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The new SSD Thread (Benchmarks, Brands, News and Advice)

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by Les, Jan 14, 2008.

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  1. Les

    Les Not associated with NotebookReview in any way

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    The New SSD Thread
    (Benchmarks, Brands, News and Advice)

    by Les Tokar :GEEK:


    At the urging of many in the SSD Thread and other NBR SSD related threads, this thread has been created as a common place for SSD discussion which will encompass not only the great things posters have already put forward, but also a background and knowledge of the SSD to assist new visitors.

    Below you will find links and articles, from not only NBR, but also manufacturers which should help you along.

    Please feel free to add to the thread or contact me personally with any questions, ideas or thoughts that would help the thread along as we move into the era of the SSD.


    INTRODUCTION

    Many are opening this thread knowing very little, if anything, about SSDs and wondering how the SSD can help them. As a bit of a light-hearted start, I suggest the viewing of the following three short and somewhat amusing videos. The first, provided by Samsung here will draw comparison between the hard drive and the solid state drive. The next two are provided by Sandisk, and are entitled 'On the Road' and 'Inside the Drive' and can be found here.

    BACKGROUND

    Sometime last year, I found myself holding my Dell XPS M1210 in my hand and wondering exactly how it would feel to throw it out my office window and watch it hit the pavement below just before being run over a few times by some rather large commercial motor vehicles. It seemed that this wonderful computer suffered a small and little known phenomenon called the "High Pitched Squeal." After countless hours on the phone with Dell, replacement parts, a nervous breakdown and two elongated hospital stays in a straightjacket, Dell was kind enough to offer an exchange for a new laptop coming out which was they had dubbed the XPS M1330. Along with this, they allowed me a few upgrades, the most pertinent to this article being the inclusion of a new storage medium known as the solid state drive (SSD). Having said this, I must concede also that, it is my attempt at a comical depiction of the squealing issue observed in many makes of laptops and not just Dell. I am, in fact a supporter of Dell as most here at NBR are well aware of.

    On receiving my new laptop, which at that time contained a Sandisk 32Gb SSD, I noticed that there were several differences in this laptop compared to others. Quicker startup times, quicker general tasks within Vista, less heat produced from the SSD, less fan use as well as complete silence from the laptop formed a rather quick addiction to the SSD.

    In all this new found excitement, my first article was submitted to Andrew and NBR in an attempt to show my first impressions of the laptop and SSD. Admittedly, this article lacks impartiality but does show my true amazement of the SSD, a feeling still present each and every time the laptop is turned on. It carries on to compare the M1210 with the M1330, as well as showing the relative battery life in the two systems, one with the HD and the other with the SSD. As a result of this article, I was asked by many readers to do specific comparison tests between a hard drive and an SSD (SSD vs HD) as a point of reference at which time a very obvious difference was shown between the SSD and the HD. The hard drive has an extreme decline in performance with continuous use whereas the SSD does not.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    From there, interest appeared to grow amongst NBR members, new visitors to the site, along with manufacturers who were happy to show their interest in our SSD testing. The next article, An Introduction to the SSD, was an attempt to get back where we should have started, this being the basics of the solid state drive and what it can do for us. If you are new to the SSD, this is probably the best place to start as it gives you, not only a background, but an idea of where the SSD fits into our ever growing digital universe.

    PERFORMANCE TESTING

    These reviews created contact with manufacturers as large as SiliconSystems, STEC-Inc, Mtron, Memoright, Ritek, Samsung, Sandisk and a number of others, some on a daily basis. To my surprise, this new technology we (the consumer) were just discovering has been a very trusted component in things such as fighter jets, aeronautical systems, medical equipment and a number of other critical applications for some time at the enterprise level. I found myself being asked to test new SSDs as they were introduced and elected to use benchmarking software such as PCMark05, HDTune, HDTach and ATTO as well as recording things such as the WinExperience Scoring and startup times. The next article, SSD Performance Tests, tried to explain the terminology of testing to the laymen as well as doing thorough tests on several SSDs, as well as a HD for comparison. Its testing included the Mtron Mobi 3000, Samsung 64Gb SSD, Sandisk 5000 32Gb SSD as well as the Seagate Momentus 160 GB HD. This was followed by a review of the two most powerful SSDs on the market today, these being the Memoright 32Gb and Mtron Pro 32Gb SSD; Latest and Greatest SSDs refers. The results of all solid state drives tested to date are as follows:

    [​IMG]

    Following this, Kevin posted a great article, Memoright 32Gb IDE SSD Reviewed which shows the results the IDE SSD has to offer on a Lenovo notebook and even includes such things as startup/shutdown times along with PCMark benchmarking. He has since jumped into the ssd arena by compiling great articles entitled 'DIY SSD Guide' and most recently 'Memoright 128Gb SSD Review'. All articles are great reading.

