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  • ayembee - Tuesday, March 09, 2010 - link

    ...given my 200GB Vertex 2 LE lasted 6 days :

    however, based on the OCZ support forums it could be the OCZ firmware rather than a specific hardware issue, as it seems they they are getting very similar-sounding bricks on several kinds of vertex models.
    Reply
  • Hrel - Sunday, March 07, 2010 - link

    Now I only need to wait for SSD's in this price range to drop under $1 per GB; and let me add that after getting used to 12cents per GB I think I'm being extremely generous! Reply
  • OWC Grant - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    As far as reselling review units, most manufacturers DO sell their review units and other products clearly marked as "open box", B stock, or refurbished and thus provide users with another purchase option. We offer these types of products in our monthly "clearance/garage sale" promo and are very well liked by our newsletter readers as great "insider" deals.

    Our statement of all the drive sizes (50/100/200GB) offering the same performance in terms of raw sustained data transfer rates was and is still true. As noted in Anand's final summary and direct communication with us, the overall performance of the 50GB model "looks quite good" and "performance is nearly identical in call cases except one." (a small random write file) We are looking into that one instance and will advise on any outcome.

    Thanks as always to Anand and you readers for your interest in SSD's in general and our offerings in that category.
    Reply
  • jed22281 - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    "As noted in Anand's final summary and direct communication with us, the overall performance of the 50GB model "looks quite good" and "performance is nearly identical in call cases except one." (a small random write file) We are looking into that one instance and will advise on any outcome."

    So what was the outcome?

    Thank-you.
    Reply
  • skimike - Monday, May 03, 2010 - link

    Out of curiosity, do you know if OWC has a secure/sanity erase utility for the OWC Mercury Extreme 100GB drive? I called OWC's tech support line and they didn't know anything about it. And the drive password used by hdparm in Linux isn't set to NULL so I can't use hdparm, either. Reply
  • monomer - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    Dailytech posted an article on Friday saying that JMicron will be releasing a new controller with a 128MB DRAM cache soon. Does anyone know if they actually fixed their random access problems, or did they just throw more cache at it to try to cover it up? Reply
  • tuskers - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    Something I'd love to see is how much software compile times improve with an SSD. As a professional software engineer, I'd love to see whether SSDs would improve a common real-world task like this. Reply
  • hyc - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    Yes, noticeably.

    I write code all day. All of my machines now have SSDs as their primary drive. 256GB G.Skill Titan in my desktop, 256GB Samsung in my current laptop, 128GB Transcend PATA in my old laptop, 120GB OCZ CoreV2 floating on an eSata adapter for quick bulk copies.
    Reply
  • arklab - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    Pardon my ignorance, but I'm new to SSD's.
    I (think) I read in your first review that only Sand Force is able to make utilities for these (OWC and OCZ LE) drives.

    Does this include the trim command (for Windows 7 use), or can we just use some "generic" command?

    What would OSX users do?

    Thanks!
    Reply
  • fictionfree - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    I've purchased a couple items from OWC in the past - can't say I'm a fan of the company. It wouldn't surprise me if they resold review drives. I purchased an external Firewire drive from them a few years ago, and when the internal drive died, I took the case apart to see that it was a refurbished drive. I didn't buy a refurb drive, I bought a brand new drive - but they filled the case with a refurb. Not cool - and they refused to do anything to make it right.

    Just my 2 cents, but I find them to be shady.
    Reply
  • Kiru - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    I've bought a bunch of stuff from OWC (3 external Fire wire drives, and 18 gigs of memory), and had no issues with RMAs when I've needed to (the power supply for one of my externals died). I've had just as many issues with faulty product from New Egg as from anywhere else. But that refurb story IS definitely a pisser. I'm surprised they didn't work with you on that. Reply
  • mobilehavoc - Saturday, February 27, 2010 - link

    It's pricey at $800 but still cheaper than the OCZ Vertex LE. I'll be running it in a Macbook with Snow Leopard so internal GC is a nice feature since no TRIM support.

