Two years ago, Samsung burst onto the market with the 850 Pro — its first SSD with 3D flash memory, with high speeds and correspondingly high prices — and followed that up with the more affordable 850 Evo. Now, memory manufacturer Crucial is the second company to use 3D NAND in a 2.5-inch solid state drive, and it's aiming to provide both fast transfer speeds and high disk capacity — at a reasonable price.
Tagged With ssds
When solid state drives were first becoming commonplace, most sites (our own included) suggested ways to optimise your SSD. With the exception of very rare cases, this just isn't necessary any more.
When first revealed at CES last year, Samsung boasted that its Portable SSD T1, which put a full terabyte of speedy flash-based storage inside a credit card-sized housing, could eventually see capacities of up to 16GB in a few years. That's not too hard to believe, because exactly one year later it's already grown to 2TB.
Samsung's first mainstream M.2 solid state drive, the 950 Pro, is fast. Like, bonkers fast. It's five times as fast as Samsung's previous barnstorming 850 Pro, it uses less power, and the M.2 connector means it's smaller and simpler to install in your high-end gaming PC or laptop. But here's the best thing — you can buy it right now. Run, don't walk, to your local computer store and get one.
Samsung's SSDs have always been fast. We were big fans of the 840 Pro, and its mainstream Evo variant — it was the first SSD to crack through the 1TB storage barrier. Then the 850 Pro and Evo came around, and we thought things couldn't get too much better. As it turns out, they couldn't — not unless Samsung tried out a new form factor and high-speed data connector.
PC motherboards are getting more and more powerful and supporting faster CPUs and RAM, gaming-grade graphics cards are getting smaller and more energy efficient, next-gen storage is getting smaller and faster. If you like building gaming PCs, and you like putting them in the middle of your living room and playing games on your big-screen TV, you are witnessing the start of a golden age.
Fast, small, cheap — pick two. This is the adage that stands true whenever you're buying lots of technology products, but it's especially true in the competitive world of portable hard drives. Samsung's new portable SSD, the T1, is a hell of a lot faster than even the fastest mechanical hard drive or USB flash drive out there, and it's smaller than any other portable hard drive you can buy. It's not exactly cheap, though.
The Australian dollar might be weaker than it was a year ago, but bargains can still be found on the likes of Amazon. If you're in the market for an SSD, Samsung's 500GB 850 EVO is currently on-sale for $US180. Even when you factor in the exchange rate and shipping, it's a great deal compared to local offerings.
Sometimes, even if you're only spending a small amount of money, it's worth shelling out that little bit more and getting yourself a superior piece of technology. That edict is very much true when it comes to getting a new solid state drive for your PC, actually. Samsung's 850 Evo SSD is relatively cheap, but doesn't give up any ground when it comes to performance, warranty or bundled features.
The last time we read anything about SSD longevity, it was courtesy of the Tech Report's ambitious project to punish a variety of SSDs over the course of many months. That was at 500TB of constant writes, where all the drives were still in the race. At two petabytes however... some losers have appeared.
Switching your desktop or laptop PC's old and tired mechanical spinning-disk hard drive may seem daunting, but changing to a solid state drive can simultaneously increase your PC's speed by a massive amount and reduce power consumption significantly. Sandisk's Ultra II SSD is, as you get into its larger capacity options, one of the cheapest high-speed solid state drives you can buy, and that makes it a great choice for upgraders.
You might wonder why anyone would actually spend money on a USB flash drive when companies hand them out for free at trade shows. The answer is speed — a free flash drive copies files slower than a tired snail. You can always spend hundreds on a fast USB 3.0 flash drive to speed up file copies, but even the most expensive option can't compare to the speeds you'll get from VisionTek's new compact SSD drives.
Losing a laptop full of personal files like family photos is upsetting, but losing a laptop full of private corporate info and trade secrets is instead downright terrifying. So when you absolutely can't risk misplaced data falling into the wrong hands, a GSM-equipped SSD drive that can remotely physically self-destruct guarantees the utmost of security and privacy.
Compared to tried-and-true magnetic storage, SSDs are still finding their feet. And like all technologies, it can be hard to predict the issues that might pop up after long-term use without, you know, using them long-term. Take for instance Samsung, which is discovering just now that its 840 EVO series of SSDs have a bug that cripples read performance, but requires at least one-month old data on the drive before the problem appears.
AMD is getting into the SSD game. Its Radeon SSDs join Radeon graphics cards, RAM and AMD's own performance and mainstream CPUs and APUs, making it possible to build an all-AMD scratch-built PC. The new mid-range Radeon R7 SSDs are aimed at the mainstream gamer — one without a huge amount of cash to throw away, but just enough to upgrade to new components on a semi-regular basis.
Mirroring the arguments over Xbox versus PlayStation, Mac versus PC, and Coke versus Pepsi, PC gamers have their own perpetual debate: AMD or Intel? (And, by extension, Radeon versus GeForce.) If you come down on the AMD side of things, you'll soon be able to kit your gaming PC out with a new branded component: AMD is getting into the SSD game.