient temperature. This can be a concern inside the confines of a laptop case. This drive is designed to run in relatively hot environments, with a peak ambient temperature of 60°C.

Next Page > Transfer Rate Range, Platter Profile, WinBench Test Results

 

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Transfer Rate Range

This chart shows you the range of platter-to-buffer transfer rates from the innermost track to the outermost track. In other words, it shows you the range of disk transfer rates of the hard disk drives (from minimum to maximum).

Western Digital rates the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD with a peak throughput of 100 MB/s, but our test shows that it will actually hit 113 MB/s. As you can see, it has exactly the same transfer rate range as the 1 TB WD Blue Slim (WD10SPCX), which is really the HDD component of this SSHD.

 

Platter Profile

The platter profile of the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD we received was very good. There were no noticeable dips in throughput that would signify a significant use of replacement sectors. Lots of them would point to poor platter quality.

We also compared its platter profile to that of the 1 TB Seagate Laptop SSHD, its direct competitor. You can see that the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD starts off with a higher throughput but the Seagate Laptop SSHD is faster from around the 300 GB point onwards.

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Business Disk WinBench 99

The 1 TB Seagate Laptop SSHD remained the top SSHD in this comparison, delivering 55% better performance than the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD. Even so, you can see the benefit of adding just 8 GB of flash memory. The 1 TB WD Blue SSHD was 29% faster than the 750 GB WD Scorpio Black, which is a 7200 RPM hard disk drive.

Hard Disk Drive Model Capacity Business Disk
WinMark 99
Difference Useful Links
Seagate Laptop SSHD
(ST1000UM000)
1 TB 34.90 MB/s + 55.1% Review Lowest Price!
Western Digital Blue SSHD
(WD10J31X)
1 TB 22.50 MB/s Baseline Lowest Price!
Western Digital Scorpio Black
(WD7500BPKT)
750 GB 16.00 MB/s – 28.9% Review Lowest Price!
Western Digital Scorpio Black
(WD5000BEKT)
500 GB 13.90 MB/s – 38.2% Review Lowest Price!
Western Digital Blue
(WD10SPCX)
1 TB 13.00 MB/s – 42.2% Review Lowest Price!
Western Digital Blue
(WD10JPVT)
1 TB 12.60 MB/s – 44.0% Review Lowest Price!
Western Digital Blue
(WD5000LPVT)
500 GB 11.60 MB/s – 48.4% Review Lowest Price!
Western Digital Scorpio Black
(WD3200BEKT)
320 GB 8.64 MB/s – 61.6% Review Lowest Price!
Western Digital Blue
(WD6400BEVT)
640 GB 7.49 MB/s – 66.7% Review Lowest Price!

 

High-End Disk WinBench 99

But when it came to the High-End test, the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD smashed the competition. It was 16% faster than the 750 GB WD Scorpio Black, and 30% faster than the 1 TB Seagate Laptop SSHD!

Hard Disk Drive Model Capacity High-End Disk
WinMark 99
Difference Useful Links
Western Digital Blue SSHD
(WD10J31X)
1 TB 103.0 MB/s Baseline Lowest Price!
Western Digital Scorpio Black
(WD7500BPKT)
750 GB 86.7 MB/s – 15.8% Review Lowest Price!
Western Digital Scorpio Black
(WD5000BEKT)
500 GB 86.4 MB/s – 16.1% Review Lowest Price!
Seagate Laptop SSHD
(ST1000UM000)
1 TB 71.7 MB/s – 30.4% Review Lowest Price!
Western Digital Blue
(WD5000LPVT)
500 GB 68.5 MB/s – 33.5% Review Lowest Price!
Western Digital Blue
(WD10JPVT)
1 TB 65.8 MB/s – 36.1% Review Lowest Price!
Western Digital Blue
(WD10SPCX)
1 TB 61.9 MB/s – 39.9% Review Lowest Price!
Western Digital Scorpio Black
(WD3200BEKT)
320 GB 51.2 MB/s – 50.3% Review Lowest Price!
Western Digital Blue
(WD6400BEVT)
640 GB 32.8 MB/s – 68.2% Review Lowest Price!

