PCR takes a look at some of the hottest new memory systems to keep in mind…

PCR’s guide to Storage

Whether it’s a hard drive, SSD, RAM or NAS, every computer relies on storage as its brains, and there are plenty of products to choose from. PCR takes a look at some of the hottest new memory systems to keep in mind…

TDK USB 3.0 External SSD

Distributor: Exertis Gem

Without moving parts, this SSD can also withstand everyday shock and vibrations. Plug and Play support also means that the drive requires no additional software – just a USB cable to connect it with.

Specs: 128 or 256GB, SuperSpeed interface, Plug and Play, password protection software included.

SRP: £153.99 (128GB), £282.99 (256GB)

Synology DiskStation DS214

Distributor: Ingram Micro

The Synology DiskStation DS214 is a two-bay NAS server for workgroups and offices. The DS214 is designed for users who need to share and protect data using the server’s encrypted data transfer.

Specs: Dual-core CPU with floating-point unit, encrypted data transfer, hot-swap support.

SRP: £175

Sandisk Cruzer Fit USB

Distributors: Peak Distribution, Hama, Ingram Micro

A low profile USB drive, the Fit is made for use with laptops, tablets, TVs and in-car audio. The Fit includes Sandisk SecureAccess software for password protection and 128-bit AES encryption, and a cap for physical protection.

Specs: From 4Gb to 64GB capacity, includes Sandisk SecureAccess software, low profile, protective cap.

SRP: From £8.99 (4GB)

Adata HC630 Holiday Edition

Distributor: Entatech

A limited edition hard drive for the holiday season, the HC630 Holiday Edition is a 500GB or 1TB hard drive with a metal surface etched into a pattern. An LED is also featured, to indicated data transfer.

Specs: 500GB or 1TB options, SuperSpeed USB 3.0, LED status indicator, raised protective lip.

SRP: Contact Entatech

Kingston SSDNow V300 Solid State Drive

Distributor: Simms International

Kingston’s shock-proof SSDNow V300 features an LSI SandForce controller customised for Kingston. SSDNow V300 is available in kits with accessories needed for the transition from a hard drive to a new SSD.

Specs: 60, 120, 240 or 480GB options, LSI SandForce controller, upgrade bundle kit available with each capacity.

SRP: £82

Seagate 2.5-inch 1TB Thin SSHD

Distributor: Spire Technology

Seagate Laptop and Laptop Thin solid state hybrid drives combine the transfer speeds of SSDs with the capacity of HDDs. With Seagate Adaptive Memory, use of a SSHD can improve boot times and application speeds.

Specs: SATA III 6Gb/s interface, 5400RPM, 64MB cache, 7mm thick, 8GB flash memory capacity.

SRP: £87.72

Samsung SSD 840 EVO

Distributors: Exertis Micro-P, Smithie UK

840 EVO provides faster read and write speeds compared to a standard hard drive. Samsung’s new three-bit MLC NAND flash memory technology also stores data more efficiently than previous drives.

Specs: 120, 250, 500, 750GB and 1TB options, 2.5-inch, SATA, 6Gb/s, three-core MEX controller.

SRP: £80–£480 (up to 1TB)

Synology DiskStation DS414

Distributor: Ingram Micro

Synology DiskStation DS414 is a four-bay NAS designed for growing businesses to be able to manage, protect and share data. DS414 can also be combined with backup solutions to keep data safe.

Specs: Dual-core CPU with floating-point unit, dual LAN with failover support, 1GB of RAM.

SRP: £277

Transcend ESD200 Portable SSD (USB 3.0)

Distributor: Exertis Gem

The ESD200 USB 3.0 Portable Solid State Drive is equipped with a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 connection interface that provides ten times the bandwidth of USB 2.0 – offering read speeds of up to 260MB/s. The ESD200 is designed to be portable, and includes a free copy of Transcend’s Elite software, which allows users to manage their stored data on the drive.

