Wednesday, December 28, 2011

ICY TIP: Restore New Life Into Your Older Hard Drives to Maximize Available Free Space

ICY TIP: Restore New Life Into Your Older Hard Drives to Maximize Available Free Space
Restore New Life Into Your Older Hard Drives to Maximize Available Free Space
Anyone that is a computer enthusiast, builds computers or maintains computers probably has accumulated a large collection of old hard drives over the years. The problem with these old drives is just that the low capacity does not allow for much practical use in many applications. It is hard to use these smaller drives if you are saving a large amount of data on them across many hard drives and which can quickly become unorganized. In most cases, people simply leave their old drive alone because they do not have the proper tools to help them organize their drives.

Many of the Icy Dock products provide solutions which breathe new life into old hard drives and also make them more organized to give you more “free space”. With hot-swap enclosures, you can easily install the drive and do all the transfers in no time. Even if you can’t fit all of your data on one drive, swapping drives in and out of our enclosures is easy to do. This is extremely useful during the current hard drive shortage. The increase of hard drives cost is very worrisome for many consumers and would strongly prefer to have a solution that reduce costs as much as possible, meanwhile, making full use of hard drives that they already own.

Here are the solutions we would like to introduce to you:

External Solution:

For: All-in-one type computers, PC Desktop, iMac, Mac Pro, Apple Macbook/laptop users, or people who prefer quick and convenient solutions.
Product Image
Drive Fit: 2.5” & 3.5” HDD
Host Interface: IDE & SATA
External Interface: USB 3.0 & 2.0
Click HERE to learn more
Product Image
Drive Fit: 2.5” & 3.5” HDD
Host Interface: IDE & SATA
External Interface: USB 3.0 & 2.0
Click HERE to learn more

Internal Solution:

For: Gaming & Desktop Systems – Quick & Easy Hot Swap
Product Image
Drive Fit: 3.5” SATA HDD
Host Interface: SATA 6Gbps
Click HERE to learn more
Product Image
Drive Fit: 3.5” SATA HDD
Host Interface: SATA 3Gbps
Click HERE to learn more
Product Image
Drive Fit: 3.5” SATA HDD
Host Interface: SATA 3Gbps
Click HERE to learn more

2.5” to 3.5” Solution:

For: Convert your 2.5” SATA HDD into 3.5” SATA HDD
Product Image
MB882SP-1S-1B (PC)
Drive Fit: 2.5” SATA HDD
(9.5mm HDD Thickness)
Host Interface: SATA 6Gbps
Click HERE to learn more
Product Image
MB982SP-1S (Mac)
Drive Fit: 2.5” SATA HDD
(9.5 to 15mm HDD Thickness)
Host Interface: SATA 6Gbps
Click HERE to learn more
Product Image
MB982SPR-2S (PC & Mac)
Drive Fit: Dual 2.5” SATA HDDs
(9.5mm HDD Thickness)
RAID Mode: RAID 0, 1, BIG & PM
Host Interface: SATA 3Gbps
External Interface: SATA 3Gbps
Click HERE to learn more

Since the HDD prices are so expensive right now, you should consider investing in an enclosure and organize your old drives and obtain free space available from them. You will be surprised to find a great amount of free space from your old drives. This will come in great savings, in comparison to purchasing a completely new hard drive. Once the hard drive prices go down, you will be able to buy new drives and simply swap the drives within the Icy Dock enclosure, providing the most effective solution for both old and new hard drives.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Icy Tip: HDD Prices Begin to Stabilize

"Data from Dynamite
According to Dynamite Data LLC, a central repository for e-commerce data, HDD prices began to settle down after Thailand flooding and SSD pricing continue to decrease.

                                           HDD Prices Index
(Source: Dynamite)

                                             SSD Prices Index
 (Source: Dynamite)" - via

We are still seeing the affects of the flood in Thailand in the HDD market. This graph shows the price of a WD 150Gb Raptor drive over the last year. Hopefully the price of HDDs come down sooner than expected. The SSD price index is slowly inching down in price. Let us know if you are holding off on buying any HDDs now while the market is high.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Icy News: SSD Prices Falling Dramatically

"Reports Pingdom
This is an article posted on the blog of Pingdom AB 

Would you pay $7,260 for a 3TB drive?
Charting HDD and SSD prices over time

HDD or SSD, that is the question. Do you want the speed that the SSD offers or the value and storage space the HDD can give you? That is an issue facing many computer buyers today. Although the price of SSD has fallen quite dramatically recently there is still no doubt that you get a lot more storage space for the money you spend on an HDD. So, when will SSD be as cheap as HDD? We took a look at how prices for HDD and SSD have developed over the last few years and here's what we found.

SSD prices have fallen dramatically
We collected data of HDD and SSD prices going back to 1998 and you can read about our data set at the end of the article. At first glance, the developments for HDD and SSD look very similar although they are separated by 10 years.

