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CrazyElf

Are SLC SSDs dying out basically?

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There seems to be hardly any SLC SSDs left, particularly on the client side. On the enterprise side, even they seem to be replaced now by the MLC based drives.

The only one I could find was the Fujitsu FSXtreme 240GB SLC SSD, which costs about twice as much capacity as a similar 256GB MX100. It's slower though than the 850 Pro.

I suspect there simply isn't a large enough market of consumers willing to pay the SLC premium?

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SLC products on the consumer side have never made sense honestly. Kind of like buying a 2U server as your home desktop... it just doesnt fit the usage profile.

Currently MLC is the only thing being pushed in the consumer market with TLC following. All the innovation is going in those areas as well as performance. So I guess you can get something you will never wear out, but neither will the MLC or TLC drives for most if not all users.

Enterprise side they are seeing a similar trend. MLC high-endurance products even with smaller lithography NAND isn't wearing out during warranty periods. They end up being replaced through hardware upgrades before running out of steam.

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Judging by the real world tests, NAND seems to last around 10-15 times on average more than the rated times so I guess in a way this kind of makes sense.

I had always thought that SLC would have captured a niche market though in the enthusiast consumer segment, kind of like the way high end GPUs, very high speed RAM, and similar applications do in the enthusiast area. Certainly, on the hard drive side, you do get products like the WD Black series of drives that cater to this segment. I suppose SSDs like the Extreme Pro, 850 Pro are the closest thing. Perhaps M.2 will as well? That being said, the main benefit of M.2 seems to be mostly in sequential performance, so it's open to debate how much a typical consumer (which is read-heavy) will benefit from this.

I'm even more surprised that even in enterprise, we are not seeing SLC capture a niche and its usage is in decline.

It looks like SLC does not seem to be capturing any niches - period. Does that mean that drives like the Micron M600, which has a "quasi SSD" mode are a harbinger of things to come versus real SLC? I guess the future is one where MLC/eMLC 3D NAND SSDs capture the high end, while mainstream SSDs use mostly TLC based NAND?

Edited by CrazyElf

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Hard to say really, I honestly don't care whats inside most products... it could be a black box of magic. I just want to see how it performs under my usage profiles and how long the warranty and endurance claims are.

Also SLC doesn't really have a niche at all. Highend CPUs, GPUs, etc all have some measurable gains to some people. Currently consumer and enterprise SLC products don't offer ANYTHING "measurable". Yes they offer higher endurance, but unless you want to be the guy that hammers away at a single drive for 5+ years to show that to me, its not something I'm interested in.

In the past few generations of storage products, SLC hasn't driven any higher performance products, MLC has won that battle. SLC is really only used where endurance comes into question. If you look at our performance charts in areas where SLC even has a purpose, MLC products beat them out in performance metrics.

At least in an enterprise setting there is some usage for SLC. On the consumer side SLC is just about as useful as heating your home by burning currency. Yes it works, but its so incredibly inefficient and other things can do it better ;)

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I suppose then it's a matter of, by the time MLC endurance becomes an issue, you'll have bought new SSDs already anyways.

So in that regard, MLC doesn't have much in terms of drawbacks. I suppose all other things being equal, SLC NAND will have less latency too, but this is not enough to justify the price premium.

Edited by CrazyElf

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You're correct about that. We'll see SLC hang on in some applications, but generally speaking, for mainstream enterprise/client applications, MLC takes the lion's share of the TB shipped. TLC is probably outpacing SLC at this point.

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