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  • cynic783 - Tuesday, December 06, 2011 - link

    ssd's don't offer substantial improvement in performance over hdd, especially if you RAID-0 your hdd's, plus $/GB is so much lower

    plus, ssd's from intel and others have huge quality problems
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, December 06, 2011 - link

    While price/GB is definitely higher, your assertion that SSDs don't offer a substantial improvement over RAID 0 HDDs is completely untrue. Boot up Windows on however many RAID 0 HDDs you want (four, or maybe even eight?), and then try launching Firefox, Thunderbird, Word, Excel, and Photoshop at the same time. You will completely bog down the system for a good chunk of time, whereas with a single good SSD they'll launch almost as fast as if nothing else was going on. Reply
  • cynic783 - Tuesday, December 06, 2011 - link

    sorry, I have to admit I was doing a parody of the typical uninformed ssd basher; totally agree, I run SSD's exclusively Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, December 06, 2011 - link

    LOL... if that was a parody then you got me! I'm still waiting for the price of 512GB SSDs to get down to $250 or less. Yeah, I know, it's a long ways off. Still, unless we get some serious creep in terms of game install sizes, 512GB lets me have all my data and games on a single drive. Right now, I have to live with a 120GB SSD for the OS and apps, and my images, movies, and games are all on a 1TB HDD.

    Which reminds me, I need to give some of these caching programs a try. I think I have a trial of Diskeeper's utility around somewhere, though I don't really want to reformat just to make use of it.
  • Kristian Vättö - Tuesday, December 06, 2011 - link

    TLC NAND should cost around $0.60/GB according to OCZ, so we may finally see some sub-1$/GB 512GB SSDs early next year. I have a long article about all this in the admin engine but I haven't had time finish it up. Damn you Intel and Ivy Bridge, LOL. Reply
  • Guspaz - Thursday, December 08, 2011 - link

    Ah, but sometimes we do see those prices during the big sales. So getting a 512GB SSD for under $250 might well be possible within two or three years if you can hit the right sale (Black Friday or Boxing Day, for example). Reply
  • jwcalla - Tuesday, December 06, 2011 - link

    nicely done. i too was deceived by your tomfooleryishness.

    you must have an amazing poker face.
  • Zink - Tuesday, December 06, 2011 - link

    ahahahaha lolololol funny funny
    There's no one bashing SSDs here any more but you.
  • Tetracycloide - Tuesday, December 06, 2011 - link

    I have little sympathy for those that didn't pick up on this after the obvious 'Intel... quality problems' jab. Reply
  • Denithor - Tuesday, December 06, 2011 - link

    Actually...they just fixed the '8MB' error on the 320 series SSDs like 2-3 months ago.

    First thing I did upon receiving my 320 120GB drive last week was to check to make sure it was running the latest firmware so I wouldn't have to worry about finding my drive suddenly reduced dramatically in capacity...
  • Exodite - Tuesday, December 06, 2011 - link

    Thing is, for most users you probably aren't far away from the truth.

    With the tasks most people use, mainly browsing, blogging, media consumption and minor editing, SSDs aren't really bringing much to the table.

    Especially in a time when people only reboot their computer when Windows Update tells them to.

    Heck, even as a fairly heavy user I struggle to motivate such purchases. Windows disk caching is, I'm astonished to say, quite good enough these days.

    And this is running a 5400RPM 'green' disk with AAM set to the most quiet level possible.

    There's no question that SSDs are an order of magnitude faster than HDDs, it's just rarely a real bottleneck.

    Then again tests have shown that human being start releasing stress hormones after waiting for one second so there's that... :)
  • Denithor - Tuesday, December 06, 2011 - link

    What's sad is, those are the very people that would benefit most from SSDs. Faster boots mean they don't have to wait around as long, reduced power consumption helps battery life (ok, so this is marginal, but basically useless on desktops). Reply
  • Paul Tarnowski - Wednesday, December 07, 2011 - link

    I'd say it's exactly the opposite. Casual users are the perfect beneficiaries of an SSD.

