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  • Cow86 - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    This is likely going into my next build ^^ Which is a few months off still, so hopefully the prices will be somewhat favourable by then.... Reply
  • vol7ron - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    let me guess... waiting for z68? :) Reply
  • Rasterman - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Which of the benchmarks relate to loading windows and loading programs and games or levels in games? It would be nice to see how these compare, my guess is its not worth it to upgrade from a Crucial Real SSD C300 256GB to a Vertex 3 256GB as the perceived difference is going to be negligible?

    Some real world tests would be nice:
    fresh load of windows 7
    start windows 7 from hibernation
    starting major games
    loading levels in major games
    starting major programs (photoshop, visual studio, windows media player, itunes, outlook)
    Reply
  • ImSpartacus - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Well, if you do upgrade from that C300, I would happily take it off your hands.

    I figure that old hardware is only worth, ohhhh, $100? Yeah, that's about right.

    So, what do you say?
    Reply
  • Figaro56 - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    The Crucial C300 256GB drive for $100? Dream on!

    You can buy one brand new today for $420 shipped at amazon.com. You under estimate the C300, it's still a valid product and $100 is just a ridiculous comment.
    Reply
  • vol7ron - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    brand new != used

    with a used drive, you've already cut into warranty and you've reduced its lifespan (as negligible a point as it may be).
    Reply
  • Figaro56 - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    Then you had better buy a new one then. No one is going to sell their originally priced $600 Crucial RealSSD C300 256GB SSD for $100, especially after this review.

    There is a margin of real world performance improvement with the Vertex 3 true, but certainly not so superior over the C300 as to make someone crazy enough to sell an 8 month old $600 SSD for $100 as it's "obviously" not obsolete it's just 2nd best. That's just retarded.

    These SSD drives have an incredible life span so cutting into the life span over 8 months of use is nebulous. The warranty is only there for warm fuzzies, if it works it works.
    Reply
  • jimhsu - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    I suppose IM's response is a joke considering the OP's question of whether an ultra-fast drive is faster than the super-fast drive that he already has.

    (For the record, I bought the C300 256GB for $400 in newegg's awesome 20% off sale).
    Reply
  • vol7ron - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    I took it as a joke too, but still you're not going to get top dollar if you're selling a used device. A person would rather go get a refurb.

    Also, didn't the C300 have many problems that crept up? Not saying it hasn't been solved and the problems weren't rare, but I though a few weeks after Anand got their version, it died - and a few others died as well (betas and productions). For whatever reason, I decided to stay away from Crucial for that reason; not permanently, but in the short run.

    I'm more curious to see with what Intel has to offer. Even if they don't introduce a compression algorithm, I like their wear-leveling better - it should require less additional spare NAND and be cheaper in general. And, of course, I like to see how Vertex 3 fares with TRIM as it approaches the capacity limit.
    Reply
  • Figaro56 - Tuesday, March 01, 2011 - link

    The infamous firmware issue of the Crucial drive was solved, I've never had a problem. This C300 is a very fast SSD and I'm more than happy with it. When an SSD comes along that is actually twice as fast in every bench mark as my C300 256GB SSD then I might feel as though it's obsolete, but we're not there yet. Reply
  • Figaro56 - Tuesday, March 01, 2011 - link

    Excuse me, but I'm confused. Why would a person rather get a refurb? For the warranty?

    What do you think a refurb part is any way? It's someone's used part that is not only used, but it also had a mfg defect. Are you kidding me?!
    Reply
  • Figaro56 - Tuesday, March 01, 2011 - link

    If you think a refurb in some way has more value go for it. I have never had a problem buying used from someone, just stay away from bad used parts venues like Ebay or Craigslist. Reply
  • Figaro56 - Tuesday, March 01, 2011 - link

