It's been a while since last providing a Phoronix review of a solid-state drive from OCZ Technology, but now with Serial ATA 3.0 support becoming more prevalent on modern Intel and AMD motherboards, they have been releasing a number of updated products to take advantage of SATA 3.0. In the review we have our hands on an OCZ Vertex 3 240GB SSD as we see how this SATA III SSD performs under Ubuntu Linux.
Back with Ubuntu 7.10 an option was added to Ubuntu's alternate CD installer to easily setup an encrypted LVM during the Ubuntu installation process. This would better protect your personal data in the case your laptop or mobile device was ever stolen or misplaced as the Ubuntu Linux installation cannot boot if the encrypted LVM cannot be mounted with the encryption pass-phrase. Of course, encrypting the entire root partition can cause a performance penalty as some of our earlier results have shown while introduced in Ubuntu 9.04 was support for home encryption where only your SWAP and home folder is encrypted and this is done using eCryptfs. This continues to be Canonical's preferred method of encrypting user data with it being available from the standard Ubuntu installer while even three years later only the install-time encrypted LVM support can be accessed from their alternate installer. For those serious about encrypting their disk drive on Linux, we have new benchmarks from Ubuntu 10.10 showing how an encrypted LVM will affect your file-system performance.
Back in April we reviewed the SilverStone HDDBOOST, which was an innovative product from this manufacturer known for their computer cases that allows you to pair a solid-state drive and a hard drive in an attempt to experience the best of both worlds when it comes to storage performance. The purpose of the HDDBOOST is to increase the disk performance by enabling SSD speeds on the host hard drive while reducing write times to the SSD. From our Linux tests in that article we had a hard time getting this small device to provide any measurable performance gains, but in fact it caused some performance losses. In June, we then had results from SilverStone when they tested it under Ubuntu Linux with the Phoronix Test Suite. Since then we have been trying out a new HDDBOOST unit and it now seems to be working right.
As solid-state drives are becoming very popular with enthusiasts and a common choice for those interested in high-performance data storage, at Phoronix we have reviewed many SSDs from OCZ Technology including the Agility, Agility EX, Vertex, and Solid 2. Today we are reviewing the next-generation Vertex SSD, which is the Vertex 2, and it promises to offer much faster reads and writes, is rated to last an extra 500,000 hours beyond the 1.5 million hour MTBF of the original Vertex, and is available in capacities up to 480GB.
With the benchmarks recently looking at the performance of ZFS on FreeBSD versus EXT4/Btrfs on Linux having generated much interest and a very long discussion, this morning we are back with more benchmarks when running ZFS on FreeBSD/PC-BSD 8.1 and Btrfs and EXT4 on an Ubuntu Linux 10.10 snapshot with the most recent kernel, but this time the disk benchmarking is being done atop a high-performance solid-state drive courtesy of OCZ Technology and the CPU is an Intel Core i7. The drive being tested across these three leading file-systems is the OCZ Vertex 2 that promises maximum reads up to 285MB/s, maximum writes up to 275MB/s, and sustained writes up to 250MB/s.
We have reviewed a number of OCZ solid-state drives at Phoronix including their Vertex, Agility, and Agility EX series. In this review we are taking our first look at OCZ's new Solid 2 SSD series. The Solid 2 series is part of OCZ's value-based SSD line-up, but they do offer a surprisingly good level of performance.
Back in April we reviewed the SilverStone HDDBOOST, which was a unique device that allows a solid-state drive to be combined with a traditional hard-drive to create a "virtual super storage solution" whereby SSD transfer speeds are enabled on the host hard drive while the write times to the SSD are reduced. Unfortunately, we were not able to get this unique contraption working well under Ubuntu Linux even though theoretically it should work just fine. However, SilverStone seems to have the device working within their labs and it is producing some interesting results.
While SilverStone has long been revered for their range of uniquely high-end computer enclosures like the Fortress FT02, Temjin TJ10, and Sugo SG04 all with original designs, occasionally they have dabbled with other products outside of their computer enclosure and power supply expertise. We previously have reviewed such products like the SilverStone Raven mouse and an RFID-secured SSD/HDD enclosure, but their newest peripheral in this area is by far the most unique product that we have encountered from SilverStone. The SST-HDDBOOST product allows you to connect a solid-state drive and a traditional hard-drive via their custom PCB to experience the benefits of both types of storage.
