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  • Chloiber - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    I'm a bit curious why I can't see any word on the last page on the strange sequential performance behaviour. AS SSD and in a way also PCMark Vantage show, that the m4 is very fast in sequential read. Why this huge difference? I'm not expecting an answer, but I expected a word on that on the last page. It it's very strange. Reply
  • iwod - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    Which means for majority of users, if you have Windows 7 , trim, m4 will properly be the best SSD to get.

    I wish they could bring down the price of their 60GB.......
  • ekerazha - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    The best is Vertex 3, my only concern is its power consumption. Reply
  • Kepe - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    SSD power consumption is very low compared to what CPUs and GPUs consume. I don't quite understand why an idle power consumption of 1,8 watts and load power consumption of ~4 watts would be such a big deal.
    The Vertex 3 probably consumes more power because the controller needs to do a bit more processing than other controllers do, with all those compression algorithms going on.
  • ekerazha - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    It is more power hungry than the Seagate HDD, on a desktop system it isn't a problem, but I'm concerned about using it on laptops. Reply
  • beginner99 - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    Yeah I always thought ssds use much less power but it doesn't really seem to be so. Reply
  • jcandle - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    Even in a performance notebook its a non-issue. I just wouldn't choose it for an ultraportable. But then I wouldn't been looking for best performance. Just a large SSD with best bang-for-the-buck would be the right balance. Having too much HDD speed when the system itself is holding you back doesn't help. Reply
  • taltamir - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    if you compare it to a 2.5" low RPM HDD, and only look at the watts/second then you might think so.
    but consider the power/work done also. Doing work takes time, it takes less time with the SSD, which makes it go idle sooner, which prolongs battery life.

    that being said, 1.8 watt idle is rather high for a solid state device
  • Mr Perfect - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    That's a good point. Mechanical drives, especially the low power 2.5" ones, spend a lot of time thrashing around. SSDs, on the other hand, load your data in a snap and go right back to idle mode.

    It would make for an interesting battery test.
  • djgandy - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    The Seagate is a bit of a poor comparison as it is hybrid. The WD Raptor is the complete other extreme.

    A normal, run of the mill hard drive would be nice for comparison.
  • MrSpadge - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    Wait for the final hard- and software. Some power saving mode was probably not active in this beta version.

  • Out of Box Experience - Friday, April 01, 2011 - link

    The majority of users as of January 2011 were still using XP
    55% used XP
    22% used Windows 7
    So for the Majority of users, Intel's 320 series is still the best SSD to get as it uses the same OS agnostic controller that the last Intel SSD's

    OCZ on the other hand just purchased Indilynx so we may yet see a OS agnostic controller from them in the near future to compete with Intel in the non-Windows 7 space

    This would make perfect sense for OCZ to add the offset to Indilynx controllers to compete for XP users and keep the Sandforce line for Windows 7 users

    Although Indilynx does not have the Raw throughput of a Sandforce SSD, it would give respectable performance on "ANY" OS without the need for partition hacks and should be suitable for dual boots if the proper offset is implemented

    One of the most basic problems with partition offset hacks for XP was that the offset would be lost if you backup and restore a single partition using Acronis True Image

    The only way to keep the offset would be to backup the entire drive!

    O&O defrag Pro v14 has a "Manual" Trim command if anyone is interested ???

    Controllers that do not include the proper offset for XP boxes generally have horrible "USED" performance after several writes but seem to function OK if you only use them for a boot drive and avoid writes (Hard to do with XP)

  • Out of Box Experience - Friday, April 01, 2011 - link

    So for the Majority of users, Intel's 320 series is still the best SSD to get as it uses the same OS agnostic controller that the last generation Intel SSD's had
  • 7Enigma - Friday, April 01, 2011 - link

    Could you site your source for those numbers? My hunch is that the people still on XP are likely NOT the same people that will be purchasing these drives. More likely they are on Vista or Win7 which mainly negates your comment.

    Don't get me wrong I love XP still (my laptop and wife's computer are still running it), but for my main gaming rig (only system with a SSD) I've been through 2 OS revisions (Vista and now 7). Why? DX10/11 support.

    And people upgrading existing systems for a SSD are likely upgrading for similar reasons. Few people are going to drop $100-400 for a SSD on a 3-5 year old computer. They are brainwashed into thinking the spyware/virii loaded system is slow because it's old, not because it just needs a fresh install and some proper lockdown/protection.
  • Out of Box Experience - Friday, April 01, 2011 - link

    Sorry, I could not find the exact source that I used but here is a different one with similar results

    Your hunch that people still using XP are likely NOT the same people that will be purchasing these drives is a good bet due to the fact that these drives tend to perform quit badly in a used state when compared to the Intel SSD's on an XP box

    This is also the reason I think that OCZ may have purchased Indilynx
    To add the offset needed to compete with Intel on the XP boxes

    Even if Windows 7 had the same market share "TODAY" that XP enjoys, it is still foolish for SSD makers to ignore that huge XP market at their own detriment

    Windows 7 may be the future, but there's gold in them thar XP hills
  • LeTiger - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    With the major players out of the woods now, I guess it's just time to wait until next year to see prices go down. Overall, I can't decide whether I'm happy over a (potentially) knockout performance by OCZ, or sad at the state of Intel/Crucial/etc... offerings...

    With prices where they still are at this point, I am very satisfied with my 30gb boot drive, and will continue to wait till costs go down until I convert fully over to the SSD realm...
  • Wave Fusion - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    I don't place much faith on that happening.
    SSDs are selling well enough there's not a good enough reason to reduce prices anytime soon.

    At about $1 per GB most SSDs costs more than major parts like the CPU, GPU, RAM and HDD combined.

    Allow me to pose a question for a general consensus: All and SSD does better is open files/programs faster and move large files (drive 1 to drive 2) faster; due to its high read/write speeds and more simultaneous operations.

    BUT; if you've already run a program once since booting, closed it, then opened it again.. I thought the program was likely cached in the RAM. Which means an SSD would no longer improve anything

    The only potential benefit past 1st run would be any data that's never rerun, like media encoding. But the often poorly designed/outdated single threaded programs themselves are a bottleneck way before a HDD is. At least on my machine, even similtaneous

    So then I have to ask myself, assuming recently accessed files/programs cached in RAM isn't some myth; what do I really gain from using an SSD?

