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Data Storage Intel Hardware

Leaked Intel Roadmap Shows 600GB SSD 228

Posted by Soulskill
from the bigger-and-bigger dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Solid State Drives have been trying to fill the mechanical hard drive niche for some time now. The problem is that while flash memory is faster than a spinning platter, it is also much more expensive per gigabyte. Over the weekend details leaked about Intel's SSD roadmap, and what's most interesting about it is that the capacities of Intel's SSDs are going to increase in a big way. First off is a refresh to the high performance X25-M range of SSDs. Currently available in 80GB and 160GB models, these will be replaced by a new design, codenamed Postville, which will come in 160GB, 300GB and 600GB variants."
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Leaked Intel Roadmap Shows 600GB SSD

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  • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Monday August 16, 2010 @01:10PM (#33266114)

    price still needs to come down!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by OrangeTide (124937)

      Why does it need to come down? Buy a spinning platter if price is such a huge factor for you.
      I found the 64GB SSDs to be quite affordable and sufficient for a laptop where I don't need my entire archive of mp3s and movie on it. One less noisy component in my laptop and a small but measurable power savings as well (added 15 minutes to my battery life when I did a simple comparison).

      • Aren't SSD's supposed to be way more stable in laptops that get bumped?

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by PitaBred (632671)

          Very much so. But hard drives with the shock protection are still pretty robust. I love having the SSD in my machine... it's amazing how fast everything goes. Programs start instantly, it boots so fast that I disabled hibernation, but I'm still at a paucity of space with a 256GB SSD.

          The thing you're paying for with SSDs is performance. If you haven't used one, you don't know what you're missing, but if you have, you never wanna go back to things the way they were.

          • If space is what you crave, get an SSD + a big old platter drive. Put your OS on the SSD and all those big honking media files on the HDD. That's what I've done for my desktop. Laptop users will not have the luxury of two internal drives in many cases.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by vadim_t (324782)

            Not as robust as you might think.

            Shock protection (unless there's some development I'm not aware of) measures acceleration and parks the drive's heads if the acceleration is too much, in case that acceleration means the laptop is about to hit the floor. It's a good idea, but the application is limited. It's excellent when you drop the laptop, but it won't do you any good if you give the laptop a good jolt without any warning.

            I killed my laptop's drive once by turning around in an office chair, and hitting t

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Lord Ender (156273)

      Not really. Most users have been over-buying disks for ages. A 64GB SSD is big enough for most users and is nearly the same cost of the large mechanical disks they've been buying and wasting up until now.

      Those who really need terabytes of space would be best-served by using external drives.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by dgatwood (11270)

        I couldn't disagree more, for several reasons:

        • Your OS, drivers, and applications will easily eat half of that 64 GB without saving a single file of user data.
        • A web browser's on-disk cache typically hovers at another gig or so.
        • My photo collection alone is 60 GB. Sure, I take lots of pictures, but as megapixel counts increase, the size of photo collections does, too. That's mostly from shooting at the smallest size on my DSLR....
        • In this day and age, most computer users buy laptops as their primary mach
        • What the?! (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Sits (117492) on Monday August 16, 2010 @02:55PM (#33267356) Homepage Journal

          While I can somewhat agree with your sentiment (64GBytes isn't a lot when you are saving media data) I feel you have exaggerated a bit in the OS numbers:

          • The OS I'm typing this on (which is on a Intel Core 2 laptop with 4GBytes of RAM) is taking up 6GBytes and has various development tools and libraries installed on it. The OS on my EeePC takes up 3GBytes.
          • Even on the bigger computer the current Chromium cache size is 437MBytes. Perhaps it scales with disk size?

          On all but the most unusual of setups (I know people who do FPGA development whose tools take up 20GBytes by themselves) it's going to be "user data" that is taking up the vast majority of the disk space - not the operating system and applications (given that most operating systems still ship on no more than a single 4GByte DVD you would need compression of about 8:1 to fill up the disk from that alone). I have no doubt that if you take photos or have a big movie collection 500GBytes is not going to see like all that much though.

            • The OS I'm typing this on (which is on a Intel Core 2 laptop with 4GBytes of RAM) is taking up 6GBytes and has various development tools and libraries installed on it. The OS on my EeePC takes up 3GBytes.

