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Data Storage Hardware

Why Size Matters For Your SSD Purchase 175

Posted by kdawson
from the taking-out-the-trash dept.
Vigile writes "Performance analysis on solid state drives is still coming into clarity as more manufacturers enter the fold and more of the drives find their way into users' hands. While Intel's dominance in the SSD market was once undoubted, newer garbage collection methods from Indilinx and Samsung are now balancing performance across the the major players. What hasn't been discussed in great detail yet is the effect that drive capacity can have on overall performance. Some smaller drives (64GB versus 128GB) will actually use fewer data channels from the controller chip and thus will have lower transfer speeds. The article compares drives using controllers from Indilinx, Samsung and Intel." Note that PCPer greedily spans this review over 12 pages. Next time maybe they can keep it down to something more reasonable.
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Why Size Matters For Your SSD Purchase

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  • Size. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 21, 2009 @12:18PM (#29147481)

    6.40 inches ought to be enough for anybody.

  • The short story (Score:5, Informative)

    by symbolset (646467) on Friday August 21, 2009 @12:18PM (#29147489) Homepage Journal
    Intel X25-M 160GB totally dominates in IOPS and doesn't suffer in the other categories. A clean win.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by MoOsEb0y (2177)
      Price.
      • Price (Score:5, Insightful)

        by symbolset (646467) on Friday August 21, 2009 @12:29PM (#29147681) Homepage Journal

        From the article:

        I was going to include a price comparison, but a few of the units tested (like the Corsair P64) don't seem to be carried anywhere as of yet. That said, prices generally do not sway far from the cost/GB of ~$2.75 set by Intel when they released their G2 drives at record low prices. The exception here is the SLC-based PhotoFast V4S, which will retail for a whopping $499 (that's $15/GB in case you ran out of fingers and toes).

      • by Kjella (173770)

        Actually, Intel has priced this one very aggressively. I think they're seeing their chance to cease the storage market, since it's now chips like CPUs and RAID that they also have plenty experience with from motherboard/server RAID solutions. The way this is going, the HDD manufacturers should be very worried. Particularly in the business market I think a reasonable 80GB SSD is plenty capacity, that's damn many powerpoints and time == salary. In fact, with Intel broadening in every direction and SoC systems

        • by AHuxley (892839)
          Unlike Seagate, Intel still has a R&D department :)
          http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/seagate_suffers_setback_ssd_development [maximumpc.com]
          • While Intel has had many triumphs of engineering, don't forget that Intel has had significant setbacks in its history too.

            Look how much they've sunk into their Itanium and all it's done for them in return, it might as well have been just a marketing program to spook the heavy iron architectures into closing up shop. They certainly didn't manage to make that research pay back for itself. Intel also made several RISC chips of their own that didn't do nearly what they expected.

            They also tried to make an LCOS

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by maxume (22995)

      They all meet the definition of 'blisteringly fast' when compared to my current disk, but they also all meet the definition of 'cost more than I want to pay'.

      I guess it is still useful to figure out which one provides the best value.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by spinkham (56603)

        I bought a 30 GB OCZ vertex for my boot/application drive, and use a few 1TB drives in RAID for bulk storage. Best of both worlds.
        Yes, the 30BG one isn't quite as fast as the 120GB one, but it's still 10x faster at loading apps and 3x faster at booting Ubuntu then my past HD.

  • by PktLoss (647983) on Friday August 21, 2009 @12:19PM (#29147541) Homepage Journal

    The odds of me reading page 2 of any article not paginated sensibly (reading a single page should take several minutes) are probably around 10%. Page 5? never.

    I'll just be uninformed until information is published with a sensible pagination system. I'm okay with that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      >Note that PCPer greedily spans this review over 12 pages.

      Sad economic truth: Free articles aren't free. 12 pages = 12 advert refreshes.

      • Size DOES matter.

    • by Vigile (99919) * on Friday August 21, 2009 @02:56PM (#29149585)

      I don't want to turn this into the eternal "free web content ain't free" debate - but it's not. I run the site and yes this article might have been condensed to 9-10 pages more reasonably, but the author laid out the pages before filling in the content and was in a rush. Sorry.

      As for those that block ads, etc. I realize WHY you do it but I would hope that once in a while you think of people that run these types of sites: we employee 8 people on pcper.com and we charge you NOTHING to read the content, etc. These 8 people depend on the ad revenue to live, function and continue writing.

      Just a thought.

      • Yes, with you there: I provide all my content free but it does cost me, out of my pocket. I typically only recover 30% of my costs from ad revenue, and that fraction continues to fall.

        Remember that 'sticking it to the man' on some kind of principle is no kind of principle at all. In some cases that 'man' is a fellow geek being kind to you; would you piss in his/my beer too on some kind of principle (CmdrTaco excepted, my liege)?

