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Samsung 256GB SSD is World's Fastest 190

i4u submitted one of many holiday weekend slow news day stories which starts "Samsung Electronics announced today the world's fastest, 2.5", 256GB multi-level cell (MLC) based solid state drive (SSD) using a SATA II interface. Performance data of the new Samsung 256GB SSD features a sequential read speed of 200 megabytes per second (MB/s) and sequential write speed of 160MB/s. The Samsung MLC-based 2.5-inch 256GB SSD is about 2.4 times faster than a typical HDD. Furthermore, the new 256 GB SSD is only 9.5 millimeters (mm) thick, and measures 100.3x69.85 mm. Samsung is expected to begin mass producing the 2.5-inch, 256GB SSD by year end, with customer samples available in September. A 256GB capacity is getting large enough to replace hard-drives for good — now just the prices just need to come down further for large capacity SSDs."
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Samsung 256GB SSD is World's Fastest

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  • Summary (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mark Trade ( 172948 ) on Monday May 26, 2008 @09:04AM (#23543625)
    Don't buy any other similar products. Ours will come out Really Soon (TM). At least we hope so.
  • by billcopc ( 196330 ) <> on Monday May 26, 2008 @09:08AM (#23543657) Homepage
    I like the idea of the SSD, but I think they need to concentrate on lowering costs down to earth before flaunting their capacity achievements. Hell, any monkey can build a 500-TB mega-RAID stripe with a large enough budget.

    When this SSD is cheap enough that I can buy 3-4 of them and stripe that into a bus-raping powerhouse, for less than a mortgage payment, then we'll talk.
  • by Sascha J. ( 803853 ) on Monday May 26, 2008 @09:14AM (#23543699) Homepage Journal
    If the SSD's price only increases very slightly with greatly increasing capacity, they already lowered the cost.

    Also, it doesn't help to have cheap 32GB SSDs when nobody buys them and you can't really launch into mass production because you are stuck with a niche market. To drive down the price you need to be able to produce them en mass and in order to do that you need to catch up (or outstrip) existing technology.
  • Well, since the technology isn't developed, is it really that surprising that we read a story about 'Worlds Fastest' every couple weeks?

    Solid State Drives for computers? They aren't really out of beta!
  • by Aenoxi ( 946506 ) on Monday May 26, 2008 @09:21AM (#23543763)
    I fully agree with your conclusion that capacity is king for moist consumers, but... ...this is a 2.5 inch drive.

    I'd like to subscribe to your reality if it has Terabyte-sized 2.5 inch drives. Where do I sign up?
  • by wamatt ( 782485 ) * on Monday May 26, 2008 @09:22AM (#23543769)
    Remember the intended target market is the laptop crowd. 256GB is big enough to compete nicely. When it comes with those sort of performance figures, it's a no brainer if you have the money.

    The current largest widely available 7200rpm is only 200GB. The majority of notebooks ship with 200GB of HD space.
  • by Daniel Phillips ( 238627 ) on Monday May 26, 2008 @09:25AM (#23543793)

    Solid State Drives for computers? They aren't really out of beta!
    400,000 eee PCs say you're wrong.
  • by jht ( 5006 ) on Monday May 26, 2008 @09:25AM (#23543795) Homepage Journal
    I dunno - I think once you hit that kind of capacity you can pretty much own the notebook market. Right now, mainstream notebook disk sizes are in the 160-250GB size range, with 320 generally available and I believe 500 GB drives are just starting to arrive. Most notebooks aren't at the high end of capacity, though.

    I don't think SSD will make an impact in desktops anytime soon, but if I can put an SSD in my notebook and gain a little speed, some battery life, and better shock resistance without giving up any serious capacity (heck, my 2-month-old MacBook Pro has a 250GB HDD in it right now), depending on the price differential I'll probably be all over it.