    I got my C300 256GB as an early adopter when they finally fixed their infamous firmware issue. That's cost you pay for being an "early adopter enthusiast." Reply
  • zebrax2 - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Games i believe are sequential in nature Reply
  • sticks435 - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    This is correct. They are sequential reads. I really wish they Anand would have shown the PC Vantage gaming scores. Hopefully the full review will them them, along with the test bench 2010 on the Sandy bridge platform, since the new bench is only 2 workloads and gaming is a very specific type of workload. Reply
  • B3an - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    I'd also like to see more real world and basic tests. Normal everyday things. As mentioned, Win7 start times, Photoshop tests, game loading times and so on... Reply
  • Figaro56 - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    I own a Crucial RealSSD C300 256GB myself. After reading this review I have come to the same conclusion. Yes there is a margin of performance improvement with the Vertex 3, but not so great as to make you crazy enough to sell your C300 for $100 and jump on the OCZ Vertex 3 test group. I would wait awhile to see how this Vertex 3 with it's questionable new 25nm NAND holds up in the real world. I was never a fan of their new idea of data compression from the get go either. I still view this as a grand experiment at our expense. It's smart to stick with what works even if next month it will be come 2nd best. Reply
  • Figaro56 - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    See my post below dated Friday, February 25, 2011, it was intended as a reply to your post. I don't know why it didn't stack in here as a reply. Reply
  • Figaro56 - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    RE: What about load times? by Figaro56 on Friday, February 25, 2011
    I own a Crucial RealSSD C300 256GB myself. After reading this review I have come to the same conclusion. Yes there is a margin of performance improvement with the Vertex 3, but not so great as to make you crazy enough to sell your C300 for $100 and jump on the OCZ Vertex 3 test group. I would wait awhile to see how this Vertex 3 with it's questionable new 25nm NAND holds up in the real world. I was never a fan of their new idea of data compression from the get go either. I still view this as a grand experiment at our expense. It's smart to stick with what works even if next month it will be come 2nd best.
    Reply
  • jimhsu - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    Actually with the whole OCZ mess, questionable firmware policies, and completely unknown lifespan or reliability, I'm not sure I even want to buy the Vertex 3 at half its current price, despite the performance figures here. In this case I think the C300 is actually worth more -- at least the drive has been mostly debugged and the firmware vetted, unlike this. Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    I hate to bring this up here, but this should be addressed and you seem to have a direct line to the OCZ CEO(all be it in sticky notes). Can AT look into the fiasco where OCZ shipped 8 channel 25nm Vertex 2 drives bearing the exact same name and model number as the origonal 16 channel 34nm drives, and then when customers noticed the difference decided to charge people an upgrade fee to get a 16 channel drive? True, OCX later relented after a negative backlash and gave people free exchanges for a 16 channel drive, but I can't think of a faster way to burn through customer good will then a bait and switch stunt like that. What happened?

    http://www.storagereview.com/ssds_shifting_25nm_na...
    Reply
  • FunBunny2 - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Yeah. AT *seems* to be easier on OCZ than storagereview. I can't speak for their quality overall as I've only read up on what they had to say about this OCZ Vertex nonsense. I'm not going to abandon AT. Yet, anyway. Reply
  • semo - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    It wasn't always the case. When Anand exposed jmicron's awfulness to the world, OCZ's CEO wasn't happy at all (the surprising thing is Anand actually mentioning this back then).

    The two things that surprise me the most are:
    1. Why didn't Anandtech as a whole report on 25nm drives. AFAIK OCZ were the first with commercial 25nm drives. Now if a commercial x86 CPU was about to be released in the next 6 months, AT would be all over that story...

    2. A lot of time has passed, and there is still no coverage on OCZ's dishonest practices. If a decent site (like AT) covered these drives early enough, a lot less people would have fallen in OCZ's trap.

    Anand did mention in his previous article that he would look in to the issue.

    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,
    Anand
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4159/ocz-vertex-3-pr...
    Reply
  • semo - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    "Now if a commercial x86 CPU" should have been "Now if a commercial 14nm x86 CPU". Usually new tech in the CPU, GPU and now SoC segments gets covered quite early and thoroughly. Somehow the 25nm Vertex 2 flew under the radar it seems... Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    I've been working with OCZ behind the scenes on this. I've been tied up with the reviews you've seen this week (as well as some stuff coming next week) and haven't been able to snag a few 25nm drives for benchmarking. Needless to say I will make sure that the situation is rectified. I've already been speaking with OCZ's CEO on it for the past week :)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • lyeoh - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Hi Anand,

    Is it possible to do average and max latency measurements on the drive access (read/write) while under various loads (sequential, random, low queue depth, high queue depth)?

    I'm thinking that for desktop use once a drive gets really fast, the max latency (and how often it occurs) would affect the user experience more.

