runcoreprov200gb_frontWhen you first visit RunCore's website, you'll have to chose what sort of consumer you are: professional or 'prosumer'. For those unfamiliar with the latter, it's a hybrid word to describe a 'professional consumer', or if you will, an enthusiast. Today we look at a solid-state drive, a piece of hardware any PC enthusiast drools over, provided by RunCore, a China-based manufactuer focused on the production of high-end solid-state storage options.

titleWhen you hear the word Hybrid you may have images of Prius’s or maybe even the south park episode where they called all Hybrid owners fart sniffers. You may be surprised to find out that you can get hybrids in the computer industry, specifically in storage. With SSD’s gaining popularity it’s not a surprise that manufactures are looking at ways to bring SSD performance with a normal hard drives capacity and price. Today I have the chance to take a closer look at the Momentus XT from Seagate. This is a 2.5inch laptop drive with 4 gigs of SLC NAND (solid state flash) attached to the PCB to give you just that.

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The market for flash or USB thumb drives has grown from the days when they were all about function with little or no aesthetics. Recently that has changed; you can now find every shape and design, even things you wouldn’t want to see. A few years ago Mimoco, Inc. introduced a series of designer flash drives called Mimobots. Flash forward to today; they still make Mimobots and are on their 5th series and going strong. Today we are looking at the Mimobot version of Darth Vader.

titleThe SSD market has grown in leaps and bounds over the past few years. It has given new names a chance to make a name for themselves. Strangely enough, the biggest names in the storage industry Western Digital and Seagate have been slow to the market, letting the technology mature before jumping in. With the purchase of SiliconSystems, Western Digital finally jumped in. Today we are looking at their SiliconEdge Blue, their first entry in the personal SSD market. To celebrate we will showcase this milestone in a custom case from Cooler Master and Smooth Creations.

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With the SSD market growing it wasn’t a surprise when Western Digital joined the market recently with their SiliconEdge Blue SSD. Even with the prices dropping SSD’s are still out of range for most enthusiasts. The only way most people can pick them up is settling with a 30 and 60 GB SSD, of course this leads to a balancing act trying to keep from filling up your SSD. Today Western Digital is introducing their newest version of the Velociraptor, a 600GB (or 450GB), 10k RPM monster than should hold anything you need without any worries.

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With SSD’s becoming more and more affordable they are slowly starting to reach the hands of eager enthusiasts and gamers. In fact, we are just now starting to see a few pop up in rigs at our own LAN parties. One of the biggest brands in this market is OCZ and they have a variety of models including the reasonably priced Agility series. One of which we will be looking at today.

seagatenas110_07Storing and backing up your files on a USB or eSATA hard drive is an important part of computer use today. If you are like a good portion of computer users today, you have multiple computers. Wouldn't it be great to be able to backup your files from all of your PCs and access them from any computer on your network? That is where NAS (network attached storage) comes in to the picture. Today we are looking at Seagate's BlackArmor NAS 110. We have already been impressed with Seagate's storage products in past and I am curious to see if they can uphold that standard with their NAS product line.

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The other day we took a look at Western Digital's 2TB offering, it's only fair that we see what Seagate has to offer as well. Seagate offers both the Barracuda XT and Constellation drives in 2TB capacities. Today we will  be taking a look at the Constellation. In the past we have reviewed a 2 1/2 inch Constellation drive, I'm curious what four times the capacity and a larger form factor has done to its performance.

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Hard Drives continue to get larger and along with lager capacity the they also continue to get faster. What that means for us is that  Western Digital's recently released 2 TB Caviar Black Hard Drive is not only one of the largest drives on the market it's also one of the fastest. Today I will be taking a look at the 2TB Caviar Black and testing it to see how it stands up against SSD's, High RPM Enterprise class drives, and Western Digital's own Velociraptor. Considering the performance we have seen out of 1TB and 1.5TB drives in the past, it will be interesting to see how the numbers come out.

dec_035_LanOC_frontHard drive docks can come in handy in several instances: home or office data transfer, back-up files or switching hard drives, or even at the LAN scene. Most models' convenience ends with one external and one internal hard drive. Imagine, however, the possibilities if you could have two docks in one, allowing for data transfer from not only an external to internal, but external to external, and being able to read and write two hard drives simultaneously. Even more impressive would be if both docks supported 2.5" and 3.5" hard drives. Thermaltake had those very ideas in mind when designing the BlacX Duet, and has sent us the end product to try for ourselves.