    Why would I spend that money when I could instead use it for an even better GPU or something I actually will notice?
  • MilwaukeeMike - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    Valid point.. but when I use my PC i do a few things frequently that would benefit. I have a kid, and therefore lots of pics and videos, and i play some video games, so i deal with loading screens. I don't ever sit and wait and wish i had 100 FPS instead of my current avg 60. The only times i'm ever looking at my screen and waiting for my PC to finish doing something is either loading a webpage (1-2 seconds) or loading a game (often) or copying files (kinda rare).

    You're right, if you only use word and excel, this isn't for you. But if find yourself waiting for game screens to load it's worth it. Also, many people have already perfectly fast CPU's/GPU/s and good enough monitors.

    The HD is the last slow piece of my computer for me to upgrade.
  • Ammaross - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    Yes, most CPUs bought within the last two years will be more than powerful enough to handle common use. Juicing a system with an SSD will be the best way to regain "lost" performance. Rather than telling your parents to get a new computer when their old one is just "too slow," upgrade their hard drive to an SSD. They likely don't reach 120GB as it is. Reply
  • LeTiger - Friday, April 01, 2011 - link

    I would spend the money because for what I do, an SSD greatly benefits my workflow. Tooling around in Lightroom/CS5 all day benefits from an SSD. I just think they are still too much, and when they do get down to the $1 per gig, I will snatch up the biggest one I can afford.

    As far as "something you will actually notice", you couldn't be more mistaken, an SSD will make the biggest noticeable difference in performance in a computer that you will be able to see. As the comment below says, (and I agree), would you rather watch your FPS meter jump from 60 to 100? or have almost everything you do load very, VERY quickly.

    - It made my intel Atom/ION laptop feel as fast as my Quad Core for light usage scenarios, now that is worth spending money on as peace of mind.
  • Rasterman - Friday, April 01, 2011 - link

    LOL wait a year? You are nuts, a year from now there will be totally new products out at all new high prices. Prices come down? Most of these new drives are not even in full production yet and some aren't even released. Regardless upgrading from a G2 level drive to any of these you aren't going to see any difference in real word use, only if you are doing massive file transfers all of the time or can afford to blow money for minimal performance increases (work system) then there is absolutely no point in upgrading speed wise. Reply
  • eamon - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    The article states that "I had the same complaint about the C300 if you'll remember from last year. If you're running an OS without TRIM support, then the m4 is a definite pass. Even with TRIM enabled and a sufficiently random workload, you'll want to skip the m4 as well." These statements don't really seem backed up by the data presented.

    Take the m4-is-bad-without-TRIM idea: If you lack TRIM *and* torture-test your SSD for twenty-minutes of random writes, then you'll see a significant but temporary loss of performance, is what you show. That's not ideal, but really, outside of benchmarking, 20-minutes of random write torture are exceedingly unusual. And you don't show a benchmark with TRIM support enabled (i.e., not just running on an OS with TRIM support, but running on a filesystem and where the filesystem isn't just completely filled up). Does the same performance degradation occur with normal TRIM usage patterns? That seems to be a far more likely usage pattern, but you don't test it.

    This makes the second statement seem even less warranted - first of all, you're testing a very unusual access pattern, and you're doing it without a common feature (TRIM) designed to avoid this degradation, and you're not checking how long it takes for performance to recover (after all, if performance quickly recovers after torture testing, then it may well be reasonable to accept the low risk of low performance since the situation will rectify itself anyhow).

    I'm not trying to defend the m4 here - and you might be right, but the data sure seems insufficient to draw these rather relevant conclusions. How quickly does the m4 recover, and how does TRIM impact the degradation in the first place?
  • JNo - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link


    I too am not trying to defend the m4 but I think a lot of emphasis is put on sequential performance reads & writes. Whilst I'm sure the everyone will copy/move very large files to their SSD occasionally, the vast majority will still have them as their boot drive where overall system responsiveness (random reads/writes) is still king. It's still a useful metric to know for those who really want to do video editing etc on an SSD but generally over stated.

    For most users, like myself, I think the performance benefits of the amazing Vertex 3 will be imperceptible over the m4 99.999% of the time. So the real question, as always, is price - the Vertex 3 does justify a premium but only a small one. Most value-for-money buyers would probably get better real world value from the m4 assuming it is cheaper.
  • tno - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    I think the thing to remember is that this performance drop occurred during a pretty short torture test. But the possibility still exists that if the m4 delays garbage collection till a sequential write comes along, then the possibility could exist that the drive could suffer lots of insults from random writes, drastically decreasing performance, and, because not very many sequential writes are performed, the garbage collection never has a chance to remedy the situation.

    This is a hypothetical but it's not that far fetched for those of us that focus on using SSDs as OS drives. If you put a small OS drive in a desktop and supplement it with a large mechanical drive, your OS drive might not see a decently long sequential write for some time. Particularly if all your downloads and content generation goes to the mechanical drive.
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    For most users, over the course of several months, access patterns can begin to mimic portions of our torture test. I'll be addressing this in a future article but tasks like web browsing, system boot and even application launches are only sequential IOs for less than 50% of the time.

    I state that I doubt it'll be the case for typical desktop workloads but honestly there's no way to be sure given a short period of testing. Note that every recommended SSD we test ultimately goes into a primary use system and we subject it to a realistic workload for months, noting any issues that do crop up - which eventually gets fed back into our reviews.

    Our data shows that in a perfect world, the m4 does quite well in most of the tests. My concerns are two fold:

    1) Low max latency during random write operations seems to imply very little gc work is being done during typical random writes.

    2) Our torture test shows that delayed garbage collection can result in a pretty poor performance scenario, where the m4 is allowed to to drop a bit lower than I'd like.

    How likely is it that you'll encounter this poor performance state?

    1) Without TRIM it's very likely. One of the machines I run daily is an OS X system without the TRIM hack enabled. Indilinx, the C300 and even Intel's X25-M both hit this worst case scenario performance level after a few months of use.

    2) With TRIM it'll depend entirely based on your workload. Remember that you never TRIM the entire drive like we did (only in the case of a full format). Given a sufficiently random workload without enough consistent sequential writing to bring up performance, I could see things get this bad.

    Again my point wasn't to conclude that the m4 was a bad drive, just that these are concerns of mine and I'd rather be cautious about them when recommending something to the public. It's no different than being cautious about recommending the Vertex 3 given unproven reliability and questionable track record.

