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Windows 7: Think you know SSDs? Think again.

30 Mar 2009   #1

Think you know SSDs? Think again.

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.
Read the entire (long!) article over at AnandTech: The SSD Anthology: Understanding SSDs and New Drives from OCZ

Also, per fakeasdf in the post Think you know SSDs? Think again. be sure to read the followup.

Here is a snippet:

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by
One Tough Act to Follow

What have I gotten myself into? The SSD Anthology I wrote back in March was read over 2 million times. Microsoft linked it, Wikipedia linked it, my esteemed colleagues in the press linked it, Linus freakin Torvalds linked it.

The Anthology took me six months to piece together; I wrote and re-wrote parts of that article more times than I'd care to admit. And today I'm charged with the task of producing its successor. I can't do it.

The article that started all of this was the Intel X25-M review. Intel gave me gold with that drive; the article wrote itself, the X25-M was awesome, everything else in the market was crap.

The Anthology all began with a spark: the SSD performance degradation issue. It took a while to put together, but the concept and the article were handed to me on a silver platter: just use an SSD for a while and youíll spot the issue. I just had to do the testing and writing.

But today, as I write this, the words just aren't coming to me. The material is all there, but it just seems so mature and at the same time, so clouded and so done. We've found the undiscovered country, we've left no stone unturned, everyone knows how these things work - now SSD reviews join the rest as a bunch of graphs and analysis, hopefully with witty commentary in between.

It's a daunting, no, deflating task to write what I view as the third part in this trilogy of articles. JMicron is all but gone from the market for now, Indilinx came and improved (a lot) and TRIM is nearly upon us. Plus, we all know how trilogies turn out. Here's hoping that this one doesn't have Ewoks in it.
Read the rest @ AnandTech: The SSD Relapse: Understanding and Choosing the Best SSD

My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Mar 2009   #2

Windows 7 Build 7229 x86 and x64

SSD are freaken awesome.. i just cant wait till i can get 1TB drives for an affordable price :P

[ame=""]YouTube - Samsung SSD Awesomeness[/ame]
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Mar 2009   #3


I'll be 50 by then :P
My System SpecsSystem Spec

31 Mar 2009   #4

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

I would love to have a few of those Intel X25-E drives in a RAID 0. To expensive though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Mar 2009   #5

Windows 7 Build 7229 x86 and x64

meh its like 2bucks a GB of SSD atm... i thought flash drive were expensive... but hell i got a 8GB on my key chain a few 16GBers and like a dozen 4GB-1GBs... but then again i bought them all mostly during black fridays XD
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Mar 2009   #6


If you read the article, ***all the way through*** you'll understand that for *decent* SSDs you're still more like in the $3-4 range per GB. That's roughly $3000 - $4000 for a TB drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Mar 2009   #7

Windows 7 Build 7229 x86 and x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by johngalt View Post
If you read the article, ***all the way through*** you'll understand that for *decent* SSDs you're still more like in the $3-4 range per GB. That's roughly $3000 - $4000 for a TB drive.
aye.. sorry.. little tipsy atm.. had my case of the mundays... i just checked newegg quickly.. personally i havent even seen any 1TB SSD for sale anyways.. besides the lambo laptop with 1TB ssd.. but yeah didnt see the link either and just read the intel review
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Mar 2009   #8


This review I linked to is long as hell - but it will open your eyes in terms of what you should *really* be looking for when it comes to SSDs, and why it might be a good idea to wait just a bit longer as the technology gets refined, and the *basic* inherent problem with SSDs that conventional HDs *don't* have.

I read all 18 or whatever pages, but the meat is the first 6-8 pages - that is the most important part of the article.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Mar 2009   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate Vista Ultimate x64

Interesting read, thanks John
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Mar 2009   #10

Windows 7 Beta (and others, multiboot)

Thanks for the article.
All I can say is EW! I've steered clear of SSDs for a long time (electing to buy a lenovo S10 partially specifically because it has a standard 2.5" notebook drive in it) and I was getting close to biting on one now... after this, I say this:
NO thank you! I'm gonna get a few WD black 1TB and be happy.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Think you know SSDs? Think again.

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