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  • scook9 - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    Looks like a nice update to barefoot but compared to the Intel G2 it is nothing ground breaking at all. There were also reliability issues with the barefoot that this would have to overcome (at least for me, that is why I have Intel G2s now). The price is also not that exciting given that the Intel G2 120GB just came out and is well priced. Reply
  • Out of Box Experience - Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - link

    There are reliability issues with Sandforce as well

    I Just checked and there are almost as many complaints at New Egg as there are over at OCZ Forums regarding their SSD's

    I could be wrong but it seems most people complaining about bricked drives or losing all their data are the ones who take OCZ's advice and do all the recommended tweaks and Firmware updates

    I personally torture tested both Vertex and Vertex 2 drives without any tweaks or firmware updates and I have never had any trouble with either drive

    I do full formats and partition under XP (Both OCZ No-No's)
    I defragged both drives several times and never used trim yet both drives are working fine

    I think my next torture test will be to use the recommended OCZ tweaks and firmware updates

    NOT!
    Reply
  • boe - Thursday, November 18, 2010 - link

    I'm anxious to build a new system with a sandy bridge proecessor, an at 6970 or nVidia video card and an SSD drive. However I need about 2TB of total storage and these puny SSD solutions would have been very practical about a decade ago but most of us looking for a high end computer that might include the more expensive SSD need a LOT more space. Reply
  • TF2pro - Friday, November 19, 2010 - link

    Well or course you don't buy an SSD for space, I spent $160 on my 60gb Sandforce drive and that could have bought me 3.5TB worth of mechanical drive space. Would I do it again.. 100 times over.. I have been building reasonably high end systems for myself for years and an SSD is the missing element. If you are looking for 2tb SSD's you shouldn't even be reading this article ... wait 2-3 years and then come back, until then if you really wanna see a jump in the speed of your PC get an SSD. Also 2tb drives are 90 bucks.. so just get both. Reply
  • Qapa - Friday, November 19, 2010 - link

    Well, that's not entirely true... if you have $3k or $4k to spend for SSDs you can buy 900GB-1TB SSDs (just check www.NewEgg.com).

    The question is, does that make sense. Not really for most people.
    Reply
  • TF2pro - Friday, November 19, 2010 - link

    Well yes of course you COULD get 2tb of SSD... but if you have that much money you probably aren't reading this forum.. your butler is reading it for you... Reply
  • rbarone69 - Sunday, November 21, 2010 - link

    Tech people come in all sizes, shapes and backgrounds. Some have millions, some dont. I am well off but technology is a passion for me. My job and my 'fun' do revolve around tech.

    My point is Anand has some of the most informative artciles on the internet regarding tech. Doesnt matter how much money you have you go where the quality is.
    Reply
  • marraco - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    I would like to read tests of ICH10 RAID0 made of different disks.

    Is the performance averaged, or bottlenecked to the slower disk?

    I don’t want opinions, as credible they may be. I want actual real tests.

    Publication of those tests may encourage new kind of RAID controllers, in which the load is balanced between different performing drives.

    Today’s controllers expect similar performance from each drive, so balance load equally to all SSD.

    But let’s say that tomorrow I buy a second, much faster SSD, and I want to do RAID 0 with my Vertex 2.
    A good controller should split the information on sizes according to each drive speed.
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    That only makes sense if the drives capacity differences roughly match their speed differences as well; a usecase I suspect is too uncommon to be worth developing towards. Reply
  • marraco - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    Smart point. Now it should be taken in account that speed and sizes are increasing by large and simultaneously.

    And it only makes the RAID controller more interesting.

    Is to the user to decide if he wants to be bottlenecked by speed, or be forced to reduce partition size to be able to gains speed at cost of size.

    Let's say that an old 100GB SSD is to be paired with a 150 GB SSD 2X faster (and thus should need to store 2X the space of the slower SSD).

    Then choices are:

    1-Reduce the partition on the slower SSD to 75GB, to match it with the 150GB 2X speed. It would result in a 3X speed improvement (making simplified number for clarity), and 125% increase in space storage. Also, 25 GB in the slower SSD would be free to a non RAID partition, as ICH10 allows today.

    2-Use all the capacity on both drives, as if the new SSD were only 50% faster. It would waste speed, because the improvement would be 2.5X instead of 3X, but no free space would be need reallocation.

