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Data Storage Hardware Technology

Solid State Drives - Fast, Rugged, and Expensive 215

Nick Breen writes "Are solid state drives becoming a reality? Loyd Case over at ExtremeTech has written an article concerning the current state of SSD with a comparison between a Samsung 64GB SATA and a Super Talent 32GB SATA. While they showed impressive speed rates when placed against a hard disk drive, the occasional sporadic statistic (and high cost) indicate they're not quite ready for the mainstream. Dell and Alienware have been shipping laptops with SSDs for months now, and Apple may be rolling out one of their own next year. Is the time of the solid-state drive almost at hand? Does anyone have any first-hand, practical experience with SSD?"
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Solid State Drives - Fast, Rugged, and Expensive

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  • Huh? (Score:5, Funny)

    by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @07:05PM (#21356281)
    What exactly is a "sporadic statistic"?
  • by User 956 ( 568564 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @07:06PM (#21356303) Homepage
    Does anyone have any first-hand, practical experience with SSD?

    I know Darth Vader had his own SSD, but that's probably not what you're talking about.
  • Got one, love it (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @07:10PM (#21356351)
    I've put one 32GB 1.8" IDE SuperTalent SSD in my Thinkpad X40, to replace that ever-failing 1.8" mechanical Hitachi crap, and formatted it with Reiser4 + cryptcompress. I LOVE IT. Fast, silent, more battery life, and, best of all, reliable. It was worth every buck.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by calebt3 ( 1098475 )
      Since these drives do not have a head moving along a platter, what would be the most efficient partition format for them? It's not like the same rules apply.
      • by ewhenn ( 647989 )
        I would imagine it would be once large partition as SSDs have a cell memory, where each cell can be written to X number of times before expected failure. SSDs cycle where they write data as to not wear out one cell too quickly. If you split it into partitions, then you ahve the possibility of once partition beinge very active, but another partition not beign touched. This could lead to premature device failure, in the "overworked" part of the drive.

        At least from what I've read thats what I gather.
        • Re:Got one, love it (Score:5, Informative)

          by Abalamahalamatandra ( 639919 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @08:10PM (#21357015)
          That doesn't sound right to me - I believe, unless I'm mistaken, that the controller on the drive levels writes across the entire drive, regardless of the partitioning scheme in place.

          So even if your drive has, say, four partitions and one is written to a lot more than the others, that doesn't matter because the controller considers the entire flash space for write leveling.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by z0M6 ( 1103593 )
          No. the wear is leveled out over the whole drive so you can partition however you want to. If only to serve as some mental map like: "I want root partition to use this much space, and the swap to have this much, and then some for my document etc"
  • by RiotXIX ( 230569 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @07:18PM (#21356439) Journal
    I was going to buy a small one (15GB?) and put my linux partition on it (PC, so mobile benefits don't matter), but figured not too because of the fact that the number of times you can re-write is less. But according to "Because of these wear-leveling techniques, and the fact that a modern NAND device can sustain up to one million write cycles, the overall lifetime of an SSD can be decades. So losing capacity due to flash write cycles is probably not an issue", the option is now still back on.

    But the re-write times are twice as slow! (ok I can live with that). But the read times are a home user, WHERE is this going to benefit me? Will I notice a diffence in 'vim file' or playing/streaming music?

    I could maybe see if I were using a laptop, but I don't get how this would benefit me.

    Thanks for taking the time to answer if anyone can persuade me different.
    I might just get it for the cleanness of having a small segregated linux drive - really that's the best reason I can see.
    • by beavis88 ( 25983 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @07:20PM (#21356463)
      For me personally, the biggest benefit would be silence. My hard drives are easily the loudest part of my machines.
      • I'd be thinking in terms of speed/energy.. but the sizes are too small, and raiding these would be absolutely too expensive... It would be a good option in servers, where SAS drives are considered.. so I would expect to see an SAS interface before too long, and probably with wider adoption before we see desktop NAND drives become commonplace. Don't get me wrong, I'd love 1TB of NAND space... I think that 64GB is enough for most people's system partition though.. if I could get a 64GB NAND drive for $200
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          Performance wise, once you switch to desktops, you are able to use performance drives like Western Digital Raptor WD1500.


