WD Black P10 Game Drive

The PS4 launched with a 500GB hard drive and later came out with a 1TB model. If you were really lucky maybe you have the ultra-rare 2TB 500 Million limited edition model. But for the most part you are going to be a little limited in storage capacity on the PS4. It is 6 years old now! The Xbox One isn’t much different as well. But games still continue to get larger. My wife and I picked up Red Dead Redemption 2 at launch and it took up 99 gigs and required 150GB of space to install. Talk about a quick way to take out a big chunk of your storage and frankly I don’t want to have to uninstall it and have to go through that full installation later, it takes forever. Both can get an upgraded hard drive, but if you don’t want to go through that trouble Western Digitals WD_Black gaming-focused lineup has expanded to add a few different options. Today I’m going to check the P10 Game Drive which is a USB based external hard drive designed to expand gaming storage on your PC, PS4, and Xbox. I’m going to see what the new drive has going for it and then check out its performance as well. With capacities of 2TB, 4TB, and 5TB even the smallest model isn’t going to get clogged up from a single game install.

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Viper Gaming VPN100 512GB

M.2 SSDs and heat have been an ongoing issue for a while now. They don’t always need to worry about heat, but they often end up in areas like behind a motherboard where there is no airflow or right under your hot video card that is spewing out heat from the bottom right on to the drive. Motherboards have added heatsinks but a lot of them are more like metal covers that hold heat in. On our Crush build a few years ago I had issues with our drive overheating and adding small stick on heatsinks was the solution. That said when heat isn’t an issue heatsinks aren’t needed at all. But all of this has ended up with a few companies bringing out SSDs with heatsinks like the SN750 that I took a look at. Well, Viper Gaming sent over their VPN100 a while back and today I’m going to check it out and see how the drive performs as well as how well the heatsink it ships with performs.

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WD Black SN750 w/Heatsink

Western Digital reintroduced their WD Black M.2 NVMe SSD back in January with the new SN750 model. I took a look at it and was impressed once again by its performance and pricing and it won an Editor’s Choice award. At the same time as that launch, they teased their 2TB model and a new SN750 that would have a heatsink those weren’t available yet. Well, the SN750 with the heatsink is available now and I’ve had one here on my desk and on the test bench. Today I’m going to check it out and see how it is different from the standard SN750. They share the same base SSD, so my goal today is to take a look at if the heatsink really helps and if so how much. We already know the SN750 is fast, but is buying it with heatsink worth it. Let's find out!

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WD Blue SN500 250GB

Back in January WD introduced their new WD Black SN750 SSD and I took a look at it. Its performance was extremely impressive but as I pointed out in our Crucial P1 and XPG SX6000 reviews, not everyone is looking to get the biggest and best SSD. Up until now the people looking for a cheaper drive have basically had to settle for SATA based drives. Recently though a few NVMe drives have been finally getting down into those SATA M.2 drive prices and WD has joined in as well with their new WD Blue SN500. It might not be as exciting when it comes to raw performance like the WD Black, but I am curious to see how it performs with its $54.99 price point right now for the 250GB model. So today I’m going to see what the new drive is all about, check out its performance, then see how it compares to the other cheaper NVMe drives on the market.

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ADATA XPG SX6000 256GB

When it comes to hardware that comes in, from time to time things slip through the cracks. In this case, ADATA sent their XPG SX6000 drive in the 256GB capacity last year and well I missed it and as you can tell I’m very late. But I do still want to check it out and see what ADATA has going on and how the drive performs. The drive itself is EOL but can still be found in some of its capacities and at good prices as well. So hopefully this information will come in handy for some of you.

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WD Black SN750 1TB

The Western Digital Black line of products has been around for years and it has always been reserved for WDs fastest consumer products. So two years ago they introduced their first NVMe drive and then last year WD refreshed that same model to an even faster design. The refresh caused some confusion though because the model name didn’t change so you will find that labeled as the WD Black NVMe 2018. Well, they haven’t been leaving things alone. WD has a new NVMe drive but this time to prevent confusion they have added a model number. So the new drive is called the WD Black SN750. This is also going along with a new push for the Black line to be their gaming lineup, so today I’m going to check out the new drive and see what is different and how it performs. Last years model was already fast, so it will be interesting to see if they managed to improve on that at all.

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Crucial P1 NVMe 1TB and 500GB

Considering Micron is the parent company for Crucial, it may come as a surprise that they hadn’t actually introduced a consumer-focused NVMe drive up until this past month. There was the Ballistix TX3 that they showed off at Computex back in 2016, but it was canceled, making Crucial one of the last companies to jump into the NVMe market. So the name for their NVMe is fitting, they call it the P1. They are using four bit per cell QLC NAND like the Intel 660p and they aren’t aiming for the top end of the market with this drive. This is more of an entry level NVMe drive and I’m excited to see what kind of performance you can expect at a price point that people are more likely to look to spend. So today I’m going to take a look at what makes the drive tick then look at its performance before then seeing where it fits in the market.