    Take care,
  • kmmatney - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    So, could someone write a tool that does a huge sequential write to restore performance? Sort of like running the Intel SSD Toolbox and manually doing a TRIM? I could live with that. I'm still running Windows XP at work. Reply
  • bobbozzo - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    Just copy a really big file from another drive. Reply
  • bobbozzo - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    Or a bunch of not as big files. Reply
  • 7Enigma - Friday, April 01, 2011 - link

    I'm quite certain I remember there being a program that does this created by an enthusiast way back during the first gen of SSD's. Reply
  • lyeoh - Friday, April 01, 2011 - link

    To me I'm actually very happy about the low latency during random write (and read) ops.

    Can't there be a way to do garbage collection during idle time and not sacrifice latency?

    Yes I know that the drive could think it's idle and then start garbage collection just at the very moment when the user finally decides to do something. But if you do the garbage collection at a low intensity, should it affect performance that much? I'm assuming that since the drives are fast they can do a fair bit of garbage collection during idle at say 10-20% speed and not affect the user experience much.

    Enterprise drives might be busy all the time and total throughput often matters more than keeping latency in the milliseconds (it's still important but...), so the best time to do garbage collection for those drives would be ASAP.

    But that's not true for Desktop drives. Right now as I'm typing in this post, my HDD isn't busy at all. So an SSD could do a fair bit of GC during that long pause. Same for when you are playing a game (after it has loaded the game assets).

    It seems silly for Desktop SSDs to do GC during the time a user wants to do something (and presumably wants to get it done as fast as possible).

    The Intel SSDs have a max latency of hundreds of milliseconds! That's very human noticeable! Do conventional nonfaulty HDDs even get that slow?
  • JNo - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    On another note, now that my system drive is an 80GB Intel X25M SSD, I really notice how my Documents folders that all have to be on mechanical HDDs due to their size, are very unresponsive. In fact often Win 7 hangs for about 10-15 secs just trying to open my Documents or Video folder when nothing else is going on! (This on a Core2 Q6600 so not a netbook or anything).

    Whilst I'm sure I would benefit from a 6Gbs controller and a Vertex 3 or m4, I wonder if the smart money in future will go on getting one or two cheap(er!) 40GB SSDs to act as cache drives for my couple of larger (1 - 2 TB) media and Documents drives. The figures on Tomshardware on Z68 caching performance were not awe inspiring but definitely a great option to have...
  • james.jwb - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    The HDD is probably going into sleep mode. Happens to mine all the time with an SSD. I hear it spin up as my PC is silent apart from the HDD. Could always turn it off or prolong it kicking in. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    Seconded, I hear the same thing on my Win7 desktop with an 80GB X25M G2 and 3 mechanical HDDs. The HDDs go to sleep after 15-30 min, and take several seconds to spin back up when data is needed. It isn't enough of a bother to me to change the sleep time, but it can be done if necessary. Reply
  • softdrinkviking - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    you've already seen the results of the new samsung drive, and the new corsair, and who knows how many other SSDs are currently being pu tthrough the paces in your lab.

    those drives that are still officially unknown paint a more complete picture of the industry and the future of SSDs.

    how much would you say your reviews reflect that bigger picture?
    are we to assume that you are giving us your opinion of this drive from our perspective, or yours?

    I know that can be a hard balance to strike in writing, between the prescient and the contemporaneous, and I can't help but wonder.
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    I'd say the majority of what you see here is reflecting the bigger picture. The Corsair P3 is nice but it seems to fall behind Intel's 510. The Samsung 470 is a great 3Gbps offering but it's a bit pricey. I still have some additional testing to do on both of those, which I expect to be done (realistically) next week.

    Take care,
  • Lonesloane - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    I'm really missing "real world benchmarks", such as loading times. These synthetical benchmarks mean nothing to me.
    In general it seems as Sandforce will be the big winner of the SSD market in 2011.
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    Load times for a single application are pretty much consistant through all of the modern SSDs. It's really in the heavy workload scenarios or periods of burst activity that you'll see differences. Note that our own storage bench suite plays back real world IO tasks that encompass exactly what you're looking for :)

    Take care,
  • sticks435 - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    One thing I'd like to see is the Vantage scores on a Sandy Bridge platform. Since most other sites use it as their real world benchmark, and they/most users will probably be using these new drives with a SB system, it makes it a little easier to compare numbers. Yes, I know comparing from site to site is usually a crap shoot, but would still be a nice to have. Perhaps when PC Mark 7 is available. Reply
  • shatteredx - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    For many of us, SSD performance has reached the "good enough" milestone. The "big winner" of the SSD in market in 2011 will be whoever is willing to price these things the cheapest combined with typical customer feedback that the drives are reliable.

    Anand's prediction that we'll have to wait until 2014 for prices to drop under $1/GB is not comforting.
  • geniekid - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    ++. In fact, I thought SSDs were good enough two years ago. Give me one of these new SSDs with HALF the performance and twice the storage size at the same price and I'll take it. Reply
  • casteve - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link


    The biggest problem is SSD mfgrs push the high capacity drives out for review to show their products in the best possible light rather than the (more mainstream) boot drive-sized SSDs.

    Anand, here's hoping you will fill these charts in with more 64GB and 128GB reviews. I don't care about 256GB performance.
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    I always request the smaller capacity drives. Launch reviews tend to feature the big ones but I try my best to fill in the smaller ones as time goes on. Reply
  • ckevin1 - Friday, April 01, 2011 - link

    Speaking of drive size disparities -- why is the Corsair F120 on these charts, instead of the F240?

    We don't have a comparison to any of the top performing SF1200 drives.
  • sticks435 - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    ++1. Especially when building something like a gaming PC, where because of the stream of console ports, you can build a screaming system for $1000 or so. Not spending half my budget on a SSD. Reply
  • JNo - Friday, April 01, 2011 - link

    +1 for smaller drive figures Reply
  • iamezza - Friday, April 01, 2011 - link

    +1 for price/GB, reliability Reply
  • cknobman - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    Id say for anyone still rocking a SATA II interface (like me with my notebook) Intel 320 series is the clear winner now.

    I was leaning towards an OCZ Vertex 2 Sandforce 1200 series drive but I read too many horror stories of OCZ's reliability.

    Intels new 320 series looks to be pretty solid and fast.
  • Martimus - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    Many people on our forums are having an issue with stuttering on the C300 drive (seen here:

    It is accompanied with the error:"The device, \Device\Ide\iaStor0, did not respond within the timeout period."

