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G.Skill, Intel & Patriot SSD group test

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HourBeforeDawn 3rd December 2008, 09:49 Quote
Wow that Intel X25-M 80GB SSD is something else but I still dont think the tech is there yet to justify the switch over, sure in Laptops ya we should make the switch now to extend battery life and in other portable devices still using mechanical drives, but as for desktops ya not there yet. Overall still awesome.
glaeken 3rd December 2008, 09:55 Quote
What's the expected lifetime of these drives? Has there been any long term tests of the 1st gen models? Erase-write cycles slowly degrade the memory over time. A quick wiki check tells me that nand flash memory can last for about 100K cycles. This doesn't seem like all that much if you have one of these drives as the main partition with the swap partition.
yakyb 3rd December 2008, 09:58 Quote
yeah not quite ready for a switch over quite yet but its getting close
The Infamous Mr D 3rd December 2008, 10:00 Quote
The technology is certainly very impressive at its best and clearly is the way of the future. But the prohibitive costs and ropey write performance compared to traditional drives mean that SSD's are several years off becoming near ubiquitous in the PC.
Baz 3rd December 2008, 10:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Infamous Mr D
The technology is certainly very impressive at its best and clearly is the way of the future. But the prohibitive costs and ropey write performance compared to traditional drives mean that SSD's are several years off becoming near ubiquitous in the PC.

exactly. They are the future, of this I have no doubt, but it's going to a long road before they replace the mechanical drive.
perplekks45 3rd December 2008, 10:16 Quote
I'd say by the end of 2010 I'll start seriously thinking about SSD as my main drives. Before that it seems to be more of a proof of concept. Surely fast and impressive but way overpriced and still with those little flaws that just ruin the fun.
B1GBUD 3rd December 2008, 10:29 Quote
I'd like to see a comparison of 2 x 10k Raptor in RAID 0 (Striped), compaired with the SSD's
Bauul 3rd December 2008, 10:48 Quote
I actually think this is quite important: all new tech starts of ludicrously expensive and early-adopter centric, and then filters down to be a realistic consumer product much later. Look at DVD Writers: same thing happened. Even the second generation of DVD writers were £500, they're now around £30.

However, the Intel SSD has proven two things. Firstly that the tech is viable in a consumer product: it works really quite bloody well, and you would certainly not object if someone gave one to you for free. Yes the price is expensive, but is it really that expensive? It's approximately a little over twice as expensive as the best of the Mechanical drives (Raptor), and about five times that of the 1TB drive. Considering second generation of other tech (like the DVD writer) were 10 or 20 times more expensive than the accepted consumer price when they first launched, SSDs are actually coming on very fast, and very cheap. The fact we can even consider this is a replacement for mechanical drives now, only on the second generation, is something to behold. Ignoring the cheaper two SSDs, which are not actual viable products, I say don't slag SSDs for being too expensive, marvell at actually how cheap and how usable they can be.
TheCherub 3rd December 2008, 11:29 Quote
It does beg the question, what would a drive have to do speed wise to get 10 out of 10?
Tim S 3rd December 2008, 11:41 Quote
Deliver better-than-mechanical write speeds - read is there, write isn't. :)
StephenK 3rd December 2008, 11:45 Quote
Have to say I'm with Bauul on this one. When I see a drive like the intel for 500, I don't think 'dear lord thats crazy expensive', I think 'by the time i build my next PC in a years time :)'. Of course, right now yes they are too expensive but I guess I'm okay with that because I'm not considering them as a purchase at the moment.

I only use 1 internal drive (320gb) and the ssds will get there soon. The future is indeed bright on the ssd front.
Kúsař 3rd December 2008, 11:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauul
However, the Intel SSD has proven two things. Firstly that the tech is viable in a consumer product: it works really quite bloody well, and you would certainly not object if someone gave one to you for free. Yes the price is expensive, but is it really that expensive?

For 80GB HDD? Yes, it's pretty expensive. And we all are familiar with Intel's pricing system - as long as there is no competition they'll keep prices sky high... I seriously doubt components intel is using are sooo much more expensive than what others use.
Tim S 3rd December 2008, 12:00 Quote
There's a 160GB X25-M on the way at some point early next year, afaik. It'll be interesting to see how Intel's pricing structure works with SSDs, as with processors there are generally set prices and the processors move down the matrix when faster models are released. It'd be nice to see that with the SSDs as well, but it's probably not going to happen.

Bauul, you make a great point and this was what caused a bit of a heated debate in the office yesterday. Yes, the Intel SSD is expensive, but it works and it works bloody well - at worst, it rivals the mechanical drives and at best it is in a completely different league. Unfortunately, you can't say the same about the other two drives (well, the drive controller at least... since Patriot/G.Skill are doing the best they can with what's available) and that's why they are more affordable - there need to be compromises made along the way if you choose anything but the Intel SSD at the moment. :)
Nictron 3rd December 2008, 12:07 Quote
Veloci Raptor? At that price you might as well include the fasted HDD out there.
airchie 3rd December 2008, 12:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kusar
I seriously doubt components intel is using are sooo much more expensive than what others use.
Since Intel developed their own controller etc they prob have R&D costs to offset.
They will only get cheaper (and likely faster) from here so can't complain.

Tim, would LOVE to see more reviews and comparisons with the latest line of SSDs.
The intel SLC model for one, the OCZ Solid series of drives recently released.
Also, I found it very interesting reading about the insides of these drives down to PCB level.
Seeing the G.Skill and Patriot drives were practically identical but one is way cheaper was very informative and useful.

I have to agree with the comments above about costs.
I don't think the cost is that bad considering the massive performance gains.
One interesting comparison I'd like to see is the performance if several cheaper SSDs in raid 0 agains a single Intel bad-boy.
Cost-wise they would be similar but which would be faster?
I saw a great article about a guy raiding 9 mtron SSDs and getting FAST transfer speeds.
So fast in fact that it was the raid controller's processor holding things back.
Like sustained 800MB/s reads etc.

So, to sum up,
MOAR SSD NEWZ PLZ!! :D
Tim S 3rd December 2008, 12:24 Quote
airchie, there are plans to do plenty more storage-related reviews. :)
BIS 3rd December 2008, 12:34 Quote
What about HyperDrives ?

http://www.hyperossystems.co.uk/

The pricing of the SATA2 DDR2 HyperDrive5 doesn't look too bad. Does anyone have any experience of or know of any benchmarks for this kind of kit ?
[PUNK] crompers 3rd December 2008, 13:29 Quote
this is v exciting indeed!

when i think about upgrading my machine nowadays the only thing that i would like to be quicker is the storage. Basically if you have C2D and 4GB you'll find it difficult to speed up you general computing experience to any great level (even with core i7).

to me SSD is the next step that is actually worth making for anything other than bragging rights (although i'll certainly be waiting for the prices to come down and the technology to improve)
impar 3rd December 2008, 13:32 Quote
Greetings!

The 150GB Raptor has the same Burst Speed and Average Read -134MB/s- in HDTach?
You should have included the VelociRaptor.
Jack_Pepsi 3rd December 2008, 13:45 Quote
Am I wrong here when the first graph in the Vista boot time test is incorrectly labeled (mins) instead of (secs)?
The Infamous Mr D 3rd December 2008, 13:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIS
What about HyperDrives ?

http://www.hyperossystems.co.uk/

The pricing of the SATA2 DDR2 HyperDrive5 doesn't look too bad. Does anyone have any experience of or know of any benchmarks for this kind of kit ?

I was just thinking about these RAM based drives in relation to Baz's review - their write performance does look fairly impressive.

The only problem with one of these is the need to buy seperate sticks of RAM and then keeping them powered so they don't lose any data. As a benchmarking tool, it looks good on paper - as a practical alternative to an SSD or even a regular hard drive for everyday use, I imagine it won't gain as much ground as SSD's will eventually. Especially as there are many advantages to replacing volatile memory with non-volatile memory in PC's once the speeds of both converge.
Kúsař 3rd December 2008, 13:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by airchie
Since Intel developed their own controller etc they prob have R&D costs to offset.
They will only get cheaper (and likely faster) from here so can't complain.

Even then it's heavily overpriced. As soon as intel release new SSD drives, price of this will fall by 50% I guess(Tim said 160GB SSD was on the way, so we shall find out soon). It's the same thing like with new Core i7 - you'll have to pay extra $$$ for top range CPU's while slower i7 are relatively affordable. Let's hope that competition will come up with lightning fast SSD's soon for it's competition that's beating(not only Intel's) prices down :)
I'm sure I'll hold onto new SSD drive until there's some fast 300GB drive.
Toka 3rd December 2008, 13:51 Quote
I didnt read the whole article being at work, but the link below may be of some interest to fellow bit-techers if it hasnt been included elsewhere already :)

http://www.custompc.co.uk/news/605259/micron-demos-ultra-fast-1gbsec-ssd.html
Baz 3rd December 2008, 14:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Greetings!

The 150GB Raptor has the same Burst Speed and Average Read -134MB/s- in HDTach?
You should have included the VelociRaptor.

Fixed - thanks for the spot. We tried to get a velociraptor but couldn't get one in time -I'll drop it into future HDD reviews.
airchie 3rd December 2008, 14:23 Quote
Nice link Toka.
Is it me, or was the guy in the vid stoned??
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