    Also worth thinking about (though it's not in the submitter's link) - I read a couple of releases on this drive yesterday, and though they aren't giving production prices yet they claim that multi-level cells will make it cheaper than the older models. Between that and the natural speed of price cuts, this drive may be at competitive HD pricing levels sooner than we expect. If I can get a 256GB SSD at a 25% price premium to a HDD of the same size (like you suggest), I think it would be pretty much a no-brainer. That 250GB HDD is only about $150 or so - maybe even less.
  • 256gigs is a lot (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FudRucker ( 866063 ) on Monday May 26, 2008 @09:27AM (#23543805)
    I don't requires that much disk storage space, I could get by on 40 gigs and 80 would never run out of disk space for my purposes, make an 80 gig SSD that would sell for less than 200 USD and I will use my disk platters for target practice...
  • by amorsen ( 7485 ) <> on Monday May 26, 2008 @09:30AM (#23543833)

    For most consumers, capacity is king, not speed.
    For most consumers, price is king. Not price per gigabyte, just price. The only thing most consumers might need more than 32GB for is video -- and flash is almost as cheap as hard disks in the 32GB 2 1/2" segment.
  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Monday May 26, 2008 @09:34AM (#23543859) Homepage
    Uh, the last SSD review I saw that had considerably worse specs than this just barely came behind the VelociRaptor in the random write tests. Unless you've got a special disk trashing benchmark to make SSDs look bad, I'm fairly sure this wins on all counts. In fact, 20 random writes/sec sounds more like trolling than insigthful to me...
  • by ozamosi ( 615254 ) on Monday May 26, 2008 @09:36AM (#23543873) Homepage
    I bought a new 120GB 2.5" disc last week - 256GB is "large enough" for now - if only the price was low enough...
  • by __aamnbm3774 ( 989827 ) on Monday May 26, 2008 @09:45AM (#23543931)
    you're probably right.

    but just like CD's are cheaper to produce than cassettes, that doesn't mean the cost will ever come down.
  • by cecil_turtle ( 820519 ) on Monday May 26, 2008 @10:17AM (#23544197)

    For most consumers, capacity is king, not speed.
    I don't know how you qualify "most consumers", but "sufficient capacity" is all most consumers need, after which price and speed absolutely do come into play. For most people 40GB is still sufficient capacity. Only people who download or rip very large amounts of music or movies need more than that, and that is pretty far from "most consumers" - your 14 year old son who tries to download every movie he's never heard of isn't "most consumers". Not to mention that IO speed is the performance limiting factor on pretty much every consumer PC nowadays, CPUs have been fast enough for a couple of years now.

    SSDs and spinning disks can still co-exist - in a year or two you will be able to run your OS and programs on a 100GB-200GB SSD and go buy a 2TB disk or 5TB array to store your data on that is less performance critical.
  • Re:MLC, not SLC. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 26, 2008 @10:21AM (#23544237)
    Post your on a site somewhere and submit to Slashdot then if you've uncovered this evil conspiracy of flash drive-life. Otherwise I'll just go ahead assuming that you're full of shit.
  • by kipman725 ( 1248126 ) on Monday May 26, 2008 @10:25AM (#23544273)
    they have come down a blank cd can be had for less than a pence if you buy in large enough quantities. It's just not viable to sell CD's at less than the cost of transportation in individual quantities.
  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Monday May 26, 2008 @10:34AM (#23544395) Journal

    $19,200 for a 640 GB Hard Drive
    We all know that's more expensive than computer storage has ever been before.


    And if hard disk storage had ever been that expensive, it would have meant the abandonment of the hard disk technology forever.

  • by oztemprom ( 953519 ) on Monday May 26, 2008 @10:41AM (#23544463)
    this flash type memory is not being incorporated into existing platter based HDDs? It would seem to me that a few (read 8 - 64) GBs of flash memory coupled to a .5 to 1 TB standard HDD would be a great easy to use product.
  • Apples to Celery (Score:4, Insightful)

    by benhattman ( 1258918 ) on Monday May 26, 2008 @11:09AM (#23544715)
    You can't just compare different markets. As another poster said, you can buy CD-R for less than a penny each. What you are referring to is how record companies have used the lower medium price to make an even larger profit off of the content.

    However, how does an oligopoly selling copyrighted content compare to a commodity market? Basic economics tells you they don't, and you can count on one of two things happening. A) SSD prices fall in line with hard drives. Or B) hard drive capacity moves beyond the needs of most consumers and SSD takes up that niche while being only marginally more expensive per GB than hard drives.
  • by benhattman ( 1258918 ) on Monday May 26, 2008 @11:19AM (#23544809)
    Mod parent up.

    We are far past the point where the average consumer cares very much about capacity. What do you think they are going to do with 2 terabytes? Unless you are talking about someone who is frequently downloading movies and the like, I don't see how they would use that content. OK, there are probably a handful of people who are doing their own hi-def video editing or processing the output of large sensor arrays, but in what would do you define these guys as "most consumers?"

    The reality is SSD doesn't have to come anywhere near the price of hard drives. It just needs to provide enough capacity (256-512 GB today) at a reasonable price. If you tell a consumer they can get a regular old hard drive, or pay 10% more for a SSD that doesn't fail when dropped and runs way faster, a lot of regular consumers will pony up for that.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 26, 2008 @11:38AM (#23544979)
    That type of functionality can be put into a filesystem.

    Is this raw access, or over a filesystem? If it's the former, you have a benchmark which doesn't mean much in the real world. If the latter, which filesystem was used?

    Choosing the wrong filesystem type will indeed get you non-optimal performance.
  • by Daniel Phillips ( 238627 ) on Monday May 26, 2008 @04:06PM (#23547843)

    if I have a SSD I want to use the main memory for either HD io caching or programs. Caching disk blocks from the fast SSD in main memory seems suboptimal
    Bandwidth to the SSD is 300 MB/sec (sata 2) while bandwidth to main memory is more than 10 GB/sec, 33 times faster.
  • Re:BAARF (Score:4, Insightful)

    by WuphonsReach ( 684551 ) on Monday May 26, 2008 @05:32PM (#23548623)
    I've read that RAID 3/4/5 is unreliable. As capacities grow, it takes longer to reconstruct a new spare from the surviving drives when one dies. In fact, BAARF contends that capacities have grown to the point that it's likely that another drive will fail during reconstruction. Are there any big drawbacks to RAID 6?

    RAID6 is a far better option then RAID5. At least it makes it less likely that you'll end up with a double-drive failure that takes out the entire array.

    OTOH, the failure mode of both RAID5 and RAID6 leaves a lot to be desired. Rebuild time increases linearly as you add more disks to the array. So a 10+ RAID5/RAID6 array can have huge rebuild times, leaving you vulnerable for a lot longer. As in half a day or longer to rebuild the array (or at least a few hours).

    Personally, my preference is the more conservative RAID10 approach. Rebuild times are based on the size of an individual disk in the array (not the total array size), which means your vulnerability window is a lot smaller. And depending on luck, you can survive a multi-disk failure. Rebuild times are typically under 2 hours for arrays that are based on 300-500GB drives.

    (My preference is to have 1 spare disk for every 6-8 drives in the array. So a 12 disk RAID10 array would probably be RAID10 over 10 disks with the other two as spares.)
  • Smart controllers (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Monday May 26, 2008 @09:59PM (#23550733) Homepage
    If you fix things so that every 2Kb block on the disk can be remapped then those 2Kb writes can mostly be tagged onto the end of recently erased blocks, no erase needed.

    (In practice NTFS usually uses 4Kb blocks so you'd optimize for that but the argument stands...)

    This would also help a lto with wear levelling, etc. as you'd write the entire disk in a round-robin fashion, remapping blocks as you go.

    The controller would need static RAM to hold the remapping table but that's no big deal these days.

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