Here are some key numbers:
  • The average price of SSD has fallen from $40 / GB in 2007 to $2.42 in 2011.
  • The average price of HDD has fallen from $56.03 / GB in 1998 to $0.075 in 2011.
  • For SSDs in 2011, the lowest price per GB we have in our data set is $1.50.
  • For HDDs in 2011, the lowest price per GB we have in our data set is $0.053.

In 2007, SSD memory cost 120 times as much as HDD memory. In 2011, that has dropped to 32. If a 3TB HDD would cost as much per GB as the average SSD today, it would cost around $7,260. Right now, the cheapest 3TB drive on is $230. The current average price per GB for SSD is about the same as it was for HDD in 2002.

For 2012 we added a prediction for where the average price will be next year.

This prediction is based on:
  • According to technology research company Gartner, mainstream PC SSD will hit the almost magical $1 / GB price point in the second half of 2012.
  • The price per GB for HDD has decreased on average 28% per year since 2003.

If this prediction comes true, it would bring SSD prices into range of many more consumers and businesses, thereby potentially increasing the market, leading to larger volumes, lower manufacturing costs, and so on.

Will SSD prices ever match HDD?
With regards to the average cost per GB for HDD it is now getting so low - cents rather than dollars - that it's almost negligible. If the capacity of HDD can keep increasing, the manufacturers will still get a decent price out of such drives. But if capacity can't keep up with price decreases, HDDs will be all but free in the near future.

But when will average SSD pricing match HDD? Based on our data we cannot predict when that will happen but it's safe to say it will take a long time, if it ever happens.

We think that customers will keep buying SSD though, given the clear benefits it offers over HDD. And if the prediction we make in this article comes true, it may be that 2012 will be the year of SSD.

Note about the data: We started with the list of HDD prices by Matt Komorowski. Then we sifted through AnandTech and Tom's Hardware to find prices of drives over the years. This included mainly SSDs but to supplement Matt's list in the last few years we added HDDs as well. We looked only at internal consumer-oriented drives and added their prices in the year they started selling. In total, included in the chart, we had 171 HDDs and 101 SSDs. The chart is based on the average price for drives in each respective year." 

This really shows the drop in price for both SSDs and HDDs have gone through, throughout the years. With HDDs now in the cents per gigabyte it will take a long time for the SSD to match that low price. When do you think SSDs will be as cheap as HDDs or will it ever happen? Let us know!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

MB994SP-4S review -

Just about two months ago, we have completed a review of Icy Dock MB662USEB-2S; an incredible dual-bay FireWire 400/800 eSATA & USB Raid 3.5" HDD enclosure and today we are going to bring you another existing product from Icy Dock; MB994SP-4S. Icy Dock MB994SP-4S is not an external HDD enclosure but an internal multi-bay HDD RAID cage; able to support up to four 2.5" SATA/SSD/SAS the full review

MB994SP-4S review -

Introducing the Icy Dock MB994SP-4S Quad Bay 2.5″ SATA/SAS Mobile Rack for use in a single 5.25″ device bay. This product is constructed of heavy duty metal to hold up in the toughest of conditions. It includes ventilation slots on the front, back, top and bottom for maximum airflow to keep both SATA and SAS drives running cool, and an LED is placed on the front of each drive tray to give the user drive status at all times. Dual 4-pin power connectors are used to ensure a consistent power supply to all 4 drives, whether they are low power SSD’s or power hungry 15000 RPM SAS the full review

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Icy News: Seagate Completes Acquisition of Samsung HDD

"Retaining certain HDDs under Samsung brand name for 12 months, maintaining or establishing a number of independent operations
Seagate Technology PLC announced the closing of the transaction to acquire the HDD business of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

Under the terms of the transaction, Seagate has gained select elements of Samsung's HDD business, including assets, infrastructure and employees that enable Seagate to drive scale and innovation. These assets include Samsung's leading M8 product line of high-capacity, 2.5-inch HDDs. 

Samsung employees joining Seagate include a number of senior managers and design-engineering employees from Samsung's Korea facility, who will focus on development of small form-factor products for the mobile compute market. 
N.Y. Park, senior vice president and general manager, will oversee Seagate's product development activities in Korea and serve as country manager of the Korea design center, reporting to Bob Whitmore, Seagate's executive vice president and CTO..." - via Storagenewsletter

It seems that the marriage between Samsung and Seagate is official now. This may be good for Seagate, as they are affected by the Thailand flood, among other hard drive manufacturers. Samsung's hard drive business was selling very well, with their Spinpoint line. Hopefully, the buyout will also lead Seagate to produce even higher quality hard drives. Let us know what you think!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Icy News: ADATA Announces Budget S396 SSD Line

