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Everything posted by dhanson865

  1. dhanson865

    Things that will damage SSD

    Hard drives in most cases won't care if you do or don't format them often, once, full, partial, doesn't matter. There are extreme cases if you need to store a hard drive for legal purposes or historical purposes but end users shouldn't care. To maintain the proper performance of an SSD you keep the firmware updated and follow the manufacturers suggestions. If you have an Intel G2 drive they have a toolkit that can be run to make sure all is good. If you don't have an Intel SSD you have to learn the specifics of your SSD and do what is needed in other ways.
  2. dhanson865

    SSD as Backups

    at least until they become cheap enough that you have dozens of Ferraris laying around. I currently have a stack of perfectly good IDE and SATA hard drives and have usb flash drives laying all over the place. I expect there will come a day that I have spare SSDs just laying around.
  3. dhanson865

    Intel SSD Toolbox v2.0 Released

    Solid good news. I'm a die hard AMD fan but Intel's SSD team has seriously won my respect repeatedly with their support for the G2 drives (though I still feel sorry for the G1 buyers).
  4. I've done price searches and can't find any under $120 including shipping. I have to assume you are looking at after rebate prices or somewhere that tacks on huge S&H charges to offset a seemingly low product price. I've had enough problems with rebates that I no longer factor them in on purchase decisions though I will file for one if it is offered on a product I buy.
  5. dhanson865

    SSD as Backups

    Sure it's a fine use, just as using a USB thumb drive would be a fine backup medium. Brian's right that cost is an issue but I'm not worried about excessive writes if you are backing up weekly or even less frequently. Pros for flash vs hard drives as backup media *shock tolerant *heat tolerant *physically smaller all are pluses if you want to do off site storage (lock box at the bank or similar)
  6. dhanson865

    Recovering Files From Broken SSD

    Only if you have millions of dollars in equipment and staff (like say the NSA) would you even consider trying. This probably goes back to that old meme: If it isn't backed up, it doesn't exist.
  7. dhanson865

    Things that will damage SSD

    * any unnecessary writes reduce the lifespan. * Formatting it to the full advertised capacity will reduce the lifespan of the SSD. See http://intelstudios.edgesuite.net/idf/2009/sf/aep/IDF_2009_MEMS003/f.htm The video has a 30+ minute presentation. Only the first 15 minutes is worth listening to but it has solid data and concepts pertinent to reliability of consumer grade SSDs. Reducing the partition size can increase the life of the SSD by over 3x as in over 300% or over 200% increase depending on how you like to think about the end result or the increase. Unfortunately this is only true if you have never written to the drive's full capacity. A secure erase is the only way to return the drive to factory fresh and allow a smaller partition to increase the drives lifespan. Different drive controllers will deal with this better or worse but generally unpartitioned space will improve the longevity of a SSD. After that you get into * extreme heat such as the interior of a car in Arizona or a server in a room with tons of servers and no air conditioning (>70c/158f) * extreme cold such as used in some overclocking experiments (don't spill your liquid nitrogen on my SSD) * large electrical fields that could cause shorts or burn out a transistor with transient current (don't place it inside medical imaging equipment). * use of vice, saw, explosives, other blunt forces (oh, that video with the 3wood golf club busting up a SSD is a fine example)
  8. Indilinx drives did drop to roughly match the price of the C300. Other drives dropped as well. Also the 40GB sandforce drives have a hefty premium when looked at through the price/GB. Intel X25-V 40GB ~$100 ~$2.50/GB Crucial C300 64GB ~$143 ~$2.23/GB Corsair Nova 64GB ~$146 ~$2.28/GB Crucial M225 64GB ~$160 ~$2.50/GB Intel X25-M 80GB ~$200 ~$2.50/GB Crucial C300 128GB ~$275 ~$2.15/GB Corsair Nova 128GB ~$271 ~$2.12/GB Crucial M225 128GB ~$287 ~$2.25/GB Intel X25-M 160GB ~$420 ~$2.63/GB Crucial C300 256GB ~$570 ~$2.23/GB Corsair Force 40GB ~$124 ~$3.10/GB OCZ Agility 2 120GB ~$303 ~$2.53/GB OCZ Vertex 2 120GB ~$309 ~$2.58/GB Corsair Force 120GB ~$338 ~$2.82/GB
  9. Can you show me the similar graph for the Intel 160GB drive? How about the Crucial M225 64GB?
  10. dhanson865

