SSDs - State of the Product?

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#1
We've seen a bunch of announcements, and a bunch of reviews. I've had them in my shopping cart at least 4 times, but no one I know actually has one.

I'm hoping for information anyone has on what is currently available, how they compare, and what the best place to buy is. Links to reviews that compare more than one brand would be great. Reliable vendors with good prices would also be appreciated. I will be ordering 2x 32GB models by the end of the month, and want to know where to go.

Thanks,
David
 

udaman

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#2
To what purpose do you need 2 x 32GB? What are your minimum performance characteristics desired, for what applications/intended uses (other than geek factor as with quad core CPU's :) )?

'good prices'...relative term, give a ballpark range of your own 'good prices'.

If ultimate STR is the goal, could Raid 0 more than 2 32GB higher speed (but really expensive right now) of the SSD's from dvnation.com. Note, the MacBook Air uses a Pata interface (you did not specify that either, nor did you specify a required size 1.8in, 2.5in, 3.5in...yeah, yeah- we know dd is prone to the existential, minimalist, Zen blogger short posting style :(), and it has been suggested the OEM price on that particular older gen SDD tech, 64GB drive (which is pretty slow) is $800, with Apple's 'optional' pricing of $1k, being 'reasonable'. Now go look at the price dvnation charges for that same Pata 1.8in Samsung SSD :eek: !

Note: last Oct, Memoright announced both pata/sata versions of a 2.5in pata drive

http://www.storagesearch.com/recordbreaking.html

[SIZE=-1]Memoright Launches Fastest 2.5" Drive

Shenzhen, China - October 18, 2007 - Memoright today launched its 2.5" 64GB PATA / SATA flash SSDs on the international market.

The new products were demonstrated recently to enterprise partners at the company's headquaters in China.

Memoright's patented technology enables their SSD to deliver 100M Bytes/sec sustained read and write transfer rates - which is the fastest throughput in a currently available 2.5" flash SSD. Memoright says its random access performance is typically 5x faster than a hard disk.

The company is looking for sales agents worldwide and says it will launch 1.8" and 3.5" models soon. ...Memoright profile[/SIZE]
I suggest, reading the news thread today on SF (if you haven't already ;) ), and waiting for 128GB Samsung to come out, with the hope that 64GB prices will drop around the same time...which would mean waiting until at least summer, best guess.

It has been suggested with weak economy, worldwide, increasing uncertainty with old prices, etc; Apple's forecasts of reduced sales of iPod/iPhone/Touch that NAND prices will drop dramatically due to oversupply this year. Who knows.


Suggest you bookmark/favorites this page:

http://www.storagesearch.com/news2.html


Editor:- February 20, 2008 - iSuppli Corp. is cutting its outlook for global NAND flash revenue growth in 2008 to the single digit percentage range, down from their previous outlook of a 27% rise.

In an early warning sign of consumer weakness, Apple has slashed its 2008 NAND order forecast significantly and has informed suppliers that its demand growth will slow in 2008 compared to 2007, according to iSuppli sources. This is expected to have a huge impact on the NAND market. With its extremely popular flash-memory based iPods, Apple was the world's 3rd largest OEM buyer of NAND flash memory in 2007.

On the supply side, slower NAND demand will have a major impact on suppliers' financial results. Capital spending on NAND production will rise by more than 20% this year, ensuring easy availability of parts. This will cause prices to decrease. iSuppli believes that NAND prices already are below suppliers' fully loaded costs. ...iSuppli profile

Editor's comments:-
buyers in the fast growing flash SSD market will be the beneficiaries of this downturn. As I predicted last year overcrowding in the notebook SSD market means that prices are already well below previously forecast levels.

Traditionally the big memory chip makers switch fab production between RAM and flash to whichever reaps the highest price. But many analysts already predicted this would not be a good year for RAM oems either.
 