"ADATA's new S396 SSD is aimed at budget-conscious consumers. It's available in a 30GB size and backed by a three-year warranty. It features a SATA 3.0Gbps interface; ADATA says it has up to 44,000 IOPS of 4KB random write and up to 250MB/s and 280MB/s sequential read and write, respectively.
ADATA S396 Specifications:
  • Capacity: 30GB 25nm MLC NAND
  • 30GB(25nm) performance
  • Read: Up to 280MB/sec
  • Write: Up to 250MB/sec
  • Form Factor: SATA 3 Gb/sec (SATA II)
  • DIMENSION: 100 x 69.85 x 9.5mm (L x W x H)
  • WEIGHT: 76g
  • OPERATING Temp: 0°C ~ 70°C
  • Storage Temp: -40°C ~ 85°C
  • Shock resistance: 1500G
  • MTBF: 1,000,000 hrs
No word on pricing on availability." - via Storagereview
With hard drive prices expensive, this is a very good alternative to look to. A very fast, inexpensive SSD to boost your system performance is nice to have. Although the price is not available, we suspect it to be pretty close to $1 per GB as the specification is still SATA II, however, have a nice 3 year warranty in case of problems. Let us know what you think about this!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Icy News: OCZ Petrol SATA 6Gb SSDs Closer to HDD Prices

"512GB unit $1.27/GB
OCZ Technology Group, Inc. launched the Indilinx Everest-based Petrol SSD Series.


It enables further adoption of MLC SSDs in cost-sensitive applications, while taking advantage of performance and feature set of the Indilinx Everest platform.

"Until today, SSD adoption has been limited to high performance applications due to the high cost of SSDs in relation to slower rotating discs, and we are proud to once again close the gap in pricing without sacrificing durability," said Ryan Petersen, CEO of OCZ Technology. "The new Petrol Series showcases the flexibility of the Indilinx Everest platform and NDurance Technology, allowing OCZ to deliver the benefits of SSDs to a wide new set of applications while retaining the superior real world performance and reduced latency that separate Everest-based SSDs from our competitors."

The OCZ Petrol Series delivers bandwidth up to 400MB/s and 35,000 IOPS, and is optimized for the complete spectrum of file types and sizes. Additionally, features to Indilinx, such as proprietary page mapping algorithms, allow for steady mixed-workload performance, and latency reduction technology enables access times as low as 0.06ms. Petrol ensures the most consistent and reliable performance as well as minimized performance degradation even after the drive's storage capacity is highly utilized.

The OCZ Petrol SSD Series will be available in models ranging from 64GB to 512GB capacities throughout OCZ's global channel in the coming weeks.

Prices: $90 (64GB), $150 (128GB), $339 (256GB) and $650 (512GB)." - via

OCZ has always been a leader in SSDs due to their high performance SSDs. Now they have made a low cost SSD that is perfect for anyone wanting to get the benefits of SSDs without breaking the bank. The new SSD does not sacrifices performance to keep the cost down, with 400MB/s it is plenty fast. Let us know what you think about OCZ's new SSD.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

ICY TIP: Expensive HDD Price? Increase Your PC & Mac System Performance Using an SSD

Storage was one of the major components of computers that have been growing, and in recent years, the capacity of hard drives has increased to the point where it is relatively cheap to purchase, say, a 1TB hard drive for under $100. However, with the flood in Thailand and the rise of hard drive costs has seen a trend of nearly tripling of what the market price was for the same capacity drive. The prices will eventually decrease, but, purchasing a HDD at this time may not be the best option for building new systems. Solid State Drives (SSD’s) are much better in terms of performance, power and shock resistance.

SSD’s are still considered a fairly new technology, and we have seen drastic improvement year after year. Being so new, it is quite surprising to know the performance when using one. Intel has published an article about their Value Performance SSD line, comparing between SSD & HDD cost and performance. Intel claims that the random data transactions per second are over 100 times to a traditional hard drive. Some additional significant numbers are: 1.5 times sustained data transfer, 2-50 times power efficiency, and 5-50 times shock resistance. Suffice to say, the SSD outperforms the HDD in almost every single category.

Intel 320 Series SSD versus HDD comparison chart by Intel. Check HERE to read the article.
320 Series SSD
Random Data Transactions per Second (IOPS)
Read: up to 39,500
Write: up to 23,000
less than 200
More than 100x better
Sustained Data Transfer
Read: up to 270 MB/s
Write: up to 220 MB/s
up to 145 MB/s
More than 1.5x better
Idle: 100mW
Active: up to 4W
Idle: 5-10 Watts
Active: 8-13 Watts
2 to 50x better
Shock Resistance
1,500 G
30-70G when operating
300G when idle
5 to 50x better

Upgrading your system with an SSD is well worth the steeper cost, as the current bottleneck in system performance is of the hard drive. The performance per gigabyte is second to none and with the costs of hard drives gone up, purchasing an SSD would be the most effective way to improve performance. The fact remains that SSD’s do not have as much capacity in comparison to the HDD is true; however, many more users looking to upgrade already have an external solution such as NAS or an external hard drive device for storage purposes. This allows users to boost their daily tasks, video games, and video watching, all with a blazing fast SSD.

