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  • Meaker10 - Wednesday, December 29, 2010 - link

    15 or even 14" machines could get nicely smaller while fit two of these.

    Two 80 gigs in raid 0 is starting to make sense while just adding a slot in a current sized machine lets you go the proper hybrid route of SSD Boot + data HDD.
  • Kaboose - Wednesday, December 29, 2010 - link

    I don't think RAID 0 makes sense with these drives for the time being, for most consumers a single 40Gb boot drive and a 500Gb HDD for data makes a lot more sense. You can have marketing gimmick of "boots in xx seconds" or whatever for hype but you aren't really going for performance or space (at least not yet). I for one would like to have a 40Gb boot ssd of this form factor and a 500Gb HDD for movies and such on a 15.6 inch 1080p sandy bridge based laptop (pay attention here dell, hp, asus, acer, toshiba, etc.) I think 2011 is going to be a great year for emerging technologies (SSD, sandy bridge, 22 nm GPU, IGP, and hopefully a greater prevalence of 1080p laptop panels (am i the only one to be upset that dell isn't offering anything above 900p on any of their laptops at the moment?)). Reply
  • EddyKilowatt - Wednesday, December 29, 2010 - link

    >for most consumers a single 40Gb boot drive and
    >a 500Gb HDD for data makes a lot more sense

    This is definitely where things are going. It's been obvious to me for a year and to smart folks for more like two.

    Based on that, I reckon we can expect separate-data-drive support from Windows in... mid-2012.
  • vol7ron - Thursday, December 30, 2010 - link

    this isn't where things are going.... this is where things already are. only, it's not 40GB for a boot, it's 80GB. and it's not 500GB for data, it's 1TB+. unless, of course, you're talking about laptops, then you're right... this is where things are headed. Reply
  • ImSpartacus - Thursday, December 30, 2010 - link

    Isn't that the Libraries feature in Win7?
  • purrcatian - Sunday, January 02, 2011 - link

    Uhh... I have been separating my data and OS/Programs on separate drives for years. The reason I did this was not for performance, but to make reinstalling the OS easier. I know from experience that every version of Windows since XP has been able to relocate the "special folders" (My Ducuments, Downloads, My Pictures, My Videos, My Music) to anywhere on any drive. XP required Tweak UI, a free Power Toy from Microsoft, but 7 has the functionality built-in. It takes a little effort to set up, but after that, it is pretty seamless. In fact, I found that it was actually nicer because if you needed to actually navigate to a "special folder" without using a shortcut all you can to do is go to Data Drive:\Special Folder instead of C:\Documents and Settings\Username\My Documents. I know that all of my example folder names are XP, but anyone here who uses 7/Vista knows the 7/Vista equivalent (Remove the "My"s and replace "Documents and Settings" with "Users").

    ImSpartacus has a point about Libraries in Windows 7, but that is not very seamless, and it seems to be somewhat buggy.

    I think EddyKilowatt needs to do more research.
  • RamarC - Wednesday, December 29, 2010 - link

    i agree that ssd+disk is a better choice. maybe someone will make a true combo 2.5" with a 40GB SSD+320GB 5400rpm in a single package. Reply
  • vol7ron - Thursday, December 30, 2010 - link

    that's what the hybrid drives were... maybe not as big, but the same idea and it's not that great of one now. Until the NAND lifespan increases, I wouldn't wnat to replace my old HDD just because the flash portion gave out. Reply
  • epobirs - Thursday, December 30, 2010 - link

    This is why the hard drives with flash don't act as two separate drives. As the flash wears out, it can be treated as a cache of gradually decreasing size, much as an SSD can gracefully lose capacity over its lifetime.

    The worst that should happen with a platter+flash drive is that it eventually becomes a platter-only drive. But that should take a very long time, as the flash area shouldn't get written to very much after the user's habits are established.
  • KZ0 - Wednesday, December 29, 2010 - link


    And for the space, I'd gladly offer my DVD-drive. I've used it once since I got my laptop half a year ago. Even used a USB-stick for Windows.

