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Data Storage Hardware

Crucial M500 SSD Promises 960GB For $600 144

crookedvulture writes "SSD prices are falling as drive makers start using next-generation NAND built on smaller fabrication processes. Micron and Crucial have announced a new M500 drive that's particularly aggressive on that front, promising 960GB for just $600, or about $0.63 per gigabyte. SSDs in the terabyte range currently cost $1,000 and up, so the new model represents substantial savings; you can thank the move to 20-nm MLC NAND for the price reduction. Although the 960GB version will be limited to a 2.5" form factor, there will be mSATA and NGFF-based variants with 120-480GB of storage. The M500 is rated for peak read and write speeds of 500 and 400MB/s, respectively, and it can crunch 80k random 4KB IOps. Crucial covers the drive with a three-year warranty and rates it for 72TB of total bytes written. Expect the M500 to be available this quarter as both a standalone drive and inside pre-built systems."
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Crucial M500 SSD Promises 960GB For $600

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  • by schlachter ( 862210 ) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @01:36PM (#42547885)

    Seems like this kind of drive is best suited for read only focused applications. Depending on what you're doing you could write 72TB pretty quickly on a 1TB drive.

    • by kannibal_klown ( 531544 ) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @01:45PM (#42548001)

      These drives typically are used for the OS and whatever apps you want the fastest performance. Fast boot times, quick load times, quick action-times within the application, etc.

      But even with 500GB, some people have so many apps and games that 500 is pushing it... so they have to decide which application do they want fast performance and which can they just throw on their large HDD drive.

      Some people I know don't want one because they can't fit their 3TB movie collection on them. That's not what they're really for at the moment since the sizes aren't that high. And besides, the average person doesn't really need the performance of a SSD just to watch a movie. To edit/scratch/whatever perhaps, but not to watch movies or listen to mp3s. A slower HDD is fine for that.

      • And besides, the average person doesn't really need the performance of a SSD just to watch a movie. To edit/scratch/whatever perhaps, but not to watch movies or listen to mp3s. A slower HDD is fine for that.

        Um, the average person doesn't need SSD performance just to watch a movie??? I don't think anyone needs SSD speeds to watch a movie. Even uncompressed 1080p24 video at 16:9 aspect ratio is only 149.3 MB/s. And nobody watches a movie as uncompressed video, unless you're in the editing room, in which case

        • Hence why I put the editing bit...

          The average person just watches a movie: a 5,600 RPM drive is more than fine.

          The Beyond-average users might watch a movie that they're ALSO going to be editing... in which case I imagine a higher random-seek-time might be nicer if they're cutting/pasting/adding-effects/etc. Home movies, stuff for professional work, etc.

        • Spot on. What most people don't get is that regular harddrives provide good streaming throughput on large unfragmented files. You want movies and other large, most read files on spinning disk because it's cheap. Where SSD rules is random IO and IOPS. Your small file read and writes, logging, and database just excel on SSD. People bitching that the SSD isn't big enough for their media would be the same person that would bitch that their race car doesn't hold as much as a semi (lorry).

        • That's under the assumption that that's all the machine will do for the next two hours. Installing updates in the background, etc., etc. and you'll definitely want a faster hard drive.

      • To each his own...but I've got my OS and a huge amount of apps on my 256GB SSD and I've stil got 100GB free. The remainder of my data sits on an internal 500GB HD and a 2TB network drive.

        I would think one of the best applications for a 1TB SSD is video/movie editing and data analysis...both of which would require swapping out HD contents on a regular basis.

        • 256 was enough for me: the OS, Office, a couple of AAA games, and my development stuff.

          After a while, I needed to install some other stuff too... apps that I needed to run fast for developing. I got a little closer to the 256 than I'd feel comfortable so I upgraded the PC to 512GB SSD and moved the 256GB SSD to a cheap laptop.

          256GB probably would've been fine in the long run, but I wanted a little wiggle room.

