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Data Storage Hardware

Six-Drive SATA III SSD Round-Up Shows Big Gains 129

Posted by Soulskill
from the johnny-five-needs-throughput dept.
MojoKid writes "Solid state drives have gone from essentially non-existent on the desktop to the preferred storage medium of enthusiasts and workstation professionals in less than three years. Three of the drives featured in this six-drive SATA III SSD round-up consistently offered 'best-of-class' performance throughout testing, with speeds in excess of 500MB/s for read and write throughput. OCZ's Vertex 3 Max IOPS, Corsair's Force GT, and the Patriot Wildfire all feature the same SandForce SF-2281 controller and synchronous NAND flash memory. These drives offered the highest transfer rates in the majority of tests, though performance does drop off as the data gets more incompressible."
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Six-Drive SATA III SSD Round-Up Shows Big Gains

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  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @11:30PM (#36744466)

    At this point, all SSDs are basically "fast enough" for desktop usage. You notice a major difference between an SSD and a HDD. You don't notice much, if any, difference between a lower and higher end SSD on the desktop.

    The same is not true on servers, of course, the heavier random load makes IOPs a big deal in various servers (databases particularly).

    While I'm certainly not saying don't get one, I'm saying don't dump your SATA II SSD if you have one for these, and don't pass up a SATA II SSD if it is on sale.

    • they still need to be a lot bigger now 500GB and up should be ok or maybe 128-256 system SDD + 500GB + Data disk but with games getting bigger and you may run out of room installing them on a SDD and need to install to a data disk.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        While I'm certainly not going to argue why it'd be nice if SSDs increased in capacity (given reasonable price points), I must inquiry, why the need? 10 GB is easily enough for today's OS with most programs (3 GB or less with some sacrifices), but let's say bloat increases that requirement five fold, and that SSD's resetting the price point per gigabyte doesn't discourge that bloat. Googling indicates a modern game requires something like 15 GB to install (...seriously?), so what are you trying to do? Ins

        • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday July 13, 2011 @12:20AM (#36744810) Journal
          While, of course, I'd like all that and a pony, I recognize that ours is not exactly a perfect world. Big SSDs are expensive and big HDDs are (comparatively) slow.

          What would be nice, though, and arguably rather more reasonable(it's only a matter of software, and across millions of users the unit cost should be approximately fuck all), would be seeing the tech for transparently dividing workloads across two or more disks with heterogenous characteristics descend from its present position in expensive SANs and comparatively esoteric server FSes.

          Sure, the manual "OS+applications on SSD, porn and torrents on HDD" tactic works more or less alright; but having humans wasting their time doing a (lousy) attempt at a machine's job seems like such a pity. Handling the messy details of physical storage location, in order to achieve best apparent performance with lowest burden on the operator, is exactly the sort of abstraction that our computers should be handling for us.
          • Sure, the manual "OS+applications on SSD, porn and torrents on HDD" tactic works more or less alright; but having humans wasting their time doing a (lousy) attempt at a machine's job seems like such a pity. Handling the messy details of physical storage location, in order to achieve best apparent performance with lowest burden on the operator, is exactly the sort of abstraction that our computers should be handling for us.

            Very well said! What is boils down to is that you shouldn't have to be a major geek or expend a lot of effort administering your system simply to have and use a fast, efficient computer. Modern operating systems have taken a lot of the thought and need for specialized knowledge out of the equation, but SSDs (largely due to their low capacity or capacity/price ratio) are confusing to some and require more work. Laptops with single drive bays are another consideration, and no one really wants to use an extern

          • What you are talking about is having an SSD function as cache for a HDD. Good idea, one I like myself quite a lot. Well it does exist, but not to the extent it should.

            The only real cheap option I know of is Seagate's Momentous XT drives. They are laptop drives with 4GB of flash on them for cache. Net effect is you get desktop level of performance out of a laptop drive. Quite effective. Unfortunately, that laptop drive is all they make.

            At the high end Intel, LSI, Adaptec, and probably some others make SATA/S

          • On my FreeBSD servers, I have pools of large HDDs with SSDs as a L2 cache in front of them, so the workload balancing is transparent and automatic. Esoteric server FSes FTW.

