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Data Storage Portables (Apple)

Toshiba Begins Selling MacBook Air SSD 162

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the double-it-please dept.
Lucas123 writes "Toshiba has made the solid state drive used in the new MacBook Air generally available for use by equipment manufacturers. At just 2.2mm thick, the company said the drive represents a new form factor that is about one-third the thickness of a thin hard disk drive and that is 42% smaller than even a mini-SATA SSD module. The new Blade X-gale SSD series has a maximum throughput of 220MB/sec. and can store up to 256GB of data."
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Toshiba Begins Selling MacBook Air SSD

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  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @11:42AM (#34175070)

    I've been pricing out a new laptop, and I've love to get one with SSDs, but DAMN they're expensive. I'd rather engineers focus on reducing manufacturing costs than making them smaller. A better headline would be "Toshiba SSD 1/3 the PRICE".

    And, Microsoft needs to figure out that people want to stick an SSD and traditional hard drive in their laptops, so Windows needs better support for moving the Users directory (you can do it but it's "unsupported").

  • use in other mac's? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fyonn (115426) <dave@fyonn.net> on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @11:59AM (#34175286) Homepage

    so with this tiny form factor, is there any way to install this inside a unibody macbook pro? I'd love to go SSD but want to keep a spinning drive for decent storage capacity, and don't want to lose my dvd drive.

    come on OWC, make it happen! :)

    dave

  • by PincushionMan (1312913) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @12:11PM (#34175450)
    Great! Where can I get my BigFoot (5.25 form factor, 1/3 height) SSD for 1/2 to 1/3 of the regular SSD cost?
  • by SnarfQuest (469614) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @12:13PM (#34175482)

    I've been pricing out a new laptop, and I've love to get one with SSDs, but DAMN they're expensive.

    You should price out what an original IBM PC cost. You were looking at $1500 starting price, and that didn't include any kind of floppy or hard disk, and 64K (not M) of RAM. What you paid back then for two floppy drives would probably buy you a decent laptop nowadays. Hard drives started at $10 per M, and 30M was a large drive (in both physical size and storage capacity).

    And you had to walk 30 miles uphill (both ways), in the snow, to get to/from school.

  • by cerberusss (660701) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @01:01PM (#34176112) Homepage Journal

    so with this tiny form factor, is there any way to install this inside a unibody macbook pro? I'd love to go SSD but want to keep a spinning drive for decent storage capacity, and don't want to lose my dvd drive.

    come on OWC, make it happen! :)

    dave

    Go for a hybrid like the Seagate Momentus XT [cnet.com] (review on CNet).

  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @01:18PM (#34176424) Journal
    Mod parent off-topic / irrelevant. TFA is about Toshiba's Blade X-gale connector / form factor, not about Mini SATA or Micro SATA. If you RTFA, you can see that they are distinct products in Toshiba's SSD lineup [toshiba.co.jp]. Note the 'Custom' in the 'Connector' column for the ones that we are talking about, while the mSATA ones list 'mini SATA' as their interface.
  • by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @01:31PM (#34176652)

    I haven't missed my DVD once since I installed mine. I take that back, someone wanted me to burn them a DVD. I looked at them and asked what a DVD was.

    None of my media is on optical disks. OpenSolaris and XBMC comprise my home media center/server. I have USB boot drives.

    I have a 100GB SSD that OS X boots off of and a 640GB that sits where my DVD used to. I couldn't imagine going back or having it any other way.

    OS X just... boots. From Apple Logo to login screen is amazingly fast (compared to how it used to be).

  • by getNewNickName (980625) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @04:10PM (#34179118)

    Go for a hybrid like the Seagate Momentus XT [cnet.com] (review on CNet).

    Which seem to be having problems [seagate.com] with MBPs.

  • by arth1 (260657) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @07:26PM (#34181456) Homepage Journal

    Not donwplaying your need for adequate storage, but SSDs cope with running near-full MUCH better than HDDs, since fragmentation is a non-issue.

    Like much common knowledge, this isn't accurate.

    You don't suffer from one aspect of fragmentation -- the heads don't have to move and the disk spin into a new position.
    However, you do still suffer from excessive continuation blocks on a fragmented drive, with both loss of space and a slight loss of speed as a result.

    But even worse, for an SSD is another factor: There's a fixed amount of write cycles per block.
    As a disk gets near full, this causes two problems:

    1. The wear leveling will have less free space to work with, and has to be far more aggressive in moving other already used parts of the disk around. This causes delays (stuttering). If you don't do it that aggressively, it causes the same sectors to be written/rewritten, and the drive wears out.
    2. An SSD can only write to pre-ereased blocks, and only erases whole sectors at a time, not blocks. As a disk gets close to full, the chances of finding free contiguous blocks diminishes, and the firmware will far more often have to reshuffle in order to erase a whole sector for write use. The erase operation is particularly slow, and when writing a single block takes a whole second(!) because a whole sector has to be erased and copied to, you'll feel the pain.

    TRIM helps with the second problem in that you tell the drive which blocks are really free so it can reshuffle and pre-erase sectors in idle time,
    but the effectiveness of TRIM goes down as the disk fills up (there are fewer sectors that can be pre-erased), and on a nearly full disk, it only takes a few minutes of high activity to make the background garbage collection not being able to keep up, and you get serious stuttering as a result. Strange as it may seem, the worst case random write access is far higher for an SSD than for a HDD, and that's where you'll feel the pain as a disk gets close to full.

    In fact, it's recommended to leave parts of an SSD unpartitioned to give the wear leveling and garbage collecting routines more space to work with. ("Good" drives already have 20% or more set aside for a combination of wear leveling, garbage collection and bad block mapping, but the current crop of consumer drives only have around 5-7%, and really need more, especially as the drives mature and bad blocks have to be remapped.)

    So no, you shouldn't fill an SSD - at least not if you use it for random write. If you use it for store-once-read-many, it doesn't matter much, but a 98% full OS SSD drive is going to hurt -- bad.

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