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  • mertl - Thursday, March 18, 2010 - link

    The Sandforce Controller has hardware AES encryption, which could be used with OCZ Toolbox (which is not available).
    It's a self encrypting drive. No CPU Performance wasted with software encryption.
    Why doesn't the Vertex LE support FDE (TCG OPAL Standard like a Seagate Momentus 7200 FDE.4)? The BIOS ATA PWD is passed to the drive, alternatively Pre-Boot Utilities like wave can be used.
    Reply
  • jaggerwild - Saturday, March 13, 2010 - link

    It's kinda sad that they will not at least replace the drive with an equal value SSD, I suggest to anybody considering buying any OCZ product to read through there forum before making a purchase!!! People are reporting waiting seven months for warranties on the Vertex series? Today more than ever people are not getting what they paid for and to even post a review of there product is a slap in our collective faces. But I guess Aandtech is selling out too as they have there advertisement up top of this section LOL!
    Reply
  • NandFlashGuy - Friday, March 12, 2010 - link

    Hi Anand,

    I think your characterization of all IMFT flash as equivalent creates a false idea of quailty equilvalence for readers.

    "It’s uses a standard Indilinx Barefoot controller but is paired with IMFT 34nm flash branded either as Intel or Micron. It’s the same flash that’s used in the X25-M G2s."

    Intel does not sell enterprise-grade or SSD Nand to competitors. It does do more testing on the Nand used inside the X-25M G2s, ensuring it meets a higher quality level.

    While nothing prevents SSD competitors from buying USB-key grade Nand and using it their SSDs, it's incorrect to call it the same Nand that Intel uses.
    Reply
  • ayembee - Sunday, March 07, 2010 - link

    Well, my 200GB LE lasted one week -- picked it up last Sunday, and now it's so dead the BIOS can no longer even find it. That's one seriously expensive paperweight... Reply
  • deBlanc - Friday, March 05, 2010 - link

    Has anyone tried a Raid 1 (mirror) with an SSD and an HDD? I have a customer with a Dell R410 server which has very limited expansion capabilites, only one expansion slot which has a 4 port NIC in it. They are starting to run into disk I/O issues. Short of buying a new server, I was thinking of Raiding a 500 GB OCZ Colossus with a 500 GB Seagate 7200.12, the idea being much faster reads with failover to the HDD if the SSD bricks. I can't afford to buy the SSD to test this out. What do you experts say?
    Thanks
    db
    Reply
  • SeanFowler - Friday, February 26, 2010 - link

    Overclockers UK has confirmed with Crucial that the 128GB version of the drive has a far slower write speed. They've been told that the write speed is up to 140MB/s.

    The details are on page 1 here: http://download.micron.com/pdf/datasheets/realssd/...">http://download.micron.com/pdf/datasheets/realssd/...

    Compare this to 235MB/s sustained write on the LE, and 250MB/s max write, and there's no competition.

    Yes the C300 still has amazing read speeds, but I think the LE is the better all-round performer.

    Unless we find out that the numbers we've been seeing on the net for the LE are for the 256GB version and have been erroneously attributed to the 128GB version as well.

    I had the LE on order, then cancelled it to order the C300, then found out that the 128GB drive has mediocre write speeds. Talk about a mess!
    Reply
  • Beno - Thursday, February 25, 2010 - link

    in Final Words, first paragraph, fifth line.
    Crucla
    Reply
  • bizautomation - Wednesday, February 24, 2010 - link

    I contacted the folks at SandForce for a comment on the un-ceremonious death of the OCZ test drive. Below is my question to them, and their response:

    My email to SandForce:

    Dear SandForce,

    This is more for the blog community, than it is for me personally (although I am considering Enterprise SSDs for our database servers). I don't think it warrants your phone time. If you can simply prepare a statement in reaction to the test drive going bellly up at Anantech's test center, which I can post, I think that would be more than enough.

    Here's the main concern out there:

    1. CTO's like me are seriously looking at these drives to consider putting their databases on (SaaS based applications can benefit from the performance improvements).
    2. We are deathly afraid of the reliability issues, so when initial articles about SandForce controllers came out with the emphasis on reliability, everyone was cautiosly elated.
    3. We see a follow-up story on Anantech (arguably THE source of impartial news on hardware), show that the OCZ drive just "died", and I think it's safe to say, there's significant concern.

    Yes, everyone knows it was a pre-production drive (Anantech makes that clear), but the cat is now out of the bag, and without a proper forensic investigation, I'm concerned this would happen witth a production drive. Hence my reaching out to
    your firm for an explenation beyond "Oh don't worry guys, that was pre-production hardware". As you know, our community is comprised of smart people, and that type of answer just doesn't cut it.

    What say you ?

    Their answer to me:

    Dear Carl,

    We appreciate the inquiry and definitely appreciate your concern. It was appropriate that Anandtech highlight the drive that failed was a pre-production drive. The drive used Beta firmware, which by definition, had known issues.