        • so what are you trying to do? Install every game you own? Never uninstall anything? Or store vast amounts of media (bitrate of 8 MB/sec continuous read) on a drive capable of 200 MB/sec throughput / 4 ms latency with the obvious tradeoff of price per gigabyte?

          How about not having to carry around a USB hard drive? As I understand it, a lot of laptop computers have only one internal SATA port, to be occupied by an SSD or a hard drive. Or how about media production as opposed to passive viewing? Production with non-linear video editing software often needs multiple simultaneous mixed sources and multiple seeks to read all the simultaneous streams.

        • by billcopc (196330)

          There are some of us who enjoy variety in our selection of games. The most common games are between 10 and 15 GB each. My World of Warcraft install is 25gb and growing with every new patch. Portal 2, a relatively simple game, is 11 gigs. It adds up very quickly. Of the 120 or so games in my Steam list, I can only keep around 20 installed on my relatively large 300GB SSD. It's no coincidence that the largest games benefit the most from SSD access times and read speeds. In my case, I've had to set up a

          • by DarkXale (1771414)
            Most of the games when I check have a usage of at most 6GB; not 10-15. Sure theres a few titles in that range, but certainly not the majority.
          • a) Stop being a data pack rat.

            b) Prioritize. Do you really need game XYZ, that you play about once a quarter, installed? Why not 7Zip the install folder to another drive then restore it when you actually do want to play. Or if you have Steam, 7Zip it for posterity, offload it to a external drive, then uninstall/reinstall using Steam. Or put the less frequently used data on an older, slower, larger disk.

            Consumer grade SSD is a bit below $2.00/GB finally. And WD still makes those 10k RPM SATA drives
        • by ShakaUVM (157947)

          >>While I'm certainly not going to argue why it'd be nice if SSDs increased in capacity (given reasonable price points), I must inquiry, why the need?

          It's a pain in the ass spanning two different drives, and having to do a lot of this stuff manually. Moving your user directory from your fast C:\ SSD to your large D:\ HDD, and making symlinks so that everything works correctly is easy enough. Moving your Steam folder to D:\, and then individually moving certain games over to C:\ and symlinking everythi

        • by Joce640k (829181)

          10 GB is easily enough for today's OS with most programs (3 GB or less with some sacrifices),

          You haven't tried Windows 7 then? I don't think you can even install it in 10Gb. I'd say 25Gb is a bare minimum for Windows 7 plus a few applications.

        • by dgatwood (11270)

          I don't know about the other folks, but...

          C. Store vast amounts of media.

          I like to have my collection of photos with me on my laptop. It's about 80 gigabytes currently, and growing at 10-20 gigabytes per year.

          Also, my OS only takes 7 GB or so (including all the various third-party graft-ins that I use), but the applications I use add a whopping 34 gigabytes of additional storage requirements, and that's without a lot of optional stuff installed. So just to carry the software I have installed on my laptop

        • by jgoemat (565882)

          10 GB is easily enough for today's OS with most programs (3 GB or less with some sacrifices)

          What programs do you have installed? My Windows directory alone is over 34gb and My user directory is 7 gb. Those can't be moved. My Program Files directories add another 18gb and my 73.6gb (formatted 80gb drive) partition is nearly full. I can't even fit a single newer game on it, let alone my whole Steam library. I have another 4+gb of applications I've moved to another drive because of the space issues and

      • by Mashiki (184564)

        OCZ sells 500 to 1TB HDD's, the problem I seem to keep hearing is that once you pass the 256GB range, the stability of the drives falls through the floor. Now that might be chance, or via a pile of 'first adopter issues' for the new types of drives with larger space. But for the most part 60GB is more than enough for the average person. One problem with SSD's though is that some games simply don't play nice with the super-high speed of SSD's, even more recent games like FONV, and DA2. They'll actually r

      • I have created a system recently with a 120GB SSD, and a 1 terabyte HDD. I installed Win 7 and some important applications on the SSD, and installed all other applicatiosn as well as the user folders, and swap on the HDD. I get pretty much no difference in performance to a full SSD system, whilst still havign capacity at a price I can afford.

