SanDisk says Vista isn’t tweaked for solid-state drives

Although solid-state drives can perform much better than conventional hard drives, they don’t do as well as they could in Windows Vista. According to News.com, that’s essentially what SanDisk CEO Eli Harari asserted during a recent conference call. He elaborated:

“As soon as you get into Vista applications in notebook and desktop, you start running into very demanding applications because Vista is not optimized for flash memory solid state disk,” he said.
This is due to Vista’s design. “The next generation controllers need to basically compensate for Vista shortfalls,” he said. . . . Harari said this challenge alone is putting SanDisk behind schedule. “We have very good internal controller technology, as you know…That said, I’d say that we are now behind because we did not fully understand, frankly, the limitations in the Vista environment,” he added.

The CEO didn’t detail the exact cause for the problem, although judging by his statement, he might be referring to Vista’s I/O prioritization scheme. According to this Microsoft paper, the scheme favors storage responsiveness over throughput in an attempt to compensate for high mechanical hard drive seek times.

Whatever the problem is, Harari says SanDisk is preparing a next generation of solid-state drives to deal with it. This generation should start sampling either at the end of this year or early in 2009, he predicts.

Comments closed
    • TechNut
    • 11 years ago

    Uh.. people are missing the point. There’s nothing wrong with Vista.

    The guy in the article is talking about making optimizations in the controller. He also mentions that consumer drives like 8, 16GB, etc. are good for low-end systems, but can’t handle higher-ended tasks.

    What the dirve manufactuers are referring too is Vista changes the way the system uses the hard drive. Not on a physical write too much problem (Vista’s SuperFetch and indexing will kill your SSD? Give me a break!!).

    It’s the fact that end users access patterns are changing from single user to more multi-user style systems. As one person aptly noted DOS is single threaded and you can tell when it uses the disk. The increase in cores and the number of running processes in Vista or any other modern OS (Even Linux!) means internally that a desktop runs more like a server, so, you need to use enterprise class algorithms in your SSD controller to “compensate for Vista”, or in other words “compensate for multi-user workloads.”

    It’s the same as putting a consumer hard drive in a enterprise class server and expecting it to work. The firmware on the drive is different to give it single user or multi-user performance characteristics. It’s no wonder a desktop hard disk sucks, it’s engineered towards a different type of workload. Same goes for consumer level SSD’s.

    You’ll notice a world of difference in Vista with a good Mobo, a good enterprise class SATA disk (like the WD RE2 or Raptor) and a cheap Mobo and a cheap consumer hard drive. One handles the workload better than the other due to design. That’s not MS’s fault. It’s called progress. Linux will thrash your hard drive too, so I’m not a MS fanboi.

      • Saber Cherry
      • 11 years ago

      l[

    • Ricardo Dawkins
    • 11 years ago

    THIS IS BS. I bet it uses OSX … ๐Ÿ˜›

    • cloh2083
    • 11 years ago

    You know a flame and fanboi sentiment when you see flames without ‘supporting documentation’. SSD ain’t the only thing that isn’t optimized under Vista. Given Microsoft’s track record for antitrust issues, you think programmers/designers have a lot of time and support to fix optimization issues? Sandisk makes one comment, and lo behold! The entire SSD market gets flamed. Scapegoat indeed.

      • Krogoth
      • 11 years ago

      The senseless anti-Vista FUD is getting older, lamer each day. I swear that most of the crowd has never actually used Vista, stuck or use it last with beta/pre-SP1. They also seemed to forget that 2000 and XP had some teething issues that were later remedied.

      Vista’s network performance problems are a legit, well-known and document issue. Some of it comes from the stupid decision to make multimedia-related content to get higher priority on the networking stack. It is annoying to say the least for mainstream users. However, it can be a deal-breaker for businesses.

      The I/O performance issues are complete blown way out of proportion. I suspect were results of immature drivers if anything else. After SP1, they got refined enough to the point that it has practically identical performance what it was under XP. BTW, NTFS is not a file system renown for super-fast I/O performance.

      Vista on the other hand is faster, better at graphics, memory management, *[

        • WaltC
        • 11 years ago

        IMO, the reason Vista gets so much ignorant heat is because it’s just too good a product for the anti-Microsoft crowd to stomach. Ever notice how prior to Vista shipping it was difficult for this same group of people to ever have anything complimentary to say about WinXP? Yet, after Vista shipped, it’s like these people went into panic mode because Vista does such a good job of addressing the shortcomings of XP they were so fond of pointing out, particularly as regards OS security, and now they only compliment XP and spend most of their time deriding Vista…;)

        I think it’s pretty much a rule you can take to the bank: the degree of “popular press” (many of them closet Mac users conditioned by years of anti-Microsoft brainwashing) angst over Vista is inversely proportional to Vista’s popularity and quality. I mean, after 16 months of using Vista at home, following > 5 years of using XP, it certainly seems that way to me…;) I’ve never even once been tempted to reinstall XP, so obviously I’m not a candidate for this kind of anti-Vista FUD, either.

      • UberGerbil
      • 11 years ago

      The only claim made here without supporting documentation is the one made by this SanDisk marketer. Who may have had more of an eye on his company’s stock price (down 25% on the day due to missing expectations) than anything else.

      Have we heard similar complaints from SuperTalent? From OCZ? From Samsung? From any of the other makers of SSDs? So do we conclude there’s something wrong with Vista that only shows up with SanDisk SSDs? Or do we conclude there’s something wrong with SanDisk?

