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  • SetiroN - Saturday, November 17, 2012 - link

    i was convinced that the time of immediate failures was done, that big drive compromising firmware issues were a thing of the past...
    shame on samsung and their testing.
    Reply
  • jwilliams4200 - Saturday, November 17, 2012 - link

    Also, shame on the people reporting the failures (anandtech, respected poster on hardforum) for not specifying their firmware versions.

    It looks like anandtech's 840 Pro review units may have both had firmware DXM02B0Q. Anand, can you confirm this?

    It is possible that the hardforum poster also has a pre-release firmware, but he will not be able to confirm until Tuesday.

    My 256GB 840 Pro purchased from newegg has firmware DXM03B0Q.

    At this point, I am crossing my fingers that all the failed 840 Pro SSDs have firmware -2B0Q and that the problem is already fixed with version -3B0Q. Hopefully we have confirmation of this early next week.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Saturday, November 17, 2012 - link

    That's actually what I'm waiting to confirm. Both samples died before I recorded firmware revisions unfortunately.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • jwilliams4200 - Saturday, November 17, 2012 - link

    Hopefully you learned from this experience!

    When I get a new SSD, the very first thing I do is grab a screenshot of CrystalDiskInfo showing the firmware version, serial number, and SMART data.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Sunday, November 18, 2012 - link

    Haha, the funny thing is that as soon as I get a drive it almost immediately has to go into some of our longer performance tests since the embargo lift is typically only a matter of days away.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • jwilliams4200 - Sunday, November 18, 2012 - link

    Is that a joke? It takes 30 seconds to open CrystalDiskInfo and grab a screenshot. Reply
  • orionb - Sunday, December 02, 2012 - link

    Isn't hindsight great?

    Don't be unreasonable. There are always things that go wrong with the launch of a new product, and nobody knows which of the thousand possibilities it's going to be.
    Now people know to record the firmware version for the future. they know for the future.
    Reply
  • orionb - Sunday, December 02, 2012 - link

    Oops, typos. Anand... update your comment system ;) Reply
  • jwilliams4200 - Sunday, November 18, 2012 - link

    The hardforum poster who had four Samsung 840 Pros fail just posted that he did not have a record of the firmware version, and the SSDs are now bricked so the firmware version cannot be determined.

    It looks like we will not be finding out the firmware version for either anandtech's nor the hardforum poster's 840 Pro failures.

    If only people had recorded basic information about their new SSDs before they began testing them...
    Reply
  • seapeople - Sunday, November 18, 2012 - link

    If only the recently released premium performance flagship solid state drive from the most recognizable and reliable brand on the market didn't have major firmware issues.

    I mean, we should be getting to the point where the first thing someone thinks after getting a solid state drive is "Ooh goodie, let's see how it performs!" rather than "Ooh goodie, let's record driver information in case it bricks itself immediately!"

    It's not like people who buy a new Intel processor have to go through this junk.
    Reply
  • jwilliams4200 - Sunday, November 18, 2012 - link

    I was referring to people testing new products. Not end users, who I never recommend to buy a new SSD until at least 3 - 6 months after release, for the reason you allude to. Reply
  • sheh - Saturday, November 17, 2012 - link

    If it drops at the same rate as P/E cycles, does this mean we're already approaching 5 years of retention for new cells (conjecture/extrapolation based on very little info on the topic I could find around)? Are manufacturers adhering to the JEDEC standard of 1 year retention at a cell's end of life? Is this at MWI of 0 or afterwards? Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Saturday, November 17, 2012 - link

    At the end of the useful life of the NAND (somewhere beyond MWI == 0), retention should be 1 year for a consumer drive. Enterprise drives that boast eMLC will instead optimize for 3 month retention at the end of life.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • seapeople - Sunday, November 18, 2012 - link

    Wait, so it was a bad idea to use about 20 Intel 335's for our town's time capsule project last week? We have BILLIONS of photos that were locked away under the new Community Center... and a bootleg version of Hurt Locker. Reply
  • HollyDOL - Monday, November 19, 2012 - link

    In your use case I suspect the drives will cover with rust than die on MWI. Bear in mind you actually have to write to the SSD to wear it out.
    I am more worried about little green aliens digging the drives in 1000 years trying to figure out SATA3 :-))
    Reply
  • sparkuss - Saturday, November 17, 2012 - link

    I look at 5.7 years and really don't worry for my home system, but wonder with a WIn7 OS and active AV and other running processes left on 24/7.

    How many writes are adding up each day just by the OS and active processes. That's before I actually run other things likes games and email, internet etc.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Saturday, November 17, 2012 - link

    I did this experiment on my own machine a while back and came out with something around 10GB of writes per day.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Sunday, November 18, 2012 - link

    I've been using an Agility 3 60 GB as SRT cache drive for the HDD in my desktop. It's running 24/7 BOINC, some games etc. I'm seeing 438 days of run time, 5.87 TB written, 5.78 TB read, media wear out at 0% (life left 100%). If this counter works I have nothing to worry about at 13.4 GB/day. Reply
  • LMF5000 - Saturday, November 17, 2012 - link

    So I gather that smaller process nodes lead to worse flash memory performance and longevity, instead of improving the performance as in the case of other kinds of integrated ciruits. So the question is, why move to smaller process nodes in the first place? Couldn't the same cost reductions be obtained by optimising and maturing the larger process nodes? Then at least you wouldn't be limited to 1000 write cycles instead of 3000. Incidentally with these endurance numbers the smaller process node would only a net improvement if they cost one third the price per GB. Otherwise the price per total endurance (i.e. write cycles x drive capacity) would be greater and we'd be worse-off. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Saturday, November 17, 2012 - link

    Yields on a known process do improve over time, but at mature yields the ability to cram ~1.5x - 2.0x the number of transistors into the same area will always win in terms of driving pricing down.

