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Data Storage

Four SSDs Compared — OCZ, Super Talent, Mtron 206

MojoKid writes "Solid State Drive technology is set to turn the storage industry on its ear — eventually. It's just a matter of time. When you consider the intrinsic benefits of anything built on solid-state technology versus anything mechanical, it doesn't take a degree in physics to understand the obvious advantages. However, as with any new technology, things take time to mature and the current batch of SSDs on the market do have some caveats and shortcomings, especially when it comes to write performance. This full performance review and showcase of four different Solid State Disks, two MLC-based and two SLC-based, gives a good perspective of where SSDs currently are strong and where they're not. OCZ, Mtron and Super Talent drives are tested here but Intel's much anticipated offering hasn't arrived to market just yet."
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Four SSDs Compared — OCZ, Super Talent, Mtron

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  • by tjstork ( 137384 ) <todd DOT bandrowsky AT gmail DOT com> on Friday September 05, 2008 @10:51AM (#24888313) Homepage Journal

    You know, we keep talking about solid state as its better because there are no moving parts, and less wear, but chips and circuits have plenty of moving electrons and go through a lot of thermal stress. I know that for a lot of applications a circuit can seem to be more reliable, but do we really have a sufficient experience to make such a sweeping statement that in fact solid state is more -reliable- than a mechanical system? There are some steam trains out there that are running and are over 100 years old... do we really think that a CPU or a RAM or a motherboard can live that long?

  • Oh For God's Sake (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SQL Error ( 16383 ) on Friday September 05, 2008 @10:53AM (#24888335)

    Yet another SSD review by clueless PC dweebs.

    The whole point of SSDs is that they have no moving parts, so they don't have the seek time and rotational latency of spinning disks. That translates into faster random access. As the review says:

    What was absolutely impressive however, were the random access and seek times, along with the benefits that come with them and Solid State Storage in general.

    So what do they measure? Sequential transfer rates.


  • by ShieldW0lf ( 601553 ) on Friday September 05, 2008 @10:55AM (#24888351) Journal
    They gave him a bunch of free drives to play with. Therefore, they are better. Don't you understand how these reviews work?
  • by Neon Spiral Injector ( 21234 ) on Friday September 05, 2008 @10:57AM (#24888387)

    I had a 286 laptop with MS-DOS in ROM.

  • Re:Disagree (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ngarrang ( 1023425 ) on Friday September 05, 2008 @11:08AM (#24888541) Journal

    Someone wake me up when there's a 1TB SSD for $250 that can do unlimited rewrite ops.

    Um, even mechanical hard drives cannot promise unlimited rewrite ops. Maybe you want lower your sights jut a tad?

  • by maxume ( 22995 ) on Friday September 05, 2008 @11:24AM (#24888751)

    Are those steam trains really running with 100 year old parts?

    Or do you regularly go in and maintain the various components of you hard drives?

  • by ericspinder ( 146776 ) on Friday September 05, 2008 @11:29AM (#24888817) Journal

    As soon as the price per GB of SSDs is at parity with the magnetic drives, I'm switching.

    Actual price parity will likely only occur once the older technology become a rarity, and I suspect that for the next decade, magnetic drives will continue to be the cheapest mass storage out there. That being said, for me, I'll buy a SSD when I can get a decently rated 120 gig drive for less than $150.

  • Re:Disagree (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gewalt ( 1200451 ) on Friday September 05, 2008 @11:43AM (#24888993)

    Someone wake me up when there's a 1TB SSD for $250 that can do unlimited rewrite ops.

    Let me guess, you want a car's drivetrain to promise "unlimited mileage" and your homes A/C refrigerant to promise "unlimited compression/decompression cycles".
    I hate to be the one to break it to you, but words like "unlimited" are marketing words only. EVERYTHING is limited and finite. In this case, consumer protection laws state that 7 years of normal usage is long enough to be considered "lifetime" or "infinite" or "unlimited" and all sorts of other key words and tricky phrases.

    Those mechanical drives you are comparing SSDs to? They don't offer "unlimited rewrites" except in the marketing sense. 7 years of normal usage. In that same sense, SSDs are already offering unlimited rewrites as they have enough rewrite cycles to last 7 years of normal usage. Just like the mechanical drives.

  • by Courageous ( 228506 ) on Friday September 05, 2008 @12:00PM (#24889243)

    You're not the first person to think of such a thing. Problem is: it's pretty risky.

    Most high end RAID controllers do this already, if you set to write-back. But they also have big batteries attached to them, and even then, you have something like 24 hours to power back on or total system corruption can occur. This means that mentioned systems must be affirmatively managed.

    Can you imagine what a hassle this would be for the HD makers, particularly in the notebook use case? It would be a never ending chain of angry users blaming the HD maker for their data loss...

    I think the right place to do this is way up in the OS, with a file system that is aware of the issues of small page commits to these devices, and therefore doing some kind of page-coalescence thing. Sun's ZFS can do this. Now we just need something over in consumer space.


  • by Awptimus Prime ( 695459 ) on Friday September 05, 2008 @12:56PM (#24889959)

    Speaking of handicaps and stalls, isn't that exactly what's going to happen to many of these 1st- and 2nd-generation SSD drives when they reach their maximum # of write cycles and suddenly fail to be writable anymore?

    Just like SATA and SCSI drives, it will just build up bad sectors as the system tries to write information, resulting in a "shrinking" drive.

    It is actually much less likely this type of storage device will have a sudden, catastrophic failure, when it only takes one moving part to foul in a mechanical drive to destroy everything it contained.

"How many teamsters does it take to screw in a light bulb?" "FIFTEEN!! YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?"