The important issue to note is that, SSD’s uses a 2.5” dimension standard, rather than a 3.5” as seen with traditional hard drives. So, many desktop cases will not be compatible with just an SSD. This prompts manufacturers to create a solution to use SSD’s that can be mounted correctly to systems. Using the Icy Dock MB882/982 2.5” to 3.5” converter product line, one will be able to use their SSD in any system that uses 3.5” hard drive. What completely separates the MB882/982 converters from other brackets and converters is the universal compatibility design of the MB882/982. The converter line uses the exact 3.5” external design dimensions to fully be compatible with PC cases, Mac Pro, iMac, 3.5” HDD duplicator, 3.5” SATA HDD enclosure, mobile rack, backplane modules, DVR system, rackmount server and more.
MB882SP-1S-1B 2.5" to 3.5" SATA SSD & HDD Converter
Solid, Patented Tool-Less Design Drive Installation
Support SATA SSD & HDD up to 9.5mm in height
MB882SP-1S-1B 2.5" to 3.5" SATA SSD & HDD Converter
Light Weight, Economic Version. Tool-Less Drive Installation
Support SATA SSD & HDD up to 9.5mm in height)
MB982SP-1S 2.5" to 3.5" SATA SSD & HDD Converter
Heavy Duty. Support High Capacity SATA Hard drive
Support SATA SSD / HDD up to 15mm in height
MB982IP-1S 2.5" to 3.5" SAS/SATA SSD & HDD Converter
Heavy Duty. Support Any 2.5” SAS/SATA SSD & HDD
Support SAS/SATASSD & HDD up to 15mm in height
MB982SPR-2S Dual 2.5" to 3.5" SATA SSD & HDD RAID Converter
Heavy Duty. Support 2 x 2.5” SATA SSD & HDD w/ RAID 0, 1 JBOD & BIG
Support 2x SATA SSD & HDD up to 9.5mm in height

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

MB662USEB-2S-1 review - posted by

The Icy Dock MB662USEB-2S-1 is just one of their hard drive enclosures that not only can house two hard drives, but it can set your drives up in a RAID for some added peace of mind. The MB662USEB-2S-1 isn’t much larger than a 3 ½” hard drive, so it can be considered portable as well. Icy Dock's MB662USEB-2S-1 features 1394b fire wire, e-SATA and USB 2.0 connectivity, and it supports up to 3TB HDD for a total of 6 Terabytes of storage on the go. The MB662USEB-2S-1 is constructed of solid aluminum for added portability, strength, and the full review

MB981U3-1SA review -

Once upon a time, IDE Hard Disk Drives were all the rage, and if you do still have some of these, soon to be, legacy drives then you will be surprised to see a company creating products that allow you to dock an IDE drive, on top of that, this dock also allows you to use SATA drives too.

While this product in itself is not unique, it is certainly a rarity and something we were very interested to take a look at. Most docks that are readily available on the market currently can usually fit 2.5″ or 3.5″ SATA drives only and sometimes only one or the other of these sizes. This Icy Dock creation takes both IDE and SATA drives of both sizes due to a very cleverly designed adapter.

This product certainly has a bit of style to it, and from the front we can see the Icy Dock the full review

MB981U3-1SA review - posted by

Since 1994, ICY DOCK have been supplying the market with storage enclosure products. They have established a good name in this sector and continue to push the boundaries, delivering some of the most useful products that you could ever imagine.

Storage solutions are fundamental to any company and they have become a necessity to the household because data is something we cannot afford to lose. Though there is no direct foreseeable advantage to backing up data and it may not even ultimately benefit the individual – when something catastrophic does occur we are so relieved that we had a procedure in place that meant our important data was securely kept from harms reach. Data loss can happen at any time and it usually happens when you least expect it – I’m talking from personal experience here.

So with this in mind, today we will be taking a look at one of ICY DOCK's latest addition, the MB981U3-1SA. The letters and numbers won’t mean much to you but the MB981U3-1SA is a USB 3.0 SATA Docking Station for 2.5 and 3.5” drives and with the ability to support legacy IDE devices via a special the full review

Icy News: Intel Also Affected by HDD Shortage

"Intel Corporation announced that the company's fourth-quarter results are expected to be below the company's previous outlook due to hard disk drive supply shortages. 

The company now expects fourth-quarter revenue to be $13.7 billion, plus or minus $300 million, on both a GAAP and non-GAAP basis, lower than the previous expectation of $14.7 billion, plus or minus $500 million.

Sales of personal computers are expected to be up sequentially in the fourth quarter. However, the worldwide PC supply chain is reducing inventories and microprocessor purchases as a result of hard disk drive supply shortages. The company expects hard disk drive supply shortages to continue into the first quarter, followed by a rebuilding of microprocessor inventories as supplies of hard disk drives recover during the first half of 2012.