Specs: 128 or 256GB options, SuperSpeed USB 3.0, one touch auto-backup button.

SRP: Varies

Synology RackStation RS814

Distributor: Ingram Micro

Synology RackStation RS814 is a scalable four-bay rackmount NAS designed to help businesses store, protect and share data. It includes dual LAN with failover and link aggregation support and has 1GB of RAM in combination with its dual-core CPU. The RS814 runs on Synology’s DiskStation Manager, a package including several enterprise features.

Specs: Dual-core CPU with floating-point unit, can be scaled up to 32TB with Synology RX410.

SRP: £372

Seagate 3.5-inch SSHD desktop drive

Distributor: Spire Technology

Using NAND flash and hard disk drive technology together, hybrid solid state drives can provide the improved speed of the flash memory found in solid state drives combined with the larger capacity of hard disk drives. The 3.5-inch drive uses the SATA III 6Gb/s interface, common to solid state drives, which offers a much faster connection than traditional hard disk drives.

Specs: 1 or 4TB options, 64MB cache, 7200RPM, 8MB flash memory capacity, SATA III 6Gb/s interface.

SRP: £67.98 (1TB), £187.99 (4TB)

Transcend StoreJet 2.5-inch H3

Distributor: Exertis Gem

StoreJet Rugged Series external hard drives offer anti-shock protection thanks to their three-stage shock protection design. The drives are available with a capacity of up to one terabyte and include an auto-backup button that can be used with one touch. They also come with a free copy of the Transcend Elite and RecoveRx software packages.

Specs: 500GB, 750GB or 1TB options, three-stage shock protection, slip-resistant shell. 

SRP: Varies

Synology RS2414+/RS2414RP+

Distributor: Ingram Micro

The Synology RackStation RS2414+/RS2414RP+ offers a scalable network attached storage solution for businesses looking to centralise data protection, simplify data management, and rapidly scale storage capacity with minimal time spent on setup and management. Either can be scaled to hold up to 96GB of storage using the RackStation RX1214 or RX1214RP.

Specs: Dual-core CPU with floating-point unit, scale up to 96TB with RX1214/RX1214RP.

SRP: £1,043 (+), £1,392 (RP+)

Transcend StoreJet Cloud

Distributor: Exertis Gem

The StoreJet Cloud wireless hard drive lets you connect and access wirelessly shared files from up to five devices at the same time, including iOS and Android devices. The internet can still be connected to while the hard drive is in use, while the integrated Li-Battery will keep the drive spinning for up to six hours when watching video content, or eight hours in standby mode.

Specs: 32, 64 or 128GB options, iOS and Android support via app, simultaneous internet and hard drive connection.

SRP: Varies

D-Link DNS-327L ShareCentre+

Distributors: Entatech, Exertis Micro-P, Ingram Micro, Tech Data

The DNS-327L ShareCenter+ Two-Bay Cloud Network Storage Enclosure is a solution for accessing, sharing, and backing up your important data by creating your own personal cloud using two 3.5-inch hard drives. Access your files, music and movies with the free mydlink Access-NAS app available for iOS or Android devices, and use AirPlay with Apple devices.

Specs: 1.2GHz CPU, two 3.5-inch bays, hot-swap support, USB 3.0 port, AirPlay support, iOS and Android support.

SRP: £128.57

Synology RackStation RS214

Distributor: Ingram Micro

Synology RackStation RS214 is a 1U two-bay rackmount NAS. Featuring data sharing and management powered by a processor with a floating-point unit and 512MB of RAM, the RS214 is specifically designed to serve growing businesses. The RS214 includes several office working applications, and is 12-inches deep in order to fit two-post racks and wall-mount racks.

Specs: CPU with floating-point unit, 512MB of RAM, dual LAN, SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface.

