What is THE SSD today?

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What is THE SSD today?

Postposted on Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:22 pm

Hey everyone, I'm pretty close to finally making the upgrade to my build complete. I am planning on getting an SSD and the Asus HD7970 DirectCU II. Since that card isn't out yet nor do I have the money immediately, I'm looking at getting the SSD first. However, to be quite frank SSD's are not something I keep up with like rest of the computer world. I was looking at this one:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820167042

But seeing that it was released in March of last year makes me think maybe I would miss out on something better? I initially opted for Intel because I am looking for ~120GB with the LEAST possible issues. I dread seeing all the BSOD issues that show up on the forums and would like to not become a member of that club. So if anyone can inform me what would be a good choice I would greatly appreciate it. :)
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Re: What is THE SSD today?

Postposted on Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:28 pm

FWIW I haven't had any issues with the latest Sandforce drives since the most recent firmware.
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Re: What is THE SSD today?

Postposted on Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:31 pm

Geoff has been a very busy bee benchmarking SSDs. So if you don't have to buy right this minute, you'll see an SSD article pop up very soon, and another one shortly after that. ;)
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Re: What is THE SSD today?

Postposted on Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:03 pm

drfish wrote:FWIW I haven't had any issues with the latest Sandforce drives since the most recent firmware.


^THIS

I have a Corsair Force GT 120GB that totally saturates my SATAII controller. I had to update the mobo SATA driver at first, but the latest SSD firmware was preloaded and hasn't given me any issues, not even a squeak. So, I think the BSOD issues are largely fixed.

You must have loads of dough lying around to look at the Intel 510 and the HD7970. At that total price level, the difference in cost b/w the Intel and competing, less expensive drives is just noise. I say jump on it and get what you want.


Hopefully, Geoff's forthcoming report will have some new angles on viewing SSD performance that will assist your decision.
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Re: What is THE SSD today?

Postposted on Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:04 pm

You can't float something like that out there and make us wait, especially those who are used to SSD's and have no patience anymore.
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Re: What is THE SSD today?

Postposted on Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:22 pm

I'd get a M4 256. It's pretty much the choice. More than twice the storage space for relatively not much more.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004W2JL2A/ref=s9_simh_gw_p147_d0_g147_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-3&pf_rd_r=1FZJYVQWNPQ1Z98ZGR32&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938811&pf_rd_i=507846

Despite the advertised seq. numbers they usually beat SF drives in benchmarks for notably less money and more usable storage space.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/SSD/65

Whatever SSD you get you should update the firmware right away. Seems every drive has had a BSOD bug at this point.
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Re: What is THE SSD today?

Postposted on Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:54 pm

Samsung 830 would be my choice. Reliable, fast, great value, strong company backing it, and they have a really nice tool for keeping the drive running at peak.
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Re: What is THE SSD today?

Postposted on Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:48 pm

When it comes to storage, the reliability is what bothers me the most, so Intel.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd ... 923-3.html 0.3% is pretty neat.

The only question is how these drives fail when they reach their write cycle limit, do they just stop writing? Start writing crap?
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Re: What is THE SSD today?

Postposted on Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:23 pm

I like my Crucial M4 512GB SSD - it's pretty fast (especially using SATA3 controller), pretty reliable (I didn't have any issues with it) and is cheaper than Intel's offering of approximately same capacity. I got the largest size because I use it as my "main" drive for all my programs and the games I currently play or will play in near future. Intel's offerings are pretty good too, I just didn't felt like paying $400 extra for 90GB (for Intel's 600GB model) would be necessary...

Derfer wrote:Whatever SSD you get you should update the firmware right away. Seems every drive has had a BSOD bug at this point.

Good point.
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Re: What is THE SSD today?

Postposted on Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:50 pm

Madman wrote:The only question is how these drives fail when they reach their write cycle limit, do they just stop writing? Start writing crap?


Nothing quite so nice. It will write, it will even write the data correctly. Everything is fine and then after a certain amount of time it will corrupt.
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Re: What is THE SSD today?

Postposted on Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:07 pm

Ask and ye shall receive - Geoff's SSD performance scaling article.

Also, there's an upcoming article on the Samsung 830, and I have it on good authority that it's worth waiting to read.
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Re: What is THE SSD today?

Postposted on Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:13 pm

Ryu Connor wrote:
Madman wrote:The only question is how these drives fail when they reach their write cycle limit, do they just stop writing? Start writing crap?


Nothing quite so nice. It will write, it will even write the data correctly. Everything is fine and then after a certain amount of time it will corrupt.


It's the worst scenario possible... :roll:

You cycle through, say, 3 backups that are, say, week apart, you silently copy crap to each of them, and after a month drive turns into a complete toast... That's ugly... Super ugly... :roll:

And let's be honest, most people do 1-2 backups at most.
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Re: What is THE SSD today?

Postposted on Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:06 am

Madman wrote:
The only question is how these drives fail when they reach their write cycle limit, do they just stop writing? Start writing crap?


The conception that drives just become read only is mostly untrue. Generally speaking, what happens is one day the drive gets powered down and it never starts again.

In certain circumstances, I have seen SSDs become read only, but their retention period is usually only a day or two by then.