          Compare the Western Digital Raptor WD1500 No NCQ to the Western Digital Scorpio WD2500BEVS with NCQ (250 GB SATA). The Scorpio consumes a lot less power, but isn't that much quieter. The Raptor has about 2.5x the performance.

          SSD wins on noise and power, and the Raptor wins on price. Depending on the application, either could win in
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by zippthorne ( 748122 )
        Seriously? Not your power supply fan or heat sink fan?
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by beavis88 ( 25983 )
          Nah, not even close. All my fans are 120mm and run at 7V, making them pretty much inaudible. My power supply is a Seasonic S12 with an extremely quiet 120mm fan as well. It'll ramp up fan speed as temperature increases, but even with four disks and an 8800GT I've never been able to hear it above the disk whine.
    • by isj ( 453011 )
      I recently changed the traditional HD to a flash (sata-to-compactflash adapter from Linitx, and a 16GB extreme3 from sandisk). The benefits so far: No noise. Less power use. Much faster startup (essentially no seek time). Alle my writes usually is done on files located on NFS.
    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <> on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @07:34PM (#21356611)

      But the re-write times are twice as slow! (ok I can live with that). But the read times are a home user, WHERE is this going to benefit me? Will I notice a diffence in 'vim file' or playing/streaming music?

      Actually, if you do any sort of multitasking, you'll probably notice it's a lot "snappier" (apps load faster, switching apps doesn't seem to take so long, etc). Or if you're a typical home user with decent RAM but still have all the usual crapware loaded, WIndows won't feel so slow. Or you don't defragment your disks and let your disk get horribly fragmented...

      The deal with SSDs is that they can manage their peak datarates all the time. With disks, the smaller the I/O transfer, the slower the disk becomes. If you have a disk with a 5ms seek time, you're limited to 20 I/Os per second. If you read maybe 16 sectors each (8kiB), it means your disk throughput is on the order of... 160kiB/sec. Seeks are taking a lot of time compared to the actual time it takes to read the disk.

      An SSD has negligible seek time, so reading those 160kiB off an SSD won't take noticably longer than reading 160kiB in one read (the overhead of doing the transaction over the ATA bus is the biggest overhead).

      You won't use an SSD if you need high throughput, where you're basically doing huge writes or huge reads (i.e., media center media disks, video capture/production, etc). But a home user that's doing a lot of little random I/O will notice that the entire system feels "snappier" as the I/O is mostly seek-bound, not throughput-bound (small I/O). This applies as time goes on as most people don't defragment their disks (you don't have to, or should, with an SSD, since wear-levelling may still not put it contiguously on the flash media), so even a heavily fragmented disk will still feel fast with an SSD.
    • by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @07:53PM (#21356827)

      WHERE is this going to benefit me?
      Did you look at the "real world" benchmark results []? The Samsung SSD drive destroyed the traditional drive by 400%-500% in 6 tests (including OS startup, app loading, gaming) and was about equal in the other two (media center and video editing).

      Unless you know of some special reason why sustained write speed is critical, you should probably be looking more closely at access time, where SSD blows mechanical drives out of the water.

      No doubt, mechanical drives still rule capacity/price, but with the growth rates of the two technologies over the past several years, SSD could take over soon.

      • Yes I agree. My reserach shows that, in relation to price, the annual improvement over three years for flash comes in at 109% whereas for hard disks over the same period the figure is only 35% []

        This means, if the two trends continue over time, it will actually become hard to justify buying a hard disk instead of flash, especially the smaller ones the cost a lot more per gig.
      • Hmm, running HDTach on my system, I get 100MB/s average read speed, with a burst speed over 200MB/s. That's 200%-400% of the reported results for SSDs.

        Of course, it's a RAID0 array with 2 reasonably fast drives in it, but it's still much much much cheaper than what SSDs are running these days.

    • But the read times are a home user, WHERE is this going to benefit me? Will I notice a diffence in 'vim file' or playing/streaming music?

      If you are one of those home users whose computer only accesses a single file at a time on the perfectly defragmented HDD, then no, you probably wouldn't see much difference.

      Dan East
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by GoofyBoy ( 44399 )
      Database Servers.
    • by dbIII ( 701233 )
      I'm too lazy to set it up myself so have the question: are there any distros that use a flash file system by default and get cron and various others to leave the filesystem alone most of the time?
    • by bfields ( 66644 )
      Traditional drives average over 10ms to seek from one part of the disk to another. Those seeks can add up fast for something like application startup--where you're reading in the executable, a bunch of libraries, probably some configuration files, the data for it to work on, etc., all of it probably scattered all over the disk. So it's not surprising that application and OS startup are two tests where they found these drives were a big win....
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I had a Dell D430 with the SanDisk 32GB SSD and the performance was abysmal. It was so bad that I replaced it with a standard 1.8" drive. Installing Windows itself took 3 times longer! Dell replaced the drive after I reported the problem and still no dice. There seems to be a significant problem with write performance, read performance was decent but not worth the 2-3x cost difference. I can't tell if SSD's just aren't ready yet or if Dell is just really bad at systems integration and testing before product
    • by torkus ( 1133985 )
      ULV procs...going to slow you down regardless. You also might be missing key drivers or something.

      I've got a D420 in front of me (haven't snagged a '30 to trade up yet) with the 32GB SSD and it's great. No, it's not as fast as the D630 in proc-heavy work but it's great for general office use. Ever try to delete a crap-ton of emails from a multi-GB PST file and then compact it? way less painful now :)

      I have to say the D430 behaves better (faster) with the SSD and battery life is at least somewhat impro
  • I use them (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lord Ender ( 156273 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @07:22PM (#21356487) Homepage
    Both my home server and several systems in use at work boot from compactflash drives. Our production servers run Ubuntu LTS, and are basically VMware Server boxes--the actual apps run off of guest OSs that live on the 6TB RAID-6s on each server.

    All in all, I've had seven servers running off of SSDs for about eight months, and they have worked like a charm. I never have to worry about getting paged due to the inevitable mechanical failure of magnetic drives.

    Also, SSDs are NOT expensive! A CF-to-IDE adapter costs $15, and a 2GB CF card costs about $30. Two gigabytes is more than enough to boot an OS and start a RAID. Don't waste your money on a 64GB CF card. The CF+RAID hybrid approach is the way to go.
    • by fm6 ( 162816 )
      OK, the cost is small, but even so, is it really worth it? What you get in return for your investment is systems that boot faster, and a small savings in power. Is there really any reason you need to be able to boot your servers in 30 seconds instead of 3 minutes?

      I suppose the power issue is important if you're taking the "turn off that light if you're not using it!" approach to the global warming crisis. Not sure that's a good approach, though.
      • laptops, dummy (Score:5, Interesting)

        by DreadSpoon ( 653424 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @08:16PM (#21357091) Journal
        There's a reason that these things are commercialls available only in laptops right now. In a laptop, you boot up a lot (or resume from hibernation a lot, which is equally disk-intensive), so disk seek and read times are incredibly important. Plus, power savings are a huge benefit when you're running a system that has a limited power source. The SSDs generate less heat, which is also hugely important when all your circuitry is compacted into the smallest amount of space possibility, and it allows either for the system to be cooler (hot laptops suck, even typing on them can be uncomfortable) or allow for other components like the CPU and RAM to be sped up since they get a greater share of the system's safe heat generation capacity. The reduced noise is great - try being in a meeting with 20 laptops all with fans whirring away. Finally, the greater lifetime of an SSD (modern hard disks fails way sooner than a modern SSD will, in general) means that the machine doesn't need a new disk with a new OS install and possibly a bunch of lost data on anywhere near as frequent a basis.