    Any chance these will be upgradeable via firmware in the future? Or is it you buy the drive and that's it? I'm just nervous about buying something that may not be properly supported for times to come.
    Reply
  • Di22yDucRydr1198 - Saturday, February 27, 2010 - link

    Do any SSDs support this format which is starting to appear on some conventional HDDs? If one has an Advanced format HDD for storage and a SSD for OS and apps, will the two work together without a hitch?
    Why is that the Crucial RealSSD C300 256GB falls off so dramatically on the 4k random write aligned to 512-byte sectors?
    Thanks for your efforts on this and all the preceeding SSD articles.
    Reply
  • Griswold - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link

    I dont think there needs to be advanced format compatibility with SSDs. Reply
  • hyc - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    And you're completely wrong. Advanced format brings similar benefits to SSDs as for HDDs. Not to mention that most SSDs are already using multiple-of-4KB erase blocks, so it actually has *more* benefit than for HDDs.

    Anand, your "aligned" random write result for the 50GB drive looks identical to your unaligned result. This looks like a test error to me. At worst, the difference in peak performance should be a factor of 2, due to using half as many channels in the 50GB drive vs the 100GB drive. I think you need to reformat that drive and repeat that test.
    Reply
  • kunedog - Saturday, February 27, 2010 - link

    At last we get an acknowledgement of the market prices of the G2 X-25M, now that they're finally where they were supposed to be at release. It only took six months for your predictions to come true!
    http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=36...">http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=36...
    Reply
  • buzznut - Saturday, February 27, 2010 - link

    There are a lot of comments here, so I don't expect this to be read. I am going under the assumption that the data for the Kingston SSD-v 40GB will be the same for the Intel 40GB drive. Many of us have purchased the Intel 40GB as a boot drive. Unfortunately I rarely see it in any benchmarks.

    I was wondering if there were any plans to do an article on raid performance. Also, are drive manufacturers planning on including trim support for raid at some point? Could we expect a firmware upgrade for this, or would it be for newer drives only?I understand that garbage collection is still available, but that's not the same is it?

    I know that filling a drive to capacity is bad, but I have heard that one might leave anywhere from 10%-25% space available on a typical SSD. I have been paranoid about ruining the performance of my drive, so I have been running it at half capacity. Is there a sweet spot between capacity and performance on these smaller 40 GB drives?

    Also would any of you recommend adding a second drive in raid 0? It seems to me to be an inexpensive way of adding capacity and performance without shelling out $200+ for a new higher capacity drive (which my wife will surely not approve). Again I am hesitant for the lack of trim support in raid. Will this require much more maintenance on the drive(s)?
    Reply
  • greenguy - Saturday, February 27, 2010 - link

    As another data point, I have 3 of these drives. I usually just read the kingston 40GB figure as it is the same drive. Performance degradation is something that increases as you read and write to the drive more. The less of this you do, the longer it will last in a near-virgin state.

    But yeah, I am interested in the questions you ask as well.
    Reply
  • jimhsu - Saturday, February 27, 2010 - link

    I'm curious about the unaligned vs aligned writes. How are these being set up: formatting NTFS with either 512 bytes or 4096 bytes allocation units? Or something else?

    Also, being an owner of a X25-M G2, I see that earlier generation drives don't have much variation between the two, while these new generation drives have dramatic variation. How does this translate into real-life performance metrics (i.e. the anandtech bench test)?Are there situations where failing to take advantage of aligned 4K leads to a severe performance impact, compared to the new drives?
    Reply
  • semo - Saturday, February 27, 2010 - link

    Any chance of seeing articles about PCI-E SSDs? Or are they not being talked about due to cost and/or lack of TRIM? Reply
  • lorteti - Saturday, February 27, 2010 - link

    Anand,

    How about the used drive performance?
    I'm currently still unsing Vista, no plan upgrading to Win7 this year.
    I think many are still using older OS.
    Does these SSD's SandForce and C300 perform the same in used condition without TRIM?

    jx
    Reply
  • shawkie - Saturday, February 27, 2010 - link

    Anand, can you please include some discussion and/or benchmark on power consumption for those users with laptops? Reply
  • shawngmc - Saturday, February 27, 2010 - link

    Anand,

    Can you confirm whether or not this series of drives have Trim support? I had emailed OWC's tech support to try to find out, and they responded saying that their drives handle Trim internally.