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#3
Although shopping for my specific needs of the moment is nice, I really was hoping for more of a summary of what is out there. Who is currently shipping SSDs in volume? What is the range of speeds available?

For my needs, I'm hoping not to lose too much STR over my current RAID-0 of Raptors (~150MB/s would be nice). SATA interface. The physical size does not matter as they are going into a tower. I'm seeing 32GB SSDs at Amazon and Newegg for ~$400. Is this about right?
 

Fushigi

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#4
I admit to being tempted to replace the HDs in my dedicated Folding systems with small (8-16GB) SSDs for the heat/power savings. Neither seeks nor STR matter all that much since drive access is only when the system boots and then periodically when it writes Folding results.
 

Stereodude

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#5
I admit to being tempted to replace the HDs in my dedicated Folding systems with small (8-16GB) SSDs for the heat/power savings. Neither seeks nor STR matter all that much since drive access is only when the system boots and then periodically when it writes Folding results.
I would think CF cards with CF to IDE adapters would be your best bet then.
 
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#6
I admit to being tempted to replace the HDs in my dedicated Folding systems with small (8-16GB) SSDs for the heat/power savings. Neither seeks nor STR matter all that much since drive access is only when the system boots and then periodically when it writes Folding results.
I would think CF cards with CF to IDE adapters would be your best bet then.
I agree with SD. I use CF cards in IDE adapters all the time for my firewalls (2-4 a month?). The only trick is to be sure the BIOS can disable DMA support, as the adapters don't support it (even when the cards do).
 

Fushigi

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#7
First, as to the state of the SSD market, SuperTalent is shipping a 256GB SATA SSD. Although at $8600 (with free shipping!) it takes pretty deep pockets.

Can you recommend any particular CF-IDE or CF-SATA bridge adapters? I'm thinking of making a more proactive change since 1. my annual bonus was paid and 2. the HD in one of my Folders periodically gets a little goofy & I hear it spin up/down repeatedly. That machine has an older drive anyway.

I'm thinking of a 16GB Transcend or RiData. The A-Data card is a lot cheaper but it looks to be slow and while performance doesn't matter much I can't bring myself to buy a 40x card when a 233x card is only $22 more. A-Data has a 'Speedy' card but I don't see a speed rating for it.
 

Fushigi

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#9
Thanks. The machine in question is running Vista Basic, so I don't think 8GB is enough. If I do the same to my Ubuntu Folder then a smaller footprint would be fine. And for 16GB the total cost w/shipping is still under $100. That's in the 'yawn' category right now for expenses.

Now, any good suggestions for migrating the install to the CF or should I just re-install from scratch? I haven't bought or used any partition tools for some time - no need lately - so I'm not up to speed on the best solutions.
 
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#10
I wouldn't do Vista on a CF; the speed is unlikely to be satisfactory. If it were just a folding machine, and could run TinyXP or Ubuntu, than it would be fine. For Vista, I would consider the small SSDs instead.
 

Fushigi

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#11
SSDs cost about 2-5x more. Maybe I'll wait a while after all.

Another option is to move the Ubuntu to CF/IDE and move it's HD to the Vista box, but that's effort I'm not so willing to undertake at the moment. The Folders are supposed to sit there & crunch; I want to spend as little time as needed maintaining them.

Maybe just getting a 5400RPM notebook drive would be better. It wouldn't be solid state but would be better on power/heat/reliability than the current setup. This Samsung is cheap enough.
 

udaman

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#13
SSDs cost about 2-5x more. Maybe I'll wait a while after all.

Another option is to move the Ubuntu to CF/IDE and move it's HD to the Vista box, but that's effort I'm not so willing to undertake at the moment. The Folders are supposed to sit there & crunch; I want to spend as little time as needed maintaining them.