    Does the C400 have this same issue? All the people who have reported the problem are using P67 chipset motherboards.
  • adamantinepiggy - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    I believe I ran into stuttering issues with the p67 chipset, i2600k Win7-64 and C400 with release firmware using the last two Intel SATA port drivers (9.xx and 10.xx). It manifested itself with odd PCMark Vantage HHD suite results. Basically, running the tests would incur a "0" result in one or more tests like the gaming part. In about 10 runs of the Vantage HDD suite test, over 2/3 would fail because of this. When it did complete, it would only return about 45,000 marks. Perplexed on this behavior, I changed driver for the SATA port to the stock MSAHCI (via upgrade driver in device manager) and the problem went away to where I was getting consistant 57000ish marks on this test.

    To see if I could replicate this issue, I again changed the SATA port driver back to the same latest Intel 10.xx SATA port driver (again via device manager) and the problem never returned. With the now-working Intel driver/c400 interface, PCMark Vantage HDD Suite now gives us 64000+ on an empty 256GB C400. This was done on an original ASUS and MSI bugged-P67 chipset (SATA2 3G/s port fail bug, however I only use the Intel SATA3 6G/s ports for testing so have not returned them).

    No I don't know why it occurs or if it affects all of the P67 MB's when used with the C400's. While it interests me in figuring out why, I only have so many work-hours a day to do things and my misson in that particular case was was to make a stable P67 platform for benchmark testing (which I accomplished), not determine root causes for things I could get around (weird bugs). Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately :-), I am not an engineer, I am the merely the resident tech hardware enthusiast who actually makes the stuff work for the real engineers.. This MSI P67-GD65 motherboard continues to be the standard benchmark machine for Micron R&D test results until I can get the time to order a post-bug fix replacement.

    A interesting FYI: is that this MSI P67-GD65 motherboard consistently outperforms the ASUS P8P67 by about 2-4% in disk i/o at "stock" CPU speeds (we don't overclock bench machines, but from a "I-like-to-play-with-stuff" perspective, the ASUS overclocks much better/easier!).
  • jimhsu - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    If you are using the C300 with Intel RST 9.x or 10.x, there is a specific fix:

    The problem has been solved for all the responders on the thread including me.
  • Nentor - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    "And for those of you asking about my thoughts on the recent OCZ related stuff that has been making the rounds, expect to see all of that addressed in our review of the final Vertex 3."

    Too late Anand and you well know it. It has no place hidden in some unwritten review about next generation hardware either.

    I don't think people talking about that matter are that concerned with your thoughts on it, but about you speaking out on a product you reviewed that turned out to be very good and now is available in shops in the same box and shell but with different hardware inside and performance.

    Anyone might end up buying one of these things based on your good review of it and end up with quite another product when they return home.

    That is the point and you failed it quite horribly professionally and personally.
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    The 25nm fiasco happened while I was out of the country covering MWC. I was thousands of miles away from any testbeds. When it happened I immediately contacted OCZ's CEO and asked for his plan to make it right. To date I believe they have addressed all present concerns by allowing users to exchange drives with 64Gbit 25nm NAND for 32Gbit drives. It's my understanding that small capacity 64Gbit die drives have been discontinued. There are still some 64Gbit devices in the channel and I pushed for a name change on the impacted product but it looks like the best OCZ is willing to do is point you at the model number to (possibly) determine what you're getting.

    I finally got a pair of 25nm drives in this week - I wasn't going to make any public statements based on product I haven't tested personally. Unfortunately both drives, the 60GB 'E' and 120GB non-E use 32Gbit NAND devices.

    OCZ shouldn't have handled this the way it did initially. Lower performing drives should never have hit the market and they shouldn't have tried to charge people for replacements. However the company did respond quickly and I believe has made things right for those users who are impacted based on what I've seen here:

    Regardless this is another check in the wrong column for OCZ and it will be addressed - not hidden - (as well as the SpecTek memory stuff) in an upcoming article. My original plan was to wrap that, the m4, Corsair P3 and Samsung 470 all into our Intel 320 review however being at CTIA last week left me with little time to get all of that done.

    I would've liked to have been on top of all of this from the start, and had OCZ not made things right publicly early on I would've stepped in (there was a lot of prodding from me behind the scenes during MWC week). The timing was unfortunate and I'm looking to bring on a regular storage editor to help ensure this sort of thing doesn't happen in the future. With all of the growth in SSDs as well as the increase in demand for HDD coverage, it's time to grow the storage team on AT.

    Take care,
  • cactusdog - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    Anand, OCZ have only made things partially right, the issue is not solved. Ocz are swapping drives to meet IDEMA specs but performance is still slower. So they only made it 50% right.

    Its not the fact that its a slower drive, but they are using the same branding then making it impossible for users to know which nand is being used before the drive is purchased.

    The bigger issue is if it is ethical for a company to change specs and use the same branding. Afterall, Intel and Corsair saw fit to rebrand their 25nm drives. Other companies at least changed the model number.

    The spectek issue is another can of worms for ocz but it raises the same kind of questions about Ocz ethics and transparency.
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    This is why I wanted to get drives in house. With 25nm 120GB and 60GB drives in hand now I can start looking at performance. In theory with the same number of die there shouldn't be any performance difference. If there is, something else is at play.

    It is absolutely unethical for a manufacturer to change performance and sell under the same product name. Let me do some testing and I'll touch on this very soon.

    Take care,
  • Gami - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    the problem with you new test is which drives are you getting..

    The first version of the 25nm SSDs that they tried to secrectly get through..

    or the final version after all the complaints and the switch to the bigger nand chips..

    the very first ones, they used only used 8 channels to connect those nand chips.. you need to get one of these drives as well..

    after all the complaints, they finally admitted what they done, and said you could trade in for proper sized SSDs but you had to pay a different in price, even though you already paid for what you're finally being given..

    after another run of bad press and complaints, they backed off the whole pay the different and just gave you a new SSD witht he right configs.

    it's still less space and less performance than the original Vertex2 that you originally bought.. and also has less of a life span.

    (if you had bought these the first few months of the change to 25nm, you were also paying the full price of the 32nm chips) there was no savings, you paid more for a worthless new SSD that had the same markings on it, as the one that was rated number one SSD for the year.
  • mikato - Friday, April 01, 2011 - link

    "However the company did respond quickly and I believe has made things right for those users who are impacted based on what I've seen here"

    Actually, it looks like they only made things right for the people that noticed they were tricked a bit and complained. One might argue that there was no impact to those who didn't notice since hey, they got an OCZ Vertex 2 didn't they, but most of us wouldn't agree with that because they could put a Vertex 2 label on a box of dog crap if they wanted.

