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All posts tagged "ssd"

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

HP Unveils its First Business Ultrabook: Folio 13

Posted by Michael Knutson in "HP Laptops & Netbooks" @ 11:00 AM

"PALO ALTO, Calif., Nov. 16, 2011 - HP today introduced its first business UltrabookTM, which features a thin and light design, strong security options and a responsive solid state hard drive for the ultimate mobile experience. The HP Folio13 also delivers up to 9 hours of battery life, the highest performance available among Ultrabook devices currently on the market."

Looks a bit like a small MacBook Pro, eh? A nice feature set, and, meets one of my requirements, a backlit keyboard. RJ-45 (Ethernet) and USB 3.0 ports are included, and a 128GB SSD is standard. An embedded TPM (security) chip will be included in some models (January 2012), allowing secure authentication and data encryption. With a 13.3-inch BrightView screen, Intel Core processors, and a very good webcam, this 18mm thin ultrabook weighs-in at about 3.3-pounds (~1.5kg). HP's Press Release (see link) stated that the Folio 13 will be available starting December 7th, with prices starting at $899.99. I've been looking for a new Windows laptop, and the Folio may jump to my short list.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Installing an SSD Without Re-Installing Windows

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 06:30 AM

"Installing a solid-state drive is one of the best upgrades you can make to your computer, but migrating your Windows installation to a small drive can be tricky, because your data won't necessarily all fit on the drive. Here's how to install an SSD without reinstalling Windows from scratch."

I for one am very happy installing a new hard drive (or SSD) doesn't require a re-installation of Windows. There are a lot of ways to do a drive swap, but this Lifehacker article is by far the most detailed I've seen. If you're pondering moving to an SSD, it's worth a read!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Is Upgrading Your Old Computer With an SSD Worth It?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 10:00 AM

"It's a foregone conclusion that SSDs are must-haves in performance-oriented PCs, but our testing reveals that solid-state drives are reasonable upgrades in older mainstream machines, too. We build three old boxes to gauge the impact of an SSD on each."

There are only a few Web sites out there that I trust to tackle thorny questions with the scientific rigour that would make a molecular biologist proud, and Tom's Hardware is one of those sites. They post a fascinating question: is it worth it to put an SSD in an old computer? They reach all the way back to a typical system from 2005, equipped with a 300 GB Samsung hard drive that benchmarked at 54 Mbps, and move forward from there to several newer generations. Their conclusions? SSDs rock performance, even on an older system. The catch though is the price tag; if you need a lot of storage, it starts to make less sense to put an expensive SSD in an older system. One option is to use a smaller, less expensive SSD for the boot drive, then use a large hard drive for mass storage.

Personally, after years of multi-drive, multi-partition setups, I've enjoyed the simplified approach of a single partition, single drive setup on most of my PCs and have resisted going to an SSD until the price on 200+ GB drives comes down. I might re-evaluate that on my next build...we'll see.

Have you installed an SSD in an older computer? Was the performance increase noticeable?

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

SanDisk U100 and i100 SSDs: Smaller, Faster, Higher Capacity

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 09:00 PM

"SanDisk has been pumping out press releases all day thanks to Computex-mania, so we shuffled past its stall to see what all the fuss is about. The biggest news is the U100 range of tiny SSDs for ultraportables, which crank data in and out at twice the speed of SanDisk's previous generation P4 drives. We're talking 450MB/s reads and 340MB/s writes thanks to the latest SATA III interface, plus a max capacity of 256GB -- specs which have already enticed ASUS to use the U100 in its lightweight UX-series notebooks."

