• Hard Drives

    by Published on November 7th, 2016 11:10 AM  Number of Views: 1409 
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    Hello everyone, today we present you with a new type of article here at GND-Tech. We're debuting the first of a series of Build Recommendations that we plan on updating every few months or so to keep up with the ever increasing pace of new technology and hardware.

    We're breaking the series down into four categories. The categories are Budget, Mid-Range, High End and Infinite Budget. Keep in mind, we are not sponsored so there is no bias to be found here, but that unfortunately means we cannot afford to actually buy all these components and ...
    by Published on April 16th, 2014 08:00 PM
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    Lets face it, loosing data due to hard drive failure flat out sucks. We've all been there, and how we wished we took the time to back everything up before the disaster struck. But how? Well, that's where a good NAS (Network Attached Storage) system comes into play. The N2310 by Thecus is the perfect solution for home or small businesses users who want greater peace of mine when it comes to data integrity. A NAS storage solution is perfect because it provides a centralized backup location for all computers on the network.


    Currently NAS drives range in features so it's important to choose the configuration and features you want before purchasing. If you are looking for features, you'll find them on the N2310. Most of them I will be going in depth later on in the review, but some of the main features include RAID support, a web-based GUI interface, FTP and SSH connectivity, a built in BitTorrent client, and Android and IOS app support. Our first thoughts... impressive! Time to put the N2310 through the ringer and see how it does during our tests.




    As I mentioned on the previous page, the Thecus N2310 comes with a boat-load of features which will appeal to a rather large range of users. Whether you are looking for a backup solution, or a convenient way to access your files, you might be surprised at how well a NAS solution will work for you.

    At a glance, the N2310 features ...
    by Published on January 19th, 2014 09:00 PM
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    As the technology SSD controllers continue to advance, so does OCZ's lineup of solid state drives. The Vector series of SSD drives, which are geared towards enthusiasts, is no exception. A solid state drives controller is essentially its brain; the performance factor of the controller, in turn, greatly effects the overall performance of the SSD. The controller found on the Vector 150 is OCZ's brand new Barefoot 3 controller is very close to that found in the Vertex 450, which we recently reviewed. With that being said, if the performance of the Vector 150 is anything like we saw with the Vertex 450, I'd say this drive will post some pretty awesome benchmarks!


    As with 99% of all other solid state drives out there, the Vector 150 fits the standard 2.5 inch form factor and a slim 7mm tall. The first thing we were glad to see was that the styling of the Vector 150 was similar to that of the original Vector drive.

    MSRP for the Vector 150 120GB model stands at around $135 which is definitely on the high side of the current 120GB SSD market.





    As we touched on previously, the OCZ Vector 150 is equipped with OCZ's own in-house controller, the Indilinx Barefoot 3 (M00). The controller is no doubt the biggest factor when comparing the Vector 150 to any other ...
    by Published on November 26th, 2013 04:30 PM
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    Just when you think solid state drives are about as fast as they are going to get, OCZ's Vertex 450 was released and proved us all wrong. As of lately SSD read and write speeds have pretty much capped due to hardware limitations of the SATA6 controller. Anywhere from 500-550MB/sec read/write speeds are about as fast as you are going to get. Manufacturers today are focusing heavily on the SSD's IOPS (Input/Output Operations Per Second). IOPS are used as a general benchmark for read and write performance so it's important to factor a SSD's IOPS in addition to it's read and write speeds when determining how "fast" an SSD really is.


    The Vertex 450 is pushing some pretty strong ratings according to OCZ. Random read speeds peak at 85,000 IOPS, and random write at 90,000 IOPS. These numbers are very close to the Vertex 4 so it will be interesting to see how this newer generation compares to its predecessor.

    As far as capacity goes, the Vertex 450 comes in three sizes: 128GB, 256GB and 512GB. Each come with OCZ's home brew NAND controller which based upon past reviews, has shown outstanding performance when compared to SandForce. The Vertex 450 uses the OCZ Indilinx Barefoot 3 M10 controller.

    Take a look at the next page for even more detailed specs!







    I mentioned on the previous page that the OCZ Vertex 450 is equipped with OCZ's own in-house controller, the ...
    by Published on April 22nd, 2013 08:42 PM
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    OCZ, ever on top of its game, has released another high performance SSD solution equipped with its own, home-brew Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller. In the past, the SandForce controller dominated the OCZ lineup up until recently. The SandForce did not disappoint, so it will be interesting to see how exactly the Barefoot 3 controller compares. On paper, this SSD does not dissapoint. Sporting speeds of 550MB/s read speeds, and 530MB/sec write. This leads me to believe that OCZ made a good call switching to the new controller. However, time will tell as we get into the testing phase later on in this review.