        Less power and less noise are good for servers and desktops, and the faster seek times can really make a different in performance for many common workloads, but the biggest benefit of SSD is that they make laptops suck way less.
        • by fm6 ( 162816 )
          My post was stupid because I neglected to note that the parent post mentioned the mechanical advantage of an SSD in a high-available server. But yours is even more stupid, since you failed to even register that we were talking about servers!

          Believe it or not, the advantages of an SSD in a portable computer have occurred to me.I've actually considered getting an SSD for my tablet. But there are too many technical, cost, and reliability issues. In particular, there's the limited number of write cycles you can
          • Yeah, I failed to notice you were replying to a post about servers. So, since you asked...

            Server heat generation is a HUGE problem in large server farms. Cooling and heat shielding between dense server racks cost a lot of money, and failure to handle the cooling and insulation can cause hardware death on a pretty massive scale. Having just gone through the pain of upgrading a data center that was growing fast and packing more and more hardware into a smaller and smaller amount of space, I can attest to t
    • $45 can get you an 80GB hard drive if you shop around. They're not 'expensive' they're expensive by comparison.
      • When an OS only needs 2GB, why on earth would I want to "shop around" for a less reliable drive that is inferior in every practical way?
    • What brand CF cards do you use? I've had varying luck (Sandisk good, Transcend won't boot) and am looking for reliable cards.
    • I use a CF for the disk on a router that I built. The cost of the adapter and card were about what you mentioned. The I/O performance, however, is really abysmal. Much slower than a magnetic hard drive. Doesn't really matter for my application, though, since just about everything is done in RAM.
    • by drsmithy ( 35869 )

      Also, SSDs are NOT expensive! A CF-to-IDE adapter costs $15, and a 2GB CF card costs about $30. Two gigabytes is more than enough to boot an OS and start a RAID. Don't waste your money on a 64GB CF card. The CF+RAID hybrid approach is the way to go.

      I'm confused as to where the benefit is here. Given the extra people-time involved in your custom-build CF card setup, there's not going to be any cost-savings over just having the server ship from the factory preconfigured with two drives in RAID1 - and all t

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Lord Ender ( 156273 )
        Well, the CF fits directly into the motherboard, freeing up two more slots in the case for the RAID. Also, we spec'd the servers and ordered them from a local business, which built them for us. Buying through our "official" lines would have cost quadruple the price. It cost us no extra time because nobody would have sold us a preconfigured Ubuntu LTS server anyway... at least not with the kind of hardware we required.

        There's also the inherent awesomeness of booting from flash.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jon287 ( 977520 )
      I do the same trick. I've had more than 300 systems running for around 3.5 years, both read only and read write with plain old ext3. Not a single cf card has failed. Nearly 1/5 of all the rotating disks we've delployed in the same time frame have either failed completely of shown some sort of strange behavior or smartd error. Booting off the cf card leaves us with enough system after the mechanical disk fails to tell us what has gone wrong without an expensive truck roll.

      It is true that eventually cf cards
  • by What the Frag ( 951841 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @07:23PM (#21356499) Journal
    > Does anyone have any first-hand, practical experience with SSD?
    Yes. Transcendent 4GB 266x Compact Flash card, fast, silent, installed Ubuntu 7.04, currently 1.4 GB free.
    Price for the card + card to ide bridge was about two 80GB HDD drives.

    Only problem was that I had to make my own drive mount first, because all I got was a board with a Compact Flash slot and a IDE connector.

    If you are happy with a few GB of disk space, go for it. If you want to store big amount of data, wait. The price will fall.
    • by Corf ( 145778 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @08:10PM (#21357023) Journal
      I am currently typing this on one of them newfangled Asus Eee PCs. 4gb worth of Hynix HY27UG088G5M chips through a Silicon Motion SM223 controller. The only moving parts on this thing are the keys and this near-worthless little sideways-blowing fan. It's fast, reliable, shock-resistant, and pretty durn cheap.

      Specs [].