    3-Anything on the middle.
    Reply
  • MeanBruce - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    With SandForce recently releasing their SF-2000 controller stats Intel has delayed the G3s my guess is to rework the entire M and X lineup. I love my little X25-M, but with SF claiming read/writes approaching 500mg/s Intel just has to do something to stay competative! You know SandForce is just a little company in California with 83 employees, and some 80M in cash, when they go public buy buy buy! Reply
  • surt - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    Sorry, but they are a HUGE ipo risk. They have one, first-generation product. It happens to perform better than the first generation products of huge, well known competitors. All competitors in this product space will be maxing out the interface bandwidth within 2 years. When that happens, do you think IT purchasers are going to choose sandforce over intel controllers? When that happens, their stock will tank on down to zero, and they will be a niche player if they are not out of business. Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    They will be bought by a Fortune500 company. Reply
  • MeanBruce - Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - link

    I get where you're coming from, but SandForce is moving into using their controllers on PCIe cards with their newest client, guess who? Seagate! Yup knocked me off my chair when I heard the news too, but I think it's fantastic, no bandwidth problems there. Their first SKUs will be for enterprise. Thanks to SandForce the next offerings from Intel should be damn nice; things are getting interesting. Reply
  • MeanBruce - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    Indilinx, I think I'll keep my shoes on!!! Reply
  • jaydee - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    One of my big problems with all these SSD reviews, is they are almost always 120GB+ versions, when the mainstream market is 60-90GB and we have no idea how these SSD's scale down to smaller capacities.

    For instance, I WAS really impressed with the Crucial C300, come to find out just now that the 64GB version isn't in the same league as the 128GB. Others seem to take smaller performance hits as you move down in capacity (Intel X25-M 160GB vs 80GB). SandForce-1200? Who knows, there's no 60GB-90GB version in the storage bench, and I never see one in any of these benchmarks. Not everyone can afford a $200-300 SSD.
    Reply
  • melgross - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    That's very true, but the market is going to larger sizes. The only reason they have those small drives is because of cost. A year ago, 64GB drives cost as much as 128GB drives do now, and people were buying them. most of us have no interest in a drive smaller than 128GB, and even that's too small for anything other than a notebook. In order to replace my boot drive in my Mac Pro, I need a 256, and those are still too expensive.

    it's interesting that notebooks get criticized for having 256GB HDD's, but those same people think that a cheap 64GB SSD is fine.
    Reply
  • jaydee - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    "Most of us have no interest in a drive smaller than 128GB..."?


    Speak for yourself, I'm in the General Hardware forum everyday and there are way more questions about builds that have the budget for 60-80GB SSD's than 120GB+ (desktops obviously). The notebook market even futher proves this point, because 120GB still isn't enough for almost all laptop users.

    I agree that the market is trending towards larger capacities at lower prices, but the fact is, there's a huge market for people who only need 60-80GB of boot storage, independant of pricing. If 60GB's cost $120 now, and $80 later and 120GB cost $230 now, $150 later, I have the great suspicion that most people are still going to go with the 60-80GB, and put the extra money saved, towards a better CPU or GPU. Because even with a 120GB SSD, 99% of people out there are still going to want a storage drive and SSD's aren't going to increase your frames per second, encoding times, etc.

    I want to see a 60-80GB SSD roundup of different controllers! Indillinx, JMicron, Toshiba, Sandforce, Intel!
    Reply
  • melgross - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    As usual, it's not likely the forums reflect the majority of users. I would imagine that some people use those small drives because they don't have a choice because of the price, but would rather have a larger model.

    I really wonder if managing the content on these small drives is worth the few seconds cut off from any work session. I can see one for a scratch drive for PS though.
    Reply
  • jaydee - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    At newegg the top 3 and 8 of the top 10 "most reviewed" SSD's are 64GB or smaller. They don't directly show sales numbers.

    TigerDirect, SSD "Tigers Top Sellers" has 6 drives <=80GB, 3 that are >=120GB and one hybrid.

    Superbiiz, sort the 2.5" SSD's 10 of the top 13 "best selling" are <80GB.