    FWIW I bought a Vertex 2 120GB in early January. I'm happy with it and I'm pretty sure it's not 25nm based on what I've read for the releases etc. but I haven't checked on it myself with any test. If it turned out to be 25nm and with worse specs, I probably won't return it to avoid the hassle but that doesn't mean I didn't get shortchanged.
  • anevmann - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    "seequential" in the Performance vs transfer size :P

    But a great ssd review as always Anand ;)
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    Thanks for the comment and the heads up :)

    Take care,
  • anevmann - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    Any news when/if TRIM will be supported in raids in the future? Reply
  • forgotdre - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    samsung 470 review please! I haven't heard much about it and it seems like a great drive! Reply
  • dingo99 - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    While it's great that you test overall drive performance before and after a manually-triggered TRIM, it's unfortunate that you do not test real-world TRIM performance amidst other drive operations. You've mentioned often that Crucial drives like C300 need TRIM, but you've missed the fact that C300 is a very poor performer *during* the TRIM process. If you try to use a C300-based system on Win7 while TRIM operations are being performed (Windows system image backup from SSD to HD, for example) you will note significant stuttering due to the drive locking up while processing its TRIMs. Disable Win7 TRIM, and all the stuttering goes away. Sadly, the limited TRIM tests you perform now do not tell the whole story about how the drives will perform in day-to-day usage. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    I have noticed that Crucial's drives tend to be slower at TRIMing than the competition. I suspect this is a side effect of very delayed garbage collection and an attempt to aggressively clean blocks once the controller receives a TRIM instruction.

    I haven't seen this as much in light usage of either the C300 or m4 but it has definitely cropped up in our testing, especially during those full drive TRIM passes.
  • jinino - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    Is it possible to include MB with AMD's 890 series chipset to test SATA III performance?

  • whatwhatwhat2011 - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    I continue to be frustrated by the lack of actual, task-oriented, real world benchmarking for SSDs. That is to say, tests that execute common tasks (like booting, loading applications, doing disk intensive desktop tasks like audio/video/photo editing) and reporting exactly how long those tasks took (in seconds) using different disks.

    This is really what we care about when we buy SSDs. Sequential read and write numbers are near irrelevant in real world use. The same could be said for IOPs measurements, which have so many variables involved. I understand that your storage bench is supposed to satisfy this need, but I don't think that it does. The numbers it returns are still abstract values that, in effect, don't really communicate to the reader what the actual performance difference is.

    Bringing it home, my point is that while we all understand that going from an HDD system drive to an SSD results in an enormous performance improvement, we really have no idea how much better a SF-2200 based Vertex 3 is than an Indilinx Vertex 1 is in real world use. Sure, we understand that it's tons faster in the benches, but if that translates to application loading times that are only 1 second faster, who really cares to make that upgrade?

    In particular, I'm thinking of Sandforce drives. They really blow the doors off benchmarking suites, but how does that translate to real world performance? Most of the disk intensive desktop tasks out there involve editing photos and videos that are generally speaking already highly compressed (ie, incompressible).

    Anand, you are a true leader in SSD performance analysis. I hope that you'll take the lead once again and put an end to this practice of reporting benchmark numbers that - while exciting to compare - are virtually useless when it comes to making buying decisions.

    In the interest of being positive and helpful, here are a few tasks that I'd loved to see benched and compared going forward (especially between high end HDDs, second gen SSDs and third gen SSDs).

    1. Boot times (obviously you'd have to standardize the mobo for useful results).
    2. Application load times for "heavy" apps like Photoshop, After Effects, Maya, AutoCAD, etc
    3. Load times for large Lightroom 3 catalogs using RAW files (which are generally incompressible) and large video editing project files (which include a variety of read types) using the various AVC-flavored acquisition codecs out there.
    4. BIG ONE HERE: the real world performance delta for using SSDs as cache drives for content creation apps that deal mostly with incompressible data (like Lightroom and Premiere).

    Thanks again for the great work. And I apologize for the typos. Day job's a-callin'.
  • MilwaukeeMike - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    I think part of the reason you don't see much of this is the difficulty in standardizing it. You’d like to see AutoCAD, but I’d like to see visual studio or RSA. I have seen game loading screens in reviews, and I’d like to see that again. Especially since you don’t really know how much data is being loaded. Will a game level load in 5 seconds vs 25 in a standard HD, or is it more like 15 vs 25? I’d also prefer to see a Veliciraptor on the graph because I own one, but that’s just getting picky. However, I’m sure not going to buy a SSD without knowing this stuff. Reply
  • whatwhatwhat2011 - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    That's a very valid point, but I don't see much in the way of even an effort in this regard. I certainly wouldn't complain if the application loading tests including a bunch of software that I never use just so long as that software has similar loading characteristics and times as the software I do use. Or anything, really, that gives me some idea of the actual difference in user experience.

    I have an ugly hunch that there isn't really much (or any) difference between a first gen and third gen SSD in terms of the actual user experience. My personal experience has more or less confirmed this, but that's just anecdotal. These benchmark numbers, as it is, don't tell us much about what is going on with the user's experience.

    They do, however, get people excited about buying new SSDs every year. They're hundreds of megabytes per second faster! And I love megabytes.
  • Chloiber - Friday, April 01, 2011 - link

    I do agree. Most SSD tests still lack these kind of tests.
    On what should I base my decision when buying an SSD? As the AnandStorage Benches show, the results can be completely different (just compare the new suite (which isn't "better", it's just "different") with the old one! Completely different results! And it's still just a benchmark where we don't actually know what has been benched. Yes, Anand provides some numbers, but it's not transparent enough. It's still ONE scenario.

    I'd also like to see more simple benchmarks. Sit behind your computer and use a stop watch. Yes, it's more work than using simple tools, but the result is worth WAY more than "YABT" (yet another benchmark tool).

    Well yes. Maybe the results are very close. But that's exactly what I want to know. I am very sorry, but right now, I only see synthetic benchmarks in these tests which can't tell me anything.

    - Unzipping
    - Copying
    - Installing
    - Loading times of applications (even multiple apps at once)

    That's the kind of things I care about. And a trace benchmark is nice, but there is still a layer of abstraction that I just do not want.
  • whatwhatwhat2011 - Friday, April 01, 2011 - link

    It's really gratifying to hear other users sharing my thoughts! I have a hunch we're onto something here.

