Can hard drive manufacturers keep up with the world’s demand? Despite ever-plunging per-gigabyte prices, storage device manufacturers are reporting banner profits each year. A huge part of the success comes from, of course, the storage device industry’s continual (and successful) adaptation of the hard disk drive (HDD) to our computing devices over the past 40 years or so. As our laptops, PCs, and servers have evolved over the years, becoming much faster, capable, and reliable, so have our HDDs.

Industry leaders, such as storage giant Western Digital, have not only reported record years recently, but they’re also predicting significant growth over the next five or six years. Western Digital, for instance, has estimated a two billion dollar surge, from $36 billion in 2013 to $38 billion by the end of 2014, in global, industry-wide storage-device sales. That is projected to grow by another four billion, to $42 billion, in 2015.

And this growth is in spite of a tremendous drop in the average cost per gigabyte. According to statisticbrain.com, over the past 33 years (from 1980 to 2013), the per-gigabyte cost dropped from $437,500 per GB to five cents per GB, respectively. That’s encouraging a rapid expansion in storage consumption, but technology must advance to keep pace.

Read the entire article at Digital Trends.

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Not only are solid state drives, or SSDs, significantly faster than traditional hard disk drives (HDDs), but, since they have no moving parts, SSDs are also more reliable. To find out just how durable the leading SSDs really are, back in August 2013 The Tech Report Web site pitted several leading SSDs, from Intel, Kingston, Samsung, and Corsair, against each other, in a runoff to the death—to see, first, how well they held up to their HDD counterparts, and second, how long they lasted compared to each other.

Now we’re nearing the end of 2014. Most (but not all) of the drives, which include Corsair’s 240GB Neutron Series GTXIntel’s 240GB 335 Series, a pair of Kingston’s 240GB HyperX 3K drives, Samsung’s 250GB 840 Series, and Samsung’s 256GB 840 Pro, have conked out, but the endurance of these six test SSDs has gone well beyond the presumed life expectancy of any high-volume PC storage.

Before looking at the test itself, though, and the results, let’s talk about why solid state drives fail.
Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/solid-state-drives-outlast-pc-hosts/#ixzz3NhAtWfqe

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Think your current SSD is fast? Wait until SATA Express drives go mainstreamSATA Express, which theoretically supports bandwidth up to 2GBps, essentially doubles throughput of SATA III—after the hit caused by overhead and cabling, that is. Twice the bandwidth is, of course, the next logical increment, but we’ve pushed the SATA interface to its limit. Hence, the Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO) was hard pressed to come up with something faster. And that’s just what it has done.

Read the entire review at Digital Trends.

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Toshiba Portégé Z835 Review

Toshiba Portégé Z835 - Light, Powerful, Beautiful

If nothing else, this recent round of ultrabooks hitting the market of late proves that Cupertino doesn’t have a monopoly on turning out sleek, thin, powerful, and sexy-looking notebooks. While Apple’s MacBook Air products are spectacular, so are the new Windows 7 ultrabooks coming down the pike. So far, we’ve looked at two of them—Acer’s $899.99 Aspire S3-951 and Asus’s $1,199 ZenBook Ux21E. Both are impressive machines with lots to offer today’s modern road warrior, but this new clash of the ultra-thin, light and powerful laptops shoot-out has just begun. With each new offering we find ourselves all the more impressed. These are indeed exciting times for the Windows notebook market.

Next up is the 13.3-inch Toshiba Portégé Z830 line of ultrabooks, starting with the $799 Z835 (our review unit) base model, which will be available exclusively as of November 13, 2011 at Best Buy. The Z835 runs Windows 7 Home Premium and sports the 1.4GHz Intel Core i3-2367M CPU (a.k.a. Sandy Bridge), 4 GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD (solid-state drive). Down the road (Toshiba won’t say when), several other outlets will offer the Z835 (under the Z830 SKU) and two other models. Again, we don’t know when, but you’ll eventually be able to buy a $1,199 configuration that comes with the Intel Core i5-2467M CPU, 4GB RAM, Windows 7 Professional, as well as a $1,429 version that comes with Windows 7 Pro, the 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-2677M CPU and 6GB RAM. In addition, on Toshiba’s Website (ToshibaDirect.com), you will be able to configure your Portégé Z830 to order with your choice of CPUs, up to 8GB RAM and up to a 256GB SSD. (Toshiba also refuses to show its hand on the release date of these products.

See this review at Computer Shopper.

 

If nothing else, this recent round of ultrabooks hitting the market of late proves that Cupertino doesn’t have a monopoly on turning out sleek, thin, powerful, and sexy-looking notebooks. While Apple’s MacBook Air products are spectacular, so are the new Windows 7 ultrabooks coming down the pike. So far, we’ve looked at two of them—Acer’s $899.99 Aspire S3-951 and Asus’s $1,199 ZenBook Ux21E. Both are impressive machines with lots to offer today’s modern road warrior, but this new clash of the ultra-thin, light and powerful laptops shoot-out has just begun. With each new offering we find ourselves all the more impressed. These are indeed exciting times for the Windows notebook market.

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