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[O/C]Choosing a Solid State Drive

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Old 06-22-10, 03:56 PM Thread Starter   #1
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[O/C]Choosing a Solid State Drive


By now, you have probably heard all about Solid State Drives (SSDs). They are one of the most beneficial upgrades for your computer, and those who upgrade to an SSD will almost never be able to go back. So, let's say you are convinced; you know the size you need and you?ve decided you?ll get one. Wallet in hand, you are ready to buy one, but you realize there are a lot of them. Which is the best one? This is the question I am here to answer today. Which is the best SSD in a given size class?

Click here to continue reading.

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Old 06-22-10, 04:16 PM   #2
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Wow... very nice article. There is some great information in here folks!!

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Old 06-22-10, 07:14 PM   #3
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Great review.

Thanks for the time and effort.

Hangin out for a similar article showing SSD's in Raid0 using the various controllers commonly used (ICH10R/Areca1210/etc), highlighting pros & cons & comparing performance.

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Old 06-22-10, 08:41 PM   #4
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Good article.

I bought the Vertex 2 50GB today from Amazon. I can't wait to try it out!
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Old 06-24-10, 04:19 AM   #5
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This is a very well-done article--exactly what oveclockers.com needs! It serves the readership and the site itself very, very well.

Thanks for your great contribution! -- Paul

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Old 06-24-10, 07:17 AM   #6
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Excellent article


I absolutely had to leave a note of appreciation for the work done here, so I registered just for this purpose. Readers should take note of and review the spreadsheets Mr Alpha produced and mentioned to support the findings.
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Old 06-24-10, 09:25 AM   #7
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Great read!

Mr Alpha, how familiar are you with the issues some people have experienced with brand new drives dieing and going through several RMAs? I read how you mentioned some reliability issues, but I'm curious if there are any specific drives/controllers we should especially be weary of?

At the end of last year, Anand talked about this a bit when SandForce was first announced, and he didn't have any solid answers other than that it'd be a waiting game to see how things develop and what problems crop up:
http://www.anandtech.com/print/2899

I think some of the early adopters on new controllers are feeling those pains currently, but I haven't gotten a sense of how widespread or remote those problems are. I have seen a few reports of people getting new drives and in the first week the drive drops out and stops being recognized altogether. Then when they RMA the drives and get the new drive back some people have experienced the same problem again.

That said, I've been on an OCZ vertex 60GB for months and its been excellent on my laptop. I'd say any risks are worth it, but for anyone who isn't sure about their drive reliability, making backups of your data is as important as ever.

EDIT: Added this to the Storage sticky thread in the forums.

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Old 06-24-10, 09:57 AM   #8
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Good recap for folks who haven't been paying attention to SSDs.

Personally I can't wait to see how Intel's Postville Refresh stacks up. Something tells me Sandforce isn't gonna last long at the top

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Old 06-24-10, 12:41 PM   #9
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Looks better on the front page than in WP... lol

Glad I sparked the article. Nice Job Mr. Alpha!

Last edited by Joeteck; 06-24-10 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 06-24-10, 04:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fritzman View Post
Great review.

Thanks for the time and effort.

Hangin out for a similar article showing SSD's in Raid0 using the various controllers commonly used (ICH10R/Areca1210/etc), highlighting pros & cons & comparing performance.
This is a really interesting question. Sadly there is very little data available on the performance of different RAID controllers and SSDs. There are no big controller in RAID0 with SSD reviews. From the little I've seen the Intel ICH10R does very well. While it may not get quite the same troughput as dedicated RAID cards it can often beat them in terms of IOPS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by I.M.O.G. View Post
Great read!

Mr Alpha, how familiar are you with the issues some people have experienced with brand new drives dieing and going through several RMAs? I read how you mentioned some reliability issues, but I'm curious if there are any specific drives/controllers we should especially be weary of?