    Average Life Expectancy

    Actually the trend is for happy users not to post reviews as often as unhappy users so the failure percentage is likely higher than accurate. Though this may be mitigated somewhat by the fact that SSDs are still high on the bragging rights list so some people will post the review just to be part of the in crowd. Without inside info from a company like Intel or OCZ it's hard to say how accurate those numbers are. The key to me is when you have hundreds or thousands of reviews for a product and similar numbers of reviews for another product you can compare A to B. I don't know Intel's actual SSD failure rate but I do know that it is lower than OCZs (pre sandforce). It will take some time for Sandforce and Crucial/Micron C300 reviews to grow in numbers enough to be as reliable as the Intel numbers. Luckily the C300 is cheaper than Intel G2 now so it should sell well. fwiw the most reviews of a single capacity drive by part number was the OCZ Vertex 30GB (barefoot controller) with 450+ reviews. The Intel 80GB Gen 2 by comparison has three different part numbers on newegg so each part number has 250+ reviews but the three Intel 80GB G2 combined have the most reviews by brand/capacity/controller combination. by comparison the C300 line has less than 200 reviews on newegg so far. I'd like to see that over 500 reviews before I compare it to Intel with any confidence.
  11. dhanson865

    Average Life Expectancy

    Take a look at my data dive on newegg http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=518448&highlight=#518448 and note good drives tend to have almost no failures (Intel G2) and bad drives have over 50% failures but the vast majority of typical drives have 10% to 15% failure rates in newegg reviews. Then take into account that most of these reviewers have had their SSD only a few weeks or months. Assume that any SSD that doesn't die in the first few months is likely to not die before the warranty is up and you probably get to 15% to 20% of average quality SSDs dieing in a 3 year period. The ones that don't die early will likely survive 10 years or more. They'll get tossed in a drawer or the trash before the flash wears out in most cases. Only the insane home user and business users (server use) will wear out flash on the drive. Personally I've never had a SSD die. All the reading I've done on SSDs is that when they go they usually go from perfectly working to a brick with no in between. This is contrary to the hypothetical that is often posed that the drive will fail gracefully into a read only state.
  12. That "seasoning" you are talking about is the absolute worst thing you could do to an SSD short of physically damaging it with blunt force. They are filling the drive to 99.4% of capacity leaving no room in the wear leveling tables to do any behind the scenes work to keep performance up. Keep your partition/volume under 80% of advertised capacity and do "seasoning" with the free space left over for wear leveling and you might have a point. If idiotic tests like this were done by all reviewers the SSD manufacturers would just come out with a new firmware that would reserve more flash and change the advertised capacity. You do realize that is the only difference between a 50GB and 60GB SSD don't you? They both have 64GB of flash but one is saving ~7% in reserve and the other is saving ~22%. All you as a consumer have to do to prevent "seasoning" from slowing down a drive is make sure you never format it to full capacity. Pick a capacity anywhere from 50% to 80% of the advertised capacity and you'll never see a problem. Also you might want to check out: http://intelstudios.edgesuite.net/idf/2009/sf/aep/IDF_2009_MEMS003/f.htm has a 30+ minute presentation. Only the first 15 minutes is worth listening to but it has solid data and concepts pertinent to reliability of consumer grade SSDs. Reducing the partition size can increase the life of the SSD by over 3x as in over 300% or over 200% increase depending on how you like to think about the end result or the increase. Unfortunately this is only true if you have never written to the drive's full capacity. A secure erase is the only way to return the drive to factory fresh and allow a smaller partition to increase the drives lifespan. Reliability and ability to avoid speed degradation are two faces of the same issue.
  13. dhanson865

    Corsair F40 Benchmarks

    It'd be nice to see a comparison of say 10GB of text files copied to the SSD clearing the drive (secure erase, trim, give enough time for GC to occur) then test again with copying 10GB of Zip/RAR/7z files.
  14. The biggest difference in regards to sandforce drives is in the compressibility of the data the benchmark is testing writes with. Highly compressible data (like text files) would test the same on a 40GB and 120GB sandforce SSD. Data that is already compressed or is incompressible would show a huge slowdown on the 40GB drive. Data that fits that would be things like: zip/7z/rar files (compressed) some jpeg/jpg files if compressed enough mpeg/mp3/mp4 (video, audio, or mixed video+audio) aac/vorbis/wma (compressed audio files) encrypted partitions (truecrypt and the like) compressed texture files used by modern games This means installs and copying from other drives will be slowed but then again since most people spend more time doing reads than writes you may not notice it. Myself I take write speeds on sandforce drives with a huge grain of salt.
  15. dhanson865

