Digital Home Thoughts - News & Reviews for the Digital Home

Be sure to register in our forums and post your comments - we want to hear from you!

Zune Thoughts

Loading feed...

Apple Thoughts

Loading feed...

Laptop Thoughts

Loading feed...

All posts tagged "ssd"

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Small Form Factor PC Plugs Directly Into Wall Outlet

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Digital Home Talk" @ 09:00 AM

"AMD is apparently using the LiveBox Mini to showcase its lineup of low-power sipping APUs, as the company doesn't typically build or design complete systems. Perhaps this is somewhat of a form factor blueprint for computer manufacturers to follow."

Now here is something a little different. Imagine you want a small form factor PC but don't really want even a small PC to sit on your desk. How about one that plugs directly into an outlet? This small unit features 1 GB of RAM and a 64 GB SSD. It also boasts two USB ports, HDMI output, Ethernet port, memory card slot and SIM card slot. Hit the Read link to see a short video clip of it.

Friday, June 8, 2012

SSDs make computers go ZOOM

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 01:00 PM

"That video card was the most important PC upgrade I ever made, sparking a total change in my perception of what computers could do. I didn't think I would ever again experience something as significant as that one single upgrade—until the first time I booted up a laptop with a solid-state drive (SSD) in it. Much like that first glimpse of a texture-mapped MechWarrior 2, that first fast boot signaled a sea change in how I thought and felt about computers."

A long, long time ago, one way you could make your computer run extremely fast was the use of a RAM drive. No more waiting for a pudgy floppy drive to sing its song for you to write up a document in Wordstar. Nowadays, there are much more practical solutions such as SSDs which zip along at speeds that traditional hard drives can only dream of. Ever wonder how SSDs achieve those speeds? Ars Technica has a great article that goes into practical detail about how these speed boosters work. It is amazing just how much technology is packed into these devices, and if your computer is acting like you are without your morning coffee, an SSD upgrade may be just what you need.

Tags: hardware, ssd

Sunday, April 29, 2012

What Is The Best File System For Your SSD Devices?

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Digital Home Talk" @ 04:30 PM,3166.html

"SSDs serve up data quickly, and prices are low enough that some enthusiasts may want SSDs for data storage. Does the file system you use matter? We compare performance between FAT32, NTFS, and the newer exFAT file systems on two popular SSD architectures."

The folks over at Tom's Hardware are known for their in-depth and credible technology reviews and opinions. In the linked piece (hit the Read link below), they tackle a very interesting question regarding which file system is best for SSD devices. Solid State Devices have some attractive properties, including small size, robustness, performance, and noise level (which is very low). They have steadily gained acceptance and profile over the past several years as their use has expanded, and as their prices have come down. Suffice it to say that most people would now own a number of devices with SSDs inside them.

There is a huge number of SSD devices in the marketplace for a wide variety of applications, so comparing them requires some filtering of purpose. In this instance Tom's Hardware decided to focus on those SSDs relevant for Windows users with flash-based storage devices. Specifically, they focus on a comparison of the performance of NTFS, exFAT, and the older FAT32 file systems. Their review is very comprehensive, and includes background explanations of some historic systems and terms. If you are interested in optimal performance for your flash-based storage devices, this is a very good read.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

What Is The Best Bang For The Buck Upgrade

Posted by Richard Chao in "Digital Home Talk" @ 07:47 PM

"What Hardware Upgrade Will Best Speed Up My PC (If I Can Only Afford One)?"

What hardware upgrade is your best bang for the buck if you can only choose one? Of course there is no definitive answer as PCs vary in configuration and it also assumes you are able to make upgrades to begin with. Many people are moving from desktops to laptops at home so this question will depend on your equipment.