    What evidence do you have that supports your claim of most users having 120GB SSD's or larger?
    Reply
  • akedia - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    The poster you are responding to said nothing about anyone "having 120GB SSD's or larger". He or she did, however, comment that "most of us have no interest in a drive smaller than 128GB". It's important to read ALL of the words people say before you criticize them.
    I think you'd be hard pressed to find a person who is more interested in a 64 GB drive than a 128 GB drive. Sure, you can find lots of people more interested in paying what it costs to own a 64 GB drive than a 128 GB drive, but that's a different issue. I agree with the poster before that few if any people are actually interested in drives that are smaller than 128 GB, but, like me, there are many of us who are forced to settle for them due to financial constraints.
    To the original poster's point, since the market is rapidly moving to larger capacity drives, having benchmarks for smaller drives now would be of limited and temporary utility. Also, you must consider the fact that reviewers generally don't actually get to choose the drives they receive from manufacturers to review, and manufacturers have incentive to send out their faster performing flagship models than their slower, pint-sized brethren, now don't they?
    Reply
  • jaydee - Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - link

    Thanks for the lecture.

    So let me get this straight, even though the majority of SSD buyers can only justify getting a smaller drive, you think they'd rather see reviews of larger SSD's, even though they don't all scale down the same? You're just happy to guess on which 60GB performs better, as you as you can read reviews on drives you can't afford?

    To the original poster's point, since the market is rapidly moving to larger capacity drives, having benchmarks for smaller drives now would be of limited and temporary utility.

    Of course it is. Every SSD review is of "limited and temporal utility". Most SSD's don't last a year in the market before they are succeeded. There was a roundup of three 30-40GB drives in the Spring. That was very useful for a time and still may be if/when one of those drives goes on a clearance sale. And like I said earlier, until/unless the price difference of ~120GB vs 60GB drives become negligable (or the next iteration of Windows demands it), there's going to be a large number of users that will still pick the smaller drive, so they can put the cost difference towards upgrading other components like CPU or GPU.

    Also, you must consider the fact that reviewers generally don't actually get to choose the drives they receive from manufacturers to review...

    I have a very hard time believing that just about any SSD Anandtech wants to review is more than a phone call away.
    Reply
  • akedia - Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - link

    "So let me get this straight, even though the majority of SSD buyers can only justify getting a smaller drive, you think they'd rather see reviews of larger SSD's, even though they don't all scale down the same?"

    Nope. Not what I said. Perhaps I should have been more clear. Not only do you have to read ALL of the words someone says before you criticize, but you should read ONLY the words they actually said, and not respond to things they didn't say. I said nothing whatsoever about what reviews people would rather read, only pointing out that the previous poster had specified that they are interested in larger drives and that those reviews would be more relevant for longer, with the implication that that is a better use of a reviewers time.

    "I have a very hard time believing that just about any SSD Anandtech wants to review is more than a phone call away. "

    Try harder. Many of Anand's reviews start out by specifying which SSD he was sent, and putting that model in the context of their other offerings which he was not sent, including reviewing pre-production models knowing there will be changes before they ship from time to time. A: Anand doesn't have magical powers of SSD summoning, he does actually have to accept and work with the drives they send him for reviews, which most of the time are relevant samples but generally not complete collections of a company's offerings. B: Reviews take a lot of time, and even if they did send him every little sub-model he and his staff wouldn't have the time or inclination to benchmark every single one at the expense of all the other things they have to do.

    You demonstrate very little understanding of tech review processes, focusing only on the fact that the drive you happen to want didn't happen to get reviewed, never mind the priorities of the companies in selecting models to send out, the limitations of even an influential reviewer like Anand regarding what samples he receives, and the further limitations of reviewing in a relevant manner. Sure, I agree, it'd be super neat if every single model in every single size with every single firmware revision from every single company was reviewed with the comprehensiveness and skill of Anand. Meanwhile, back in reality, I'm happy to have reviews of as many of the most relevant or interesting drives as he can get his hands on and has time to do. The model I purchased was determined by what I read here even though it wasn't specifically reviewed here. Your self-interest is preventing you from grasping the greater context and comprehensively understanding the limits of the situation you feel free to criticize.
    Reply
  • jonup - Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - link