Maybe just getting a 5400RPM notebook drive would be better. It wouldn't be solid state but would be better on power/heat/reliability than the current setup. This Samsung is cheap enough.
Double the capacity, double areal density = higher performance/dollar...get the other single platter 160GB Samsung instead (both PATA & SATA models):

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000Z4C0M2/themussou08427958-20
 

Fushigi

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#14
The mobo in question supports PATA & SATA and the current drive is PATA. SATA has more future life so I'll likely get a SATA drive. Hmm. I think I'll put this aside until I can peek @ the mobo again and confirm things.

Thanks again for the help. Any suggestions on drive partition move/resize tools so I can move the partition to the new drive? I don't mind reactivating Vista but would rather not reinstall. Both commercial & OSS is fine.
 

Fushigi

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#15
uda, performance & capacity don't really matter. I need about 20MB (not GB) more than the OS takes to hold the Folding client. My preference is for a single-platter drive due to heat/power, but anything 16GB+ is sufficient from a capacity standpoint.

Micro Center has 120GB Toshiba & WD notebook drives for $70 + tax (I'm local). For $10 more than the Samsung I can get the drive without waiting for shipping & have a local return/exchange option. I'll also see what Fry's has in today's ad. Odd that MC carries the Samsung desktop drives but not their notebook brethren.
 

Fushigi

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#17
In the past when I look at my Vista & Ubuntu machines side by side Vista is slightly slower, like a couple of seconds per percentage point of the work unit. Both machines are Q6600s with 2GB RAM on el-cheapo motherboards. But the main reasons for Vista were 1) at the time no experience or desire to muck with Linux and 2) I'm planning on adding an X1950 to the Vista box to do GPU Folding which isn't available on Linux.
 
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#22
Well, it seems there aren't enough suppliers, manufacturers, or tight enough competition to warrant a spreadsheet.

It's pretty clear to me that MTRON rules the performance SSD roost. Not that there aren't faster (MemoRight), but that the 100%+ cost increase doesn't justify the 10% performance increase.

All 3 of the sites timwhit mentioned are within $20 of each other. RocketDisk has the MTRON MSD-6000 16GB SATA 2.5" for $370, and a professional looking website. I'll place the order for a pair of them tonight and let you guys know how it works out.

Thanks for everyone's help.
 

timwhit

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#23
I'll be very interested to hear how you like them. Price is still too high for me. When I can get a 32GB for less than $400, I will go for it.
 
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#24
That is still a ways out I suspect. It has already dropped to the point where interest has increased significantly, and performance increases are more incremental. I'm hoping for a 150MB read/100MB write, that will be better STR numbers than the Raptors and (of course) the access time should rock.
 

udaman

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#27
Dueling PR guys = vaporware fun

I was going to start a new thread in the news section, but then thought if I post this here and mubs doesn't see it, and the posts into the news section, timwit will then be able to post a link to this thread where the 'hidden' information is. :p.

To bring the OP back around to being more OT some recent developments:

SLC from Mtron (noting that dvnation sells a similar 128GB SDD for only $3.4k, lol):

http://www.electronista.com/articles/08/02/18/mtron.128gb.ssd/

the 128GB disk is set to be released worldwide in April and should directly support notebooks and other devices that support Parallel ATA drives with a zero insertion force (ZIF) connector. Mtron has not revealed any immediate customers
Intel plans ultra-quick 160GB SSDs in 2008
http://www.electronista.com/articles/08/03/10/intel.ssd.plans.for.2008/

The very small Z-P140 solid-state drive is just a prelude to a series of much more significant announcements over the course of 2008, Intel's flash memory marketing head Troy Winslow says in a recent interview. The senior official explains that one of the chipmaker's introductions this year will be a series of 1.8- and 2.5-inch drives targeted at ultraportables that not only hold more but are also faster. While they will hold between 80GB and 160GB versus today's 64GB and just-shipping 128GB drives, they should also outperform the claimed 100 megabytes per second reading speed of the Samsung Flash SSD, which itself is already much faster than most rotating hard disks, the Intel executive boasts.
LOL, yet another PR guy with lots of tall stories, except this one claims they will have these shipping before Samsung!