    Since then, SandForce has released its ‘release candidate’ firmware to our customer base of SSD vendors with the intent for them to run their qualification process on the drives and intensive tests for stability. We have received positive feedback so far. We’ll take any issues that we hear of (and any that we find ourselves) and release a ‘mass production’ version of firmware with the intent for end user customer shipments and usage. We’re confident that with the large number of leading SSD vendors in both Enterprise and Client markets that are qualifying drives based on our silicon and FW, in addition to our own robust testing capabilities, production drives based on SandForce will be of the highest reliability.
    Reply
  • anuraaga - Wednesday, February 24, 2010 - link

    Looking at a Japanese retailer's listing for the RealSSD drives at http://bit.ly/clxvoa">http://bit.ly/clxvoa, the write speeds of the 128GB and 256GB versions differ by around 50%!

    Random 4K Write:
    128GB - 140 MB/s, 30K IOPS
    256GB - 215 MB/s, 45K IOPS

    Out of curiosity, which version was tested in this article? The numbers are close to the listed 128GB specs, so that's what I'm guessing. What could result in such a big difference in write performance in this as well as other drives(DRAM size?)? Or is this just some retailer manipulating the numbers to sell a more expensive part (work in research long enough and you get to know the amazing things possible through the use of normalization)...
    Reply
  • eldiablopotato - Tuesday, February 23, 2010 - link

    Don't suppose C300 vs. Vertex LE review is around the corner? Reply
  • v12v12 - Tuesday, February 23, 2010 - link

    "To calm your fears, OCZ is selling the Vertex LE with a 3 year warranty."


    Umm 3yrs is CRAP! It's the industry standard among ALL HDs... again, how many times do I have to catch Anand-staff soft-wrist-slapping these con-artist manufacturers?! Who's "assured" with a 3yr warranty vs what? I haven't seen any manu offering lower? So how's that a selling/assurance point... let alone if it's even VALID to list in this article?

    What you should have said (if at all) was:

    "To calm your fears, OCZ is selling the Vertex LE with a STANDARD 3 year warranty (just like everyone else)." Hahaha.


    I just don't get how you can continue to soft-scold (more like a notation) these manufactures when you and I KNOW it's crap. Well Okay I DO know; you're smart and running a business/review site (pro-business) and you don't wanna bad mouth these guys like you OUGHT to do. So instead you'll give them wrist slaps at the end of all the journalist-sensationalism in order to wash over the apparent chicanery of these businesses, so they'll keep sending you beta/new samples... Yes I know how the POLITICS of "business" works these days; sucks for the avg-minded consumer who totally misses keystone issues like this for all the hype and grandeur laced commentary... Sigh, the consumer-cattle loses again.
    Reply
  • OWC Grant - Tuesday, February 23, 2010 - link

    FWIW to this discussion thread and wasn't covered in the brief mention, the OWC Extreme Enterprise comes with an enterprise class level warranty...FIVE years. So, based on pricing and other similarities, will leave it up others to decide what the best value/performance ratio is in SSDs. Reply
  • kunedog - Tuesday, February 23, 2010 - link

    Let's also not forget that he *never* acknowledged the near-immediately stratospheric pricing of Intel's G2 X-25M, right after he praised its affordability:
    http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=36...">http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=36...

    He mentioned the firmware problems and lack of stock once but never the pricing.

    ONLY now, over 6 months later, do we see prices anywhere near what he predicted at release:

    80GB for $220
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...">http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...
    160GB for $430
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...">http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...

    The 160GB comes with a free Apricorn USB enclosure, the same one "randomly plugged" here by Anand. It's a strange coincidence to see two sites decide to associate it with SSDs (why would you put an SSD in an USB enclosure?).


    Reply
  • shin0bi272 - Monday, February 22, 2010 - link

    I thought I saw a review on anandtech a few months ago about the corsair p128 which was supposed to be a great ssd. But its not included on these benchmarks. Its supposed to have 220mb seq read and 200mb seq write. yet its not included? why? Reply
  • OWC Grant - Monday, February 22, 2010 - link

    Glad to see so much interest in SSD!

    As Anand was made aware, our earliest units went out to reviewers and we contacted him and other reviewers to get these units back upon learning of a firmware revision that became available early Feb. In direct communication with him, he noted that neither firmware version had any effect on the performance.

    All other OWC SSD units in the field (and available with same day to 1 day delay shipping from OWC) do have the latest firmware revision.

    So, we are not "a bit behind OCZ" in this regard.

    Hope this clears up the matter...and that you get an OWC SSD for yourself!
    Reply
  • smith11 - Monday, February 22, 2010 - link

    There's something that I'm not getting...

    If there's 0.5x write amplification because of real-time compression, why wouldn't the effective capacity be a good bit higher than (the non-reserved part of) the physical capacity ???
    Reply
  • GullLars - Monday, February 22, 2010 - link

    When i was reading this test, i couldn't help but think on several occasions that a cheap RAID of 3-4 intel x25-V from ICH10R would beat many of the drives tested here, and at a lower price.
    4 x25-V in RAID 0 gives 160GB capasity, roughly 600 MB/s seq read (limited by ICH10Rs bandwidth), about 140-150 MB/s seq write, around 100.000 4KB random read IOPS (400MB/s) at higher queue depths, and about 40.000 4KB random write IOPS (120MB/s). At a price point around $400-450, wich is about the same as Intel x25-M G2 160GB costs...