            Desktop OSes don't scale to laptops and netbooks very well. Fortunately, I believe, they're getting the hint, even if the people getting the hint are mostly Linux-based (and I can't even confirm that, not having looked at/for netbook versions of MS or Apple (haha) OSes); point is, some people have desktop OSes on a netbook and shouldn't, but not all of them are like that.

            My tower's Win7 x64 takes up about 16GB just for c:\Windows. The XP that shipped with my netbook (an older Aspire One) has ravenously co

        • by Bryansix (761547)
          Exactly. And to compare I shoot my DSLR on RAW and the files are about 23MB each. My total photo collection is at 1.5 TB right now and growing. At a typical event I will shoot 22GB of new photos. Then the good ones get exported to JPG or TIFF and take up even more space.
        • by AK Marc (707885)
          You are not "most users." Though you "couldn't disagree more," you didn't didn't show any indication that his statement was wrong. 30 GB for OS/Apps. 1 GB cache. And "most users" don't have a photo collection of 60 GB or more. There's some porn, some office files, some music and that all adds up to 10 GB more or so. Add in some extra space for those with just a little more use, and you are at 64 GB. That's enough for most people at this point in time.

          With the upswing in downloadable content (both m
        • "External" doesn't necessarily mean a hard drive hooked up via USB. I only have a laptop at home with an 80GB disk, and that works out for most of my needs. However, did want to start backing data up, so I bought a NAS box, and hooked up two 250 GB hd's in a raid1 configuration. The box runs linux, is low power, and allows my data to be accessed over the internet.

          So that box now backs up mine and my woman's laptop, and is a data store for our photo's, videos, music, etc. If/when I decide to either buy an xb

        • by hairyfeet (841228)

          As a PC repairman I can back up your statement by what I've been seeing in my shop. Just 4 years ago many users were quite happy with 80-120Gb drives, now I'm seeing folks come in with 300Gb drives and they are wanting upgrades because they are running out of space. Digital cameras are the primary culprit, with music, movies, and finally games bringing up the rear, at least here in the shop.

          Hell I'm pretty picky myself when it comes to keeping my OS and my data separate, yet I found when I started looking a

      • by fattmatt (1042156) on Monday August 16, 2010 @02:44PM (#33267220)
        I've heard this before ... something along the lines of "64 GB ought to be enough for anybody"
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by peacefinder (469349)

      Not really. (Different version.)

      With a new SSD, one can sometimes remove a substantial performance bottleneck in an otherwise adequate older machine. Dropping a few hundred bucks on a new SSD drive might delay the purchase of a whole new machine by a year or two. From there, it's pretty easy to see why people wil be willing to pay pretty stiff prices for SSDs and also why Intel would be extremely motivated to not miss out on that market.

    • Knowing Intel, most likely the new drives, which double the capacity, will remain the same price. Therefore your 160gb drive for $399 will be 320GB for $399, and imho approaching $1 per GB on SSD is a big freaking deal. Of course this info is an early leak and Intel has no mention of price. But with a new fab and smaller nm, most likely Intel will deliver on this theory.
    • by macraig (621737)

      Would you mind going out and buying a few hundred this week, so that when I'm ready to buy one I can actually afford it? Thanks so much!

  • Now I'll be able to afford the 60GB model! (Because you know, I deal with junk!)
  • by e065c8515d206cb0e190 (1785896) on Monday August 16, 2010 @01:10PM (#33266124)
    Not trying to be ironic here, but do we have any idea on how those will behave in the longer run? Are there improvements from the previous generations? TFA doesn't have much information besides capacity.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Kepesk (1093871)
      Agreed, SSDs still have many cost and reliability issues to overcome, and I'm not going to get too excited till I see some improvements in those areas. Solid State is the wave of the future, but the wave is still way out there and is only just reaching the rocks off-shore.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by pezpunk (205653)

        yeah because mechanical hard drives never, ever crash...

        • by gumbi west (610122) on Monday August 16, 2010 @01:36PM (#33266448) Journal

          That criticism makes sense for a netbook drive where when it dies you just replace it and no need to backup--the email are already on IMAP and everything else was just caches. But for places where you really care about your data then there are all sorts of other questions: how does it crash? Does it crash in such a way that the RAID you are using keeps its integrity?

          In general, conservatives (in the sense of not wanting to change) are right to be conservative because of the long arm of the law of unintended consequences. People who try new things can end up with better results if things go as planed. But there are many more ways for things to go not as planed and for the project to crash and burn--leaving you at square one with nothing to show but lots of money/time spent on a cinder.