    "I said nothing whatsoever about what reviews people would rather read, only pointing out that the previous poster had specified that they are interested in larger drives and that those reviews would be more relevant for longer, with the implication that that is a better use of a reviewers time."
    The original post started as a request for more reviews of smaller capacity drives. Do you agree or disagree? (Maybe why or why not would be fine.) Quit playing semantics.
    "Many of Anand's reviews start out by specifying which SSD he was sent, and putting that model in the context of their other offerings which he was not sent, including reviewing pre-production models knowing there will be changes before they ship from time to time."
    While this is applicable for pre-production models, I am sure of two things: 1) most manufacturers would like to get the publicity from anandtech.com and therefore, if requested, most of the time, they will provide Anand with any sample; and 2) anandtech.com generates enough advertising rivenue to allow them to go purchase retail samples for testing - the cost of retail samples would be easily repenished by the advertizing revenue it would generate.
    And again the point of the original poster is to inquire about smaller capacity SSDs review. Do you agree or disagree? I personally would be happy to see more reviews of 60/64GB drives. I love my 80GB Intel G1 in my laptop. It provided enough space for fincial/business environment I use it for. 60GB would have been pushing it but would have done the job as well. It would also be enough for my bedroom PC.
    Reply
  • jaydee - Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - link

    Maybe you can stop belittling me, and stick with the topic? K? It's clouding what you're trying to get across.

    Anand doesn't have magical powers of SSD summoning, he does actually have to accept and work with the drives they send him for reviews...

    So you really think that if Anand (the premier SSD review on the web) calls up these manufactures and says he's doing a round-up of 60GB drives, they're going to say "sorry, we don't want you to review that one, you'll have to buy it yourself"?

    Let's even assume, that that's the case. We already know from past reviews, that he's got a minimum of: 60GB Indilinx Barefoot(http://www.anandtech.com/show/3546), 64GB Marvell (Crucial C300), 64GB Sandforce (Patriot Inferno), 80GB Intel G2: (http://www.anandtech.com/show/4010/kingston-ssdnow... All that's really missing is Samsung and Toshiba. And this new Indilinx Martini. More than halfway there.

    Reviews take a lot of time, and even if they did send him every little sub-model he and his staff wouldn't have the time or inclination

    Every little sub-model (20+ different units) is irrelevant. I clearly stated one of every controller (of which there are maybe 6 major players) is all that's necessary.

    Your self-interest is preventing you from grasping the greater context and comprehensively understanding the limits of the situation you feel free to criticize.

    I already have an SSD. My "self-interest" is being able to recommend which 60-80GB SSD's to fellow members on the forums (of which there are a multitude of questions regarding this), without having to conjecture based on piecemeal information and incomplete benchmarks from the links I posted above. This is a suggestion to this website, not a critizism (another misrepresentation on your part). I've been coming here since the Athlon vs Pentium III days and have been very grateful for what I've learned from Anandtech. This is the most informative, objective hardware review site on the web and this would improve it further.
    Reply
  • melgross - Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - link

    Exactly. I'm not denying that many people are buying smaller drives. But they're not thinking; Ooh, a 64GB SSD, just what I want! They're more likely thinking; Ooh, a 128GB SSD, just what I want, but I can't afford it, so I'll buy that crappy 64GB model I CAN afford.

    Even in the review of the MacBook Air here, 64GB was thought to be small, and 256GB was wished for as an upgrade to the 11.6" model, which doesn't offer it.

    It's amusing that likely the same people who criticize Apple for not including an option for bigger drives think that these small SSD's are enough for themselves.
    Reply
  • jaydee - Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - link

    It's amusing that likely the same people who criticize Apple for not including an option for bigger drives think that these small SSD's are enough for themselves.

    Not sure who you're referring to exactly, but if "said person" was talking about a 256GB SSD for a laptop with no other expandable storage, and a 60GB SSD for a desktop with a mechanical storage drive, I find no fault with this logic.
    Reply
  • melgross - Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - link

    I would be willing to bet you that vastly more people aren't buying ANY SSD because they are too small, and too expensive, and that goes for portable devices as well as desktops.

    I read a response or two about how many more people are buying small drives rather than bigger ones, and it means nothing. That's just the response of those who ARE buying these. If we took a poll of a sample of the average computer user, I would bet that almost none have bought any SSD yet.

    I read about how people think how wonderful it is because they cut 15 seconds off their startup. Big deal! Does that really matter when you're using you computer for many minutes at a time? does it really add to your productivity that your programs open in one second rather than three? Of course not!