Intel has not set prices for the newer SSDs but plans to ship both of them in the spring, months ahead of wider availability for the Samsung drive.
Well the best laid plans of mice and men, they'd better hurry as this spring at least, is over in just 3 months on June 21 (maybe they are referring to down under, in the southern hemisphere :p ).

Intel's 'announcement' reminds of Samsung's frequently tardy shipping dates and overly optimistic forward thinking outlook on prices and capacity increases...yet Samsung has been shipping product for over a year now, whereas Intel hasn't shipped anything in 32GB or larger size that I'm aware of:

Samsung sees 250GB SSDs by end of 2008
http://www.electronista.com/articles/08/02/22/samsung.250gb.ssd.hint/

flash memory marketing chief Michael Yang says. The Korean company has already announced a 128GB version that it now expects to ship in the third quarter (a slight delay from its earlier first-half prediction)
Slight delay? They were originally talking 128GB by the end of 2007 way back in 2006, based on the currently non-existent 40nm process, lol

Prices are also likely to drop substantially over time regardless of capacity increases, Yang adds. At the moment, his firm predicts price decreases of anywhere between 35 to 45 percent in the cost of an SSD from year-to-year and should eventually bring the prices of flash memory into line with slower but less costly rotating hard disks.
Eventually, meaning when, next decade or two? If we take the alledged $800 OEM price that Apple is paying for the prior gen. or chip tech in the 64GB SSD in the Macbook Air, 60/32MBs R/W, and then dropped even that 45% you wouldn't even be close to the $299 price of the now just shipping 500GB Samsung HDD 2.5in 5.4k rpm.
 
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#28
Finally got around to ordering...

3x 16GB MTRON MSD-6000 3.5"

Since I have a significant number (10) of free SATA ports (6 on-board and 4 more in the RAID card), I might as well go for higher STR...

I wonder if this card will do online expansion of RAID0 arrays...
 

Fushigi

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#29
Fujitsu 80GB for $60. If I can I'll stop by Fry's tomorrow & pick it up.
I picked up the drive Saturday & installed it this morning. Used Acronis True Image Home 11 to migrate my Vista install to the new drive & enlarge the partition. Totally painless. One power cycle to install the drive, one warm boot for the partition migration, one final power cycle to disconnect the old drive. Vista did not need to be re-activated.

I used the Trial version of Acronis but will buy it for future use.
 

Stereodude

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#36
Mid May is likely (in New York on our way to Moscow).
I hope she's got a green card or whatever already (assuming she's not a citizen). Otherwise the USCIS is really screwy about letting people back into the US who are here on an educational VISA or the like after they are married to a US citizen.
 

Stereodude

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#38
She's got a green card. We'll still only be engaged when we get back, so no legal issues until the next trip.
If she has a green card there shouldn't be any problems even if you are married. The problems occur when someone is here on an educational Visa or a tourist visa or similar and they get married overseas to a US citizen they will often not allow the person back into the US because they don't think the person will leave the US when their Visa is up.

If you get married here under those same Visa situations you apply for a change of status and can stay while your application is pending, but if you leave the country while it is pending they may not let you back in either.
 

Pradeep

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#39
If you get married here under those same Visa situations you apply for a change of status and can stay while your application is pending, but if you leave the country while it is pending they may not let you back in either.
You would need to have applied for Advanced Parole before leaving if you wanted to re-enter whilst an I-485 is pending. That's pretty safe *as long as there isn't anything in the visitors background that would make them ineligible to successfully adjust status*

Safest thing is to definitely stay in the country, tho it can take a while for processing in certain areas.
 

Gilbo

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#40
Safest thing is to definitely stay in the country, tho it can take a while for processing in certain areas.
Ya, my best friend's sister ran into this problem. She was in the U.S. on an education visa when they decided to marry, and hasn't been able to leave since. They had to have the wedding in the U.S. and everything.
 
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