    • muyuubyou
    • 11 years ago

    So many Microsoft fanboys it’s not even funny.

    The guy has a point, fair and square, but apparently pointing anything about a particular characteristic of an OS is like picking on somebody’s religion.

      • Krogoth
      • 11 years ago

      No, the guy is freaking marketing drone who is trying to spin stuff around and place the blame on IT industry’s #2 favorite scapegoat whatever or not it is the cause. (BTW software piracy still holds #1 place).

      Geoff’s own six-notebook round-up on SSDs proves how they are not that much faster then HDDs at general-purpose stuff and command a far higher GB per $$$$ premium. They only had shined in server-related I/O benchmarks where they utterly embarrassed 10K SATA HDDs which were dominant in those areas.

      If anything the stupid marketing drones at SanDisk should be focusing their stuff towards the server-crowd.

        • muyuubyou
        • 11 years ago

        Couldn’t care less about SanDisk, but apparently it’s also true that Vista isn’t tweaked for solid-state drives. That point interests me a lot more, since for most people switching SSD brands is going to be easier than switching OS.

        Whatever the peeps at SanDisk about Vista, it’s not going to help their sales. This was Sandisk’s CEO speaking BTW. If anything, he claims that SanDisk will be adapting to whatever scheme Vista comes with.

          • UberGerbil
          • 11 years ago

          g[

      • Kurotetsu
      • 11 years ago

      What’s funny is people actually swallowing what Sandisk is puking out.

    • YeuEmMaiMai
    • 11 years ago

    i see your priduct sucks, so you blame vista……….lol I see how it goes :p

    • Krogoth
    • 11 years ago

    Ahem, SSDs are not that much faster right now then their magnetic, mechanical-based brethren for non-server workloads. SSDs still cost a crapload more in GB/$$$$ ratio.

    • WaltC
    • 11 years ago

    As is so often unfortunately true, CNet tends to place the pertinent information at the end of the article after deliberating misstating the topic:

    /[

    • MadManOriginal
    • 11 years ago

    On top of the silly blame game it’s been a year and a half since Vista launched. Even if their controllers at that time sucked in Vista that’s plenty of time to fix or improve it. Maybe if they’d said this closer to Vista launched but by now…? They’d only have themselves to blame.

    • herothezero
    • 11 years ago

    Funny. Didn’t Samsung’s SSD units just perform very well in TR’s own recent testing?

    Scapegoating never goes out of style it would seem.

    • Jambe
    • 11 years ago

    I’d be quite interested in seeing Mr. Gasior’s recent mobile storage roundup tests done in Vista and some flavor of Linux if it’s feasible.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 11 years ago

    ‘It’s Vista’s fault that our controllers suck’…yea whatever. Sandisk has always been ‘budget’ although they do have some decent products but seriously this is bs.

    • SuperSpy
    • 11 years ago

    What’s that red flashing light behind me, you ask?

    Why that’s the BS alarm.

    • DrDillyBar
    • 11 years ago

    How does a Vista Experience index score of 5.4 (which is the same as my SATA2 Cuda) constitute bad preformance?

    • eloj
    • 11 years ago

    Maybe an “Optimized for Linux” logo would solve the problem? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

      • ew
      • 11 years ago

      I’d be interested to see how the various Linux IO schedulers perform with SSD drives. I wonder if the NOOP scheduler is best.

        • shank15217
        • 11 years ago

        linux schedulers aren’t replacements for in drive scheduling, NOOP would have the same shortfalls and advantages it has for regular harddrives

          • stdPikachu
          • 11 years ago

          Not if my tests are anything to go by. I’ve got a PG database running off a Samsung flash SSD and the no-op scheduler gives about a 20% performance boost over deadline or cfq for our workload.

          No-op should make a difference because, much like with the vista scheduler, t’other schedulers were written with the mechanical latencies of spinning platters in mind. Since no-op acts on a first-come-first served basis and SSD have no random seek penalty (you additionally lose the CPU overhead of re-ordering IO requests) it’s generally the fastest option (indeed, not seen a situation where no-op wasn’t the fastest for solid state yet).

          Personally, I don’t think tweaking SSD firmware around the limitations of a single OS (which may change in the future anyhow) is the way forward. There needs to be a method by which operating systems can go “Oooh! An SSD!” and react accordingly. I imagine there are manual steps you can take in Vista much like going for no-op in Linux.

    • StashTheVampede
    • 11 years ago

    Seriously, just lump the blame on Vista right? It’s all Vista’s fault that their drives are slower than the rest, right?

      • A_Pickle
      • 11 years ago

      Yeah. It’s popular to blame Vista these days, and if a company can easily shuffle blame off of itself onto “the Veesta,” go for it. Average consumers will easily buy into that, lock, stock, and barrel.

      • d2brothe
      • 11 years ago

      Agreed 100%. Vista might not be optimized for SSDs but that won’t make them arbitrarily perform poorly. No OS is optimized for them…

    • bowman
    • 11 years ago

    Vista is SSD-aware.

    I guess it’s not very well aware, then. Not a surprise. ๐Ÿ™

      • Kurotetsu
      • 11 years ago

      Except SSD drives present themselves exactly the same as mechanical drives I believe. An OS doesn’t need to ‘SSD-aware’ in order to use it.

    • 0g1
    • 11 years ago

    Vista isn’t tweaked for anything ;).

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      Perhaps look around before you even open your mouth.

        • Grigory
        • 11 years ago

        Let the man speak. I like people to out themselves for what they are when they approach. ๐Ÿ™‚

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