    But those drives are too small to do what's really useful. That is, to open, save, and close big files quickly. The truth is that if you're doing work on small files, the time it takes to get those files is pretty fast even on a 7,200 rpm HDD. Even though an SSD is faster, it rarely is noticeable.

    So, sure, some people THINK their 64GB SSD is really speeding things up for them, but in reality, it's not, because all of the heavy lifting is still being done from the HDD.

    Once this changes, meaning the SSD is large and cheap enough, it will be different. But right now, buying a small SSD for a startup drive is less of a productivity tool than an ego booster. Sorry if that gets some people here mad.
    Reply
  • jonup - Thursday, November 18, 2010 - link

    You must not have an SSD. The 15 seconds (or more like 1+min) improvement in the time from power on to fully loaded and usable desktop or the benchmarks do not do SSDs justice. As Anand have said, you do not appreciate SSDs until you go back to HDD. I have Latitude D531 with a crappy Turion @ 1.9G with an 80GB G1 (Intel)in it. I have temporarily been working on an Latitude D820 which is the same laptop but with better C2D @ 2.1G CPU. The Intel powered laptop is intrusively slow compared to my regular AMD powered one. It does interefere with my productivity. I am constatntly caught waiting/resting for fraction of the second. It does not sound like much but is annoying and adds up throughout the day. And as far as capacity goes, what are you using your lappies for? Don't you have desktops for movies, games, music, whatever? Laptops are limited by nature in their performance; unless you compromise their mobility, which defeats the purpose.
    Which brings me to my next point of how fast SSDs are. I have 4-disk (mechanicle) RAID 0 in my desktop with a moderately overclocked P2. It is realy annoying when my dual core K8 laptop with an SSD inside finishes installing Windows Updates before the 3-core K10 at twice the frequency is done with setting up system restore point.
    I also prefer RAID 0 so if a 60GB performs as fast as 120GB SSD and cost roughly half as much I would prefer two smaller drives to one large one at a slightly higher cost. However if the 60GB drive performs nearly half as fast as the 120GB drive it defeat the purpose of the RAID setup. From this stand point 60GB and 80GB SSD reviews would also be useful.
    Reply
  • ABR - Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - link

    As a laptop owner I sit around and wait for the 256GB prices to come down. 120GB IS too small, and the smaller sizes are obviously only useful for desktops where a secondary media drive can be installed. But are there really that many desktops out there anymore aside from in businesses and niche markets like gamers? That's probably why SSD volumes are low and prices are taking a long time to decrease. Reply
  • leexgx - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    i agree 128gb would seem to be the min i would get

    got the 256gb m225 my self before the £100 price increase i have 50gb free on that, i had an corsair s128 before that bit slow at writing but load times was quite fast, main thing that went faster was disk based installs like stream pre load decrypt (when you pre load an steam game its encrypted it has to decrypt Very disk intensive as it has to read and write a lot) as it would make my corsair S128 stall the system for short times as latency's whent up to 1000, m225 system is fully usable when it was decrypting blackops

    apart from jmicron and older samsung first-second gen ssds, you be hard pressed to notice the difference unless you was doing server loads (like if i went from an m225 to an sf-1200 based ssd my pc mite boot up 1 second faster same goes for games and programs)

    only reason you see me replacing this ssd is if i was getting an 512gb version (like i got money to burn :) ) or 2xSF-1200 based ssd's in raid 0 (as GC works good on them)

    the segate XT drives may not seem that good but if your mainly only playing games or opening the same files often you could raid 3-4 of them in RAID 0 and that give you 16gb of cache data to work with
    Reply
  • iamezza - Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - link

    I would consider myself a power user, I spend much of the day on my PC working then later for gaming and I get by just fine with an 80GB SSD. I am currently using less than half capacity. Moving the user files in Windows 7 is a piece of piss, takes about 5mins and then its done, it's just drag and drop onto your storage drive.
    The only thing I can't do is install my games directory onto an SSD even a 128GB wouldn't be enough for that.