        A friend of mine has done a similar thing with Linux and he is getting pretty good results in the performace stakes too.

    • by bertok (226922)

      The same is not true on servers, of course, the heavier random load makes IOPs a big deal in various servers (databases particularly).

      Did you actually read the article and look at the numbers?

      SSDs stomp all over mechanical drives for random IO throughput, by 3 orders of magnitude or more!

      My old SATA II SSD outperformed a 48-spindle enterprise SAN volume for real-world database performance, and my current SSD is at least 3x faster!

      To perform complex schema changes I would often make a copy of the production database onto my laptop, perform the IO intensive operations like re-indexing on there, and then copy the result back to production, b

    • by Solandri (704621) on Wednesday July 13, 2011 @02:55AM (#36745502)

      At this point, all SSDs are basically "fast enough" for desktop usage. You notice a major difference between an SSD and a HDD. You don't notice much, if any, difference between a lower and higher end SSD on the desktop.

      A large part of the reason SSDs are faster than HDDs is their low latency (has a big impact on small file read/writes). However there's another big reason you don't notice much difference between lower and higher end SSDs: We're using the wrong metric.

      SSDs and HDDs benchmarks are almost universally given in MB/s. The problem is, people don't perceive speed in MB. They perceive it in seconds. The computing tasks you need to get done are almost never "I can wait 1 second. How much data can my computer crunch?" They're of the type "I need to crunch 1 GB of data. How many seconds will that take?" So the correct metric we should be using is s/MB.

      But it's the same number! Why should this make a difference? Because when you invert a metric, the big numbers become small numbers, and the small numbers become big numbers. e.g. Say you have a HDD which can read 100 MB/s, a cheap SSD which can read 200 MB/s, and an expensive SSD which can read 500 MB/s. So in 1 second, the HDD reads 100 MB, the cSSD 200 MB, and eSSD 500 MB. Expressed in MB/s you gain 100 MB/s switching from HDD->cSSD, and a whopping 300 MB/s switching from cSSD->eSSD. Switching from cSSD->eSSD gives you 3x the benefit of switching from HDD->cSSD! So the extra money for the expensive SSD is definitely worth it! Right?

      Hold on. Invert to s/MB and say you need to read 1 GB. The HDD takes 10 sec, the cSSD 4 sec, and the eSSD 2 sec. Switching from HDD->cSSD saves you 6 seconds. Switching from cSSD->eSSD only saves you 2 sec. So in terms of time you spend waiting, the HDD->cSSD switch saves you 3x as much time as the cSSD->eSSD switch. The vast majority of your time saved can actually be obtained from the switch to the cheaper SSD. The next step switching to the expensive SSD only gives you a marginal improvement. (Even if you insist on using relative measures of time, the cheap SSD still wins. 10 sec to 4 sec is a 60% reduction in time. 4 sec to 2 sec is only a 50% reduction in time.)

      Anandtech basically stated as much [anandtech.com] in a recent SSD review. They admitted that in real world use (i.e. benchmarks measured in seconds), there really isn't much difference between the different SSDs. But reviews with benchmarks showing all products having nearly the same result doesn't get people coming back to read more reviews. So to hype people up, reviewers invert the scale and measure in MB/s to exaggerate small differences. Differences which for the vast majority of people are so small as to be nearly meaningless in their real-world computer use.

      The same thing crops up with fuel mileage in cars. Fuel consumption is actually gallons per mile. But because the U.S. measures it in miles per gallon, it exaggerates the benefit of high mileage vehicles. If you ask a dozen people which saves more gas, switching from a 14 MPG SUV to a 25 MPG sedan, or switching from a 25 MPG sedan to a 50 MPG hybrid, I will bet nearly all of them will say switching to the hybrid saves more gas. After all, 50-25 = 25 MPG improvement, while 25-14 = only a 11 MPG improvement. But if you drive 100 miles:

      14 MPG SUV = 7.1 gallons used
      25 MPG sedan = 4 gallons used
      50 MPG hybrid = 2 gallons used

      Surprise. The 11 MPG improvement switching from the SUV to sedan saves you 3.1 gallons per 100 miles driven, while the 25 MPG improvement switching from sedan to hybrid only saves you 2 gallons. The metric we should be using is GPM, not MPG. The rest of the world measures fuel consumption in liters per 100 km for this reason. (A consequence of this is that if we as a nation wish to lower our fuel consumpt

      • by hahn (101816)
        Good post and interesting point. I wish I had mod points, but I hope someone else mods you up.
      • That is part of the reason I wanted to note this for people. You find right now any SSD on the market is fast enough for desktop and little gains are had from faster ones.