    In a span of less than 6 months we have watched SSD performance go from as low as 63MB/s read/13MB/s write to over the 100Mb/s mark for both variables with promises of higher speeds on the way. We have watched the SSD introduced in capacities of 32Gb to promises of a now storage maximum of 832Gb by BitMicro in the near future for typical 2.5" laptop versions. Similarly, Ridata is about to jump in with a 128Gb 2.5" SSD that will boast read/write speeds at 235/120MB/s. Unfortunately, the stopper seems to be pricing as a typical 128Gb Memoright was recently advertised on Ebay for over $3000, a price much higher than most would pay for their laptop alone.

    BENCHMARKS (Click to Enlarge)

    HDTUNE RESULTS
    MtronPro-Mtron Mobi-Memoright

    <img src="http://www.notebookreview.com/assets/30005.jpg" border="0" alt="" width="262" height="193" /> <img src="http://www.notebookreview.com/assets/30003.jpg" border="0" alt="" width="262" height="193" /> <img src="http://www.notebookreview.com/assets/30001.jpg" border="0" alt="" width="262" height="193" />

    Samsung-Sandisk-Seagate


    <img src="http://www.notebookreview.com/assets/30007.jpg" border="0" alt="" width="262" height="193" <img src="http://www.notebookreview.com/assets/30009.jpg" border="0" alt="" width="262" height="193" /> <img src="http://www.notebookreview.com/assets/30011.jpg" border="0" alt="" width="262" height="193" />


    HDTACH RESULTS
    MtronPro-Mtron Mobi-Memoright

    <img src="http://www.notebookreview.com/assets/30017.jpg" border="0" alt="" width="263" height="190" /> <img src="http://www.notebookreview.com/assets/30015.jpg" border="0" alt="" width="263" height="190" /> <img src="http://www.notebookreview.com/assets/30013.jpg" border="0" alt="" width="263" height="190" />

    Samsung-Sandisk-Seagate

    <img src="http://www.notebookreview.com/assets/30019.jpg" border="0" alt="" width="263" height="190" /> <img src="http://www.notebookreview.com/assets/30021.jpg" border="0" alt="" width="263" height="190" /> <img src="http://www.notebookreview.com/assets/30023.jpg" border="0" alt="" width="263" height="190" />


    ATTO RESULTS



    CONCLUSION

    The information available on the web with respect to the SSD is overwhelming to say the least. As manufacturers fight to be top dog on the block, the consumer is becoming keenly aware that the SSD will be changing the look of storage in the not so distant future and, at some point, will eliminate any need for the hard drive.


    <object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/HIUa0mwUwW8&rel=1"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/HIUa0mwUwW8&rel=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>

    <object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/Pf_QS3mZsyU&rel=1"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/Pf_QS3mZsyU&rel=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>
     
  2. Bog

    Bog Losing it...

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    Overall a well-written article; very interesting to read as the technology is clearly going to dominate in the future. Clearly you have plenty of experience with SSDs; imparting the pros/cons of this new technology to people like us is an excellent idea.

    I find that since SSD technology is so new and expensive, most users are struggling to decide whether or not the high prices are worth the benefits; I think that your article would be invaluable if it compared SSDs to conventional HDDs in terms of price and performance, the two variables that are most important to the majority of prospective buyers. I also think that readers should know that SSD prices are falling quickly.

    Also, since SSDs use a completely different method of operation and storage, I feel that this article would benefit greatly from a section explaining just how SSDs work from a hardware standpoint, and what variables dictate the performance of an SSD (ex, do SSDs experience a delay from recieving a data request to finding and sending it like RAM?) so that buyers can know what to expect from an SSD before they buy them. Many people (including myself) are so uneducated about SSDs that teaching them what performance to expect would make them better consumers and more pleased with their future purchases of SSDs.

