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, 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.

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