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  • Slimline - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    This sounds interesting Reply
  • Trefugl - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Indeed. I'm particularly liking the conclusion:

    'We're still a couple months away from knowing exactly what to buy, but if you've been putting off that move to an SSD - 2011 may be the year to finally pull the trigger"

    That pretty much describes me perfectly. I do have an SSD in my work's workstation, but for home, but I've been holding out for 2011 (IMFT 25nm NAND) and I'm thinking I might not be disappointed by the wait.
  • Drag0nFire - Friday, February 18, 2011 - link

    Indeed. I'm particularly excited to see what will happen when Intel shows up to the fight. Reply
  • MeanBruce - Friday, February 18, 2011 - link

    Intel announced their 510 SSD G3 series today, it will come in 120Gb and 250Gb capacities, SATA3 6Gb/s, read/writes of 470Mb/s and 315Mb/s respect, and will be priced at $280 and $580! It's not using an Intel controller word is Intel doesn't have an in house controller with any real speed! SandForce is really shakin' things up! ;) Reply
  • MrBrownSound - Friday, February 18, 2011 - link

    woah, no kidding. I'm looking forward to any reviews of it. Reply
  • MeanBruce - Saturday, February 19, 2011 - link

    I knew when Intel pulled their G3 SSD lineup by rescheduling the release it had nothing to do with time constraints and everything to do with the numbers released shortly after by OCZ about their new SandForce controllers, 500/500 read/writes had Intel drawing up an entirely new gameplan for the new G3 lineup! But honestly I thought they would just let a little more magic out of the bag, I had no idea their bag was empty! Now I found out the new 510 series that becomes available March 1st is just going to use a Marvell controller just like the new Crucial and Corsair drives. I still love my X-25M but it's sad when a company with that many resources kicks back on their laurels. Oh well the good news is SandForce is here and with their new client Seagate we will have lots of choices and overall it's just great for the industry at large! Just sucks to watch the one time leader down so low! Reply
  • Out of Box Experience - Saturday, February 19, 2011 - link

    Over 50% of the boxes on the Planet still run XP

    So, the big question is...

    Which one is XP compatible Out of the Box?

    I'd love to buy a Sata 3 SSD that can saturate my XP Sata 2 ports but should we stick with Older/Slower Intel Sata 2 SSD's for compatibility??????

    Any comment on this issue?
  • anactoraaron - Monday, February 21, 2011 - link

    I know everyone has their own reason for keeping XP... but if you want to buy a $200+ SSD how can you not pony up the 100 for windows 7?

    Besides, 2 more years until XP is officially obsolete...
  • Out of Box Experience - Monday, February 21, 2011 - link

    Bla bla bla

    Having Windows 7 does not mean we all need to throw out our XP Licences and all our software that does not run on 7

    Why can't somebody just answer my question instead of changing the subject

    We get it! You love all the spyware and DRM built into Windows 7 but others don't

    So lets just stick to the question I asked shall we?

    Which Sata 3 SSDs will be Alignment agnostic at the very least so they can be used on ANY O.S. besides Spyware 7?
  • bennyg - Monday, February 21, 2011 - link

    Bla bla bla spyware bla drm bla bla

    You forgot to mention how locking DX10 to Vista/7 was a deliberate ploy to force gameplayers to upgrade.

    And how Win7 is just Vista done right.

    Far out some people hold grudges. I was ambivalent about Win7 when it was forced upon me - but for multicore + SSDs you just can't consider an old OS that wasn't designed when they were on the radar.
  • Out of Box Experience - Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - link

    Thanks for answering my question

    and you are right

    with over 50% of all PCs still running XP, it would indeed be stupid for the major SSD companies to overlook this important segment of the market

    with their new SSDs ready to launch for Windows 7 machines, they should be releasing plug and play replacements for all the XP machines out there any day now..................NOT!

    Are they stupid or what??

    no conspiracy here folks
    just the facts
  • Kjella - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Fact: Most computers end their life with the same hardware they started with. Only a small DIY market actually upgrades their hard disk and migrates their OS/data. So what if 50% runs XP? 49% of those won't replace their HDD with an SSD anyway. They might get a new machine with an SSD though, and almost all new machines get Windows 7 now. Reply
  • Cow86 - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Very interesting indeed....good article too. One has to wonder though - looking at what is currently happening with 25 nm NAND in vertex 2 drives, which have lower performance and reliability than their 34 nm brethren ánd are sold at the same price without any indication - how the normal Vertex 3 will fare...Hoping they'll be as good in that regard as the original vertex 2's, and I may well indeed jump on the SSD bandwagon this year :) Been holding off for lower price (and higher performance, if I can get it without a big price hike); I want 160 GB to be able to have all my games and OS on there. Reply
  • lecaf - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Vertex 3 with 25 NAND will also suffer performance loss.

    It is not the NAND it self having the issue but the numbers of the chips. You get same capacity with half the chips, so the controller has less opportunity to write in parallel.

    This is the same reason why with Crucial's C300 the larger (256) drive is faster than the smaller (128).

    Speed will drop for smaller drivers but if price goes down this will be counterbalanced by larger capacity faster drives.

    The "if" is very questionable of course considering that OCZ replaced NAND on current Vertex2 with no price cut (not even a change in part number; you just discover you get a slower drive after you mount it)
  • InsaneScientist - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Except that there are already twice as many chips as there are channels (8 channels, 16 NAND chips - see pg 3 of the article), so halving the number of chips simply brings the channel to chip ratio down to 1:1, which is hardly a problem.
    It's when you have unused channels that things slow down.
  • lecaf - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    1:1 can be a problem... depending who is the bottleneck.

    If NAND speed saturates the channel bandwidth then I agree there is no issue, but if the channel has available bandwidth, it could use it to feed an extra NAND and speed up things.