        And *no*, I absolutely seriously do not want advertisers' money stolen by clic

        • by WNight (23683)

          I run no-script because I hate bad UI and almost everything that people use javascript for is making their own custom UIs. In almost all cases it's annoying or interferes with my browsing habits (selecting links by text or number, etc).

          I allow it places like here where I agree with the value-add, but it's my computer, my screen, my eyes, and my choice of how it's viewed. Not just because I can, but because depending if I'm on the projector or the netbook my viewing needs are totally different.

          HTML was all a

          • by DamonHD (794830)

            Umm, I make sure that my sites work without JavaScript (indeed in just the way you want them to work). I too am technically and ethically and otherwise distressed by designers who break HTML's original contract just because they can and/or they are too lazy or ignorant to do better.

            I don't take my ball and go home if you won't contribute because I provide many pro-bono services from my own pocket and accept that there are some freeloaders and some who genuinely cannot pay (for whom I primarily provide the

      • by Maniacal (12626) on Friday August 21, 2009 @03:54PM (#29150161)

        I don't turn off ads. I even click on them once in a while. Found Splunk that way. But I can't agree with the splitting of stories to multiple pages just for ad revenue. If you generate great content, and don't annoy people, maybe your stories will get millions of hits and putting them on one page will still generate great revenue.

        On a side note, I think that Slashdot should really consider throwing around some muscle here. As everyone knows, getting a link on Slashdot's front page is a great boost for any site. If Slashdot editors, when reviewing a story, sent a nice e-mail stating "our policy is to not link to stories when we determine that the story is spanned over multiple pages to boost ad revenue. If you would like our story to run, with a link to your page, you'll need to modify it or provide a modified version for our readers".

        Wanna bet on whether or not they would comply?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mcgrew (92797) *

        I run the site and yes this article might have been condensed to 9-10 pages more reasonably

        That's still idiotic. I refuse to hit page 2 of ANY site that has a bunch of idiotically short pages, and what's more, I refuse to return when I see one. Better you should grow your readership; you're better off having ten people read a one page article than have one person read a ten page article, because nine of those ten people won't be back.

        Life's to short to put up with bullshit like that, sorry. Come back when y

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by beckett (27524)

        Your needs to make revenue from ads server side has absolutely NO bearing on what software i run on my client. that includes adblock software. you might be pissed off, but frankly, you don't have the right to determine if i watch ads or not. from my personal computer, I do. ads on eyeballs are like millionaires throwing rocks at your head.

        thank you for your wonderful article, but understand you've marred your research with 12 pages of advertisements. i've published hundreds of pages of research and non

        • by Vigile (99919) *

          Sure, I don't have the right to determine if you watch ads or not. But do I have the right to make sure you see ads in order to see my content?

          • by beckett (27524)

            Not when it's rendered on my computer. those are my CPU cycles, and that's my screen it's displayed on. it's actually a big hassle to click through all those pages, and as other people have pointed out, it's HTML. you're free to lay it out any way you want, and I can apply whatever filters or plugins to make your site finally readable to me.

            it is actually because of this slashdot posting I found out about pagination firefox plugins. A lot of the Slashdot comments are about your formatting, partially becu

          • Not if you put it out publicly. Want rules, go private such as a subscription model.
            My computer, My time, my choice.
            You can say anything you want (obvious 'fire' in a crowded theater, liable, slander etc. exceptions).
            and people have a right to ignore any portion thereof.
            Free speech != guaranteed audience or acceptance.
            Haven't read the article yet, but if you want it read and the adds viewed, give folks a reason past a third grade 'not fair' argument.

            Mcyroft
      • Do you get paid per click or per impression? Due to ads screwing up in the '90s and early 2000s most people won't click on ads, no matter how nice you think they are, most people won't click on ads. Myself the only adblocking that I do is I block a few webservers in my /etc/hosts file, but I don't click on ads, I would imagine that there are a lot of other people with the same feelings. Plus there are a lot of others who have crappy connections or reading on a mobile device so ads are annoying because they
      • by AllynM (600515) *

        To those having a beef with our article page count:

        - We have one bench per page (like everybody else), we do 7 benches.
        - We have an intro and conclusion (like everybody else).
        - I include several discussion pages and evaluate fragmentation-over-time and other important topics related to SSD performance, making the SSD pieces a few pages longer than the HDD pieces.

        The additional content takes considerably more time to properly evaluate and discuss, but that is us going the extra mile for our readers. It's wh

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        As for those that block ads, etc. I realize WHY you do it but I would hope that once in a while you think of people that run these types of sites: we employee 8 people on pcper.com and we charge you NOTHING to read the content, etc.