    A drive with 0.01 millisecond access but 500ms spikes every 5 secs under load might provide a worse user experience than a drive with a constant 0.1 millisecond access even though the former averages at about 80000 accesses per second while the latter only achieves 10000. Of course it does depend on what is delayed for 500ms. If it's just a bulk sequential transfer it might not matter, but if it delays the opening of a directory or small file it might matter.

    This might also be important for some server use.
    Reply
  • jimhsu - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    This is needed -- however there are a lot of technical problems when trying to assess max latency. One of those is reproducibility -- if the drive has a latency of 0.01ms, but a max of 250ms, how reliable is that data point? What if something just happens to be writing to the drive while you make that measurement? (This can easily be seen by trying to do 4K reads when doing a sequential write larger than the DRAM cache of the SSD, such as the Intel G2 drives). From my personal observations, website to website reproducibility of maximum latencies, as well as minimum frame rates in reviews, is extremely poor.

    Which is unfortunate, because they can impact user experience so heavily. Aside from strict laboratory-controlled conditions and testing with specialized equipment, I find it hard to conjecture how to do this.
    Reply
  • semo - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    "haven't been able to snag a few 25nm drives"
    So OCZ are sending you Vertex drives for testing so early that they don't even have housing and you're stuggling to get a hold of drives that have been sold to consumers for the past month or two?

    How come you have V3 drives months before their release date and AT does not yet even have a news article on the 25nm V2s?

    I'm sorry Anand but this will be the 1st SSD article you've written that I will not be reading. This is in protest to OCZ's handling of this CONSUMER RIGHTS issue. I'm not protesting against AT but OCZ's propaganda which unfortunately is channeled through my No 1 favourite site.

    Ryan Petersen, you know where to stick it.
    Reply
  • seapeople - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Yeah, I can't imagine why OCZ isn't knocking Anand's door down with review samples of 25nm SSD drives after that big customer snafu with their 25nm drives. I mean, they should be eager to have all the publicity on that issue as possible, right?

    And then why on earth would they rather send their newest, fastest SSD drives to a review site right now? They must know that Anand is probably busy reviewing the other SSD drives that are about to come out, so why would they bother him with their new stuff?
    Reply
  • beginner99 - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    That's why I would just go with Intel. I know what you pay for. No custom firmwares and other funky stuff. Reply
  • FunBunny2 - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Well, no custom firmware, just a custom controller. Intel had the first really good pro-sumer controller. Likely still does. Reply
  • bhougha10 - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Anand,
    can you give us an idea when the intel G3 will be comming out so we have an idea wait the field looks like here. Intel seems to keep this stuff very secret :(
    Reply
  • mckirkus - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    510 Series from Intel launching March 1 if you believe the rumors. Sata 6Gb/s but using 34nm flash. Just over $2/GB. Seems like it has low IOPS compared to other SSDs but real world performance is TBD.

    I'd bet a dollar Anand is working on a review of one right now. I'm using a 1st gen Sandforce drive and it's so damn fast I'm not sure I'll ever need to upgrade the thing.
    Reply
  • iwod - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    Not a Rumors, someone from Taiwan already has their hands on it.

    It uses an Marvel Chipset.

    At this moment we are still not sure if 510 series means G3.
    Reply
  • JonnyBlaze - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Not a bad idea. Reply
  • lorteti - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Hi Anand,

    How about a power consumption test.
    For those that want to use the Vertex3 in a notebook.

    Thanks,
    jx
    Reply
  • JFish222 - Sunday, February 27, 2011 - link

    Hi Anand,

    I'd like to second this request.

    I'd love to throw one of these into my laptop, but I'm always looking to balance performance with battery life (the old T61 is getting long in the tooth and an SSD sounds like a perfect upgrade!)

    All of the recommendations to add SSD's to "netbook class units" (atom and Brazos) adds to this conversation. Though netbooks are popular due to their low price, their portability and battery life (which one could argue are one and the same) are also selling points.

    Thanks again for the great review, and I'm looking forward to your future investigations into the OCZ debacle. Journalism has always been about both informing and inciting change. Anandtech remains the only site on the net that I've found that has the reach to do both.

    Thanks again,
    Jordan
    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.

    Am i wrong ?
    Reply
  • Chloiber - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    I wanted to ask the same thing in the Vertex 3 Pro test. Would be nice to have an answer here. I don't think that the data is random. Reply
  • jwilliams4200 - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    I've also wondered about that. Does the 2011 Storage Bench that writes 100+ GB of data have a 100+ GB data file? If so, how much does that data file compress when run through a zip or 7zip compression program?

    If not, if the data file is much smaller than 100 GB, then exactly what is being written to the drives?
    Reply
  • j.harper12 - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    I'm just happy that this far along, my Agility 2 is still holding up well. Thanks for all of the great reviews! Reply
  • Dug - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Anand,

    Could you please run the Anandtech Storage Bench 2011 with 1 standard hard drive, even if it takes forever to run? I always like to see a reference as many of us don't have SSD yet.
    Reply
  • Denithor - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Seconded! Just run using like a Caviar Black drive so we can see how much better SSD is versus a top-of-the-line mechanical drive.

    Would be appreciated!
    Reply
  • mckirkus - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Thirded. Perspective is a good thing. Reply
  • cactusdog - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    Fourthed, and i know a guy who wants fifthed. Reply
  • pandemonium - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    Would be nice for technicalities, but you can see the comparison on the 2010 version with WD's Velociraptor. Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    I would like to know how the 60GB version performs. Especially if they are cutting the number of chips in half vs the 256GB version. Reply
  • DarkKnight_Y2K - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    According to the press release on OCZ's website the Vertex 3 will be available in 120GB and 240GB capacities. The Vertex 3 Pro wil be available in 100GB, 200GB, & 400GB capacities.

    Hopefully they will eventually release 60GB version. I would love to have two in RAID 0.
    Reply
  • Per Hansson - Thursday, February 24, 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 :(

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&am...
    Reply
  • douglaswilliams - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Will these faster drives speed up virus scans?

    Currently, when a virus scan is running, my laptop performance is crippled.
    Reply
  • swaaye - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    It'll depend on how fast your CPU is because it will become the bottleneck if it's not already. Reply
  • Mumrik - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    "Order enough controllers and you get a special firmware, otherwise you’re stuck with the stock SF-2200 firmware.
    (...)I do wish SandForce would just stick to a single spec and not play these sorts of games but that’s just how business works unfortunately."

    Is it really? I've never heard of anything similar elsewhere in the storage space. This really sounds to me like the kind of thing you should keep pushing them on Anand....
    Reply
  • taltamir - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    so... 7 "models" which are the exact same chip with different firmware / different configuration (supercap, amount of NAND, etc)
    And even within those so called "models" there is different levels of performance capping in firmware due to various exclusivity contracts which are not actually being reported or represented in the chip's name?

    I am liking sandforce less and less.
    Reply
  • TGressus - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    +1

    It's even more egregious when vendors are sending the reviewers pre-release samples that may or may not represent the final retail product.
    Reply
  • taltamir - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    you are correct, that does make it even worse. Reply
  • jaydee - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Interesting read from a theoretical perspective, but it would be far more useful for your readership to have a roundup involving 60-120GB SSD's. I can find benchmarks on budget video cards, cpu's, and read reviews on budget motherboards. I do realize there are no 60-120GB Vertex 3's available, but 6-9 months after launch I still have no idea how (for instance) the Sandforce, JMicron, Samsung, Indillinx, Marvell, Intel, Toshiba 60-90GB SSD's benchmark against each other considering they all scale down differently from the 240GB models which are often reviewed.

    240GB SSD's are neat, but not affordable for many.
    Reply
  • 86waterpumper - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    I agree, the 128gb size seems to be the sweet spot, that is what I've decided to go with, just not sure
    whether it will be the newest sandforce or the c400. I wish we could get some testing on the amd
    motherboard controllers too. I know intel is more popular right now but amd is still a viable option
    for many. I would think this is especially important since amd finally released a ahci driver not too
    long ago, but I haven't heard much about how good it is.
    Reply
  • ol1bit - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    I can't believe the jump, Intel better be on their game or they might find themselves without a market anymore.

    My Intel 80gb is old after 1.5 years! LOL
    Reply
  • seapeople - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Sell an x25m g2 for $1.5/GB and they are right back on top of the value/money game. Especially when you consider issues like reliability reputation versus these new drives. I wonder what the profit margin on these drives are... There might be a lot of leeway to drop price to capture market on these, considering their "real" competitors are HD's. Reply
  • boxleitnerb - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Hey Anand,

    I was wondering if you're considering writing about the CPU-SSD dynamic in a future article. As I understand it, the SSDs can serve requests so fast that in some scenarios the CPU again becomes the limiting factor.