    But that's theory ... check benchmarks here:
  • Chloiber - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    It's possible to use 25nm chips with the same capacity, as OCZ is trying to do right now with the 25nm replacements of the Vertex 2. Reply
  • Nentor - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Why are they making these flash chips smaller if there are the lower performance and reliability problems?

    What is wrong with 34nm?

    I can understand with cpu there are the benefits of less heat and such, but with the flash chips?
  • Zshazz - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    It's cheaper to produce. Less materials used and higher number of product output. Reply
  • semo - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    OCZ should spend less time sending out drives with no housing and work on correctly marketing and naming their 25nm Vertex 2 drives.

    How can OCZ get away with calling a 55GB drive "60GB" and then trying to bamboozle everyone with technicalities and SandForce marketing words and abbreviations is beyond me.

    It wasn't too long when they were in hot water with their jmicron Core drives and now they're doing this?
  • eva2000 - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Thanks for the review, curious why the 256GB Crucial RealSSD C300 only included in some benchmarks and not others ? Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    That's simply a data entry issue, I'll get it fixed :)

    Take care,
  • therealnickdanger - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Also, I'm curious as to why none of the REVO benchmarks are included? On the one hand, I understand how niche PCIe drives may be, but on the other, they can offer significant performance over both SATA 3Gbps and 6Gbps drives. It would be nice to see the new Heavy and Light benchmarks applied to those as well. Reply
  • ludikraut - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    +1 on including REVO drive results in the drive comparisons. Reply
  • markjx1 - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    because REVO drives are garbage. they're nothing more than a bunch of vertex2's slapped onto a board with a cheap Silicone Image controller that has a PCI-X to PCIe bridge. Resale value on REVO is crap and if one of the drives dies, you have a nice paperweight. Reply
  • bji - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Your own personal opinion on the drives are not a reason to disclude them from the review. Reply
  • therealnickdanger - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Garbage that can pull down 800MB/s...? Go away, troll. For users without SATA 6Gbps, it's a very practical solution to achieve huge speed. In fact, even people WITH SATA 6Gbps would get a boost. The cost/GB is even under $2 for some of the REVOs, making them a reasonable alternative. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    All graphs should now have the 256GB C300 in them :) Reply
  • Breogan - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Is the data in the Incompressible Write Speed Test mixed for the SF2500 drive or does it perform actually worse after trim?. It seems weird to me that a dirty drive performs as if it was stock and the trim actually worsens its perfomance. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    It's not TRIM that is making the drive slower, it's the next write pass that's actually pushing the drive into a lower performance state as there's more garbage collection/cleaning that's going on. If I hadn't TRIMed and just ran another pass of the AS-SSD test you'd see the same number.

    Take care,
  • jwilliams4200 - Friday, February 18, 2011 - link

    In that case, it would be helpful to print two after-TRIM benchmarks: (1) immediately after TRIM and (2) steady-state after-TRIM (i.e., TRIM, let the drive sit idle for long enough for GC to complete, then benchmark again) Reply
  • jcompagner - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    what i never understood or maybe i should read a bit more the previous articles, is that how come that a SSD can write many times faster then it can read?
    It seems to me that read is way easier to do then write...
  • vol7ron - Friday, February 18, 2011 - link

    I originally thought that, but SSDs first write to the controller, which organizes the data for storing it to the disk. The major point is that the data can go anywhere in the array of NAND nodes and the list of the next available node in the stack is available almost immediately, whereas a read requires a hash lookup of where the data is stored, which means the seek could take longer to accomplish.

    I, as well, am not certain that's true, but that's my best guess.
  • AnnihilatorX - Saturday, February 19, 2011 - link

    Only for Sandforce controllers.
    Sandforce compresses the incoming data at real time. If the incoming data is highly compressible, in a very extreme example, writting a 500MB blank text file, will be instantaneous. So you see 500MB/ms or something ridiculous.

    It is also possible for write speeds to exceed read in burst when small amount of data is written to DRAM on other controllers
  • Soul_Master - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    For zero impact from source performance, I suggest to copy data from RAM drive to your test hard disk. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    That's a great suggestion. I ran out of time before I left the country but I'll be playing with it some more upon my return :)

    Take care,
  • MrBrownSound - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    I think the intel x25m was a pretty good control group to send the data from. I would auctally like to see the changes when sending the data through the RAM; that would be interesting. Reply
  • Hacp - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    You still direct your readers to your Vertex2 article but OCZ has changed its performance on those drives. Your results are no longer valid and it would be dishonest to link the old Vertex2 performance numbers in this new article when they do not reflect the new slower performance of the Vertex2 today.
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    I've seen the discussion and based on what I've seen it sounds like very poor decision making on OCZ's behalf. Unfortunately my 25nm drive didn't arrive before I left for MWC. I hope to have it by the time I get back next week and I'll run through the gamut of tests, updating as necessary. I also plan on speaking with OCZ about this. Let me get back to the office and I'll begin working on it :)

    As far as old Vertex 2 numbers go, I didn't actually use a Vertex 2 here (I don't believe any older numbers snuck in here). The Corsair Force F120 is the SF-1200 representative of choice in this test.

    Take care,
  • Quindor - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Good to hear that you are addressing the problems surrounding the Vertex 2 drives. There aren't many websites out there which deliver well thought through reviews and bechmarks such as Anandtech does, although some are getting better.

    I did some benchmarks on my own and with the new 25nm NAND the new 180GB OCZ Vertex2 can actually be slower then my more then a year old 120GB OCZ Vertex1.

    If anyone is interested. They can find an overview of the benchmarks performed on the following page.

    Still, I would love to see an in depth comparsion as you are famous for. ;)

    For my personal usage scenario (my own ESXi server), the speed decrease will be of minimal effect because running multiple template cloned guests, the dedup and compression should be able to do their work just fine. ;)
  • semo - Saturday, February 19, 2011 - link

    Thanks for looking in to the issue Anand. Could you also find out whether Revo drives are affected as well?

    I'm surprised that Anandtech did not make any mention of the 25nm drives (it could have warned a lot of people of the shortcomings)
  • erson - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Anand, on page 3 - "In this case 4GB of the 256GB of NAND is reserved for data parity and the remaining 62GB is used for block replacement (either cleaning or bad block replacement)."

    I believe that should be 52GB instead of 62GB.

    Keep up the good work!
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    So there's technically only 186GiB out of 256GiB of NAND available for user consumption. 4GiB is used for RAISE, the remaining 66GiB (the 62GiB is a typo) is kept as spare area.

    Take care,
  • marraco - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Some data are written once, and never deleted. They are read again and again all the time.
    Such cells would last much longer than the rest.

    I wish to know if the controller is smart enough to move that rarely written data to the most used cells. That would enlarge the life of those cells, and release the less used cells, whose life will last longer.
  • Chloiber - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    I'm pretty sure every modern Controller does that to a certain degree. It's called static and dynamic wear leveling. Reply
  • philosofa - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Anand, you said that prices for the consumer Vertex 3 drives will probably be above those of the Vertex 2 series - is that a resultant increase in capacity, or will we see no (near term) price/size benefits from the move to 25nm nand? Reply
  • vhx - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    I am curious as to why there is no Vertex/2 comparison? Reply
  • jonup - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Given the controversy with the currently shipped Vertex2s Anand chose to use F120 (similar if not identical to the Vertex2) . Reply
  • theagentsmith - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Hello Anand
    great article as always and hope you're enjoying the nice city of Barcelona.

    I've read some articles suggesting to create a RAM disk, easily done with PCs with 6-8GBs, and move all the temporary folders, as well as page file and browser caches to that.
    They say this could bring better performance as well as reduce random data written to the SSD, albeit the last one isn't such a big problem as you said in the article.

    Can you become a mythbuster and tell us if there are tangible improvements or if it just doesn't worth it? Can it make the system unstable?
  • Quindor - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Maybe you missed this in the article, but as stated, with heavy usage of 7GB writing per day, it still will last you way beyond the warranty period of the drive. As such, maybe your temp files and browser cache, etc. to a ram drive won't really bring you much, because your drive is not going to die of it anyway.

    Better performance might be a different point. But the reason to buy an SSD is for great performance. Why then try to enhance this with a ram drive, that will only bring marginal performance gains. Doing so with a HDD might be a whole different thing together.

    My idea is that these temp files are temp files, and that if keeping them in memory would be so much faster, the applications would do this themselves. Also, leaving more memory free might give windows disk caching the chance to do exactly the same as your ram drive is doing for you.
  • HangFire - Friday, February 18, 2011 - link

    As a software engineer, I can tell you that temp files are used over in-memory storage because the s/w was originally written that way, and no bug report concerning them will ever reach high priority status because it is ranked as a system configuration issue that can be fixed by the user.

    In other words, inertia of the "good enough" file writing code (written when RAM was sparse) will prevent software from being re-written to more optimal in-memory usage. The long backlog of truly important bugs taking precedence insures that.

    You have a good point about ramdisks competing with disk caching. What is optimal depends on your application load, and to some extent your storage subsystem.
  • cdillon - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    The idea of moving the page-file to a RAM disk makes my head hurt. That's just retarded. You'd do better to turn off paging entirely, but that's also of questionable benefit because paging isn't really that hard on your SSD.

    Putting the temp directory along with browser caches and other non-critical frequently-written data is not a bad idea as long as you don't over-do it. The only problem with putting the temp drive on a volatile software-based RAM drive is that any software installation you do that requires a reboot with intermediate installer files kept in the temp directory which are expected to be there on the next reboot is going to fail.
  • Qapa - Saturday, February 19, 2011 - link

    Hi Anand,

    I second this request :)

    A few changes though:
    - DISABLE page file
    --- no matter if you have SSD or HDD, windows writes to the page file even if only using 10% of RAM), so you decrease writes to disk which does 2 thing: increase life of disk and increase speed of system. possibly both only marginally, but that's what benchs would show;
    - browser caches
    --- for sure this is one of the most wasteful disk writing and it should be more and more a great amount of writes since we are ever more on the web
    - temporary folders
    --- as someone else mentions you could come into problems if you need a install-reboot-finish_install kind of instalation
    --- and I agree, with the sw engineer - if it works it won't get changed, so programs will put stupid stuff to files just because that was the way they did it at some point in time

    I think a 1-2Gb RAM Disk is more than enough for browser and temp files, considering an initial starting RAM size of 4-8Gb of RAM. And yes, I do believe this improves system performance.

    Can you do the benchs?

    Thanks for the site - all reviews - and hope you can add this request as another review.
  • shawkie - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    I notice that the Intel SSD 510 has just started to appear on some retailer websites. It looks like it is SATA 6Gbs and comes in 120GB and 250GB versions. Pricing looks pretty high at this point. Reply
  • BansheeX - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Color me unexcited. SSD is fast and reliable enough for people to want it. The price per GB isn't coming down anywhere near as fast as other technologies. I paid $200 1.5 years ago for an 80GB SSD drive that goes for $180 today. Reply
  • chrysrobyn - Friday, February 18, 2011 - link

    Maybe 80GB for $200 is good enough for you, but I need twice that capacity, and I'm unwilling to pay more than $200. The next generation of SSDs that are coming out between now and May are going to come far closer to that price point for me. Reply
  • seapeople - Friday, February 18, 2011 - link

    The point is that 1.5 years ago the OP purchased a SSD for $2.5/GB which had anywhere from a 2x-30x performance improvement over its predecessor (HD's), and here we are in 2011 reading a review about the next generation SSD which uses smaller, cheaper flash with half the available write-cycle life which is going to sell for... $5/GB and get a 1.2x-3x performance improvement over its predecessor (initial SSD's).