Next Page > IO Meter Benchmark Results

 

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IO Meter

We compared the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD to the 1 TB Seagate Laptop SSHDFor more performance comparisons, please take a look at The Hard Disk Drive Performance Comparison Guide.

 

Random Throughput

Test 1 TB WD
Blue SSHD
1 TB Seagate
Laptop SSHD
Difference
512 KB Read 18.48 MB/s 22.39 MB/s + 21.2%
512 KB Write 20.68 MB/s 31.48 MB/s + 52.2%
4 KB Read 0.22 MB/s 0.25 MB/s + 13.6%
4 KB Write 0.22 MB/s 0.25 MB/s + 13.6%

The small random reads and writes are the most important tests for applications that make a lot of random accesses, so those would be key performance indicators for drives that are used as boot or system drives, but not very important for NAS or media storage drives.

In this regard, the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD would make a much better boot drive than the 1 TB Seagate Laptop SSHD. It was almost 14% faster in small accesses and 52% faster in large random writes!

 

Random Access Time

Test 1 TB WD
Blue SSHD
1 TB Seagate
Laptop SSHD
Difference
512 KB Read 23.41 ms 28.28 ms – 17.2%
512 KB Write 16.65 ms 25.52 ms – 34.7%
4 KB Read 16.17 ms 18.41 ms – 12.2%
4 KB Write 16.63 ms 19.23 ms – 13.5%

Since these results are based on the SSD cache of the two SSHDs, we can see that the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD is using a faster SSD than the 1 TB Seagate Laptop SSHD.

 

Random CPU Utilization

Test 1 TB WD
Blue SSHD
1 TB Seagate
Laptop SSHD
Difference
512 KB Read 0.78% 0.45% + 73.3%
512 KB Write 0.85% 0.23% + 269.6%
4 KB Read 0.40% 0.17% + 135.3%
4 KB Write 0.44% 0.31% + 41.9%

The downside though is higher CPU utilization by the drive. Despite the large difference in percentage, this is really minor due to the high performance CPUs we use today.

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Sequential Throughput

Test 1 TB WD
Blue SSHD
1 TB Seagate
Laptop SSHD
Difference
512 KB Read 190.00 MB/s 108.31 MB/s + 75.4%
512 KB Write 102.77 MB/s 110.22 MB/s – 6.8%
4 KB Read 31.74 MB/s 52.48 MB/s – 39.5%
4 KB Write 32.12 MB/s 48.14 MB/s – 33.3%

These are the second most important tests for boot drives, and the most important tests for secondary storage drives. The large sequential transfer performance is particularly important because they are often used to store large game or media files, which are all practically larger than than 512 KB these days.

The 1 TB WD Blue SSHD was phenomenal at large reads, delivering a throughput of 190 MB/s. On the other hand, it was slightly slower at large writes, and 30-40% slower at small reads and writes.

 

Sequential Access Time

Test 1 TB WD
Blue SSHD
1 TB Seagate
Laptop SSHD
Difference
512 KB Read 2.76 ms 4.84 ms – 43.0%
512 KB Write 5.10 ms 4.76 ms + 7.2%
4 KB Read 0.13 ms 0.08 ms + 65.8%
4 KB Write 0.13 ms 0.08 ms + 50.1%

Since these results are based on the SSD cache of the two SSHDs, we can see that the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD is using a faster SSD than the 1 TB Seagate Laptop SSHD.

 

Sequential CPU Utilization

Test 1 TB WD
Blue SSHD
1 TB Seagate
Laptop SSHD
Difference
512 KB Read 1.09% 0.50% + 118.0%
512 KB Write 1.50% 1.63% – 8.0%
4 KB Read 4.80% 8.56% – 43.9%
4 KB Write 5.89% 8.95% – 34.2%

Next Page > Our Verdict, Lowest Prices

 

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Our Verdict

Western Digital is very late to the Solid State Hybrid Drive (SSHD) market. Seagate launched the industry’s first SSHD, the Seagate Momentus PSD, back in 2007. It has taken Western Digital 8 years to dip their toes into SSHDs, but we are glad to see that they are off to a good start.

