NVMe may be the most popular interface for consumer SSDs, but SSDs come in a number of shapes and sizes as well. Most common still is the standard 2.5" form factor that SSDs have used for years. M.2 NVMe SSDs are gaining popularity in space constrained use cases, like notebooks and portable workstations. PCs often use M.2 NVMe SSDs too, because many more of them can be put into a system often via PCIe card that can house four or even eight drives. 2.5" NVMe SSDs still have a capacity advantage though, as there's more room to put flash storage modules on the PCB. Lastly some vendors prefer the NVMe add-in card (PCIe card) because it offers the most room for flash inside a PC.
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August 13th, 2014 by Lyle Smith
OCZ ARC 100 Series SSDs are designed for mainstream consumers who want the benefits of flash storage without a big price tag; the ARC 100 gives consumers an aggressive suggested price point of .50/GB. Of course as the SSDs get into retail, pricing will fall even further. OCZ doesn't cut corners though with the ARC 100, part of the pricing power is due to the vertical integration with parent company Toshiba. Jointly they own all of the core components in the drive, including the controller and Toshiba MLC NAND. The ARC 100 offers a good endurance profile, supporting 20GB of writes per day (same as the Vertex 3) and the drives come with a three-year warranty.Read more
July 22nd, 2014 by Lyle Smith
Intel Pro 2500 Series are SSDs designed largely for enterprise client solutions (desktops, notebooks) that require reliability, power-efficient performance, enhanced data security, and remote manageability. While the Intel 730 SSDs are catered towards enthusiasts and the Intel 530's demographic is more mainstream consumer, the Pro 2500 series (and the Pro 1500 Series before it) are specifically architected for businesses who need to deploy a large number of drives into their organization. Intel's new Pro 2500 Series features quoted throughput up to 540MB/s and a random IOPs up to 80,000, all the while offering low-power modes to extend battery life and improve the mobility of the drives. For example, when the new Pro 2500 Series SSDs are combined with the Intel Core vPro Platform, Intel states that power consumption can be reduced by substantially: from milliwatts to microwatts.
June 30th, 2014 by Adam Armstrong
Samsung today has launched their new enthusiast class SSD family, the SSD 850 PRO. The SSD 850 PRO is the successor to the 840 PRO and comes with quite a few new updates. The 850 PRO is powered by Samsung’s 32-layer 3D V-NAND technology, the first such drive to hit the market. Comparing 3D NAND technology to traditional 20 nm planar NAND flash, 3D can deliver up to two times the density and write speed performance. The capacity points for the 850 PRO run from 128GB to 1TB with DRAM cache memory going up to 1GB LPDDR2. The drives come with Samsung’s newest version of Samsung Magician, version 4.4 and all drives include a 10-year warranty.Read more
June 25th, 2014 by Lyle Smith
The SanDisk Extreme PRO SSD is designed specifically for gamers, PC enthusiasts, and media professionals who require consistent, top-in-class real-world performance out of their storage. With its quoted sequential read speed of 550MB/s and write speed up to 520MB/s, the SanDisk’s new Extreme PRO certainly is specced to deliver the performance needed for graphics-intensive applications in addition to speedy gaming load times. The Extreme PRO also boasts an industry first a 10-year warranty to assuage any concerns about the drive's expected longevity and SanDisk's commitment to the drive.Read more
June 2nd, 2014 by Lyle Smith
The Crucial MX100 (a brand of Micron) is a mainstream consumer SSD targeted toward users who are looking to upgrade PCs or laptops from hard drives to an SSD on a budget. The MX100 is a direct replacement for the M500, the core changes are in a NAND die shrink and firmware enhancements. Crucial claims the net result is the MX100 boasts significant performance improvements over the M500 line at all capacities. To make it easy for upgraders working in a variety of environments, Crucial includes a handy 7mm to 9.5mm adapter bracket as well as the Acronis True Image software for cloning an existing drive to a new MX100 SSD.Read more
May 30th, 2014 by Lyle Smith
The Corsair Force Series LX SSDs are the company's latest foray in the solid state market and successor to the Force LS Series, which we found to be a decent drive as far as sequential read performance goes. The new Corsair line is specifically designed for mainstream consumers on a budget, with specs quoted to boast fast sequential and random read throughput at an entry-level price point. As such, the LX line is catered towards users on a budget who are looking to upgrade from an HDD-based system to the performance benefits of solid state storage without paying a premium, a statement that is made by many in the SSD industry. That said, the Force Series LX SSDs is indeed a very inexpensive line of solid state drives, so it will be interesting to see where it fits into the saturated SSD market.Read more
May 9th, 2014 by Adam Armstrong
The Kingston SSDNow mS200 is an mSATA SSD that is built specifically for system builders, OEMs, and enthusiasts. Roughly eight times smaller than a 2.5” drive, the SSDNow mS200 claims sequential read/write speeds of 550MB/s and 530MB/s. The device is fully compliant with mSATA interface, uses NAND based flash memory and supports Intel’s SRT, S.M.A.R.T., and TRIM. The mS200 comes in 30GB, 60GB, 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB capacities.Read more
April 1st, 2014 by Lyle Smith
The ADATA Premier Pro SP920 2.5” SATA SSD is specifically designed to meet the needs of multimedia professionals looking for high-performance capabilities with large file transfers, such as massive videos files. Under the hood, it is equipped with the latest generation of the incomparable Marvell controller with the SATA III 6Gb/s specification. ADATA has indicated that their stringent selection of flash memory chips is said to enhance the overall system efficiency and speed, particularly with the transmission of multimedia files (or uncompressed data).Read more
March 18th, 2014 by Lyle Smith
Micron/Crucial’s 20nm 128Gb MLC NAND was released in 2013 and hit the market in a consumable way as the first terabyte-class M500 SSD. The drive debuted at a price under $600 and proved to be a decent performer, though it is more a mainstream drive for consumers under the Crucial brand and for OEMs and system builders with the Micron flag. Today's release of the new similarly branded Crucial/Micron M550 expands on their personal storage line with improved performance, longer battery life, new capacity and form factor options, and an advanced feature set. The M550 SSD is specifically designed to meet the needs businesses and enthusiasts who are heavily involved with high-performance computing, ultrathin, and media/video applications. The M500 will stay in market, providing a balance of price and performance.
February 27th, 2014 by Lyle Smith
Today, Intel launched the SSD 730, a new enthusiast-grade SSD designed with the most intensive client workloads possible in mind. The 730 is highlighted by its specially qualified 3rd generation Intel controller, 20nm NAND, and optimized firmware. Intel has also stepped up its game with their new SSD by factory overclocking these components, pushing the limits of performance by increasing its controller speed by 50% as well as offering a 20% boost in NAND bus speed.Read more