    I asked if I could get some details on this, but the technician did not have any. I can understand if they do automatic garbage collection, and I understand that the cycling is much lower due to the low 'write amplification' factor, but that's still not Trim support. You said that the Vertex LE supported Trim, and it's roughly the same drive, but I don't want to make an assumption I'll regret.

    It's especially vexxing since OSX has no native Trim support, while I want to use this as a Windows 7 drive (as will many people after this review).

    I've been waiting for SSD prices to drop, and while this isn't a drop inherently, 100GB that literally saturates SATA II for $400 is a very tempting spot to jump in.

    Thanks,
    Shawn
    Reply
  • ScavengerLX - Saturday, February 27, 2010 - link

    Do you dream about SSDs, Anand? Reply
  • Paladin1211 - Saturday, February 27, 2010 - link

    Normally you dont dream about your work, right? :D Reply
  • ScavengerLX - Saturday, February 27, 2010 - link

    Yes :-D Reply
  • iwodo - Friday, February 26, 2010 - link

    "6Gbps SATA will only improve large file read performance off of the drive. Loading apps and games shouldn't be any faster. Nearly all high performance SSDs load a single app/game in about the same time. "

    So you are saying we are already reaching tipping point where SATA3 with 700MB/s Seq Read / Write wont give us any perceivable performance advantage? I did do any research or test, but surely Apps like Photoshop / Office / Games require to load more then few hundred MB right?
    Reply
  • Paladin1211 - Saturday, February 27, 2010 - link

    I think the statement is pretty logical. Assume that you have 350MB/s sequential read and I have only 200MB/s. We both need to read a file of 20MB. Then it would take you 0.057 sec or take me 0.1 sec. Even a mouse click would take longer than the 0.043 sec difference :)

    To load apps and games means to process a lot of small files, not one large file of multi hundred MB. This is where random read/write comes into play, negating most of the sequential advantages.

    Reply
  • Conscript - Friday, February 26, 2010 - link

    thanks for the review Anand, I've been looking up and down at these drives and was waiting for a reliable review. I am concerned that they won't let you open em up. Tell ya what, why don't you give them the $229, check to make sure there's nothing funny going on, and when you put it back together and check that it still works, I'll buy it off ya...and a used discount of course :) Reply
  • ssdreviewer - Friday, February 26, 2010 - link

    we would like to see more latency benchmark info in all SSD reviews, such as AS SSD benchmark, HDTune Pro access time etc. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Saturday, February 27, 2010 - link

    I present the inverse of average latency - IOPS :) Take 1/IOPS and you'll get average latency per IO. I figure it's easier to convey performance this way (bigger numbers mean better performance).

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • ssdreviewer - Saturday, February 27, 2010 - link

    as the following posts already pointed out, that's not the case. it would be better you could present directly minimum/average/maximum latency data, rather than IOPS, which has no linear relations with latency under different QD. my applications rely more on latency than random r/w or IOPS, i.e. responsiveness is more crucial here. that being said, i would like to see more direct results from AS SSD and HDTune Pro access time tests. thanks. Reply
  • jimhsu - Saturday, February 27, 2010 - link

    That method can't give you information on maximum IO latency (which for me is the critical one, if you're concerned with gaming, real time video streaming, multimedia creation, etc). A drive with 0.1 ms latency but that peaks at 500 ms could be subjectively worse than one with 0.2 ms latency but that peaks at 100 ms. Reply
  • GullLars - Saturday, February 27, 2010 - link

    Actually, you need to take Queue Depth (QD) into account. This noted the formula is QD/IOPS, since IOPS = 1/([average accesstime]*[QD]) (this formula is known as Littles Law). If you test at QD=1, 1/IOPS = average accesstime, it's a special case. Since your IOPS tests are at QD 3 and IOPS is represented as bandwidth (IOPS*block size), you find average accesstime (at QD 3) in ms by the formula 3/([bandwidth in MB/s]/4(KB)) (not factoring in MB/KB means s->ms) = 12/[bandwidth in MB/s].