A few weeks back we reviewed the Corsair Flash Voyager 32GB. This 32GB flash drive was very nice just like Corsair's other flash memory products and it boasted an impressive capacity with great read/write speeds, but its price at over $100 USD is not for everyone. For those that can make do with a smaller capacity and are looking to just spend a few dollars in comparison, there is the OCZ Zee. The Zee flash drive is available in capacities up to 16GB, has a more conventional housing, and is backed by a two year warranty (in comparison to Corsair's ten-year backing), but the prices for the Zee USB 2.0 drivers are much more affordable.
It's not often that we steer away from our graphics card, motherboard, processor, driver, and software benchmarking to look at other products like computer peripherals, but occasionally we are up for it, particularly when it's an offer from a manufacturer we have never heard of before with running their products on Linux. An example of this is Eagle Tech Computers, which is a US-based company that makes a variety of drive enclosures, speakers, and power supplies. Eagle Tech is no SilverStone Technology, but we decided anyways to check out their Consus ET-CS2PESU2-BK, which is a 2.5" external enclosure that offers USB 2.0 and eSATA connectivity.
It was nearly five years ago that we tested the first Corsair Flash Voyager that offered just 512MB of memory, but at the time it was quite a modest amount of storage for a USB 2.0 flash drive. The Flash Voyager was unique though from the other flash drives on the market in the respect that it was waterproof and far more durable than any other flash drive. As time has passed, more manufacturers have adopted designs similar to that of the Flash Voyager. The capacity of flash drives has also increased and we have tested out the 4GB, 8GB, and 16GB versions of the Flash Voyager and their newer and faster Flash Voyager GT series too. We have also reviewed other innovative Corsair flash memory products like their Flash PadLock and we happened to be the first publication to deliver a review of the Corsair Flash Survivor GT. Now though we are back with the Corsair Flash Survivor GT as we test out one of their newer versions with a 32GB capacity.
In past articles we have delivered plenty of file-system benchmarks from testing out EXT4 to Btrfs to NILFS2. We have also delivered benchmarks from traditional hard drives to solid-state drives. One area though where we have not published any file-system benchmarks is for USB flash drives. Most users end up staying with the default FAT32 file-system for flash drives, but are there any performance advantages to using EXT3, EXT4, XFS, Btrfs, or ReiserFS? We have the benchmarks today to share atop the latest Linux 2.6.32 kernel build.
Back in August we reviewed the OCZ Agility SATA 2.0 SSD, which we found to be a reputable solid-state drive that offered nice performance under Linux. However, a step up from the Agility series is the Agility EX line. The OCZ Agility EX is designed to offer maximum performance with its SLC NAND-based storage and Indilinx controller. How though does the performance of this $400 SSD for just 60GB of storage compare to their other MLC-based SSDs under Linux? We have the benchmarks.
Back in May we reviewed the OCZ Vertex SSD, which performed well against a Super Talent SSD and two different rotating mobile HDDs. This OCZ SSD was not exactly cheap but it was not too expensive either and it ended up receiving our Editor's Choice award. Since then, OCZ Technology has introduced the Agility SATA 2.0 Solid-State Drives. The Agility is designed to fill OCZ's mainstream SSD offerings with models up to 120GB in size, MLC flash memory, 64MB cache, and slightly better prices. In this review we are testing out the OCZ Agility 120GB Serial ATA 2.0 SSD, under Ubuntu Linux, of course.
Years ago we looked at Super Talent DDR2 memory at Phoronix and with what was tested we ran into problems when overclocking, motherboard compatibility issues, and some very sticky heatsinks. The experience was not the best, but the memory did work as intended. Nearly three years have passed and today we have moved on to look at the Super Talent MasterDrive OX Serial ATA 2.0 Solid State Drive. These Super Talent SSDs are MLC NAND Flash based and come in sizes down to 16GB, which leads to prices lower than many other SSDs on the market, but how do they perform?