    The first manufacturer giving a good, high-res display in a 14" og 15" with 4+ battery life, decent processor and decent switchable graphics, in addition to a SSD / HDD combo, will make some serious money. Proper touchpad drivers, and it would be a killer without equal.

    Got an Envy 14 in the summer, which got quite close. There's still touchpad drivers and the SSD / HDD combo. I ended up with a Intel x25 160 GB, and bying an external 2.5" 750 GB drive in addition.
  • kkwst2 - Wednesday, December 29, 2010 - link

    Well, the "good high-res display" is what kills many options. My Thinkpad T410s with a SSD primary and 750 GB HDD in the ultrabay is close, but the display is decent res but mediocre in quality. It is fine for me because I don't do much graphics work on it. Only thing a bit annoying is the angle issue.

    And you have to swap out the HDD for the ultrabay battery to get the 5 hours of battery life, otherwise it is more like 2.5-3.

    I disable my touchpad as it simply gets in the way. Have been addicted to trackpoint (aka red nipple) for years. Even replaced my desktop keyboards with the space-saving server keyboards that have trackpoint.
  • ppokorny - Thursday, December 30, 2010 - link

    I have the same setup on my Thinkpad T500. I love it. 30GB SSD internal, 640GB drive in the ultra-bay. Graphics are techincally switchable between built-in and ATI, but I leave it on the Radeon because I'm running Linux.

    With the backlight turned down, I can about the same 3+ hours battery life when reading or doing e-mail on planes.

    And bluetooth tethering to my iPhone makes using the laptop on the go so nice...
  • ptuy - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    Hey Dude..

    I also have an t500.. I would really like to hear more about your setup..

    Please reply at this topic soon, then I will reply with my email.
  • perpetualdark - Monday, January 03, 2011 - link

    See, I see it different.. The enthusiast market is not driving SSD development any more, the business market is. My gaming machine combined with the laptops and other PCs at home don't hold a candle to the dollars invested in my 100+ business machines. For business, not only is it unecessary for a large capacity mechanical drive but it can be detrimental. 80 gigs has been enough storage for a client PC for the last 5 years and I don't see it changing. As bloated as Microsofts software is, even a very large excel, word, or powerpoint file only takes a few megabytes at most. For those with larger file needs such as autocad designers, a NAS or SAN is a better answer than localized storage. For mobile users, I don't want them to think they can put hundreds of gigs of pirated music and movies on the laptop they carry, I just want it to be fast and efficient. The SSD is doing everything we need it to do in the business community, and without the need for large capacity storage. Furthermore, replacing a mechanical drive with an SSD in an older laptop gives it the performance boost to add a couple more years to its viability in the field, especially when you are talking about 3 or 4 year old Core 2 machines where the CPU is still fast enough to handle the current software.

    I agree that in an enthusiast environment where you need to store your 4 million songs and 400 movies, you need a high capacity drive, but even the most storage heavy games don't require more than 40 gigs of free space (I hear the latest version of WoW does, but who plays that anymore? lol) I recently replaced my velociraptor primary with larger storage drive on my gaming machine with an SSD for boot/games (80 gigs is plenty) and the old 300 gig velociraptor for storage, and it is more than I will ever need. On the other hand, I bought a dozen 80 and 128 gig SSDs for upgrading some laptops and even a couple workstations at the office.
  • vol7ron - Wednesday, December 29, 2010 - link

    Do you think they'll start using these in USB3 NAND sticks?

    So much waiting... I just want to build my new rig already. I was hoping it would be announced in 10Q4 so that when 11Q4 came around the prices would be delightful
  • dfield - Wednesday, December 29, 2010 - link

    Just buy it and add an ssd later....once sandy bridge comes out, there aren't going to be any big changes in the market until late 2011, except for in ssd's Reply
  • Taft12 - Wednesday, December 29, 2010 - link

    Forgetting Bulldozer? This'll be an interesting year! Reply
  • Kaboose - Wednesday, December 29, 2010 - link

    if this is only CPU then socket R ( aka socket 2011) is also coming out, not to mention 22nm GPU's if we are opening up the whole table of computer advancements Reply
  • Nesters - Wednesday, December 29, 2010 - link

    28nm not 22nm. However, S2011 CPU's are indeed going to be 22nm. Reply
  • Kaboose - Wednesday, December 29, 2010 - link

    i always mix my GPU fabrication processes with my CPU fabrication processes thanks for the correction. Reply
  • Tros - Wednesday, December 29, 2010 - link

    Wow seriously? I thought AnandTech's readers would know well to care more about the methods, than the clocks or fab-processes.

