A-Data unleashes half-terabyte SSD

Consumer solid-state drives are quickly climbing in capacity. A-Data has announced a new 2.5″ SSD that can store up to 512GB, putting it right up there with the latest and greatest mobile hard disk drives. Of course (and this is just us going out on a limb), the SSD will probably cost quite a bit more than its mechanical rivals.

A-Data rates the 512 XPG 2.5″ SSD for top read speeds of 230MB/s and top write speeds of 160MB/s. Coupled with the 300MB/s Serial ATA interface and near-instantaneous access times, that should translate into fairly snappy performance. (For the record, Intel’s super-fast X25-E Extreme SSD has respective read and write ratings of 250MB/s and 170MB/s.)

Sadly, while A-Data flaunts photos of the SSD’s packaging and the “dashing, durable lightweight aluminum casing,” it neglects to mention pricing and availability details.

This isn’t the only company to announce a 512GB SSD. Last year, Toshiba revealed plans to start production of a 512GB 2.5″ solid-state in the second quarter of this year. The Toshiba THNS512GG8BB uses 43nm multi-level-cell NAND flash memory and has performance ratings of 240/200MB/s.

Comments closed
    • Shinare
    • 11 years ago

    Wish I could cram this into my Aspire One.

    • moose17145
    • 11 years ago

    Personally I would still like to see a 3.5″ SSD that sits around the 1 – 2TB mark. I like to do the majority of my computing on desktops. Desktops are faster, I have WAY more desktop area to play with, multiple monitors, more hard drive space, etc. Yea I COULD buy a adapter that converts one of my numerous drive bays into a 2.5″ bay… but I would rather have a hard drive that’s bigger and actually meant for the bay it’s sitting in. Plus you have over twice the volume to cram in more memory chips so it would be easier to make the drives storage capacity larger as well.

    I do appreciate the reasons for manufacturers only focusing on the mobile market, but until desktop towers start coming standard with 2.5″ drive bays I will still desire an actual desktop counterpart.

      • Anomymous Gerbil
      • 11 years ago

      ? Just tape a 2.5″ drive in a 3.5″ bay.

    • Logan[TeamX]
    • 11 years ago

    You’re paying for the gamble that you’ll upgrade again before the drive wears out. Sadly, as motherboards keep packing fake RAID that keeps getting better along with more SATA ports… you can turn almost any desktop into a full-blown storage server, for a price.

    Ironically, I DO see a lot of the first-gen, expensive-as-heck units wearing out down the road as guys keep recycling them into spanned arrays to save them from disuse. Ultimately, the “finite write” issue WILL catch up to them.

    The key is to migrate all storage to better-tech SSDs. Less wear penalties over time (hopefully) and zero moving parts = WIN. Until then, they’re for e-peen bragging rights. I can rotate 1 and 1.5TB HDs every 2 years for a fraction of the space you’ll get with top-sized SSDs right now.

      • moose17145
      • 11 years ago

      depending upon what you are doing with your I/O system even current generation SSDs can make a lot of sense. So I would say it’s a bit unfair to say they are purely for e-peen bragging rights. There are actual markets for this type of technology, but most of that market is the commercial world that provides services and uses software that can more fully utilize an SSD’s strengths, which can often overshadow their weaknesses.

      • TechNut
      • 11 years ago

      To give some perspective, I run VMware ESX Virtual machines over dedicated Gigabit network links to iSCSI and NFS servers. In 16 days of uptime, so far I’ve generated a combine total of 175GB of writes. That’s about 10.9GB per day. This for around 14 VM’s running at a time, doing tasks like Exchange, MySQL/SQL Server, MS file serving, firewall, Linux systems for development.

      I believe that they have the wear levelling of these devices set for an average of 100GB a day.

      §[<http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/intel/showdoc.aspx?i=3403&p=4<]§ So, if Intel's numbers are to be believed and my own servers that represent a small business are accurate, a SSD could easily handle this workload inside it's expected lifetime. In my next build, probably when the Core i5's are available in late 2009/2010, I'll be going with a Intel SSD. I'm sure it will last the 5 years, and the ability to go almost completely fanless will be great :)

        • UberGerbil
        • 11 years ago

        That’s an interesting data point. I’ve been trying to calculate aggregate write quantities on a variety of systems available to me.

        To explore what that suggests for drive lifetime we can start with the formula Intel provides
        §[<https://techreport.com/articles.x/15433<]§ Intel claims their wear leveling and write amplification factors are 1.1, which is close enough to 1 that we can just start with 10GB/day and ignore them. With a 128KB erase block size, your 10GB load will be distributed across ~82 thousand blocks, or roughly 4% of the 2^21 blocks in a 256GB SSD. (Which is obvious, since 10GB = ~4% of 250GB). So every 25 days you increment the write count of the blocks on the disk. If we take the 100,000 write lifetime as gospel, well, we're talking thousands of years (and that's ignoring the reservoir blocks). But suppose we assume Intel is being incredibly generous with its wear-leveling and amplification factors and actually assume their realworld values are each on the order of 10 instead (which might correspond to the worst of the gen 1 SSDs). That would mean your 10GB of write traffic results in each and every block on the SSD being written 4 times each day. It would still take 25,000 days to hit the 100,000 write lifespan, which is still over 60 years. Interestingly, if we bump the traffic up to 100GB, a factor of 10, we would expect the lifespan to drop by a factor of ten -- which correspond rather closely to Intel's claim of 100GB a day for 5 years. I have no idea if that's just a coincidence, or if Intel is being really conservative with its prediction, or perhaps some of those values (wear leveling factor, amplification, write lifetime) are much worse than Intel claims. This is all back-of-the-envelope stuff since I don't really have any way to test this short of trying to burn out an SSD.

          • TechNut
          • 11 years ago

          Yes, I believe you are probably right. I would think Intel would base the warranty off of worst case numbers. It’s much like old hard drives we used to buy back in 1988. They would have a certain capacity and a lot of reserved sectors. Remember seeing the bad sector list on the label? Ahh memories. We knowly bought drives with those defects. I’m thinking it’ll be the same for SSD’s.

          As long as there is no JMicron fiasco (stalls for a second or more due to a design defect) again, SSD’s I think will be the storage of choice by early 2011. Spinning disks will be used for archival and bulk storage, similar to how SATA disks play that role in enterprise storage today. The PVR will have a hard drive, but the PC in the living room will be SSD.

          If I tally up the totals this morning, in the roughly 20 hours since my first post, the systems have done another combined 8GB or so of writes.

          I myself am not worried too much about capacity. I only use about 40GB on my personal system so, 80GB drives are fine by me.

      • UberGerbil
      • 11 years ago

      …as opposed to hard drives, which last forever.

        • Chrispy_
        • 11 years ago

        Mechanical hard drives last forever because all hard drives manufactured since 1971 use bearings made from a durable unobtainium alloy. In other news, scientologists have conclusively speculated that magnetic substrate improves with age like a cheese or wine.

        SSD’s on the other hand are easily damaged by common everyday occurrences such as direct exposure to solar flares or naked flames, so I don’t think it’s worth buying one until they’re more robust.

    • floodo1
    • 11 years ago

    OH MAN, they already make drive adapters that convert a 5.25″bay into 4 hotswap 2.5″ drive bays. put 4 512gb (actual 512gb too (ie real gigabytes not 1000mb gigabytes) in raid 5 into a TINY mini-itx desktop case….i just came. 1.5tb nas with insane throughput the size of a few dvd’s stacked = ridiculous

      • DreadCthulhu
      • 11 years ago

      “1000 MB” gigabytes are real gigabytes. Giga is the SI prefix denoting 1,000,000,000, or 10^9. It isn’t the hard drive manufacturers fault that certain operating systems are using an incorrect definition of giga. And to be correct, this solid state drive being discussed should really be labled as a 512 Gibibyte drive, as gibi is the prefix for 2^30, or 1,073,741,824.

        • moose17145
        • 11 years ago

        Or instead of using that wrong gibi prefix i could just shoot myself.

        Also the OS isn’t wrong in using a base 2 system, its the SI system that was wrong in trying to push a stupid base 10 standard upon a machine that operates solely upon a base 2 system.