          • Ask yourself this - in what way could it possibly be worse than a regular harddrive?

            how does it crash? HDD: Painfully and irrevocably. SSD: Read only
            Does it crash in such a way that the RAID you are using keeps its integrity? Depends on how you configured your RAID. In what way could it possibly fail that would make it worse than an HDD failing?

            When your hard drive fails, you've just lost all its data, unless you're willing to pay a ton of money for recovery. With an HDD, ALL data is lost. With an SSD only

            • You are thinking about just the drive as described, but it is part of a system. How long will the controller in the drive last? How will it fail? Will my controller on the mobo successfully alert me to the crash, will it handle it well? When the drive gets old, will the wear leveling slow the drive to a crawl? You are also assuming that the advertising literature is right, a risky business.

              Look, I'm not saying that you are definitively wrong, only that you might be wrong in so many different ways that those

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by networkBoy (774728)

                FWIW I've already seen flash device failures (SSD and USB sticks). They tend to fail into a RO mode rather than a blank, or unreadable mode. This is a good thing from a data integrity standpoint (though a bad thing from an IS standpoint).

                I personally would feel comfortable using SSDs in a transaction server and such from a data integrity view, but I'm not sure if they could actually handle massive IOPS for a sustained period. Massive OPS, however, they seem to be awesome at, and that's how we're currentl

            • by drsmithy (35869)

              how does it crash? HDD: Painfully and irrevocably. SSD: Read only

              If you think this is the only way an SSD can "crash", you may be in for a rude shock one day.

              And when you look at the performance difference between a massive SAS drive and a single SSD, there's hardly any reason to use RAID for SSD, as you can often replace 8 HDDs with a single SSD, when all you need is IO.

              You use RAID with SSDs for the same reason you use them on regular hard disks - availability. The primary purpose of RAID is not to

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by nschubach (922175)

            That's why I think hard disks will still be the norm for mid-term retention for a while. It can't take much to run your system off an SSD and mirror it to a platter... can it?

            My best guess would be like a "hybrid" drive that uses the SSD for all immediate tasks and cache write that data to disk when it's free. In the event of an outage, you still have the data on the SSD which should always be considered accurate and you have the platters in case the SSD fails.

            I'm pretty sure there are no RAID controllers

            • Rsync run by crontab to a backup drive.
            • by bobcat7677 (561727) on Monday August 16, 2010 @03:11PM (#33267528) Homepage
              Certain models of Adaptec controllers with recent firmware (since April 2010) support SSDs and platter drives on the same mirror array (RAID 1 or 10). The controller intelligently sends all reads to the SSD unless it goes offline. It's not at all an advertised feature, I have only ever seen mention of it in the firmware release notes. Note that this is not the same thing as what their "MAXIQ" product does, which is essentially add more cache to the controller in the form of a small SSD attached to one of the controller's ports.
        • by Dyinobal (1427207)
          I've had an 80 western digital for about 10 years or so (cost 300 bucks at the time), and my other HDDs are at least 6 to 3 years old. On the other hand my oldest USB mass storage device is about 2 years and sometimes has issues writing to it. Granted my personal experience doesn't mean the entire market of USB mass storage devices are that unreliable but there is certainly some issues in that department.
          • by PitaBred (632671)

            USB flash is a significantly different than an SSD's flash. The SSD has wear leveling and a different type of cell (NAND vs flash). It's apples and oranges.

      • by Coren22 (1625475) on Monday August 16, 2010 @01:34PM (#33266418) Journal

        Yeah...I am sure that you have looked at the reliability numbers...like ever...

        Intel x-25m reliability: http://download.intel.com/design/flash/nand/mainstream/mainstream-sata-ssd-datasheet.pdf [intel.com]

        BER (read error rate) of 1 sector per 10^15 bits read
        MTBF 1,200,000 hours
        Minimum 5 years useful life

        WD Raptor Reliability: http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.asp?driveid=495 [wdc.com]

        MTBF 1,400,000 hours
        Other figures not given

        and the WD Raptor is considered an Enterprise hard drive, so that should say something about the reliability expected. I don't see these drives failing any time soon, and I have a Intel x-25m 32GB I bought a little over a year ago running quite strong with no errors in my desktop that rarely is shutdown.

        The only reliability problems I have seen is in MLC based drives we use here at work for database servers, they go offline and have to be reseated in order to bring them back, but we haven't had any of these fail yet even under the heavy strain of a database server.