If you are running a laptop, your hardware upgrade options are typically limited to RAM or storage. If you have a desktop, your options are wider and range from video cards, processors, RAM and storage. So, the first step is to examine your system. If your PC has 512MB to 2GB of RAM, an upgrade to 4GB will be the cheapest way to get a performance boost. However, if your PC already has 4GB, another few extra gigs won't give you the same boost and therefore your money will be better spent elsewhere. If you have a laptop, your other option is converting from a HDD to a SSD. If you can swing the money on a good SSD, you will not only see performance gains but noticeable gains in run time as SSDs use much less energy.

If you have a desktop, you have a few additional options. If you game, you may want to take a look at your video card. If you run multiple intensive process at once, you may want to take a look at upgrading to a multi-core processor.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Installing an SSD Without Re-Installing Windows

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 06:30 AM

"Installing a solid-state drive is one of the best upgrades you can make to your computer, but migrating your Windows installation to a small drive can be tricky, because your data won't necessarily all fit on the drive. Here's how to install an SSD without reinstalling Windows from scratch."

I for one am very happy installing a new hard drive (or SSD) doesn't require a re-installation of Windows. There are a lot of ways to do a drive swap, but this Lifehacker article is by far the most detailed I've seen. If you're pondering moving to an SSD, it's worth a read!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Is Upgrading Your Old Computer With an SSD Worth It?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 10:00 AM

"It's a foregone conclusion that SSDs are must-haves in performance-oriented PCs, but our testing reveals that solid-state drives are reasonable upgrades in older mainstream machines, too. We build three old boxes to gauge the impact of an SSD on each."

There are only a few Web sites out there that I trust to tackle thorny questions with the scientific rigour that would make a molecular biologist proud, and Tom's Hardware is one of those sites. They post a fascinating question: is it worth it to put an SSD in an old computer? They reach all the way back to a typical system from 2005, equipped with a 300 GB Samsung hard drive that benchmarked at 54 Mbps, and move forward from there to several newer generations. Their conclusions? SSDs rock performance, even on an older system. The catch though is the price tag; if you need a lot of storage, it starts to make less sense to put an expensive SSD in an older system. One option is to use a smaller, less expensive SSD for the boot drive, then use a large hard drive for mass storage.

Personally, after years of multi-drive, multi-partition setups, I've enjoyed the simplified approach of a single partition, single drive setup on most of my PCs and have resisted going to an SSD until the price on 200+ GB drives comes down. I might re-evaluate that on my next build...we'll see.

Have you installed an SSD in an older computer? Was the performance increase noticeable?

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

SanDisk U100 and i100 SSDs: Smaller, Faster, Higher Capacity

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 09:00 PM

"SanDisk has been pumping out press releases all day thanks to Computex-mania, so we shuffled past its stall to see what all the fuss is about. The biggest news is the U100 range of tiny SSDs for ultraportables, which crank data in and out at twice the speed of SanDisk's previous generation P4 drives. We're talking 450MB/s reads and 340MB/s writes thanks to the latest SATA III interface, plus a max capacity of 256GB -- specs which have already enticed ASUS to use the U100 in its lightweight UX-series notebooks."

Technology marches oh so quickly on. Amazing, the size, capacity and performance (6Gbit/sec) of these newest SATA-III SSDs. The U100 is destined for ultraportable laptops, with 256GB (max), and the smaller footprint i100 appears to be headed for tablets, and will max out at 128GB. The devices offer similar read speeds, but the i100 offers "only" 160MB/sec write speeds, or slightly less than half the speed of the U100. Still, 128GB in a tablet would be great, especially when we start to see this storage capacity and performance coupled with upcoming quad-core (or more) processors. Volume production is scheduled for Q3 2011. Prices were not even hinted-at.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Maximize The Life Of Your SSD

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Digital Home Talk" @ 06:00 PM

"All SSDs have a limited number of writes before they wear out. As we've pointed out, most modern SSDs will become outdated before they die, but that doesn't mean you can't make a few adjustments to maximize the life of your SSD-if nothing else as a safety precaution."

