storage articles

Samsung 840 Pro SSD Review: Topping Performance and Reliability

Samsung 840 Pro SSD Review: Topping Performance and Reliability

While the Samsung 830 Series and many of its year-old peers may still be attractive, Samsung is ready to move on to bigger and better things. Their new flagship offering, the SSD 840 Pro, is said to refine the 830 Series' firmware with faster random and sustained performance as well as improved reliability.

Since most SSD competitors use the same rehashed components, Samsung has been in a unique position to shake things up over the last few years, and it's done a fine job. We had nearly no expectations for 2010's 470 Series, but we were pleasantly surprised when it dominated our performance charts. Last year's 830 Series gave a repeat performance, so we can only hope the same of the 840 Pro.

Crucial m4 mSATA 256GB Review: Miniature SSD Power

Crucial m4 mSATA 256GB Review: Miniature SSD Power

Not only are SSDs faster than HDDs, but they also consume less power and generate less heat. They're quieter, more reliable and more compact than their spinning counterparts. Talking about compact...

We recently took notice when Crucial announced its m4 mSATA SSD in a 256GB capacity at under $1/GB. The mSATA drive is tiny compared to Crucial's standard 2.5" m4, and despite the size difference, both 256GB models feature the same read and write speeds of 500MB/s and 260MB/s -- an exciting prospect, indeed. Assuming there are no catches, Crucial's new mSATA offering could become the go-to solution for ultraportable upgrades...

Mainstream SSD Shootout: Crucial v4 vs. OCZ Agility 4 256GB

Mainstream SSD Shootout: Crucial v4 vs. OCZ Agility 4 256GB

By mid 2012, SSD prices fell through the floor, costing approximately half as much as last year. Granted, that's still nowhere near as economical as standard hard drives, so companies have continued to offer affordable solutions in addition to their high-end series to drive sale volumes.

Such is the case with OCZ and the Agility 4, a budget-minded counterpart to the Vertex 4 that employs cheaper NAND flash memory. In similar fashion we recently saw the arrival of the Crucial v4 series. With both the Agility 4 and Crucial's v4 priced at just under $200 for 256GB models, it seems we have the makings of a value-driven shootout...

WOF: Do you carry a USB drive every day? If so, what's on it?

WOF: Do you carry a USB drive every day? If so, what's on it?

With flash storage being more affordable, compact and rugged than ever, it seems common for people to routinely carry a USB drive -- or six, in the case of our news editor Rick, who runs a PC repair business. Naturally, most of his drives contain bootable utilities, operating system installers...

OCZ's Flagship SSD: Vertex 4 256GB Review

OCZ's Flagship SSD: Vertex 4 256GB Review

Although SandForce controllers have powered much of OCZ's solid-state lineup, the company is shifting to its own solutions after purchasing Indilinx early last year. The "Octane" flash drives were the first to use the Indilinx Everest controller last holiday season and now that its SF-2281-based drives are over a year old, OCZ has begun phasing Everest into the rest of its offerings, including the Vertex series.

The Vertex 4 series is aimed at performance buffs, with initial Indilinx Everest 2 based models offering capacities of 64GB, 128GB, 256GB and 512GB. Performance is the name of the game here and OCZ doesn't disappoint.

Kingston HyperX 3K and SSDNow V+200 Review

Kingston HyperX 3K and SSDNow V+200 Review

After the success of the SF-1200 controller, virtually every SSD maker was eager to climb aboard the SandForce express. That bandwagon continued trucking through last year, as the second-gen SF-2200 powered many of 2011's noteworthy flash drives.

It's unclear when SandForce's next controllers will arrive, but in the meantime, Kingston has released a pair of new SF-2281-based drives said to emphasize speed and affordability: the HyperX 3K and the SSDNow V+200. The former is aimed at enthusuasts and uses synchronous memory, while the latter is intended for businesses but uses cheaper asynchronous memory.

NAS at 10GbE Speeds: QNAP TS-879 Pro & Synology DS3612xs Review

NAS at 10GbE Speeds: QNAP TS-879 Pro & Synology DS3612xs Review

Hoping to drive small and medium business sales, NAS-makers have been pushing to deliver enterprise features such as cloud storage, virtualization support, automated backup software and iSCSI support. There's also been an effort to include technologies such as Link Aggregation, which can increase network bandwidth when dealing with multiple users and also provides redundancy in case one of the links fails.

First seen over a decade ago, 10GbE is ten times faster than Gigabit Ethernet, but it's been largely reserved for pricey devices. With that in mind, we're checking out two new high-end SMB NAS devices: the QNAP TS-879 Pro and the Synology DS3612xs.