    USB3 is still an ill choice for high bandwidth, not only for being a host-initiated, polling, architecture, but for stripping the controllers of their better features (DMA for instance).

    The best changes this brings are in form-factors. Putting them into a RAID for a ridiculously speedy notebook doesn't make much sense though, unless it's something protective like RAID5, or ZFS (again, method trumps fab). You'll just add more controllers than you need to a set of storage. What really makes sense is creating a notebook line that only uses SSDs, and having magnets in the case to do some awesome mechanical stuff.
  • vol7ron - Thursday, December 30, 2010 - link

    Be it as it may, I'd like a USB3/eSATA all-in-one thumb drive. Different connectors on the different ends. I'd also like to load it with Ubuntu or something similar to Ceedo. Reply
  • MeanBruce - Wednesday, December 29, 2010 - link

    Let's hope Intel's delay or rework is due to SandForce's SF-2000 upcoming controller specs. I would love to see some Intel SATA 6Gb/sec drives and some Intel PCIe drives/cards like the Revo drives. Seems they will have to deliver something extaordinary to stay competative. 2011 is going to be a great year! Reply
  • liveonc - Wednesday, December 29, 2010 - link

    UEFI, SandyBridge, mSATA, USB3.0, affordable ultraportables, & people still too paranoid to give up their false sense of security in favor of cloud computing...

    You "could" add a 5400RPM "green" HDD for storage, or just settle for that external USB3.0 storage to get added battery life & separate your mobile from your "precious" backup.
  • synaesthetic - Wednesday, December 29, 2010 - link

    Nothing to do with a "false sense of security."

    More to do with not wanting to be charged for every pixel we use individually.

    Granted, as long as net neutrality is enforced, cloud computing will be awesome. But if the corporatists corrupt the legislation (as they've already done to some extent), then all that cloud computing will do is give businesses free reign on charging you for everything multiple times.
  • solipsism - Wednesday, December 29, 2010 - link

    I wonder (and hope) that the intermediate future of notebooks shed the ODD, include these drives as boot drives but off HDDs for storage in the standard size notebooks. As great a it would be to have all SSD I don’t see the cost-to-GB ratio being in the consumers favour for several years.

    PS: Before it erroneously gets assumed, Anand didn’t say that Apple invented or was the first to use incorporate these drives, but they are the first to make waves with it.
  • damianrobertjones - Wednesday, December 29, 2010 - link

    If you slap in a 40Gb drive into a laptop, the support calls will be extensive, "My drive is full" Reply
  • Andysound - Wednesday, December 29, 2010 - link

    I've thought about it since I found about the Optical-to-HDD/SSD adapters for MacBook Pro computers, as I noticed there's plenty of space left over after fitting a 2.5" drive in one of those.

    If someone (OWC reading this maybe/hopefully...?!) were to build a different optical-bay adapter including the hardware RAID and space to fit TWO or THREE of these new smaller SSD drives, it would be great for leaving said set-up as the hyper fast boot/OS drive, while optionally replacing the main drive with a new 1TB HDD for space reasons...

    Currently my only option (still waiting for prices to drop more and the warranty to expire next April '11) is to use one of the current adapters to fit a SSD instead of the optical drive, and replacing the original disk with a 2nd identical SSD so I can RAID 'em in zero. Problem with this set-up are mixed reports thus far, and I'd loose overall capacity, meaning less mobility.

    Mine is a 17" 2.66GHz i7 MB Pro w/ a 500GB 7.2k rpm HDD.
  • iwod - Thursday, December 30, 2010 - link

    Well realistically we could have a Hybrid of HDD and a small one ( But faster version then this Intel SSD ).