    Anand, I hate to sound harsh - as you've clearly put a ton of work into this - but your storage bench is really a step in the wrong direction. Yes, it consists of real world tasks and produces highly replicable results.

    But the actual test pattern itself is simply not realistic. Only a small percentage of users ever find themselves doing tasks like that, and even those power users only are capable of producing workloads like this everyone once in awhile (when they're highly, highly caffeinated, I would suppose).

    Even more damning, the values it returns are not helpful when making buying decisions. So the Vertex 3 completes the heavy bench some 4-5 minutes ahead of the Crucial m4. What does that actually mean in terms of my user experience?

    See, the core of the issue here is really why people buy SSDs. Contrary to the marketing justification, I don't think anyone buys SSDs for productivity gains (although that might be how they justify the purchase to themselves as well).

    So what are you really getting with an SSD? Confidence and responsiveness. The sort of confidence that comes with immediate responsiveness. Much like how a good sports car will respond immediately to every single touch of the peddles or wheel, we expect a badass computer to respond immediately to our inputs. Until SSDs came along, this simply wasn't a reality.

    So the question really is: is one SSD going to make my computer faster, smoother and more responsive than another?
  • seapeople - Friday, April 01, 2011 - link

    How many times must Anand answer this question. Here's your answer:

    Question: What's the difference between all these SSD's and how they boot/load application X?

    Answer: For every SSD from x25m-g2 on THERE IS VERY LITTLE DIFFERENCE.

    Anand could spend a lot of time benchmarking how long it takes to start up Photoshop or boot up Windows 7 for these SSD's, but then we'd just get a lot of graphs that vary from 7 seconds to 9 seconds, or 25 seconds to 28 seconds. Or you could skew the graphs with a mechanical hard drive which would be 2-5x the loading time.

    In short, the synthetic (or even real-life) torture tests that Anand shows here are the only tests which would show a large difference between these drives, and for everything else you keep asking about there would be very little difference. This is why it sucks that SSD performance is still increasing faster than price is dropping; SSD's are really fast enough to beat hard drives at anything, so the only important factor for most real world situations is the price and how much storage capacity you can live with.
  • whatwhatwhat2011 - Friday, April 01, 2011 - link

    I'm not sure that I understand your indignation. If useful, effective real world benchmarks would demonstrate little difference between SSDs, how is that a waste of anyone's time? If anything, that is exactly the information that both consumers and technologists need.

    Consumers would be able to make better buying decisions, gauging the real-world benefits (or not) of upgrading from one SSD to another, later generation SSD.

    Manufacturers and technologists would benefit from having to confront that fact that clearly performance bottle necks exist elsewhere in the system - either in the hardware I/O subsystems, or in software itself that is still designed to respond to HDD levels of latency. If consumers refused to upgrade from one SSD to another, based upon useful test data that revealed this diminishing real-world benefit, that would also help motivate manufacturers to move on price, instead of focusing on MORE MEGABYTES!

    This charade that is currently going on - in which artificial benchmarks and torture tests are being used to exaggerate the difference between drives - certainly makes for exciting reading, but it does little to inform anyone.

    Anand is a leader in this subject matter. I post here as opposed to other sites that are guilty of the same because I have a hunch that only he has the resources and enthusiasm necessary to tackle this issue.
  • Drag0nFire - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    Dear Anand,

    Thank you so much for your comments on NAND longevity. Very much appreciated to go through the math one more time in the context of these drives.

    One remaining question: is your assumption of 7GB per day really appropriate. If I have a laptop with 4GB of RAM (not rare today) and I hibernate my laptop (or use hybrid sleep) an average of twice a day, I've already exceeded your usage scenario.

    I understand that I should still not be concerned about the longevity of the drives... but perhaps a more conservative estimate for the math would be appropriate.

  • sor - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    If you are hibernating your laptop twice a day, you're doing it wrong. That's what suspend to RAM is for, your laptop should last up to a few days in that state. Only hibernate when battery is low (or just shut down).

    I was thinking 7GB/day average is actually fairly high, considering that playing games, web browsing, and document editing are all fairly light on writes.
  • Chloiber - Friday, April 01, 2011 - link

    How much RAM are you using? You laptop only writes RAM on your disk which is actually used.

    However, I also think 7GB/day isn't that much. On my desktop I'm at over 10GB/d (Postville, using since July '09).
    Still, I don't think that NAND lifetime is an issue. You should worry more about firmware bugs. That's the thing that kills your data more than anything else at the moment.
  • wrickard - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    I think the test results should include the firmware revisions.
    Seems these can affect performance significantly.
    Could you add a note with the firmware revisions in the reviews?
  • Bozzunter - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    Anand: TRIM appears to be finally available, for any drive, on Mac Os, do you plan to run some tests there, too? Check Reply
  • MilwaukeeMike - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    Have you ever considered creating a benchmark based on type of user? Make up some names and show them which drive would be the best for them. Frank the multitasker has to open 75 word docs a day, view power points, excel sheets, move documents around and convert docs to .PDF. Here's how the drives perform for this type of user. Sue the gamer hates waiting for screens to load while travelling between zones in her favorite MMO, here's how the drives perform for her. Bob the buildier is a software developer and blogger. He has to move large video files around, and uses larger programs like visual studio and photoshop... etc... you get the idea. Call me ingorant, but i have no idea how 4KB write speed with no queue depth translates into real-world use, let alone noticeable real-world use.

    I'm not ripping the review, i think it's very comprehensive, we just need some better translating for us lay people.
  • thesegreydays - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    Anand, thanks for another great review!

    However, I'm anticipating Corsairs new offerings and I haven't really heard any news about the Force GT since CeBIT.
    Are you going to release a review of it in the near future and is Corsair still aiming for a "early 2nd quarter" release?
  • Modus - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    Some SSD's reduce the number of NAND channels for their smaller capacity models of the same line, reducing performance on certain workloads. I'm always disappointed when reviewers don't go back and test the smaller capacity versions. Since most users still benefit most from a small SSD as an OS/apps/game drive to complement a larger mass-storage HD, these same users will often end up with smaller 40~60~80 GB SSD's, and it's often hard to find performance reviews of these drives from top-tier sites like AnandTech.

