Steve Smith

Beyond the obvious

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It amazes me how most people are too scared to look beyond their noses when it comes to purchasing a new SSD. All you see on any discussion board are the same handful of names OCZ, Crucial, Corsair etc.

Do you know their are now nearly 100 SSD manufacturers in the world? And if people care to lift their heads beyond the obvious, for some of them, you will find better price/performance than the so called 'market leaders'!

So I thought I would encourage a discussion on some of these lesser known alternatives with a lesser known chinese manufacturer (I believe they started in Japan, which is a really unusual shift) called Suzhou Corerise Electronics.

I recently bought one of their new Comay brand Venus 3e 120GB Sata III models. It's based on the Sandforce 2281 controller, same as OCZ and a bunch of others, but they have added some really good features like a Super Capacitor for power failure and surge data protection. The idea is the capacitor buys the controller enough time to ensure all writes have made it to NAND in event of a power failure. Performance is up their or exceeds the market leaders, giving 555MB/s sequential writes, 4k random 80,000 IOPS, and cost is about on a par with OCZ Agility range.

If anyone knows of a better Sata III SSD for the same price (or even similar specs) for a lower price, I'd love to know!

Discuss...

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Interesting post. many of the brands you highlight are not available at all or in very limited distribution in the US, so it's hard for us to comment.

I will say though that generally, there are a lot of brands who assemble SSDs that add little or no value to the process along the way. We're working up a US centric report now and should publish our thoughts in the next week ro so. For my money? Stay with someone who adds value...

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I've upgraded maybe 30 Dell Latitude E6510 and E6x20 machines to Crucial M4 SSDs, and I am beginning to see some failures and odd behaviour (all latest firmware). Usually the drive can be restored to normal behaviour with a secure erase, but this is really damned inconvenient.

I have another 20 or so upgraded with Samsung 830s, and another 50 delivered with Samsung 470 or 830 drives - all of which are flawless. The performance of the Samsung is the equal of the Crucial and it is the SSD of choice for Dell, Apple and other OEMs - on the back of this it has become my "go to" SSD.

Dave

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Consumer grade SSDs are still "immature technology" according to AnandTech and I agree. As long as people buy half-baked products, there is no incentive for a mfg. to deliver a quality, reliable, properly validated product.

When it comes to PC hardware I want reliability, compatibility and proper customer support.

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What sort of failures and strange behavior are you seeing?

Funnily enough another one failed today. About 800 power on hours in a Dell Latitude E5520. Same symptoms as before. System hanging and stuttering and getting BSODs, with iostor.sys storage timeouts in the event log. Run a SMART test and it might pass a quick test, but it'll fail a long one with bad sectors. Copying the data off the disc reports bad sectors that have to be skipped. Copy performance very slow - 700MB/minute imaging the drive to another disc.

So far every one has been "fixed" by a secure erase followed by a few hours left sitting in a machine powered on and in the BIOS, as advised by Crucial's telephone support, but I cannot possibly re-deploy these drives even if they are no longer displaying symptoms. After this one today I think I'll be pulling the lot out of service as these users are all over the world and cannot afford unplanned downtime. Seen this now on 256GB and 128GB drives. My colleague has a 512GB version of this drive in his personal Mac that he bought with his own money, and as you can imagine now has cold feet!

Crucial's support have been fairly useless, I don't know if I'm alone in facing these issues with these drives but if not it's a pretty big problem. Usage patterns are entirely regular and boring, Windows 7 / Office 2010 use with some CAD viewing and other boring business usage. Not power users by any stretch.

Dave

As an addendum - I have loads of Samsung PM800 and PM810 (also known as 470 series) drives supplied as OEM fit in Dell machines, all working very well indeed after a couple of thousand power on hours and some with very heavy use.

Edited by davidedney123

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No idea on the scale of those failures, and if they're tied to any Dell E6420/E6520 incompatibility or not... might be worth a post at Anandtech or somewhere larger to see?

We have boatloads of SSDs deployed where I am, but mostly Intel X25-M G2, X18-M G2, and now Intel 320-series SSDs........... there's probably a reason why we see the big OEMs sticking to specific drives...

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For my customer's system builds, I always use Intel or Samsung SSDs. They're the only ones without bizarre issues like the inability to sleep. Also, AFAIK, Samsung is the only manufacturer that builds their SSDs entirely in-house, including controller and NAND. This probably has something to do with their success.

In my own systems I'm running SandForce SSDs, because of their raw performance. But they have firmware issues that I wouldn't expect an average customer to understand.

I'd like to try a Sandisk SSD sometime. Supposedly they're pretty good. They use a SandForce controller, but they make their own NAND.

Edited by FastMHz

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For my customer's system builds, I always use Intel or Samsung SSDs. They're the only ones without bizarre issues like the inability to sleep. Also, AFAIK, Samsung is the only manufacturer that builds their SSDs entirely in-house, including controller and NAND. This probably has something to do with their success.

In my own systems I'm running SandForce SSDs, because of their raw performance. But they have firmware issues that I wouldn't expect an average customer to understand.

I'd like to try a Sandisk SSD sometime. Supposedly they're pretty good. They use a SandForce controller, but they make their own NAND.

I'm purchasing a 240gig sandisk Extreme today, based off performance reviews and excellent pricing.

Will let you know how it goes.

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I'm purchasing a 240gig sandisk Extreme today, based off performance reviews and excellent pricing.

Will let you know how it goes.

Well, I got my 240gig sandisk extreme drive.

Not quite as fast writing as I expected, but still an excellent drive with excellent pricing.

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Glad you're happy, it's a good drive. Writer performance will depend a great deal based on what you're doing.

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Glad you're happy, it's a good drive. Writer performance will depend a great deal based on what you're doing.

Yep, but it still a lot faster writing then any realworld source of data I have :)

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