Intel 34nm SSD released

Silencing hard drives, optical drives and other storage devices

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swivelguy2
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Post by swivelguy2 » Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:36 am

Dirge wrote:Fo those of you who picked up one of these SSDs what your impressions? Do they really make things that more responsive on your systems?
What I can tell you is that after using an X25-E-equipped workstation at work, going back to my personal machine is very, very depressing. It's like stepping out of Star Trek and back into the 13th century.

And by the way, Matija, Dirge's first sentence says, "what [are] your impressions?" to which all of Cov's reply is on-topic. Also, this is a thread about a computer part on a computer forum. Pictures of that part in that thread will always be on-topic.

I would like to suggest that a couple people here need to grow up and stop being so hostile, but I have a feeling that just won't get us anywhere.

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Post by MikeC » Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:34 am

Due to use of abusive language and expression of undue hostility, