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RiData makes 128GB SSDs

RiData makes 128GB SSDs

Mmmm, Crysis. In case you didn't bring your reading glasses (or because my shot is blurry), that's 16.8 seconds.

We have all been drooling over the low-power love of the SSD drive. The idea of totally solid-state technology is fantastic - no platters to break, heads to wear through...no seek times, no spin-up...heaven. However, all SSD drives are not created equal. In fact, it really depends a lot on who actually makes the drive - which is an art that RiData, a division of RiTech, has carefully mastered.

In some of our SSD tests, we've seen performance that's not very far from a standard hard drive. And then there's the new 128GB drive that RiData has developed, which is headed out to OEMs as we speak. The drive technology currently is insanely expensive, due to the design that the company uses to make them. However, the results speak for themselves - about 235MB read speed, 120MB write.

Let me repeat that: 235MB up, 120MB down. On your hard drive. Which is actually big enough to store more than your OS.

So, how fast is that fast? Well, raise your hands if you've played Crysis. The load times on a level can be quite lengthy - anywhere from thirty seconds to a minute and thirty seconds on an average 7200RPM drive with 16MB cache.

The RiData result? 16.8 seconds.

We have some theories on how this is possible, as the drive also has some high-level ECC algorithms. It looks (as hypothesised by one of my engineer friends, Jamie from Matrix Orbital) as though it's the controller that RiData has worked so hard on, perhaps opening up the data fetching bus while it was tooling with the error correction and random reading.

This type of blistering speed is way too expensive currently for daily use products, as the 128GB drives cost around a whopping $3,000. However, the company's technology for 32GB and 64GB is starting to trickle down to OEMs now, who are looking for the perfect balance of performance and power.

We were pretty impressed, but we'll have to see the price come down on these drives before we can really get excited. However, we may just have to get our hands on some to test in our own labs for a little.

In the meantime, do you have any thoughts on drives with that level of speed? Would you like to cut your Oblivion or Crysis load times in thirds or even quarters? Tell us your dreams of storage speed in our forums.

16 Comments

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sotu1 10th January 2008, 03:07 Quote
woo baby! I'd like them to concentrate on making the 128GB version cheaper, and also concentrate on higher capacitities. it looks like speed has reached a high point, and although I'm sure they can do better given time, i'd rather they get these babies out in high numbers so we can get our grubby mitts on em!
outlawaol 10th January 2008, 08:20 Quote
This looks like stuff that will make computers truly boot in seconds. Even my raid'ed HD's take about a minute (oh noes) for vista to load. Data fetching, data handleing, data period becomes more fluid. Becoming what the CPU's, and RAM have started to become already.

Really this stuff is just begging to be used by current computer technology. Only thing now is the cost, once its down to a more reasonable price, it'll spell the end of the normal typical HD tech.

:)
metarinka 10th January 2008, 08:37 Quote
have they ever got over the hump of the lower read/write cycles of solid state memory? I know they have algorithms and such to evenly disperse data across all sectors on the drives. (as there's no penalty, in terms of seek time) However If I remember correctly the read/right cycles for modern SSD's are still quite lower than the extremely high cycles of a modern HDD. such that after a year or so of use as an OS drive things like swap files and such would eventually kill the drive
chicorasia 10th January 2008, 10:29 Quote
I've read it somewhere that, under normal usage, a SSD drive would last about 10 years. Naturally, the bigger the capacity, the more gates you have to go around (each gate being good for about 1.000.000 cycles), the longer it would take for the drive to degrade.

128gb is an important milestone - it is enough to convince me to swap my macbook's 60gb hd for a SSD drive.

How about some "internally redundant" SSDs? Since there are no longer the physical limitations of platters and arms and heads, why not assemble two flash drives in the same casing and have them on RAID 0 or 1? Something the end-user can choose by means of a jumper, BIOS, firmware or whatever...
DXR_13KE 10th January 2008, 13:59 Quote
i give it 2 years until everyone around here has at least one of these SSDs.
Redbeaver 10th January 2008, 14:24 Quote
fudge... $3,000?????

if thats a typo and its actually $300 ill buy one in a heartbeat lol

ah, one can only dream...
Xtrafresh 10th January 2008, 14:31 Quote
wow, this is sweet! I never really looked into SDD, since it didn't seem usable...

How big are these drives, physically speaking? same size as normal HDDs?
DXR_13KE 10th January 2008, 21:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xtrafresh
wow, this is sweet! I never really looked into SDD, since it didn't seem usable...

How big are these drives, physically speaking? same size as normal HDDs?

they are designed to replace hard drives, you remove the old one and insert the new one.
[USRF]Obiwan 11th January 2008, 09:55 Quote
Its all plusses really:

+ no moving parts
+ less power needs
+ less heat
+ no noise
+ faster seek times
+ faster acces times
+ longer lifetime
+ less/not sensitive to shocks
+ Fast and in the future faster still

- price
metarinka 11th January 2008, 19:40 Quote
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solid-state_drive#Disadvantages I'm not sure about this particular drive, but the average is still around 500,000 writes, firmware and file systems can mitigate this. but still some files and such can go over this. Not to mention the price.

still though this is the future and we'll probably be seeing these slowly take over the market over the next few years.
Woodstock 11th January 2008, 19:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DXR_13KE
they are designed to replace hard drives, you remove the old one and insert the new one.

i want two of them now thou :(
Mankz 11th January 2008, 19:49 Quote
I'd love one if I could afford it.
r4tch3t 12th January 2008, 04:57 Quote
The problem with the limited write cycles is due to how the technology works, essentially its forces electrons through an insulator into a cell, or pulling them back through, this in effect causes physical damage to the device where as a magnetic Hard drive rotates particles which has little to no effect on the durability of the HDD platters. When reading, the drive "senses" whether there are electrons in each cell and then reports either a 1 for electrons present or 0 for no electrons. SSDs therefore have a practically infinite read life.

Or something like that anyways.
Good going for continuing to improve on the tech.
ou7blaze 14th January 2008, 01:36 Quote
This makes me think how big are the SSD's in ipod's and how much would they cost standalone? If this technology is already present in iPod I'm sure in a few years time or less it will be available to the mass ..
Da Dego 14th January 2008, 03:05 Quote
The lifecycle for Ridata drives (due to the controller mechanism and ECC) is about 10 years according to the engineer :) So, longer than an equally used hard drive
completemadness 14th January 2008, 08:32 Quote
How did they calculate that?

Because normal HDD's wear over time, whereas SSD's have a finite number of writes - therefore, they must have assumed that you only use the SSD so much per day/whatever
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