    From my SSD project a month back, i found average accesstime increases as QD increases, and when QD=#channels average accesstime double when QD doubles. The reason for increased accesstime up to QD=#flash channels are (primarily) in two parts.
    1. Statistical distribution says some channels will get multiple requests in queue while some go unused, therefore # of saturated channels < QD. The channels with queue will have single accesstime multiplied with queue lenght for average accesstime.
    2. Controller NCQ overhead, the controller adds latency when administrating the queue.
    Reply
  • Paladin1211 - Friday, February 26, 2010 - link

    I just look at the AnandTech Storage Bench charts, the Kingston V+ performs so good, going neck and neck with Intel and Indilinx MLC in Heavy Workload. How could it be that fast, Anand? Reply
  • Paladin1211 - Friday, February 26, 2010 - link

    Ops, I mean SLC, not MLC.

    Too good to be true...
    Reply
  • Paladin1211 - Friday, February 26, 2010 - link

    In random write/read test, the V+ scores are so poor. Something is not right here. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Saturday, February 27, 2010 - link

    The heavy workload is nearly half sequential. It's a heavy downloading and multitasking workload, which has thus far paved the way for a few unexpected strong performers. Remember that most controller makers actually optimize for sequential performance, which this benchmark tests more than any of the other tests. I still can't quite figure out why the Toshiba controller does so well here other than that it must really be tuned for this type of a workload. I've run and re-run the test, the results are always the same.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • GullLars - Friday, February 26, 2010 - link

    Just thought I'd add a link to a couple of graphs i made of IOPS scaling as a function of Queue Depth for 1-4 x25-V in RAID 0 from ICH10R compared to x25-M 80GB and 160GB, and 2 x25-M 80GB RAID 0. These are in the same price range, and the graphs will show why i think Anands reviews don't show the whole truth when there is no test beyond QD 8.
    link: http://www.diskusjon.no/index.php?app=core&mod...">http://www.diskusjon.no/index.php?app=c...h_rel_mo...
    The tests were done by 3 users at a forum i frequent, the username is in front of the setup that was benched.

    The IOmeter config run was: 1GB testfile, 30 sec run, 2 sec ramp. Block sizes 0,5KB, 4KB, 16KB, 64KB. Queue Depths 1-128, 2^n stepping. This is a small part of a project from a month back mapping SSD and SSD RAID scaling by block size and queue depth (block sizes 0,5KB-64KB 2^n stepping, QD 1-128 2^n stepping).

    ATTO is also nice to show scaling of sequential performance by block size (and possibly queue depth).
    Reply
  • cditty - Friday, February 26, 2010 - link

    Another great article. I have to give it to you, Anand. Your SSD coverage is by far the best on the net. I have learned so much from your various articles. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Saturday, February 27, 2010 - link

    Thank you :) There wasn't much to this one, I haven't had the time unfortunately to put together another truly thorough investigation - there's just too much going on these days.

    More SSD news next week!

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • GullLars - Friday, February 26, 2010 - link

    Well, these are pretty good news for people who would rather RAID low capacity SSDs for higher performance at simelar cost to bigger drives.
    RAIDing 2-3 of these 50GB SSDs from ICH10R would give above 600MB/s bandwidth for both read and write, and still be at an acceptable price.

    I still can't over wishing for a test with RAID 0 of lowest capacity drives compared to the high-capacity drives always reviewed here to see how much more performance you can get for the same price.
    At $230 this 50GB SF-1500 should be able to defend itself against 2 RAID-0 x25-V wich would cost about the same, but from benchmark numbers i've seen, 2R0 x25-V would beat it thoroughly at everything except tasks heavily focusing on sequential writing.
    3 x25-V's comming in at about $300 would beat all drives listed in this lineup at almost all benchmarks, and at performance pr $ you can't beat it.

    BTW, it would be nice include a screenshot of AS SSD benchmark, since it includes high QD testing of 4KB random IOPS so you can see what the drive is capable of at max load. AHCI/RAID specifies up to 32 outstanding IOs, and most SSDs with many channels support it fully and will scale up to QD 32. Intel x25-V/M/E wich are listed at about 60MB/s 4KB random read (QD 3) scale up to 120-160MB/s from QD 10-12, and the same is true for C300 and SF-1500. When testing 4KB random read at QD 3 on an NCQ enabled 10+ channel SSD, you are really saturating only 3 of the channels.
    Indilinx Barefoot drives with 4 channels can do 4KB random reads at about 60MB/s at QD 5, but scale no further.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Friday, February 26, 2010 - link

    Don't worry, higher queue depth tests are coming :) You already see some of that in our Bench tests, but you'll see some iometer specific results soon.

    TRIM still isn't supported under RAID, but I will be looking at lower capacity drives after this next round of reviews is done :)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • GullLars - Friday, February 26, 2010 - link

    I'm looking forward to it.

    As for TRIM with RAID, if you use the RAID as you would a normal SSD, and don't have any usage patterns that does huge ammounts of random writes, you don't NEED the TRIM command, but it would be nice ofc. For a normal usage model, an SSD won't get write performance degraded to more than about 80% of fresh performance (+-10%), and since RAID gives linear scaling, two SSDs in RAID whitout TRIM will outperform a single SSD with TRIM quite nicely. Using this reasoning, TRIM not being avalible in RAID mode shouldn't stop you from buying and RAIDing 3-4 SSDs of 32/40GB rather than going for a single 80-256 since the RAID will outperform the single SSD by a good margin and at about the same price. The question is in the number of free ports on the motherboard SATA controller (for up to 4 SSDs). If you want to RAID more than 4 SSDs, you need a HBA or hardware RAID card to get further scaling.
    In such a scenario, LSI 9211-8i + 8 x25-V will come in at $1000-1100 and deliver 1500MB/s read, 320-350MB/s write, and enough IOPS for any enthusiast.
    Reply
  • leexgx - Saturday, February 27, 2010 - link

    Buy the SSD you need if its 128gb or 256gb buy one SSD enable AHCI and install windows7 and do not install chipset drivers or intel matrix drivers or update the AHCI drivers (keep an look out on windows update) the pc will be fast

    SSD and RAID is pointless for home users or even gamers (only Pure Video editing or messing with Big files that needs 400-600MB/s maybe and you need 2 raid 0 SSD setups to even use the bandwidth if moving data between them)

    still pointless as your looking at constant reads and Write speeds, 2 ssds will max out most RAID setups until the drive degrades (or one SSD fails) but thats not the point as the random access speeds and data rate random access of an SSD is high, then it been better to buy one ssd that fits your needs (Size 128gb been the min)

    TRIM keeps Write latency down as an Write can be done mostly Right away where as no TRIM it has to perform an erase before Write

    with SSDs the IOPS is norm +1000 an HDD, random IOPS and random access speeds are high as well an hdd can not match, SSD does not warrant an raid setup,

    as an gamer and an owner of an first gen SSD (corsair S128) high data rate does not mean it be any faster (my SSD is slower then an HDD at constant read/writes but far faster random reads and IOPS) and i have gone from an RAID 0 2xWD black HDDs and before that 4x80gb hdds, if i had bit more money at the time i would of got an second gen SSD, but the S128 was very cheap and seem to work very well it does lack in Write access times and write speed an little but that only comes up when installing games, i can reboot my pc in under 1 min (thats desktop to desktop) and run any programs soon as my desktop loads the pc loads that fast i had to set my IP address to static IP as the DHCP obtain was taking to long to get an IP (chat programs would give up waiting and then retry)