    Along with the upgraded controller, the Vector sports a brand new design including aluminum housing, slimmer size, and new artwork. In this review we will be taking a look at the 256GB model. Other sizes include 128GB, and 512GB.





    We mentioned on the page prior that the OCZ Vector SSD is equipped with OCZ's own in-house controller, the Indilinx Barefoot 3. This is no doubt the biggest difference when comparing the Vector with any other prior version, or any other SSD for that matter. We will discuss this controller in detail on the next page and hopefully answer some questions you may have especially the advantages or disadvantages over the SandForce controller. But one thing is for sure, from what we have found, an SSD is mostly limited by the performance of the controller.

    Here are the detailed specifications for this particular SSD taken from OCZ's website:

    Performance numbers per capacity



    The Vector is covered by a 5-year warranty.






    Indilinx Barefoot 3 is the new controller which powers the Vector series SSD which is essentially the 'brain' of the SSD. We mentioned earlier that in the past OCZ has always used the SandForce lineup of controllers which worked very well with the success of the previous Vertex series from OCZ. However, to date, there is not a whole lot of information available about the Indilinx controller compared to the piles of info we have on the SandForce.

    So, what do we know? Pretty much all the information that OCZ cares to share with the rest of us! Most of it comes from a detailed press release found HERE.

    In addition to that, take a look at this comparative chart. Currently the only drives taking advantage of the Barefoot 3 controller is the Vector Series. When you compare the data of the latest SandForce 2281 controller, the numbers are in favor of the Barefoot 3 controller. It also appears that the Barefoot 3 controller gives a small advantage over the Everest 2 controller currently used in the Vertex 4 lineup.

    The Indilinx Barefoot 3 is controlled by two separate processors; the ARM Cortex processor, and the Aragon Co-processor. Caching for this SSD is powered by two chips of DDR3 from what we could tell. For this particular model, caching is set to 1GB. The 128GB model is said to only have 512MB.





    The OCZ Vector SSD is packaged nicely featuring some nice attractive design work on the package exterior. Inside you will see that everything is bundled nice and tight, eliminating wiggle-room which could cause damage during shipping.








    Upon opening the package, you'll notice the SSD packed into its custom fitted foam shell inside an anti-static bag. Included also are your warranty information, a I <3 my SSD sticker, a mounting bracket for 3.5" configurations and mounting screws. The SSD is tucked away in an anti static bag to reduce electronic shock damage. We have always been impressed with the level of care OCZ uses when packaging their solid state drives.





    The Vector series sports a much improved design over the Vertex series. To date, all other OCZ solid state drives were made up of a plastic and metal housing. The Vector is in a complete metal housing giving it a nice solid feel. The corners are also rounded even further improving on the design. Lastly, the artwork on the top is much improved taking advantage of the entire top surface. Overall I was very impressed with the level of detail OCZ put into this SSD.







    The reverse side contains a sticker all of the drives technical information. The four screw holes on the bottom are for mounting the SSD to the included metal bracket if you chose to mount this into a desktop in a 3.5" drive bay.




    Inside we find the single PCB with all the internal components installed. What probably stands out most is the Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller chip located right in the center. Surrounding the chip are all the OCZ branded NAND flash memory chips and cache.









    Overall, I was very impressed with the quality of the Vector. For an internal component, the level of detail that went into the design is much more than I have ever seen before on any other SSD. Now that we've seen what we are working with, lets start crunching some numbers!





    Testing Methodology

    The OCZ Vector was tested in full SATA 6 mode using a supported motherboard to maximize the performance of the drive. To measure performance we used several benchmark applications geared towards measuring drive speeds or transfer rates. The applications include Crystal Disk Info, HD Tune, Atto Diskmark, Crystal Disk Mark, and HD Tach. The firmware for the Vector was updated to the latest version running 2.0.

    The motherboard used was an EVGA Z77 FTW configured in full SATA6 mode.

    Installation

    Installing the hard drive is about as straight forward as it gets. When installing into a desktop, provided you don't have a SSD mount in your case, the bracket allows you to mount the drive into any 3.5" drive bay. From there it is just like installing a typical HDD into a computer. In a notebook scenario, of course installation will vary depending on what you are installing it into, but the Vector's size and screw configuration will match whatever 2.5" HDD you currently have in your system. So you should not have to worry about any hard drive incompatibilities.




    Testing
    HD Tune

    For our first actual test we used a program called HD Tune. This handy program comes with a vast array of testing features. To kick things off we started with a good ol' fashioned read/write benchmark









    For the read test, it looks like the Vector scored around 309MB/sec maximum read speeds.



    Write speeds gave us a maximum of 371MB/sec. Below we have our random read and write speeds.




