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Posts Tagged ‘storage’

SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive

December 24th, 2013 No comments

4 stars

SanDisk Connect flash drive

Mobile device manufacturers still charge a big premium for devices with additional memory. The cost difference between a base iPad Air with 16GB of memory and the 128GB version is a whopping $300. There is, however, no shortage of secondary Wi-Fi storage solutions available. The SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive is one of most portable I’ve seen and is definitely a keeper.

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Kingston 64GB Class 10 microSDXC flash memory card

November 15th, 2012 15 comments

5 Stars
Kingston 64GB microSDXC class 10 with Adapter

Kingston recently announced the availability of their 64GB Class 10 microSDXC memory card. After reading the press release, it got me thinking: how many memory manufacturers make a 64GB Class 10 microSD card? A quick search on Newegg turned up just one. With Kingston’s hat in the ring, now there’s two. 64GB is enormous for small devices, like smartphones and tablets. The storage advantages are pretty obvious, but I took a look at the Kingston 64GB microSDXC card for performance as well. The results were pretty impressive.

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Patriot Gauntlet 320 Wireless Portable Hard Drive

November 13th, 2012 No comments

4 stars
Patriot Gauntlet 320

Tablets and smartphones are great entertainment devices, but are often limited by their lack of storage. Yes, there are a lot of cloud-based services that allow you to stream your music, videos and photos, but there are enough situations where you might be without a network connection, that local storage is necessary. This is where the Patriot Gauntlet 320 steps in. It’s a wireless portable hard drive with 320GB of storage, accessible by iOS and Android devices, as well as PCs, Macs and the Kindle Fire.

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Samsung 256GB 830 Series SSD (MZ-7PC256N)

May 26th, 2012 No comments

5 Stars
Samsung 830 Series SSD

Samsung hasn’t really been a big player in the consumer SSD market. Their SSD drives were well-known as reliable drives, but performance wasn’t really a characteristic that’d describe Samsung SSD drives. The 830 Series has changed all that by boosting performance, while still maintaining their reputation as rock-solid drives.

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Patriot Memory Pyro SE 240GB SSD

March 3rd, 2012 No comments

5 Stars
Patriot Pyro SE

Since the introduction of their highly acclaimed, high-performance Wildfire SSD drive, Patriot Memory has been busy filling out their selection of SATA III SSD drives. The original Pyro SSD was released as a value-oriented alternative to the Wildfire. The lower cost of the Pyro was achieved by using asynchronous NAND flash memory. Now, Patriot has released the Pyro SE, which uses the higher-performance, synchronous NAND flash. The Pyro SE settles in, right in between the Wildfire and the Pyro.

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Corsair Force 3 240GB SSD

January 2nd, 2012 1 comment


Corsair Force 3 240GB SSD

Corsair’s Force 3 series SSD drives are enthusiast-grade solid-state drives, with advertised maximum sequential read/write speeds of 550MB/s read and 520MB/s write. While prices of SSD drives have been steadily declining, mechanical drives have started going up due to the flood in Thailand. If you’ve been thinking about upgrading your storage, now might be a good time to consider the Corsair Force 3 SSD for your system.

PROS

  • Rock-solid stability
  • Fast performance
  • Good capacity for notebooks
  • Super simple to install
  • Includes 3.5-inch adapter for desktops

CONS

  • Firmware utility only supported in Windows

Corsair Force 3 box

INSTALLATION
Installation of the Force 3 on most laptops should be a breeze. Desktops are also a piece of cake because Corsair includes a 3.5-inch adapter––something not all manufacturers do.

Corsair Force 3 unboxed

PERFORMANCE
The Force 3 Series SSDs support SATA III (6Gb/s) connections and are backwards compatible with SATA I/II. They’re also based on SandForce controllers and offer up quite a performance boost. The first benchmark I ran was ATTO benchmark. The transfer rates I got were slightly better than advertised.

ATTO Disk Benchmark max transfer rate

Unsurprisingly, the results from both CrystalDiskMark and AS SSD Benchmark were significantly lower because those benchmarks use incompressible data to test transfer rates. SSD drives that use asynchronous NAND flash, like the Corsair Force 3, don’t perform as well on incompressible data. Though the Force 3’s transfer rates are lower with incompressible data, keep in mind that in the real world, most people won’t ever notice a difference. Put it this way: asynchronous NAND SSD drives are still about three times faster than 7200RPM mechanical drives with incompressible data and over six times faster with compressible data.

Corsair Force 3 SSD drive

RELIABILITY
SandForce-based SSDs performed extremely well from the get go. Unfortunately, there were some bugs early on that caused instability in SSD drives that used the SandForce controllers, which was practically everybody.

I’ve had the Corsair Force 3 running in my primary system for over two months now, and have not experienced a single stutter, hang, crash or blue screen. I also haven’t experienced any issues waking up from a sleep state or hibernation. The drive I received had firmware version 1.2.

SandForce recently sent out updated firmware code to manufacturers, claiming they had fixed the bugs causing the instability in a lot of SandForce SSD drives. Corsair integrated those fixes into firmware 1.3.3, but I want to stress that even before firmware 1.3.3, the Force 3 did not exhibit any stability issues for me. The Force 3 has been very reliable during the course of my evaluation.

Corsair Force 3 SSD ports

SPECS

Form Factor 2.5-inch
Unformatted capacity 240GB
Controller SandForce SF-2281
Storage technology Asynchronous NAND
Interface SATA III (backwards compatible w/SATA I & II)
Sequential Read Up to 550MB/s
Sequential Write Up to 520MB/s
Max Random Write IOPS Up to 85,000 (4K aligned)
MTBF 2 million hours
Warranty 3 years

CONCLUSION
The Corsair Force 3 240GB SSD is a great solution if you need a high-performance drive but want to save a few bucks for other system upgrades. The benefits of SSD drives include incredible performance gains, low power consumption, quiet operation and fast boot and shutdown times. 240GB (223GB formatted) is a nice size for single-drive notebooks or for desktop users who want to use it as a boot drive with lots of applications. Either way, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with the Corsair Force 3 SSD.

Available from Amazon.com.

Review unit provided by Corsair

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Patriot Memory Pyro 120GB SSD

November 15th, 2011 2 comments

Patriot Memory Pyro 120GB SSD

Patriot Memory has been making memory modules and flash memory products since 1985, the year after the Detroit Tigers last won a World Series title. Building on their flash memory expertise, Patriot added solid state drives (SSD) to their line of products. In June of this year, Patriot released their fastest SSD ever––the Wildfire. Just a couple of months later, Patriot announced the Pyro, their consumer-level, high-performance solution.
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