    I just finished building an office where each computer has an SSD, with every computer backing up to a server twice daily. They benefit from faster response times to Excel, Word, Outlook, and the browser. That is nothing to sneeze at -- whereas before the receptionist might have launched Outlook and gone on a coffee break, now the system responds so fast she gets right to work. The only worry is failure rates, which is taken caring of by the twice daily backup. Regardless, I expect going back there to RMA one of the SSDs about as much as I do an HDD.

    The same benefits translate to mom and dad when the computer just runs what they want it to run with almost no lag. Especially now that Hotmail as well as Google offer decent online image storage, as well as external HDDs offer great space for the price.

    That's also why the iPad and other tablets are so popular -- they just work.

    It is computer "nerds" like us who have historically been willing to wait on processes. That's because have been, to a large extent, "addicted" enough that it doesn't matter how long we have to wait. It's after we have experience with first RAID-0 and now SSDs that we are unwilling to do so.
  • Paul Tarnowski - Wednesday, December 07, 2011 - link

    I should have written "upgrading an office". I did not, despite my vast reserves of awesome, actually build the office. That would be silly. I just upgraded the office computers and network. Overnight. By myself. In an office attached to a large, dark and cavernous shop floor. *

    I'll have troubleshooting nightmares for weeks.

    Also, "that's because have been" in the last paragraph should obviously be "that's because _we_ have been".

    * This is an exaggeration. It took more than just the one night.
  • stefmalawi - Tuesday, December 06, 2011 - link

    You're pretty much wrong on all counts there. The performance improvement both on paper and practically is to the extent that an SSD is the biggest improvement that one could make in the majority of systems out there.

    RAID is not for the typical consumer, especially RAID-0. In any case, even a RAID of HDD's would not perform nearly as well as a modern SSD, forgetting the fact that SSD's can in turn be RAIDED as well, negating your point and only proving even further improvement in performance in comparison to HDD's.

    Yes, they are more expensive. But especially in light of recent HDD price hikes, and the falling prices in SSD's, that's an advantage that will become negligible over time. As for today, SSD's are well within the price bracket for enthusiasts in particular, especially when you consider using multiple drives in a system (ie small SSD for boot/applications drive, HDD for storage like media. In this case even a 64Gb SSD is sufficient, and 128Gb is not unreasonably priced at all).

    SSD's from brands like Intel are for the most part more reliable than HDD's, especially 2.5'' HDD's (remember that SSD's are typically in a 2.5'' form factor). I do agree that there are quality assurance problems with some brands, and yes, Intel has had issues recently but for the most part you've picked the wrong brand entirely as an example of reliability concerns. Again this will hopefully be sorted out over time, look at OCZ's recent 180 in reliability, quality assurance, etc. Anand seems to regard their turn around pretty highly, and with their in house controller things will hopefully continue to improve.

    SSD's are going to be ubiquitous pretty soon, they are better than HDD's in all area's except price/Gb at the moment, and even that will change (yes, SSD's will eventually become cheaper than HDD's). For an enthusiast especially, and any consumers interested in aspects such as performance, reliability, noise, power consumption/heat (debatable atm), and size (read ultrabook) SSD's today are very desirable.
  • stefmalawi - Tuesday, December 06, 2011 - link

    ah whoops, just saw your reply. Forget my response then. In my defence however, your username didn't make the satire any more apparent! Reply
  • kmmatney - Tuesday, December 06, 2011 - link

    The way things are going , the $/GB might be comparable soon! Reply
  • robertgu2k - Tuesday, December 06, 2011 - link

    Wow...just wow....

    I admit I have not had my coffee yet, so my sarcasm detector might not be working fully yet. But where do I start? The only part of your post which is correct is the $/GB.

    Recent SSDs offer considerable more sequential performance in a single drive than even three Raptors on RAID-0. Plus on the more important random performance SSDs destory HDDs.

    As for the reliability part, Crucial and Intel SSDs are pretty much the standard bears for drive reliability, just stay away from the other vendors with the Sandforce controllers until they fix the BSOD and your fine.

