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Data Storage Upgrades Hardware

The 1 Terabyte SSD Arrives 237

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the that-should-be-enough dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Over recent years Solid State Drives (SSDs) have moved from luxury to affordable additions to one's PC, but mechanical hard drives are still king when it comes to capacity. That was until the revamped Colossus LT series Solid State Drive came along this week. With up to 1TB, the drive offers offers massive storage capacities of the level normally not seen in SSDs. While 1TB of SSD space hits right at the heart of the traditional hard disk market, it comes at a high price — at around $4,000 for the 1TB model, these drives are in the realm of aspirational rather than practical."
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The 1 Terabyte SSD Arrives

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  • Re:Yay (Score:3, Informative)

    by IBBoard (1128019) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @08:15AM (#31830526) Homepage

    You can get 60GB for under $120? Damnit, I considered an SSD recently and 30/40GB was £100 for the cheapest ones. Didn't get it in the end because of reports of degrading performance over time. That'd be one hell of a downer if you'd bought something that large and expensive!

  • "aspirational more than affordable" ? For business ( on-site programming ) purposes I just ordered a new laptop with two 256-Gb SSD drives. Only a few hundred bucks more expensive than one with disks. Wait a year or two, and 1 Tb SSD drives will be perfectly normal items on a medium to high end computer.
  • Re:Yay (Score:5, Informative)

    by XPeter (1429763) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @08:22AM (#31830608) Homepage

    You can get 60GB for under $120? Damnit, I considered an SSD recently and 30/40GB was £100 for the cheapest ones. Didn't get it in the end because of reports of degrading performance over time. That'd be one hell of a downer if you'd bought something that large and expensive!

    No, you can't.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2010150636%201421439415&name=60GB [newegg.com]

    The lowest price for a 60GB SSD is $140, and that's from a no-name company. If you want quality for that spec, your wallet will be taking a hit of about $200

  • Not 400x (Score:4, Informative)

    by radaos (540979) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @08:26AM (#31830670) Homepage
    Maths fail in article. $4000 / $100 != 400x
  • by Ancient_Hacker (751168) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @08:39AM (#31830820)

    Paying $4000 for a thousand gigabytes is not so bad. Some of us have worked on:

    DEC DF-32: 32K 12-bit words for around $5000 (1971)

    DEC RKO5- 2.5 megabytes for $10,000 ( 1973 )

    Mac HD-20: 20 megabytes for $1000 ( 1985 )

    All those were like, 1000x or more per byte. AND WE WERE PERFECTLY HAPPY. (Well, a little cramped on the DF32)

  • by aicrules (819392) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @08:43AM (#31830850)
    I think maybe it's something like this: http://www.brighthub.com/computing/hardware/articles/43400.aspx [brighthub.com]

    But since he's so mysterious about it, perhaps it's not.
  • by Gruturo (141223) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @08:44AM (#31830882)

    I guess I could pull out a stack of punch cards 1 km tall and claim it's got 1 TB storage capacity too, thus having 'caught up' with HDDs.

    This being Slashdot, I'd expect better of you :-)
    A 1km-tall stack of cards, which, according to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] are 0.178mm thick and can storage 64 bytes with the most efficient coding, results in a measly 342.89 megabytes (assuming 1 megabyte= 2^20, which is admittedly uncommon when quoting storage, esp when a vendor does it. They'd use the 10^6 version, so 359.55 megabytes (I'm aware of the kibibyte/mebibyte etc scale, but I don't like using it))

    For a full terabyte you're looking at slighly over 3058km worth of stacked punch cards (or 2781.25 km if using the storage vendors' definition)

    (Disappointingly, Wolfram Alpha was no help doing the above calculations)

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @08:49AM (#31830944) Journal
    The only real "enterprise" case for SSDs(besides just making the boss's laptop quieter and more responsive for a few hundred bucks extra) is IOPS.

    As a mass storage option, SSDs are pretty pitiful. As you note, even 15k RPM SAS stuff, hardly the cheap seats, is substantially cheaper per gigabyte. If you can step down to 10K RPM, or even the nicer grade of 7200RPM SATA(SAS/SATA compatibility can be quite convenient), the difference gets even starker.

    If you are talking IOPS/$, though, SSDs passed the "economically viable" point some time ago and were last seen running for a location somewhere between "not even fair" and "Good God, man, it's like curb-stomping a puppy!" in their competition with even the zippiest of mechanical drives.
  • Affordable (Score:4, Informative)

    by Mr_Silver (213637) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @08:50AM (#31830970)

    Over recent years Solid State Drives (SSDs) have moved from luxury to affordable additions to one's PC

    When I can get a 1TB 3.5" SATA drive [ebuyer.com] for £61.33 (approx $94.58), I'm not sure how something which is 42 times more expensive can be considered "affordable".

    Maybe I have a different definition of the word.

  • by Colonel Korn (1258968) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @08:53AM (#31831006)

    They are Windows 7 and Linux users. TRIM seems to just ameliorate temporary.

    Your friends aren't benchmarking. Welcome to subjective perceptions. As quantitative data has proven conclusively (see anandtech.com, pcper.com, etc.), TRIM does truly prevent lost performance over time.

  • by vlm (69642) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @08:58AM (#31831064)

    So at roughly $4/GB that'd place us where, back at the late 90s? I'm not sure what part of 'catching up' people seem to think of when they're talking about SSDs replacing HDDs.

    I deployed a 586 based single board computer using a 4 gig CF as the boot drive about a year ago. Entire system draws about 4 watts total and no moving parts. I would call it vaguely mid 90s ish specifications. If you define HDD as advancing about one year per year, then SSDs seem to be advancing about half a decade per year, thus "catching up" at a rate of about 4 years per calendar year, and currently "about a decade behind" so figure SSD will pass HDD around the end of the world, late 2012-ish. Sign of the Apocalypse?

  • by hoggoth (414195) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:01AM (#31831094) Journal

    That article was low on logic and common sense.

    The article's take-away that SSDs slow down over time may be right, however the reasoning behind the explanations doesn't even make sense.

    > "Because they have a two-part write/erase cycle, unlike the single write cycle of mechanical hard drives, they wear out at least twice as fast as their spinning counterparts."

    Umm, what? SSD writes are done in two stages, yes, but that has absolutely nothing to do with the way a traditional hard drive does writes. So how could you say SSD's wear out "twice" as fast as traditional drives because they have to write twice? It could be that an SSD could write a thousands times more or a thousand times less than a traditional hard drive before wearing out because they are completely different technologies.

    > "This isn't helped by the architecture of most SSDs. Usually, data is laid down within a block of available memory, meaning that it might not take up all the available space--yet will still write to all of it"

    Does the author think traditional hard drives write to byte-addressable boundaries? Hard drives write blocks and sectors too and have wasted slack space at the end of their blocks too.

    > "Defragmenting or "defragging" a SSD takes up many write/erase cycles... which shortens the lifetime of an SSD, even if it's also cleaning up the drive."

    No, defragging is not cleaning up an SSD drive. There is no reason to defrag an SSD because their is no latency getting to a further sector.

    > "it's a delicate balance, how often you should defrag your SSD for optimum performance and lifetime"

    How about "NEVER"?

    > "Only defrag when necessary!"

    Argh!

  • by obarthelemy (160321) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:07AM (#31831190)

    google: why do ssd get slower over time. first answer: http://www.anandtech.com/show/2738/8 [anandtech.com]

    no comment

  • by gmack (197796) <gmack&innerfire,net> on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:10AM (#31831216) Homepage Journal

    That seems written by someone who really has little to no idea how SSD drives work. It should take years to see problems caused by flash wearing out even under intense use.

    The actual problem involves the way modern SSD drives write your new data to an unused portion of the disk before erasing the old flash to improve speed. If the drives think they are full then you are stuck waiting for the old blocks to be cleared before you can write your data.

    TRIM was added to fix this problem by letting the OS tell the drive when blocks become unused but it only works on very recent drives and new operating systems. You are out of luck on that front if your running XP or a Linux kernel older than 2.6.33 but on the upside the problem only affects write speed.

  • by Alastor187 (593341) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:48AM (#31834104)

    TRIM was added to fix this problem by letting the OS tell the drive when blocks become unused but it only works on very recent drives and new operating systems. You are out of luck on that front if your running XP or a Linux kernel older than 2.6.33 but on the upside the problem only affects write speed.

    For Intel Drives the new SSD Toolbox supports Trim on older OSes. I have been using it with WinXP...though that probably doesn't help anyone on Linux.

  • by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @02:38PM (#31837530) Homepage

    As someone who took the SSD plunge a few months ago, I can tell you that the performance delta entirely depends on two things: your multitasking habits, and the quality of the SSD controller chipset. Some are only good at sequential read/write (like conventional drives), but the better ones are also good at random access, and these are the ones that make your machine zippy. On a spinning platter hard drive, if you have two apps accessing the disk simultaneously, it has to seek back and forth between the two files, reading a little piece each time, and this literally decimates your throughput because the drive spends more time moving the magnetic heads than actually transiting data. This seek time is nil on an SSD, so you regain the full read/write speed, even if you're accessing 100 files in random order. This is what makes the desktop so much faster, because no matter which app you launch, it's always just a microsecond away.

    Windows boots in about 10 seconds, apps pop up almost instantly, large compilation jobs finish in a third of the time. I don't run benches but if my boot drive has slowed down in the 4-5 months since I bought it, I haven't noticed at all. I also have four of them in a RAID-0, and I still hit the 700mb/sec writes I've enjoyed since day one. The only detail I still worry about is reliability / longevity. These consumer-grade SSDs are still very new, and we don't yet have any good empirical data on how likely they are to die, or what the real-world wear-out period looks like. I know I beat the crap out of mine, with an inordinate amount of churn these days as I'm ripping thousands of CDs and DVDs back into images for archival, but that's what warranties are for.

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