SRP: £308

Corsair Force GS 240GB 2.5-inch SSD

Distributor: VIP Computers

Force series GS solid state drives are powered by a SandForce SF-2200 SSD processor and toggle NAND memory. The hardware means that compressed data is read at speeds comparable to non-compressible data, rather than requiring a longer read time. SATA III interface support also provides faster connection speeds. The drive has an expected MTBF of two million hours.

Specs: 240GB capacity, SATA III 6Gb/s interface, MLC and Toggle NAND technology, 7mm high.

SRP: £149.99

Crucial M500

Distributor: Ingram Micro

Much quicker than a standard hard drive, solid state drives can provide nearly instantaneous boot times and faster application operation speeds. Storage options of the M500 include capacities of up to terabyte-class, and they are compatible with both PC and Mac systems. All the drives also support SMART, and are available in capacities of up to 960GB.

Specs: 120, 240, 480 and 960GB options, SATA 6Gb/s interface, 20nm Micron MLC NAND technology.

SRP: £69.45–£393.64 (up to 960GB)

WD My Cloud EX4

Distributors: Tech Data, Entatech, Ingram Micro, Exertis Micro-P

My Cloud can let users set up their own personal Cloud service. Use the EX4 to add up to four hard drives, as needed, or choose a populated system out of the box, which can come with up to 16GB of storage. Drives can be hot-swapped, then controlled using WD’s built-in dashboard. A choice of RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 or spanning and JBOD modes provides further data management.

Specs: 0, 8, 12 and 16TB options, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, two USB 3.0 ports, Windows and Mac. 

SRP: £319–£999 (up to 16GB)

G.Skill 8GB Ares Memory

Distributor: VIP Computers

Ares memory is designed for maintaining stability in high-performance computers, such as overclocked machines. The 3.3cm tall RAM uses a low profile heat spreader in order to fit small form-factor PCs or those with large CPU coolers. Intel XMP support means that overclockers should find it easy to include the memory in their rigs.

Specs: 8GB capacity (two 4GB sticks), DDR3, dual-channel kit, unbuffered, non-ECC.

SRP: £74.99

Buffalo 3TB LinkStation Live

Distributor: Target Components

LinkStation Live LS-XL network storage lets you store, share, stream and back up your files in one location. LinkStation Live has a built-in BitTorrent, DLNA certified media server and an iTunes server, which can be used for content streaming. While on the go, Buffalo’s free WebAccess service can keep users connected, allowing them to upload and download files.

Specs: 3TB capacity, DLNA certified, includes NovaBackup Pro, Time Machine compatible.

SRP: £150

Corsair Force LS 120GB 2.5-inch SSD

Distributor: VIP Computers

Force series LS solid state drives feature SATA III 6Gb/s support, as well as backwards compatibility with older SATA I and II interfaces. 7mm high, the drives are designed to generate as little heat as possible and have a MTBF of one million hours, making them suitable for long-term use in devices including laptops, notebooks, ultrabooks and desktop computers.

Specs: 120GB capacity, 2.5-inch, SATA III 6Gb/s interface, TRIM support, 7mm high, one million hour MTBF.

SRP: £89.99

Samsung 500GB 840 Series SSD

Distributor: Target Components

Faster than a HDD, a Samsung 840 series solid state drive can boost the performance of multitasking and make a computer run faster as a whole. The 840 series drive runs on Samsung’s 2x nm Toggle DDR 2.0 NAND flash memory technology. The Samsung Magician software, which is included with the drive, helps transfer existing files when users upgrade to an SSD.

Specs: 2.5-inch, SATA 6Gb/s interface, Samsung 2x nm Toggle DDR 2.0 NAND flash memory.

SRP: £260

Synology DiskStation DS213j

Distributor: VIP Computers

Synology DiskStation DS213j is a two-bay NAS server for small offices and home use, specifically designed to provide a solution for file storage and sharing with data protection for your home environment. The DS213j runs on Synology’s DiskStation Manager (DSM) operating system, which aims to deliver a variety of features for enterprise users, including the ability to wake on LAN.