    With the recent spat of many HDDs arriving DoA or failing within a short timeframe (see customer reviews on retailers such as Newegg) I have more trust on putting my critical data on an Intel or Crucial SSD drive vs. a HDD from a major vendor at the moment.
  • Abix - Tuesday, December 06, 2011 - link

    Successful troll is successful Reply
  • EddyKilowatt - Tuesday, December 06, 2011 - link

    Hey, with views like these... shouldn't you be with your buds over on DailyTech making anti-EV sneers?

    (realize you were joking)
  • DukeN - Tuesday, December 06, 2011 - link

    Great, another sucker for the EV socialist propaganda.

    This EV, environment-saving, green-this/green-that stuff is another excuse to rob us blind by Obama style communists.

    Vote Bachmann next year to restore honor to our Christian Nation.

    *Drives off in Hummer H2 chowing down 18oz steak firing machine guns into the horizon*

  • Paul Tarnowski - Wednesday, December 07, 2011 - link

    The only reason EV will ever really take off is because it's cheaper and you can run off battery longer. I know that seeing the running time gains on my UPS between running a 65W e6750 and a 65W i3 (mostly in chipset and idle, although the e6750 was overclocked), not to mention the switch between a >45W CF backlit TN and a <20W LED e-IPS, had provided me with even more incentives to upgrade.

    Also, what's wrong with 18oz. steaks? (looks it up) 18 ounces is over half a kilo? Well...what's wrong with 510 gram steaks? Some of us are more meat eater than others. Now if you had included something with carbs, I'd be in agreement. That stuff will kill you.

    Although I am feeling a little trepidatious about the steaks firing machine guns into the horizon. I'm not sure I can get behind an armed steak firing into the horizon. In fact, that could get annoying, I'd hate to see good ammo wasted. What steak has enough ammo just lying around to fire off indiscriminately? If you ain't practicing or killing, you ain't doing it right. Ammo ain't cheap, you know.
  • Wierdo - Thursday, December 08, 2011 - link

    There's some evidence suggesting that eating more than 11oz of red meat per week can play a role in contracting some types of cancer. Otherwise, it's a good source of protein, iron and antioxidants. Reply
  • GruntboyX - Tuesday, December 06, 2011 - link

    I will have to admit I was one of those RAID-0 guys. But that was when SSD were priced much higher than they are today.

    I see no reason why your system drive shouldn't be a SSD now that 120GB is reasonably priced.

    In fact I think this pushing me to build my first file server. low power, Magnetic medium for bulk data storage and redundancy. SSD for the main computer for speed and low noise.

    With these process improvements, I see the future is near in which magnetic medium will be relegated to long term and bulk storage. However, Its great because it puts pricing pressure on magnetic medium.
  • IvanAndreevich - Wednesday, December 07, 2011 - link

    Dumbest post I've read today. Reply
  • LordanSS - Tuesday, December 06, 2011 - link

    I apologize for my "noobness", but this has got me thinking for a while now.

    Cluster size for, say, NTFS partitions has been at around 4k for a while now (the default format size, let's put it that way). Years ago, the page size on these NAND devices was 4k as well, being then a "perfect match".

    Now with the process and capacity changes... page sizes up to 8k (and in the near future, 16k)... is there any drawback on performance or anything if you're still using a 4k cluster size, and saving small files (4k and smaller) still? Degradation, wasted space, anything?

  • Paul Tarnowski - Wednesday, December 07, 2011 - link

    I'm too sleepy to Google the specifics, so this is off the top of my head:

    The only possibility is that degradation speeds up, as the OS won't address the a page for multiple files. And even there, depending on the implementation, the SSD controller should take care to spread the data over other, less used cells*. Otherwise you won't see any notable difference except size on disk for small files.
  • iwod - Tuesday, December 06, 2011 - link

    We are currently being limited by Interface speed, Connection Speed and Controller ability to achieve them.

    Giving us ONFI 3.0 NAND dont have much different to normal SSD users. It may be more useful to USB sticks.

