6_6_6

SSDs: WTH happenned in these 2 years? Still same capacity and prices

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Yes, assuming you don't use encryption and/or your non encrypted data is compressible the specs might hold up.

Are any of these drives doing hardware encryption?

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Are any of these drives doing hardware encryption?

He's referring to the encryption found in Windows nowadays - it tends to rather significantly affect performance.

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am I missing anything worth tracking other than the capacity variations?

Make sure to go for the "Extended" versions, i.e. 60 / 120 / 240 GB instead of 50 / 100 / 200. The latter might be nice for enterprise, but are not really helping normal users.

MrS

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Are any of these drives doing hardware encryption?

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

SandForce told me that it’s not strictly compression but a combination of several techniques that are chosen on the fly depending on the workload.

SandForce referenced data deduplication as a type of data reduction algorithm that could be used.

...

Straight up data compression is another possibility.

...

There’s ECC and CRC support in the controller as well. The controller has the ability to return correct data even if it comes back with errors from the flash. Presumably it can also mark those flash locations as bad and remember not to use them in the future.

...

I can’t help but believe the ability to recover corrupt data, DuraWrite technology and AES-128 encryption are somehow related. If SandForce is storing some sort of hash of the majority of data on the SSD, it’s probably not too difficult to duplicate that data, and it’s probably not all that difficult to encrypt it either. By doing the DuraWrite work up front, SandForce probably gets the rest for free (or close to it).

...

The SF-1200 has built in AES-128 bit encryption controllable by a configurable user password.

SF-1200 SSD Processors provide up to 100x greater data protection than today's SSDs, and leading enterprise HDDs. This is a result of superior ECC protection and unique RAISE™ (Redundant Array of Independent Silicon Elements) technology. RAISE provides the protection and reliability of RAID on a single drive without the significant write overhead.

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

To see how bad the drive’s performance would suffer if we dealt primarily with compressed files I created a test that exclusively copied compressed files to the drive - MP3s, JPGs, x264s, RARs and DivX movies. I wrote roughly 20GB of compressed data to the drive and measured average IOs per second and disk bandwidth.

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.

Edited by dhanson865

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dhanson thanks for the information. I learnt something new.

I never liked hardware compression on drives cause it has always been slow or snake-oil (xoring data and aesing the passphrase only, encrypting the pass but storing data unencrypted, etc).

I like software encryption and Truecrypt for that matter. They use assembler optimized code for AES encryption. Long time PGP and PGP WDE user here but they have always been ridiculously slow.

For example, AES-256 Reads:

Intel X25-M:

250 MB/s raw

186 MB/s Truecrypt

82 MB/s PGP

Seagate:

120 MB/s raw

90 MB/s Truecrypt

25 MB/s PGP

I wonder how those Sandforce would fare using AES.

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I bought an 80GB Intel X25M almost 2 years ago. Worked excellent as a CDROM replacement -- you can read from it... but you cannot write to it! Seperate thread was in the forum with benchmark data. Let me also tell you that I had to wait 3 years to jump on this SSD bandwagon in order not to be a guinea pig.

I had to constantly delete files in order to open up space from the OS partition and my data partition. 74GB, if you leave 15% recommended free sectors to increase its lifespan, you are down to 60GB. Hmm... let me see when I had a 60GB drive... in 1998 i guess. Overall, this was just a pain.

Well, okay. So many years passed. I said, let me get a 400-500 GB SSD. At least I can have sufficient space and remove my 750GB Seagate from the system that I was keeping since 5 years.

I was shocked to find out that this Intel still has the same capacities... 160GB being the highest... I bought the 80GB about $350... It is $240 now with 160GB being $430!!!

So what the hell happenned with these Samsung's Toshiba's so and so's 400 GB drives that were to be released 2 years ago? And their supposedly decreasing prices? Did this Intel monopolize all the market?

Um. Ok. So two years ago the Intel drives weren't out. Atrocious SSD's that could not do random writes were all that existed. In fact, I bought a 32GB JMicron based SSD for testing at work almost exactly 2 years ago for $235. It could do 110MB/sec read and ~60MB/sec sequential write, but did random writes at ~6 per second!

Intel's drives came out in October of 2008. The 80GB one cost $700 and sat at that price, give or take $75 or so until ~April 2009. By the time they were available for the price you bought it for, $350 it was about 1 year ago.

You're like the guy who bought a Pentium Pro when it came out then complained 3 years later when the Pentium II came out. The X-25M was ahead of its time.

I'm sure you had a ~1TB drive for the stuff that takes space. No OS only install requires 80GB. OS + a few games and apps fits in 80GB.