          • cheesyking
          • 11 years ago

          and I suppose saying a milli second is 0.001 seconds is stupid because we should be using something in base 60?

          • UberGerbil
          • 11 years ago

          Uh, what? The SI system was in place for over a hundred and fifty years before digital electronic computers came along. It didn’t try to “push itself” on anything. It was the people in computing who chose to incorrectly apply the base-10 SI prefixes to a base-2 system; if you’re looking to assign blame, look to the computing pioneers. If the standards groups that control SI had been asked they would’ve told them to find something else (as they eventually were, and did, which is how we ended up with the likes of Gibi). The OS is right to use a base 2 measurement system, but wrong to use SI prefixes to describe it.

          SI has always been base 10. The computing industry has erroneously employed SI prefixes for base 2 units… with the notable exception of the mass storage industry. They are the only part of computing that has used the SI units correctly. Of course that worked in their favor, since the delta between the two made their drives look larger. But blaming SI for the discrepancy is completely wrong.

          Your familiarity with the SI prefixes doesn’t make your use of them with base 2 quantities any less incorrect, and your aesthetic disapproval of the base 2 prefixes doesn’t make them any less valid.

            • VaultDweller
            • 11 years ago

            ^^^^
            Winning post is there.

          • anand
          • 11 years ago

          “giga”, “mega”, etc. aren’t purely used for computer related concepts. One of the main points of having standardized prefixes is just that, they’re standardized. “mega” means and should mean 1,000,000 whether you are talking about grams, meters, or bytes. If “mega” and “giga” mean different things depending on the context, then that pretty much makes having a standard prefix irrelevant.

          I blame the computer industry for taking a prefix that was already being used in the base 10 world and reusing it in the base 2 world.

            • pogsnet
            • 11 years ago
    • jpostel
    • 11 years ago

    I’m interested to see if/when SSDs will scale in production to the price point of mechanical drives. The overall performance has pretty much already passed mechanical drives, and the capacity is obviously catching up, so the question is the cost of manufacturing at scale.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 11 years ago

    256GB and 512GB drives are definitely the capacities I seek. Now to get it down into an affordable price range (for me) and I’ll dump every spinning disk I have.

    • Ushio01
    • 11 years ago

    Bah pureSilicon will release a 1TB 2.5″ SSD sometime this year it’s already planned to be used in the ASUS Lamborghini VX5 laptop.

      • UberGerbil
      • 11 years ago

      And your point is what? Technology in the future will be better than technology today?

        • indeego
        • 11 years ago

        We should just all shattap and not talk! Because the point has invariably been made beforeg{

          • eitje
          • 11 years ago

          ironic!

    • stdRaichu
    • 11 years ago

    Bearing in mind that the largest cheap SSD, the 250GB OCZ, is currently retailing for about £600, this is definitely going to fall into the “if you have to ask you can’t afford it” category.

      • Clint Torres
      • 11 years ago

      Yes, the price is so obscene they dare not publicize it.

      • glacius555
      • 11 years ago

      Well, you could spend 300£ and buy two 128 GB SSDs..

    • UberGerbil
    • 11 years ago

    g[

      • ReAp3r-G
      • 11 years ago

      i could only lol

      if the dollar per GB isn’t as low as mechanical drives, why bother unless you’ve got spare change littered around the house, and what i mean by spare change i mean deep pockets…lol

        • indeego
        • 11 years ago

        “why bother”
        – heat
        – reliability
        – noise
        g{<-<}g your useage pattern (i.e. read random I/O mostly instead of read/write)

        • UberGerbil
        • 11 years ago

        $/GB doesn’t need to be as low as mechanical drives for people to bother. There’s some point that’s “big enough and cheap enough” for a lot of people, especially when you’re talking about mobile applications where HDs are still relatively small and pricey and the other attributes of SSDs (power, shock-resistance, etc) offer more value. Lots of people have been willing to spend between $100 and $200 to get mobile drives in the 120GB-250GB range, so $1/GB to $2/GB is good enough, even if it’s nothing close to the $/GB you see in TB class desktop drives. Not everybody needs TBs of storage, and (as Raptors have shown) lots of people will pay much higher $/GB for smaller, higher-performance drives.

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