  • Like Digital Cameras (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JonathanR ( 852748 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @07:25PM (#21356529)
    I think solid state drives will be like digital cameras. The price and usability (read size) will appear not to be mainstream enough, that is, until you've just made that "big" investment in the latest incarnation of the superseded technology.

    It happened to me. I bought a new (not that expensive) film SLR about 18 months prior to digital cameras having sufficient resolution/cost ratio to supersede film for everyday use. Coming from a generation where cameras tend to last almost a lifetime (having been used to my father's Minolta SR-T 101, purchased about the time I was born). The concept of a camera becoming almost obsolete in that short timeframe was a bit annoying, at the time.
    • Unfortunately (or fortunately?), technology is moving so quickly that equipment just manufactured is already obsolete due to the next revision already reaching production grade at that point. While it sucks from a consumer standpoint, from a human species perspective it kicks ass.
  • First hand (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @07:28PM (#21356549)
    I have first hand experience with SSDs as I have bought one of the Samsung 64 GB SATA SSDs. In terms of writing performance, they're approximately on par with regular hard disks, as far as I can tell. Disk reads, however, are very good. To give you a vague idea of the read speed, Windows XP on this drive boots to login screen without the black logo screen appearing at all. Additionally, for those who are interested, here's what Linux's hdparm has to say about it:

    # hdparm -tT /dev/sda1 /dev/sda1:
      Timing cached reads: 7352 MB in 2.00 seconds = 3679.72 MB/sec
      Timing buffered disk reads: 168 MB in 3.01 seconds = 55.86 MB/sec
  • by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @07:29PM (#21356563)
    It just boggles my mind how modern solid-state electronics organized for parallel I/O can be less than a factor of 10 times faster than an inherently serial and decidedly ancient-sounding "mechanically moved heads over a magnetized spinning disk" approach.
    What the heck is going on here?
  • We've been testing DRAM based SSDs ( for a while. Very fast. They don't suffer the issues of flash based SSDs but they come at a much higher cost. A single drive an saturate any interconnect you'll find on the mass market right now. The neat thing about the Tigi drives is that they actually run Linux on the drive so it's easy to change interface type or even put applications on the drives themselves.

    • I was interested in checking out the company's website, but the link you provided led me to a site for "Tigi bedhead manipulators." I'm not sure what those are, but I'm pretty sure they don't have anything to do with DRAM-based SSDs. Got a better link? Or did the site disappear?
      • Hrmm.... I'll have to check on that. I'd say someone screwed up. I just talked to the President the other day so I know they are around.
  • And, the MTBF is.. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by eniac42 ( 1144799 )
    I am not saying it is not good, its just the idea of storing data as a few electrons of static charge on the input gate of a MOSFET (or WhatEver-FET) for a few years bothers me. Call me old fashioned..
  • by BUL2294 ( 1081735 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @07:42PM (#21356711)
    Basically the reviews on Anandtech [] & Tom's Hardware [] have drawn some interesting conclusions... In terms of write performance, some are significantly worse than most notebook HDs, but all are better in terms of read performance. The idle of SATA SSD drives are significantly worse than UDMA ones (0.5w vs. 0.05w).

    Basically, do your research... How much speed you'll get depends on how they bank the flash chips. More banks of lower density chips will yield a higher transfer rate--but uses more power. (Good luck finding how any one brand of SSD drive is banked...) Tom's Hardware found that the Samsung 64GB SSD offered double the transfer rate than their 32GB SSD. Anandtech found the Transcend & Super Talent SSD's to be extremely weak offerings. But then again Anandtech found the MTRON 32GB SSD far superior to most other drives they tested.