    I recently installed a 30GB SSD into my HTPC and it works a treat. Being a HTPC everything apart from the OS goes onto a storage drive so 30GB is more than enough.
    Reply
  • Mugur - Thursday, November 18, 2010 - link

    You are right, regarding this particular case, but I can see from other small drives, like Corsair F40, Intel X25-V 40 GB etc. how the performance scales down... F40 looks almost similar to F120 and we all know with Intel 40 GB that they have half channels so the sequential write is the most affected, not so much other factors. Reply
  • Crucial - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    All these reviews keep making me happy with my purchase of the 128mb Crucial drive. It seems to be a solid all around performer that still stays towards the top of the heap. Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    Not to divert this nifty SSD article, but if the drive manufacturers are so dead set on using round, metric numbers for their bytes, then I think I'm going to start calling them Metric Gigabytes and Imperial Gigabytes. It follows the current naming schemes much better then these ridiculous gibibytes. Who came up with that name anyhow? Reply
  • akedia - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    *sighs*

    The prefix giga- is metric, while the prefix gibi- is binary. Your phrase "metric gigabyte" is redundant, while your "imperial gigabyte" is nonsensical.

    A Gigabyte is 10^9, or 1,000,000,000, bytes. https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Gig...
    A Gibibyte is 2^30, or 1,073,741,824, bytes. https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Gib...

    Using the word gigabyte for those nice, round numbers is correct. The problem is operating system manufacturers whose systems display the number in the form of gibibytes. I'm not sure about others, but OS X now correctly displays gigabytes, erasing the apparent (but not actual) discrepancy between the box the drive came in and the system display about the drive.

    In answer to your question about who named them, from the Wikipedia entry for Binary Prefix:

    "The set of binary prefixes that were eventually adopted, now referred to as the "IEC prefixes," were first proposed by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry's (IUPAC) Interdivisional Committee on Nomenclature and Symbols (IDCNS) in 1995. ... The new prefixes kibi (kilobinary), mebi (megabinary) and gibi (gigabinary) were also proposed at the time, and the proposed symbols for the prefixes were kb, Mb and Gb respectively, rather than Ki, Mi and Gi. The proposal was not accepted at the time.

    "The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) began to collaborate with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) to find acceptable names for binary prefixes. The IEC proposed kibi, mebi, gibi and tebi, with the symbols Ki, Mi, Gi and Ti respectively, in 1996.

    "The names for the new prefixes are derived from the original SI prefixes combined with the term binary, but contracted, by taking the first two letters of the SI prefix and 'bi' from binary. The first letter of each such prefix is therefore identical to the corresponding SI prefixes, except for "K", which is used interchangeably with "k", whereas in SI, only the lower-case k represents 1000."

    That's quite the user name for someone who can't manage a couple of Wikipedia lookups. The right to be outraged comes with the obligation to be informed.
    Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Thursday, November 18, 2010 - link

    Yes, it was supposed to be nonsensical. I apologize for not putting more ;) smilies in my post. Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Thursday, November 18, 2010 - link

    Also, it wasn't just a troll post, since it apparently looks that way. I really AM annoyed at how the whole thing is being handled. Even though a 128Gib SSD really DOES have 128Gib on it, and is sold AS a 128Gib drive, the user space will be far less, depending on controller model. We're using the right units of measure, but people are STILL ending up with less then they thought they where. This was probably our one shot at getting accurate labeling on drives.

    I suppose I should have just said that, rather then try to have some fun with it. :|
    Reply
  • FunBunny2 - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    The real usecase for SSD is high normal form RDBMS. Let's get a TPC-C test of these things, using flatfile type schemas and BCNF type schemas; both on HDD (pick one for all tests going forward) and the SSD under test. Then we'll know whether they're worth the cost. Reply
  • dbt - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    Garbage collection - really for the masses? Vendor laims that it will help where TRIM support is not available are confusing me.

    Which filesystems does garbage collection support? I'll bet FAT16/32/64(exfat) are covered, NTFS as well.

    On other filesystems - how does the SSD controller know which blocks are "free" ?

    EXT4/ZFS/<anyother>FS

    ?
    Reply
  • jordanclock - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    Garbage collection is file-system agnostic. It happens on a level between hardware and the file-system. It will work for any and all file-systems. Reply
  • Jaybus - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    Unlike a spinning disk, there is no penalty for where blocks are physically placed. The controller therefore maps the address of the requested block to the real physical location of the block. This mapping is internal to the drive controller and at a lower level (the block level) than the file system. When a SATA request comes in to write a block that has previously been written to and already contains data, the controller would normally have to erase the block before writing the new data. What garbage collection does is change the mapping so that the write is made to a block that is already erased, while the old block is mapped to a list of blocks that now contain stale (ie. garbage) data. The idea is that this speeds up the writes, since the erase is delayed and performed later when disk activity is idle.