    What's next? A solid state drive that reads and writes at 2,000 GB/s and sells for $10,000 for the 1 TB model? Oh I can't wait for that.
  • ABR - Saturday, February 19, 2011 - link

    I have to agree. Year after year we see more and more mind-boggling performance improvements over regular HDDs, but little or no price drop. Perhaps the materials costs are just insurmountable and the replacement of HDDs won't be happening after all. SSDs will be like SLR digital cameras -- premium and professional use only, and pricing a previous generation of amateur users out of a market they used to be in. Reply
  • FunBunny2 - Saturday, February 19, 2011 - link

    From what I see: as each feature size drop in the NAND, the controller has to get increasingly more byzantine, needs more cache, and so on just to maintain performance. Word is that IMFT 25nm includes an ECC engine on die!!! Reply
  • Aernout - Saturday, February 19, 2011 - link

    Maybe we wil hear more of the hybride disks like the momentus XT from seagate in the future, for 'standard' users they can offer a lot.
    now they have a 4 gb flash with 500 gb but its 10 months old.
    I think lots of people are hoping they will multiply those specs.
    I'm thinking of getting one for my laptop, but then on the otherside i am not sure if i will use 500 gig on my laptop, maybe i should buy a 64 ssd in stead.
  • FCss - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    "My personal desktop sees about 7GB of writes per day." maybe a stupid question but how do you check the amount of your daily writes?
    And one more question: if you have a 128Gb SSD and you leave let's say 40Gb unformated so the user can't fill up the disk, will the controller use this space the same way as it would belong to the spare area?
  • Quindor - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    I use a program called "HDDLED" for this. It shows you some easily accessible leds on your screen and if you hover over it, you can see the current and total disk usage since your PC was booted up. Reply
  • FCss - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    thanks, a great software Reply
  • Breit - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    isn't the totally written bytes to the drive since manufacturing be part of the smart data you can read from your drive? all you have to do then is noting down the value when you boot up your pc in the morning and subtract that from the actual value you read there the next day. Reply
  • Chloiber - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Or you can just take the average.. Reply
  • marraco - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Vertex 2 takes advantage of unformated space. So OCZ advices to leave 20% of space unformated , (although to improve garbage collection, but it means that unformated space is used) Reply
  • 7Enigma - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Comon Anand! In your example you have 185GB free on a 256GB drive. I think that is the least likely scenario that paints an overly optimistic case in terms of write life. Everyone knows not to completely fill up their drive but are you telling me that the vast majority of users are going to have 78% of their drive free at all times? I just don't buy it.

    The more common scenario is that a consumer purchases a drive slightly larger then needed (due to how expensive these luxuries still are). So that 256GB drive probably will only have 20-40GB free. Do that and that 36 days for a single use of the NAND becomes ~5-8 days (no way to move static data around at this capacity level). Factor in write amplification (0.6X to 10X) and you lower the time to between 4-25 years for hitting that 3000X cap.

    Still not a HUGE problem, but much more relevant then saying this drive will last for hundreds of years (not counting NAND lifespan itself).
  • 7Enigma - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Bah I thought the write amplification was 1.6X. That changes the numbers considerably (enough that the point is moot). I still think the example in the article was not a normal circumstance but it seems to still not be an issue.

    <pie to face>
  • mark53916 - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Encrypted files are not compressible, so you won't get any advantage
    from the hardware write compression.
  • 7Enigma - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Hi Anand,

    Looks like one of the numbers is incorrect in this chart. Right now it shows LOWER performance after TRIM then when the drive was completely full. The 230MB/sec value seems to be incorrect.
  • Chloiber - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    It's correct, Anand answered the exact same question already on page 1/2 of the comments. Reply
  • 7Enigma - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Yup, saw that on my second read through. A little clarification in the article would have made it a bit more explainable but at least the numbers are right. Reply
  • teldar - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Hope this gets seen.
    I used to go to a site frequently for info on drive reliability.
    I don't believe its really being updated anymore. I would love to side you be able to integrate a site like theirs (or theirs completely) into here.
  • argosreality - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    They've been updating the site for the last six months or so with new reviews. Actually, they just reviewed the new Vertex2 drives with 25nm flash Reply
  • tomoyo - Friday, February 18, 2011 - link

    Ya storagereview is quite alive now. They were dead for over a year, but I'm glad to have another good source of hdd/ssd info again. Reply
  • KenPC - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    OCZ needs a distraction - NOW
    So serve up a prototype (even without a case yet) drive and get fabulous bench results and lots of press to drown out the behind the scenes downgrading of many of the on-market products.

    Yes, this new controller/architecture for this particular prototype is faster. Yes, it appears to be very promising technology in the SSD space.

    But now folks will be using THIS prototype review to measure the purchase decisions for drives sold months from now that may/may not have the same performance
  • MeSh1 - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Wow, thats some tasty hardware :). 400GB @ $1350. The Revo X22 480GB is just under that, hmm..... decisions. Revo Drive uses SF1200 I wonder if they can slap a SF200 on the Revo :) Reply
  • Breit - Friday, February 18, 2011 - link

    you can bet on that. ocz will definitely roll out a new revodrive with sf2000 on it when the time comes, trust me. :) Reply
  • geniekid - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Don't know if anyone from AT will get this far in the comments, but...

    1) I like how the beginning of the article rehashes how SSDs work instead of linking back to earlier articles. The redundancy makes it a lot easier to read the article.
    2) I think the real world usage of these things is invaluable. Theoretical limits almost never ever mirror real world usage. *Thumbs up*
  • TrackSmart - Friday, February 18, 2011 - link

    I agree completely on the REAL WORLD tests. Looking at the PCMark Vantage scores, it's clear that the incredible speeds of the Vertex 3 will only yield marginal gains in *total system performance* compared to the current crop of SSDs (Agility 2, Vertex 2, etc). Hopefully the price of the new drives will be similar to the old ones. Or lower, forcing even more affordable pricing on the existing, fast-enough models. Reply
  • cgorange - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link


    Is there some reason that the Samsung 470-series wasn't included on all charts?
  • Diosjenin - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    "Paired with a decent SSD controller, write lifespan is a non-issue. Note that I only fold Intel, Crucial/Micron/Marvell and SandForce into this category."

    So did you deliberately or accidentally leave out Indilinx?
  • Chloiber - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Of course he couldn't include all the controllers, only those which he tested thorougly. So I'm pretty sure he left them out deliberately because there are so many broken drives from Indilinx. My 32GB drive also went down the drain. Maybe it was also part of the many, MANY broken firmwares they released. But even if you trust their SMART values, the write amplification on those drives is VERY high. Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    I'm glad to see a component review on AT again, even if it's just a preview. It has been feeling like Engaget or some other phone review site around here. Reply
  • cactusdog - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    haha i know, they seem to like phones these days. Reply
  • MrBrownSound - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    nice to see that the intel x-25m still is in the ranks of the new generation drives.

    I bought a intel x25-m 160GB and booted my OS right away without reformating. Will it suffer performance loss?
  • ajp_anton - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Your "x GB drive appears as y GB in Windows" look very much like GB<->GiB conversion errors. Reply
  • deadrock01 - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link


    Any possibility of getting the OCZ Revo PCI Express Cards and other SSD-like items in the SSD benchmark list?
  • marraco - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    ^^^that. Reply
  • ilkhan - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Numbers look real nice.
    For someone on a budget looking for a 120GB (or close enough) SSD on a 3Gbps controller, whats the recommendation. Wait for the new drives, grab a corsair force, else?
  • slickr - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Now this is what I'm talking about about reviews/previews. Tons of benchmarks at various settings and loads. You can really make a difference now and see how the drives perform.

    I would also like a good old fashion test with Starcraft 2, how long it takes to load a 5-6mb custom map.

    I would also like another test where you select 30 files and open them at the same time and see how much time it takes to open all. I'm talking about selecting few 3-5mb images, few MP4 360p videos, few H.264 720p videos, dozen office documents from 500kb up to 3mb, several applications like GPU-z, skype, Live, Xfire, firefox etc... and opening few highly compressed script files.
  • MamiyaOtaru - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    smaller process, less reliability, and higher price? We've been waiting for years fr prices to become reasonable next to magnetic storage but there's been barely a drop at all, and the drops that do come (smaller processes, supposedly) reduce reliability. At this point I don't see myself ever getting one for my desktop.

    Laptops sure, hard drives die there all the time, and I don't use them as my primary machine. Smaller storage requirements + hard drives dying far more often in laptops makes SSDs the better choice for me there.
  • Chloiber - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    I do generally agree. I don't want faster drives, I want cheaper drives. They are already very fast. Of course, faster is always better but at the moment I prefer low price and reliabilty over speed. Reply
  • seapeople - Friday, February 18, 2011 - link

    Seriously... I don't need a brand new controller that might or might not be reliable and is so fast that it would still seem fast if I taped myself using the computer and replayed it in slow motion. What I want is an x25m-like drive at 160 GB for under $200. Still extremely fast, legendary (for SSD's) reliability, and make it affordable.

    The reason I don't buy Ferrari's right now is not because I don't think they're fast enough, it's because they COST too much.
  • RU482 - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    this might be the problem with OCZ. They are an SSD marketing company with a manufacturing division Reply
  • TimK - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Damn, Anand, so this is what an engineering degree will get you, not to mention some heavy duty skill at writing. Comprehensive and comprehensible. Thanks very much. At your recommendation I bought an early Vertex 30GB SSD for my unibody MacBook. From time to time I take it out, thinking to have everything in one place on a bigger drive, but I just can't let go of the speed. It's still working great. Reply
  • dlang1234 - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    The Samsung 470 seems to be in a lot of the benchmarks but not all, and seems to do well in every one that it is listed in.

    I can't seem to find a review of it here, but would be interested in it possibly.
  • markjx1 - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    No mention of the fact this thing was originally slated with the SF-2000 controller, which proved to be plagued with problems in the lab and the dirty little secret no vendor would discuss at CES which was why no one had anything SF-2000 based up and running. And now OCZ had to resort to slapping Sandforce's enterprise class SF-2500 controller on it.

    Great except its going to be hella expensive and not cost competitive with the Crucial C400 unless OCZ bleeds margin, and given they took a $25 million bank loan recently, well let's just say OCZ isn't a company I'd rely on to fulfill a warranty replacement a couple years down the road when your drive dies.

    Lastly, notice the "hardware isn't final" disclaimers all over the article. This is nothing more than OCZ trying to get some buzz, and have painted themselves into a corner now if they go switching back to the SF-2000 since they've already set expectations high.
  • jwilliams4200 - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    I thought the article was fairly well done. The only problem I have with it is a passing mention to the SSD being unusuable on a Macbook Pro, and yet not a single benchmark shows any problems with the SSD. It seems the benchmark suite Anand is using needs to have some more components added. Perhaps a latency test? Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Sunday, February 20, 2011 - link

    Check back on the site by the end of the week ;)

    Take care,
  • PubicTheHare - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link


    Would this be the drive to pair with a Sandy Bridge Macbook Pro, or do we still need to wait for native TRIM support in OSX?