    Corsair F40 Review

    Need to change the specs. The 40GB version is ever so slightly slower than the 50GB and up. Corsair specs 280 MB/s sequential read 270 MB/s sequential write 50K IOPS (4K aligned) OCZ specs * Max Read: up to 280 MB/s * Max Write: up to 270 MB/s * Sustained Write: up to 200 MB/s * Random Write 4k (Aligned): 45,000 IOPS I'm not sure if Corsair just made a typo on the IOPS or if they meant to not change that spec. Either way the seq numbers change.
  16. dhanson865

    Crucial RealSSD C300 Review 256GB

    You have a typo in the CONS. It should say write speed not read speed. according to http://www.crucial.com/pdf/Datasheets-letter_C300_RealSSD_v2-5-10_online.pdf the 64GB and 128GB versions read just as fast as the 256GB version but write slower. It's also significant that the 64/128GB versions draw the same power as each other but less than the 256GB version.
  17. fwiw C300 (crucial) SSDs seem to have stabilized temporarily around $2.25/GB and Indilinx based drives are looking like they will drop in price to match that level. Intel and Sandforce based SSDs seem to be hanging around $2.75/GB. Intel X25-V 40GB ~$115 ~$2.88/GB Crucial C300 64GB ~$143 ~$2.23/GB Corsair Nova 64GB ~$173 ~$2.70/GB Crucial M225 64GB ~$180 ~$2.81/GB Intel X25-M 80GB ~$219 ~$2.74/GB Crucial C300 128GB ~$280 ~$2.19/GB Crucial M225 128GB ~$288 ~$2.25/GB Corsair Nova 128GB ~$319 ~$2.50/GB Intel X25-M 160GB ~$430 ~$2.69/GB Crucial C300 256GB ~$574 ~$2.25/GB OCZ Agility 2 120GB ~$325 ~$2.71/GB OCZ Vertex 2 120GB ~$329 ~$2.74/GB Corsair Force 120GB ~$338 ~$2.82/GB
  18. dhanson865