The company now expects the fourth-quarter gross margin to be 64.5 percent, plus or minus a couple of percentage points, lower than the previous expectation of 65 percent, plus or minus a couple of percentage points. The expectation for a non-GAAP gross margin is 65.5 percent, plus or minus a couple of percentage points, lower than the previous expectation of 66 percent, plus or minus a couple of percentage points.

All other expectations are unchanged." -via Storagenewsletter

This is interesting seeing Intel reporting to be lower than what they expected due to hard disk drive shortages. The fact that storage is not their main focus, with microprocessor being their bread and butter. However, this report shows the importance of hard drives as being an essential component to function and thrive. What other companies do you think would report a lower revenue for Q4? Feel free to let us know!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Icy News: 4TB Internal HDD From Hitachi GST Available in Japan

"On the web site of Akiba PC Hotline, it is written that a 4TB internal desktop HDD of 4TB from Hitachi is available on some stores in Japan, for ¥26,800. Assembled in China with components from Thailand, this SATA III Deskstar unit with 32MB of cache has not been officially released by Hitachi GST." -via Storagenewsletter

The price of a 4TB is up there in price, for something that is new technology. The 26,800 Yen or approximately $344 US dollar will take quite a bit of convincing to purchase. There are some useful advantages to having more capacity, while taking up less physical space. Does the advantages outweigh the costs? Let us know!

Friday, December 09, 2011

Icy News: Icy Dock: SATA Dual Bay 3.5-Inch HDD RAID Enclosure

"Icy Dock: SATA Dual Bay 3.5-Inch HDD RAID Enclosure
This is a Press Release edited by on Fri, December 9th, 2011
With FW 800, eSATA and USB 2.0 host interfaces
ICY DOCK introduced the upgraded version of its dual bayMB662USEB-2S FireWire 800, eSATA & USB 2.0 3.5" RAID enclosure for media professionals and home users.


The MB662USEB-2S-1 offers all of the features from the previous MB662USEB Series, and further builds upon it with increased functionality, while at the same time, offering a combination of reliability and performance.


  • Model Number: MB662USEB-2S-1
  • Color: Pearl white
  • Host Interface: 1x USB2.0 + 1x eSATA + 2x FireWire 800
  • Drive Fit: 2 x 3.5" SATA I, II & III
  • Chipset: Oxford 946
  • Drive Type: Standalone with horizontal or vertical positioning
  • Transfer Rate: Up to 480 Mb/sec. via USB 2.0; Up to 3 Gbit/sec. via eSATA; Up to 800 Mb/sec. via FireWire 800
  • Insert and Extract Connection: Direct SATA hard drive connection
  • RAID Modes: JBOD, BIG (spaned), RAID-0 (fast), RAID-1 (safe)
  • RAID Setting: Rotray switch
  • Structure: Aluminum body w/ partial plastic
  • Drive Cooling: Quiet Sunon MAGLev cooling fan w/adjustable fan speed VR control; Aluminum body heat dispersion
  • Indication: Mini LED located on front panel
  • HDD Idling Indication: LED off
  • HDD Access Indication: Flashing white LED; No HDD In position
  • Indication: Red LED
  • HDD Failure Indication: Flashing red LED
  • Rebuilding and Verifying Indication: Solid white LED; RAID setup confirmation; Flashing white LED then turn off
  • OS Requirement: Windows XP/2003/Vista/7 ; Mac OS 10.2.8 and higher
  • Dimension (L x W x H): 8.1 x 5.3 x 2.4 inches
  • Weight: 1.83 lbs." - via
Here at Icy Dock we are proud to announce our new and improved MB662USEB-2S-1. Taking our popular MB662USEB-2S we took feedback from you the end user and made an improved version. The enclosure now features true JBOD mode but still includes BIG (spanned), RAID-0 (fast), and RAID-1 (safe). Let us know how you feel about the new enclosure!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Icy News: HDD Shortage Pushes CCleaner Software Downloads

"Piriform Inc. reports an increase in CCleaner PC optimization software downloads to nearly one million per day and a dramatic uptick in CCleaner Network Professional software sales since early reports of computer hard disk shortages. Recent flooding in Thailand has reduced computer hard disk supply as much as 20%, according to DigiTimes, resulting in reported three fold increases in storage costs..." - via Storagenewsletter

Not all is bad with the rise of HDD prices, as we can see more users leaning towards cleaning their systems to maximize the amount of capacity they are able to use. With the prices at this high of a price, will you also conserve your data using such methods, or still purchase more hard drives? Let us know!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

MB662USEB-2S-1 review - posted by

The Icy Dock MB662USEB-2-1 is a simple two-bay enclosure designed to be used in RAID0/1, JBOD or Concatenation modes with 3.5-inch hard drives. The enclosure offers a quad-interface, allowing users to connect via FireWire 800/400, USB 2.0 and eSATA. In the box Icy Dock includes everything you need to get rolling (except the drives); power adapter and cables for each interface are standard equipment.

