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Data Storage

Four SSDs Compared — OCZ, Super Talent, Mtron 206

Posted by kdawson
from the be-vewwy-vewwy-quiet dept.
MojoKid writes "Solid State Drive technology is set to turn the storage industry on its ear — eventually. It's just a matter of time. When you consider the intrinsic benefits of anything built on solid-state technology versus anything mechanical, it doesn't take a degree in physics to understand the obvious advantages. However, as with any new technology, things take time to mature and the current batch of SSDs on the market do have some caveats and shortcomings, especially when it comes to write performance. This full performance review and showcase of four different Solid State Disks, two MLC-based and two SLC-based, gives a good perspective of where SSDs currently are strong and where they're not. OCZ, Mtron and Super Talent drives are tested here but Intel's much anticipated offering hasn't arrived to market just yet."
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Four SSDs Compared — OCZ, Super Talent, Mtron

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  • by Yvan256 (722131) on Friday September 05, 2008 @09:56AM (#24888381) Homepage Journal

    Well, let's see:
    - Magnetic hard drive = solid state (ICs, buffers, etc) + magnetic platter + mechanical (rotating platter(s) + moving heads)
    - SSD = solid state

    As soon as the price per GB of SSDs is at parity with the magnetic drives, I'm switching. It probably puts out less heat and require less power, meaning quieter drives too.

  • by mapsjanhere (1130359) on Friday September 05, 2008 @10:10AM (#24888579)
    I noticed they claim 1,000,000+ h MTBF, but they only warranty for less than 10,000 h (or 20,000 in some cases). What makes you wonder why they have so little faith in their product (or in their own reliability estimate).
  • by xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D (1160707) on Friday September 05, 2008 @10:16AM (#24888643)
    It's a good point. SSDs are so new that we can't really say empirically that they'll last for a lot of years. If nothing else, though, they'll be relatively safe against dropping your laptop on the floor.
  • by DaveWick79 (939388) on Friday September 05, 2008 @10:23AM (#24888739)
    My point being, they spent so much time measuring performance with sequential data transfer and write speed, when at least in the short term (next 5-10 years) these are pretty much just going to be OS drives where those benchmarks are inconsequential. Let's test system performance in the setup I mentioned. Test Autocad performance with the app on the SSD. Test Crysis performance with the game data on the SSD. Run PCmark or similar benchmark utility installed on the SSD and compare it to the typical 7200rpm or 10,000rpm hard drive that is in a typical desktop today. Then we'll have a useful benchmark and a really good basis to determine whether or not we're getting close to price vs. performance feasibility.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Friday September 05, 2008 @10:31AM (#24888849) Homepage

    I am not an expert by any stretch but it seems to me that write speed issues, at least when it comes to relatively small amounts of writing, could easily be mitigated with a very long on-board RAM buffer controlled by the drive... and by very large, I mean like 1GB at least. And to keep it stable, a capacitor should be enough to keep it alive when power drops to commit any changes in buffer to the SSD storage. Maybe what I speak of is impossible or ridiculously expensive, but I don't think either is the case.

  • by tezza (539307) on Friday September 05, 2008 @11:48AM (#24889847)
    I got a Core 64GB. I build large java projects. This is for my workstation, not a laptop. Power and quiet were not the reasons for my experimental purchase.

    I aimed to slash my build time for complex scenarios.
    I thought the Compile -> Jar -> War -> Deploy -> Expand -> Launch would be greatly spead up as the files would be accessed quickly.

    I hoped effectively for a much more targeted and capacious file cache/ RAM disk.

    Unfortunately, the hype does not turn out to be true.

    The enormous time cost of writing files smaller than 8MB (!) [see footnotes] completely counters any read speed increase. Building a proect is making thousands of 2KiB files : one of the most pathological cases for these drives.

    So is it slow? No, it's just as quick as a sluggish 7K250, but then again I just coughed up £179 for the privelege of the same speed.

    So I'm ebaying mine to someone who wants it for a light and quiet laptop, perfect.

    -----------------
    Some "Terrible small write performance" links I found during research:

    * http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/storage/display/ssd-iram_6.html [xbitlabs.com]
    * http://www.alternativerecursion.info [alternativ...rsion.info]/?p=106
  • by hairyfeet (841228) <.bassbeast1968. .at. .gmail.com.> on Friday September 05, 2008 @02:04PM (#24891959) Journal

    What I don't understand is why the big whoop over SSD. Sure in special cases like music players and laptops,stuff that gets slung around,yeah i can see it. But why would you want one in any other place? hell,I got rid of some 400Mb(yes with an Mb. We thought they were big back in the day) drives that still purred like kittens. I think in all my years of abusing my HDDs with video transcoding and editing I have killed a grand total of two,and one of those i was able to get back with the bosses copy of spinrite.

    So I just don't get why everyone is getting so buzzed about an SSD with this "countdown to extinction" hanging over its head when the HDDs just last so much longer. And with a $15 USB adapter I can take my old drives as I trade up and use them for easy backups and portable storage. So while I might get one for my laptop(when they are cheap enough) and have flash in my media player and camera I just can't see myself wanting it to many other places,and certainly not replacing my reliable HDDs. But as always this is my 02c,YMMV

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