    I think it would be great if Anand could do a test with 4 x25-V in RAID 0 from ICH10R to demonstrate a budget concious enthusiast setup.
    Reply
  • semo - Monday, February 22, 2010 - link

    Hi Anand,

    Great article. Any word on PCI-e SSDs? Are you leaving them out because of high costs or other reasons?

    Also, good to know that you have our backs if those SSDs start crapping out. Without people like you companies get away with it for a long time.
    Reply
  • rubbertoe - Sunday, February 21, 2010 - link

    Looks like Amazon is also selling the 100G version:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0035RQZSG/ref=pd...">http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0035R...X0DER&am...

    Can someone confirm this is the drive that was reviewed? With selling only 5,000 does anyone have any idea how they will be distributed into the retail channels?

    RT
    Reply
  • neoflux - Sunday, February 21, 2010 - link

    The OCZ Agility uses Intel 50nm or Toshiba 40nm flash.
    The OCZ Solid 2 uses Intel 34nm flash.

    The OCZ Vertex uses Samsung flash, but what SIZE?

    And based on that size, if the controller is the same as Anand mentioned a few articles ago, is the Solid 2 faster or at least the same speed-wise as the Vertex?

    I did find that the Solid 2 may actually have some sort of 'crippled' Indilux controller, but that was just some forum, not an article.

    I have gone back through all the Anand articles and googled everything I could think, but could not find the answer.

    Someone enlighten me as to the size of the flash and the speed compared to the Vertex?
    Reply
  • neoflux - Sunday, February 21, 2010 - link

    part number is K9HCG08U1M-PCB00, but still can't find a size in nm. Reply
  • neoflux - Monday, February 22, 2010 - link

    Further research shows me that no one knows what manufacturing process size these actually are, which I find strange. No reviews include the information, there are no manufacturing spec sheets, etc. Only that they are lead-free and have 48 pins, haha.

    This all must makes me more curious. How does no one know?
    Reply
  • eldiablopotato - Sunday, February 21, 2010 - link

    Both the OCZ & Crucial SSDs are nice, since my motherboard can't do 6Gbps can anyone recommend which SSD to get? I'm thinking Crucial SSD, but then again I'm no expert on SSDs like Anand. :P

    Feedback welcomed.
    Reply
  • nivek - Sunday, February 21, 2010 - link

    OCZ says they can't get any more sandforce controllers at a low price point. But how does OWC get the same controller for their Mercury Extreme Enterprise SSD. OWC 100GB SSD is priced the same as OCZ Vertex LE 100GB!

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/internal_storage/Me...">http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/internal_storage/Me...
    Reply
  • Per Hansson - Sunday, February 21, 2010 - link

    Just curious about the missing capacitor, will there not be a big risk of dataloss incase of power outage?

    Do you know what design changes where done to get rid of the capacitor, where any additional components other than the capacitor removed?

    Because it can be bought in low quantities for a quite ok retail price of £16.50 here;
    http://www.tecategroup.com/ultracapacitors/product...">http://www.tecategroup.com/ultracapacitors/product...
    Reply
  • sjobal - Sunday, February 21, 2010 - link

    Hi Anand,

    I'm curious to know what SSD is most suitable for a mac. Since OSX does not support TRIM, some sort of garbage collection has to be done within the drive (firmware) or a software tool has to be available for OSX.
    Is this something you'll look into in forthcoming reviews?

    Best regards!
    Reply
  • AnnonymousCoward - Saturday, February 20, 2010 - link

    Anand,

    How can you benchmark in so many different ways, and yet end up with hardly any relevant information? All those PCMark graphs don't tell me squat. Your AnandTech Storage Bench is flawed, since (as your last article found) the SandForce uses compression and IOPS don't equal bandwidth! Why does the user care about IOPS?? Do they care about IOPS of their graphics cards? Or CPU?

    With CPUs, you measure things like encoding time and game framerates. Things that matter!

    This is the 3rd time I'm posting this. Refer to the last time: http://tinyurl.com/yjcr5vm">http://tinyurl.com/yjcr5vm
    Reply
  • Zoomer - Sunday, February 21, 2010 - link

    It's a waste of time to do what you're suggesting. The point of SSDs is to improve the user response time.

    Encoding time? It would likely be virtually identical due to the modern pre-fetching algorithms in place.