A Solid-State Drive (SSD) is a physical storage medium that uses microchips to store data, in a very similar way your portable USB flash drives do. Their, at least potential, advantage over the traditional "spinning disk" drives with magnetic read/write heads is that they have no moving parts, are much quieter, more durable, and are faster. They are not, however, completely fail-safe. Lifehacker has written another nice, fairly in-depth, technology article, this time on SSDs and how to maximize their lifespan. There are number of proactive steps you can take, including carefully configuring the way your operating system uses the drive, and monitoring applications that write heavily to the drive. The Read link will provide some interesting reading on these steadily proliferating drives, as well as links to additional articles they have written about this technology. It's all good reading.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

SSDs Getting Twice The Punch!

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 04:00 PM

"Intel and Micron plan to further shrink NAND circuitry, doubling the density of their flash chips and further reducing the cost of solid state drive (SSD) storage. IM Flash Technologies (IMFT), Intel and Micron's joint venture, released 25 nanometer (nm) circuitry a little over a year ago. In the next few weeks, IMFT plans to annouce 20nm NAND flash chip production."

Behind all that technical jargon, you should find one very important bit of information: SSDs are going to get cheaper! Well, I hope they will at least. They could always just double the capacity and maintain the same price, still keeping SSDs out of complate mainstream acceptance. Also, if their claims are to be believed, the shrinking of manufacturers for SSDs at this scale could mean higher prices. Only time will tell.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Can SSDs Compete With HDDs High Capacity and Falling Prices?

Posted by Danny Simmons in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 12:00 PM

"Two-figure pricing like that for laptop hard drives makes solid-state drives look like a luxury purchase by comparison. "HDD and NAND (flash memory) cost per gigabyte are destined to remain an order of magnitude apart for the foreseeable future. SSDs will remain from 10 to 20 times as expensive as HDDs of the same capacity," said Jim Handy, principal analyst at Objective Analysis, a firm that does semiconductor-related market research."

Solid state drives can give you great performance, if that is a high priority for you. But it won't come cheap, and you won't enjoy the larger capacity that hard drives can give you. Hard drive prices are expected to continue to drop. Let's hope that solid state drives can follow this trend as well. But for now, which is most important to you, the speed of solid state drives or the capacity and affordability of hard drives?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Windows 7 and SSD Makes For Fast Computer

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 03:00 PM

"I’ve been using SSD-equipped PCs with Windows 7 since October 2009, and I now have two laptops and one desktop PC that are fitted with these superfast drives. Over the holidays, I set out to fine-tune the storage configuration in all three systems and was able to increase overall system performance dramatically. In a follow-up post, I’ll explain exactly what you need to know to squeeze maximum performance out of an SSD."

Time is money. That is what they say at least. If you have ever gone for a coffee while waiting for your computer to start up, or had to decide whether it is worth it to start up your computer to check something online, you can probably appreciate what SSDs have to offer. It is not just boot times, but the whole computing experience that can benefit from the zippy qualities of SSDs. Compromises are made of course, with SSDs generally being much more expensive than your traditional hard drive, and their storage capacity is often much smaller but sometimes, all you want is speed!

Being an old fogey, I still prefer the old hard drive. Mostly because I like the extra capacity and cost effectiveness of it. Since I tend to leave my computer turned on with my programs almost always running, many of the speed benefits of an SSD are lost on me. I admit to being tempted to using one for my laptop, but I tend to keep that baby trimmed down so that its boot time to usefulness is pretty quick. Is it worth the switch? Have any of you done your own comparisons and cannot live without the speed boost that an SSD provides? Did you find that you had to make tweaks to get the most out of it? What do you use your computer for that makes the ugpade worthwhile?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

It is time to TRIM Those SSDs

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 03:00 PM,2800.html

"The SSD vendors’ marketing divisions simply do not tire of citing insanely high MB/s throughput numbers and sky-high IOPS. While these figures aren't inaccurate, per se, they don't necessarily reflect the truth either. Everyday operation does not equal the hygienic test conditions laid out carefully to maximize numbers. In the end, this means that the mentioned performance specifications can, in fact, be reached, but it takes some optimization."

There was a time when storage media was simple. It had a capacity, transfer speed and seek times. Then we started having to worry about how much electricity it uses. And random read/write performance. Sequential read/write performance. Rotational speed. Performance difference between using the inner and outer edge of the platters. The list goes on. Then along comes SSDs and while many of the specifications relevant to magneto-optical drives makes no sense, a whole range of other performance related issues have cropped up.

While SSDs remain pricier than traditional hard drives, prices are still coming down and becoming much more popular, at least in the smaller capacities and they do offer great performance advantages. With many devices also using the cloud for storage, is there really a need for 2TB hard drives for most of us?

Tags: hardware, trim, ssd

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hey Developers, Get Your Hands Off My Documents Folder!

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 07:00 AM

See that screenshot above? That's an incredible 10.1 GB worth of file bloat that I had no idea was there. The culprit? Cyberlink PowerDirector 9, a video editing application that I've been using quite a bit over the last month. I've developed a real love/hate relationship with this software; when it works, man, does it ever work well! It leverage's my Core i7 CPU and NVIDIA 460 GTX GPU in ways I've never seen any other app's SHREDS HD video, both exporting and editing it. What's not so good is the stability and corrupt output problems I've been seeing. More on that later though; back on topic... Read more...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Check Your SSD's Health and Statistics With SSDLife

Posted by Reid Kistler in "Digital Home Software" @ 04:30 PM

"We all know solid-state drives take a bit of care, so if you want to keep track of how your SSD is faring health-wise, [the] free utility SSDLife will let you know.... [H]ow many times your drive has been powered on, written to... and estimated lifespan."

If you own a Solid State Drive - or are thinking about purchasing one - Lifehacker's brief article on the SSDLife utility is worth a visit, as it contains several useful links for other SSD tools, as well SSDLife itself. Note that SSDLife is available in both a Free and a $20 Professional Version. Per a comparison on the vendors website, the Professional version offers S.M.A.R.T. attributes and a "SmartCheck" feature, which polls SSD status on a given schedule, in addition to the general health and technical drive information provided by the freeware version of the utility. If you own one or more SSDs, will this utility make your tool kit? Or do you even bother with any special tools or care techniques?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

OCZ Unleashes RevoDrive X2 PCIe SSD: 740MB/sec

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 02:30 PM

"OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCZ), a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) and memory modules for computing devices and systems, announces the launch of The RevoDrive X2 PCI-Express SSD, a follow-up to the successful launch of the first RevoDrive, with increased performance and capacity to serve high-performance computing consumers. The RevoDrive X2 upgrades the original architecture to deliver unprecedented speed up to 740MB/s and up to 120,000 IOPS, nearly triple the throughput of other high-end SATA-based solutions with a substantial reduction in the total cost of ownership (TCO) to the consumer. The product is available now through OCZ's global channel."

This beautiful piece of hardware is available in sizes from 100 GB up to 960 GB, and it offers a significant boost over the first version. I can't find any pricing, but the v1 product is currently priced at $291 after rebate for 120 GB, so if the new version is the same, or cheaper, this is pretty tempting...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Maximum PC's OCZ Enyo 128GB USB 3.0 SSD Review

Posted by Andy Dixon in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 12:00 PM

"We've seen a few USB 3.0 external drives here at Maximum PC, and we do appreciate the long-overdue speed boost. It's nice to have file transfers limited by drive speed again, rather than the interface-the 33MB/s maximum was killing us. And while we appreciated the boost we got from USB 3.0 in WD's My Book 3.0 and the Vantec NexStar 3 SuperSpeed enclosure, the former was only as fast as the mechanical drive within it and the latter couldn't even match the speeds of the drives it enclosed."

USB 3.0 hasn't quite become mainstream yet, but it is good to see manufacturers starting to produce devices that make full use of the extra bandwidth capacity that USB 3.0 brings us. As the technology is still new it is therfore quite expensive at $410 for this external 128Mb SSD drive, but with the drive being to read files at and average of 180MB/s and write files at 166MB/s compared with a USB 2.0 drive that reads at 33MB/s and write files at 30MB/s you can see the performance boost that USB 3.0 will give.