The MB662USEB-2-1 is aimed at users who need either high transfer speeds or data redundancy through use of various RAID modes such as RAID0 and RAID1. By supplying either their own 3.5-inch desktop hard the full review

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Icy News: Thailand October Factory Output Collapses Due to Flooding

"BANGKOK, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Factory output in Thailand dropped a far worse-than-expected 35.8 percent in October from a year before due to severe flooding that shut seven big industrial estates, the Industry Ministry said on Monday, and some economists said that raised the chances of a deep interest rate cut this week.
A Reuters poll had forecast that factory output would fall 12.5 percent in October. In September, output slipped a revised 0.3 percent from a year earlier.
Compared with September, output in October plunged 38.9 percent..." - via
This little fact of the output says quite a bit about how the flood has affected operations in Thailand. Not to mention this, the jobs that were once there and of course, the recovery period. Do you expect the drop to be even more for November? Or perhaps this is the worst it can it? Let us know!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Icy News: With New Momentus XT 750GB, Seagate Continues to Believe in Hybrid HDD

"Seagate Technology LLC is shipping the second generation ofMomentus XT, its solid state hybrid drive for consumer and commercial laptops and the company's fastest drive ever for PCs.


With a drive upgrade, users can boost boot-up speed and overall performance to turbo-charge their laptop PC. Seven OEMs are gearing up to ship laptops powered by the Momentus XT drive. The drive is now available at online retailers Amazon, Canada Computers, CDW, Memory Express, NCIX, Newegg, and TigerDirect.

Powering the Momentus XT drive are Seagate's Adaptive Memory and FAST Factor technologies. Adaptive Memory technology works by identifying data usage patterns, and then moving the most frequently retrieved information to solid state memory for faster access. Adaptive Memory effectively tailors hard drive performance to each user and the applications they use. FAST Factor technology blends the strengths of SSDs and HDDs for faster access to applications, quicker bootup and higher overall system speed.

"Laptop users want faster access to all of their content, from gaming, music and video to spreadsheets and documents, creating strong demand for the highest performance," said Scott Horn, vice president of Worldwide Marketing at Seagate. "Seagate is excited to answer this need with a second-generation Momentus XT drive that delivers SSD speed, greater storage capacity and easy installation at an affordable price."

"High-speed storage devices make a difference when it comes to improving overall PC performance," said John Rydning, research vice president at IDC. "Seagate's newest Momentus XT drive gives notebook PC users an economical option for boosting PC performance while at the same time providing spacious storage capacity all in one device."
 (Source: Seagate)

Momentus XT For speed
The Momentus XT drive is nearly 70 percent faster than the prior Momentus drive version and up to three times faster than a traditional HDD while providing 750GB of storage capacity. The Momentus XT hard drive's SATA 6Gb/s interface and 8GB of SLC NAND flash double the interface and NAND read-write speed of the previous generation. The design of Momentus XT drive makes installation and upgrading simple and easy for any laptop or desktop computer and with any OS.

The Momentus XT drive is now shipping in volume worldwide.MSRP for Momentus XT 750GB is $245.

Tuning Momentus XT for Performance
The hard drive industry is transitioning from the current 512-byte sector standard to a newer Advanced Format 4K (4,096-byte) sector size that helps maintain data integrity at higher storage densities and capacities. Momentus XT takes advantage of this newer Advanced Format 4K standard and is already tuned for optimal performance on the latest PC OS.

Momentus XT customers can optimize Momentus XT to work with Windows XP and older versions of Microsoft Windows with simple steps." - via

Hybrid drives have been a popular alternative to the speedy SSD, with Seagate being one of the best manufacturer of hybrid drives. Seagates newer version of their Momentus drive is 70 percent faster then the previous version and 3 times faster than traditional HDDs. This is a great improvement from their previous model. Even with faster speeds and greater capacity do you think consumers will go with the hybrid route as opposed to SSDs? Let us know what you think about hybrid drives and if you would rather go with hybrid drives or SSDs. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Icy News: Kingston Says Lower NAND Prices Will Quicken Adoption of SSDs

"The high cost of flash has been a major obstacle for the mainstream implementation of SSDs in the market place. According to Kingston Technology, however, the use of SSDs are expected to expand significantly with falling NAND flash prices. The average price for 1GB of NAND flash memory is predicted to drop to $1 USD and will help trigger the replacement of HDDs with SSDs by late 2012, claims Nathan Su, flash memory sales director of Kingston APAC.
Su also stated that lower-per-GB costs will be another factor in prompting major flash chipmakers’ transition to 19nm and to other advanced manufacturing processes. The Thailand floods, a major factor in the current shortage of HDDs in the area, will also spur a demand for low-capacity and industry grade SDDs.
Since the beginning of 2011, Kingston has improved its SSD products to target entry-level and medium-range segments. The world’s independent memory leader changed its business focus to NAND flash-related products because of the shrinking demand of DRAM modules.
In addition, Su added that Kingston has developed a new line of products featuring portable external drives, which are intended to be used as accessories for consumer technology products including smartphones and tablets. Its new Wi-Drive product line, for example, offers pocket-sized portable storage and easy file-sharing for all Apple devices." -via storagereview
According to Kingston, the cost of NAND flash memory going down will help with sales. Will this price per 1GB drop be enough for the consumer that is currently on the fence? Let us know!