I have ~100 of these drives used in production servers. None have died. I have been hit by the firmware issues that lead to slow writes, and have had them degrade in performance and require some 'reconditioning' (write at leat 50% of the drive sequentially, then re-write that and delete it) to get them back. I'm looking forward to using trim/discard in linux on G2's. However, it actually has been almost 2 years for me, since I bought them for $730 at first availability in early October 2008, and the reconditioning has just recently been an event, after ~ 150GB of writes per drive per day for 18 months. SMART says they still have 70% of their life left.

The fact is, that these drives handle 200 to 600 random read iops constantly on our servers with sub millisecond latency, and cost a lot less than anything else that can do that.

To answer your question on where the new stuff is:

25nm production has started at Intel and elsewhere, and Intel is manufacturing the next gen drive components now. When the inventory of old stuff gets scarce enough and the flow of new stuff is ramped up, they will release G3. This should be this fall, based on their roadmap and various rumors.

These will have 160GB, 300GB, and 600GB sizes. Along with the 25nm G3 consumer drives will be 32nm "enterprise" versions with similar capacities, but using MLC instead of SLC, and a supercapacitor option this time (to avoid losing recently written data during power loss).

It is expected that the price per GB will roughly drop in half, as it did last time the manufacturing process was upgraded. So a 300GB consumer drive will be ~$450 is my guess. The 300GB enterprise version, on the older process, will probably be ~$1000 (again, my guess).

The next generation, capacity, and price drop after that will be in 2 years (its the semiconductor schedule), and will roughly double capacity again. This doubling every two years is MUCH faster than the rate that Hard Drives have been going lately, but SSD's will not take over the large capacity segment; they'll take over the performance segment.

Edited by Scott C.

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Scott,

I dont really understand what is it that you are fighting our arguing about?

Big deal it is not 2 years but 20 months. Kill me for not specifying exact nanoseconds to my purchase time. My Intel X25 Impressions thread is dated Mar-2009 and that was opened when I used the drive for a while. So my purchase time is end of 2008, very beginning of 2009. You are wrong with your 1 year assumption.

Nobody disputed their usefullness from a laptop or server perspective. However, as far as a desktop user is concerned, as I laid out in the benchmarks, they are only good for people who don't do anything with their systems or use their systems as a CDROM replacement [Translation: 'they are good ONLY for average goon']. If you have something counter to say, just visit the relevant topic, try the tests and dispute relevant data. Otherwise, dont quote here to me your server or whatever use as a basis of evaluation. Internet is full of these, and it means jack-all-nothing when you use a SSD.

Um. Ok. So two years ago the Intel drives weren't out. Atrocious SSD's that could not do random writes were all that existed. In fact, I bought a 32GB JMicron based SSD for testing at work almost exactly 2 years ago for $235. It could do 110MB/sec read and ~60MB/sec sequential write, but did random writes at ~6 per second!

Intel's drives came out in October of 2008. The 80GB one cost $700 and sat at that price, give or take $75 or so until ~April 2009. By the time they were available for the price you bought it for, $350 it was about 1 year ago.

You're like the guy who bought a Pentium Pro when it came out then complained 3 years later when the Pentium II came out. The X-25M was ahead of its time.

I'm sure you had a ~1TB drive for the stuff that takes space. No OS only install requires 80GB. OS + a few games and apps fits in 80GB.

Edited by 6_6_6

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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

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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

Great chart, thanks for taking the time to assemble that data.

That baby C300 is mighty compelling...

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Indeed it is... if I didn't already have an X25-M 160GB, I would be seriously looking at the RealSSD C300 128GB or 256GB...

It's definitely a great value performance/price/GB. The 100GB SandForce drives are better performers at that capacity point. The 128GB C300 drops off from its big brother noticeably. The 100GB SandForce drives perform identically to their 200GB flagships.

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Yeah, that's one of the best things about the SF drives IMO, the fact that speed remains constant. Well, mostly constant, we did see a small drop from the Corsair F120 to the F40.

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Yeah, that's one of the best things about the SF drives IMO, the fact that speed remains constant. Well, mostly constant, we did see a small drop from the Corsair F120 to the F40.

Yep, I think the only fundamental metric that's hit in the F40 is the random write speed according to Anandtech. The SR review didn't observe the same effect though. Now that I notice that I'd like to try and figure out why when I have some time.

Of course they're looking at a different drive. I don't know what sort of potential for variation there is between different disks based on the same controllers.

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The variation can be significant, based solely on firmware. We're about to test the OWC RE drives in RAID, after that, maybe we'll come back to them and get this 50GB unit to compare directly against the F40.

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The variation can be significant, based solely on firmware. We're about to test the OWC RE drives in RAID, after that, maybe we'll come back to them and get this 50GB unit to compare directly against the F40.

It's nearly impossible for any website to test every firmware revision of a particular flash controller, which is a shame.