        As for those of you with ads all over your sites, etc. I realize WHY you do it, but I would hope that once in a while you would think of the readers who have to be bombarded with your bullshit and slowed down pageloads and/or go to extraordinary measures to avoid it, who will never click on any of your stupid ads, and who are going to continue to block these ads at every opportunity. You say your site cannot exist without ads? Good riddance.

      • Just curious: could you check your web logs and see how many clickthroughs from slashdot actually read the article to its 10 page end?

        And another thought: maybe the author shouldn't be in such a rush. This lives up to the stereotype that free content is worth what you pay for it. Lame excuses don't cut it.

      • by zrq (794138)

        First, let me say thank you for responding to this thread. It is useful to have a honest and informative debate about this.

        I often start my day by reading the SlashDot front page. I pick a couple of summaries that look interesting and normally open both the SlashDot page and the article it links to in separate tabs.
        However, if the SlashDot summary mentions multiple pages, login required, excessive advertising etc. I only open the SlashDot page and read the comments to see if it is worth reading TFA later. I

  • take a stand (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Note that PCPer greedily spans this review over 12 pages. Next time maybe they can keep it down to something more reasonable.

    They're not going to be more reasonable until we take a stand. Vote down the story, and make sure not to click the links.

    • Re:take a stand (Score:5, Insightful)

      by BronsCon (927697) <social@bronstrup.com> on Friday August 21, 2009 @12:22PM (#29147585) Journal

      I use adblock primarily for these sites.

      When I come across a site that doesn't do this bullshit, I make sure to allow their ads.

      Hell, Slashdot is giving me the option of disabling advertising just by clicking a checkbox; I'm not doing it.

      • by jgtg32a (1173373)
        Yeah it gave me the option of blocking ads as well, when I noticed that I white-listed /.in ABP.
      • You need AutoPager (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Ben Jackson (30284) on Friday August 21, 2009 @12:48PM (#29147951) Homepage

        I use adblock primarily for these sites.

        Then you're doing it wrong! The plugin you want for 12-page reviews is AutoPager [teesoft.info]. It works like the /. home page, loading 'next' pages as you get near the bottom. It's even smart enough to strip off headers and footers.

      • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

        I use a hosts file to block ad servers, it gets probably 95% of the junk out there. As a bonus, the ads aren't even downloaded to my machine, so all my bandwidth goes to the page I'm browsing.

        And since my internet at work is way over-capacity, that's a good thing. There are a number of lists out there, give it a shot. It's the geeky way to do it. ;)

        • by TheLink (130905)
          Point them to a webserver under your control and have it serve up _your_ "ads". Could be reminders or "random quotes".

          Back when I administered a company's firewall I did something like that on April Fool's day. Only a few noticed. No, I didn't get sacked for it (anyway it did save bandwidth).

          I suppose most people back then didn't really surf the web.
      • by Maniacal (12626)

        I have that checkbox too. Didn't turn them off. Slashdot ads have never bothered me and if it helps them keep the lights on, so be it.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Hell, Slashdot is giving me the option of disabling advertising just by clicking a checkbox; I'm not doing it.

        I didn't either, untill CSS went haywire one morning and the ad covered the "you have comments" notification as well as the checkbox itself.

      • "Hell, Slashdot is giving me the option of disabling advertising just by clicking a checkbox; I'm not doing it."

        The fact they do means I give them respect in my book, since many of us come here for the comments and slashdot editors know that comments and discussion are by and large what most people come for. Those that post a lot and add to the discussion are the ones adding value to the site so why shouldn't they have the option of disabling ads? Since most of the value of slashdot comes from the communi

      • by rdnetto (955205)

        I use a similar approach. Multiple pages don't annoy me as much as Flash ads that fill the screen and use up resources, so I just use FlashBlock. I don't mind just ignoring other ads, especially since most of the sites I visit are ad funded anyway.

    • I wonder if it would be possible to make an extension that detected paginated sites and combined them down into a single page. Even if detection is too dificult I would think that you would be able to do one that would be a single button click for the user.

  • by damonlab (931917) on Friday August 21, 2009 @12:28PM (#29147679)
    I have never bothered with firmware updates and additional configuration steps with standard IDE, SATA, SCSI, and SAS drives. While looking around at various SSD, I found that you need to go though all of this additional crap to get things working right. OCZ, for example, has a whole forum dedicated to help tweak out their drives. http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=186 [ocztechnologyforum.com]
    • by jimicus (737525)

      Agree entirely. Others (indeed, an AC already has) will go on about improved algorithms, but ATEOTD there's only ever so much improvement that can be made and IMO if there's that much headroom that can be fixed in firmware, it's an immature technology.