    SSD Flash Overview

    Good start spadge but in addition to the endurance trade off the write speeds are slower on MLC as well. How about
  19. So you think in € and I think in $. Either way my statement of twice the price per GB versus LTO4 includes the cost of the drive not just a blank media. If you have a $3000 drive and you archive two tapes a month for a 3 year period then the cost of using LTO4 isn't $0.05/GB it is $0.10/GB. If you only archive 1 tape per year the cost per GB is $1.3 about 25 times higher. If you archive less tapes per year the price per GB goes up, if you archive more tapes per year the price per GB goes down. So for the small shop, casual user, and what not LTO is too expensive as they can just buy $70 hard drives and get $0.10/GB or better at much lower initial costs. For those types of users SSDs only have to become less than twice the cost of a hard drive or somewhere under $0.50/GB and they'll stop using hard drives for off site storage. How many years do you think that will take? For users that use dozens of LTO 4, LTO 5, LTO 6 per year (yearly archives, quarterly archives, monthly archives, weekly archives) yeah the LTO tapes will be half the cost of hard drives and then you can work out the math between hard drives and SSDs. While there is a wall coming for reducing feature sizes .25nm isn't the way they name the node size wall. 22nm processes are coming online very soon. Additional cost savings can come by increasing wafer diameters or creating larger factories or more factories it doesn't have to be all about new process dimensions. While we are on the topic of predicting the future lets talk unit share. Right now there is a price premium on SSDs due to scarcity. If you could somehow make every hard drive on the planet disappear instantly there wouldn't be enough SSDs to replace them. Flat out, not enough SSDs on the planet to replace all the hard drives on the planet. Until that fact changes there will be a price premium on SSDs. Now in the enterprise space there are uses where one SSD can replace 10 hard drives. So we don't have to have 1 SSD for every hard drive. At home you may need 1 SSD to replace two hard drives if you are the type to do RAID 0 with a couple of raptors. The vast majority of the world though will need 1 SSD for every hard drive replaced as they don't use more than one hard drive in their Desktop, laptop, or other device. So lets say on the grand scale we need 1 SSD for every 1.5 hard drives we want to retire. 2010 unit shipment forecast for hard drives is 674.6 million drives (up over 20% from 2009 if the estimate is accurate). The first number I found for SSDs says 11 million drives in 2009 (with expectations of 90% growth in units). As SSD supplies increase their price premium will drop. Eventually the units shipped for hard drives will decrease instead of increase. Eventually SSDs will see growth rates higher than 100% year over year as a massive transition occurs. But for now lets imagine what it's like if HD units decline by 10% a year while SSD units double per year. Where does that line cross? It takes about 6 years at that rate. How about if HD units drop by 10% a year while SSD rates triple each year, in that scenario it takes about 3 years to even up on the per year unit rate. Articles like http://www.fabtech.org/editor_s_blog/_a/wheres_the_fab_capacity_needed_in_2010/ discuss a shortage of wafers in the industry which will artificially constrain SSD growth rates until 2011 and I am no soothsayer. I don't know how quickly SSDs will ramp. I do expect them to eat into HDs in the near future and I do expect when they become reasonably priced people will stop backing up to hard drives and instead backup to SSD.
  20. The sandforce 1200 and sandforce 1500 controllers do encryption/compression natively. So ALL sandforce drives are doing encryption they just don't have to expose it to the OS or end user. http://www.anandtech.com/show/2899/3 , http://www.anandtech.com/show/2899/4 , and http://www.sandforce.com/index.php?id=19&parentId=2 The long and the short of it is sandforce controllers don't store data in it's raw format as handed to them by the OS. They manipulate it heavily and it may be compressed, encrypted, and any number of other manipulations before it hits the flash. If the data is highly compressible these manipulations give you a performance/longevity increase. If the data isn't highly compressible it may be a wash or a slight performance penalty. Now how bad can it get? Lets look at http://www.anandtech.com/show/2899/13 Spec is 250MB/s sustained write uncompressed data tests to 252 MB/s compressed data tests to 145.9 MB/s (on a 100GB drive) I'm expecting that number to be worse on a 50GB drive and better on the 200GB drive. Feel free to grab 3 drives and test it yourself to prove the point or give me a URL that does an Apples to Apples test of this concept.
  21. Yes, assuming you don't use encryption and/or your non encrypted data is compressible the specs might hold up. But there is probably some element of the "spec" not being as specific or accurate. Kind of like comparing TDP to ACP in CPUs. Sandforce 1200 or 1500 or anything they ever come up with will likely continue to break the rule of thumb for that and many other concepts when compared versus traditional SSDs but as much as they break the rule they also blur the rule. I'm still not ready to leap on the Sandforce bandwagon. Both they and Marvell have a little more proving to do before I trust either as much as I do an Intel SSD. The price advantage that the C300 presents might get me to buy one or more for testing if someone else doesn't respond by dropping prices in kind. while I'm here I'll update the price per GB numbers I posted a while back Corsair Nova 32GB ~$ 95 ~$3.00/GB Intel X25-V 40GB ~$110 ~$2.75/GB Crucial C300 64GB ~$150 ~$2.35/GB Corsair Nova 64GB ~$173 ~$2.70/GB Crucial M225 64GB ~$190 ~$2.95/GB Intel X25-M 80GB ~$215 ~$2.70/GB Corsair Nova 128GB ~$330 ~$2.58/GB Crucial C300 128GB ~$338 ~$2.64/GB Crucial M225 128GB ~$369 ~$2.88/GB Intel X25-M 160GB ~$430 ~$2.69/GB Crucial C300 256GB ~$640 ~$2.50/GB even if I trusted sandforce drives they still command a price premium I'm not willing to pay. also while I'm at it the drives to put on the list price wise for less expensive sandforce drives are: OCZ Agility 2 OCZ Vertex 2 Corsair Force am I missing anything worth tracking other than the capacity variations?
  22. dhanson865