          Meanwhile, I have about 1.5TB of iTunes videos and such on a second hard drive.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      I think it's plenty for any desktop - I use an SSD for both applications and data (productivity, web browsing and gaming), and average less than 1GB writes a day. Even if you're downloading a new game from Steam every day, say 10GB of writes a day, that's still 20 years of usage. If you're writing lots of tiny files and the disk is mostly full (pretty much the worst case scenario for SSDs) so the write amplification is, say, 5x, that's still 4 years of usage.
    • by ssam ( 2723487 )

      27TB seems odd. each cell can only be rewritten ~72 times (assuming good wear levelling)? surely you should be able to rewrite cells 1000s of times, and have some spare ones to replace any that fail early.

      i'd say you would need a very *write heavy* workload to burn through this. I've shot a film on a DSLR and at most generated 20-30 GB in a day. So if i loaded that on to the drive each day, and then threw it away (or copied it somewhere else) at some point so i could keep filming more, that would be 10 year

    • I think there's definitely a market for these drives. Think of an HTPC for example. I leave mine on all of the time. I have terrabytes of video, BUT that video is only written once. It rarely ever gets anything but reads. Yes I could and do use an HDD for this, but they aren't silent or low power. This SSD could be just what the doctor ordered for this type of use.
    • by schlachter ( 862210 ) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @03:44PM (#42549813)

      Crucial wouldn't confirm the write-erase limit of the m4's flash chips, but it does publish endurance specifications for the drive as a whole. According to the company, the m4 can write 72 terabytes of data over its lifetime. Amortize that over a five-year span, and you're looking at 40GB per day.

      Just noticed that Crucial made the same claim on their m4 drives...only 72TB seems like a lot more when you're dealing with a 128/256GB drive.

  • Still a ways to go (Score:4, Interesting)

    by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <gameboyrmh@NoSpam.gmail.com> on Thursday January 10, 2013 @01:37PM (#42547901) Journal

    That's about 6x the cost of a hard drive, in terms of dollars per GB. If it was 2x or maybe even 4x I'd replace the RAID0 array in my gaming machine with one of these.

    • by tantrum ( 261762 )

      I'm already using striped SSD's in my gaming/photo/video rig. It is a bit overkill, but I'll never go back to use spinning disks for anything besides "long term storage".

    • by sdguero ( 1112795 ) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @02:10PM (#42548331)
      Just get a 120 or 250 GB on sale for your OS and applications. Keep your data on a traditional HDD.

      It's worth it dude. Trust me. The upgrade to SSD was the most noticeable single component upgrade I've ever done to one of my machines.
      • I've been thinking about it...I wonder how I could transfer an existing Win7 install like that, in Linux it would just be a few lines in fstab...

        • I would definitely re-install. As I recall Windows 7 recognizes SSDs and adds some special sauce to make the OS run better on them.
          • by radish ( 98371 )

            Which it does on every boot. Doesn't need to be reinstalled. Most retail SSDs come with software which can do the transfer, otherwise you're choice of bootable linux USB sticks will do the magic (with a win 7 recovery disk to rewrite the MBR).

            • by Kaenneth ( 82978 )

              You are better off re-installing to a freshly created partition, not cloning an existing disc. There are disk-block alignment issues that may occur otherwise (where a logical block occupies parts of two memory blocks), increasing the wear rate, and thus lowering the life of the SSD. The performance won't noticeably suffer at first (It'll still be damn faster than disc) but it's better for the health of the drive in the long term.

        • by PRMan ( 959735 )
          The Kingston drives (and probably some others) come with Acronis TrueImage HD on a CD. Takes about 20 minutes to copy to the new drive by booting from the CD. Disconnect the old drive and reboot. Super easy. And this was a Windows 2008 R2 Server. When I recently upgraded from the 64GB Kingston to a 180 GB Intel, it took 5 minutes and extended the partition to 180 GB automatically.
        • I've been thinking about it...I wonder how I could transfer an existing Win7 install like that, in Linux it would just be a few lines in fstab...

          Crucial sells a kit that lets you transfer the entire contents of a drive to a new one. Includes the hardware and software needed to hook up both drives. I did this with a Win7 laptop when I went to using a SSD. Worked great and did the whole job in about an hour.

          • I'm not worried about the actual data copying, I'd probably use Robocopy for that, I'm wondering how I'd change from a single-disk filesystem to one where certain apps are on a different disk. How can I delete the original directories and "mount" the ones on another disk while the computer's not running?

            • by sjbe ( 173966 )

              I'm wondering how I'd change from a single-disk filesystem to one where certain apps are on a different disk.

              With Windows the easiest thing is unfortunately to reinstall the apps. You can move everything over if you keep it on one volume but if you split volumes the only option I'm aware of is to uninstall the apps and reinstall them in the new drive configuration. There may be a better way but I certainly have never seen it.

              • Actually I just got an idea. If the linking can be done from the CLI (and most things can be on Vista and later), it should be possible from the recovery console. Configure disks, copy data, shut down computer, delete and link moved directories. Looks like the mklink command is what I need.