Tags: hardware, ssd, usb 3.0

Thursday, August 19, 2010

When it Comes to Storage, SSD or HDD?

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 09:00 AM

"Solid-state drives (SSDs) make for a pretty great upgrade, but they aren't without their downsides (most notably, their high cost and low amounts of space). While the answer to "are they worth it?" is fairly subjective, there are a number of factors that can influence the usefulness of a solid-state drive."

While solid-state drives definitely appear to be the future, traditional hard drives will probably be here for many, many years to come. Their huge storage capacities and fair transfer speeds have kept them in the running and the standard choice for most consumers but SSDs are increasing in popularity, especially in notebooks. While I am tempted to jump onto the SSD bandwagon, my storage needs outstrip my speed needs, and external storage devices are just too much of a hassle. Still, I am waiting for the day when a 500GB SSD can be had for under $100. Okay, you can stop laughing now.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Lifehackers Guide To Making The Most Of Your SSD

Posted by Andy Dixon in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 05:00 PM

"Solid-state drives (SSDs) have grown popular in recent years for the impressive speed increases your system gains using them. To get the most from your SSD, however, you can (and should) do a few things differently. Upgrading your regular old hard drive to a solid-state drive is one of the best upgrades you can make to your computer nowadays, as our hard drives tend to be among the biggest bottlenecks in performance. SSD read times are insanely fast, meaning using one will make your boot times and application launches super short. One of the most publicized downsides of SSDs is that they have limited number of writes before they wear out-however, with most newer SSDs, this isn't actually a problem."

As SSD's have a shorter life span than mechanical disks, especially running under Windows XP, Lifehacker have posted a short guide on how you can look after it and get the most out of it. The tips are generally all about reducing excessive read and writes to the disk that can wear it out quicker. If you have an SSD, then take a look and see if there are any tips you can use, if you aren't already.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

PC Perspective Review The OCZ RevoDrive 240GB PCIe SSD

Posted by Andy Dixon in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 02:00 PM

"Yesterday we received a pre-production sample of the new OCZ RevoDrive for evaluation. This is an entirely new product for OCZ, placing a pair of SandFocre controllers (lifted from their Vertex 2 line of SSD's) behind an integraged RAID solution, all packaged neatly on a single PCIe 4x full height card."

No room for an SSD drive in your case, but have a spare PCIe slot? Then this card from OCZ might just interest you. This version of the RevoDrive has a raid controller allowing it to be used as your main bootable OS drive. It certainly is no slouch in the performance tests either, but at a cost of $639.99 it might just be a little too expensive for your tastes!

Tags: hardware, ssd, pci-e

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Maximum PC Test SSD Performance

Posted by Andy Dixon in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 12:30 PM,0

"We take stock of today's SSDs-what they have to offer, how they've progressed, and which should have dominion in your PC. At the end of our November 2008 solid-state-drive roundup, we concluded that those NAND-flash-based drives just weren't ready for prime time, thanks to astronomically high prices, small capacities, and flaky first-gen controllers."

Maximum PC did a round up test in November 2008 of Solid State drives and how they performed. Their conclusion at the end of it was that SSD's were just not quite ready yet. They have now revisted the SSD market and tested the drives again to see if they are now ready to become the main drives in our PC's. The conclusion is a definite yes. I find SSD's are still not at a price v capacity level that I am ready to pay for yet, but I can't deny the speed improvements they bring if you have the cash to buy one.

Featured Product

The Canon PowerShot S100 - The incredibly fun and small camera that offers you 12.1 megapixels with a bright f/2.0 lens and full 1080p video recording . MORE INFO

News Tip or Feedback?

Contact us

Thoughts Media Sites

Windows Phone Thoughts

Digital Home Thoughts

Zune Thoughts

Apple Thoughts

Laptop Thoughts

Android Thoughts

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...