    • by Kayden (1406747) on Friday August 21, 2009 @12:51PM (#29147991)
      OCZ also has forums dedicated to tweaking ram. There are thousands of forums on the internet dedicated to tweaking every part of a computer. Working "right" isn't "as fast as possible". Most components are configured to run less than optimum so they last longer. Granted, early SSD drives had issues with the abysmal cache causing stuttering, but really, that's just a design fault, not something endemic to the hardware line.
      • by Kjella (173770)

        I hear what you're saying, but there's been some essential features in the firmware upgrades for SSDs. For example my Vertex didn't come with the TRIM command out of the box, it was added in a BIOS.

        Also there's a lot of tuning that isn't done today but will be done in new OS releases, for example Ubuntu has this one:
        SSD blueprint for Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic) [ubuntu.com]

        Basicly there's a lot to gain by changing some of the defaults, and it's being done but if you wanted it right now you'll have to use the forums. In a year

    • by bfields (66644)

      I've got two SSD's (80GB Intel X25-M), one in a laptop, one in a desktop. Never did any tweaking--just plugged them in and they worked. Haven't done any benchmarking, but boot time, application start-up time, and time for things like "grep -r large-directory/" are all (very) noticeably faster.

    • by DAldredge (2353)
      The Intel drives works great without any extra tweaking at all.
  • I doubt it. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by aardvarkjoe (156801) on Friday August 21, 2009 @12:30PM (#29147693)

    Note that PCPer greedily spans this review over 12 pages. Next time maybe they can keep it down to something more reasonable.

    Um ... why would they do that if their 12-page version gets slashdotted anyway? The whole point of the splitting it up is to get page views.

  • What's with the 'signoff' tag?

    (Off topic, I know... if only slashdot had a 'General Discussion' thread.)

    • Yeah, was wondering that too... actually went to the trouble to do a Google search, and found your question. Mod parent up?????

      Yeah, just curious too.
    • by Ant P. (974313)

      I'm guessing it's just plain old douchebaggery. If you pay attention for long enough you'll see days where some kook tags every story with a nonsensical word like this, or gathers their buddies to mod everyone in a thread -1 Offtopic, or any number of pointless things.

  • News? (Score:2, Informative)

    by sexconker (1179573)

    How is this news?

    The number of channels increases the theoretical and actual read and write speeds.

    Did anyone NOT know this?

    No one needs to look at capacity to guess the number of channels, and no one needs to dig around for a review site that cracked the bitch open / contacted the Chinese manufacturers to get the number of channels used.

    All you need to look at is the specs, and in case they're lying, benchmarks. No guess work. No hunting for obscure information that might not apply to your particular har

  • by mtemmerm (1604279) on Friday August 21, 2009 @01:19PM (#29148321) Homepage

    Slightly off topic, but it's often forgotten that the filesystem also plays an important role in drive performance. Newer filesystems like NILFS (http://www.linux-mag.com/cache/7345/1.html) are created to suit SSD's instead of the legacy rotating media. It claims to hold the same performance, no matter how large the filesystem is.

    Back on topic: We're seeing the same evolution with SSD's now like we saw it with spinning media several years back, when they started to increase the drive size ever more. Eventually these performance differences between larger and smaller drives will disappear: they will simply not be an issue anymore at all when you won't be able to get SSD's smaller than 200GB, like the similar trend with spinning media.

  • by egamma (572162) <{egamma} {at} {gmail.com}> on Friday August 21, 2009 @02:10PM (#29148965)
    I think that in order to be classified as a Super Star Destroyer, it has to be at least 15km long. Although the salesman will tell you it's worth at least 20 regular Star Destroyers, the price you pay should be no more than the cost of 15 Imperial-class SD's. Also, be on the lookout for used SSDs. They may be infested with Conduit worms, affecting the ability of the SSD to fire its cannons.
  • So two 64GB drives in RAID0, or even on just on different SATA channels are faster than one 128GB drive.

    Spread the word! This will change database disk design for decades to come.

    ---

    I've got several OCZ 32GB SSD with the partitions aligned. Wildly faster for running my VM's off of. Windows boots in about 10 seconds onto a LAN. Don't really see a notable difference with my *small* database servers. That's likely because they load huge pages of the database into RAM and serve it from there. I have yet


  • I just ordered a Thinkpad T400S with the 128GB SSD option. It was impossible to determine whose SSD it is - some reports said Samsung, some said Toshiba, reps don't know. Small random writes (eg generating class files, but very commonly used in apps ranging from Pidgin to Firefox) can be quite slow with SSDs. I intend to use the device with Ubuntu installed for typical desktop use, and developing server ware that uses Java, PHP, and MySQL.

    Anyone have insight with this device combination and know of any issu
  • My "drive" is in a solid state, and it's size is massive.

You can not get anything worthwhile done without raising a sweat. -- The First Law Of Thermodynamics

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