Brian

Crucial C300 Failure

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Anand has an interesting post today about his failing C300. It appears they thought it was bricked but Crucial says that's not the case:

We determined that the drive wasn’t bricked, but that it was very slow at powering up due to errors in the firmware tables that resulted in the characteristics you were seeing. We’re still investigating these errors.

Looks like there are other issues with the C300 too in regards to how it handles TRIM. Crucial is working on a firmware update for the drive. Our review unit is expected soon, though I wouldn't be surprised if they held off until the new firmware is implemented.

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Half backed product development...

One really wonders what those companies spend their money on...

(it can't be quality control)

Edited by DetlevCM

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This gets back to a conversation we've been having here...that all it takes is some cash and components to release an SSD. And because of that, we'll see a continuing expansion of players in the SSD space, then eventual consolidation, just like what happened with hard drives years ago.

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This gets back to a conversation we've been having here...that all it takes is some cash and components to release an SSD. And because of that, we'll see a continuing expansion of players in the SSD space, then eventual consolidation, just like what happened with hard drives years ago.

Quite possibly true.

On that note - what's the best advice we can give?

Stick to Intel and see who's around for more than 2 years?

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That's a great question. I think Intel, while having problems of their own early on, has established that the X25m is the benchmark for all other SSDs to be judged against. And while the Western Digital SiliconEdge Blue wasn't a great performer, I'd take its pedigree over many of the former RAM guys that have decided SSDs are a great new revenue source. Show me your drives are good after mainstream usage for a few years and I'll feel a whole lot better about recommending them.

I guess the other thing we could do to help would be to thrash the drives in our lab until they cry "no mas!" But even then, it's hard to equate 100 hours of SSD thrashing to real world life expectancy.

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That's a great question. I think Intel, while having problems of their own early on, has established that the X25m is the benchmark for all other SSDs to be judged against. And while the Western Digital SiliconEdge Blue wasn't a great performer, I'd take its pedigree over many of the former RAM guys that have decided SSDs are a great new revenue source. Show me your drives are good after mainstream usage for a few years and I'll feel a whole lot better about recommending them.

I guess the other thing we could do to help would be to thrash the drives in our lab until they cry "no mas!" But even then, it's hard to equate 100 hours of SSD thrashing to real world life expectancy.

And the other thing about Intel - it was a problem when you upgraded the firmware (not everyday action) and they promptly removed it.

Things like failure after sleep are like a big warning sign saying "we cannot test our drives in real life scenarios" - because its obvious users will do this...

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Crucial is one of the few manufacturers that has their own public support forums. You can see a lot of issues documented there, though I don't know much about the one Detlev is referencing.

Apparently Crucial is still working on the new firmware.

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More crucial C300 bricking...

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=249631

wish i read this first about the crucial c300.MANY ppl in the crucial forums also having similar issues.

"The drive would not longer be detected on POST. In fact, with the C300 connected to any machine I couldn't get any OS to boot; the system would just hang at drive detection. After a couple of weeks of toying with my dead drive, Crucial came back to me with an explanation of what's going on."

Edited by LesT

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Huh...at first Crucial blamed the problem on "review sites" that were over-stressing the drives in non real world scenarios. While that does happen some, this problem is getting more widely reported by end users.

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Huh...at first Crucial blamed the problem on "review sites" that were over-stressing the drives in non real world scenarios. While that does happen some, this problem is getting more widely reported by end users.

I know of one more typical use failure for sure...trying to dig it up...

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Huh...at first Crucial blamed the problem on "review sites" that were over-stressing the drives in non real world scenarios. While that does happen some, this problem is getting more widely reported by end users.

That's a pretty daft reaction... a good drive will still perform well even if its overstressed in tests - Intels will either need a manual trim or get auto trimmed, older ones use garbage collection.

If their drives can't take the benchmarking and testing they shouldn't be sold.

Edited by DetlevCM

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Crucial is one of the few manufacturers that has their own public support forums.

, though I don't know much about the one Detlev is referencing.

Runcore & Gigabyte have support forums on Tweaktown:

http://forums.tweaktown.com/f67/

one 'sleep' problem for sanforce controllers/firmware was described here:

http://macperformanceguide.com/Reviews-SSD-OWC-Mercury_Extreme.html

The Sandforce controller firmware is at the root of the problem (not peculiar to OWC), and therefore it will affect all Sandforce-based SSDs. There is a workaround, see Hibernate mode below.

The issued discussed here will be addressed in the near term with a firmware update from Sandforce. It affects Macs, and apparently some PCs as well. OWC is planning on making this update available for customers, including Mac customers with Mac software....

I believe this issue might be a problem with other SSDs as well (those without the Sandforce controller like the Crucial and Intel units). I have used the Intel X25-M and Crucial SSDs for nearly a year in two of my Mac Pros, and only recently do I now suspect that the occasional Mac Pro hang when I slept the machine must have been due to this a similar issue, sporadic though it is.

^speculation for sure :), but original problem with respect to the SF-1200 has apparently been fixed with a recent FW update...alas, still all SSD manufacturers can't seem to be bothered to make native OS updaters, only Windows :(

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That's a great question. I think Intel, while having problems of their own early on, has established that the X25m is the benchmark for all other SSDs to be judged against. And while the Western Digital SiliconEdge Blue wasn't a great performer, I'd take its pedigree over many of the former RAM guys that have decided SSDs are a great new revenue source. Show me your drives are good after mainstream usage for a few years and I'll feel a whole lot better about recommending them.

