Brian

SSDs Shifting to 25nm NAND - What You Need to Know

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The storage market is seeing new technology hit the retail shelves, but for most consumers it doesn't mean faster drives or greater reliability. SSD manufacturers are starting to release drives with 25nm NAND flash, the newest type of flash memory, which is cheaper to make but offers fewer write cycles than the current-generation 34nm NAND. OCZ was the first mainstream SSD provider to shift to 25nm NAND, doing so largely in the dark - that is, unless you recently purchased a Vertex 2 or Agility 2 that was under 180GB. In that case, you may be intimately familiar with some of the "new features" of 25nm NAND and OCZ's controversial marketing decisions. But first let's take a step back.

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We just got our hands on two 60GB Vertex 2's, one's a 25nm and one's a 34nm. While most users won't be able to tell, we can and will have benchmarks soon.

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We just got our hands on two 60GB Vertex 2's, one's a 25nm and one's a 34nm. While most users won't be able to tell, we can and will have benchmarks soon.

Please post when you do have those benchmarks....just ordered a 60GB Vertex 2 and I'd like to know if it's the 25nm or 34nm...hoping for the latter. Ordered off Newegg so there's no return...but hoping it doesn't disappoint. Also ordered a 120GB Intel...hopefully it's still 34nm :D

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I am actually wrapping up the data to send off to the graphics guy. If I had to pay the same price for a newer model (formats as 51GB instead of 55.9GB as the old one does) I would be pretty ticked off. We actually lucked out you could say. Amazon still ships the 34nm model whereas Newegg has the 25nm one right now. That allowed us to get two completely fresh samples of both to put head to head.

Its speed drops a lot in some areas, a little in others, and is on par in select spots.

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Please post when you do have those benchmarks....just ordered a 60GB Vertex 2 and I'd like to know if it's the 25nm or 34nm...hoping for the latter. Ordered off Newegg so there's no return...but hoping it doesn't disappoint. Also ordered a 120GB Intel...hopefully it's still 34nm :D

If off NE it's definitely 25nm. Intel is on 34nm for some time still, as are many others.

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Wowzers is all I can say after wrapping up the benchmarks. To give a taste on IOMeter sequential R/W alone...

34nm 60GB Vertex 2= 248/246 R/W

25nm 60GB Vertex 2= 182/215 R/W

At this point it is blatent false advertising if OCZ doesn't change its marketing information on all sites they sell their drives. They still claim it has "285/275MB/s" speeds and a 60GB capacity which is just lying plain and simple.

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34nm 60GB Vertex 2= 248/246 R/W

25nm 60GB Vertex 2= 182/215 R/W

Thanks for the heads up. Glad i have the 'old' 34nm vertex 2 as my boot drive. will be a while before i pick up another - if thats how they're going to play it.

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If it was sold as a different drive... this wouldn't be a problem. Stuff changes all the time, but that doesn't mean you can keep selling it as the old model with the same advertised specs. But if you think buying a Vertex 2 right now means getting the same Vertex 2 you bought 4 months ago... that is where the uproar is coming from.

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At this point it is blatent false advertising if OCZ doesn't change its marketing information on all sites they sell their drives. They still claim it has "285/275MB/s" speeds and a 60GB capacity which is just lying plain and simple.

Exactly! I should have done my homework a little more before purchasing that Vertex 2 last week...at the time I was comparing read/write speeds and prices...so I purchased it based on the fact that it came with 285/275 MBs-1 read/write. OCZ needs to inform sellers such as Newegg so they can update their product pages (if they haven't already). Right now, NE lists the Vertex with those specs...I intend to send mine right back and demand a refund or store credit or something...then I'll purchase another Intel. Absolute fraud if you ask me!

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Egad is about all you can say. And the drive on the right is being sold without any notification to the consumer.

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How can I tell which version I'm purchasing? Any physical difference or serial number sequence. I will be buying locally so I can examine the drive prior to purchase.