    Game framerates won't really be affected since the average of 3 runs is taken. After the first run, most everything will be cached, either in hardware or in software by the os in mem.
    In the real world, you would expect to see less dips in fps (min fps will be higher), assuming it is a fresh first run.
    Reply
  • bradley - Sunday, February 21, 2010 - link

    The point is germane. New SSD benchmarks are required to measure real world performance. Some of the current benchmarks end up limited to measuring nothing more than cache speed. IOPS is impractical and demonstrates nothing indicative regarding real world performance.

    the Problem with Write IOPS - in flash SSDs
    http://www.storagesearch.com/problem-write-iops.ht...">http://www.storagesearch.com/problem-write-iops.ht...
    Reply
  • erple2 - Sunday, February 21, 2010 - link

    Ordinarily, I'd agree with you. However, the point of the article was to point out the problems with "older" benchmarks that would simply look at, in a vacuum, IOPS of a drive was inconsistent at best, and misleading at worst. In the case of Anand's testing methodologies, you see that the IOPS numbers he comes up with are, in fact, the "worst case scenario" listed for SSD's in the article you linked to.

    Until the giant Meltdown of SSD's in Anand's article (http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=35...">http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=35..., testing methodologies that benchmark reviewers were using were definitely perfectly suited to the problems with SSD's, namely the write-erase cycle being specifically excluded from the benchmarks. That indicated the main problem storagesearch.com referred to in the above linked article.

    Anand has since changed his benchmark methodology for all SSD's to be a "polluted" SSD - he does not simply wipe the drive clean, then benchmark. He first fills the drive with data, then does a format (which does NOT wipe the drive clean - you still have the write-erase cycle to contend with), then runs benchmarks.

    The other thing to look at is that the benchmarks that Anand looks at are, in fact, consistent. Saying that one drive attains 600 IOPS on "Anand's light StorageBench" where another attains 500 IOPS _ON THE SAME BENCHMARK_ does, in fact, give you a reasonably accurate comparison. The trouble you'll get into is if you state "Drive X gets 5000 IOPS, but Drive Y gets 9000 IOPS", not mentioning the actual benchmark used, or even worse, cherry-picking the benchmarks to favor the particular Drive. Then, you have to dig down and figured out whether the benchmarks that gave you "5000 IOPS" was, in fact, properly executed - is that really indicative of the performance of the drive, or only in a very tightly controlled environment to maximize performance numbers? However, that's a question you always have to look at regardless of what you're testing, be it video cards (3D Vantage doesn't give you an accurate picture of how well the card will perform in some particular scenario), CPU's (SPECint or SPECfp give you minimal information about how a CPU performs in a large database environment) or other devices.

    So really, I think that the point the article in storagesearch is hammering at you should be wary of reading more into generic IOPS as a benchmark for these SSD's as is simply stated.

    So, in conclusion, I disagree about 80% with what you have written.

    (minor "edit"):
    So I've re-read the GGP post - while it is true that IOPS as a number means nothing to me, it also winds up being true that posting a Bandwidth number would also be more or less worthless to me - what is important is the general ranking of these devices in the same benchmark. The benchmark is measuring the _relative_ performance of each of the drives in the same sequence of tests. Taking conclusions like "this drive gets 600 in a benchmark and that one gets 400 in another benchmark" ultimately fails.

    (BTW, Anandtech staff, please fix the fact that I can't use any "rich" text in these posts)
    Reply
  • AnnonymousCoward - Sunday, February 21, 2010 - link

    > Zoomer: The point of SSDs is to improve the user
    > response time.

    Exactly! So why don't we compare response times?


    > erple2: Saying that one drive attains 600 IOPS on
    > "Anand's light StorageBench" where another
    > attains 500 IOPS _ON THE SAME BENCHMARK_ does, in
    > fact, give you a reasonably accurate comparison.

    Sorry, not true. Like I said, SandForce's compression makes IOPS not equal to bandwidth. See http://tinyurl.com/yden7kc">http://tinyurl.com/yden7kc . And allow me to restate my comments from the last article: In article http://tinyurl.com/yamfwmg">http://tinyurl.com/yamfwmg , in IOPS, RAID0 was 20-38% faster! Then the loading *time* comparison had RAID0 giving equal and slightly worse performance! Anand concluded, "Bottom line: RAID-0 arrays will win you just about any benchmark, but they'll deliver virtually nothing more than that for real world desktop performance."

    So there you have it. Why measure IOPS?


    > erple2: what is important is the general ranking
    > of these devices in the same benchmark. The
    > benchmark is measuring the _relative_ performance
    > of each of the drives in the same sequence of
    > tests.

    What "general ranking" lacks is the issue of significance. I apologize, but I will again restate what I posted on the last article: is the performance difference between drives significant or insignificant? Does the SandForce cost twice as much as the others and launch applications just 0.2s faster? Let's say I currently don't own an SSD: I would sure like to know that an HDD takes 15s at some task, whereas the Vertex takes 7.1s, the Intel takes 7.0s, and the SF takes 6.9! Then my purchase decision would be entirely based on price! The current benchmarks leave me in the dark regarding this.
    Reply
  • jimhsu - Saturday, February 20, 2010 - link

    The performance/free space dropoff is a significant issues, especially with otherwise-fast SSDs (i.e. Intel). For example, the 80GB X25-M should really be relabeled as a 60GB drive due to progressive worsening performance as the amount of free space decreases (beyond 70GB, it starts getting REALLY bad). Do these drives show any improvement in the performance to free space degradation curve? Reply
  • Demon-Xanth - Saturday, February 20, 2010 - link

    Given the state of so many SSDs out there using so many controllers with the performance being so dependent on the controllers...