    (yes an faster SSD be better then what i have got system would most likely respond even faster as my SSD does lack NCQ and its an SATA150 drive and that be why my Write access times are not so good but its no JMicron drive it does not stall under Write loads)
    Reply
  • GullLars - Saturday, February 27, 2010 - link

    The point of RAIDing SSDs is not just bandwidth, it's increasing parallellity (if that's a word...) and avalible bandwidth for mixed read/write. Only powerusers or enthusiasts really should consider RAID, since the benefits like you say will not be very noticable in everyday singletasking usage. It's first when you start multitasking (or video editing like you mentioned) you really feel the difference.

    If you have a quadcore running at 3-4Ghz and a good amount of fast RAM (say 8-12GB DDR3 1600) even a good SSDs can be a substantial bottleneck when multiple apps access storage at once, especially if you have a sequential write or read (or both) going on at the same time.

    On my main rigg i have 2x Mtron Pro 7025 32GB (SLC) SSDs in RAID 0 that i bought in 2008 (cost me about $1400 at the time), and these don't support NCQ either. What's great about them is they don't get degraded performance at all, they have great accesstime (i get 90MB/s 4KB random read), and i've never experienced any freezing or hiccups. The 5 year warranty (even for use in enterprise servers) don't hurt either :P
    When I upgrade next time, they will likely be replaced by intels 3. gen SSDs at the lowest capasity point (or simelar highest performing low capasity SSD) in RAID from an LSI 9211 (or simelar controller). If ioXtreme has dropped in price by then, maybe i'll buy that instead (or some simelar PCIe SSD).
    Reply
  • leexgx - Wednesday, March 03, 2010 - link

    i forgot to post before

    if your Not doing Video editing or messing with Big files more then 1 SSD is pointless,

    if your an gamer or want an fast pc one 1 SSD is only needed its been tested quite an number of times RAID + SSD is not needed any more More so that they have TRIM support now (that you lose when RAID is used)

    multitasking really depends what you call multitasking i would norm call that 10-15 programs open at one time 1 SSD can handle that fine , again if it's Video editing you May gain the most from RAID, the Files would have to be very big thought as an SSD random access is fast any way (10-50MB/s) and so is its constant transfer rate that you see on most SSDs (200MB/s+)

    Steam is the most likely the most stressful thing on my PC or any ones pc makes my SSD crawl when it decodes an pre loaded game (has to decryp all the files so that makes Lots of Read/Write) due to lack of NCQ on my corsair S128 very much so does not help, on second gen SSD thay have Sata300 so norm have NCQ support as default so the Slow downs norm do not happen, second and 3rd gen have TRIM support (3rd gen norm have it from when you Buy it like the JMicron 612)

    when using RAID if Write back is Turned on you do benefit from buffered Writes so the (ICH8+) RAID gives more Priority to reads (as to why you get insane buffered burst rates on HDD or SSD when Write back is turned on) but there is an chance you can lose data if the system is powered down before data is Writen (unlicky for the most part under SSDs due to Write speeds and RAID norm Writes in Blocks not bits like windows does or p2p programs)

    .
    in the end if your an gamer or an user who just wants an fast and responsive pc 1 SSD is Far more then is needed you will not notice the speed improvement unless your doing benchmarks and only the Disk test part of the benchmarks (its also cheaper to Buy the 1 Big SSD with TRIM then 2 smaller SSD's in RAID and lose Trim, that would make 2 SSD's slower then 1 SSD once the drive runs out of free blocks due to lack of TRIM support)
    Reply
  • vol7ron - Friday, February 26, 2010 - link

    I'm curious to see the aftermath of this SF-1500 business.

    I know some people are using the 40-80GB versions of SSDs for ONLY their operating system, but I still feel like this product still isn't worth purchasing until you can get 120GB+ at the same prices as the 40-80GB range.

    Basically, you should be able to have your OS/Office Suite/Games/Photo Editing software on the SSD. 40-80GB at this price is just not worth it.