        Also there's three other issues at play you didn't consider:

        1) For speed, access time can be more important than raw transfer rate. That really doesn't improve much with these higher drives. They all tend to be in the couple hundreds of microseconds. That's great and way better than HDDs, but given that it does not improve, you don't see a

      • What a brilliantly written post. I've always had a problem with the [distance] / [fuel used] metric but couldn't explain why. Now I understand why, and you saved me a fairly useless upgrade cost to my SSD! Now if only /. would increase the [modpoints] / [user] ratio.....
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Surprise. The 11 MPG improvement switching from the SUV to sedan saves you 3.1 gallons per 100 miles driven, while the 25 MPG improvement switching from sedan to hybrid only saves you 2 gallons

        But (gah!) you're just making the same error you're complaining about - looking at absolute changes rather than relative ones! Switching to the hybrid does save you more gas, when considered as a percentage of how much gas you were using before.

        Maybe I'm just strange, but I've never considered such figures in the terms you're going on about, so it just looks like a strawman argument to me.

        Besides, all that number waffle is entirely academic, since no-one ever faces the choice of (Switching from A to B) OR (

      • by kanweg (771128)

        My primary reason for having a car is to cover distance, not to burn fuel. So, to me the proper metric IS distance per volume of fuel. When you want to focus on cost advantage, your way is fine. When you want to calculate how to extend the number of years gas can be used for combustion vehicles before we run out of oil, MPG is the right metric.

        GPM is shrouding the inefficiency of gas guzzlers. With MPG you can quickly see that twice the mileage is twice as efficient.

        Bert

        • by dargaud (518470)

          GPM is shrouding the inefficiency of gas guzzlers. With MPG you can quickly see that twice the mileage is twice as efficient.

          The distance to your work doesn't change when you change your car. So what really interests you is: how much money will you save by the end of the trip if you have a thriftier car ? And that's a direct measure of GPM. MPG is useless.

          • by kanweg (771128)

            As for the only-money-matters approach, that is correct. It is a human/culture thing. Some humans/cultures value other things as well, like their kids, environment etc. I prefer to have my own say over what interests me.

            Bert

      • by sifi (170630)
        This is one of my pet hates too - it should really be GPM (Gallons per Mile); probably some conspiracy with the motor manufacturers. On another slightly related note: My car gives me an average MPG for each trip. If I do a regular trip (say to work), and I want to figure out the 'cheapest' route, I want to know the 'total fuel used' per trip. If I go for the route with the lowest average MPG figure, it might be a longer route with less stopping and starting, which actually uses more fuel overall. Of cour
        • by DarkXale (1771414)
          I don't know about conspiracy. Seems standard to measure in liters per 100km on European cars.
      • by Rennt (582550) on Wednesday July 13, 2011 @06:31AM (#36746342)

        The 11 MPG improvement switching from the SUV to sedan saves you 3.1 gallons per 100 miles driven, while the 25 MPG improvement switching from sedan to hybrid only saves you 2 gallons.

        Classic mistake. You can' t make a comparison without a baseline.

        So lets use GPM.
        4 / 7.1 = 0.56
        2 / 7.1 = 0.28

        OK, what about MPG?
        25 / 50 = 0.5
        14 / 50 = 0.28

        Doesn't make a lick of difference if you use X/y or Y/x. Switching to a hybrid will save your nearly twice as much fuel as switching to a sedan would. The numbers don't lie.

        • by Tolkien (664315)
          True, but the psychology behind the reversal enforces the intended misdirection.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          While your math is probably correct, you are comparing it differently than the OP.