    Crucial Rolls Out 64GB C300

    It'll be faster than the Intel G2 in many instances. Lets compare: http://www.anandtech.com/show/3681/oczs-vertex-2-special-sauce-sf1200-reviewed/5 and http://www.anandtech.com/show/3756/2010-value-ssd-100-roundup-kingston-and-ocz-take-on-intel/2 2MB sequential READ on 3Gbps SATA C300 267.8 X25-M G2 256.9 X25-V G2 184.2 http://www.anandtech.com/show/3681/oczs-vertex-2-special-sauce-sf1200-reviewed/6 and http://www.anandtech.com/show/3756/2010-value-ssd-100-roundup-kingston-and-ocz-take-on-intel/2 4KB random READ on 3Gbps SATA C300 ALL 76.6 X25-M G2 160GB 64.3 X25-M G2 80GB 63.5 X25-V G2 40GB 60.5 Now we know the Read speeds are the same for the 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB versions of the C300. So the benchmarks above should remain valid for the 64GB version. However the Write speeds are not the same. Manufacturer specs on read speeds 3Gbps SATA: C300 256GB 265MB/s C300 128GB 265MB/s C300 64GB 265MB/s X25-M G2 160GB 250MB/s X25-M G2 80GB 250MB/s X25-V G2 40GB 170MB/s Manufacturer specs on write speeds: X25-M G2 160GB 100MB/s X25-M G2 80GB 70MB/s X25-V G2 40GB 35MB/s C300 256GB 215MB/s C300 128GB 140MB/s C300 64GB 70MB/s We know the manufacturers specs don't equal the benchmark results but they do at least honestly proclaim lower capacity drives will have lower performance. You seem to have a pessimistic view of the situation if you think 70MB/s is slow. By that reasoning the Intel 80GB and Intel 40GB drives are slow as well. btw while we have the benches out http://www.anandtech.com/show/3681/oczs-vertex-2-special-sauce-sf1200-reviewed/6 also gives us 4KB aligned random WRITE on 3Gbps SATA C300 256GB 141.3 X25-M G2 46.0 Which heavily favors the C300. We just don't know short of testing the 128GB and 64GB C300 and the 80GB and 40GB X25 how much they would be worse than the top end drives in their families. We do however have sequential read tests of one more model from http://www.anandtech.com/show/3681/oczs-vertex-2-special-sauce-sf1200-reviewed/5 and http://www.anandtech.com/show/3756/2010-value-ssd-100-roundup-kingston-and-ocz-take-on-intel/2 2MB sequential WRITE on 3Gbps SATA C300 256GB 203.0 X25-M G2 160GB 101.7 X25-M G2 80GB 81.6 X25-V G2 40GB 41.9 Which not only shows that the C300 is faster in this test it also shows how the 80GB and 40GB Intel drives are slower than the 160GB Intel drive. If you go one step further and compare the spec to the sequential write speed Anand got you have this table Write Speeds Manufacturer Spec vs 2MB sequential WRITE test Drive Spec Test Estimate? X25-M G2 160GB 100MB/s 101.7 X25-M G2 80GB 70MB/s 81.6 X25-V G2 40GB 35MB/s 41.9 C300 256GB 215MB/s 203.0 C300 128GB 140MB/s ???.? 132.1? C300 64GB 70MB/s ??.? 66.0? Which still looks pretty favorable to the C300 line.
  23. That new 64GB C300 at $150 is ideal for that kind of raid. Myself I'm happy if my OS and the apps I use on a daily basis are on the SSD and then I'd keep my personal data on a hard drive (for now). I'd love to have a 256GB SSD so I could format it to 205GB and have all my apps and data on the same drive but I'm willing at this point to do a 80GB drive formatted as 65GB and keep 100GB or so data on a traditional hard drive until SSDs get cheaper.
  24. Crucial just started selling the C300 in a 64GB version at $150. This is a significant price drop considering its the only 6GB/s sata SSD on the market right now. Note it's just as fast as the 128GB and 256GB versions on reads but is noticeably slower on writes (just as all the lower capacity drives are). 64GB Crucial RealSSD C300 2.5-inch SATA 6GB/s CTFDDAC064MAG-1G1 http://www.crucial.com/pdf/Datasheets-letter_C300_RealSSD_v2-5-10_online.pdf http://www.crucial.com/store/partspecs.aspx?IMODULE=CTFDDAC064MAG-1G1
  25. dhanson865

    Intel SSDs now at BestBuy

    Thanks, good to know if I need one in a hurry I can pay the brick and mortar tax. Honestly they aren't overpriced. Just $10 over newegg. Most comparisons between online and bestbuy don't go that close.