    Anand,
    I would also like to new RAID-0 tests, if possible. I don't know if you are waiting on the Intel Storage Matrix, or if all the problems have been fixed with RAID/Trim, but we're approaching a point where we can almost buy a bunch of the scrap 30/40GB SSDs. Because of the higher reliability, RAID-0 is looking very attractive.

    Proposal: SATA-3 6Gb/s with 3 or 4 disks in RAID-0, w/ and w/o Trim turned on.



    Thanks,
    vol7ron
    Reply
  • greenguy - Saturday, February 27, 2010 - link

    Your OS/Office Suite/Photo Editing software takes up nearly 40GB? I bet the rest is games. How many games do you need on your boot disk at once? Reply
  • vol7ron - Saturday, February 27, 2010 - link

    Is there something wrong with my posts?

    I say I want to see some RAID and 6Gbps testing and it gets ignored. An hour later, someone basically says the same thing and gets full response w/ follow-up. This has happened before, what's the deal?
    Reply
  • SeanFowler - Friday, February 26, 2010 - link

    You mention the performance that's lost on the 50GB platform, which is interesting.

    As an SSD noob I wasn't aware that performance on smaller drives could be significantly slower than the performance on larger drives of the same series.

    I had the 100GB LE on order, then cancelled it to order the C300 as I have Sata3, then found out that the 128GB C300 drive has mediocre write speeds (up to 140MB/s). Talk about a mess!

    I see that you and most other sites tend to focus on the largest drives in a series, typically 256GB. Are these really the drives most of your readers are buying though? Based on your LE review and SSD round-up I went for the C300. I can't help thinking that your recommendations would have been very different had you instead tested the 128GB drives. Btw there's more info about the slow write speeds in my comment on the LE article, left earlier today.

    I'm now in a bit of a quandry. Do I try to get an LE after all? Will it also have significantly poorer write performance than the 256GB version that everyone's reviewing? Help me Anand Kenobi; you're my only hope!
    Reply
  • greenguy - Saturday, February 27, 2010 - link

    I bought 3 of the Intel x25-V 40GB drives recently - two for a workstation (mirrored boot drive), and one for my home system. I think that most people who run operating systems other than MS (e.g. Linux, BSD, OpenSolaris) would only really need around the 40-50GB mark. When I look at my Linux system that has been running over a year, the OS and apps part of the drive (i.e. that which benefits from an SSD), it doesn't come anywhere near the 40GB mark.

    Everything else is media, and even Samsung's 5200RPM HDD is faster than these really need to be. 80MB/s and Bluray's max speed is 7MB/s. As a media drive, most of these will be used write once, read many, and for a read speed of 7MB/s, that's only 500rpm.

    Only gamers are going to benefit from larger SSDs, and that's only if they can't be bothered in copying saved game files and settings to the storage drive after deleting whatever games they have gotten sick of. Or simply moving the directory to the storage drive and moving it back when done.

    When prices come down again, you can buy more and raid them. This will give nearly double the speed for equivalent cost of buying say, an 80GB drive.

    Really, $/GB is a pretty poor metric when evaluating these drives for use as a boot drive. Random 4k read speed/$ is probably the best, with one eye on the random writes (so long as the drive is bigger than say, $30GB).

    Of course, this is not the case for laptop drives unless you can fit both a boot and a storage drive in them.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Friday, February 26, 2010 - link

    I usually try to review the sweetspot drive, Micron sent out only 256GB drives for review but normally I focus on the ~120GB drives. The LE I tested was a 100GB drive, so you can see where your performance would have been. I'll request a 128GB drive from Crucial right away :) Reply
  • SeanFowler - Friday, February 26, 2010 - link

    Thanks Anand; I was forgetting you'd reviewed the 100GB LE rather than the 200GB version. This is probably the one for me to go for then.

    Another interesting subject is what impact read and write speeds have on the perceived performance of an OS drive. I would expect the read speed to be more important than the write speed as OS drives do more reads than writes.