    This doesn't require a TRIM command, since it is all handled internally by the drive controller. It is at the block level, so file system used doesn't matter.
    Reply
  • melgross - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    So, and I asked this before, in another thread, is there an advantage to trim. If so, what else is it doing that would make that true? I received no answer there. Reply
  • akedia - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    TRIM is a command from the operating system to the drive to clean up its dirty sectors and ready them for new data. Background garbage collection is the hard drives quietly doing the same thing by themselves when they're idle. Either way it's a process that must be undergone to keep the SSD operating well.
    The benefit of TRIM is that the operating system is much better at knowing when it's about to access the drive than the drive is at guessing when it's going to be accessed by the operating system, so TRIM can fulfill the function more efficiently and diligently. The big drawback to TRIM is that not all operating systems have it. Thus the Crucial RealSSD C300, which can receive TRIM commands but cannot do background garbage collection, is arguably the best available SSD on Windows 7, which has TRIM, but would have its performance degrade very badly over time on OS X, which does not, while the SandForce SSDs like the OCZ Vertex 2 performs about equally on either system, their own garbage collection taking care of things.
    In short, yes, there is a benefit to TRIM in keeping SSDs functioning optimally over time better than idle garbage collection most of the time, IF you have an operating system AND an SSD that utilize the command.
    Reply
  • cdillon - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    Garbage collection doesn't have ANY knowledge of file-systems like some people seem to think. That would be entirely too dangerous for your data. Block devices have absolutely no business erasing your data without the OS asking it to.

    Garbage Collection and TRIM are orthogonal. When new data is written to the SSD, it is written to the pre-erased blocks that exist in the spare block pool. The LBA for that data will now point to the new flash block. Since the contents of the logical blocks are now stored in different physical flash blocks, the old flash blocks now contain orphaned "garbage" data and can be erased and returned to the spare pool. The purpose of Garbage Collection is to erase these previously used blocks and put them back into the spare pool.

    This allows for fast writes and some wear-leveling. If you over-run the spare pool with your writes then you'll see the writes slow down until garbage collection and/or TRIM has recovered at least some of the spare block pool.

    The advantage of TRIM is that it gives the SSD information about ADDITIONAL blocks that can be erased and put into the spare pool above and beyond the fixed spare pool. The smaller the fixed spare pool size is on an SSD, the more TRIM will benefit.
    Reply
  • melgross - Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - link

    Well, this is what I thought from what I've read.

    But, it also seems to me that you can get performance at least as good as trim with controllers that are aggressive, as aggressive as the trim itself may be. We can see from the new Toshiba controller that performance can remain at about 100% if it's aggressive. Yes, that may lead to reduced life, but that's got to be tested.

    One advantage I see for garbage collection by the drive itself is that it's matched to the drivef and the extra flash should help determine how aggressive it can get. But trim is independent of the drive, as so treats each drive the same. That could result in poorer performance, and possible shorter lifetime.

    I still don't see where any advantage to trim exists.
    Reply
  • dbt - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    And.... more importantly, another good article - thankyou ! Reply
  • cactusdog - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    I have a vertex2 that im very happy with it but cant OCZ come up with a different name instead of having different controllers under the same model of "vertex" with very different performance levels. Its a good way to confuse consumers. Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    I guess this is why you can buy one of the original vertexes (vertices?) for $40 after rebate. Reply
  • mschira - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    All these 2.5" SSD's are fine for desctops and for replacement in existing Laptops.
    But where is the move towards 1.8" models or better the super small form factor the MacBook air uses? (btw. does anybody know what sort of SSD the Sony Z-Series uses?)

    2.5" drives are getting a limitation for small thin notebooks. Time to get rid of them!!!!
    M.
    Reply
  • landerf - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    What SSD does Anand use personally? I see a lot of user remarks saying they've switched from this or that brand and noticed a feeling of improvement in everyday use, something that may be hard to quantify just looking at benchmarks. Reply
  • Zoridon - Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - link

    They need to come out with a 1 TB 3.5 inch version of the Momentus XT with two 500 gb platters and 8 gigs of flash memory. Basically double up on the current 2.5 inch XT for desktops. They could charge 50 percent more for the drive over current 1TB drives and increase desktop performance greatly without sacrificing storage capacity. If they do that I'd raid two in raid 0 and give the finger to SSDs for a few years. They could update to 2TB drives after 6 months for another wave of performace / storage goodness. Am I the only one wanting a destop version of the Momentus XT with these type of stats at an affordable price? Reply
  • Qapa - Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - link

    1 - Probably the most important one: when are we going to see the promises price cuts due to the move to lower nm? It was supposed to be this quarter right...?