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SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD 1TB

Internet bandwidth hasn’t really kept up with the file sizes needed for supporting 4k content creation or even just movies. You can stream it just fine, but when you are pulling huge amounts of data off of your camera on trips and bringing things to watch while you are away you are most likely going to need some more space than what your laptop has. You could go with a basic hard drive, but when you have a lot of files that could take a long time to transfer them, who wants to sit waiting on all of that while you are enjoying a vacation. That is why portable SSDs have been gaining a lot of traction. I personally keep one in my laptop bag all of the time but the new Extreme Portable SSD from SanDisk caught my eye. Its shape could allow you to clip it to your bag to make sure you don’t lose it. So today I’m going to check it out and see how that works out and also test out the performance of the drive.

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Qnap TS-453Be

When you just have one computer in the house storing your data and putting together a backup solution can be as simple as an external hard drive and a basic cloud storage account. But what I have found is that as you have more computers being used, especially when you also start running HTPCs or in my case Shield TVs on all of your TVs you need a better solution. For around my house, we run multiple NAS. One with critical data on it and others with stuff like our backed up media files for access at the televisions. That is where companies like Qnap come into play, they have developed low power usage NAS that goes WAY beyond just storing your data. They have a lot of media integrations and a variety of ways to back everything up. Qnap sent over the TS-453Be, a quad-core NAS designed to be expandable for M.2 or 10GbE support while keeping the costs down without fancy external screens. So today I’m going to see what kind of feature Qnap is offering and check out its performance and their software.

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WD Black NVMe SSD 1TB

Western Digital might bring to mind spinning disks but they have been dabbling in the SSD market for a while now, especially with their pickup of SanDisk. I’ve ever had the chance to check out their portable SSD. But this past April WD was really hyping up a launch and at PAX East they introduced their first 3D NAND NVMe SSD, the WD Black M.2. Of course, that could be a little confusing because there was previously a WD Black M.2 drive. With SanDisk's 64-layer 3D TLC and Western Digitals own controller, the WD Black promises some crazy numbers and I’m excited to take a look and see how it performs.

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WD My Passport 1TB

You guys/girls ever see something that you really don’t need but just have to have in your life? For the most part, I try to keep things like this under control, but a while back during our anniversary contest I happened to see that WD had this bright orange external drive. Now I wish they had a bright orange My Passport SSD like the one I reviewed last year, this isn’t it. This is the larger spinning disk-based model. But its bright bright orange! So I had to check it out. So today I’m going to show you guys the drive, check out its performance, then talk a little about if classic external storage is still a good option these days.

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AMD StoreMI

So with the latest Ryzen launch, AMD slipped in another feature that fell under the radar with everything else going on. They call it StoreMI and at first glance, you might dismiss it but after playing around with it more I think all Ryzen owners should rethink that and at least check out my performance testing later in this article. Officially StoreMI is a free version of the Enmotus FuzeDrive and it may look like a caching tech like Intel’s Optane but it isn’t. It is a Tier setup like run on enterprise hardware allowing you to experience SSD speeds on your slower spinning storage with a hands-off approach that is especially good for non-enthusiasts who don’t think about which drive they install programs on.

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SanDisk Extreme 510 Portable SSD 480GB

Back in August I took a look at the new WD My Passport SSD and was impressed with its performance and form factor. While it does have an SSD inside it wasn’t really designed to take a beating, something that might happen when you use a drive a lot and it gets tossed around. Well, Western Digital owns SanDisk as well and along with the My Passport SSD they had also sent over the SanDisk Extreme 510 Portable SSD. It is a completely different design and it is designed to handle a little more rough handling. Today I’m going to check it out and see what they are doing differently with this model and take a look at its overall performance.

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WD My Passport SSD 1TB

When it comes to data storage there are all different form factors and options. If you have a huge computer and don’t need to transport the data you can just toss a hard drive in and you are good to go. I take advantage of network attached storage for most of the data around the house but I also used a few flash drives for on the go. But when you need more space the thumb drive options get expensive, huge, and they aren’t exactly fast as well. So you are left with a portable hard drive but again speeds are terrible. Well recently SSDs have been making it into the portable market and the WD My Passport SSS really caught my eye to be paired with my Ultrabook for when I’m on the go and between test benches around the office. With a small form factor and a Type-C connection, it looks to be what need but first today I want to put it to the test and see how it performs.

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Toshiba OCZ VX500

When it comes to SSDs most people these days are starting to focus on NVMe drives or at least M.2 drives. There is still interest and need for SATA drives as well though. A lot of the SATA drives have been focused on cheaper TLC based NAND but there is still a need for MLC NAND and that’s where the OCZ VX500 that was introduced last fall has been hanging out. It’s designed as a replacement for the OCZ Vector 180. They have dropped the Barefoot 3 controller and moved to a Toshiba based TC358790. That combined with the MLC NAND has me excited to finally take a look at the VX500 and see how it performs and where it fits in today’s marketplace.

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ADATA SU800 256GB SSD

Last year ADATA introduced their SU800 as part of a complete line of 3D NAND based SSDs. It is their mid-ranged model with the SU900 being their highest end SATA based SSD but comes in at a price point that Is budget friendly as well. The SU800 is also the first 3D NAND SSD on the market from a company that doesn’t make their own NAND. So today I’m going to take a look inside the drive and see what it’s all about and also test its performance to see how it compares to other SATA based drives. Is this the SATA SSD for your next build? The price is right and they have the capacities, but let’s find out.

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QNAP TS-451+

You may not have noticed, but not only have PCs been getting smaller but devices like notebooks, phones, and tablets have been taking over. It doesn’t mean that the PC is going away as some people would like you to think, but it does mean that fewer devices have the capability to hold bulk storage. Sure SSDs are getting bigger and computers have some room, but enthusiasts, geeks, and professionals used to load up their main PCs with hard drives and the PC market is moving away from that. You could go with an external drive but they don’t really have the capacity as well. Because of that, the home NAS market has been picking up and more and more people are realizing that a central storage location is helpful for the whole family. In our case, I moved to NAS storage years ago to cut back on electricity from having servers running in the house. We have had one for my attached office and another with video files but recently those have filled up and I’ve been looking at new options. While doing that I thought it would be a great time to take a look at what QNAP has going on so they sent over their TS-451+. My past NAS have been powered by slower CPUs and over time his has caused slowdowns when running RAID so I’m excited to see how the TS-451+ performs with its Intel quad core.  So let’s dive in.

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Toshiba OCZ RD400 512GB

Well, it wasn’t that long ago that Toshiba picked up OCZ and brought the OCZ brand into their lineup as their enthusiast oriented brand. So it may take a little while to adjust to the new Toshiba branding sitting next to the OCZ, but for those concerned with any OCZ issues in the past, having Toshiba backing the brand now should be reassuring. On top of the new branding, Toshiba has also introduced their first M.2 PCIe drive with the RD400. The RD stands for the previous Revo Drive branding from OCZ and this drive was originally shown off as a Revo Drive. The drive has a native PCIe controller and is an NVMe drive so we can expect performance to be significantly better than any of the SATA based drives. Today I’m going to check out the drive and then run it through our testing to see just how it performs.

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Apacer AS720 Dual Interface SSD 240GB

When you think of innovation in the storage industry you typically think of things like M.2 and SATA Express that help enable even faster transfer speeds. Well, a while back I was contacted by a lesser known company in the storage industry called Apacer. They had all of the standard products of course but there was one specific product that really caught my eye. This was their AS720 SSD, at first glance, it wasn’t especially innovative. But I noticed that along with the SATA connection on one end, it also had a new USB 3.1 Type C connection on the other end. This really got me thinking about how useful an SSD with dual interfaces could be. For starters, it is worlds smaller than the normal 2.5 inch USB storage devices because it doesn’t need a thick casing on top of the hard drive or SSD like most external USB drives. I was also thinking about how useful it could be when cloning your old drive to your new SSD, especially with laptops that aren’t going to have two SATA connections. So today I’m going to take a look at Apacer’s dual interface SSD. I’m going to dig inside and see what makes it tick, then test both interfaces to see just how well they both perform.

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HyperX Savage 128GB USB 3.1 Drive

With cloud storage I would forgive you if you haven’t thought to much about USB thumb drives recently, I know I have for the most part only been using thumb drives in a few situations where I used to do all of my work directly off of one. The thing is there are situations where the cloud just doesn’t work. A good example of this is with large files but it also can be important when security is a concern and also for installing windows and device drivers. Because of that I have kept a Kingston DataTraveler HyperX drive around. I keep movies and TV shows on it and keep it with my laptop normally because the SSD on my laptop is limited in size. Recently though Kingston introduced a new USB drive in their HyperX brand, the HyperX Savage. They dropped the DataTraveler branding all together and they jumped up to USB 3.1. Today I’m going to take a look at it and find out how it compares to its older brother.

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