    This could mean that the extra 70MB/s read speed the C300 gives over the LE compensates for the 110MB/s deficit in write speeds.

    I could cancel the C300 order and wait to see what's what in a week or so, but by that time the LE's will probably have sold out. The safest option right now seems to be the LE.
    Reply
  • Crypticone - Friday, February 26, 2010 - link

    I too am not sure what drive to purchase right now. I would really like to see the performance of the C300 in SATA 6gig mode on the Storage Bench. Any chance of running this test? I am interested to see if the faster interface would improve apps and games loading, etc in the real world. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Friday, February 26, 2010 - link

    6Gbps SATA will only improve large file read performance off of the drive. Loading apps and games shouldn't be any faster. Nearly all high performance SSDs load a single app/game in about the same time. Reply
  • vol7ron - Saturday, February 27, 2010 - link

    That might be true presently, but shouldn't that change as apps/games take advantage of more cores while loading and executing?

    vol7ron
    Reply
  • pesos - Friday, February 26, 2010 - link

    Very cool! Any plans to let the IT side guys take a crack at these in RAID configurations and let them lose on some database benchmarks? Reply
  • pesos - Friday, February 26, 2010 - link

    I meant let them LOOSE of course - they probably wouldn't lose Reply
  • viewwin - Friday, February 26, 2010 - link

    When will we hear more about the consumer level controller, SF-1200? Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Friday, February 26, 2010 - link

    I suspect within a month :) Reply
  • fic2 - Friday, February 26, 2010 - link

    My calculator says that $229.99/50G = $4.5998 not $3.59. I think you divided by 64G instead of 50G. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Friday, February 26, 2010 - link

    I did divide by 64GB :) I wanted to show the total cost per GB of NAND you were paying for. It's still used, even if it's not being exposed to your OS. It's also why I said that the situation gets worse when you look at available user space.

    Take care,
    Annad
    Reply
  • iwodo - Friday, February 26, 2010 - link

    Thanks for clearing up. I think you should mention the drive have 64GB ( I dont think it is mentioned anywhere ) Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Saturday, February 27, 2010 - link

    Second paragraph after the last table on the front page, I mention that it has 64GB of MLC NAND :)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • fic2 - Friday, February 26, 2010 - link

    That is what I figured, but I still think it is strange - it is advertised as a 50G SSD so that is what I think the $/G should be based on. Kind of like saying a car is a 5 wheel vehicle because you have an unused spare in the trunk. Reply
  • ratbert1 - Friday, February 26, 2010 - link

    ...are there any reviews forthcoming on the Corsair Reactor or Nova drives? I heard the Reactors are out, don't know about the Nova. Reply
  • Mr Alpha - Friday, February 26, 2010 - link

    Can I ask: what is the latest build of IOMeter? Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Friday, February 26, 2010 - link

    6-22-2008 build :) Reply
  • jimhsu - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link

    Right, you're using IOmeter. It shouldn't be hard to include maximum IO latency as a performance figure seeing as you already did so in the earlier SSD articles, i.e. http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/intel/showdoc...">http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/intel/showdoc... Reply
  • iwodo - Friday, February 26, 2010 - link

    LOL, when i read it you makes it sounds like a new build is finally out. Reply
  • nerdtalker - Friday, February 26, 2010 - link

    Awesome review Anand! Great read as always.

    Strange that they wouldn't let you open the drive. I had always wondered whether particular vendors were more or less controlling about that kind of thing. Wonder if this one also has a supercap inside.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Friday, February 26, 2010 - link

    It doesn't have a supercap and it's the same controller as the Vertex LE. I just got the distinct impression that they want this thing in a condition fit for resale (which is a bad idea imho).

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • Xtrafresh - Saturday, February 27, 2010 - link

    maybe they just want it in that condition so they can send the next reviewer the same sample as a representative of a purchhased drive?

    Great review Anand, exciting stuff. Now if only the prices would start coming down a bit...
    Reply

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