    I'm really eager to buy a Sandy Bridge MBP and do this if the V3P is the one to get. I can't recall which controller you recommended for Macs.
  • markjx1 - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Why no mention of the fact this was originally slated for the SF-2000, and now its got the enterprise class SF-2500 with disclaimers of "hardware not final" all over the article?

    The truth is they had major problems with SF-2000 and nobody wants to talk about it - of all people I'd think you would have. Now go ahead and delete my post again.
  • markjx1 - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Resorting to using the enterprise-class SF-2500 means I worry about cost competitiveness against other upcoming Gen3 offerings from Intel and Crucial/Micron.

    OCZ took a $25 mil bank loan recently so they need a winner. I worry about the "hardware is not final" disclaimers in the article. Sending these samples out for some buzz smells like buying time while they work out production dilemmas since originally they were going to use a different SF controller.
  • bplewis24 - Friday, February 18, 2011 - link

    Why are you trolling? You have 3 of essentially the same posts on this page. We get it, you think he "sold out" for not mentioning that it's using a different controller.

  • vol7ron - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Does this mean a higher QD, might improve performance.

    It looks like QD of 16 might be the sweet spot in terms of latency vs IOPS
  • DJMiggy - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Thanks for the great article and thank you OCZ for making my Vertex 1 even more obsolete. That's ok though! Not a complaint! lol Just looking forward to my next upgrade! Reply
  • Rasterman - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Since the drive is 400MB/s read, if you use two in RAID-0 are you going to get 800MB/s or the realistic max of 6gpbs of ~700MB/s?

    If you use RAID-0 X4 are you going to get 1600MB/s or ~700MB/s?
  • jwilliams4200 - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    With a decent RAID card, then RAID 0 of N drives will give you slightly less than N times the performance of a single drive.

    For on-motherboard RAID, you will also get approximately N times the performance of a single drive, but there is usually a ceiling to total performance on motherboard RAID. It is around 600 MB/s for ICHR-10.
  • myterrybear - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    I've been a loyal reader of this sight, but what realy myths me if you's use EVERY other controler but those found on the AMD platform .... especialy more so with a Sata 6.0 SSD like this it would match up well for those of us amd users whom have paid money to upgrade the motherboard to have that sb8xx controler onboard to utilize hard drives & other devices that run on the now becoming Sata 6.0 standard. Reply
  • Per Hansson - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Hi, has the much talked about hibernation problem with the Sandforce drives been solved in the 2xxx series?
    Loosing Hibernation is pretty much a deal killer for me in a laptop :(
  • bigboxes - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Anand, I know you mentioned read/write and having your data a year after your last write. Does the future of SSD going to allow long-term storage on these devices? Will our data last longer than a year in storage or in use as read-only? I figured when cost went down and capacity went up that we'd start seeing SSD's truly replace HDD as the medium of long-term storage. Any insights into the (near) future? Reply
  • marraco - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    We need a roundup of SATA 6Gb controllers on AMD and Intel.

    How do added cards perform against integrated SATA 6Gb?
  • jwilliams4200 - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Here are the numbers given in the AS-SSD incompressible write speed chart for
    SF-2500 (clean, dirty, after TRIM):

    229.5 MB/s 230.0 MB/s 198.2 MB/s

    Logically, I would expect the dirty number to be less than or equal to the after-TRIM number. Is there a typo here?
  • jwilliams4200 - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link


    Could you run the data files for your 2011 storage bench (heavy and light cases) through a couple of standard compression programs and report the compressed and uncompressed file sizes? That would be useful information to know when evaluating the performance of Sandforce SSDs on your storage benchmark.
  • Chloiber - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Indeed, this would be an important piece of information. Reply
  • mstone29 - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    It's been out for a few weeks and the performance is on par w/ the OCZ V3.

    Does OCZ pay better?
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Sunday, February 20, 2011 - link

    We're still waiting for our Corsair P3 sample, as soon as we get it you'll see a review :)

    Take care,
  • gotFrosty - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    I personally will never buy from OCZ ever again... The way that they are treating the customers (including me) with this shady marketing scandal. Never will I deal with them. Never. Who is to say that they will not pull this crap somewhere down the line again.
    They changed the way they manufactured the drives. Ok thats well and fine, but at least change the product number/name whatever so that end users can distinguish between the products. Right now I'm sitting with a drive that they can't tell me whether its the slower 25nm or the 34. What kind of crap is that. I can't tell either because my build is waiting on the P67's to get fixed. Oh and to still market the drive as the same Vertex 2 that got all the great reviews.
    Lets just say I'm a little irritated with the whole scheme. I feel robbed.
  • Mr Perfect - Friday, February 18, 2011 - link

    Just stumbled across the whole Vertex 2 issue myself. Link to an explanation of what Frosty is mad about below:

    I'm not impressed with OCZ right now. Anand, any way you could talk to OCZ about this issue?
  • db808 - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Hi Anand,

    Thanks for another great SSD article. I own a OCZ Vertex 2 for my personal use, and I have been doing some testing of SSDs for work use.

    I have a questions/comments that will probably stir up some additional discussion.

    1) You present a good description on your personal workload write volume at 7GB / day, and how that even with that heavy amount of activity, the SSD life expectancy is much greater than the warranty period.

    Did you ever try to correlate this with the life expectancy (or read and write activity) reported by the SSD using the SMART attributes?

    In my first 3 weeks using a new Vertex 2 SSD as my boot disk, I averaged over 18 GB/day of write activity ... much greater than your reported 7 GB/day.

    I can not say for other Sandforce implementations, but the OCZ Vertex 2 does report a wide variety of useful statistics via the vendor-specific SMART statistics. These statistics can be displayed using the OCZ Toolbox:

    I don't know if other SSD vendors have similar information. Crystal Disk Info ( also displays and formats many of the vendor-specific fields, but I don't know if it specifically displays the extended info for specific SSDs.