    We need the above three point to improve. I am hoping to see 1GB/s Consumer SSD soon.
  • handzilla - Tuesday, December 06, 2011 - link

    Hello everyone.

    i was just wondering if we are at that point where computing should get cheaper instead of faster.

    Is it worth paying hundreds of dollars more for a few seconds more off boot times? i believe most of us are waiting for a few seconds (instead of minutes) for apps to launch, right?

    i suppose that a lot of us would rather suspend their computer, instead of shutting it down completely so we don't have to reboot... then re-launch apps all over again?

    So, are things fast enough? How much more dollars are we willing to spend for "instant on?" And once "instant on" (or the perception of it) is achieved, what's next?!

    Would it be better for OEMs to focus more on making things cheaper?

    It seems to me that we have reached the point where RAM and HDD/SSD speeds, capacities & cost, are now more important considerations than the number of cores the CPU has?

    When will we see SSDs within the CPU die?! Not likely, right? Then again, was it only AMD who had the vision to have GPUs on the CPU die?

    Will our cellphones replace our desktops/laptops? If yes, demand for microSDs (or something else with ultra-faster transfer rates) will eclipse demand for SSDs. Think about it: with mutli-core ARM CPU powered cellphone, and virtualization already here, we will soon see Windows 8, 9, etc. within a VM which is running on Android 5, 6, 7...

    As for display, perhaps a tablet-cellphone-charger-dock?! Btw, Archos has a tablet with a 250GB, so we could see a tablet-cellphone-charger-file server-dock soon?!

    SSDs will probably be too late and too expensive?

    Just some thoughts.
  • Paul Tarnowski - Wednesday, December 07, 2011 - link

    Yes and no. Instant-on is worth more to the casual user who wants to treat their computing hardware as an appliance than it is to the enthusiast. It's just that only the enthusiasts like us are exposed enough to the market to have SSDs get on their radar.

    It could even be argued backwards. The enthusiast prefers sustained speed and size, which can be gotten with a well maintained RAID-0 configuration. The casual user wants bursts of speed (low seek time) and will feel safer keeping the family picture and video collection on an external HDD, which is much more in line with an SSD (and the reason why RAID-0 never took off in the general market but SSDs will). For a personal example, as a casual phone user, I find the time it takes my Android to boot up aggravating, but before I had an SSD I didn't mind the time it would take to reboot.

    Suspending the computer is fine and all, but even there, unless the computer was set up for it, the casual user will not know how. And if they do do it, they consider it to be a great undertaking and achievement and spend days if not weeks congratulating themselves (I have first-hand experience).

    So over-all, it's not a matter of spending more dollars. Casual users (who only work in Office, browse and check email) don't need more than 60GB on their computers right now, with exceptions being some who may need 90GB. And because they will also happily tote about with an external HDD, particularly since it makes them feel safer about their data, more internal space is generally not needed.

    In a lot of ways, the evolution of GPUs resembles FPUs, except that GPUs had longer (more generations, not necessarily longer in the time sense) to maturate before being incorporated onto the CPU.

    Strictly speaking, in the sense that a component of the CPU is rendering the page into memory, no, it wasn't AMD that first thought to have the GPU* on the CPU, not even in the PC world. In fact, early on, the x86 architecture drove all graphics, and there was no GPU, just a video (CGA, EGA and VGA. I believe SVGA required an accelerator) encoder. In fact, any CPU could drive the graphics today, it's just that the complexity has increased exponentially.

    What happened was that the GPU first evolved as a separate video accelerator on the PC (I still remember my ATI card fondly. It could anti-alias TrueType fonts in Windows 3.1) only after seeing the gains of having a chip dedicated to graphics on workstation and consumer machines like the Commodore Amiga**. Even then the first 3D generated graphics were CPU bound. The only philosophical difference now is that the CPU has a dedicated component for video acceleration and 3D rendering, whereas before it was just the (integer bound) CPU muddling through.