I guess the other thing we could do to help would be to thrash the drives in our lab until they cry "no mas!" But even then, it's hard to equate 100 hours of SSD thrashing to real world life expectancy.

I think Brian, as well as most others are buying into the non-sequitur, marketing 'branding' hype. A familiar name = quality/performance. I know of one guy on another forum, so disgusted with prior experiences with WD HDD's that he categorically dismisses anything made by WD as an guarantee of data loss :D. Kind of like having the old 'deathstar' syndrome with IBM.

So if all of these Intel SSD drives only had the Micron name on them, would you hold them in such high regard...I surely doubt it! Many a SSD has similar sequential Read speeds, much faster writes, and yet the masses only equate the familiar name "Intel" with quality. The Intel/Micron SSD's (which is what they should be properly referred to) have top 4k performance in *some* test benchmarks, so the masses automatically equate that with a grand overall superiority without seeing actual data, say time improvements in seconds/minutes to do- day in and day out computing, that the "average" consumer uses (which is what most here seem to believe is the *only* useful metric) in a day or over longer time.

In the end if there is a 10%-50% greater *test* benchmark result of 'simulated' real-world use, what exactly does that mean? Well if it were boot times only, and you went from a HDD booting (just simple OS start up) in 29sec, down to 20sec (28% increase) and you had to pay 50%-500% more for that SSD, is it "disruptive" performance or just a snooze? If on the other hand you use Photoshop all the time, for certain operations in specific file sizes, you might gain >50% reduction in times that are on the order of minutes. Then to such a person, a SSD does show vast speed up of work being done. All relative to what you computing consists of, to a large degree, yes?

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I think Brian, as well as most others are buying into the non-sequitur, marketing 'branding' hype. A familiar name = quality/performance. I know of one guy on another forum, so disgusted with prior experiences with WD HDD's that he categorically dismisses anything made by WD as an guarantee of data loss :D. Kind of like having the old 'deathstar' syndrome with IBM.

So if all of these Intel SSD drives only had the Micron name on them, would you hold them in such high regard...I surely doubt it! Many a SSD has similar sequential Read speeds, much faster writes, and yet the masses only equate the familiar name "Intel" with quality. The Intel/Micron SSD's (which is what they should be properly referred to) have top 4k performance in *some* test benchmarks, so the masses automatically equate that with a grand overall superiority without seeing actual data, say time improvements in seconds/minutes to do- day in and day out computing, that the "average" consumer uses (which is what most here seem to believe is the *only* useful metric) in a day or over longer time.

In the end if there is a 10%-50% greater *test* benchmark result of 'simulated' real-world use, what exactly does that mean? Well if it were boot times only, and you went from a HDD booting (just simple OS start up) in 29sec, down to 20sec (28% increase) and you had to pay 50%-500% more for that SSD, is it "disruptive" performance or just a snooze? If on the other hand you use Photoshop all the time, for certain operations in specific file sizes, you might gain >50% reduction in times that are on the order of minutes. Then to such a person, a SSD does show vast speed up of work being done. All relative to what you computing consists of, to a large degree, yes?

So what exactly do you want to say? Because I don't see it... ???

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That's a great question. I think Intel, while having problems of their own early on, has established that the X25m is the benchmark for all other SSDs to be judged against.

Time is relative, depends on how many months you go by :). Seems like many a vendor including the 'established' names are having problems with SSD's, that includes Intel/Micron. They may have had 'fewer' issues, but that hardly makes them the 'icon' to hold up to as a short-lived 'benchmark'

Hmm, and I thought the X25-Xtreme was the bad boy...now dethroned by some newer products, only to be dethroned by the next new 'gen' of drives later this year. Constant flux :D

Don't know if the SF1200 controller in both 3yr & 5yr warranty OWC SSD's has identical firmware outside of the over-provisioning, but they appear to be identical otherwise. If so, the 100GB, and presumably the newer 400/480GB would exceed the X25E on most benchmarks?

see result of single and 2x raid (software at that) tests here:

http://www.barefeats.com/hard130.html

^Seagate Cheetah 15K.7 3.5" SAS looks pretty sad in comparison.

All in flux, by the end of the year, we shall have a new 'crop' of drives fighting for the lead, with the Micron/Intel 25nm process, going against Samsung's 20nm...and others?

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Beating Intel on benchmarks is one thing, but beating on price and support is another. I think you have to ask yourself if you trust that the company you're buying from will be able to support the drive for the several year time window you expect it to live. When I hear from several SSD companies that they can't afford to send out review samples, that tells me they're operating on razor thin margins and with a few bad quarters they could be out of the SSD business.

The other thing too is I think you have to see who's doing something unique. The SF-1200 is a great example. Let's say 10 companies sell a consumer use version of an SSD with the SF-1200 inside. Of those 10 more than half are just taking someone else's drive, that has the SF-1200 processor inside, and slapping their label on it. Not creative or interesting. A few of those 10 will use the processor, and assemble the drives on their own. And 1 or 2 of the set will ask SandForce to make a custom firmware, as OCZ has done. Of course this hold true for any of the processor companies I'm sure, the SF-1200 is just so popular now it makes for a good example.

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