          He was comparing the differences from switching (A to B) and (B to C) and what is (mis-)perceived as the bigger difference.
          Nowhere did he compare switching (A to C) in his post.
          You are comparing (A to B) and (A to C) in yours.

          Not the same thing.

          • by Rennt (582550)
            Yes? (A to B) vs (A to C) is a valid comparison. (A to B) vs (B to C) is not.

            But it's the same number! Why should this make a difference? Because when you invert a metric, the big numbers become small numbers, and the small numbers become big numbers. e.g. ...

            Nonsense. Meaningless words and numbers. Pants-on-head retarded.

        • Actually, there is no mistake, because we buy gas in units of dollars, not "percent improvements". Consider this "real world" example. You own two vehicles, a 14mpg SUV and a 25mpg sedan. You drive them an equal number of miles per week. You are going to replace one of them with a more fuel efficient vehicle. Economically, does it make more sense to upgrade the SUV to a sedan OR the sedan to a hybrid?

          Well, if you upgrade the SUV, you burn 3.1 gallons less of gas for every 100 miles you drive. If you upgrade

      • by Ant P. (974313)

        The metric we should be using is GPM, not MPG.

        You mean l/km.

      • The difference would probably be noticeable when manipulating large video files, just like the best mpg would be significant if you drove 1000s of miles or operated a fleet of vehicles.
    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      The problem with SSDs is that the tech isn't really ready for primetime IMHO, unless you just have some money burning a hole and don't care about the data they'll have on them. Atwood at Coding Horror even says SSDs should be judged on a hot/crazy scale [codinghorror.com] since you are dealing with a device that gives serious performance at an INSANE failure rate. From the looks of things they may be full of shit on those MTBF numbers.

      All I know is I have a couple of gamer customers for whom the benchmark is God and both went

      • Take notice that Atwood says they are worth it even with the failure rates he is experiencing. Also consider that he may not be the norm when it comes to failure rates.

        I purchased my X-25M G2 the day it became available on newegg (mid 2009 sometime). Several of my friends also have various drives(all still running with no indications of problems):
        X-25M G2 160GB
        Vertex 2 120GB
        another Vertex 2 120GB
        several others that I don't know the names of offhand. All were purchased immediately when they first came to mar

        • by hairyfeet (841228)

          Well yeah HE says its worth it, you have to remember this is a guy that wears $400 headphones! he really doesn't give a shit if he blows a couple of grand a year on SSDs and says as much in the article I linked to as long as he gets crazy speeds. but you'll notice in the comments while some have had a good experience there are just as many with VERY expensive drives that are now paperweights.

          I'm sorry but those kinds of failures not only are unacceptable to the masses, but more importantly the WAY they fail

    • by GooberToo (74388) on Wednesday July 13, 2011 @08:54AM (#36747250)

      You notice a major difference between an SSD and a HDD.

      I completely agreed. Most report total drive failure in 6-18 months with SSD drives with absolutely no warning of impending catastrophic failure. So ask yourself, are you ready for complete data loss every 6-18 month, while paying an extreme premium for the privileged? Most recommend NOT using these as your primary device, but rather use a smart caching device, which uses these devices as an accelerator while still using the HDD as your primary, dramatically more reliable, long term storage medium. Of course, in either case, a sane, complimentary backup strategy should employed.

  • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @11:30PM (#36744468)

    Why no testing with pci-e SDD cards next to the Sata-3 disks?

    also should test with a HIGH END SAS / SATA raid card.

    • by ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @11:53PM (#36744626)

      Right now TRIM command don't pass through RAID chips. So unless these SSD comes with robust garbage collection algorithm I wouldn't put those in RAID.

      • I was about to correct you regarding Intel's support for TRIM using RAID. But when I went to double-check, Intel corrected their previous statement.

        Intel® Rapid Storage Technology 9.6 supports TRIM in AHCI and RAID modes for drives not part of a RAID volume. A correction was filed to update the information in the Help file, which stated TRIM was supported on RAID volumes.