    Basically SSD drives help with bootup times but in mixed tests, only the MTRON SSD drives are near Raptor speed, but I found only one retailer that even sells them--and a 32GB one for $2336.95 []!!!
  • SSDs (Score:4, Informative)

    by phoophy ( 1189235 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @07:49PM (#21356771)
    Been using arrays of 4 and 8 32GB SSDs as both RAID0 and RAID5, off hardware RAID controllers and as Linux softraid, to push seek time to near 0 and throughput as far as possible. Bottom line is, they're significantly faster than "real" disks. We've found MTrons to be faster than Samsungs, generally 20 to 40%, and the MTron seek times are significantly better (they probably don't write-balance check as often under heavy usage). Only reliability problems I had were with another brand (neither Samsung nor MTron).
  • Because of these wear-leveling techniques, and the fact that a modern NAND device can sustain up to one million write cycles, the overall lifetime of an SSD can be decades. So losing capacity due to flash write cycles is probably not an issue.

    Anybody know how these really differ from the older counterparts that are in say my Sansa e280? I've already worn out a couple sectors on it in under a year, which annoys the hell out of me. Although that might have just been SanDisk creating a drive that will run
  • Give me RAM (Score:3, Insightful)

    by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @08:06PM (#21356975) Journal
    All I have to say is screw NAND. Give me some DDR RAM-based hard drive... Ridiculously fast, very low power, no possible questions about lifetime. Perhaps even the possibility of just swapping out one failed SODIMM instead of scrapping the whole drive, is quite enticing.

    I've been using Flash longer than most... From wiring minuscule capacity EEPROMs into embedded circuits, to squeezing OSes down to 8MBs for firewalls. Floppies are a no-go for important systems.

    They're low power, quiet, and have high speed seeking, but I don't really care. What I want most in a drive is seriously high throughput... That probably means RAM, with a battery back-up. In the mean time, HDDs keep getting faster and quieter.

    • by Eugene ( 6671 )
      you need electricity to keep DRAM refreshed.. so it's certainly not that low power.

      and I had use Gigabyte's i-RAM before, hot as hell.
      • you need electricity to keep DRAM refreshed.. so it's certainly not that low power.

        Sure it is. Keeping DRAM refreshed requires, what, about 1watt? What's more, though, I believe it costs you less energy on writes than NAND, so depending on the workload, it could be a better option.

        and I had use Gigabyte's i-RAM before, hot as hell.

        Not sure what to say about that. 4 PC-266 DIMMs shouldn't get seriously hot. Perhaps the PCI form factor just means that you had it stuffed in a very tight spot, with little o

    • The product you are looking for is called the "ram san." Texas Memory Systems makes it.

  • by rHBa ( 976986 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @08:13PM (#21357055)
    I was wondering if anyone can answer a simple(?) question: Can data be recovered from an SSD after it has been overwritten once? i.e If I'm disposing of an SSD with sensitive data on it do I have to run secure erasing software to make multiple/random writes to every sector?
  • by Tracy Reed ( 3563 ) <[gro.teloivartlu] [ta] [deert]> on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @08:40PM (#21357261) Homepage
    And I really like it. This laptop is great. I have a desktop with dual 24" displays for doing work so I don't need a laptop for that. What I do need is something ultra-portable to do email, read slashdot, occasional ssh into a remote machine while on the road, terminal into a box while at the datacenter, etc. And this thing fits the bill. The solid state disk has caused no problems so far but allows things like 10 second boot times and no noise and little heat. The prices of SSD will come down, the densities will go up, and SSD drives will proliferate.
  • by barre ( 48638 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @09:01PM (#21357473) Homepage
    I've been using a Sandisk 32 GB SSD on a Dell Latitude D630 running Vista for about 3 months now. This wasn't cheap, and even with an early adopter mindset, this is a big disappointment; it does indeed reads much faster (about 30 times), but writes at least 3 times slower than the same D630 running a SATA. My typical usage involved web/email, Microsoft Office, photography/photoshop, compiling large projects, etc.

    Quiet is great, more battery is fine, and I hardly ever reboot using Vista almost instant-sleep feature, but installing software or writing large files is *painful*. Moreover, you should plan for a lot of physical memory: you do *not* want to see your system paging for virtual memory.

    Now maybe Vista is to blame, but the whole system will hang now and then for 10 secs or more. Is it indexing something, writing whatever system logs to disk, who knows, but a a few other users have reported the same issue with this SSD on Dell forums. No driver update has been released either since the SSD option was out. This is also probably not coincidental that SSD vendors emphasize read speed but remain somehow quiet about the write speed (or lack thereof).