Specs: Floating-point unit enabled CPU, 512MB of RAM, wake on LAN ready.

SRP: £162

Kingston DataTraveler Mini 3.0

Distributor: Simms International

The DataTraveler Mini 3.0 is available in multiple colours and capacities of up to 64GB. Featuring a small form factor, it includes a key loop and a stylish metal casing. It’s backwards compatible with existing USB 2.0 ports.

Specs: 16, 32 or 64GB options, capless, flash memory, USB 3.0 interface, includes key loop and metal casing.

SRP: £21

Synology DiskStation DS214se

Distributor: VIP Computers

Synology DiskStation DS214se is a two-bay NAS device designed to host, share and protect data. Optimised to be a personal NAS server, the DS214se runs on Synology’s DiskStation Manager and is a DLNA certified media server.

Specs: Floating-point unit enabled CPU, DLNA certified media server, 19W power usage, runs on DiskStation Manager.

SRP: £117

Hitachi 500GB USB 3.0 Touro Portable HDD

Distributor: Target Components

The Touro supports Plug and Play, and can connect via either USB 3.0 or 2.0. All necessary power is provided by USB, meaning no extra power supply is needed to access the drive. Both PC and Mac are supported.

Specs: 2.5-inch, textured body, preformatted for PC use (with Mac supported via reformat).

SRP: £42

Synology DS214play DiskStation NAS

Distributor: VIP Computers

Synology DiskStation DS214play is a two-bay NAS designed to serve as your personal media center. Optimised for multimedia processing, DS214play aims to provide high-quality streaming, including Full HD 1080p video.

Specs: 1080p Full HD video transcoding on-the-fly, dual-core floating-point unit enabled CPU.

SRP: £267

Seagate ST4000VN000 4TB Serial NAS HDD

Distributor: VIP Computers

Seagate NAS HDDs are designed to support home and business applications, especially to populate one to five-bay NAS systems. The drives also incorporate Seagate NASWorks software to combat common issues.

Specs: 3.5-inch, SATA 6Gb/s interface, 4.8W typical operating power usage when seeking.

SRP: £169.99

WD Black 4TB

Distributors: Tech Data, Entatech, Ingram Micro, Exertis Micro-P 

The Black series of drives from WD are designed to not only provide storage space, but also to boost system performance. They include Vibration Control Technology (VCT) as well as StableTrac technology.

Specs: 7200RPM, 64MB cache, 3.5-inch, SATA 6Gb/s interface, Vibration Control Technology, StableTrac technology.

SRP: £299

Transcend aXeRam DDR3 2400MHZ

Distributor: Exertis Gem

Transcend’s aXeRam performance memory is designed to operate at a high clock frequency while keeping voltages manageable, making the memory suitable for those looking to overclock their machine.

Specs: 4 or 8GB options, high-efficiency heatsinks, compatible with multi-video card setups.

SRP: Varies

Seagate 3.5-inch 2TB/8GB ST2000FX001

Distributor: VIP Computers

Get the speed of a solid state drive with the capacity of a desktop hard drive. Seagate Adaptive Memory technology identifies the most frequently-used data and stores it in the NAND flash, providing improved responsiveness.

Specs: 2TB of HHD storage, 8GB of SSD flash memory, SATA 6Gb/s with NCQ interface, 3.5-inch.

SRP: £99.99


Entatech: 0333 101 1000

Exertis Gem: 01279 822822

Exertis Micro-P: 01282 776 776

Hama: 0845 230 4262

Ingram Micro: 0871 973 3000

Peak Distribution: 01489 796979

Simms International: 01622 852 800

Smithie UK: 01256 844028

Spire Technology: 01202 828444

Target Components: 01977 739300

Tech Data: 0871 880 3000

VIP Computers: 0871 622 7500

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