Technology marches oh so quickly on. Amazing, the size, capacity and performance (6Gbit/sec) of these newest SATA-III SSDs. The U100 is destined for ultraportable laptops, with 256GB (max), and the smaller footprint i100 appears to be headed for tablets, and will max out at 128GB. The devices offer similar read speeds, but the i100 offers "only" 160MB/sec write speeds, or slightly less than half the speed of the U100. Still, 128GB in a tablet would be great, especially when we start to see this storage capacity and performance coupled with upcoming quad-core (or more) processors. Volume production is scheduled for Q3 2011. Prices were not even hinted-at.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

OWC MacBook Air 480GB Mercury Aura Pro Express SSD Upgrade

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts Articles & Resources" @ 09:30 AM

I haven't seen anyone crack open a Macbook Air before - not that I've gone looking for it mind you - but I'm still impressed by the fact that this product is almost all battery and they managed to fit the guts of the laptop in basically 1/4th of the total space. This video shows how surprisingly easy it is to swap out the SSD in the Macbook Air. I had to chuckle though when I saw the price of the 480 GB SDD: a mere $1579.99 USD. I wonder how many dozens of these they'll sell this year? Yikes. SSD prices aren't free-falling like I keep hoping they will...

Friday, May 13, 2011

Not Sure What SSD to Buy? How About a Guide?

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 02:30 PM,2880.html

This is the first installment in a new series recommending the best solid-state drives you can buy at any given budget level. With so many SSDs piling up, all based on the same few controllers, it’s time for us "to start identifying the real winners. Detailed solid state drive specifications and reviews are great—that is, if you have the time to do the research. However, at the end of the day, what an enthusiast needs is the best SSD within a certain budget."

As SSDs are becoming more common place and cheaper, it is about time that a guide be published letting you know which one is most worth your simoleons. There are lots of reasons to upgrade, from better performance to increased battery life. I still worry about the lifespan of SSDs as I have heard some horror stories but a proper backup regimen should take care of most of those problems. You do have a proper backup regimen you follow, right?

Tags: hardware, reviews, ssd

Monday, January 24, 2011

Windows 7 and SSD Makes For Fast Computer

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 03:00 PM

"I’ve been using SSD-equipped PCs with Windows 7 since October 2009, and I now have two laptops and one desktop PC that are fitted with these superfast drives. Over the holidays, I set out to fine-tune the storage configuration in all three systems and was able to increase overall system performance dramatically. In a follow-up post, I’ll explain exactly what you need to know to squeeze maximum performance out of an SSD."

Time is money. That is what they say at least. If you have ever gone for a coffee while waiting for your computer to start up, or had to decide whether it is worth it to start up your computer to check something online, you can probably appreciate what SSDs have to offer. It is not just boot times, but the whole computing experience that can benefit from the zippy qualities of SSDs. Compromises are made of course, with SSDs generally being much more expensive than your traditional hard drive, and their storage capacity is often much smaller but sometimes, all you want is speed!

Being an old fogey, I still prefer the old hard drive. Mostly because I like the extra capacity and cost effectiveness of it. Since I tend to leave my computer turned on with my programs almost always running, many of the speed benefits of an SSD are lost on me. I admit to being tempted to using one for my laptop, but I tend to keep that baby trimmed down so that its boot time to usefulness is pretty quick. Is it worth the switch? Have any of you done your own comparisons and cannot live without the speed boost that an SSD provides? Did you find that you had to make tweaks to get the most out of it? What do you use your computer for that makes the ugpade worthwhile?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Intel SSD 310: Honey, I Shrunk The Hard Drive!

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 11:01 AM

"The 310 isn't about performance, rather form factor. The SSD in Apple's new MacBook Air is just the beginning - OEMs are beginning to shed the limits of traditional hard drive form factors as SSDs don't need to house a circular platter. The mSATA interface is physically a mini PCIe connector (similar to what you'd see with a WiFi card in a notebook) but electrically SATA. The result is something very compact. The full sized mSATA 310 measures 50.8mm x 29.85mm and is less than 4.85mm thick. Total weight? Less than 10 grams."