        Solution ID: CS-031491
        Date Created: 24-Mar-2010
        Last Modified: 05-May-2011

        http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/imsm/sb/CS-031491.htm [intel.com]

      • by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Wednesday July 13, 2011 @02:12AM (#36745286) Homepage

        TRIM is nowhere near as big an issue as people think. GC works fine on both Indilinx and Sandforce units. Realistically, once you start talking about RAID, the modest and highly situational performance gains from TRIM become irrelevant. Even with TRIM support, the block erase still happens in the background, so there is some delay before write performance is restored. If you're in a heavy rewrite scenario, you gain nothing as the drive doesn't idle long enough to handle those deferred erases anyway. And if you're not a heavy rewriter, the GC will take care of it sooner or later. It's all so moot.

        My Revodrive X2 hits 650mb/sec with ease. My new Velodrive goes up to about 1000mb/sec, despite having a gazillion apps and games installed and my careless use of my "desktop" folder as temp space. The bottleneck is the shitty Silicon Image RAID chip, not the lack of TRIM. A very interesting product on the radar is the new Angelbird Wings, another PCI-E SSD with some cool features not found in the other brands, like mounting ISOs as virtual CDs at boot time, and a built-in Linux/XFCE distro for management/partitioning. They're claiming 900mb to 1000mb/sec speeds on the 4-channel model.

        Still think TRIM is the deal-breaker ?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @11:47PM (#36744590)

    Before getting excited and rushing off to buy a SATAIII SSD, bear in mind that there are currently some serious stability issues in some of the drives. I recently bought a Corsair Force 3 120GB, only to discover that many, many (as in most) customers are experiencing problems with system hangs and BSODs. I've been lucky enough to only have the drive lock up once a day after a full day of use, but plenty of folks only last about an hour. The old drives were recalled, but even the replacements are having the same problems. This a big support thread at http://forum.corsair.com/forums/showthread.php?t=96333, and plenty more just like it in the same forum.

    Corsair seems to think this is an issue with the SandForce controllers, which is reasonable considering other big names (OCZ, for instance) are having the same issues with some of their new drives. Just be sure to do your research first.

    • I'm not going to rush out and buy any SSD until the price point comes WAY down. Right now my tried and true SATA HDDs work just fine. And I like my wallet performance better when it has more dollars in it because I didn't go right out and buy the newest stuff when the old stuff still does the job. Maybe in a couple more years when the price is better, and when I actually need to replace a drive because it fails or I build a new workstation.
      • You obviously haven't had the pleasure of seeing your compile times drop 10x (or you aren't doing work on something big enough to notice).

        The projects I work on take about 12 minutes to compile on a 7200 rpm drive; 8 on a 10k and 1 on my intel SSD. Visual Studio itself shows noticeable performance gains as well. These improvements are enough to translate to extra features in a release cycle.

        • 12 minutes to compile a visual studio project?! Have you heard people who complain that the performance gains that we should see from faster hardware are wiped out by inefficient and bloated code? If anything you are writing for a PC takes that long to compile.... I don't know what to say. And if it is for a server, haven't you heard of linked libraries? Do you have to rebuild everything at once? Why if you are only working on a few libraries. And if a change one place cascades to many places you are defini
    • Before getting excited and rushing off to buy a SATAIII SSD, bear in mind that there are currently some serious stability issues in some of the drives.

      I see ... so a problematic product means that it's the interface that's problematic? By that standard you must really computers. There have been issues with chipsets, CPUs, RAM, graphics cards, mother boards, PSUs, optical drives, sound cards, USB controllers etc.

      That doesn't mean you can't be using Slashdot of course. But there have also been problematic pho

    • I've had issues with my OCZ Agility 3 drives. OCZ has released an updated firmware, which thankfully seems to resolve many of these issues. However: For some folks putting in this firmware and fully eliminating the BOSD issue requires an involved OS fresh-install and configuration process.

    • by Rockoon (1252108)

      Before getting excited and rushing off to buy a SATAIII SSD, bear in mind that there are currently some serious stability issues in some of the drives.

      Many of the reports for OCZ that I have seen all end with "I put the machine to sleep/hibernate, and now it doesnt see the drive at all."