        • by amorsen (7485)

          Which MLC drives are you using? I have so far had extremely positive experience with SLC drives for the enterprise and Intel MLC for laptops. So positive in fact that I'm tempted to try Intel MLC for the enterprise too.

          • by Coren22 (1625475)

            Samsung I believe, I would have to pull one to see, but don't really want to cause a rebuild of the array. When we inquired of the server vendor about the issue we were having, we were told we would have to replace all of them as the RAID card no longer supports these drives due to the problem we are having.

            Sucks when your vendor suggests replacing 10k worth of drives (per server X 4) with 15k worth of drives...

      • by rabtech (223758) on Monday August 16, 2010 @01:42PM (#33266516) Homepage

        Agreed, SSDs still have many cost and reliability issues to overcome, and I'm not going to get too excited till I see some improvements in those areas. Solid State is the wave of the future, but the wave is still way out there and is only just reaching the rocks off-shore.

        That greatly depends on your specific application. I can tell you that installing an SSD in my work laptop was the single greatest (relative) performance jump I've ever seen, starting with my 8086/1MB/CGA machine until the present day, including all processor/memory/graphics upgrades I've ever done.

        I can also say that some Antivirus products really, really suck and take up tons of CPU and have single-threading bottlenecks, so that if you have the RTV scanner turned on, you will give back a lot of the performance gains. (I'm talking about the one that installs 19 different drivers and services. Someone in IT got a kickback on that purchase).

        I'd pit this SSD against a mechanical hard drive in a laptop any day of the week. It can take all sorts of bumps, bounces, heat, etc that could kill a HDD. Better battery life, increased performance. At 160GB, it is about 100GB less than the HDDs they are installing in new laptops, but other than that it is better in every way.

        • That greatly depends on your specific application. I can tell you that installing an SSD in my work laptop was the single greatest (relative) performance jump I've ever seen, starting with my 8086/1MB/CGA machine until the present day, including all processor/memory/graphics upgrades I've ever done.

          Yup - it depends.

          For the majority of users, the SSD doesn't provide such great an advantage. They turn on their computer and start their browser and... That's it. It all runs just as fast from there on, regardless of the drive technology used.

          On the other hand, I recently got an X25 inside my work PC, and that thing just brought it to life compared to the old spinning Seagate.

          At home I don't need an SSD. I turn on my PC and start my browser and... You get the drill. It would be a complete waste of money and

      • by Rockoon (1252108) on Monday August 16, 2010 @01:49PM (#33266586)
        I keep hearing people claim reliability issues when SSD articles come along to slashdot.

        I have never seen a citation, so I went looking for them via Google but could only find citations attesting to the high reliability of these devices.

        Dell's Lionel Menchaca stated in 2008, when it was reported by Avian Securities that Dell was having SSD reliability issues, "Our global reliability data shows that SSD drives [that we shipped] are equal to or better than traditional hard disk drives we've shipped." [dell.com] He further notes that Avian Securities never contacted them and that their numbers were a complete fabrication.

        At this point I consider any claims that SSD's are less reliable to simply be a myth derived from dishonest reporting.

        Furthermore, there are published studies [pcworld.com] detailing how unreliable traditional magnetic platter drives are.

        Do they have write limits? Yes. Can other parts of the device fail? Yes. Are they more expensive than economy platters? Yes. Is there real world data showing that they are less reliable as claimed? Apparently not.
      • Agreed, SSDs still have many cost and reliability issues to overcome, and I'm not going to get too excited till I see some improvements in those areas.

        Agreed, mechanical drives still have many speed and durability issues to overcome, and I'm not going to get too excited till I see some improvements in those areas. ...

        Get it? An SSD is just fantastically faster than a mech drive, and it is never going to biff up if you bump your laptop while it's writing. SSDs are already superior to mech drives for most app

      • by amorsen (7485)

        So far I have heard zero horror stories about decent SSD drives, and lots of horror stories (including personal experience) about spinning disks.

        All the concern about SSD seems to be theoretical.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      When I see real-world usage reports of SSDs under a range of regular HDD duty cycles, rather than hand-waving "well with the wear levelling algorithm you should get about xyz writes by which time you totally would have worn out your spinning rust" (oh, really?), I might consider applying them to servers which require frequent writes.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Frankly, mechanical hard drives are so hilariously unreliable as well that I don't see how it would make a difference: you need a redundant array with frequent offsite backups either way, right?