    Using the OCZ Toolbox (which works with all OCZ Sandforce SSDs), you can display a lot of interesting information. Here is the statistics for the first 3 weeks of usage from my SSD. No real benchmarking, just doing the initial install of Windows 7 64-bit, and then installing all the apps that I run. My 120 GB SSD is about half full, including a 8 gb page and 8 gb hiberbate file. I also relocated my Windows search index off the SSD. Temp IS on the SSD (my choice).

    Revision: 10
    Attributes List
    1: SSD Raw Read Error Rate Normalized Rate: 100 total ECC and RAISE errors
    5: SSD Retired Block Count Reserve blocks remaining: 100%
    9: SSD Power-On Hours Total hours power on: 351
    12: SSD Power Cycle Count Count of power on/off cycles: 84
    171: SSD Program Fail Count Total number of Flash program operation failures: 0
    172: SSD Erase Fail Count Total number of Flash erase operation failures: 0
    174: SSD Unexpected power loss count Total number of unexpected power loss: 19
    177: SSD Wear Range Delta Delta between most-worn and least-worn Flash blocks: 0
    181: SSD Program Fail Count Total number of Flash program operation failures: 0
    182: SSD Erase Fail Count Total number of Flash erase operation failures: 0
    187: SSD Reported Uncorrectable Errors Uncorrectable RAISE errors reported to the host for all data access: 0
    194: SSD Temperature Monitoring Current: 1 High: 129 Low: 127
    195: SSD ECC On-the-fly Count Normalized Rate: 100
    196: SSD Reallocation Event Count Total number of reallocated Flash blocks: 0
    231: SSD Life Left Approximate SDD life Remaining: 100%
    241: SSD Lifetime writes from host Number of bytes written to SSD: 384 GB
    242: SSD Lifetime reads from host Number of bytes read from SSD: 832 GB

    For my first 3 weeks, using the PC primarily after work and on weekends, I averaged 18.2 GB/day of write activity ... or 384 GB total.

    You may want to re-assess the classification of your 7 GB/day workload as "heavy". I don't think my 18.2 GB/day workload was extra heavy. My system has 8 GB of memory, and typically runs between 2-3 gb used, so I don't believe that there is a lot of activity to the page file. I have a hibernate file because I use a UPS, and it allows me to "resume" after a power blip vs. a full shutdown.

    Well ... back to the point .... The OCZ toolbox reports an estimated remaining life expectancy. I have not run my SSD long enough to register a 1% usage yet, but I will be looking at what volume of total write activity finally triggers the disk to report only 99% remaining life.

    I don't know if the OCZ Toolbox SMART reporting will work with non-OCZ Sandforce-based SSDs.

    If you can get a life expectancy value from your Sandforce SSDs, it would be interesting to see how it correlates with your synthetic estimates.

    Thanks again for a great article!
  • sheh - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Why's data retention down from 10 years to 1 year as the rewrite limit is approached?
    Does this mean after half the rewrites the retention is down to 5 years?
    What happens after that year, random errors?
    Is there drive logic (or standard software) to "refresh" a drive?
  • AnnihilatorX - Saturday, February 19, 2011 - link

    Think about how Flash cell works. There is a thick Silicon Dixoide barrier separating the floating gate with the transistor. The reason they have a limited write cycle is because the Silion dioxide layer is eroded when high voltages are required to pump electrons to the floating gate.

    As the SO2 is damaged, it is easier for the electrons in the floating gate to leak, eventually when sufficient charge is leaked the data is loss (flipped from 1 to 0)
  • bam-bam - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Thanks for the great preview! Can’t wait to get a couple of these new SDD’s soon.

    I’ll add them to an even more anxiously-awaited high-end SATA-III RAID Controller (Adaptec 6805) which is due out in March 2011. I’ll run them in RAID-0 and then see how they compare to my current set up:

    Two (2) Corsair P256 SSD's attached to an Adaptec 5805 controller in RAID-0 with the most current Windows 7 64-bit drivers. I’m still getting great numbers with these drives, almost a year into heavy, daily use. The proof is in pudding:

    (1500+ MB/s read speeds ain’t too bad for SATA-II based SSD’s, right?)

    With my never-ending and completely insatiable need-for-speed, I can’t wait to see what these new SATA-III drives with the new Sand-Force controller and a (good-quality) RAID card will achieve!
  • Quindor - Friday, February 18, 2011 - link


    Please re-evaluatue what you have written above and how to preform benchmarks.

    I too own a Adaptec 5805 and it has 512MB of cache memory. So, if you run atto with a size of 256MB, this fits inside the memory cache. You should see performance of around 1600MB/sec from the memory cache, this is in no way related to what your subsystem storage can or cannot do. A single disk connected to it but just using cache will give you exactly the same values.

    Please rerun your tests set to 2GB and you will get real-world results of what the storage behind the card can do.

    Actually, I'm a bit surprised that your writes don't get the same values? Maybe you don't have your write cache set to write back mode? This will improve performance even more, but consider using a UPS or a battery backup cache module before doing so. Same thing goes for allowing disk cache or not. Not sure if this settings will affect your SSD's though.

    Please, analyze your results if they are even possible before believing them. Each port can do around 300MB/sec, so 2x300MB/sec =/= 1500MB/sec that should have been your first clue. ;)
  • mscommerce - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Super comprehensible and easy to digest. I think its one of your best, Anand. Well done! Reply
  • semo - Friday, February 18, 2011 - link

    "if you don't have a good 6Gbps interface (think Intel 6-series or AMD 8-series) then you probably should wait and upgrade your motherboard first"

    "Whenever you Sandy Bridge owners get replacement motherboards, this may be the SSD you'll want to pair with them"

    So I gather AMD haven't been able to fix their SATA III performance issues. Was it ever discovered what the problem is?
  • HangFire - Friday, February 18, 2011 - link

    The wording is confusing, but I took that to mean you're OK with Intel 6 or AMD 8.