Besides offering an impressive selection of USB flash drives and DDR2/DDR3 memory products, OCZ Technology has been quick to expand their selection of solid state drives. OCZ manufacturers SSD products in their value, mainstream, performance, and enterprise series with some of these series containing multiple product families. Earlier this year we provided Linux SSD benchmarks using an OCZ Core Series V2 SSD, but introduced just recently has been the OCZ Vertex SSD series, which we happen to be reviewing today. The OCZ Vertex SSDs go up to 256GB in size and offers 64MB of onboard cache, RAID support, and is rated for 1.5 million hours MTBF.
Late last month we looked at the Intel X25-E Extreme SSD on Linux. We ran this high-performance solid-state drive within a System76 Serval Notebook and compared its performance to a Seagate Momentus 7200.2 SATA HDD. During that testing we were just using the default EXT3 file-system, but now we have taken the Intel X25-E SSD for another spin as we looked at its performance when using the ReiserFS, JFS, XFS, EXT3, and EXT4 file-systems.
In early January we had delivered Linux Solid-State Drive Benchmarks of an OCZ Core Series V2 SSD, which was a low-cost low-capacity single-cell drive. The increased performance and decreased power consumption compared to a 5400RPM Serial ATA 2.0 hard drive was nice for a netbook, but how are the higher-end solid-state drives performing? In this article, we have a high-performance Intel X25-E Extreme SSD on a System76 notebook running Ubuntu Linux.
In late 2005 we looked at the ATP ToughDrive 1GB flash drive and in 2006 looked at ATP's ProMax 150x CF card, but since then we haven't heard much from this company. However, they have recently released two new products, which we are looking at today. There is the ATP 8GB EarthDrive, which is advertised as the world's first recyclable USB drive, and secondly there is the ATP 8GB ToughDrive. The EarthDrive is made of a biodegradable material that is derived from corn.
With the number of netbooks on the market continuing to increase each month and more of these mobile devices switching to solid-state drives for their reliability, extended battery life, and faster performance, SSDs are becoming quite common and finding themselves meeting many Linux hosts. How though does the real-world performance differ between hard disk drives and solid-state drives on Linux? We have run several tests atop Ubuntu on a Samsung netbook with a HDD and SSD. In addition, we have also looked at the encryption performance using both types of drives.
Over the years SilverStone has designed some astonishing ATX computer cases such as the Temjin TJ10 and the Sugo, but they haven't stopped with cases. SilverStone has introduced high-performance power supplies such as the Decathlon 800W and they have also been making disk drive enclosures such as the MS05, which is an eSATA-based enclosure. SilverStone though has introduced a new 2.5" disk enclosure that combines a normal USB to SATA adapter with RFID encryption technologies. If the included RFID sensor keys aren't close enough to this enclosure, the user cannot access any data off the disk as it's all encrypted. However, does the SilverStone Treasure TS01 work under Linux? We'll tell you today.
Over the past few years we have looked at several Tagan power supplies such as the TurboJet 1100W and BZ 900W. However, their product selection is no longer limited to power supplies and they now produce several different desktop cases as well as a growing selection of storage devices. These storage products are part of their Icy Box family, which consists of 2.5" and 3.5" hard drive enclosures as well as NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices. One of these products is the Tagan Icy Box IB-NAS4220-B, which is a two-drive SATA NAS with support for RAID 0/1/JBOD. What makes this device more interesting to us is that it runs Linux and Tagan is more than happy to let its customers modify the unit and write their own software.
Have you been searching for a Secure Digital card that is able to accommodate all of the pictures you take on your next vacation or looking for more storage on your Internet tablet? If so, you have likely come across the latest Secure Digital High Capacity cards that overcome the earlier 2GB capacity limitation of traditional Secure Digital cards. However, there are just so many SDHC cards on the market and they are all priced similarly from different manufacturers, so what should you choose? At hand today in this weekend review are two 4GB SDHC cards from OCZ and Crucial.
