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Data Storage Intel Hardware

Intel Intros 310 Series Mini SSDs 122

Posted by samzenpus
from the judge-them-by-their-size-do-you dept.
crookedvulture writes "Intel has added a couple of tiny 310 Series solid-state drives to its storage lineup. Measuring just 51 x 30 x 5.8mm, the mini-SATA SSDs are about a tenth the size of a standard notebook hard drive. Impressively, their performance ratings track with full-sized SSDs. Intel is pushing the 310 Series as a solution for dual-drive notebooks that combine solid-state and mechanical storage to give users the best of both worlds. Next-gen notebooks just got a little more interesting."
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Intel Intros 310 Series Mini SSDs

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  • Drat (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DurendalMac (736637) on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @11:25PM (#34706832)
    I was excited as these appear to be Mini PCIe cards, but then I was disappoint as it looks like it's a SATA connector that shares the form factor. It's not entirely clear, though.
  • Perfomance vs size (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BradleyUffner (103496) on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @11:29PM (#34706856) Homepage

    Why is it impressive that a smaller solid state drive performs as well as a standard size one? What does the size have to do with anything relating to these performance benchmarks?

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @11:41PM (#34706938) Journal
    It isn't wildly impressive, since many of the larger SSDs are either smaller boards padded out with aluminum or plastic to meet 2.5inch size standards, or 2.5 inch boards taking advantage of relatively lax density requirements to save on board layers and fabrication expenses; but it is the case that most high-performing SSDs are doing somewhat RAID-esque stuff across their multiple flash chips. Thus, unless the design is severely gimped by either incompetence or cost constraints, larger device=space for more chips=more opportunity for spreading operations across multiple flash chips=higher overall apparent speed. For a very small device to hit high speeds, the maker is either doing some clever packaging, to get a competitive number of dice in that space, or implementing a nice controller that can compensate for not having substantial parallelism to play with, or using comparatively pricey flash that is high on the speed and density curves, rather than just doubling up on whatever is available at mainstream price points and taking advantage of the available board space.

    Given Intel's formidable fab expertise and capital resources, it would not surprise me if two and three are at play here...
  • Re:Windows (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jonbtn (530417) on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @11:45PM (#34706960)
    Perhaps you don't know that Windows (Vista confirmed, 7 should too) can map a seperate drive to a folder instead of a drive letter, if you tell it to. It is rather easy to do. You can even setup multiple paths for a single drive if you want.
  • by Rockoon (1252108) on Thursday December 30, 2010 @12:29AM (#34707216)

    Why is it impressive that a smaller solid state drive performs as well as a standard size one? What does the size have to do with anything relating to these performance benchmarks?

    The speed of SSD's is linearly correlated with the number of flash chips they contain, because the flash chips are operated in parallel (think RAID0, only its implicit in the design)

    Smaller would usually mean less flash chips, so less parallelism.

  • by SuperBanana (662181) on Thursday December 30, 2010 @01:19AM (#34707444)

    I wonder how much that primitive joke of an "operating system" will derail the widespread adoption of these hybrid technologies.

    The primitive joke of an operating system that introduced USB-flash based application acceleration (no such similar feature for any free operating system, and supported SSD TRIM commands before any other operating system? (OS X still doesn't and there are no announced plans to; Linux 2.6.32+, I believe, does only on a kernel level, but support amongst various filesystems seems inconsistent or not present; it's hard to tell. hdparm supports manually running TRIM using areas reported by the filesystem as free, but that's hardly equivalent to Windows, which "just works".)

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