In the world of computer enclosures things can get boring pretty fast; after all how much can you do with a box? For too many companies the way to differentiate their products is to put in a window and extra LEDs and call it a day. There is little that is new to be perfectly honest with you. However, every now and then something comes out that does stand out from the crowd. We have seen it before with some very unique designs and concepts. One company that has done a fairly good job at keeping things interesting is Cooler Master and in particular their CMStorm line. While at CES this year (2012) we were shown a case that caught our eye and imagination. It was the CMStorm Stryker. We called it the Storm Trooper, not only for its connections to the CMStorm Trooper, but also because it reminded me of the Strom Troopers from Star Wars. We have one of these in our lab now and well… let’s dive in to see what you get and how well it performs.
As the computer market moves to smaller and smaller form factors the need to decrease the foot print of storage devices is growing. The problem that many manufacturers face is that a reduction in component size has traditionally meant a reduction in performance. This is where technologies like mSATA and M.2 SATA (or M.2 PCIe) come into play. Each of these has a benefit in terms of size and also performance. With mSATA you can maintain close to the same performance that you have with traditional SATA (with the right components), but there are limitations on which motherboards and even mobile devices support this. Now with M.2 (also called M Key) SATA and PCIe devices we are seeing a number of motherboard makers will support for them right out of the box. Because of this interest in these new devices has grown. Today we are taking a look at the first one to hit our lab: the Kingston SM22080S3/120G M.2 SATA drive.
Mobile devices are great. All of us use them in the form of phones, MP3/4 players, tablets laptops etc. The problem with a large majority of them is that they never seem to have enough storage to do everything you want. To combat this trend some manufacturers have started dropping in large capacity HDDs, but to keep inside the expected power curve these drives are very slow and end up slowing the system down as well. The alternative of dropping in a Solid State Drive can speed things up, but can also leave you with limited storage space unless you spend a ton of money. Kingston came up with an interesting little concept that takes care of the storage problem and also gives you some high-speed storage that you can move between your portable device and your desktop. So let’s take a look at the 512GB Kington HyperX Predator USB 3.0 thumbdrive.
Here at DecryptedTech we have always had covered a very wide range of products (as well as technologies). However, there is one item that we have never really gotten too deep into. This is direct attached storage and in particular Solid State Drives (SSDs). It is true that we do show you their performance in almost every motherboard review that we do here on the site, but we have never reviewed any SSDs exclusively. We have had many reasons for this not the last of which is there is still debate on how to properly test an SSD or HDD. While some feel that IOPs (Input Output Operations per Second) are key others want to know exactly how fast their data moves into and out of the drive. We sat down and have come up with what we hope is a good balance of synthetic and real world tests that will give you the best idea of how an SSD performs. So with that in mind we are going to dive into Kingston’s HyperX SH100S3B/120G 120GB Solid Sate Drive Upgrade Kit.
After our first run through with the Kingston HyperX SH100S3B 120GB SSD we had more than a few comments stating that 120GB was just not enough to work with. Although your typical 120GB drive is intended to be used as a boot drive with some basic applications installed on this drive it is not meant to be the only drive. Well people still did not want to hear about that so we managed to arrange to take a peek at Kingston’s next upgrade kit, the HyperX 3K 240GB upgrade kit which comes with a HyperX SH103S3 240GB SSD drive along with pretty much the same goodies you saw in the 120GB kit. So let’s take a quick look at what you have and then dive straight into performance.
Solid State drives are what the enthusiast market wants for storage. This has been the case since the first SSDs hit the market a few years ago. However, the drives were too expensive for most and ended up being available to very few. In the last year or so the price per Gigabyte has dropped to almost $1 making the SSD a more viable option for not only the enthusiast but also for the regular consumer market. Additionally with the introduction of high-performance, low cost SATA 3.0 Controllers for SSDs the performance of these drives has made them almost too good to pass up. As far as completion and variety the SSD market is also better now than the traditional magnetic media market. There are simply more companies making SSDs than there are making HDD. We have already taken a look at a few of these in the past and are now working into the new line of SATA 3.0 drives complete with the SandForce 2281 SATA 3.0 controller. Today we have one from Patriot Memory, the PyroSE 120GB solid state drive. Let’s see just how fast it is.
CES 2012, Las Vegas, Nevada – another of the stops that we had during the week-long show was Kingston. We have worked with Kingston for a very long time and have always appreciated their unique mix of open ideas and standards. Kingston is one of the few companies that have always ensured the broadest base of compatibility while not giving up on performance.
Just as we published an article about Micron releasing cheaper SSDs in 120, 240, 480 and 960GB versions, one company has decided to go even further. The company, Foremay, has announced SSDs with a capacity of 2 terabytes in a standard 2.5 inch format and only 9.5 millimeters thick. Foremay will offer these SSDs within their TC166 series for mass market and SC199 for industrial and commercial users.
Once more the UPS truck hits my driveway and brings some new toys to the lab. This time the parts are for reorganization. As the lab is right now I use multiple vendors for the parts used. I try to have two of each to keep things even but I am still working with having to keep up with multiple companies and that can be a pain. To help fix some of this Cameron at Tweak Town worked with Corsair to source much of the hardware we use for the test benches. We were able to get quite a bit to maintain two full test benches. Here is what has arrived so far.
As SSD drives are becoming a standard parts of every PC today, consumers are getting used to high performance and high quality storage devices. Therefore Kingmax is launching a SATA III Client Pro SSD – SMU32 and SMU 35 to please users’ desires. Helped by a SandForce controller and high-speed synchrounous Flash memory it has read/write speeds of up to 550MBs, 520MBs, and 4KB random write speed up to 85,000 IOPS (input/output operations per second). These high performance numbers will be enough for every user, whether it is used for gaming, multimedia or multitasking.