    • by 0123456 ( 636235 )

      That's about 6x the cost of a hard drive, in terms of dollars per GB.

      Only if you buy a 1TB hard drive. If you buy a 3TB drive, it's about 12x the cost per GB.

      Hard drives have a minimum price they can't go below, because of all the hardware required to get those disks spinning and read and write to them. Additional capacity doesn't add so much once you go above that level.

  • While it's nice to see SSD capacities increasing, the real metric is the cost per gigabyte, which is still nowhere near conventional harddrives. A good number of us have massive multimedia collections; It's still cost-prohibitive to store all of it on SSDs. And at least for the short-term, a primary drive over 200GB isn't really something most users need. A select few, perhaps, but not many. This may be something more useful in the enterprise, but then... looking at the specs, it seems it wouldn't survive v

    • They are coming closer to outpacing the high-performance rotary drives, that's a start

      (still regretting the purchasing of two velociraptors for RAID-0)

      • by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @01:47PM (#42548033)

        (still regretting the purchasing of two velociraptors for RAID-0)

        I suppose redundancy is important when cloning killer dinosaurs.

        • Re:SSD replacements? (Score:4, Informative)

          by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @01:53PM (#42548095)

          Too bad RAID0 won't give you any.

          • Too bad RAID0 won't give you any.

            I'd rather believe that the velociraptors are redundantly linked because making them faster is an even scarier proposition.

        • RAID 0 is not redundancy; its almost the opposite of it (double the failure rate).

          • No, it doesn't double it, but it does increase it by something like a standard deviation.

        • by arth1 ( 260657 )

          I suppose redundancy is important when cloning killer dinosaurs.

          There's no redundancy with RAID 0.

          Anyhow, for database work, I'd much rather have a set of short-stroked 15k rpm drives than SSDs. The worst-case commit time is often in the second range with SSDs, even if the average is lower.

        • RAID-0 isn't redundancy, it's striping. It's kindof the opposite. Higher fatal-failure rate, on average, slightly increased latency (though with out-of-order-reads, this can be mitigated), much higher throughput.

          Sadly I read that as "kitten dinosaurs". Now I want one. Could you imagine the death, terror and destruction that would bring?

        • by mjwx ( 966435 )

          (still regretting the purchasing of two velociraptors for RAID-0)

          I suppose redundancy is important when cloning killer dinosaurs.

          RAID0 is striping, which is important for camouflage.

          However when it comes to a good backup plan, you need to make them lysine deficient so that if the velocoraptors aren't completely supplied with with the amino acid lysine by you they slip into a coma and die.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

      I think you would be more likely to want something like this for HD/4k video editing. Problem with that is that the drive can only be re-written 72 times before it dies according to the spec.

      That's why a lot of these newer SSDs are so cheap. If you can only write 72TB to a 1TB drive that suggests that each cell probably only has a lifetime in the low thousands of rewrites (accounting for write amplification and re-writes due to partial block updates).

    • Hey, I can put in a second 1TB+ magnetic drive, no problem. I'm WAY more concerned about the number of writes that a flash chip in an SSD can perform before it fails (2000-9000 usually). My estimation says I'd likely completely destroy a 256GB medium quality SSD in about a year. That's a problem. The way I understand it, it's per-chip, not per bit, and there are only like 16 chips in an average SSD. It'd take me a while to write 256GB 9000 times but if a 100MB write hits 3 different chips, that's a pro
    • by tnk1 ( 899206 )

      If you used it in a situation where you maintain static data for reads, it may well last a long amount of time indeed. I agree that most databases could cause the lifetime of this to be less than you'd want, but if the database was mostly used for reads, and updates were relatively infrequent, which you might get in some archival systems, it would be very usable.

      At home, I have a relatively small data set, and for things like movies, I've never seen the need to store them for long periods of time. I think

      • Just as an FYI, we've switched most of our databases to running RAID10 arrays of m4 512GB drives. We now use arrays of 8 drives, and sustain read rates of 1.7GB/sec. We switched over from fiber channel and SCSI arrays of 14 drives each w/ 73 or 146 GB drives in them and a top sustained read speed of 160MB/s. We will probably never go back to that. Whether it's because of the speed increases, the power usage, the noise, or shelf space required. We still use rotational media for slow access things like vi

    • Why do you want your media collection on an SSD? So long as the disk is fast enough to stream what you need it to stream you should be fine, at least until SSDs are cheaper than spinning disks. Personally, I have a (very) small SSD in my laptop and a spinning drive plugged into my wireless router that anyone on the network can use. Data goes on the NAS, software goes on the SSD. Even an 80gb SSD is large enough (though only just barely) as long as you don't play games like WoW with 16gb installs.