      • The only thing you are going to trust is your own trial. If SSD might make sense for you, then why do you not to have a trial going now? Throw one in a mirror drive and use a less than fully partitioned HDD.

        If SSD isn't a good idea for you, then reliability isn't really your issue and you will never be satisfied.

        BTW, please do tell how that trial works out.

        • The trial comes after the real-world evidence. I'm not a guinea pig for the solid state storage industry.

          HDDs are cheap to buy and considered sufficiently non-"hilariously unreliable" by their manufacturers that they come with reasonable warranty periods.

          I don't see why I would rejoice at a 600GB SSD per se. It's not like a hard drive where it actually means "we've increased the density on 3.5 inch platters and/or squeezed more platters on top of each other". If you can make a 60GB SSD, you can make a 600GB

          • by vlm (69642)

            If you can make a 60GB SSD, you can make a 600GB SSD. What advance in tech is being brought to the table?

            Heat dissipation. Say you own a 60 GB SSD that draws 1.5 watts. A 600 GB drive would, superficially, draw 15 watts.

            In theory you could trade speed (striping 10 devices in parallel) for power (concatenate 10 devices in series).

          • I don't see why I would rejoice at a 600GB SSD per se. It's not like a hard drive where it actually means "we've increased the density on 3.5 inch platters and/or squeezed more platters on top of each other". If you can make a 60GB SSD, you can make a 600GB SSD. What advance in tech is being brought to the table?

            Basically the same types of advances:
            * Hey we fit more bits per Sq mm with this new litho process
            * Hey we increased the reliability of stacked die packages to the point where the yields are good enough to use them in SSDs.
            -nB

      • by Coren22 (1625475)

        See my above post, and take that foot out of your mouth:

        http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1755958&cid=33266418 [slashdot.org]

        • by FuckingNickName (1362625) on Monday August 16, 2010 @01:42PM (#33266524) Journal

          The manufacturer data sheet is pretty much the polar opposite of "real-world usage reports... under a range of... duty cycles".

          • by Coren22 (1625475)

            I gave two duty cycle example one of which is in reality 4 servers, I can't give more of a range as they are still too expensive to use everywhere that would benefit from their use.

          • by Surt (22457)

            I can report to you that we've been buying these in our desktops for over a year now. We have about 200 or so deployed, for a total of about 2000 deployment-months.
            Zero failures so far.

      • by ivan256 (17499)

        Your servers that require frequent writes should be using a storage array anyway.

        Professional administrators should care about two things: redundancy, and warranty. Since you seem to be trying to come across as somebody who actually manages a lot of hardware, you should already be aware that your spinning discs fail at a per-year rate relative to their age and operating temperature. Even if you've only got a piddly few hundred drives, you should be able to get a good sense of which models (yes, models. Not

    • The postville refresh is supposed to be halogen-free, 25nm (current 34nm), 32mb buffer, "enhanced" NCQ, and a power safe write cache, as well as a slight boost in write performance.

      I would like to see if the controller has improved the small random read/write operations, even though Intel drives already do a great job.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      Bear in mind that when a hard disk fails you typically loose at least some of your written data, and in worst case scenarios all of it. You won't be able to write to certain areas when an SSD fails, but you can often still read the data. So, yes, SSDs might fail a bit sooner, but its usually not critical like a hard disk fail.
      • by toastar (573882)

        Bear in mind that when a hard disk fails you typically loose at least some of your written data, and in worst case scenarios all of it. You won't be able to write to certain areas when an SSD fails, but you can often still read the data. So, yes, SSDs might fail a bit sooner, but its usually not critical like a hard disk fail.

        I'd say hard drive failures fall into one of three categories: 1. Motor/Lube Failure (i.e. click of death) 2. bad sector (usually non fatal) 3. Controller Failure. SSD's are really only immune to the first failure type, And the thing about the click of death Is... It usually starts clicking before it stops working. maybe not clicks, but at least other little warning signs that say: "Get you shit off this disc before it dies"

      • by mcgrew (92797) * on Monday August 16, 2010 @02:25PM (#33267024) Homepage Journal

        Bear in mind that when a hard disk fails you typically loose at least some of your written data

        No you don't, your data is NOT loosed, it's locked up so tight even you can get at it. You loose your data when you publish it, you lose your data when your hard drive dies.