This is fantastic to see - one of the most impressive things about the Macbook Air that I was testing is that Apple managed to cram a 50 Watt Hour battery inside that incredibly slim chassis. One of the reasons they were able to do that is because they crammed basically the entire laptop other than the battery in the upper-third portion of the bottom chassis; the rest was left for the battery. And how did they accomplish that feat? By taking the SSD out of the traditional 2.5" chassis and putting the chips into a small daughterboard. It looks like other laptop vendors are going to be following in Apple's path, which is great. Bring on the choice!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hey Developers, Get Your Hands Off My Documents Folder!

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 07:00 AM

See that screenshot above? That's an incredible 10.1 GB worth of file bloat that I had no idea was there. The culprit? Cyberlink PowerDirector 9, a video editing application that I've been using quite a bit over the last month. I've developed a real love/hate relationship with this software; when it works, man, does it ever work well! It leverage's my Core i7 CPU and NVIDIA 460 GTX GPU in ways I've never seen any other app's SHREDS HD video, both exporting and editing it. What's not so good is the stability and corrupt output problems I've been seeing. More on that later though; back on topic... Read more...

Saturday, October 16, 2010 Intel X25-M SSD Review and Giveaway

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts Articles & Resources" @ 10:00 AM

"Replacing your traditional hard drive with an SSD, or solid state drive, is one of the latest ways to bring speed to your system allowing you to get into Windows faster, and thus get to work quicker. Intel was kind enough to send over one of their Intel X 25-M SSDs for us to test out, and another for us to give away to a reader."

Ah, SSD. The three-letter word that makes the heart of a hardware geek start to flutter. The technology, while still somewhat young, holds some impressive advantages and is only getting better. The Intel X25-M SSD is well-known for it's performance prowess, and Josh Smith over at has reviewed it. And, lucky you, there's a contest to win one. Head on over to check it out and enter the contest!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Juice Up Your Laptop With the Imation M-Class SSD

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts Accessories" @ 07:00 AM

Product Category: Solid State Hard Drive (SSD)
Manufacturer: Imation
Where to Buy: NewEgg
Price: $339.99 USD
System Requirements: 2.5" drive bay, SATA connector
Specifications: Sequential Read (230 MB/s), Sequential Write (170 MB/s), Sequential Write IOPS (6500), Sequential Read IOPS (22,000), Interface (SATA II 3.0 Gbps), Transmission Mode (PIO Mode 0-4, DMA Mode 0-2, Ultra DMA Mode 0-6).


  • Complete kit allows you to easily re-use your old hard drive;
  • A great solution for thin and light laptops where hard drive vibration and heat is an issue;
  • Five year warranty.


  • It's about $80 more expensive compared to other drives on the market of this size and speed;
  • No TRIM support yet;
  • Acronis drive cloning software can be hit or miss.

Summary: In the past couple of years, it seems like everyone is getting into the SSD game; it's like a classic gold rush, where the playing fields are levelled and new players, previously uninvolved in the storage field, can carve out territory for themselves by licensing or building the right technology. Imation is one such company; they're a brand I'd typically associate with blank discs and USB Flash drives, but after meeting with one of their representatives at CES 2010, I was intrigued by their SSD offering and wanted to see what . Read more...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

When it Comes to Storage, SSD or HDD?

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 09:00 AM

"Solid-state drives (SSDs) make for a pretty great upgrade, but they aren't without their downsides (most notably, their high cost and low amounts of space). While the answer to "are they worth it?" is fairly subjective, there are a number of factors that can influence the usefulness of a solid-state drive."

While solid-state drives definitely appear to be the future, traditional hard drives will probably be here for many, many years to come. Their huge storage capacities and fair transfer speeds have kept them in the running and the standard choice for most consumers but SSDs are increasing in popularity, especially in notebooks. While I am tempted to jump onto the SSD bandwagon, my storage needs outstrip my speed needs, and external storage devices are just too much of a hassle. Still, I am waiting for the day when a 500GB SSD can be had for under $100. Okay, you can stop laughing now.

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