    Unfortunately, we may never know, as Anand rarely reads past page 4 or 5 of the comments.

    I am getting expected performance from my C300 + 890GX.
  • HangFire - Friday, February 18, 2011 - link

    OK here's the conclusion from 3/25/2010 SSD/Sata III article:

    "We have to give AMD credit here. Its platform group has clearly done the right thing. By switching to PCIe 2.0 completely and enabling 6Gbps SATA today, its platforms won’t be a bottleneck for any early adopters of fast SSDs. For Intel these issues don't go away until 2011 with the 6-series chipsets (Cougar Point) which will at least enable 6Gbps SATA. "

    So, I think he is associating "good 6Gbps interface) with 6&8 series, not "don't have" with 6&8.
  • semo - Friday, February 18, 2011 - link

    Ok I think I get it thanks HangFire. I remember that there was an article on Anandtech that tested SSDs on AMD's chipsets and the results weren't as good as Intel's. I've been waiting ever since for a follow up article but AMD stuff doesn't get much attention these days. Reply
  • BanditWorks - Friday, February 18, 2011 - link

    So if MLC NAND mortality rate ("endurance") dropped from 10,000 cycles down to 5,000 with the transition to 34nm manufacturing tech., does that mean that the SLC NAND mortality rate of 100,000 cycles went down to ~ 50,000?

    Sorry if this seems like a stupid question. *_*
  • abrar - Friday, February 18, 2011 - link

    "In this particular drive the user (who happened to be me) wrote 1900GB to the drive (roughly 7.7GB per day over 8 months) and the SF-1200 controller in turn threw away 800GB and only wrote 1100GB to the flash. This includes garbage collection and all of the internal management stuff the controller does."

    how did you calculate this data ?
    have you used any special software?
  • douglaswilliams - Friday, February 18, 2011 - link


    Will these very fast read rates speed up virus scans?

    Thank you for being technical and thorough,

  • Qapa - Saturday, February 19, 2011 - link

    ALL disk reads are this fast, so of course this will have an impact in virus scanning.

    But mostly, it will have an impact that your system is faster, although those resource hogs (virus scanning programs) are running - and yes, their bottleneck were reading the files from the disk.
  • semo - Saturday, February 19, 2011 - link

    I've noticed that MSE is mostly limited by CPU and it isn't multithreaded so even worse notebooks where the CPU freq. might be lower Reply
  • joeld - Friday, February 18, 2011 - link

    I don't believe any of the SF-1200 makers actually supported encryption on the drive, so the password was basically blank. Are the folks bringing the SF-2500 to market actually going to support disk passwords so that full-disk encryption requirements for laptops will be met? Software based full disk encryption is just too slow and flawed when paired with SSD drives... Reply
  • faster - Saturday, February 19, 2011 - link

    Props to OCZ for leading the performance market on multiple levels.

    Looking at the prices of these new high performance SSDs, including the upcoming offerings from Intel, the OCZ Revodrive X2 is looking like a value. With Revodrive's read/write of 740/720, even this next generation of drives doesn't even come close. Now that newegg sells the 240GB x2, on sale, for $540 ($679 not on sale), it is a better bang for the buck than the new drives. The revodrive is a product that has been out for a while and is available right now. If you have the open PCIe slot, it seems like a no-brainer to pick the X2.
  • croc - Sunday, February 20, 2011 - link

    Sadly, (well maybe not so sadly) we Aussies are not allowed gun ownership. There are exceptions, but generally not... So the final conclusion, "2011 may be the year to finally pull the trigger." does not really apply. However, maybe the right year to finally purchase an SSD, time (and further testing) will tell. Reply
  • MamiyaOtaru - Monday, February 21, 2011 - link

    time doesn't "tell" anything. It's an abstract concept. I mean if you're going to take issue with idioms.. Reply
  • Qapa - Sunday, February 20, 2011 - link

    It would also be interesting to have in the benchs:
    - 1 "normal" 7200 HDD
    - 1 "normal" 5400 laptop HDD

    This would be interesting to compare since, most people do not own Velociraptors and this way we would be able to better know the system improvement on buying an SSD, and convincing other people - like our bosses - to upgrade our computers at work as well :)
  • compvter - Monday, February 21, 2011 - link

    @faster Thats because they have two (old) sf controllers in the card. Think about the speeds they get with two of these (sf-2000 family) i would guess it will be around 1GB/s (read&write). At least current revodrives lack trim support so, that might be deal breaker for some ppl. Reply
  • Aitam - Monday, February 21, 2011 - link

    I know it would bring the load to the CPU rather than the controller, but I wonder if using it on other drives could bring similar results in terms of increased speed or reduced writing overhead... Reply
  • bhougha10 - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    Ok, Anand, enough is enough. I know you know when the G3 is going to be here. Please spill it. Do I want to wait any longer, or is it futile? Reply
  • MarcHFR - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Dear all, Dear Anand,

    I think it's important to note that AnandTech Storage Bench, like PC Mark Vantage HDD, represent a "best case" for SandForce based SSD.

    These benchmarks are based on logs which have recorded accesses to be repeated, but not the data contained in these accesses. These means that the data used in the benchmark may well be highly compressible, which isn’t necessarily the case in real usage.
  • Hrel - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    500 bucks for a 100GB drive?! Are you FUCKING KIDDING ME?!

    that's LITERALLY 10 times more expensive than it's worth...

    I simply do not understand this; who besides Bill Gates and Warren Buffet would buy this crap? No I take that back, both those guys are smart enough to turn down such an offensive value proposition. So I repeat, WHO WOULD BUY THIS?!

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