        Hope I was a help. What's your native language?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by fnj (64210)

          My guess is that O.P.'s native language is English. I looked at a bunch of his posts, and he seems very fluent and adept. I think you will find O.P. is an example of a very intelligent and capable individual who is the product of a badly failed educational system (in this particular example, failed teaching of English language is noted). Hardly any memorization is taught any more. The rule that "oo" is pronounced as in "ooze" and "o" is pronounced as in "foe" is successfully taught, but the table of exc

    • by arth1 (260657) on Monday August 16, 2010 @01:41PM (#33266506) Homepage Journal

      Unfortunately, Intel seems to do like the rest, drop SLC in favour of MLC. That has a huge negative impact on both reliability and performance, but brings the price down and the capacity up.
      That said, Intel's MLC drives are pretty good for MLC drives -- the X-25M is best in class, but still far below the speed and reliability of the X-25E.

      If Intel could come out with a 128 GB X-25E, I would buy it immediately over a 600 GB X-25M at the same price. But they won't, because people don't want what's best, they want what's cheapest that still carries the "right" name.

      • by ivan256 (17499)

        But they won't, because people don't want what's best, they want what's cheapest that still carries the "right" name.

        MLC is sufficiently cheap that it works out better to buy multiple drives and install them with redundancy than it does to buy the more expensive and more reliable drive. It's not about what name is right, it's about achieving your goal for the least outlay possible. The X-25E exists merely to fill a niche. You need some specific constraint in order to justify spending more to buy a more reliable drive than achieving reliability through redundancy with cheaper drives.

        • by arth1 (260657)

          MLC is sufficiently cheap that it works out better to buy multiple drives and install them with redundancy than it does to buy the more expensive and more reliable drive.

          That is seldom an option for notebooks :-)

      • by Rockoon (1252108)
        I'm not sure that this is quite right. I think the downfall of SLC is because MLC densities are approaching if not already surpassed the point where SLC makes sense.

        Part of what made SLC so attractive is better performance, but the current crop of MLC drives leading the market are banging their heads on performance bottlenecks external to the drive (SATA 2.0 is fully and easily saturated, and drives are now appearing that are saturating SATA 3.0) and this is due to densities. The more flash chips they can
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Kjella (173770)

        Unfortunately, Intel seems to do like the rest, drop SLC in favour of MLC. That has a huge negative impact on both reliability and performance, but brings the price down and the capacity up.

        I've never heard that reliability is that much different, but durability yes. SLC drives can take about 10x as many writes per cell before they wear out. However, MLC drives are rated at 10000 writes/cell too and smart algorithms avoid overusing single cells. Each MLC cell is slower individually, but by writing to many in parallel both have IOPS way, way beyond traditional drives and we're discussing degrees of lightning fast. In other words, both the shortcomings are largely avoided by making smarter contr

        • by arth1 (260657)

          Try trashing your drive with some random writes and a HDD will grind to a halt, even my Vertex beat the fastest HDDs by a factor of 10x under those conditions.

          True, unless you rely on worst case write times. A hammered SDD will sooner or later come to a point where it needs to do a read-erase-write cycle, which can incur a latency of a second or more for a single block write. Normally, TRIM and garbage collection takes care of that, but when a drive is hammered for a long time, there are no free time in w

      • by PitaBred (632671)

        The problem with SLC is that the price/GB is even higher than with MLC, which is already an order of magnitude above spinning drives. Yes, there are enterprise customers and a few busybodies who need/want every bit of that performance, but to bring the prices of SSDs down, they need to appeal to a mass market, and that means not being 20x or more per GB than a platter drive.

        The nice thing is that SLC and MLC are pretty much the same chips, they just differ in how they're addressed. It's more a matter of who

      • by mobby_6kl (668092)

        Yeah, those stupid poor people, they can't even afford to drop $700 on a clearly superior 64GB SLC drive, even though an MLC drive suits their requirements just as well for less than a quarter of the price. What a bunch of assholes, they're clearly just SSD brand whores, and are probably imagining that they'll be drowning in pussy just by casually dropping "SSD" and "X25" in a conversation.