    2 - When is the Jet Stream now supposed to come out? (and this also questions the sanity of creating this new Martini, and the effort put into this one which for sure delayed even more Jet Stream...)

    3 - I read somewhere that Intel G3 was put on hold due to the presentation of SandForce 2000 series?

    4 - When is this SandForce 2000 series expected to come out?

    I want a new generation SSD with 64Gb @ around $64!!
    Reply
  • iwodo - Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - link

    Again we are seeing the same thing.

    While i would love to trust the benchmark from IOmeter as the raw power of SSD. PC Mark, Sysmark and Anand Test Bench are MUCH closer to real work test, or real work usage scenario.

    And after the shocking results from Toshiba new Controller which nearly wins all real world test, the new firmware from indilinx seems to be doing the same as well.

    I dont know what is missing, but the preview certainly tells you being the fastest in BOTH Seq Read Write and Random Read Write does not AUTOMATICALLY translate to fastest in real world scenario.

    I know a lot of people are focusing on Iometer test, but i to me i have been paying much more attention to Anand Bench.
    Reply
  • vailr - Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - link

    Version 260.99 WHQL is the most current driver. Reply
  • MHz Tweaker - Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - link

    I purchased a pair of of 60gb Vertex 2's about 6 months ago when there was a email blast sale at "The Egg"

    For the most part I am VERY pleased with my purchase. What I am not pleased with is all the crap I have to go through to make sure I get the best performance.

    Example: Booting various Win7 DVD's in order to clean the SSD's followed by booting a USB flash drive version of Ubuntu in order to do a secure erase. Granted, these could be considered performance tweaks but who doesn't want every ounce of speed for their money.

    My SSD's came with 1.11 firmware which has performed admirably. Just this past weekend I did my 6month re-install of Win7 x64 and of course with most versions of Windows it feels like a new PC again.

    The top of my wish list would be some type of RAID supported TRIM function for these drives, other than that it has been smooth sailing for me. Oh, also I set aside an extra 20gb for spare area in the RAID 0 array to give me 100gb vs. the 120 the pair would normally give. I really don't miss the extra 20gig as I have 9 other hard drive in my box totaling 14TB of storage.

    later

    MHz
    Reply
  • ClagMaster - Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - link

    Since there is no indication the controller chip has been changed, the improvement must be from a careful rebalancing of the driver optimizations. The performance gains obtained from this optimization is impressive to say the least.

    For general usage, PCMARK shows very good performance relative to the Intel and C300 offerings.

    The OCZ Vertex Plus offers very good performance for the cost, but at ~$2/GB is still pricy.
    Reply
  • ehume - Thursday, November 18, 2010 - link

    I get the feeling these tests were all run SATA II/3Gb. Yet the C300 is capable of using SATA III/6Gb. How would the results compare?

    So far it looks like the Corsair Force 100 is at or near the top in most of the tests. Given that the Force 40 is usually not far behind, the Force 80 looks like a good buy at the right size.

    But would the C300 do a lot better on a SATA III motherboard? Or would the SATA contribution not make much difference here?
    Reply
  • Hrel - Tuesday, November 23, 2010 - link

    I really wish you guys would put two 7200rpm drives with 64MB of cache configured in a Stripe RAID in these performance charts for comparison. Or at least mention the score below the chart since it'd probably mess up the bars. While I know the random stuff would still be WAY lower, I'm curious what PCMark would say about system performance and how sequential activity would compare. Reply
  • gaspard - Friday, November 26, 2010 - link

    Samsung 470 Series... would be great to see a review.

    It's the "other" controller that is up with SF, C300, Intel, Martini...
    Reply
  • ThaHeretic - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - link

    So like, if you could add Gran Turismo 5 load time performance on SSDs you'd make tens of millions of people happy. I assume the PS3 OS doesn't do TRIM yet...or does it? Update coming? Reply

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