Photos: 10 new data storage solutions that push form factor boundaries
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Intel SSD 750 Series
From the enterprise level to the consumer level, the 10 datarnstorage solutions featured in this gallery push the boundaries of existing form factors, and introducernnew ones.
Intel’s SSD 750 Series is among the first to offer NVMernsignaling on PCI Express 3.0, and the specifications clearly indicate thernadvantages. The 400 GB model reaches speeds of 2,200 MB/s read / 900 MB/srnwrite, whereas the 1.2 TB model reaches speeds of 2,400 MB/s read / 1,200 MB/srnwrite. Available in half-height, half-length PCIe cards, or 2.5″ 15mm drives,rnthe drive delivers the same performance in both configurations. The 2.5″ SKU isrnhot-swappable, and uses the new U.2 (formerly SFF-8639) connector, which is used inrnenterprise- and enthusiast-grade products.
HGST Ultrastar Archive Ha10
HGST released the Ha10, a Helium-filled drive that utilizes Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) on June 9, 2015. In addition to thernHelium used in previous HGST enterprise drives, the additionrnof SMR allows for the increase of areal density at the expense of slower writernspeeds. As such, these drives are best suited for cloud services like Google Nearline Storage, where the reduced I/O performance can berneffectively used with archive use cases, with the added benefit of lower cloudrnstorage prices.
Kingston HyperX SHPM2280P2
The Kingston HyperX SHPM2280P2, released in March 2015, uses the newrnM.2 form factor intended to replace mini-PCIe. Using PCI Express 2.0 x4rnsignaling, it is capable of 1400 MB/s read and 600 MB/s write on the 240 GB modelrnand 1000 MB/s on the 480 GB model — roughly twice as fast as traditional SATA 3rnSSDs. A half-height, half-length PCIe adapter (pictured) is available forrnsystems that lack an M.2 2280 slot, though newer motherboards and systems suchrnas the 5th-generation Intel NUC natively support therninterface.
Crucial MX200 M.2 2260 SSD
Introduced in January 2015, the Crucial MX200 is available in traditional 2.5″ SATA and M.2rn2280 and 2260 formats. However, the M.22260 SKU occupies a unique space in the solid-state drivernmarket — most M.2 drives currently on the market are targeted toward the 2280 orrn2242 sizes, leaving users that have devices that support 2260, like this enthusiast-grade motherboard, in a middlernground with few options. Presently, the only other M.2 2260 drive is the MTS600 from Transcend, though the write performance is slightlyrnslower at 460 MB/s. For the M.2 2260, the MX200 is available in 120 GB, 250 GB,rnand 500 GB SKUs.
ADATA SP900 M.2 2242 SSD
Launched in 2014, the ADATA SP900 is available in M.2 2242 and 2280 sizes. M.2 2242 is thernmost common form factor in laptops, such as the new Lenovo ThinkPad W550s. Although it uses SATA 3rnsignaling, and is limited to a maximum of 256 GB, the drive does not suffer anyrnperformance degradation compared to full-size, 2.5″ SSDs, delivering 550 MB/srnread and 530 MB/s write speeds. For comparison, the Transcend MTS400 is substantially slower atrn320 MB/s write speeds.
Seagate Backup Plus Fast 4 TB
Seagate’s new bus-powered external hard drive takes two 2 TBrn2.5″ drives, configures them as RAID0, and places them in a USB 3.0 enclosure.rnThe RAID0 configuration allows it to achieve much higher speeds thanrntraditional external hard drives, coming in only second in speed to arnThunderbolt-linked external SSD in this CNET product test.
Microdia 512 GB Xtra Elite UHS-2 microSDXC
At Computex in June 2015, Microdia announced a massive 512 GB microSDXC cardrnthat uses the SD 4.0 standard; the card is scheduled to ship in July 2015. The SD 4.0rnstandard includes an extra set of pins below the pins normally found on SDrncards. The estimated MSRP is $1,000, though representatives from the companyrnindicated that the price could change before the release date.
SanDisk Ultra Dual USB Drive 3.0
The SanDisk Ultra Dual USB drive can transfer datarnbetween your computer and, using the microUSB interface, any device thatrnsupports USB OTG such as a phone or a tablet. The upgraded version that wasrnunveiled in January 2015 adds USB 3.0 to the PC end of the drive, allowing for writernspeeds up to 130 MB/s. It is available in 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB SKUs.
SanDisk Dual USB Drive Type-C
The SanDisk Dual USB Type-C offers USB 3.0 speedsrnon standard Type-A connectors, and newer Type-C connectors found onrnproducts such as the new Apple MacBook. Type-C is stillrnrelatively new, and it may take some time for other products to adopt the newrnstandard, but backward compatibility with Type A is at least assured.
Samsung Portable SSD T1
The Samsung Portable SSD T1 is a portable versionrnof the Samsung 850 EVO SSD, though owing to the focusrnon portability, it uses the smaller mSATA version of the drive. It supportsrnAES-256 encryption out of the box, rnand uses USB 3.0 to connect to a computer. Unfortunately, the price isrnquite high for an SSD, with the 1 TB version typically priced at about $500. Thernprice has not yet come down from the release in January 2015, but if you needrnsolid-state portable storage in capacities this large, there’s no betterrnalternative.