    • by AK Marc (707885)
      They will be similar to the last generation, they will last 10 times longer than a spinning disk under normal use, and when they do fail almost always fail in a readable state, much better for data recovery than a spinning disk. Unless you are writing the entire disk multiple times in a day (like a commercial database or dedicated swap disk), you'll not run into writing problems on them in the next 5 years, and if you did, you'd still be able to get everything off without a problem. As opposed to spinning
  • Beh (Score:3, Informative)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Monday August 16, 2010 @01:13PM (#33266172) Homepage

    The price is still far too high. I recognize that an SSD can provide a good performance boost, but still...the prices are way too high. I'll likely give it another year or two before I pull the trigger on one.

    Not that any of you care -_-;;

    • by mobby_6kl (668092)

      I thought the prices were way too high too, but if Intel can keep the prices around $200 while doubling the capacity, the new 160GB model might be justifiable for the OS and the I/O intensive programs or games. As it stands, the 80GB is almost too small to be useful nowadays, while the currently 160GB one is way too expensive, while also not being particularly large. As I recall, this update is supposed to take place in Q4, so there's not much longer until we see.

      • Re:Beh (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Pojut (1027544) on Monday August 16, 2010 @01:31PM (#33266368) Homepage

        Agreed...if they keep the price points the same, but double capacity, I would be much more inclined to pick one up. I know you don't technically *need* alot of space for a system drive, but I don't like having such limited free space. 160GB would be the absolute bare minimum I would use for a system drive these days, and even that's kinda pushing it.

        • Call me when I can replace my 320GB "spinning rust" drives for about the same amount of money.

          I remember writing to PC Magazine in 1986 about the need for adequate procedures when the first 5MB (Not GB but MB :-) hard drives were reaching the market.

          Now I have 3+ terabytes on my desktop machines. Backups are just as painful as ever.

          Now instead of slow diskettes for backups, I use redundant drives and DVD-Rs for off-line backups and purchased software solutions. (And I know about using "Time Machine" to back

          • Now instead of slow diskettes for backups, I use redundant drives and DVD-Rs for off-line backups and purchased software solutions. (And I know about using "Time Machine" to back up the Macs every night, but that's local, not off-line.)

            The market for home offline backups is probably incredibly small. Online backups have been making a push for a while now because they are multipurpose, storage/backup. There are also a lot of Internet based backup systems available.

            I don't think you'll find much for home offline backups unless you have some money and look at small business offerings. I don't see why that should ever change either :\
            I hear you though, I want such a system too, but I know I'm very biased with enterprise backup experience.

            • I don't think you'll find much for home offline backups unless you have some money and look at small business offerings.

              Maybe I'm mis-reading the 'offline backups' thing, but doesn't pretty much -every- USB/eSATA HDD and USB DVD/CD combo drive come with backup software these days? Not to mention the plethora of backup software for 'home use' available online.

              These days (well, for at least 3 years now) you can even pick up a very simple USB/eSATA HDD 'docking station'.. hook it up to your machine, drop any

        • by demonbug (309515)

          I recently put together a system with a 64 GB SSD system drive (~$150) and a 1.5 TB data drive (~$80).

          So far it has worked pretty well. In general applications don't really use all that much space, so the small drive isn't an issue. I've got most of my normal applications installed (still a pretty new system, I tend to install apps as I need them), using about 30 gigs right now (including ~15 for Windows 7). The only problem so far is that some applications default to storing data in the User folder on the

      • by Korin43 (881732)

        80 GB is plenty. 10-15 GB for the OS and programs leaves 65-70 GB for /home. That's enough space for a very large music collection and lots of photos. You may not be able to store that many movies on it, but most people don't have any movies on their computers, and if you can afford an SSD and that many movies, you can afford the $40 for an extra hard drive.

        • by Pojut (1027544)

          80 GB is plenty. 10-15 GB for the OS and programs leaves 65-70 GB for /home

          Like I said, I know it's enough, but I don't like having that little amount of space available on my system drive.

          That's enough space for a very large music collection and lots of photos. You may not be able to store that many movies on it, but most people don't have any movies on their computers

          Not that this is relevant to a system drive, but most people willing to spend the money on an SSD almost certainly do have movies on their computer.

          and if you can afford an SSD and that many movies, you can afford the $40 for an extra hard drive.

          It's not really a matter of not being able to afford it so much as not wanting to pay that much for that amount of space.

