More information about the unconventional SSD used in Apple’s new MacBook Air. As I discussed in my previous coverage of this new flash form factor, it resembles a PCI Express Mini Card but is much smaller. Toshiba has now proved my speculation that the device uses SATA signals rather than the PCI Express lane used by the similar AirPort card. We also know that the lauded performance of the device is due to its chips and controller rather than skipping SATA in favor of PCIe as some had speculated.
There has been much speculation that a new generation of hybrid flash/hard disk drives was right around the corner, and Provantage confirmed it today: The reseller posted a family of “Momentus XT” 2.5″ laptop drives for sale on their web site, shipping in 3-4 weeks. Many other sites began listing the drives as well, and The Register got the scoop, benchmarks, and official comment.
Hard disk drive makers are adding flash storage to their conventional spinning-platter drives to improve performance and are targeting the performance PC market. Wait a second, haven’t we seen this before? As Rocky eventually said to Bullwinkle, “but that trick never works!”
The external hard disk drive market is incredibly hot right now, but it’s also ultra-competitive. The latest trend is dockable multi-function drives that are friendlier to use and offer advanced features like video playback. Most docks rely on USB 2.0, but Seagate just dropped a bomb on the industry with a simple twist: They moved the intelligence outside the case, repackaging the standard internal SATA connector as GoFlex, an external link to a variety of docks and adapters.
Are “enterprise” drives worth the extra cost in a RAID enclosure? The reason I ask is I’ve had 2 of 4 Seagate ‘consumer’ (7200.12) drives fail in my (Other World Qx2) enclosure. The two drives that failed were maybe a year old, well short of any ‘MBTF’ expectation. Enterprise drives cost nearly twice that of consumer drives.