    • Depends what your time is worth. I consider my time to be worth something so every minute counts. SSDs help improve production significantly. I estimate my daily time saving around 20 minutes since I updated to an SSD. So say I cost the company $20 an hour, at the end of the year the company saves $4000 worth of my salary. Well worth the $150 to $400 investment

      SSD are also a great solution for improving database speeds. Most data in a database doesn't change so the rewrite issue is not really an issue.

    • There isn't much point in putting video on a SSD anyway. Hard drives are more than capable of sequential streaming at typical video bitrates.

      I see two main usecases for this.

      1: laptop users who like to keep a lot of stuff on their laptop. This lets them have the speed benefits of SSD without sacrificing too much on the total storage or sacrificing the optical drive.
      2: gamers who like to keep a LOT of large games installed at once.

  • by GodfatherofSoul ( 174979 ) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @02:03PM (#42548247)

    I really don't care about extra capacity for SSDs. I just set up a new laptop with a 256 GB SSD for the OS and 2 750 GBs in a RAID 1 for safe storage. So long as the SSD is big enough for the OS and a few apps installed for speed, I'm getting my money's worth. Now, if the SSD craps out fairly quickly warranty or not, then I have a problem.

    • by PRMan ( 959735 )
      I just put my old SSD in my old netbook and it really breathed life into that thing. It's actually usable now. Definitely makes a great upgrade for old laptops (where the spec'd drive is sometimes only 4200 rpm(!?!) and never more than 5400).
    • Firmware Updates?

      My Crucial SSD went poof, but it turned out Crucial said it could be reset (with my Windows PC only).

      I hadn't kept the Firmware updated (& didn't know I needed to do so and was not warned about that). Then I read Crucial's note on how to update the firmware.

      I simply couldn't understand all the crap I would have to go through. Either there is a one click firmware update or it is a royal pain to update and I won't buy.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

      What kind of laptop has room for an SSD and two HDDs?

  • Since the amount of storage on SSD these days seems to be arbitrary and nothing to do with exponents of 2, how about creating nice rounded values, like 1000 GB.

    Anyways, maybe this year will be the year of SSD, just like the last 30 years.

    • It has to do with over provisioning. I figure it's probably 1024 GB with 64 GB for over provisioning, that's ~6.7% which is in line with what we're normally seeing on the lower end of the market.

    • by radish ( 98371 )

      Anyways, maybe this year will be the year of SSD, just like the last 30 years.

      Wasn't that a few years ago? I can't imagine using a machine with a non-SSD boot drive these days, and I can't understand anyone who knows anything about computers not having one. You don't need a big one typically, I recently got a really nice 160GB Intel for my mother in law's laptop for under $100 - made a 2008 vintage Vista machine feel brand new. Without a shadow of a doubt the most significant performance boost you can add t

  • Granted, this is nearly twice as big, but the Samsung 840 (non Pro) can already be gotten for $349.99 for 500GB = $0.69...
  • Following the floods in Bangkok, HD production got going again, but the prices for these devices have not continued to fall as before. However, as this article points out, that is not the case with SSDs. The result? I suspect that sooner rather than later, significant numbers of people will start buying SSDs instead, realize the advantages over those old spinning platters of rust and then never look back. When the very few HD manufacturers that are now left finally realize the consequences of their greed an
    • by afidel ( 530433 )

      That crossing point is still a LONG way off, you can get a 3TB drive for about $150, 5% of the cost/GB of this drive. In fact without something like the re-anneal in place tech talked about here on slashdot recently it'll never happen, this drive is already rated by the manufacture for 72 write cycles, what do you think the life will be after a few more process shrinks?

  • It seems to address an issue that just isn't there for most people, in my view. For everyday computing needs 960GB SSD is just way overkill. I'm not a gamer so in my case my needs are even less. I've got a 120GB SSD as my primary boot drive (OS and Apps) with the rest of the data on a separate conventional 500GB drive. On my MacBook Pro it's using about 40GB on the SSD. My Windows laptop is using about the same amount of space.

    Now if you're a gamer or doing video production or CAD or running a database ser

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