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Data Storage Intel Hardware

Intel Intros 310 Series Mini SSDs 122

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

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  • Re:Drat (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @11:34PM (#34706892) Journal
    It isn't a vice exclusive to Intel; but that is indeed what you are seeing.

    For reasons that I can only imagine had something to do with "somebody pinching pennies until their pecuniary ichor flows", the trend somehow started of using the mini-PCIe connector, without so much as the decency of different keying or anything, to handle what are, electrically, SATA signal lines plus power. There would be nothing wrong with this if these things were actually storage-oriented mini-PCIe cards(like the HDD PCI cards of yore, with a controller chip+flash, capable of acting like a normal PCIe device; or if they were just using some 'sub-mini SATA' connector; but using a straight mini-PCIe connector for something electrically and logically completely different is plain hostile.

    I get this sense that users aren't really supposed to touch these things, or the innards of the devices in which they will end up, or such a confusing and potentially damaging connector misuse would likely have not taken place...
  • Re:Drat (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rockoon ( 1252108 ) on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @11:35PM (#34706908)
    SATA 1.0 (1.5 Gb/s) can't keep up with any modern SSD

    SATA 2.0 (3.0 Gb/s) is currently keeping the industry down.

    SATA 3.0 (6.0 Gb/s) isnt widely adopted yet, but even when its finally popular enough that too will just keep the industry down.

    SATA-IO should be ashamed of itself for implementing 3.0 with such bullshit specs given the obvious reality of the situation.

    Thats why many people want PCIe to become a standard interface for SSD's. That wont happen until low cost/capacity SSD's use it.
  • Re:Drat (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Thursday December 30, 2010 @12:01AM (#34707074) Journal
    Worse, it's both. Mechanically identical to a mini PCIe connector; but electrically/logically identical to SATA. Won't work if plugged into a PCIe bus, because it isn't a PCIe device; but won't plug in to virtually any SATA connector; because it has the form factor of a mini PCIe card.
  • Re:Performance (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Thursday December 30, 2010 @12:13AM (#34707126) Journal
    If mounted upright, these guys would be just a little too tall for a 1U; but a 2U could fit several hundred... With the economies of scale enjoyed by something designed to be shoved into consumer laptops, a shelf or two of these little puppies could, with the right controller, make fibre channel stuff that costs a factor of ten or two as much wet itself...
  • Re:Windows (Score:4, Insightful)

    by GNUALMAFUERTE ( 697061 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <etreufamla>> on Thursday December 30, 2010 @12:44AM (#34707306)

    Sorry to repost this, but I accidentally posted it as AC, and nobody is going to see it at -1.

    I can't believe it either ... but there is a whole industry dedicated to dealing with windows. But it's the way our world works, sadly.

    We create artificial scarcity, force people to use an inferior and limited technology, that has ridiculous drawbacks, and requires a tremendous workforce around it just to keep it functional. And we keep people using it even when there are cheaper, infinitely better, more reliable and future-proof technologies. The reason is simple: Through artificial scarcity, we keep the money flowing in a certain direction, we keep control in the same hands, and we create hugely profitable but completely pointless industries.

    Think about it, we could be running 100% on clean, future-proof, secure and cheap nuclear energy. Instead, we rely on oil. The infrastructure that oil demands is huge, the drawbacks are incredible, we are polluting the environment, drilling the oceans to get some more black juice out of the earth at a huge risk.

    We could also have moved all of our communications to ip-based networks, cutting down costs, and removing the need for so many different networks. We could have a single infrastructure that would provide us with high-bandwidth, low-latency internet everywhere, and put everything from phone calls to TV through that network. Instead, we are running different networks for each purpose, and within each purpose different networks for each provider. If we re-purposed all cellphone towers from all providers to give us just internet access, we could have 100% coverage everywhere in the world. Instead, we have huge overlapping (areas serviced by several providers), and huge areas with no coverage at all.

    We could also be using just Free Software. It's open, transparent, reliable, cheap, and ethical. Instead, most people use windows. That means triplicating new hardware purchases, cutting 70% on hardware's lifespan, spending incredible resources in pointless activities like antivirus production/sale/deployment, and an IT structure several times bigger than required, not to mention all the lost time and profit due to preventable downtime.

    But it's the way the economy works. It's the way the usual people keep getting richer, while keeping the majority of the world in line, quite and productive.

    It's absolutely sad, but it's not just something that happens only in software, and it's certainly no accident.

  • Re:Windows (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nabsltd ( 1313397 ) on Thursday December 30, 2010 @01:21AM (#34707452)

    Directory linking goes back to Windows 2000 but mapping c:\Users to it is a bit more difficult as the currently logged in users profile is always in use thus locking the folder.

    There are quite a few ways to deal with this issue:

    • You can schedule the mapping to take effect during a reboot (after copying the files)
    • You can boot off another disk, copy the files and create the mapping. If you do this, you have to make sure to map to the drive letter that will be used when you boot from the first drive.
    • Log in as the first created user, enable log in as "Administrator", log in as "Administrator", delete the first user, then set "D:\Users" as the profile directory. Every user created after that point will have their profile in the new directory, while "Administrator" will still be on C:, which is very similar to Unix where the root home dir is on /, not /home.

    There are also tools from Microsoft designed to automate installs that will allow the mapping to be set at install time.

  • by bryonak ( 836632 ) on Thursday December 30, 2010 @06:52AM (#34708812)

    I know you're replying to a rather trollish parent, but still I'd like to remind you not to let facts get in the way of your biased presentation.

    Assumingly you refer to ReadyBoost (which was introduced in Windows only around 2006): isn't that about the fastest way to trash your USB drive? Further assuming you are inclined to do so on a UNIX-like system, say Ubuntu:

    - unmount the USB volume
    - sudo mkswap /dev/sdX1
    - sudo swapon -p 32767 /dev/sdX1
    - increase swappiness to be on Windows levels so your disk gets aggressively cached (may need to tune the VFS caching too)

    This has been available for decades, and it shows how ReadyBoost is mainly the marketing department "boosting" a simple technique.
    Why noone has bothered to automate the above steps (as done by ReadyBoost)? First there is usually no need to at least on Linux-based systems (compare memory requirements), secondly having a pen drive stick out of your laptop all the time just to make it a bit faster is both cumbersome and wasteful, thirdly there are much better techniques on RAM-constrained machines.

    As for TRIM... well, the 2.6.32 kernel has been released in 2009, there were two major Ubuntu releases with that kernel resp. a newer one, and 'discard' (TRIM) support takes 5-10 minutes of additional setup (I installed Ubuntu on a SSD MBP a few weeks ago). Granted, it doesn't "just work out of the box" (point for Windows!), but it works well enough.
    Concerning file system support: the current standard ext4 and the future standard btrfs are discard-capable, as are number of the more obscure ones.
    Others don't support it, but we have the same situation on Windows... only 50% of the commonly used file systems know TRIM (NTFS does, FAT32 doesn't). See, just a matter of presentation ;)

  • Re:Drat (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Thursday December 30, 2010 @12:21PM (#34711622) Journal
    As I noted there [] this form factor has nothing to do with intel particularly, nor did they come up with it.

    I just strongly object to the use of an identical connector for two completely different, non-interoperable protocols. Were it some chintzy once-off by a bottom feeding netbook monger, trying to pinch every last nickel off production costs, it would be understandable, if distasteful; but the fact that they've gone and made a standard out of it, without adding so much as a cheap keying change to the mSATA version of the mini PCIe connector, pisses me off.

    My displeasure isn't Intel specific; but aimed at the unmodified reuse of a connector intended for a completely different protocol. It's sloppy and user hostile.

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN