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TSullivan

Kingston HyperX SSD With User-Adjustable Over-Provisioning Announced D

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At CES in January, we broke the news that Kingston and SandForce had paired up on an SSD to be released mid-year. Well, it's mid-year and Kingston has formally announced the HyperX SSD at Computex. The Kingston HyperX SSD features a SATA 6Gb/s interface and SandForce SF-2200 processor, with special firmware giving users the ability to adjust their drive's over-provisioning levels to optimize either speed or capacity. Currently no SandForce drive on the market, that we have seen, offers this capability once it leaves the factory.

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While we still don't have details on how the user managed OP works, I'm pretty excited about the idea. This is different from RAISE too, we were able to confirm that with SandForce.

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While we still don't have details on how the user managed OP works, I'm pretty excited about the idea. This is different from RAISE too, we were able to confirm that with SandForce.

OK, no details so let me make wild unsubstantiated guesses :

0. Any method will require a secure erase / reformat of the drive and no matter if you change from a higher to lower percentage or a lower to higher percentage. Backup your data before reading about this procedure.

Pro: It'll keep people from doing this casually

Con: "C'est la vie" or "You can't win.", "You can't break even.", "You can't quit the game."

1. Multiple firmwares on the support download pages.

Pro: You're going to be flashing the darn things anyway why not pick your OP level while doing so?

Con: People sometimes do stupid things and brick a drive when flashing. You'd be stuck with the OP levels pre-chosen by the makers of the firmware unless you were willing to edit a firmware file which is risking bricking your drive if you do it wrong.

2. Using a special HDparm style command or provide a non windows based utility to do this.

Pro: Might allow more user control of the exact percentage chosen than the firmware choices from 1? Doable from Linux so you don't have to have a windows PC handy (or at least from a bootable ISO or flash drive).

Con: Yet another special procedure to learn that doesn't apply to all drives. Would be frustrating if it didn't work on the first try as you would start to wonder if the drive supports the command at all or just requires a different syntax or program to send the command.

3. Windows utility that can do it with a couple of quick clicks.

Pro: Makes it easy for someone that doesn't know what they are doing to make the change.

Con: Makes it easy for someone that doesn't know what they are doing to make the change.

I got interrupted twice while trying to write this post, hopefully I didn't forget a method to write about.

I'm all for any of these solutions so long as I'm not the one doing tech support calls and my butt isn't on the line for RMA expenses. Oh and for the record Intel X-25M and similar drives fall into camp 2 in that they allow any program on the planet to use standard ATA commands to specify the size of the drive and the unused portion becomes the OP %.

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If I had to guess...I'd choose your option 0. (BTW, I like starting the list with zero, it's a much under counting tool). I just don't see how you can manage this with software on the drive on the fly.

Side note - there are so many cool features within the SandForce processor, it would be nice if mfgs actually gave users the software to see/use them. Things like data written to the drive, drive lifespan and now perhaps OP management.

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If I had to guess...I'd choose your option 0. (BTW, I like starting the list with zero, it's a much under counting tool). I just don't see how you can manage this with software on the drive on the fly.

I think you misunderstood. Options 1, 2, and 3 all have the drawback of 0. I just was using 0 as the catchall that applies to the others.

In that I'm suggesting 3 general possibilities with a list that goes from 0 to 3 I'm somewhat cheating and acknowledging both ways of counting. :P

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It doesn't matter - we have been victimized by PR bullcrap. Here's what Kingston had to say;

The drive is overprovisioned at the factory by 7% to enable RAISE. That portion is not user-configurable. 7% is the baseline, and the drive cannot be set for LESS than 7% OP. However, from that baseline, the user can set aside even more spare area to realize endurance and performance gains. This can be accomplished by defining a partition that is less than the maximum available capacity of the drive, for example.

So OP isn't really user mangeable. Meh...I feel lied to ;)

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