Here is the good news: You're never going to wear out the NAND. It's just... impractical. Especially with larger capacity drives.

For instance, here is my Samsung 830 64GB:
Image
See the last SMART attribute? Multiply that number by 512 to get bytes written. In this shot, that's 412,025GiB, or 402TiB in this picture. The drive has been writing as fast as it can for the past two months.

See the attribute 177 "wear leveling count"? That's the average number of PE cycles expended. Each time a block gets erased, and later written on, that count increases. The 830 uses 27nm Samsung Toggle NAND, and is capable of max sequential writes of 168+MB/s in contrast to it's SATA III 64GB counterparts. It's used 16,879 PE cycles for NAND that is at best rated at 5000PE cycles.

This drive will write for much longer still, but at some point in the near future, it might only survive a power-off period of a week, or perhaps 5 days. I'm not really sure yet.
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Re: What is THE SSD today?

Postposted on Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:24 am

My Samsung 830 should arrive today, so I guess I'm putting my mouth where my money is :P But really, the only reason I didn't go for a Sandforce based drive is that I just hate the thought of rewarding them for their crappy reliability record so far.
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Re: What is THE SSD today?

Postposted on Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:59 am

Compton wrote:See the attribute 177 "wear leveling count"? That's the average number of PE cycles expended. Each time a block gets erased, and later written on, that count increases. The 830 uses 27nm Samsung Toggle NAND, and is capable of max sequential writes of 168+MB/s in contrast to it's SATA III 64GB counterparts. It's used 16,879 PE cycles for NAND that is at best rated at 5000PE cycles.


If I understood correctly, you're 3x past the write/erase cycle ceiling, in two months?
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Re: What is THE SSD today?

Postposted on Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:51 am

Madman wrote:If I understood correctly, you're 3x past the write/erase cycle ceiling, in two months?


He's deliberately trying to kill it through endurance testing.
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Re: What is THE SSD today?

Postposted on Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:18 am

Unless he's periodically baking the SSD in an oven his methodology is flawed.

The issue isn't how much it can write, but how long it can retain data correctly before ECC can no longer compenstate for the bit errors.

To find that out he has to simulate time passing and baking is one way to acheive that.

See here for more: viewtopic.php?p=1094618#p1094618
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Re: What is THE SSD today?

Postposted on Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:10 am

Ryu Connor wrote:Unless he's periodically baking the SSD in an oven his methodology is flawed.


Well, yeah. But I think he's just trying to see how much he can write to it before it outright dies. I'll agree that he doesn't fully understand the value of such a test, but it's hard to tell. He contradicts himself.

Compton wrote:In certain circumstances, I have seen SSDs become read only, but their retention period is usually only a day or two by then.


Compton wrote:Here is the good news: You're never going to wear out the NAND. It's just... impractical. Especially with larger capacity drives.


???

Either way, his plan seems to be that he'll write to it until it dies. <shrug>
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Re: What is THE SSD today?

Postposted on Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:25 am

Yup. We've had this discussion before. Manufacturers of flash chips define "death" as "the chip doesn't meet its specs for length of data retention any more". IIRC the standard is typically something like 10 years.

If you're repeatedly writing and reading the data back just minutes (or even days) later, you'll be able to exceed the specified write cycle count many, many times over, because you're not testing the drive's ability to retain data over the long term.
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Re: What is THE SSD today?

Postposted on Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:39 am

JBI wrote:Yup. We've had this discussion before. Manufacturers of flash chips define "death" as "the chip doesn't meet its specs for length of data retention any more". IIRC the standard is typically something like 10 years.


Which means Compton's SSD is dead man walking at this point. It might have a pulse but it almost certainly has a pretty bad case of Alzheimer's.
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Re: What is THE SSD today?

Postposted on Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:21 pm

Actually, I'd expect it to be fine for another few weeks yet still. Once it gets to this point, I do periodic power off retention testing.

The methodology is flawed as I don't have years to devote to one drive. No one, anywhere, is writing 10TB a day to a drive.

But you learn a lot more than you'd think. It's less of an endurance test than a "let's see what happens test."

Don't knock it till you've tried it.
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Re: What is THE SSD today?

Postposted on Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:01 pm

If I had the dollars for a medium size drive then OCZ's 480GB
hybrid X3 drive with direct PCI-e connect would be the weapon
of choice.
As it is I've raided (0) two of the Corsair Force GT 120GB
SATA 3 SSD's on a compatible motherboard. I have no main
or storage drive, I just store anything and catalogue on 25GB
Blu-ray disks or 4.7 GB Verbatim DVD-R's.
The old adage ' your system is only as fast as the slowest
component'. No HDD's!!!
On the box it says 555MB/s read and 515GB/s write of 4K
files randomly.
The IOPS is 83,000. In (raid 0) a 40-60% increase in speed
is probably being conservative.
Boot time seems to measured differently depending on
who's measuring. My view is.... from power-on to password
prompt could be a fairer gauge, but many would disagree.
Bottom line I found backwards compatible SATA 3 SSD's
units at the moment by size are cheaper than SATA 2's.
It might be a marketing thing to get everyone to purchase
newer motherboards etc.
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