    I would be especially interested in common tasks like virus scanning, gaming/application load times/installation and windows startup. I know this could be alot of work, so maybe you can pick only one or two of these tasks and analyze them with CPUs with a different number of cores and clock speeds.

    What do you think about it?
    Reply
  • seapeople - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    I think the answer you are searching for is a bit more mundane than you desire. For example, when you load a map you are storage limited whether you have an SSD or not, and when you are fighting bad guys you are CPU limited whether you have a slow HD or not. Reply
  • vol7ron - Saturday, February 26, 2011 - link

    While that's true, I'm not sure that's what he's referring to.

    If you're ever CPU limited, it's probably not just because of an SSD, it's just the fact that you need a better CPU. Generally, CPU limitations are apparent from memory access, not due to SSDs.

    I can understand what he's saying though as I'm still running a C2D and it gets to 100% during games. Not to mention, there does seems to be hang ups on Win7 64b startup, due to all the applications, widgets, and services that load; but that's less to do with the SSD and more to do with the CPU. The load time would be just as long w/o the SSD, it's just that there wouldn't be as much of a hang-up as the sluggishness would be constant.

    Having more cores in this instance would certainly help.
    Reply
  • Nentor - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    First paragraph:
    "What wasn’t impressive however was the price."

    There is not a word about price in the article about the V3Pro. Not even a slight indication implying a high price which made it seem affordable.

    Also this:

    ---I asked OCZ if this meant the drive I was testing wasn’t representative of final, shipping performance. OCZ stated very clearly that performance will not change between the drive I have today and the drive that goes on sale in the next 2 months.

    SandForce wouldn’t comment on any existing agreements and OCZ said it couldn’t get SandForce to confirm that the V3’s performance wouldn’t change between now and its eventual release.---

    What exactly does that mean? It comes down to not meaning anything at all to me.
    Reply
  • ClagMaster - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    I went half-way through this article and was frustrated with the complexity of the SandForce Controller capabilities and firmware games.

    It would seem SandForce is very Intel-like in its conduct. Why cannot they have 2-3 stinking controllers setup for maximum performance without these firmware games ? The hardware is willing but the businessmen are not.

    Last night I was about ready to purchase a 120GB SSD but decided this was an extravagance for my desktop for $220. I would rather have a good Western Digital Black 1.0 TB harddrive than this SSD. I get much more for my money. I still use Windows XP Home because of its efficiency and minimalist memory foot print. Are there any garbage collection utilities I can use for this still excellent OS? This is not clear from the vendor sights.

    Can anyone enlighten me as to what is available for Windows XP so these SSD's continue to operate in prime form ?

    I cannot believe consumers are willing to pay this kind of money so they shave off 15 to 20 seconds off boottimes.
    Reply
  • 86waterpumper - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    I agree whole-heartedly with you about the frimware games...that is def. lameness.
    With that being said, I don't think that ocz drives are really more expensive than other brands so I guess the solution for now is just to buy their drives instead of the competitions which is exactly what they want right? haha.
    I disagree though with you about ssd not being worth it. I know they are high, but shaving 15 to 20 seconds off boot time is huge in my book. I mean that is half the time in alot of cases. That has a coolness factor to it, but the main benefit I see is being
    able to multitask better, and having programs and games load faster. The boot time is just a side benefit really. Quietness and low heat and power draw are other nice features. Anyway I remember people were happy to pay the price for raptors not long ago, and they were this expensive and much less capacity than regular drives. They did not represent nearly the performance gap either.
    Reply
  • Barbaniko - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Anand,
    How about Garbage collection on the Vertex 3?
    How would it hold up over time without access to winnows 7 trim command?
    I am interested in putting two of these in a Raid 0 configuration.
    Thank you.
    Reply
  • arm3n - Monday, February 28, 2011 - link

    I second this request. Would love to get your take on these bad boys striped.

    Thanks!
    Armen
    Reply
  • gstrickler - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    Anand,
    I've been searching for reliable information about the AES encryption on SF based SSDs. From the information I've been able to get from the manufacturers, this is NOT TCG "OPAL" compatible FDE, it's passive encryption that does not require any BIOS support, TCM, or boot time password. If that's accurate, then it's almost useless. It doesn't protect your data if your SSD is stolen. Therefore, it is of limited value.