Like all other SSHDs, the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD (WD10J31X) uses a small 8 GB SSD as a fast secondary cache, in addition to the usual SDRAM cache.

This flash memory cache quickly stores all writes to drive, copying them over to the slower hard disk drive over time. Because it retains the written data, the data can be read from the much faster flash memory cache. This improves its read performance, albeit only for the data that is still stored in the cache.

Thanks to its flash memory cache, the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD was about 70% faster than the 1 TB WD Blue Slim (WD10SPCX) in the WinMark tests. This is the same hard disk drive the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD uses, so we can see the effect the small SSD cache has on its real world performance. It was also 20-40% faster than the 750 GB WD Scorpio Black, a high-performance mobile hard disk drive that features a much higher 7200 RPM spindle speed.

When we compared the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD to its direct competitor, the 1 TB Seagate Laptop SSHD, it proved to be :

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  • 75% faster in large sequential reads
  • 52% faster in large random writes
  • 21% faster in large random reads,
  • 14% faster in small random reads and writes
  • 7% slower in large sequential writes
  • 33% slower in small sequential writes
  • 40% slower in small sequential reads

It’s a mixed bag of results, but the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD is faster than the 1 TB Seagate Laptop SSHD in the more important performance aspects. We would peg the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD as the better drive of the two.

The 1 TB WD Blue SSHD could have performed better if Western Digital opted for a better flash controller than the JMF608. This is a 4-channel flash controller limited to 150 MB/s (read) and 100 MB/s (write). Western Digital would do well to use a faster flash controller if they want to maximise the performance of their future SSHDs.

The 1 TB WD Blue SSHD (WD10J31X) is no SSD, but it offers pseudo-SSD performance in the performance aspect that the hard disk drive is weakest at – random accesses. That’s why it “feels” like you are using an SSD. Even though it’s not quite as fast as a real SSD, it comes with an enormous storage capacity and costs far less per GB.

The 1 TB WD Blue SSHD is best used as a boot drive, if you have a dual-spindle laptop that supports two drives. It is also a great upgrade option for older laptops – giving them a new lease of life, thanks to its significantly better performance and storage capacity.

We are very pleased with the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD‘s performance, and we think it deserves our Reviewer’s Choice Award. Congratulations, Western Digital!

 

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QNAP Reveals Upgraded Qsirch 2.0 Search Engine

Taipei, Taiwan, January 11, 2016 – QNAP Systems, Inc. today announced their exclusive Qsirch 2.0 has been updated to include file distribution features to enable displaying search results by file categories, including photos, music, videos or documents, and users can customize the display of file distribution in order of date modified, file size or other criteria.

The newly-released Qsirch 2.0 now runs file indexing as a background task and allows instant file sharing to enhance the user experience. Qsirch 2.0 also adds support for the ARM-based TS-531P QNAP NAS.

Qsirch 2.0 simplifies and quickens file searching on a QNAP NAS and helps users to find out specific files from a massive data pool by using content keywords. Qsirch 2.0 adds further improvements to optimize the overall experience based on extensive user responses and positive feedback.

“Through customer behavior analysis, we learned that searching tasks require detailed and particular settings and display modes. Qsirch 2.0 has been updated with comprehensive searching enhancements to achieve more precise search results, and to enable instant file sharing and smooth downloading.” said Cherry Chen, product manager of QNAP.

 

Qsirch 2.0 Availability & Compatibility

Qsirch 2.0 is available from the QTS App Center for all x86-based NAS models that have a minimum of 2GB RAM. The ARM-based TS-531P requires at least 4GB RAM. Additional RAM is recommended for optimal performance.

System Requirements : x86 models require 2GB RAM. The TS-531P requires 4GB RAM.
Firmware Requirement: QTS 4.2.0 (or newer). File sharing function requires QTS 4.2.1 (or newer).

 

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