    SSDs within the die are not going to happen until everything else is on the CPU die, if ever. Even non-cache memory on die is rare (or in the same package); I can't think of any examples off the top of my head, not ones which have the same sizes as is bog-standard even in the low-end of the PC market. It's most likely that future generations of memory are going to be stackable with the CPU, and it's still up in the air whether Universal memory will be practical before SSDs are adapted to the stack.

    Cellphones will not replace dedicated computers any time soon. Not when they are at least a decade behind in power and definitely not unless the size limitations of interfacing with them are overcome.

    * It wasn't called a GPU. Was no such thing. But then again, early CPUs started out with only integer units, and you had to do your floating point through the integer processors.
    ** I always get a tear in the eye whenever I read that name or write Amiga. Ah, the nostalgia.
  • Paul Tarnowski - Wednesday, December 07, 2011 - link

    A few clarifications, since I wrote that comment in parts.

    When I wrote about casual users not spending more dollars, I meant that with the size of HDD (hundreds of GB) that come with computers (manufacturing costs of a platter of any given size is similair, it's just a matter of capital costs of R&D and equipment), it becomes economical to offer SSDs on most computers. This is especially true when most people tend to keep their photos on an external drive.

    I also meant that I didn't mind (relatively speaking) the computer booting time before I got an SSD, as I understood the why of it. Now I expect to be able to open Firefox in 20 seconds after turning on power, which only doesn't happen when Windows was left doing an update.

    And I rather turn my computer off, when I turn it off at all, completely these days, seeing as I can keep my computer on and running for weeks or months.
  • handzilla - Thursday, December 08, 2011 - link

    Thanks for your feedback and insights.

    Now, regarding your comment where you said:
    Cellphones will not replace dedicated computers any time soon. Not when they are at least a decade behind in power and definitely not unless the size limitations of interfacing with them are overcome

    i suppose it depends on how much power will be needed to process what/which app?

    As for interfacing with cellphones, Motorola's Atrix + LapDock seems like a good/acceptable direction?

    The concept suggests that cellphones have/will soon have enough/excess processing power for most apps which do not needing supercomputer processing power, and for more processing power, say for 3D FPS/MMORPG-types of gaming or for massive floating-point number crunching, something like a LapDock with a more powerful GPU(s) is possible.

    Now this makes me wonder if it is now feasible to manufacture modular GPUs, which can be upgraded just like a PC, so instead of replacing GPUs why not just add more processing hardware!?

    Oops. i digress.

    Perhaps SSDs should be incorporated into "smart/internet" TVs which can also double-duty as huge monitors? These TVs could then also record & store & stream videos, and help bring down the cost of SSDs?!

    To bring the cost of SSDs down even faster, yet-to-be-produced faster & higher-capacity SSDs could be pre-ordered in massive bulk quantities (for a lower target price point) by "cloud" storage providers (as well as "tier 1" PC OEMs) who will be like airline "launch customers" that pre-order airplanes from Boeing/Airbus/ The (serious) money that can be raised will be cheaper than borrowing from any bank!

    Then again, maybe free plus dirt-cheap "cloud" storage is the way to go. Wait, i just realized that Facebook is already giving free storage for our precious photos. As for most of our music collection, plus anything else which should be archived, well, we can always use DVDs or BDs.

    Looks like i can wait until SDDs can be close to or almost as cheap as HDDs (with capacities being equal).

    Hopefully, it won't be a long wait.
  • galfert - Wednesday, December 07, 2011 - link

    I don't understand the $1/GB comment in the article. Is it a typo? Is is supposed to say $1/Gb instead? Or maybe the 1 shouldn't be there an it should read jus $/GB.

    Someone please shed some light. Thanks.

    Confused -- * shrug *
  • galfert - Wednesday, December 07, 2011 - link

    Never mind.....I got it. I wasn't awake yet. Reply
  • djshortsleeve - Wednesday, December 07, 2011 - link

    Ive been running the 128 GB Crucial C300 since early 2011 in my 2500k machine. It has been snappy and very reliable. I have had about 3-4 freezes during that time where the machine appeared to lock up, but came out and back to normal in about 1 min. Id say thats solid. Reply

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