The world of storage is evolving very quickly as the way PCs are built change. We have watched as the traditional single dive systems have given way to hybrid drives, multiple disk systems and even systems with additional cache in them. All of these measures are designed to give you more options for your system, but there is (at times) a limit to what can be done. This is typically the size of the drive. For years the typical disk was 3.5 inches and about ½ of what the common bay height was. With the original SSDs this dropped significantly and has been followed on by mSATA, mini-mSATA and now M.2. These offer high density storage in a very small package. Today we are checking out ADATA’s SP900NS38 256GB M.2 SATA SSD. Let’s see what kind of performance it offers shall we?
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.
With the big push for everything in the cloud we have been focusing on ways to consumers and businesses to bring their data back into their own control. One of the least expensive methods for this is through the use of a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device. These are devices that have a minimum of two drive bays and allow for you to set up RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) Volume for performance and/or redundancy. Today in the Lab we have a five-bay NAS device from Thecus. This is an Atom based system with support for up to 15TB of RAW space and 3GB of memory. So let’s take a look at the Thecus N5550 and see what this $600 (empty) NAS has to offer as we dig deep into its design, build and features.
We have another network storage device in our labs; the Thecus N2800. This is a 2-bay NAS with dual network controllers, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, and eSATA connectivity. We have tinkered around with some of Thecus’ products before and found that they usually are looking at getting you solid performance, but you are not going to get a ton of frills with them. This is not to say they do not have their own feature set that is worth talking about, but that in the past we have found them to be very straight forward products. Good performance, good price and they will do what you need them to. We have been told that this has changed at Theucus and they are moving in the direction of adding in a wider feature set with their NAS Products. So let’s take a look and see if there has been any improvement.