    What that does do is protect the data from being recovered from the NAND Flash chips on a failed SSD, and executing a "erase" ATA command will change the password and make all your data, including bad blocks and reserved overallocation areas, inaccessible after the erase. Clearly, that has value to those reallocating a used drive, but that's about the extent of it's value.

    There is certainly some value in that, as securely erasing the data from an SSD can be challenging because of the LBA->Flash block remapping that SSDs perform. However, if it doesn't support "OPAL" FDE, then you must fall back to software FDE and the performance penalty for software FDE on an SSD is far more significant than it is for a HDD, and effectively eliminates much of the performance benefit of an SSD.

    Please check with SandForce and/or the SSD vendors and report if any of them support TCG compatible "OPAL" FDE. That information is vital to users who need to use FDE.
    Reply
  • ac2 - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    +1

    The AES encryption bit sounds like one of those meaningless marketing bullet points...
    Reply
  • iwod - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    The Anand SSD benchmarks 2010 and 2011 are the closest we get to real life measurements.

    And if those results are correct. Then our previous estimation of Seq Read Write become not important as we move faster will be incorrect. It turns out most of our time we are doing Seq Read Write. Therefore it is the Random Read Write has reach its tipping point and not providing any more Real World Improvement to users.
    Reply
  • FunBunny2 - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    If you're running a really relational database, then random performance is what matters. Reply
  • iwod - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    Yes, but 99% of Normal World Users dont run Relational DB. And those who ran the DB would properly search for faster Random I/O instead. Reply
  • jimhsu - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    It ... depends. Real world performance is really complicated:

    1. You can have any combination of read or writes, sequential or random, going on at once.

    2. You have both synchronous IO (this read must be done before that read) and asynchronous IO (this reads all need to be executed, but in whatever order).

    3. You have other bottlenecks coming into play - CPU, memory, GPU, ...

    All the basic metrics (seq read/write, random read/write) are important. As well as performance with mixed read/write workloads (this is in fact the most difficult aspect to bench). Hard drives have been around for decades, so we have well-established metrics for determining performance. Flash SSDs have been around for less than 10, and in the consumer market, less than 3 years.
    Reply
  • iwod - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    Yes Performance is Complicated. But it doesn't matter in this context. We are trying to find the bottleneck and fastest Storage Hardware within today's Applications. And the Anandtech Bechmarks, is basically just a batch script that execute common task that we do. Time and Average it as Scores.

    Time and Time again i have asked why some brand controller, labeled as "crap" by most of us, continuously to perform extremely well, and in many cases even better then Sandforce on Anand Real World Benchmarks ( Read Toshiba Controller in Kingston V+ aka Apple's MBA SSD)
    Reply
  • Chaser - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    As SSDs become more common and second/third generations of models are starting to appear graph bars showing numerical values are beginning to got lost in haze. How would a "PC Mark Vantage score" difference of 3 points equate to an improved and noticable user experience? So while pages of "faster, higher" values might look appealing I am more lost now than anything else.

    For me, I enjoy reading conclusions similar to GPU results and comparisons. Such as, "If you have a Sandforce 1200 drive upgrading to this next generation wouldn't result in much or more of a noticable change on the average desktop enthusiast or gaming computer.

    Reply
  • iwod - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    The difference of 3 Points will be the same. Because it is within Margin or Error.

    Read up my post about you.
    Reply
  • MamiyaOtaru - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    "prices will continue to fall"

    been waiting for them to become reasonable for years now, and this gets repeated when they go up?

    I'm hoping for great things from memristors
    Reply
  • Spazweasel - Monday, February 28, 2011 - link

    So here's a question. With these solid state hard drives bursting to near the maximum transfer rate of SATA3 and completely eclipsing spinning media, the Holy Grail is going to be to approach RAMdisk speed.

    I'd be curious to see how a drive like this compares to, say, a 4gb RAM disk which has been formatted with the same file system. I imagine the RAMdisk driver and operating system will matter a great deal for such a baseline, but if a RAMdisk driver and config can be settled upon, this would make a very interesting comparison.