      Since other manufacturers also have some similar reports, the issue is almost certainly whatever is in common with all of them. A straight component failure, and didn't Intel start using someone elses controller and arent they also experiencing issues now?

    • Just fire up the "Filemon" utility and weep, there are hundreds of accesses per second in Windows, the system stresses the disk like crazy so after a few days many SSDs are pretty much fail prone, also Firefox in default setting is just hammering the disk too with its disk cache mechanisms, some firewall software are terrible in this regard also. These drives has some wear out protection in them, but jeez Windows are writing all the time to the registry and other parts of the disk. Most of my friends who sw
  • by Archangel Michael (180766) on Wednesday July 13, 2011 @12:05AM (#36744716) Journal

    What is needed is a new way of thinking about memory/storage. More "unix" like thinking where the entire Processro/Cache/RAM/SSD/HDD/Cloud/Tape concept is a singular flat memory space that is addressed as needed. Processor/Cache for instantaneous use, RAM for immediate use, SSD for near RAM fast use, HDD for occasional user, and so on. Where the files (or bits of files) that are needed often are moved closer to the Core processor as needed, automatically.

    • And every OS should be installable directly into the motherboard SSD chip. It should be as fast as the motherboard allows.

      60GB of SSD cache ought to be enough to install any OS.

      • by thomasdn (800430)

        And every OS should be installable directly into the motherboard SSD chip. It should be as fast as the motherboard allows. 60GB of SSD cache ought to be enough to install any OS.

        Problem is what to do if the SSD breaks? You have to replace your motherboard as well. Also, if some component on your motherboard breaks, you risk losing your data on SSD.

        • by elucido (870205) *

          And every OS should be installable directly into the motherboard SSD chip. It should be as fast as the motherboard allows.

          60GB of SSD cache ought to be enough to install any OS.

          Problem is what to do if the SSD breaks? You have to replace your motherboard as well. Also, if some component on your motherboard breaks, you risk losing your data on SSD.

          SSD typically will last longer than the shelf life of most motherboards. A motherboard only needs to last 5 years. SSD should last 20 years at least.

    • by Twinbee (767046)

      RAM is cheap. Let's just use that (apart from cache obviously).

  • by vsage3 (718267) on Wednesday July 13, 2011 @12:51AM (#36744942)
    I bought one of Intel's 3rd generation 80GB SSDs back in January and have had zero problems with it. No, it's not as fast as OCZ's drives, but it's reliable. Intel's failure rate is 0.6% while OCZ's is 3% (not sure if that's a per-year figure or something). Why an average user would buy primary storage with a 3% failure rate is beyond me.

    (failure rate figure comes from http://www.anandtech.com/show/4202/the-intel-ssd-510-review/3 [anandtech.com] )
      • by Skuto (171945)

        Sure, but a 3% return rate is still FIVE times as much as 0.6%.

        We're talking about storage here: data loss. Such numbers are NOT acceptable. How people still dare touch these drives is beyond me.

    • I burned through 2 OCZ Vertex 3's in like 2 weeks. One ran for a day, then was so screwed the system wouldn't power .. some sort of crazy short. So I took it back, and was lured by the speed, and replaced it with same drive. Was good, but random blue screen. Turns out their firmware is garbage for Win 7 ... supposedly you can update the firmware, but both the Windows approach (had to hook drive up to second machine, as it won't update if it's a boot drive .. WTF) and their Linux boot reported firmware was u

      • by Jeremi (14640)

        At the end of the day, my computer has to work, or I won't be able to.

        At the end of the day you should go home and relax. Don't burn yourself out!

    • by bloodhawk (813939)
      So you find 0.6% an acceptable failure rate but 3% unacceptable. both those rates suck balls for any sort of important data.
    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      Why an average user would buy primary storage with a 3% failure rate is beyond me.

      It's beyond most people. The vast majority of SSDs I've seen are not used for primary storage. They are simply too expensive to be in that service. I see them in laptops, and in desktops with the windows partition and apps installed. I've never seen a desktop with an SSD without also a standard HDD as well (though I'm sure someone somewhere thinks this is a good idea).