    The OS or Filesystem would treat it as a single unit. Using SSD for Cache and HDD for less frequent files like your iPhone Backup.

    However when ever i think of it this way it seems it is not a very elegant solution to solve the problem and generally add complexity to the software system.
  • setzer - Wednesday, December 29, 2010 - link

    Now if intel could also do these for half-height mini pci-e I could replace the wireless card in my notebook by a ssd and get the best of both worlds. Reply
  • ArteTetra - Wednesday, December 29, 2010 - link

    It's a shame write speed performance is still so poor... a low-RPM HDD has twice the sequential write speed. Reply
  • erple2 - Wednesday, December 29, 2010 - link

    Which I think is why they make such great Data Disks (plus cost per GB), and terrible application disks. Reply
  • Computer Bottleneck - Wednesday, December 29, 2010 - link

    Looking forward to seeing these included in Moorestown/Medfield Tablets. Reply
  • Computer Bottleneck - Wednesday, December 29, 2010 - link

    Oops, forgot Moorestown/Medfield lacks the connection for these. Reply
  • iwod - Wednesday, December 29, 2010 - link

    All of a sudden i am not too keen on SSD or NAND 's future. Or, again we are nearing the end of the curve for SSD improvement.

    1. We are limited by the amount of "Channels" we can fit in these form factor. Even an 2.5" would allow theoretically 20 Channel SSD. Double of what Current Intel SSD offers.

    2. Since we are moving to much smaller size SSD as this article suggest. Theoretical channel would be reduce to 4 - 8. That is similar performance to our current regular SSD.

    3. Even with DDR NAND, we would only see Double the performance. But that is at the cost of even worst reliability. And we are already much worst with each die shrink.

    4. Error Correction is not going to fix this problem.

    So i think after next gen SSD, which is coming in a few months time, we would have seen the last explosive increase Price / Performance in SSD to a much more gradual increase in price performance and capacity.
  • martinf - Thursday, December 30, 2010 - link

    "The mSATA interface is physically a mini PCIe connector (similar to what you’d see with a WiFi card in a notebook) but electrically SATA. The result is something very compact."

    So, I guess ther's no use in trying to pop one of these in the PCI Express mini card of my Intel 510MO (wich annoyingly only has two SATA ports) ?
    What would have been sweet.
  • Finite Loop - Thursday, December 30, 2010 - link

    I've got an eee PC 900 with a mini PCI express connector currently used for the provided SSD storage device.

    Will I be able to use this Intel SSD instead? If so, what kind of performance increase can I expect?
  • ArteTetra - Thursday, December 30, 2010 - link

    The SSD of the Eee PC 900 is about 2 cm longer than Intel's. So you won't be able to screw it to the motherboard.
    The performance increase should be pretty good, as I think the bottleneck of this netbook is often the extremely slow Phison SSD (I own a 900 too).
  • Finite Loop - Thursday, December 30, 2010 - link

    Good to know about the difference in form factor. Anything should be faster than the supplied 16GB ssd. Maybe intel should include a bracket for eee pcs, like supplying a 3.5" bracket for 2.5" drives. Reply
  • semo - Thursday, December 30, 2010 - link

    "While internal roadmaps showed a Q4 release for the 3rd generation X25-M based on 25nm NAND, that product is obviously delayed"

    No word on the Vertex 2 25nm editions? It's strange that not many people are talking about it.
  • vectorm12 - Thursday, December 30, 2010 - link

    They better make sure it's as easy to upgrade one of these as with a traditional HDD in most notebooks. I still remember the nightmare it was getting access to the small boot SSD in my old eeePC 901.

    As for 40GB boot drive I feel it's a little too puny as you're gonna want to run most of your software off of it and not just your OS. Currently the smallest SSD I've managed to squeeze my mobile software library + OS is on a 120GB drive and that's with about 30GB to spare.