At the end of last year, Anand talked about this a bit when SandForce was first announced, and he didn't have any solid answers other than that it'd be a waiting game to see how things develop and what problems crop up:
http://www.anandtech.com/print/2899

I think some of the early adopters on new controllers are feeling those pains currently, but I haven't gotten a sense of how widespread or remote those problems are. I have seen a few reports of people getting new drives and in the first week the drive drops out and stops being recognized altogether. Then when they RMA the drives and get the new drive back some people have experienced the same problem again.

That said, I've been on an OCZ vertex 60GB for months and its been excellent on my laptop. I'd say any risks are worth it, but for anyone who isn't sure about their drive reliability, making backups of your data is as important as ever.

EDIT: Added this to the Storage sticky thread in the forums.
I'm not very familiar with it. Just saw some threads about it yesterday. On one hand I have no idea what might be causing it but on the other hand I must admit that I am not suprised. It seems every new SSD controller that comes out has some sort of problem. As I mentioned in the article I you value reliability over performance you are better off with drive based on a controller that already has gone through its teething problems like Intel or Indilix.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ratbuddy View Post
Good recap for folks who haven't been paying attention to SSDs.

Personally I can't wait to see how Intel's Postville Refresh stacks up. Something tells me Sandforce isn't gonna last long at the top
Next winter the whole SSD landscape will change. We will get a new Intel contrlller (which they are confident will recapture the performance crown, according to Anandtech), new Indilix controller, new Toshiba controller, new SandForce controller and IMTF will introduce 25nm flash which will cut $/GB roughly in half.
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Old 06-24-10, 05:19 PM   #11
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In addition to being categorized by capacity, I think there should be difference price categories. It seems to me there are two different kinds of people who are eying SSDs: the performance enthusiast with deep pockets (who would be more concerned about capacity), and the budget enthusiast (who would look for the best bang-for-the-buck).

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Old 06-24-10, 05:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Alpha View Post
Next winter the whole SSD landscape will change. We will get a new Intel contrlller (which they are confident will recapture the performance crown, according to Anandtech), and IMTF will introduce 25nm flash which will cut $/GB roughly in half.
Could you post some more info about these two points please?

I searched for the first and couldn't find anything... then figured if I'm having to ask about one, why not both.

Thanks

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Old 06-24-10, 06:52 PM   #13
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Great information Mr Alpha, times are changing.

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Old 06-25-10, 04:16 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fritzman View Post
Could you post some more info about these two points please?

I searched for the first and couldn't find anything... then figured if I'm having to ask about one, why not both.

Thanks
There isn't really any more information available. The little I have is based on passing mentions on Anandtech and other tech sites. Intel G3 controller will show up in Q4. I believe it might be a SATA 3 Gbps because, according to PC Perspectiv, Intel has stated they won't release a 6 Gbps SSD unless they also have a chipset with SATA 6 Gbps, and as far as I know Intel doesn't have any new chipsets coming out this year. The next Indilix controller, called Jet Stream, was delayed until Q1/Q2 and will be a SATA 6 Gbps controller and use Samsung's DDR flash. I suppose the Toshiba one might contain that new write speed boosting thechnology they presented last week. Considering they were talking about write speeds of 4.2 Gbps I assume whatever controller it will show up in will be SATA 6 Gbps. The new SandForce one is called Phoenix and is supposed to show up Q3/Q4 with SATA 6 Gbps, with advertised speeds of 520 MB/s read and write.

About the 25 nm IMFT flash Anandtech has an overview from earlier this year here.
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Old 06-25-10, 05:46 AM   #15
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It's too bad that Intel would wait until having 6 gbps chipset to release the higher-speed drive; with these still being such expensive purchases, I'd think the consumer would want to future-proof the purchase as much as possible.

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Old 06-25-10, 05:11 PM   #16
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It's called marketing sell all the old technology first, then you can upgrade to the new when it comes out. That makes more money for Intel, and all the other SSD markets.

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