    ...if is possible to get "summary" chart of what drives use what controller configurations?
    Reply
  • yottabit - Saturday, February 20, 2010 - link

    Thought I would point out that Page 8's title lists "Apricon" instead of "Apricorn"

    As always, thanks for great articles Anand!
    Reply
  • aarste - Saturday, February 20, 2010 - link

    I'm building a new PC soon and was going to buy another Agility 60 and use it with my existing 60gb agility and raid0 them up. But since the Intel X25-M 80GB is almost the same price, and blows away the agility in random reads (which is more relevant in OS/App usage than sequential speed, correct?) would it be better just to buy and run the single Intel drive instead?

    I'm not too fussed about losing out on 120gb of capacity in raid0, and besides, I can install the games to the Agility instead, and use the Intel for the OS/Apps.
    Reply
  • leexgx - Saturday, February 20, 2010 - link

    No TRIM support in RAID so the drives would end up like 1 or less SSD speeds, SSDs really tank in speed once the drive has to erase before Write (Filled State)

    need to use Standard AHCI drivers (install win7 but do not install chipset drivers or Intel matrix drivers as that would disable TRIM)

    1 intel SSD 80gb and the Agility 60GB with updated Firmware one you got now is the best option

    (correct about random reads and Writes the intel one hardly drops in speed at random Writes at all, most get to Focused on sequential speeds, as long as TRIM support is there)
    Reply
  • cjcoats - Saturday, February 20, 2010 - link

    The one thing missing is the one that's really relevant to me: workstation performance.
    It's probably close to the "heavy load" scenario", but... For me, it's a mix of compiles, compute-intensive modeling, visualization, and GIS use. Of these, the compiles, the visualization, and the GIS are the really-interactive items, so are probably most important.
    There are lots of compile-benchmarks out there; it would be relatively easy to generate a GIS benchmark, using some of the GRASS GIS logs I have from what I've been doing lately.

    FWIW.
    Reply
  • NeBlackCat - Tuesday, February 23, 2010 - link

    I completely agree that there should be a developers benchmark, and keep mentioning this when these articles appear.

    Compiling a large software project seems to me to be a good general purpose test. There'll be random and sequential reads and writes, of a few bytes to many megabytes, in some hard to predict ratio, as the build process reads sources/headers, uses temporary files and writes output. It isn't obvious to me whether the Intel or the Indilinx/Micron characteristics would be favored.

    But afaik no-one's studied this from an SSD angle, and I wish Anand would at least add a benchmark which could, say, build a Linux distro while grepping it repeatedly for some random text.

    What say you Anand?

    Reply
  • OfficeITGeek - Saturday, February 20, 2010 - link

    Anand,
    As always another great article. I just wanted to say that it is looking really bright for SSD's. The performance benefits of SSD's are just to great to ignore (unlike the switch from DDR2 to DDR3). But I am going to hold off though until Q4 as by then, the market will have alot more competition (hence lower prices), bugs will be sorted out and the thought of dead drives (such as the one you experienced) just gives me the creeps even if they do replace it with a new one.
    Reply
  • MadMan007 - Saturday, February 20, 2010 - link

    Anand, it is getting hard to keep track of different SSDs, which controller they use, how many flash chips, etc. It would be wonderful if you could start an 'SSD decoder ring' chart that lists the relevant information, maybe even linked to performance numbers like you've done with CPUs. Reply
  • allessd - Saturday, February 20, 2010 - link

    maybe this site is of interest to you:

    "SSD Decoder Ring - an SSD comparison guide"
    www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=736
    Reply
  • Jupie - Saturday, February 20, 2010 - link

    Great article - always nice to hear about SSDs as I clearly see them as the future for a boot drive at least.
    What I'm curious about is the performance of drives of the same series with different capacities. I'm not willing to spend ~800 USD on a drive but rather ~400 USD. How much performance hit does a Real SSD C300 really take? Manufactors clearly seem to prefer to send their biggest drives with the highest performance to test but what about the performance of the reasonalbe priced ~100 GB versions?

    Would be great to read about that as well ;o)
    Otherwise keep up the good articles!
    Reply
  • MadMan007 - Saturday, February 20, 2010 - link

    Yeah this is an important point, it applies to regular HDs to a much lesser extent too. I would like to see tests on smaller capacity drives of a given series. I guess a lot depends on implentation, for example using the same number of flash chips with a given controller just of a lower capacity per chip versus using fewer flash chips and channels. Reply
  • Conscript - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    Not sure why I'd pay the premium for "limited" SF-1500 drives when I can just get the same thing here, for less...

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/internal_storage/Me...">http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/internal_storage/Me...