    As far as I can tell, the SATA3 standard, with 6Gb/sec (little B) will saturate at about 525MB/sec (big B). DDR3/1333 will do so at 10667MB/sec. 20 times faster, right? Well... maybe. This is where file system and driver overhead will loom large. RAID will fatten up the pipe, and ultimately PCIE 2.0 16x will peak at 8192MB/sec (big B). Since PCIE 2.0/16x is close to DDR3/1333 in transfer speeds, in theory (that wonderful place where everything works), the aforementioned Holy Grail is at least in sight at the horizon.

    So yeah, I'm curious about RAMdisks vs. fast SSDs in RAID. Just as an exercise.
    Reply
  • iwod - Tuesday, March 01, 2011 - link

    I know this is old, but can you brief us on WHAT THE HELL HAPPEN to Intel SSD Controller?

    Was it always suppose to be a Marvel Controller + Intel Firmware? Are is there REAL G3 coming soon?
    Reply
  • WintersEdge - Wednesday, March 09, 2011 - link

    So this is a preview, right? Although it's quite complete like a full review... Nevertheless, you'll do another review when the product actually comes out? Right? Or what? If so, will you add your energy use test, like you've done for SSD reviews in the past? I know it'll be very small but then again, all the differences in performance are also very small to an end user just doing ordinary tasks.

    Thanks
    Reply
  • ErikO - Wednesday, March 09, 2011 - link

    It has been over two years, since I took the plunge for SSD, and on my third one, (Intel SLC), I'm loving it, as McDonalds marketing team would surely love everyone to say.

    I started with that woeful OCZ SSD, (that created more noise than the Mohammad Cartoons in the world).

    They sent me a second one by some way of peace offering (I wrote them from the address of a small tech site I own), but public reviews said they were just as bad. Sold on Ebay with no reserve. (almost got my money back too)

    Then a year ago, my wallet allowed for a 160GB X25-M. That was -worlds- better, but still every now and then (once an hour?) my music would skip - and I recognised that as MLC behaviour. This would be the high-latency small-file-size writes then. But as an audiophile, who does actually connect his computer to his hi-fi (via a dedicated sound card of course), this meant noticable breaks in a high output system. Not cool in front of guests.

    So a couple of weeks back, I bought the 64GB X25-E. This was everything I had hoped for. This is what I expected SSDs would give us from day one. The size of the disk is painful though, but I digress.

    My question is...with all these much higher results out there, am I really going to perceive much of a difference in system-wide performance? Intel seems to be dropping SLC as far as I can see, and based on my experience, I don't think I can / could turn my back on SLC technology again...!

    So where is all the talk of the X25-E - of recent? They are for sale everywhere, but the internet seems almost dead to their existance. Too small? Too expensive?

    Even if I can be convinced into a Vertex, I will definately have to pay the high admission cost for the pro...I'd happily sacrifice some speed for consistancy of performance.

    Gents, let me know what you know?

    Thanks.
    Reply
  • SeattleGeek - Thursday, March 10, 2011 - link

    Will the 128GB model perform the same as the 256GB model that is reviewed?

    Also, do they have the same number of channels?
    Reply
  • sean.crees - Friday, March 11, 2011 - link

    Where are the benchmarks for the Vertex 2? I'd really like to see how exactly the new Vertex 3 compares to the drive it's supposed to replace. Reply
  • Dssguy1 - Monday, April 18, 2011 - link

    Because we know OCZ is infamous for trickery, I would like to know if you got some kind of "super juiced-up" version of the drive for review.

    It would make me feel a lot better about dropping $550 (basically because I just did), if I knew that the review SSD you tested, matches what we are getting when we buy the Retail version.
    Reply
  • davele - Friday, December 30, 2011 - link

    Based on what you describe I wonder if this testing is really a representative snapshot of any common use pattern.
    ie: Application installs - typically this is a once off activity. Any one machine only installs a finite number of applications. (the exception being a SCOM based virtual desktop where the entire systems is installed each time a user logs on. But that is Enterprise & they are very unlikely to put SSD's in user workstations)

    For Enterprise SSD benchmarks please consider profiling a SQL Server system running both normal OLTP app & a Sharepoint app.
    The OLTP would give you huge numbers of 4K & 64K random writes, while the logs would give you largely a sequential write. The Sharepoint app is a heavy BLOB store, So this would give you the a random set of large sequential I/O, with much more Read than Write.

    The advantage of this is you can backup the database, capture the I/O requests. Then each test is just a restore & replay of the requests. Easy, repeatable & extremely representative of Heavy I/O workload. Especially an enterprise class load.
    Reply

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