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If the 500 gig Seagate BlackArmor we reviewed a while back isn't enough space for you, you now have other options. Amazingly you can pick up a drive up to a full 1Tb! Still using a USB 2.0 interface I'm curious to see if it will be limited by its transfer speeds more than its capacity. Of course even if that is the case, you can always just brag that your portable hard drive is bigger than anyone else.

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We have looked at Seagate's FreeAgent Go series a few times in the past and were very impressed with the Free Agent Go Dock that goes along with them. You wouldn't think Seagate would be able to improve on a simple dock too much but surprisingly they did. With the new Dockstar, they included an Ethernet port to help share your files over your network and over the Internet. What kind of difference can one lowly ethernet port make? Read more to find out.

ariusrev_038_lanocfrontAn external hard drive is great if you're looking for something to interchange between computers, but what if you're looking for a more permanent solution to your 2.5" hard drive problems? Sure, you can take a dock with you pretty much anywhere you go, but it is another piece of equipment to worry about, and at times you may find your LAN bag about to bust open the way it is. Regardless of the reason, making the jump to an internal SATA rack is a reasonable option, but how and where do you start? VIZO has offered us an answer with their 2.5" hard drive rack from the Arius line, the Arius II.

ariusrev_066_lanocHardware limitations are a problem that are often encountered in any media PC environment. That limit could be a memory capacity or perhaps running out of hard drive bays in your case. Or maybe you're just sick of constantly removing a side panel to swap hard drives. The perfect solution in all the cases above is an internal hard drive rack. These convenient pieces of expansion hardware allow a user to spend a 5.25" bay and convert it to an additional 3.5" hard drive bay. VIZO Technology Corp has sent us their 3.5" contender in the Arius line, the Arius EX, to test.

IMG_6526_lrThis spring I took a look at the 15k RPM Savvio drives from Seagate, a 2.5 inch high speed hard drives designed for server use. I also found that they were perfect for enthusiast use as long as you are willing to pay the premium. Today I have the chance to test out Seagate's Cheetah hard drives, 10k and 15k RPM 3.5inch drives. With four times the storage space in a bigger package how will it affect our original thoughts.

10rev_042a_LanOC_frontWhen an industry gets to the point where there are countless models of any given product available, its only natural for consumers to look for those that have a certain appearance, are easier to install and carry around, include extra accessories, and have a certain speed. Icy Dock has sent us their latest contender in the 2.5" external hard drive battle, the MB668US-1SB, to see how it performs in the areas detailed above.

IMG_5644_lrOver the past few months we have taken a look at a full selection of Seagate’s business and home external hard drives. Seagate took a note from the late 90’s with the latest drive we are looking at. The Free Agent Xtreme is a personal desktop drive with a 2Tb capacity. So what does Xtreme stand for? Maybe the drive is made for extreme conditions? Or maybe it skydives? I’m going to dive in and find out what it’s all about, how it performs, and how extreme it really is.

 

IMG_5532-lrOver the last few weeks we have taken a look at a variety of Seagate external solutions. Another big part of their business is workstation or business class products. Because of that its no shocker that they have an entire line just for that, it’s called BlackArmor.  BlackArmor stands out from the FreeAgent line with a all black product line, business grade software, and high quality hard drives all designed specifically for business applications. Today I will be taking a look at the BlackArmor WS110 3.5 inch workstation external drive. How well will it compare to their FreeAgent line of externals?

IMG_5523-lrI recently took a look at the WS-110 and was surprised by all of the features of the BlackArmor series. Of course the WS-110 is a little large and has a power cord, not something you would want to travel with. That’s where the PS-110 comes in, considerably smaller than the WS-110  it is designed for portability. But does it have the same high performance and great software that the WS-110 came with? Seagate was kind enough to let me get my hands on one.

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When it comes to gaming hard drives there really has only been one. The Raptor series from Western Digital has dominated the market for some time now. Their most recent Raptor is the 300Gb 10k RPM Velociraptor may be a little aged at over 1 1/2 years but still is a force to be reckoned with. Today I have the chance to see how the Velociraptor performs against other solutions including the SAS drives we have tested in the past and SSD's. Will the top name in gaming hard drives still hold its weight?

 

 

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