Combine that with the host controller interaction (6 Gbps Marvell vs ICH10R for example), and it's really hard for a purchaser to tell what they should be buying.

I have no idea to solve those problems without a lot of money.

Edited by Gilbo

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Yep, I think the only fundamental metric that's hit in the F40 is the random write speed according to Anandtech. The SR review didn't observe the same effect though. Now that I notice that I'd like to try and figure out why when I have some time.

Of course they're looking at a different drive. I don't know what sort of potential for variation there is between different disks based on the same controllers.

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.

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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.

I myself take both Anad & SR results w/huge grain of salt when they don't include the type of 'seasoning' duty-cycle testing, showing how poorly IBM/Micron & Crucial SSD's performed like the link in this thread I posted. Kind of myopic SR & general population, when the only, single reply was by TSully *sigh* Seems to me, you're all really missing a very important issue, and focusing on more esoteric/limited use issues.

Anyway, it's bit OT w/regards to capacity & price, no?

Will $1 Per Gigabyte NAND Resuscitate Solid State Drives?

Now with pricing back to the $1 level, the SSD market is ready to get back on track—or is it?

“With NAND pricing having returned to per-gigabyte pricing levels not seen in two years, there’s likely to be a lot of new buzz created for the solid state storage market at the end of 2010,” Yang said. “However, traditional HDDs gained a lot of additional ground during the past few years in terms of rising capacity and falling prices. In fact, HDDs have gained so much ground that SSDs now are in danger of never regaining their competitive footing.”

To compete successfully with HDDs, per-gigabyte pricing for NAND flash memory will have to decline to 40 cents by 2012, Yang opined. At such pricing, a 100Gbyte SSD could cost $50, when supporting electronics are added in. This would make solid state storage more appealing in consumer and corporate PCs.

A Little TLC Goes a Long Away

The second half of the year is almost certain to see shortages for MLC NAND. However, the complete opposite is the case with TLC as supply is sufficiently ahead of demand. Average capacity for TLC chips in SD (secure digital memory) cards and USB storage devices has stagnated during the past year. When combined with a slowing unit demand due to seasonality, ASPs for TLC chips are falling.

electronista implied that the new TLC 25nm process SSD's announced by IBM/Intel would have little effect on higher speed/performance SSD's alledged to hit 600GB (wasn't a 300GB Intel SSD's formerly rumored to hit late '09. but never materialized? *vaporware*?).

If/when I can get a SSD's with performance equal to OwC's current SSD's at minimum 200GB & $1/GB, then I'm ready to go for it.

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I myself take both Anad & SR results w/huge grain of salt when they don't include the type of 'seasoning' duty-cycle testing, showing how poorly IBM/Micron & Crucial SSD's performed like the link in this thread I posted. Kind of myopic SR & general population, when the only, single reply was by TSully *sigh* Seems to me, you're all really missing a very important issue, and focusing on more esoteric/limited use issues.

Perhaps its because the review was flawed? Not to mention there could be problems with missing TRIM support under OS 10 that could be adding to the slowdown.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/2974/crucial-s-realssd-c300-an-update-on-my-drive

The review you linked to shows almost identical problems. It was a first gen firmware bug. To give you an idea of how our drives are stressed in reviews, the Intel 160's we are revisiting for a RAID article currently have 600-700GB of data written to them. During that time they have only had one Intel Toolbox session to refresh the drive with a partition in place. None of the other drives we have in the lab even offer that, meaning they see a ton of writes and little or no windows TRIM activity (outside of CDM, all our tests are without a file system in place). If problems as significant would appear like they did in the review you originally posted, it would be immediately called out.

The first SSD we reviewed (WD SiliconEdge Blue) showed a huge slowdown when you tried to transfer 20-30GB in one shot, because the internal garbage collection took over. To date we haven't seen any drive with as significant of a drop.

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"seasoning"

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.

Edited by dhanson865

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The first SSD we reviewed (WD SiliconEdge Blue) showed a huge slowdown when you tried to transfer 20-30GB in one shot, because the internal garbage collection took over. To date we haven't seen any drive with as significant of a drop.

I have G1 Intel X25-M and copying a 30GB data to it would mean I have to go do the groceries and come back. Not WD specific.

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Guest Phil

I haven't read the whole thread but here's what happened with the price of the OCZ Vertex 120GB since the introduction. It costs about half now.

ictweakimgnet.png

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I haven't read the whole thread but here's what happened with the price of the OCZ Vertex 120GB since the introduction. It costs about half now.

Can you show me the similar graph for the Intel 160GB drive? How about the Crucial M225 64GB?

Edited by dhanson865

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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.

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

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At any given time, one of the 40GB SF drives can be had at $95-99.

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.

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