    Anand, we love the job you do. I just want to remind you to not forget about the smaller drive capacities. And I do see that your Bench database contains some of those. But like most reviewers, you seem to be naturally focused on the high-end capacities.
  • KineticHummus - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    Anandtech normally focuses on the high-end because that is what is sent to them to review. They do not normally go out and purchase these drives, the manufacturers send them in, so it is the manufacturer's choice which drives are reviewed and which arent. Reply
  • vedye - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    Just started reading about SSDs and noticed how the TRIM command can affect the performance.

    A quick question, is format the only way to trigger TRIM? i.e. to use C4 for Windows 7 (that supports Trim) as OS disk, does it mean i need to format and reinstall the OS every now and then?

  • 7Enigma - Friday, April 01, 2011 - link

    No. You do not. The TRIM command will either run at a set interval or you can do it manually depending on the drive maker (INTEL for instance has a Toolbox that I use once a week or so), and this will return the drive to near-new performance. It's only OS' and drives that do not support TRIM that a complete format (or another method such as copying a large amount of data to the drive and erasing) would be required for this. Reply
  • eamon - Sunday, April 03, 2011 - link

    You don't even need that - windows will issue the trim command automatically after a file delete if a block becomes available. You don't need any special driver or special tool; normal use will trigger trims on win7. Reply
  • danbi - Wednesday, April 06, 2011 - link

    The typical "OS drive" is "write rarely, read many times". There might be occasional writes to the OS drive, in form of log files, new drivers etc. You rarely, if ever delete files from the "OS drive". Perhaps only when you uninstall software.

    How would TRIM (supporting OS) ever help in such scenario?

    One thing I miss form the "TRIM performance" is what happens when you overwrite already existing files -- pretty common task, by the way.

    Another thing, performance with COW file systems, such as ZFS. These file systems will never overwrite data (except metadata) and most of the time writes will be "sequential".

    By the way, another missing performance metric is what each drive considers "sequential write". How much KB data in one I/O operations sequential? Is this common with all drives?
  • faster - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    The egg has the RevoDrive 240 GB for $570. The 3rd gen Intel drive is $614 at 250 GB. The new M4 drive is $599?. Price competition in this price point would warrant a comparison in performance. I would like to see the X2 skew the chart to illustrate performance per dollar invested. I understand that the X2 is a PCIE self contained RAID card, but it is a bootable card making it a hard drive competitor. No matter how you feel about it, it would be an interesting comparison from an economic viewpoint. Reply
  • flexcore - Friday, April 01, 2011 - link

    Good review! The problem is there are so many different versions of each drive. They change performance characteristics as the size of the drive changes. (Not even getting into OCZ's recent crimes against consumers)

    I like what MilwaukeeMike brought up about different types of users and how different drives seem to be suited better for different usage patterns. As a AMD user I would also appreciate a review on how these drives perform on AMD platform vs Intel. Then we have TRIM. This is becoming more and more of the normal operational mode, but not always, and what about in RAID configuration.

    WOW, these are not the only questions that I continually have been hearing asked on forums around the web. This is a lot of information and work but, you are a leader in SSD reviews. I applaud your efforts ANAND and want to thank you for doing the work you do. I think you are heading in the right direction with your own storage benchmarks, but thats only part of what consumers need. More real world usage to be able discern the actual advances from each new generatin of drive is important also. I look forward to reading more of your insights into where we are and where we are heading with SSD technology.
  • 7Enigma - Friday, April 01, 2011 - link

    What we need is some understanding of what is really needed by a SSD. We have all these different benchmarks that are combining IMO way too many tasks at once that a human just cannot perform. Yes it's great to tease out a pretty graph, but what I think most of us want to really see is what is the real-world difference.

    Things like the Gaming benchmark where there is practically NO difference between current and last-gen drives (hell even the G2 is pretty close) are very important to me so I don't get the upgrade bug for something I really have no major benefit from. Vantage as well.

    Anand's said it for a while but there is a huge difference between SSD and mechanical drive, once you upgrade to SSD, however, the improvements for most human workloads (ie non benchmarks) is slim.

    I'd love a mini article that would track 4-5 different people's usage models: gamer, web surfer/facebook/iTunes average joe, encoder, and whatever other major "type" of person that frequents Anandtech (it should be biased towards the readership IMO), and then create a benchmark based on that.

    We don't need 24 programs opening simultaneously while downloading a torrent and doing a virus scan. What we do need to see is if there is any tangible benefit to 6Gbps SATA over 3 in normal daily use and G1 to Vertex3. If not the numbers are great and if buying a SSD for the first time or building a system OK, but the need to upgrade from an existing SSD is just not there.

    Great article btw!
  • X-Nemesis - Friday, April 01, 2011 - link

    This is what I think as does not seem like there is really any real world benefit to upgrade an older generation SSD to the new 6Gbps offerings. The only reason to upgrade would be size at a much cheaper price point. Reply
  • Nicolas Pillot - Friday, April 01, 2011 - link

    I'm quite new to the field, and looking at the charts i have a plainly simple (but stupid ?) question : how is it that the read speed are lower than the write speed ?! Reply
  • 7Enigma - Friday, April 01, 2011 - link

    Make sure you are comparing apples to apples. Sequential read/write will be much higher then random read/write so if you are comparing a random read to a sequential write you will see a discrepancy. Reply
  • iwodo - Friday, April 01, 2011 - link

    Just thought Anand you should compare all the 40 - 80GB Range SSD. Since it is very likely that we buy the lower capacity drive then the expensive but also slightly faster SSD. Reply
  • killless - Friday, April 01, 2011 - link

    I frequently use VMWare at work.
    One of the tasks that takes forever is deleting VMWare snapshots. Or even worse one is shrinking VMWare disk foot print. In both of these cases 95% is spent on disk read/write. They take from minutes to hours. They mix random and sequential access.
    More that that they are fairly repeatable...

    Using Kingstone SSDNow instead of harddisk made a huge impact - it is about 3 times faster. However it still takes 2 hours sometimes to shrink disk.

    I think that would be a good repeatable set of tests.
  • CrustyJuggler - Saturday, April 02, 2011 - link

    I just bought a spanking 15" MacBook Pro which i know supports Intels new Sandybridge and the sata6gb interface. I decided to buy with just the stock HDD which i will move to the optical bay after purchasing one of these new spangly SSDs

    After reading just about every review i'm still non the wiser as to which drive would benefit me the most so I think in conclusion i will wait for the leading drives to be released. The OCZ is always favourable in the benchmarks but the horror stories of reliability coupled with dreadful customer support make me nervous.