    • by Rockoon (1252108)
      a 3% per year failure rate would be an order-of-magnitude better than platter drives. Hell, even 3% in the first 3 months would be on par with platters.
  • by Skuto (171945) on Wednesday July 13, 2011 @01:53AM (#36745190) Homepage

    It's got a SATA-600 interface, the same Marvell controller like the Crucial m4, but it's significantly faster overall. Should be more competitive with the OCZ offerings, and it's 5 times less likely to eat your data.

  • by myspys (204685) * on Wednesday July 13, 2011 @02:57AM (#36745514) Homepage

    Howcome all 6 disks got an award? Either "recommended" or "editors choice".

    Is that the only way to keep everyone happy, and the freebies coming?

    • Because the editors are still in their heads comparing them to HDDs. It will be a few more years before the wow factor of just how fast these things are winds down and reviewers become able to compare them against each other and not the spinning media.

  • ... but why are we trying to straddle SSD onto a standard that was presumably developed for magnetic media?

    My meager understanding of the situation is that standards like SATA were developed to read and write for media with symmetric block sizes (i.e. you have to read as much data as you write at one time), with no real consideration to physical limitations such as the maximum number of writes, and with the consideration that it was difficult to map a disk to a physical memory location (e.g. due to latency)

    • by jasomill (186436)

      Ignoring the issue of compatibility with both current OSes and BIOSes, wouldn't it be best to develop a bus that is specific to SSD and is presumably closer to being directly addressed by the CPU via. contemporary OSes?

      What CPU and OSes do you have in mind? SATA and SAS interfaces are used on "non-legacy" systems that range from embedded systems to mainframes, running dozens of different operating systems, not to mention external drives with USB/FireWire bridge chipsets. Even ignoring economies of scale, "l

    • by Ster (556540)

      It's called "NVM Express [wikipedia.org]", and they're working on it [intel.com].

  • Contributing to the discussion, I recently bought an OCZ SSD 60GB Agility 3. Aware that an SSD does not give guarantees about data integrity, I use it only as HD operating system, and it fulfills this task well. And if it fails is less bad to reinstall the operating system than losing my data. (my data is in a conventional HD).

    But so far had no problems with it (installed on an Intel ICH10R controller in RAID mode, the SSD itself is not part of a RAID volume) SATA2 mode. I'm just a little disappointed wi
  • by Have Brain Will Rent (1031664) on Wednesday July 13, 2011 @01:12PM (#36751074)

    though performance does drop off as the data gets more incompressible."

    This is the real problem. Performance figures for SSD's are quoted based on highly compressible data because the SSD compresses the data before storing it thus performing fewer physical writes. Similarly for reading. This gives a highly distorted view of SSD performance. It's like saying "my car gets 200 MPG" and neglecting to say that figure is based on all downhill mileage.

    Try copying 10GB of already compressed data and the SSD results are markedly different than what the benchmarks and specifications show. IMHO if this is not clearly pointed out on SSD sales literature then it is tantamount to fraudulent advertising.

    In many cases, and for the same price, a couple of software raided hard drives will offer as good as or better performance than an SSD and with an order of magnitude more storage.

    • Yes and no. Compression is bad for incompressible data, but if your OS is reading or writting compressible data (examples: settings, text, logs, most of binaries, etc) you really have some gain in read/write performance.

      Knowing this, I am experimenting with a configuration that uses the best of all worlds: An small and affordable SSD for the operating system, two HDDs in RAID0 for installed games, documents and personal things in general, and a terabyte HDD for big things (aka,HD movies, ISOS, etc.) and
  • Why do they still advertise SSD's in cost per GB? I don't care how big the disk is, as long as it's over 30 GB (enough for my OS). Give me the cost over the speed. The speed is what I want to compare and to make a valid decision what drive to buy I'd like to know what the cost per (MB/s) is (or $s/MB). And the read speed. For the OS the write speed is (almost) irrelevant, the read speed is what matters.
    • Crucial M4 $1 per MB/s
    • OCZ Vertex 3 $1.02 per MB/s
    • OCZ Agility 3 $0.87 per MB/s
    • Corsair Force GT $0.46 per

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