For years now Corsair has been on the forefront of leading flash drive innovations, which started with their Flash Voyager series but quickly expanded into their Flash Voyager GT, Flash Survivor GT, and Flash PadLock series. We've reviewed them all and Corsair has certainly had some talented engineers working on these products from the Flash Survivor GT that withstood being submerged into the bottom of a pool, being boiled in a pot of water, and beaten by a hammer to the Flash PadLock, which has a physical lock that will present the flash drive from being mounted unless the appropriate key sequence is entered. While they continue to face new competition -- primarily from OCZ Technology, which has many different innovative flash drives as well such as the Rally 2 Turbo, ATV Turbo, and Mega-Kart -- Corsair Memory continues to excel and release new flash products. Corsair's latest additions to their Flash Voyager GT family are 16GB and 32GB editions. At hand today we are looking at the Corsair Flash Voyager 16GB USB 2.0 flash drive.
OCZ Technology has certainly had an impressive array of USB flash drives over the past few years, but they haven't stopped there. OCZ is continuing to revise their flash drive series and their most recently example of that is the Rally 2 Turbo. We found the original OCZ Rally to be fast, but the Rally 2 Turbo claims to take data transferring to incredible new heights with its latest dual-channel technology offering up to 35MB/s reads and 30MB/s writes. Like the original Rally, the Rally 2 Turbo is encased inside an aluminum chassis and comes with a lifetime warranty.
The last time we had looked at a SilverStone drive enclosure at Phoronix was in early 2006 when reviewing the SilverStone Storage MS02. This 2.5" IDE hard drive enclosure with a USB 2.0 interface met the SilverStone standards we have come to expect both when it comes to the build quality as well as its looks and performance. With the changing times and increased adoption of Serial ATA, SilverStone recently introduced their MS05, which supports 2.5" SATA drives while this aluminum enclosure has both a eSATA and USB 2.0 interface along with having a 3.5" docking station.
Back in May we looked at the Corsair Flash Survivor GT 8GB. This was Corsair's newest flash series at the time and instead of continuing with the memory speed race, the Flash Survivor GT focused upon being very durable. In our review of the Flash Survivor GT, we had thrown it to the bottom of a pool, severely beat it with a hammer, and boiled it in water, but at the end of the day, it performed like new with barely any signs of damage. Less than a month later at Computex Taipei 2007, at the OCZ private suite we came across their ATV Turbo series. We finally have this new OCZ flash drive in our labs and have tested it out in this review.
Last month we looked at the Vitesta DDR2-800 Extreme memory from A-DATA Technology. In that review we found that this DDR2 system memory worked very well and we were pleased with the results. However, in addition to their DRAM module selection they also have a growing selection of flash memory products. A-DATA has separate flash drive series geared for mobility, sport, classic, and themes. At hand today we have the A-DATA Classic PD18 to see if their flash products are as good as their system memory selection.
Corsair is known for their high-performance system memory and for the past two years or so, we have seen very innovative flash products from this memory leader. The Corsair Flash Voyager marked the era of waterproof flash drives only to be succeeded by the Flash Voyager GT. Both of these USB flash drive series not only performed great and handled all of our durability tests, but it was also backed by a ten-year warranty and official support for Linux. Earlier this year, however, Corsair redefined durable flash drives by unleashing the Flash Survivor GT. In our premiere review of the Corsair Flash Survivor GT 8GB, the flash drive was not only fast but had withstood our harsh torture treatment, which consisted of letting the Flash Survivor GT rest at the bottom of an 8 foot deep pool, smashing it with a hammer, and even boiled it in a pot of water. At the end of the day, the Corsair Flash Survivor GT continued to operate like it was brand new with its leading performance edge. Today at Phoronix we are testing out Corsair's latest flash memory product, which claims to offer affordable security for your data via a hardware-based lock. This product at hand is the Corsair Flash PadLock and in this review we go as far as taking apart the entire flash drive to look at its locking mechanism.
Last month we had reviewed the Corsair Survivor GT and found it to be one amazing flash drive. This flash drive offered an 8GB capacity backed by blazing speeds, but if that wasn't enough, the drive was indestructible. We had tossed the Survivor GT into a pool, whacked it with a hammer, and even boiled it in a pot of water, but none of these actions had killed or even damaged the drive. Today we are back with another flash drive review from Corsair but this time around, it's the Flash Voyager GT, or the step-up from the Corsair Flash Voyager.
115 storage articles published on Phoronix.