Quick Take

We can see now why a fast Solid State Drive should be on your preferred option list for a notebook, provided you can afford one at this time. Their overall performance is unequaled across a variety of applications and the notebook platform benefits the most from their lack of noise, low thermals, and absence of moving parts for those who are a bit heavy handed with their portables. In initial energy management testing we are finding the SSD drives to be power misers to a certain degree although not as good as we expected or advertised.

Of course, the primary drawback continues to be the cost for the faster SSD drives with prices ranging anywhere from $500 for the SanDisk 32GB to almost $1500 for the MTRON 32GB SSD based upon your location. We have already noticed prices for the MTRON unit under $1000 in the Asian market sector and hopefully those same prices will be available shortly in other markets.

We have not had a lot of test time with the latest Samsung MH80 HM16HJI 160GB Hybrid drive but our initials impressions are very favorable based upon the price to performance ratios. These Hybrid drives, when combined with Vista (another story for another time), make for a very good combination for the typical notebook user. The drives performance in most standard office and home applications has been excellent in early testing although it is not a drive designed for heavy write activities like video encoding or large file transfers.

In the end, we are starting to finally see some true technological improvements in the storage sector that will benefit the user. Hopefully, mass market acceptance of the "fast" SSD drives will occur quickly so prices decrease and the manufacturers continue to innovate with not only faster drives but ones with the capacity to match current mechanical drives. In the meantime, it appears the Hybrid drives at this stage in the game will be a decent compromise for the portable market, but only until the SSD drives increase capacity and decrease costs.

Operating System Performance


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  • John Kotches - Thursday, December 6, 2007 - link

    It is quite misleading to show the theoretical limitations of other interfaces against the actual performance of a drive.

    If this were thorough, it would show drives of each interface type against its theoretical maximum.

  • Dataland - Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - link

    (Pingback) Many computer users know that their computer's data is stored on a mechanical hard drive. What many people don’t realize is just how old ...

  • genotypewriter - Wednesday, September 19, 2007 - link

    In your File Compression Performance test, you claim that the "Samsung drive thrives on small sequential data blocks"... ok, why? Because of its on-board flash memory? Then why should the Mtron, which is made up entirely of flash memory, not be faster than the Samsung?

    If you look at the HDTach results, you'll see the CPU utilisation being 6%,4% and 3% respectively for the Mtron, Seagate and the Samsung. Although "File Compression" has the word "file" in it, it's a computationally-intensive task before being an IO-heavy task. If it was primarily an IO-based task then there's no reason why the Mtron setup shouldn't be the first. If it was only CPU based then the Seagate should come before the Mtron, but it didn't. It would make a lot more sense to say that the Samsung is faster here because of its low CPU usage in combination with its on-board flash.

    It seems like you're using existing benchmark programs without thinking exactly how they relate to what's being tested. You may say this article is an intial test" or "quick and dirty" or something similar but you still make some wrong conclusions.

    You go on to make more unjustifiable claims in favour of Samsung at the end of the File Copy Performance test saying "we find it hard to fault the Samsung drive considering most portable users will be using applications that usually generate small sequential or out-of order data blocks. These type of read or write patterns is something the Samsung drive excels at in initial testing."... So where are the test results that show this? You were surely not pointing at the Photoshop (workstation *cough*) test right where the Samsung was about 1% (wow!) faster than the Seagate, right? And at the point you made these comments you hadn't even gone in to the OS speed tests... and even if you did, how can you keep to your claim when the Samsung is much faster than the Seagate when entering/exiting OS hybernation mode that writes/reads the entire (yes, SuperFetch'ed) 4GB of RAM on your test laptop to disk, sequentially? Shouldn't the Seagate be faster than the Samsung here, if your claims are true?

    And why on earth did you use a laptop with 4GB RAM to test hard drive performance? Wouldn't you have been able to learn a lot more if it was a 512MB/1GB laptop? Yes, there are laptops still out there that come with 1GB or less RAM... especially the ones that are more portable. These happen to be the same laptops that can benefit from the low weight and low power consumption of a SSD.

    Also, why not give times for Windows start up/shutdown? Also, where's the Samsung SSD? Or is that for another half-baked article?

    Please use some quality control on your articles because this one is not any more useful than the typical ones that appear on C|*ET.
  • goku - Tuesday, August 21, 2007 - link

    In the mean time, people can get CF to mini IDE adapters to put into their laptops, allowing solid state storage for a fraction of the price of these SSD drives, though the speed in which the data is read is dependent on the adapter's speed and the CF card's speed. Reply
  • araczynski - Sunday, August 19, 2007 - link

    hardly impressive for the price, i suppose if you're rich and bored... Reply
  • finbarqs - Sunday, August 19, 2007 - link

    is this different than RAM drives? Meaning that this does NOT need a backup battery or power adapter to keep it charged so it doesn't loose it's memory? Reply
  • Spoelie - Sunday, August 19, 2007 - link

    Yes Reply
  • 8steve8 - Saturday, August 18, 2007 - link

    the toshiba r500 is soon shipping witha 64GB sata ssd (i believe a sandisk unit)
    its $3000 fully configured with 2gb ram/ dvdrw 1.06 Ultra low voltage core 2 duo... led 12.1" widescreen etc etc... very small very light...

    if this is $1500 for 32GB..why is a 64GB drive only carrying a $500 premium in these R500's... is there a big difference in performance? 32gb is really too small...

    could you plaese review this notebook specifically... the R500.. it seems very very cool.
  • AnnihilatorX - Saturday, August 18, 2007 - link

    MTRON SSD has a premium price of $1499 for 32GB
    While SanDisk 32GB has a price of $500
    I think SanDisk 64GB is around $1000 still cheaper than MTRON 32GB

    The difference between them is MTRON is the fastest SSD in the world. Sandisk's transfer rate is around
  • brundlefly - Sunday, August 19, 2007 - link

    More importantly, the mtron surpasses all mechanicals while the Samsung does not.

    Not all SSDs are created equal.

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