    I, for one, am switching back to a 7200 RPM SATA. This is *not* ready for prime time, even if Samsung claims slightly better write speed on its 64 GB; *do* check the user forums (say, Dell), and you will find a lot of frustrated users. This was worth a shot, and I'll eventually consider that technology again in 10 months.

    Hope this helps
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by gillbates ( 106458 )

      Now maybe Vista is to blame, but the whole system will hang now and then for 10 secs or more.

      No, that's the Windows Vista Minus Pack - first introduced on Windows 98, the Minus Pack includes assorted features such as:

      1. Hang Computer for 10 seconds for no reason. (Much improved since Windows 98, where it was only 2 seconds - a fivefold improvement!)
      2. UAAM - Use All Available Memory. Get what you paid for! Use all of the memory you bought - Windows Vista will ensure that it uses all of your memory.
      3. Manda
  • Puppy Linux (Score:3, Insightful)

    by flyingfsck ( 986395 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @09:20PM (#21357705)
    Puppy Linux runs nicely on small USB memory sticks of 128MB and up. A 1GB memory stick make a beautiful system. You really don't need umpteen gazillion gigabytes of storage space for a PC.
  • [] []

    It takes 20 seconds to boot to the desktop, half of that is the time before it actually starts booting from the disk (gray apple).

  • The infamous bug in Ubuntu destroyed the magnetic disk drive in my Fujitsu P7230. I replaced the failing drive with a 16GB Samsung SSD that I bouht on Newegg for $200. I'm usually very conservative and cautious in my technology purchases, but this time I went out on a limb.

    After a month or so of using the SSD, I can say it is a success. I don't need much space on my laptop, just room for the OS. I no longer have to worry so much about dropping my laptop. The already incredible battery life of the P7230 is e
  • I love my SSD! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by lumbricus ( 936846 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @11:15PM (#21358919)
    I agree with TFA that SSD is most useful if you need the ruggedness and the read speed. I have a 16GB Samsung 1.8" SSD in my fujitsu P1510D. It's a marriage made in heaven! I am a Biologist, and use my P1510 in the field. The SSD gives piece of mind, one less thing to go wrong. In fact, almost right after I swapped in my SSD, I (yes accidentally) dropped my computer about three feet to the floor. After checking to see that screen and case wasn't cracked, I just knew it was fine, and of course it booted right up. I also work in some high altitude locations, and I find the the machine boots at higher altitudes now. (perhaps hard drives cut out at high altitude because there's not enough air to keep the head off the platter?) Finally, the P1510 uses hard to find and extremely expensive micro-DIMMs, so upgrading the memory is prohibitively expensive. That was my biggest gripe with the little machine, it was slow because I couldn't get the 1GB it really needs. This, coupled with the incredibly slow 1.8" hard drive made it kind of annoying. I still can't do much about upgrading RAM, but the read speed of the SSD allows me to just close applications, and re-open them when I need them (nearly instantaneously), so I never have more than two applications open at a time. The most telling test I've done is with Allway Sync, which I use to synchronize the files on my little laptop with my desktop. Running "Analyze" (version checking files) on my home folder used to take about about a minute, now with the SSD it's somewhere between 10-15 seconds. Sure, I wouldn't put it on a MySQL server or the like, but for my laptop, the whole experience is just so much better. I would recommend one to anyone who can use the ruggedness and read speed.
  • Back around 1998 we tried using 1GB SSD's for database indexes, with the rest of the DB using standard drives. Was pretty good, however very expensive. Normal drives are much faster now, and in-memory databases like Polyhedra and Times Ten are pretty good for the same function at a much lower cost, but glad to see them comming in now.
  • Is it? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Frozen Void ( 831218 ) on Thursday November 15, 2007 @04:01AM (#21360859) Homepage
    A year of Solid State Disk on Desktop?

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford