The State of Solid State Hard Drives

Yep, Patriot Torqx, Crucial SSD, OCZ Vertex - all based on the Indilinx Barefoot and pretty much exactly the same great performance, especially with the recent firmware upgrades.

Though it still remains to be seen what’s the durability of those drives, especially in developer’s usage scenarios - especially when compiling and linking often.

…more times than I care to think about.

Tell me about it! I’m the guy who bought the horrible first-gen 32 GB SSD!

This time, it’s what it should have been back in 2007. Except cheaper, faster, and larger.

There’s no penalty to wait, of course, as with any tech item. But at least now the drives are actually living up to their claims and the price is somewhat reasonable.

Why do you quote throughput when the thing that makes your desktop so responsive is the random IO.

A lot of the SSDs have a good thourghput but look at the random IO is the most important.

Intel may not be the fastest but it degrades the least over time and makes the rest seem pathetic.

Lets see how long your speed increase lasts?

For folks looking at just sustained disk transfer rates… that’s not the point of SSDs.

Yes, it is faster than disks, but the big improvement is seek latency. Going from 4.5ms to several orders of magnitude faster. That’s the kicker. Going from 200 - 300 IOps to 8,000 - 15,000.

As much progress as SSD’s have made, I still don’t trust them, for the same reason that I just can’t trust standard thumb drives: I don’t want to spend money on a drive with a relatively poor lifetime compared to other storage media. I run a workhorse PC that has an 8 year old Maxtor HD in it… and it still runs perfectly well. The same can’t always be said for flash and solid state drives, which to the best of my knowledge still measure their lifetime in read/write cycles, rather than years. The speed gains are exceptional, yes… but not enough to justify the replacement cost, yet.

My closest friend can’t wait to make the leap to SSD’s, anything to avoid the evil of mechanical based storage… yet I’ve had flash drives fail horribly on me, and have never lost data to a mechanical issue yet. I haven’t yet seen evidence that the medium is dependable enough, and I just can’t bring myself to take that shot until I do. I’d rather stick to my reliable, albeit slower, platter HD.

Intel’s SSD is an SLC disk, Crucial’s an MLC, hence the price difference.

I have a Samsung 256GB SSD in my Laptop for about half a year now, it has similar read performance to the old Intel SSDs and slightly slower write performance.

Running Windows 7 on it rocks. I’m using TrueCrypt with full system partition encryption and there’s no noticeable slowdown whatsoever which is a light-year from the abysmal performance I got from the HDD that IBM initially put in my X200 tablet.

Bottom line: I will never buy a notebook that doesn’t use solid state again.


Oh darn… Iforgot, this is not!

I look at MS/s graphs and think “Well when do I ever max mine out? Not often enough to warrant the pric… hang on, no read lag!”

Unfortunately, I don’t have the money, but a small SSD is my next purchase :3

I found this out for my self a while ago…

I blogged on it here:

I jumped on the SSD wagon (X25-M G2) last week together with a Windows 7 installation, and it is absolutely fabulous. Completely quiet, scans thousands of small files in a second, incredibly responsive!

Can’t wait to replace all of my storage with SSDs in the future. It’ll probably be along looong time though; terabytes SSDs will be exorbitantly expensive for years to come, I think.

I’m a bit worried about the longevity of the drive, but then again, I’ve had 3 mechanical drives fail on me in the last 10 years, and I’ve wasted $300 on more fickle things, so what the hey :slight_smile:

As stunning as the performance is, I am going to hold off untill I can get a 256 GB SSD for $200-250

@Lasse over the past 11 years I have had 1 mechanical drive with even 1 bad block (happened to be in the partition map). But everything I have ever bought with flash memory gets at least 10 bad blocks per year.

Don’t forget that with these drives we are quickly reaching the saturation point of SATA

an SATA 1.5Gbps bandwidth equates to 192MB/s…not fast enough for some drives
an SATA 3Gbps bandwidth is 384MB/s
and of course don’t forget there is overhead so we don’t get the full bandwidth
I think in the Anandtech review, most SSD’s were all performing similarly in sequential read because they were limited by the SATA interface

3Gbps can handle current SSD’s…but what about the future? We’re gonna need SATA 6Gbps pretty soon.

If your SSD dies, it’s dead. You will never pull any data off it.

If your HDD dies, there are data recovery services and you’ll get whatever you need back - at a cost, of course.

Now, this doesn’t apply to the people reading this blog, since we all do backups (we do, don’t we?) but it does apply to your clueless friends and relatives. Do not, under any circumstances, give them anything but a regular HDD… Even when SSDs become much more common.


10 bad blocks per year doesn’t seem that bad on a > 80 GB drive. Especially when I consider that my disk failures were COMPLETE failures, broken unrecoverable drives.


The recovery services wanted to charge me thousands of dollars, so I passed on it anyway. Now I have all my valuable data backed up on enterprise disks in RAID5.

Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket.

Damn, I saw your job posting but I’m not at the point where I could submit. Your people must really, really be lucky to get all those neato toys. I’d kill for a solid state drive. My computer freezes for 8-10 min. a day when backing up all due to hard-drive I/O issues. Nice for a break but not so nice for anything else.

It doesn’t matter - if there’s important data on a dead HDD, you can pay thousands and get it back. If there’s important data on a dead SDD, you are entirely screwed unless you made backups. Not even a billion dollars will get that data back for you.

On a sidenote, if your RAID-5 breaks, it’s very likely that you won’t be able to restore it at all :slight_smile:

Where’s “orange”, by the way? Recaptcha?! :frowning:

Jeff, do you know how SSD compares on the other fronts, such as robustness (HDDs are by design very fragile due to having mechanical components) and durability ?

Check your details - according to Intel, if your SSD drive “dies”, well, it is not possible.

The drives are aware of their health, and that fatal write that would yield the drive unusable would -be denied- by the drive.

In that state, you can read any and all data off of the drive.

In fact, there are even standards in the SSD specs these folks are hitting, along with MTBF, indicating that you should be able to read data from a ‘failing’ drive for years after the event.

How does this drive compare to a SATA II RAID 0 setup?