    The intel 510 seems to have great support and reliability but poor performance.

    I've heard little to nothing about Corsair's ForceGT which should be somewhere in the realms Vertex 3 performance right?

    I'm happy to wait at least another 8 weeks i think and just hope more reviews and testing shows up in that time.. I was using a Force F60 on the laptop i replaced and I had no problems whatsoever so i hope Corsair can have a timely release with the GT.

    I had my eye on Crucial's M4 for a while now but these latest crop of reviews have left me pondering even more. Trim is not supported on Mac as of yet so Anand's take on the M4 makes alarm bells ring regarding trim

    First time poster long time reader, but not very tech savvy so what do to folks?
  • Shark321 - Sunday, April 03, 2011 - link

    Anand is #1 at SSD reviews, but there still a long way to achieve perfection.

    On many workstations in my company we have a daily SSD usage of at least 20 GB, and this is not something really exceptional.

    One hibernation in the evening writes 8 GB (the amount of RAM) to the SSDs. And no, Windows does not write only the used RAM, but the whole 8 GB. One of the features of Windows 8 will be that Windows does not write the whole RAM content when hibernating anymore. Windows 7 disables hibernation by default on system with >4GB of RAM for that very reason!

    Several of the workstation use RAM-Disks, which write a 2 or 3 GB Images on Shutdown/Hibernate.

    Since we use VMWare heavily, 1-2 GB is written contanstly all over the day as Spanshots. Add some backup spanshops of Visual Studio products to that and you have another 2 GB.

    Writing 20 GB a day, is nothing unusual, and this happens on at least 30 workstations. Some may even go to 30-40 GB.

    From all the SSDs we have used over the years, there was about 10% failure rate within 2 years, so daily backups are really necessary. When doing a backup of a SSD to a HDD with True Image, the performance of the individual SSDs differs a lot.

    So future benchmarks for professional users should take into consideration:

    - a daily usage of at least 20 GB (better 40 GB)
    - benchmarking VMWare creating snapshots and shringing images
    - unpacking of large ISO images
    - hibernate peformance
    - backup performance

  • 789427 - Monday, April 04, 2011 - link

    Anand, can't you design a power measurement benchmark whereby typical disc activity is replicated.

    e.g. Power consumption while video encoding (the time taken shouldn't vary by more than 10% - you could add in the difference in idle power consumption as well!

    Or... copying 100 different 1 Mb sections at 1 sec intervals of a 20 min media file - Mp3, divx mkv

    My point is that Sure, SSD's make your system use more power in most benchmarks because the system is asked to do more. Ask the system to do the same thing over the same period and measure power consumption.

  • gunslinger690 - Tuesday, April 05, 2011 - link

    Ok all I really care about on the machine I'm considering using this on is gaming and web surfing. That's all I care about. Is this a good drive for this sort of app. Reply
  • VJ - Thursday, April 07, 2011 - link

    "I've already established that 3000 cycles is more than enough for a desktop workload with a reasonably smart controller."

    You haven't "established" much unless you take the free space into consideration. Many desktop users will not have 100GB free space on their drives and with 20GB free space and a write amplification of 10x, the lifetime of a drive may drop to a couple of years.

    A 3D plot of the expected lifetime as a function of available free space (10GB-100GB) and write amplification (1x-20x) would make your argument more sound and complete.
  • Hrel - Saturday, April 16, 2011 - link

    I'd really like to know if using a SSD actually has any real world impact. I mean, benchmarks are great. But come on, it's not gonna make me browse the internet any fast or get me higher FPS in Mass Effect; so what's the point? Really, the question comes down to why should I go out and buy two 2TB hard drives, RAID them then ALSO buy an SSD to install the OS on? So windows boots in 7 seconds instead of 27? Cause quite frankly if it's gonna cost me an extra 120-240 dollars I'll just wait 20 seconds. I almost never boot my machine from scratch anyway.

    Ideally I'd want to use a machine with an SSD in it before buying one. But since that doesn't seem likely I'd love it if you guys could just point a camera at two machines right next to eachother, boot them up, wait for both to finish loading the OS. Then use them. Go online, read some anandtech, boot up Word and type something, open photoshop and edit a picture then start up a game and play for a couple minutes. Cause I'm willing to bet, with the exception of load times, there will be no difference at all. And like I already said, if my game takes 20 seconds to load instead of 5, I can live with that. It's not worth anywhere near 100+ dollars.

    Just to be clear one should have an SSD in it near to the 100 dollar mark, since that's as expensive of an SSD most people can even afford to consider. And the other should have two modern 7200rpm mechanical disks from WD in a striped RAID.
  • Hrel - Saturday, April 16, 2011 - link

    both on 6GBPS on P67. Reply
  • Hrel - Saturday, April 16, 2011 - link

    forgot to mention, the SSD machine should also have the same 2 mechanical disks in striped RAID and all the games and programs should be installed on those. Cause for 100 dollars the only thing you can put on an SSD is the OS and some small programs like the browser and various other things every PC needs to be usable; maybe photoshop too but the photos couldn't be on the SSD. Reply
  • Hrel - Saturday, April 16, 2011 - link

    the games can't be installed on the SSD is my point. Reply
  • sequoia464 - Sunday, May 08, 2011 - link

    From the scarce information and benchmarks that I have seen, the 470 appears to be a very viable option as far as SSD'd go. They have been out and available since last winter, and we have seen some of the 470's benchmarks posted in comparisons here for over a month. This drive seems to have the potential to be a major player in the SSD market, I don't understand why it hasn't been reviewed yet..

    Be really nice to see AnandTech's take on this drive.
  • yayati - Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - link

    I am a common user (IT professional) and do day to day tasks and planning to buy SSD. I have already tried 5 SSDS as of now

    Intel 510 120GB
    Crucial C300 (total crap, I shows 250GB from outside (Also ordered) but it showed me 59.0 GB when I started Win 7 install)
    Samsung 256GB
    Intel 510 250GB
    and 310 300GB on order

    I didn't notice any significant differences except Intel 510 120GB was bit good performer

    I am also planning to look @ m4 but not able to decide which one I should go for finally

    Can someone advise me? Intel has 5 yrs warrenty which seems more reliable but M4 is faster. Confussed!!!
  • wavefuture - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    Guys, will Crucial M4 (e.g. CT128M4SSD2) work on SATA 1.5Gbps?
    I'm going to replace my old HDD for SSD. Please, help. Thanks!

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