    Until we run out of NAND roadmap, Intel claims it will be able to maintain current levels of endurance. We've got a couple more shrinks to go through.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • mmonnin03 - Tuesday, November 20, 2012 - link

    As the process nodes shrink there are fewer and fewer cells to hold the charge in a NAND cell. And as you shrink there is a smaller gate oxide (area) and often times thinner oxide trapping that charge in the cell. Also keep in mind for MLC, it must differentiate between 4 possible voltages in the cell. 0 and 1 for 2 bits. For TLC it goes up agains. So as process nodes shrink it becomes harder to hold the charge and harder to read that charge, thus it becomes slower as ECC grows exponentially.

    At some point I don't see NAND being what we want it to be in terms of reliability and cost. The number of Immersion scanners need to produce it will raise chip costs and the reliability will be to low.
    Reply
  • Beenthere - Saturday, November 17, 2012 - link

    Rushed to market SSDs - for profit over performance and reliability. Who knew? Answer: Anyone with a clue.

    Not to worry, five or ten firmware updates should make the latest SSDs almost usable. Good Lord there must be two suckers born every second.

    Oh yeah, don't forget that Anand himself said: "SSD technology is immature..." and that "...consumers should wait 6-12 months before buying". That fact applies to the current trick-of-the-week, rushed to market SSDs from Intel and Samsung.

    If people refused to buy this crap then the SSD makers will spend more time validating the hardware or lose sales.

    BTW, as we see from the story above Intel's SSDs are no better than Samsung's or many of the other brands - most of which have issues of one sort or another - because they have not been properly validated.
    Reply
  • Meaker10 - Saturday, November 17, 2012 - link

    Intel has left the toilet seat up where as others have left the front door wide open when leaving.

    This is a basic counter with no bearing on functionality so I have no idea wtf you are going on about.
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Sunday, November 18, 2012 - link

    +1 Reply
  • seapeople - Sunday, November 18, 2012 - link

    What he's going on about is that companies should release these drives with "BETA TEST VERSION, USE AT OWN RISK" tattooed all over the box for at least the first 3 months, maybe 6 months for the worst brands. Reply
  • boshi - Sunday, November 18, 2012 - link

    I don't know if this is enough to make the assertion that "Intel's SSDs are no better than Samsung's or many of the other brands".

    This is an issue that many ( who would not even know that the MWI existed ) would never encounter, and it happened on a review sample running a pre-release firmware.

    I'm not sure that anyone reporting on SSD failures have a large enough sample size to report anything useful about their failure rates.
    Reply
  • Beenthere - Sunday, November 18, 2012 - link

    Intel has not demonstrated that their SSDs are more reliable or compatible than any other brand of SSDs. They have had issues with their SSDs as have most other SSD makers - because the drives are never properly validated but instead are rushed to market for great profit.

    The fact that unscrupulous SSD makers continue to rush unvalidated products to maket for naive consumers to buy and become un-paid Beta Testers, is a disgrace. Anand was more tacful, but the fact remains that many consumer grade SSDs are simply not ready for Prime Time.

    It's a bad joke to see SSD makers introduce a new series of SSDs every month or two. They haven't even corrected the problems with the last 3 SSD series but they continue to crank more garbage out for gullible consumers to lap up.
    Reply
  • jwilliams4200 - Sunday, November 18, 2012 - link

    Anand:

    You really need to add a "report SPAM" button to your comment software.

    The SPAM comments seem to stay up for quite a while.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, November 19, 2012 - link

    The admins (e.g. me, Anand, Ryan, and some others) have a Spam button that we can use to delete comments. It might take a day or two before we notice, but we'll get it eventually. If you really want to report spam, though, email me: jarred.walton@anandtech.com. Give me the article name and the user name and I'll usually be around to delete it within the hour (and sometimes within minutes). Thanks! Reply
  • bim27142 - Sunday, November 18, 2012 - link

    so MWI for my 330 was inaccurate and i guess this was something that is not to be truly happy afterall... Reply
  • emvonline - Thursday, November 22, 2012 - link

    Since we know 20nm has lower reliability endurance than 25nm (it always does). And we know intel tagged the nand as 1500 cycles. Doesnt it make more sense that the endurance is 1500 cycles ... and intel plans.3000 cycles.in future ... when they properly.tag.the nand. Measure the wearout rate and see if 330 or 335 wears out faster.

    Neither matters.since the drive will last 5 years at spec'd writes. ... but the simplest answer is probably correct on the endurance claims
    Reply

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