    One of these small formfactor SSDs in the 120GB capacity range + a 2,5" HDD for files would be a really great setup especially for a CULV notebook where you have to suffer less powerful hardware.

    If ASUS releases a followup to my current UL35JC with a combo like that I'm gonna be buying a new machine the day it's available here in Sweden.
  • sinned43 - Thursday, December 30, 2010 - link

    Why not show mm and inches when giving specs? Isn't anyone else making the next generation SSD's? Looks like Intel is holding all the cards. Will Intel have new motherboards to handle the forthcoming advances? Reply
  • taltamir - Thursday, December 30, 2010 - link

    is that a 3.5", 2.5", or 1.8" HDD in the picture being compared to the 310? Reply
  • JackNSally - Thursday, December 30, 2010 - link

    Looks like a 2.5" to me Reply
  • taltamir - Thursday, December 30, 2010 - link

    thanks, I found the exact same picture on another website and it said 2.5" there. Reply
  • Scholzpdx - Sunday, January 02, 2011 - link

    Would I be able to put this in an EeePC 900? It looks like the same form factor... Reply
  • Johnmcl7 - Sunday, January 02, 2011 - link

    The Macbook Air is not the beginning at all because as usual Apple are quite a bit behind Sony on this. Their older Z series squeezed a pair of Samsung uSATA 128GB SSDs in RAID 0 for the 256GB SSD option despite the machine being a lightweight 13in model. The current Z series goes one step further by offering a choice of four SSDs in RAID 0 still in a lightweight 13in chassis. Sony very much realise the potential from compact SSDs and have made some pretty impressive storage solutions in small spaces.

  • solipsism - Sunday, January 02, 2011 - link

    1) As previously mentioned neither Apple nor AnandTech stated that Apple was the first to remove the casing from the SSD to save space, yet I have a feeling they will be the ones that will do it so extensively that others will follow.

    2) The Sony Z does NOT use the mini-PCIe connector for its SSD and the card is considerably larger than what Apple uses, so Sony was no pioneer there. In fact, they had the same form factor as the 2.5” HDDs, just thinner.

    3) I know Dell Mini 9, at least, used this exact technique. The difference is they were very poor PATA SSDS of low capacity, designed to be cheap over everything else. If anyone gets credit for it would whomever made those those cards.
  • Johnmcl7 - Monday, January 03, 2011 - link

    1) Actually it does, it's on the first page:

    " The SSD in Apple’s new MacBook Air is just the beginning"

    2) I never said Sony were using the mini-PCIe connector however they were clearly the first to be using multiple SSDs in spaces other companies had just one. They weren't just using stripped 2.5in drives as those simply wouldn't fit, they were using one of Samsung's custom form factors named uSATA. If Sony aren't the pioneer, perhaps you can point to another company who have been using multiple SSDs in ultralight laptops where rivals have had just one? Also even stranger that you say that Apple are going to be the ones that 'will do it' despite admitting other companies have been doing it for years, short of making a time machine and going back in time Apple are far, far too late to pioneer this type of technology. Admittedly that probably won't stop them 'pioneering the technology' (!) when even AT give them credit for it when they're the usual few years late.

  • Hrel - Sunday, January 02, 2011 - link

    SSD's have to hit a dollar/GB AT LEAST. I mean come on, hard drives get down to 10 cents/GB. I know they're more expensive but realistically prices still need to drop a lot to be viable for the mainstream. Reply
  • AnnonymousCoward - Monday, January 03, 2011 - link

    IMHO, today's price is worth the performance, power savings, and ruggedness. Smaller feature size, more MLC, and mainstream adoption will devastate prices in time. Reply
  • sjprg2 - Wednesday, January 05, 2011 - link

    Until the infatuation with SATA goes away and these companys embrace PCIE the whole seceniro is a cluster **** as Clint would say. Why are they so slow implementing PCIE 3? There is no longer any excuse for memory bottlenecks.
    I maybe a gadfly but if you don't get on the sales/marketing departments of these companies and demand better it will all ways be business as usual. One or two complaints don't accomplish much but we have enough knowledgable users on these forums to start making a difference.

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