    I noticed that you provided links for much of what I just talked about, but since your article is a guide, it should show this information rather than referring to it. Thats just my opinion.

    Some things to add:
    - how to make price and performance comparisons between HDDs and SSDs since the latter technology is still not yet the best choice.

    NBR definitely needs more articles like Lithus's 64-bit article and your SSD article; new technologies always need to be explained. Keep up the good work.

    PS; I can't give you rep :(
     
  3. uw748

    uw748 Notebook Geek

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    Flamenko, you're awesome! You are the authority on the net with the most experience on different SSD drives. It's also nice knowing that more competitors will make the market price more affordable for us average Joe's.

    Could you also include some power consumption numbers either from the manufacturers or from personal usage? Maybe use a Kill-a-Watt type of device to measure the power draw of the system?

    Really appreciate your work.
     
  4. Les

    Les Not associated with NotebookReview in any way

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    Thank you uw748 and...since I had some time tonight, I thought I would cover a bit of information with respect to purchasing SSDs.

    Still expensive, SSD prices remain as such because of lack of availability for the most part as it seems. A good deal could have been had on Ebay here this morning but, I chuckle at the final auction price of $666.

    In watching Ebay, please be very careful to read the auction closely and ensure all the information is correct. Several people have asked my opinion on auctions as they didn't seem factually correct when, in fact, they weren't. A good policy to follow is, "If it seems to good to be true, it probably is".

    Last week, I saw an auction for a 128Gb SSD and I had the chance to speak with a Rep from the company the next morning who was very surprised as they hadn't released SSDs in that capacity as of yet. I sent him a copy of the auction and it mysteriously dissappeared the next day.

    With respect to sites that sell SSDs, one might keep an eye on DVNation, Neostore and Rocketdisk. For those in Europe, SSDisk seems to have favourable pricing, comparisonly speaking and in fact, it has a wealth of information and benchmarks available for SSDs.

    You can find prices on higher capacity SSDs as below from these sites. Hope your sitting down!!!
     

    Attached Files:

  5. villageman

    villageman Notebook Evangelist

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    I think the moderators should merge this thread with the original one. I can't see the point of having seperate identical threads just for the sake of summarizing. This could be done easily within the original thread.
     
  6. Les

    Les Not associated with NotebookReview in any way

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    I understand you created the first and was a bit hesitant because of that. I apologize if any offence taken with reasoning as follows:

    I had been asked on a number of occasions to start a thread, similar to others, where the first few pages could be maintained and kept up to date (specifically in the last few pages of that thread but also in two of the others).

    I spoke with several and put together what I hope all are looking for which is a thread that contains all the site and nets valuable info at the front easily accessible by all. Further, this can be maintained within the first few pages so many don't have to hunt through 25 pages. I hope it has accomplished the ideal that someone new to SSDs could pull up the thread and find everything they need right off before digging through all the pages, so in this respect, the merging of the threads would not assist.

    I have taken the time to find the info within the original thread and begin an organized merge as best I can; its a lengthy process.

    The two threads are not identical by any means given exception to the name which I had even changed (The Laymens Guide to the SSD) before someone stated it should be as such.

    Again, apologies if offence taken and I hope we can come together and both figure out how to make this the best SSD thread for all.

    EDIT: I have pm'd villageman in hopes of the two of us making this into an effective thread for all and ask we stay on topic here rather than commenting on the viability of the threads...lets just find some good SSD info to help each other with!!!
     
  7. Amol

    Amol APH! NBR Reviewer

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    Awesome job, flamenko!

    Out of curiosity, why don't you merge posts #3 through #6 in your first post? If you have your reasons for not doing so, I completely understand. Maybe from now on, if you happen to find good info, you could post links to replies in the front page making it more accessible.

    But it's your thread, and an amazing one at that so I'll leave you to your decisions :p.
     
  8. Les

    Les Not associated with NotebookReview in any way

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    Thank you. I elected not to do it just yet as I was worried that it would make the first post more graphics intense and much more to load. I plan on using the first page for updates or new info and still kind of putting ideas together on how the thread would serve the site best.
     
  9. thejinx0r

    thejinx0r Notebook Guru

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    Apple are selling a 64gb SSD 1.8" for just over a thousand dollars.
    Wow.
    Apple being apple, I wonder how much it really costs them and maybe it will help drive the price down :)
     
  10. Cape Consultant

    Cape Consultant SSD User

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    I am very interested to hear what MTRON has to say about prices. I have put off ordering any more from them as I did not want to get caught in a price squeeze. I do like my 16GB drive. Although I really would like to see specs along the lines of your tested 32GB model. Those are sweet.

    Obviously 16GB will not be my final SSD :) Dave
     
  11. Les

    Les Not associated with NotebookReview in any way

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    I had the opportunity to spend some time speaking with my Mtron Representative last night and learned a bit of news I am able to pass on; news that may be very encouraging for price reductions of the SSD.

    It seems that in early-February, they will be offering their updated 1000 series SSDs at a price specifically designed to hit the consumer market...FINALLY!!!

    This version will be based on MLC (multi-level cell), with advanced controller technology, and will have benchmarks of 100MB/s read and 40 MB/s write. Although, the present size of this SSD is 16/32/64GB, MLC is the technology that is allowing manufacturers to reach higher capacities now.

    With respect to pricing, I was told that the new SSD will be "40-50%" cheaper than the present MOBI 3000 and targetted at the consumer level.

    So...if your looking at the Mobi 3000 32Gb presently at $699 here, we would be seeing the same version of the 1000 series hitting the market at $350-400.

    Watch any of their North American resellers and distributors here.
     
  12. Cape Consultant

    Cape Consultant SSD User

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    Very Very good news. Still, I am glad I have the 3000, because I really want the PRO :)
     
  13. jl1989

    jl1989 Notebook Evangelist

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    any idea the read/write burst speeds of a 64 gb sandisk ssd, and if you can purchase 64gb ssd individually for <800$USD
     
  14. Les

    Les Not associated with NotebookReview in any way

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    I just watched a Samsung 64Gb go for 666 on Ebay last week.

    With respect to the post above, you may see that with Mtron in February although it will be close I think.
     
  15. jl1989

    jl1989 Notebook Evangelist

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    yeah i' lookin at the m15x, and aw offers a 64 gb ssd, i think its sandisk for about 875, was just seeing if i can buy another/better 64gb for cheaper... probably not though? mtron will be at least 1.2k
     
  16. jl1989

    jl1989 Notebook Evangelist

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    i have a 32gb mtron in my m5550 atm, its nice but i had to turn off system restore for more memory... wish they would start making cheaper 64gbs :O i want to use smartbay for battery notfor hd space :S
     
  17. Les

    Les Not associated with NotebookReview in any way

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    Is it the Sandisk or the Samsung? I thought Samsung but...at that price, it may be worth it to get the standard HD and then by it separately in a month or so. It depends on if you can wait.

    Alot of manufacturers are suddenly jumping into the consumer market for the SSD. What started out in August as Sandisk then became Sandisk/Samsung, and as of CES 08, just became Sandisk/Samsung/Mtron/Memoright/OCZ/Transcend/SuperTalent/Micron/BitMicro/ Ridata, Lexar and Toshiba.

    EDIT: Also, how much ram have you in that system? If you use 4Gb, reduce your pagefile and gain 3Gb space.

    Price has followed the same with a sudden announcement of a huge drop in price for Mtrons 1000 series in February. This may create what all have been looking for.
     
  18. jisaac

    jisaac Notebook Deity

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  19. Les

    Les Not associated with NotebookReview in any way

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    I wouldnt recommend that SSD. It has lower, much lower benchmarks than any other than I have seen. Secondly, I could not find the companies website, although they are in Taiwan apparently.

    For that price, you can get an Mtron Mobi right now which has phenomenal r/wr speeds.

    Further, the limited write cycle theory is an urban legend that popped up when most didn't understand how the lifecycle of SSDs was established.
     
  20. jl1989

    jl1989 Notebook Evangelist

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    yes i was plannin on going with the 80gb or the cheapest hd they offer then upgrading afterwards.. do the mtron 1000 come in 64gbs?
     
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