What Separates the ICY DOCK MB981U3-1SA From the Rest of the Docking Stations?

Click on comparison chart to enlarge. Click here for more product information.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Icy News: Arbitration Award of Half Billion Dollar Rendered vs. WD

"Western Digital Corp. reported that, on November 18, 2011, an arbitration award of $525 million was rendered against the company by a sole arbitrator in a pending confidential arbitration action in Minnesota." -via StorageNewsletter

With WD being fined for the amount seems bad at the time where their hard drive production will be lower for the coming months. With the company planning to challenge the result, it could lead to more issues as they go into drought with HDD's. Will WD stock drop further because of this? Or perhaps have no influence?  Let us know what you think about this!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Icy News: Corsair Expands 6Gb SATA Support With Performance Pro SSDs

"$530 for 256GB, with Marvell controller
Corsair Memory, Inc. announced the 2.5-inch Performance Pro Series SSDs.


The Performance Pro Series, designed with the Marvell SATA 6 Gb/s SSD controller, delivers an ATTO Max performance of up to 515MB/s sequential read and 440 MB/s sequential write, and can sustain similar performance when reading and writing compressed and non-compressible data, such as audio, images, and video files.

Additionally, the Performance Pro Series has built-in background garbage collection to allow for consistently performance even with operating systems that do not support the TRIM command. This integral performance optimization makes Performance Pro SSDs a solution for RAID configurations, which typically do not support TRIM.

Performance Pro SSDs provide fast SATA III connectivity that pushes the limits of the new SATA III 6Gb/s interface. They are also backward compatible with SATA 2 3GB/s, and include an 3.5" adapter for installation in both laptop and desktop PCs.

"We are pleased to provide a fast SATA 3 SSD that's designed specifically for real-world performance," said Thi La, Vice President of Memory Products at Corsair. "High-performance PC users work heavily with media files, and unlike some other SSDs, the Performance Pro can save, load and move music, photos and movies without significantly reduced performance. It offers consistent, reliable speed regardless of whether you're running Windows, OS X or Linux, and whether you’re using a single drive or a RAID configuration."

The Performance Pro Series SSDs are backed by a three-year warranty and are available in 128GB and 256GBconfigurations from authorized distributors and retailers worldwide." -via 

Corsair has always been one of the top manufacturers in memory devices, and they are showing it in their new SSD. The new SSD has a unique built in garbage collector that is not found in many SSDs. The SSD is super fast with 515MB/s read and 440 MB/s write using the SATA 6 Gb/s interface. Let us know what you think about Corsairs new SSD. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Icy News: Kingston Targets Consumers With SSDNow V200

"Kingston Digital, Inc., the flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., announced the next generation of its entry-level, budget SSDNow V200 Series.

The SSDNow V200 helps consumers revive their current PC and extend the life of their investment. The SSDNow V200 brings value and performance to consumers who are looking for an inexpensive upgrade option to boost their computer..." - via StorageNewsletter

Kingston providing a refresh for their SSDnow line, most noteably, the better performance and 20% less in price is the result of technology moving quickly. Another feature is the SATA III support, which allows it to be updated with the newest SATA standard. They have really made this for the consumer with the bundle kits, providing DVD cloning and a how to guide. The price for the performance is good, but will these refreshes convince you to purchase/upgrade from your current system?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Icy News: Intel Shows Knights Corner Processor

"Intel has stated that it will deliver the most efficient and programming-friendly platform for highly parallel applications. At a private briefing at SC11, Intel discussed the benefits of the Intel Many Integrated Core (MIC) architecture in weather modeling, tomography, proteins folding and advanced materials simulation. The ahah moment occurred with they broke out a sample of the Knights Corner processor, the first commercial Intel MIC architecture product..." - via Storage Review
The 1TFLOP performance on a single chip is outstanding, with the new IMC architecture being a more efficient method for computing purposes. The main benefit of this is the parallel processing without porting to a new programming environment. Will consumer processors be able to reach this type of performance within the next 5-10 years? Let us know what you think about this! 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Icy News: Prices of HDDs Already Tripling for SATA 3.5-Inch Units

"Doubling for SATA 2.5-inch disk drives tracks historical price of many products including HDDs.

To evaluate the consequences of the Thailand's floods on the HDD prices, we have selected three examples of popular capacity internal units.

