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Sandforce SATA 6Gbps SSDs sampling in Q3

Sandforce SATA 6Gbps SSDs sampling in Q3

Word on the SSD street is that Sandforce is reading its SATA 6GBps controller as soon as Sept.

Word on the street (fo'real) is that SSD upstart Sandforce has brought forward sampling of its upcoming SATA 6Gbps SSD controller - dubbed Phoenix - from a previously mooted Q4 to Q3 - specifically September, according to our sources in Taipei at a popular SSD manufacturer.

Photofast has already leaked the specs of the SandForce Phoenix SSD controller, and it if can hit the claimed read/write of 520/520MB/s - almost maxing out the new interface in a single jump - it will annihilate the current speed record set by the only other SATA 6Gbps drive, Crucial's RealSSD C300.

Is more performance always good or will it just be another prohibitively expensive part? Let us know your thoughts, in the forums.

30 Comments

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yakyb 16th June 2010, 13:54 Quote
great news, but i will wait for the second revision thanks (price permitting)
V3ctor 16th June 2010, 14:00 Quote
Time to sell my Intel X25M 160gb... before it becomes too cheap :)
tristanperry 16th June 2010, 14:04 Quote
Will be very interesting to follow this one. 520MB read and write would be pretty exceptional. I wonder what it'll be priced at? (>£3 per GB?)
mi1ez 16th June 2010, 14:09 Quote
We'll be limited by NAND speeds surely? not to mention the price of NAND that will operate at those speeds. Bet these'll be SLC only...
l3v1ck 16th June 2010, 14:34 Quote
I like the sound of this, but I have a few questions.

1) Will the NAND become a bottleneck if the controller is that fast? How fast (in theory) can NAND be written to?
2) Will they be using this chip to make small fast cheap drives, or make the same mistake as current manufacturers who make large higher priced drives that people can't afford? (technically I guess that's not down to Sandforce.)
3) A General question. How easy will it be to clone my OS on my current HDD to a new SSD? I hate doing fresh installs. I guess Acronis True Image can do it?
4) Will it support TRIM? I'm assuming so, but a confirmation would be good.

It'll be interesting to see what Indilinx have up their sleeve to combat this. They must have had time to develop a new controller since Barefoot came out.
Skiddywinks 16th June 2010, 15:21 Quote
I wish companies would be more open about their random read/writes. Sequential speeds are all well and good when cloning drives, copying across large (or lots of) files etc, but the real difference from moving to an SSD is the crazy increase in random speeds.

Last time I checked, Sanforce were ahead of Intel's current G2 drives in randoms, but with Intel's G3 coming out in not too long, it would be really nice to see some random speeds, instead of the "Just put the biggest numbers out" approach.

It should be interesting when both drives are out.
Evildead666 16th June 2010, 15:23 Quote
If the NAND isn't fast enough to switch at that speed, you add channels.
More channels = more throughput, at the same switching speed.

My lowly 30Gb Kingston drive with Toshiba controller has 4 Channels.
The much better indilinx Barefoot et Al have 8 channels I think.

This will prob be 16 or 32 channels...we'll see ;)
MSHunter 16th June 2010, 15:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by l3v1ck
I like the sound of this, but I have a few questions.

1) Will the NAND become a bottleneck if the controller is that fast? How fast (in theory) can NAND be written to?
2) Will they be using this chip to make small fast cheap drives, or make the same mistake as current manufacturers who make large higher priced drives that people can't afford? (technically I guess that's not down to Sandforce.)
3) A General question. How easy will it be to clone my OS on my current HDD to a new SSD? I hate doing fresh installs. I guess Acronis True Image can do it?
4) Will it support TRIM? I'm assuming so, but a confirmation would be good.

It'll be interesting to see what Indilinx have up their sleeve to combat this. They must have had time to develop a new controller since Barefoot came out.

To answer your question #3
You will want to use a disk cloning software. The simplest one I found was
"xxclone" just google disk cloning.
MSHunter 16th June 2010, 15:58 Quote
Still not the fastest Nanda flash option, this is still a faster way to do it:

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HD-051-OC&groupid=701&catid=14&subcat=1427

But it will still be slower then a RAM drive
bob 16th June 2010, 16:45 Quote
l3v1ck 16th June 2010, 16:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSHunter
Still not the fastest Nanda flash option, this is still a faster way to do it:

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HD-051-OC&groupid=701&catid=14&subcat=1427
The quoted speeds there are not really any faster. (20MB/s faster read, 30MB/s slower write) Plus it uses two controller chips in RAID 0.
l3v1ck 16th June 2010, 17:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bob
There's a (new?) 96gb ocz vertex out
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/96GB-OCZ-Technology-Vertex-25-SSD-MLC-Flash-Read-235MB-s-Write-170MB-s-64MB-Cache-17K-IOPS

Looks like decent value too.
That does look good.
borandi 16th June 2010, 17:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by l3v1ck
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSHunter
Still not the fastest Nanda flash option, this is still a faster way to do it:

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HD-051-OC&groupid=701&catid=14&subcat=1427
The quoted speeds there are not really any faster. (20MB/s faster read, 30MB/s slower write) Plus it uses two controller chips in RAID 0.

Thus no TRIM support.
robots 16th June 2010, 18:58 Quote
Nice. Keep them coming, bigger, faster, cheaper. Maybe in 6 months I'll finally buy one.
TomH 16th June 2010, 23:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by l3v1ck
Quote:
Originally Posted by bob
There's a (new?) 96gb ocz vertex out
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/96GB-OCZ-Technology-Vertex-25-SSD-MLC-Flash-Read-235MB-s-Write-170MB-s-64MB-Cache-17K-IOPS

Looks like decent value too.
That does look good.
Still ~£2/GB, which is what it's been for a while.

There are many faster 'SSDs' that use a direct PCI-E link (OCZ have released products, ioDrive was one of the first if not 'the' first - just don't look at the price!) and use various types of NAND, number of channels and type of controllers.

It's encouraging and daunting to hear that the 'next generation' are already slated to hit the maximum throughput of SATA 6Gbit and perhaps that's why OCZ were showing off more products for by-passing the SATA/SAS ports on the motherboard.

Exciting times. Still, a 30GB SSD is still too expensive when you think about it. :(
Ficky Pucker 16th June 2010, 23:58 Quote
just as i was ready to finally get a SSD, i'll wait a bit more then, maybe prices go down (probably not :( ) or something.
MSHunter 17th June 2010, 02:02 Quote
I'm waiting till trim is internal or standard and not OS dependent and works in RAID
iwod 17th June 2010, 05:04 Quote
I was expecting 6xxMB/s, i guess i was expecting too much.
boogerlad 17th June 2010, 05:37 Quote
you can't go higher than max theoretical.
legoman666 17th June 2010, 06:09 Quote
OK so where is SATA12?
l3v1ck 17th June 2010, 08:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ficky Pucker
just as i was ready to finally get a SSD, i'll wait a bit more then, maybe prices go down (probably not :( ) or something.
Most of the price is the NAND rather than the controller. I doubt you'll see much price variation when these come out.
TomH 17th June 2010, 20:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSHunter
I'm waiting till trim is internal or standard and not OS dependent and works in RAID
I would prefer it if my file system knew what was happening to its data, thank you.

And as for RAID controllers , they simply have to translate the TRIM commands from the OS to the correct drive. It's not impossible and I'm sure it's being/been worked on already.
Xonar 17th June 2010, 20:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by l3v1ck
I like the sound of this, but I have a few questions.

1) Will the NAND become a bottleneck if the controller is that fast? How fast (in theory) can NAND be written to?

I think a lot of the companies are opting for internal RAID which with SSD's increases speed exponentially. There's currently SSD's out there which manage 6GB/s sequential write speeds with seek times of less than 10 microseconds, I think the bottlenecks are all on the interface (SATA) side of things for consumers at the minute anyway.
roggit 19th June 2010, 03:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by iwod
I was expecting 6xxMB/s, i guess i was expecting too much.
Yes you were. the limit of sata 3 is 600MB/s.

also, whats the source of this info? i have found no other site making these claims about sandfore ssd.
Bindibadgi 19th June 2010, 05:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by roggit
also, whats the source of this info? i have found no other site making these claims about sandfore ssd.

Because it wasn't openly stated at Computex. I know the right people to ask ;)

You won't get it in your hands Q3, but at least one, very large SSD company has a roadmap to have internal testing through Q3 - which hopefully means reviews!
iwod 19th September 2010, 08:49 Quote
Still waiting for new Sandforce SSD.....
Bindibadgi 19th September 2010, 09:43 Quote
All quiet on the Eastern front.
ultimatepc 29th September 2010, 22:25 Quote
Hey Guys.
Any news on that massive SandForce Controller??

I am dying t buy an SSD and cant wait any longer but also dont want to buy f this mother is just around the corner,.......
hehe
Bindibadgi 30th September 2010, 04:25 Quote
Rumor: Well into next year now
frenchscottie 1st October 2010, 02:09 Quote
Just as these drives become affordable, they bring out faster or larger ones and the price goes up again. It'll probably be another year before the technology settles down. By then you'll have 1TB SSD drives - we live in hope.
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