The SSD Anthology: Understanding SSDs and New Drives from OCZ The Prelude
I spent about three weeks working on my review of Intelís X25-M SSD
. Most of that was research and writing and re-writing to not only review the product but also to talk about the rest of the SSDs in the marketplace and their deficiencies. Truth be told, I spent more time working on SSDs that werenít the X25-M than the Intel drive itself. The Intel drive just worked as it should, the rest of them didnít.
If you read the article, you know I was pretty harsh on some of the SSDs out at the time and if youíve ever used any of those SSDs, you know why. Needless to say, there was some definite fallout from that review. Iím used to negative manufacturer response after a GPU review, but Iím always a bit surprised when it happens in any other segment.
I took a day or two off after that review went live, I think it was a day. Afterwards, I immediately started working on a follow-up. There was a strange phenomenon a few people noticed, something I unfortunately picked up on after the review went live; if you filled the X25-M up and re-benchmarked it, it got slower. And I had no idea why.
A few weeks later, I had it figured out. But then Nehalem was right around the corner. Iíd tackle it after that. But then a new batch of SSDs from OCZ and other vendors were almost ready. I told myself Iíd do them all at the same time. Then CES happened. The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same
If you look at the SSD market today, youíd assume that itís very different from what it was just six months ago when the X25-M launched. People are worried that the Intel drive has issues with degrading performance over time. Some vendors are now shipping ďrevisedĒ JMicron drives with multiple controllers, supposedly fixing all of the problems I talked about last year.
I hate to break it to you guys. As different as the world may seem today, itís all very much the same.
The Intel drive is still the best of the best. Yes, it, and other SSDs do get slower over time and later in this article Iíll explain why it happens and why itís not as big of a deal as youíd think. The issues I complained about with the JMicron drives from last year are still alive and well today; theyíre just somewhat occluded.
Delay after delay kept me from writing this article, but I believe itís for the best. What went in to what youíre about to read is nearly six months of research, testing and plain old work with SSDs.
The timing couldnít be more perfect. Weíre about to see a new wave of SSDs hit the market and itís time to separate the fact from the fiction, the benchmarks from reality and the men from the boys. The last time I wrote an article about SSDs I ruffled quite a few feathers. Thatís never my aim, but weíll see what comes of this one.