A Word on Reliability

Marc Prieur has been around writing about hardware for as long as I can remember (think back to the old school Tom days). Late last year he published some particularly controversial numbers on his website: failure rates of various PC components according to a French etailer. Among the components were SSDs and the numbers are below:

SSD Failure Rates - Hardware.fr
  Intel Corsair Crucial Kingston OCZ
Failure Percentage 0.59% 2.17% 2.25% 2.39% 2.93%

I should add that the numbers Marc published were accurate (confirmed by some of the manufacturers involved), although they don’t paint the complete picture of world wide failure rates - they are an important sample to look at.

Other than Intel, none of the companies listed in that article were particularly pleased with the numbers.

I mentioned earlier that the 510 would go through Intel’s extensive validation testing, just like any other Intel product. Presumably this means that the SSD 510 should have similarly low failure rates in the field (unless there’s something horribly wrong with the Marvell controller that is). Compatibility should also be a strong point of the SSD 510 due to Intel’s stringent internal testing.

Note that I am separating reliability and compatibility from drive longevity. There’s typically a good correlation between high random write performance and low write amplification. The Intel SSD 510 doesn’t have particularly high random write performance, and in turn should suffer from fairly high write amplification in highly random workloads.

I’ve already proved in the past that at 5,000 p/e cycles there’s no cause for worry for a normal desktop user. The likelihood that you’ll wear out all of your NAND within the next 5 years is very, very low. However I will say that when faced with enterprise workloads you’re going to have to pay much closer attention to write amplification and spare area than you would on say a SandForce drive.

The Test

CPU Intel Core i7 965 running at 3.2GHz (Turbo & EIST Disabled)
Intel Core i7 2600K running at 3.4GHz (Turbo & EIST Disabled) - for AT SB 2011, AS SSD & ATTO
Motherboard: Intel DX58SO (Intel X58)
Intel H67 Motherboard
Chipset: Intel X58 + Marvell SATA 6Gbps PCIe Intel H67
Chipset Drivers: Intel 9.1.1.1015 + Intel IMSM 8.9
Intel 9.1.1.1015 + Intel RST 10.2
Memory: Qimonda DDR3-1333 4 x 1GB (7-7-7-20)
Video Card: eVGA GeForce GTX 285
Video Drivers: NVIDIA ForceWare 190.38 64-bit
Desktop Resolution: 1920 x 1200
OS: Windows 7 x64
Intel’s SSD 510 Powered by Marvell Random Read/Write Speed
POST A COMMENT

128 Comments

View All Comments

  • deadsmeat - Wednesday, March 02, 2011 - link

    I am not sure if I missed it, but will you do a price/performance for SSDs? For example, and Intel or Corsair SSD migth be the fastest, but if it has a good price/performance vs the fastest SSD then it's something that consumers might consider when getting an SSD.

    I don't have a clear "performance" since you have run many benchmark in there, but something like a "real world load" would be good to see. I may not want the fastest SSD, but I will be looking for something that has good over-all balance in performance, and not so heavy on the pocket...
    Reply
  • deadsmeat - Wednesday, March 02, 2011 - link

    Woops, I missed "not" i.e.

    Intel or Corsair SSD might NOT be the fastest, but if it has a good price/performance vs the fastest SSD then it's something that consumers might consider when getting an SSD.
    Reply
  • dagamer34 - Wednesday, March 02, 2011 - link

    I thought that's what the light benchmark was, more "normal" tasks that aren't super-abusive with the SSD. Reply
  • vol7ron - Wednesday, March 02, 2011 - link

    Yes, light being "AnandTech Storage Bench 2011 - Light Workload".

    Either Light or Heavy depending on your use seems to be a combination of both random and sequential performance.

    As stated in the article:
    "I'll be sharing the full details of the benchmark in some upcoming SSD articles but here are some details:

    1) The MOASB, officially called AnandTech Storage Bench 2011 - Heavy Workload, mainly focuses on the times when your I/O activity is the highest. There is a lot of downloading and application installing that happens during the course of this test. My thinking was that it's during application installs, file copies, downloading and multitasking with all of this that you can really notice performance differences between drives.

    2) I tried to cover as many bases as possible with the software I incorporated into this test. There's a lot of photo editing in Photoshop, HTML editing in Dreamweaver, web browsing, game playing/level loading (Starcraft II & WoW are both a part of the test) as well as general use stuff (application installing, virus scanning). I included a large amount of email downloading, document creation and editing as well. To top it all off I even use Visual Studio 2008 to build Chromium during the test."
    Reply
  • therealnickdanger - Wednesday, March 02, 2011 - link

    What price would you use? MSRP? Newegg after MIR? Just pick a usage scenario that fits your usage and divide the score by the dollar amount of your favorite e-tailer... Pretty simple. Reply
  • vol7ron - Wednesday, March 02, 2011 - link

    Why not have both? AT has used a price grabber in the past.

    Actually, where did that go? It started to break down on the old site, but I'd like to see AT put that part shopper back up.
    Reply
  • MrDiSante - Wednesday, March 02, 2011 - link

    Realistically speaking, if you're buying computer components/peripherals, the function
    Retailer GetLowestPrice(Component component)
    {
    return Newegg;
    }
    would probably be better than the average price comparison site.
    Reply
  • marraco - Wednesday, March 02, 2011 - link

    To be useful, the comparison needs to consider RAID 0 setups. Reply
  • dagamer34 - Wednesday, March 02, 2011 - link

    It seems like the one true major difference between the Intel SSD 510 and the OCZ Vertex 3 is that one is available now while the other is only talked about in reviews. First to market is always a benefit for a manufacturer that has a decently performing product, though Newegg's markup makes early adopter's pay dearly for it.

    Of course, this leads to the important question of "when will the Vertex 3 series reach general availability?" I recently purchased a 120GB OCZ Vertex 2 for a new 2011 17" MacBook Pro and the performance is stunning compared to the stock HDD (it's my first SSD). I'm wondering if I should return the drive and just wait for the Vertex 3 because once you've gone SSD, it is so hard to go back!

    Thanks for the review Anand!
    Reply
  • dagamer34 - Wednesday, March 02, 2011 - link

    Oh, another thing. Are we going to get an SSD State of the Union for 2011? I'm guessing you're waiting to finish the reviews of most of the SSDs that are coming out this year first... Yeah, I just answered my own question, I think. :) Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now