1/ 1TB, 3.5-inch, 7,200rpm, 3Gb SATA,
Samsung Spinpoint F3:
Price has more than tripled.
Lowest price: $49.99 on August 25, 2011
Current price: $159.99 on November 10, 2011

2/ 1TB, 2.5-inch, 5,200rpm, 3Gb SATA,
WD Scorpio Blue:
Price has more than doubled.
Lowest price: $99.99 on July 30, 2011
Current price: $229.99 on November 03, 2011

3/ 300GB, 3.5-inch, 15,000rpm, 6Gb SAS,
Seagate Cheetah 15K.7:
Up only 66%, probably because enterprise drives are not manufactured in Thailand
Lowest price: $209.99 on August 26, 2011
Current price: $349.99 on October 27, 2011

Per comparison, here is the evolution of the price of a popular internal SSD:
120GB, 2.5-inch, MLC, 3Gb SATA,
Intel 320:
Highest price was $239.99 in June 2011, now 20% cheaper at $190.99. The 300GB Intel 320 SSD costs now $539,99 or only 54% more than the 300GB 15,000rpm Cheetah HDD. "

This really shows how much the flood in Thailand has affected the hard drive market. All of the HDD graphs have a huge spike in price since the flood. What is interesting is that the enterprise HDD market has only increased a minimal amount. This is due to the location of the manufacturing of the enterprise drives. The SSD market seems to be unaffected by the flood and is continuing its steady decline in price. It will be interesting to see where the SSDs market will be in terms of sales by the end of the HDD crisis. Will it have a dramatic increase? Let us know how you feel about these results. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Icy News: HDD Industry Will Run Close to Normal Only in Second Half of 2012

"Due to flooding in Thailand, predicts IDC
Widespread flooding is bringing unprecedented devastation to the people and economy of Thailand. With operations disrupted at more than a dozen HDD factories, damage to the HDD industry is significant.

And this will have a direct impact on worldwide PC shipments through the first half of 2012, according to a new International Data Corporation report.

In the first half of 2011, Thailand accounted for 40-45% of worldwide HDD production. As of early November, nearly half of this capacity was directly impacted by the flooding. In addition to assembly and component facilities being inundated with water, the industry faces work stoppages due to poor access and power outages. The full extent of the damage to HDD industry factories will not be known until the floodwaters recede, although it's already clear that there will be HDD supply shortages into the first quarter of 2012.

The severity of HDD shortages in the coming months largely depends on the industry's ability to recover lost production capacity in Thailand. While IDC believes HDD industry participants will recover and restore HDD production capacity relatively quickly, HDD supply will remain constrained for an extended period of time.

As a result, PC vendors should plan
for and expect the following:

  • Significant HDD shortages by mid-November 2011 that will continue into 1Q 2012.
  • A large part of PC production for Q4 2011 shipment has already taken place or can be completed with existing HDD inventories, limiting the impact on Q4 PC shipments to less than 10%. But in a worst-case scenario, total PC shipments could be depressed by more than 20% in Q1 2012 vs. previous forecasts as a result of the HDD shortage.
  • Higher HDD prices as demand exceeds supply and manufacturers face increased costs for components, expedited shipments, and shifting of production to new locations.
  • The HDD industry begins to recover in 1Q 2012, and HDD pricing stabilizes by June, with the industry running close to normal in the second half of 2012.
  • Opportunities for larger PC vendors to capture enterprise accounts from smaller competitors and accelerate industry consolidation, particularly in faster growth markets.
"In response to the crisis, priority will be given to the large PC manufacturers that drive HDD shipment volumes as well as to the high-margin products used in enterprise servers and storage," said John Rydning, research vice president, Hard Disk Drives and Semiconductors. "But the HDD vendors can't neglect their smaller customers, whose business will continue to be important once capacity is fully restored. Some interesting production and partnering arrangements with customers can be expected as HDD vendors scramble to bring production back up while simultaneously angling for a strategic advantage."

"The HDD shortage will affect smaller PC vendors and lower priced products most, including mininotebooks (aka netbooks), emerging markets and entry-level consumer PCs. However, even the largest vendors are expected to face HDD shortages, particularly for portable PCs where the market is more consolidated," added Loren Loverde, program vice president, IDC Worldwide Consumer Device Trackers. "Nevertheless, the shortage will relieve some pressure on pricing and margins, and present some opportunities for strategic share gains among the larger players."

The IDC study, The PC Market Is Disrupted By HDD Shortages: The Severity, Resulting Opportunities, And Expected PC Market Reactions (forthcoming), assesses the impact of hard disk drive shortages caused by widespread flooding in Thailand on the PC market in calendar Q4 2011 and the first half of 2012. Assumptions about the recovery period for the HDD industry, as well as the timing for restoration of HDD inventories are factored into determining the impact on the PC market. Expectations for HDD pricing over this period are also addressed." - via

The flood  in Thailand is really affecting the PC HDD market. Now the expected time for things to be back to normal is not until June. With the HDD market at an all time high will SSDs have their chance to take over a larger portion of the market? Or do you think that consumers will just hold off on buying HDDs till the prices come back down? Let us know what you think about the flood and the current HDD prices.