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Well at first it looked like a guide OCZ provided would have told you the difference. Some models have an E in the last half of the model number. Well we got two "E" models, one being 34nm the other 25nm. You don't know until you plug it in, look at the firmware, and look at the formatted capacity.

Any of those would prevent being able to return the drive though.

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Talked to Newegg a few minutes ago. According to them, as long as you don't open the shipping package, they will do a full refund and waive the 15% restocking fee. HaHA! :lol: So, now when I get my OCZ SSD package, it's either going to be refused upon delivery or I'll send it back insured and unopened.

With this good news (and virtually my money back), I contacted Intel to verify that no 25nm SSDs have been distributed. They assured me that they have not been released yet, so I went back to Newegg and ordered the X-25M 120GB. A little more in price and capacity than what I wanted, but I know that it will be 34nm NAND and better quality/performance. Take that OCZ! Lost my faith in them over this blunder...

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That's you and I'm glad you're lucky enough to have spotted this issue early...but for the poor people who bought last week...this is a tough pill to swallow.

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post-70131-0-17482100-1297757184_thumb.p

That's pretty bad, could you try running one using the 0-Fill option?

They've released a new firmware (1.29), changelog is still not available.

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That's you and I'm glad you're lucky enough to have spotted this issue early...but for the poor people who bought last week...this is a tough pill to swallow.

yeah i know quite a few folks bought as recently as yesterday to get stuck with slower 25nm vertex2

paying the 15% restocking fee would be cheaper than the paid upgrade route + shipping to ocz but that only fixes capacity and not performance.

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yeah i know quite a few folks bought as recently as yesterday to get stuck with slower 25nm vertex2

paying the 15% restocking fee would be cheaper than the paid upgrade route + shipping to ocz but that only fixes capacity and not performance.

It seems at least on the 60GB model performance is completely tied to the reduced number of channels into the SF controller. Rolling back to 4GB 25nm chips would fill up all available slots and bring up the speed. This is exactly like how the Intel X25-V is slower than the X25-M, it has the same controller and flash... just less of it.

I wonder if NewEgg would let us return our 25nm Vertex 2 with the warranty sticker busted wide open for this review :lol:

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That's pretty bad, could you try running one using the 0-Fill option?

They've released a new firmware (1.29), changelog is still not available.

I will be able to do that first thing in the morning. As to the firmware update, nothing is touching these drives until we are wrapped up with them. If that 32nm model bricks as a result we could be out of one of the few available "clean" models to add content or future benchmarks to that review. ;)

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I will be able to do that first thing in the morning. As to the firmware update, nothing is touching these drives until we are wrapped up with them. If that 32nm model bricks as a result we could be out of one of the few available "clean" models to add content or future benchmarks to that review. ;)

OCZ also has a 16 chip 25nm nand 60 Gb Vertex2 drive. Any chance of including one of those in the test that was recently done comparing the 25nm and 34nm Vertex 2's?? If one can be found yet that is. That is the drive that OCZ is offering as a replacement for the 8 chip 25nm design.

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Understand that OCZ won't send us drives to review, we asked for this article and had to go buy our own. We'll try to get one, but we can only do so much when they're not going to be cooperative.

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That's pretty bad, could you try running one using the 0-Fill option?

They've released a new firmware (1.29), changelog is still not available.

Ask and you shall receive!

post-70131-0-03711400-1297875314_thumb.ppost-70131-0-81933400-1297875320_thumb.p

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Just wanted to say thanks for an unbiased article. So hard to find any site nowadays that doesn't sugarcoat any companies shady practices for fear of lost advertising revenue. Even the site I used to trust most, Anandtech, seems biased toward Intel, Nvidia, and OCZ nowadays(or I just finally realized.) Anyway I have made sure to unblock Storagereview from Adblock Plus and will click on your ads to support true journalism as it is so hard to find.

P.S. Not new to your site, just been a few years and have renewed interest in PCs, but thanks again.

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