    Anand, any chance you think they'd give you one for review? Thinking about putting one of these in my new MBP (when they come out). Unless the new MBP has SATA 3, in which case I might look hard at the C300.
    Reply
  • iwodo - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    May be Anand can do an article on that. You mention previously that controller contribute VERY little to the total cost of SSD. NAND being the major part.

    If that is the case, then assuming we always need 8 chips for an SSD. SSD Prices wont ever dropped below $100? Because while capacity per unit will grow, it seems minimum unit prices dont fall that much.
    Reply
  • icrf - Saturday, February 20, 2010 - link

    Yeah, I'd love to see a reliable, slow 8-16 GB drive for $50. I've got a RAID server that can't seem to keep up boot drives and would love something like that. Reply
  • Bolas - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    So if I'm willing to spend up to $1200 for a boot drive, what's the best option? Crucial? Vertex LE? Intel? OCZ Z-Drive? Something else? Reply
  • czesiu - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    Any chances for a Kingston SNV425 review? Reply
  • mckirkus - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    I would like to see what pure RAM drive based storage would do so we can get a sense of how close these drives are getting to some sort of maximum.

    I'm not sure if you can do this with a RAMDisk you create with software or if and entire image would need to run in RAM (HDTach, etc., will not work on RAM drives for some reason. Just to be clear, I'm not referring to benchmarks of RAM using a SATA interface.

    Good stuff yet again Anand.
    Reply
  • mindless1 - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    There is no "sort of maximum", DRAM keeps getting faster.

    However, if you were to create and use a RAMDISK, however you ended up doing so, it would destroy any flash drive in terms of performance on every possible parameter. The question is not about performance at all, rather the implementation and volatile nature of using it... and of course that it's no small feat to end up with hundreds of GB worth of those chips for typical HDD replacement purposes (in a reasonably sized form factor).
    Reply
  • mindless1 - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    I meant the above within the context of it using a PCIe, otherwise the SATA600 link would clearly be a bottleneck. Reply
  • mckirkus - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    I know what you're saying. But I'm wondering what PCMark scores look like when you remove drive IO as the bottleneck. If the best SSDs are scoring 20,000 would the same system with no disk bottleneck score 25,000? 30?

    In other words, with only SSD scores we're still not sure how close we are to removing the drive bottleneck in system performance. IMO this is an important question and the answer would give these SSD scores some context.
    Reply
  • overzealot - Monday, February 22, 2010 - link

    I just tried out PCmark on a 2gb ramdrive. My q6600 (stock) had 1 core maxed from about 20% through each test, and got a score of 362,471 in the HDD test. That's with DDR800 folks.
    I'm guessing all the results would be CPU bound so my system is really not the best place to test it.
    Reply
  • overzealot - Monday, February 22, 2010 - link

    Physical Memory: 4 GB (2GB Ramdisk, so really 2)
    Graphics card: ATI Radeon HD 5770
    Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate (6.1.7600) 64-bit
    Full suite results:
    PCMark 6,566.0 PCMarks
    Memories 5,596.0
    TV and Movies 4,326.0
    Gaming 5,133.0
    Music 6,085.0
    Communications 5,948.0
    Productivity 6,242.0
    HDD 345,794.0
    The scores for everything would be way too long, here's the HDD results:
    HDD - Windows Defender 1,797,924,224.0 B/s
    HDD - gaming 2,064,242,048.0 B/s
    HDD - importing pictures to Wind 1,810,203,648.0 B/s
    HDD - Windows Vista startup 2,053,050,752.0 B/s
    HDD - video editing using Window 1,549,093,504.0 B/s
    HDD - Windows Media Center 1,607,108,864.0 B/s
    HDD - adding music to Windows Me 1,423,892,096.0 B/s
    HDD - application loading 1,355,910,784.0 B/s
    HDtach rates it at 3GB/s.
    Reply
  • jimhsu - Saturday, February 20, 2010 - link

    There will also be an I/O bottleneck unless the entire dataset can fit directly onto the CPU. The RAM/CPU bottleneck is the Von Neumann bottleneck which is a well known one in computer science (time/space tradeoffs). It's just what's the point at which the bottleneck ceases to become a user issue... Reply
  • srue - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    "Despite early messaging to press, the 40GB Kingston SSDNow V Series Boot Drive will never get official TRIM support for Kingston. Luckily some adventurous folks have figured out a way to trick Intel’s firmware updater into thinking Kingston’s drive is worthy of such a gift."

    That first sentence upsets me because I purchased the drive believing TRIM support would eventually come. Granted, I probably would have done the same knowing what I know now, but I thought I was getting a better value.

    Does anyone have a link to the trick mentioned in the second sentence?
    Reply
  • Glenn - Sunday, February 21, 2010 - link

    Here ya go.
    http://www.overclock.net/ssd/656984-how-get-your-k...">http://www.overclock.net/ssd/656984-how...our-king...
    I did this last week and it works great.
    Reply
  • srue - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    I found the instructions on overclock.net. Reply
  • mschira - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    So I think I would rather go with an intel X25-M

    By the way, what do you guys reckon are two X25-M 80Gb connected to the Intel Motherboard Raid in Raid 0 faster than a X25-M 160Gb?
    Cheers
    M.


    Reply
  • leexgx - Saturday, February 20, 2010 - link

    RAID 0 = no Trim support (maybe get TRIM support)

    160GB SSD would require no fussing to keep the drive tidy (with windows 7 that is standard drivers in AHCI mode) it stay at its advertised speeds as long as the Chipset driver was not installed or the intel matrix driver was Not installed

    i give up for the most part commenting about how pointless RAID 0 with an SSD is, all you get is more data rate speed that you not even notice (unless your messing with Very big files 5-10GB but you lose TRIM so it degrade fast if you Write that much data a lot, One drive would still be faster) SSDs are about 2x data rate (a lot focus on this to much when its random you should be looking at ), 30x random data rate faster or more and the IOPS is 50x faster then an HDD (normally)

    RAID + SSD = Fast for about an week or month then it be slower then 1 SSD
    Reply
  • v12v12 - Tuesday, February 23, 2010 - link

    YES! You tell these idiot RAID-0 fanboys that it's USELESS and doesn't offer any real world benefit for all the potential catastrophic FAILURE it can cause, and the fact that it's DOUBLE: the drive price, double the heat, double the noise, double the space required, double capacity loss... the list of negatives about RAID-0 go on and on.
    __ WHile nobody talks about RAID-1, like it's some redheaded-step-child. RAID-1 is the BEST thing anyone can do if they value their data. Screw a meager speed increase (very subjective/specific to the intended usage) when you risk losing it all and THEN you'll spend how many HOURS of DOWN TIME cursing your HDs to hell? Logic right out the window folks...

    RAID-O has long been proven to be a complete WASTE OF TIME! Go search Xbit-labs, Storage review and the myriads of other comparisons that PROVE (again not my opinion) that it's a farce and doesn't belong on "desktop" systems at all: stupid gamers/fanboys never learn.
    Reply
  • funkyd99 - Tuesday, February 23, 2010 - link

    I wouldn't call double the capacity useless. Before you generalize everyone who uses RAID-0 as an "idiot fanboy", realize that:

    1. Some people need more than 160GB of storage for their primary drive, and prefer a hardware solution vs. a software solution such as dynamic disks.

    2. Some people have a solid bare-bones backup solution in place, and can recover from a catastrophic failure in less than an hour.

    3. RAID-1 on a desktop is the waste of time and hardly the best thing someone can do if they value their data. Please tell me how RAID-1 will save your data if a faulty power supply fries everything in your computer, or a faulty controller writes a bunch of garbage to both disks, etc. etc. An external drive and a weekly backup is safer than relying on RAID-1 as a backup solution.

    4. Some people can get a point across without resorting to name-calling and CAPS.
    Reply
  • mlambert890 - Thursday, February 25, 2010 - link

    This is so well said. Why are so many people so insanely emotionally involved with disk drives, video cards, etc?

    There is no "final answer" discussing RAID 0. Lots of people like to declare they have a "final answer" and call anyone who dissents an "idiot", but this is just noise.

    As has always been the case with *any* RAID level, cost/benefit analysis really depends almost entirely on your use case and indvidiual situation. It is tempting to try to paint with a broad brush (especially on web forums), but reality just doesnt work that way

    Anyone who understands RAID, storage, or really technology in general in any meaningful way, knows this.

    A lot of technology passes through my hands as a result of my profession (and a lot has come and gone during the course of a 20 year career).

    Annecdotally, I can tell you right now that I absolutely "feel" the difference between Intel SSD single drive and the sames drives in RAID 0. I have the two setups sitting right here for testing. Synethetics show a difference, and the difference is measurable and noticeable. Many people say they don't notice the difference between SSD and *HDD*. They arent wrong - perception is subjective.

    Objectively, however, RAID-0 yields a performance increase. Whether or not one can perceive it or feels the tradeoff is worth it (as is ALWAYS the case with RAID-0), is a subjective and individual decision.

    Some day a lot of these kids are going to look back on their post history (unique thing - your words last forever on the internet) and wonder what the heck they were thinking...
    Reply
  • kmmatney - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    I agree. NewEgg just had the Intel 80 GB SSD on sale for $219. They sold out pretty fast, though. I think at the end of the day, you can't go wrong with Intel for an SSD. Their toolbox can schedule a anutomatic TRIM operation once a week for Windows Xp systems as well, so lack of autoatic TRIM in Window XP is not an issue. Reply
  • leexgx - Saturday, February 20, 2010 - link

    intel toolbox will only work in AHCI mode (Sata mode as well i think but you lose NCQ) and no updated chipset drivers or no intel matrix drivers installed Reply
  • mschira - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link


    typo gallore...
    But I am so excited...
    M.
    Reply
  • micksh - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    Vertex LE 200GB is $920 at Amazon (preorder, no availability date)
    http://www.amazon.com/OCZ-Technology-Limited-2-5-I...">http://www.amazon.com/OCZ-Technology-Li...-Inch-OC...

    Just one note. Numbers on charts are aligned to bars and text is aligned to the left edge of the chart. If the bar is too short the numbers overlap with text and it's hard to read the numbers.
    Reply
  • Shining Arcanine - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    I thought Linux's ext4 and btrfs filesystems supported TRIM too. Why do you say that only Windows 7 supports TRIM? Reply
  • Chlorus - Sunday, February 21, 2010 - link

    Because BTRFS is still experimental and EXT4 is a piece of shit that randomly corrupts large files? Reply
  • gwolfman - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    Anand,

    I'm jealous of your serial number: 1.

    OCZ showing some special love to you. :)
    Reply
  • anikolayev - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    I just bought an OCZ Agility based on your benchmarks, the ones suggesting the drive is capable of 160MB/s writes. However it has been confirmed by several other customers that the current batch being shipped by NewEgg uses different chips in the OCZ lottery which comes up with 100-130MB/s writes. This is very significant for people buying this drive for video capture related purposes, since 100 is hardly any better than the average 70 on a standard HDD.

    The Agility's random writes that you show in the charts and latest article are also almost double of the drives being shipped right now. After countless tweaks I can barely do 7MB/s, forget 12.

    I understand the Agility is a dated drive, but it's still very popular due to recent sales ($130 for 60GB) and I think it would help your readers to take a look at updated performance numbers that are more realistic to what they will actually get.

    Also there's no refunds with SSDs, so anyone buying into these charts will just have to live with what they get.
    Reply
  • v12v12 - Tuesday, February 23, 2010 - link

    FYI... 100 vs 70 is THIRTY PERCENT FASTER DUH? 30% is HUGE in regards to technological competition/advancements. Where have you been all these years? Show us a 30% performance gain (aside from SSD beta testing and new releases) in 1-2 mechanical HD generations... Umm you CAN'T>.< Reply
  • AnnonymousCoward - Tuesday, February 23, 2010 - link

    > FYI... 100 vs 70 is THIRTY PERCENT FASTER DUH?

    Duhhh it's 43% :)
    Reply
  • hardwareguy - Saturday, February 20, 2010 - link

    If you want and SSD that's fast and cheap the agility is hard to beat. If that last bit of performance is important you can buy one of the vertex turbos or an intel drive but it quickly gets un-cheap. Even a 3/4 speed agility is still 10x better than a spinning metal drive. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Saturday, February 20, 2010 - link

    Hmm, what size drive do you have? I tested the 120GB Agility I believe which has higher read/write specs than the rest.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • bji - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    They've admitted that they are building only a limited number of drives, so how will they honor the three year warranty? It's unlikely they will be able to replace a dead drive with another OCZ Vertex Limited Edition, since there won't be any more. Will they replace with an equivalent drive? If so, what would the equivalent drive be?

    I continue to be skeptical of SandForce's controller technology. I would be interested in seeing some more rigorous testing done on these drives, such as repeated and random simulated power outages during writes, to ensure that the drive doesn't brick itself if power is lost at an inopportune time (especially as this version does not have the supercap).
    Reply
  • Exelius - Wednesday, February 24, 2010 - link

    Typically what they would do is either hold back a percentage of production for warranty replacements. Once they run through these they'd just offer you an equivalent current product. Reply
  • LazerFX - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    Someone's not read the article...

    From the "Final Words" page, reproduced here so that anyone else reading the first few pages can get the answer:

    "If you’re willing to take the risk, the Vertex LE appears to be the best SSD you can buy at $399. It is a difficult proposition simply because we have had such limited experience with the drive and the controller/firmware have a completely unproven track record. It really boils down to how much of an early adopter you are. At least OCZ as a company tends to take care of its customers, so even if you do take the jump and something does go wrong you won’t be SOL. The Vertex LE will ship with a 3 year warranty and if your drive dies you'll get another LE (OCZ is putting some aside), Vertex 2 or other equivalent in its place.

    OCZ’s CEO Ryan Petersen and I could always get into another yelling match if you aren’t taken care of."

    So... there you go.
    Reply
  • Kibbles - Saturday, February 20, 2010 - link

    even if they run out of those they put aside. they still have the enterprise versions. Reply
  • bji - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    Absolutely right, my answer was there and I posted before reading all the way to the end. Mea culpa.
    Reply
  • crimson117 - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    They can still buy more SF-1500 controllers at the non-sweetheart-deal price and create new drives for warranty replacements. Or they could offer refunds but not replacements. Reply
  • vol7ron - Saturday, February 20, 2010 - link

    I'm glad they realized that the controller was too expensive. It should definitely be cheaper, SF is ripping them off. I think this was a good move on their part.

    But, I also have to wonder, was this decision influenced in part from the CES-2010? The V2Pro seems lke it was a not superior, but competitive product that would soon be inferior. Just makes me wonder if execs said, "halt production, sell what you can. We'll market it as Limited Edition."

    vol7ron
    Reply
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