    Lastly, below we gave the file benchmark a run. The file benchmark is a much more accurate representation of real-world performance results.


    Using this test we were able to get the transfer speeds up to around 396MB/sec read, and 417MB/sec write.



    Atto HD Benchmark


    Atto HD Benchmark is another great benchmark utility. It measures drive performance incrementally and gives results in a nice easy to read format.



    Things are looking much better for the Vector here. Our read test maxed out at a whopping 552MB/sec, with read speeds clocking in at 510MB/sec.



    HD Tach


    HD Tach is another hard drive benchmark utility that uses a sequential read test similar to that which we used in HD Tune.



    The Vector not doing too well this time around with speeds averaging 280.1MB/sec.



    AS SSD Benchmark



    Sequential read speeds proved to be the best with this benchmark measuring in at 509MB/sec and read speeds at 477MB/sec. For whatever its worth, AS SSD Benchmark gave us a final score of 1070 based on its total performance.

    So what do all the numbers mean? It's hard to make sense of SSD transfer speed results from different programs because they are all... well different. Basically all this proves is what the drive can do under different scenarios. Each program benchmarks a little bit differently. Exactly how different we will never know. This is why we did not reach the Vector's rated speeds of 550MB/sec read and 530MB/sec write. To achieve these speeds you need to hit a perfect set of ...
    by Published on November 6th, 2012 10:31 PM
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    Well here we go! another SSD series from OCZ, the Vertex 4. Now you may be thinking, with SSD speeds as good as they are now days, how is the Vertex 4 any different? Well probably the biggest answer to that question is the addition of the new home-brewed Indilinx Everest controller. Up until now, the Vertex lineup has been powered by the SandForce series controllers. Since the SandForce controllers have a long history of bringing in massive performance, it will be interesting to see how OCZ's controller stacks up.




    In this review we will be looking at the 256GB model which according to OCZ's website, brings in a whopping 560MB/sec read and 510MB/sec out. This along with 90,000 IOPS random 4K read, and 85,000 IOPS 4K write, tells us before even testing the drive that we should see some pretty impressive numbers from the start. The Vertex 4 comes in four verieties: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB. MSRP is $279.95 USD.

    Continue on, and lets dig a little deeper into its features and specs.








    Like mentioned on the page prior, the OCZ Vertex 4 is equipped with OCZ's own in-house controller, the Indilinx Everest. This is no doubt the biggest difference when comparing the Vertex 4 with any other prior version. We will discuss this controller in detail on the next page and hopefully answer some questions you may have especially the advantages or disadvantages over the SandForce controller. But one thing is for sure, from what we have found, an SSD is mostly limited by the performance of the controller.

    Here are the detailed specifications ...
    by Published on June 28th, 2012 10:00 PM
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    OCZ Technology, no stranger to the high performance SSD world, has decided to expand its lineup of its current Vertex 3 series. In this revision, it's not a performance revision but rather a size revision. Every SSD currently in development is currently at a 2.5" standard. This new Vertex 3 SSD which we will be reviewing today, measures in at 3.5" the typical desktop computer standard and has a capacity ranging from 120GB up to 480GB. It is also powered by LSI's SandForce SF-2282 processor and is equipped with a SATA 6GB/s interface as well as native TRIM support. The obvious disadvantage is that this will not work in any laptop computer, however, your alternatives in the 2.5" configuration are vast.



    It will be interesting to see how this the 3.5" SSD competes with the 2.5" version when there are less space requirements. If not for performance you would thing that capacity would be less restrictive but this does not appear to be the case. 480GB appears to be the top limit when it comes to both sizes. In this review we will be reviewing the 120GB model. Performance speeds for this model is identical to that of the 2.5" series. So what does that mean? You guessed it. So according to OCZs posted speeds on their website, there is functionally no difference between the 3.5" and the 2.5" model when it ...
    by Published on January 8th, 2012 12:00 AM
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    2. Hard Drives
    OCZ Synapse


    When it comes to solid state drive technology, probably one of the greatest achievements of 2011 was the successful implementation of solid state cache drives. So what is a cache drive? Well, they are pretty self explanatory. Cache drives store frequently accessed information that is already on the hard drive. Items such as operating system information, startup programs, browser data, games, etc. This way when a program is launched, instead of pulling data off the disk, the information is passed via the SSD Cache drive. So basically, when a cache drive is paired with a hard drive, you get SSD speeds, with the capacity of today's large hard drives.


    In order to run OCZ's Synapse drive, all you need is a computer with a standard HDD, then install the this Synapse CACHE SSD then install the Dataplex software that manages and functions as the drives cache layer. The Dataplex software is basically used to create a platform where the most frequently used "hot" data stays on the fast SSD, while the "cold" data remains on the larger capacity HDD. ...
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