    • Finally gave in and put an 80GB X-25M in my desktop as an OS drive. It's amazing how much of a difference it makes overall, everything just feels much more responsive now, some games actually saw a huge difference. WoW loading times went from annoying to practically nonexistent, if I had to make the decision again I would buy the 160GB model instead.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by malzfreund (1729864)
      That's correct. It would be more accurate to call it the Postville refresh (which uses 2Xnm NAND Si). "Postville refresh" is the term Intel uses on one of the slides that leaked.
      • by Anpheus (908711)

        Lyndonville is the codename of the 25nm flash based SSDs, I believe.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by malzfreund (1729864)
          No, the OP clearly refers to the Postville refresh, which will bring capacities of 160/300/600GB NAND. Lyndonville is the codename of the follow-up to Ephraim, i.e., Intel's series of enterprise drives commonly known as X25-E. Lyndonville is expected in capacities of 100/200/400GB so that's clearly not what the article referred to.
  • by rsborg (111459) on Monday August 16, 2010 @01:43PM (#33266532) Homepage
    Intel does not have the fastest MLC drives [anandtech.com] out there (X25-E is SLC), and now they're ditching SLC?
    I wonder how their performance will match the other controllers (Sandforce, Indilix, Samsung, etc)... perhaps their new MLC is more along the lines of what Sandforce is doing?
  • I have the 40 gig X25-V. I paid 120 but I see it has just gone under $100 at BestBuy. When I got it I was afraid that 40 gig would be pitifully small and inadequate to the task of running Win7 and all my apps.

    To my surprise after I had installed everything I still had over 20 gig free. I don't have the whole list here but my install list included photoshop, excel, word and a whole laundry list of other apps. If you install carefully and make sure to delete temporary files it is surprising, at least t
    • I'm sure a significant percentage of slashdotters either have second hard disks in their machines or some type of NAS system. The issue is that while we can easily say "40GB should be a good enough C: drive for anybody", that's only because we have a few terabytes within an ethernet cable's reach to store other stuff on. Consider the average Joe/Jane who has a 12-megapixel camera and a sizeable iTunes library. Even if we assume that they don't have a single XviD or MKV file on their drive, that just music a

  • Suppose SSDs were to improve so that external disks offered NO advantages in price, performance or capacity. How would this effect what sorts of databases there might be? I wonder if there are certain types of uses/queries/softwared that just don't happen/doesn't exist because it would involve alot of slow random access on large data. If this were to become very cheap for great performance, what new goodies / opportunities might this bring?

    • by Surt (22457) on Monday August 16, 2010 @02:37PM (#33267130) Homepage Journal

      People who tune large databases have been IOPS focused for a long time. SSDs enable a new level of IOPS that is about one to two orders of magnitude better than spinning disks. SSDs will allow people to (re)consider all sorts of applications that are currently IOPS bound or IOPS prohibited. Soon Google will be able to keep track of how much milk you have in your fridge, and send you a reminder to buy some when you are near a store that sells it, and have plans to go home afterward so that they can be sure you will be able to refrigerate it.

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704901104575423294099527212.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop [wsj.com]

    • SSD is already in many places (see smartphones). In fact, the first hard drive design was, in essence, an SSD, see here [arstechnica.com].

      The big thing is, SSD can do whatever you want it to do by design (capacity, speed or both), but it is only fairly recently that the compromise between capacity and speed has become acceptable to desktop and/or server machines. And, to be fair, only with NAND chips.

      This is one part of the answer. The other is, even the notion of a "database" itself is changing: RDBMSes (CA wrt CAP) are not

    • by khb (266593)

      To a first approximation ... not at all. For folks with enough $$$ (and really high performance requirements) in memory databases exist now (even Oracle and SAP) as well as smaller players with clever schemes to minimize the memory impact.

      SSDs are a lot faster than spinning disk, a lot slower than DRAM. I doubt we'll be looking at a third major way to organize/structure databases ... the in-memory and "on disk" architectures will continue.

      Whether an SSD then looks enough like one or the other to determine w

    • by lakeland (218447)

      In simple terms it will make things faster. Beyond that it's hard to say.

      SSDs have fundamentally different performance characteristics. Their write speed is asymmetrical so I imagine they'll be more popular in data warehousing than in operational databases, and their complete lack of seek time means that some aspects of database engine design (e.g. b-trees) are fundamentally no longer relevant. At a guess this means that hash join indices will be much more realistic because it becomes possible to simultan

    • by swilver (617741)

      Not a whole lot for quite a few applications, as most databases today will comfortably fit in the memory of any decent server. Only databases dealing with lots of (automatically) gathered information, graphics/video or other high volume datasets might benefit. Not too big though, as then we are in Harddisk terroritory again.

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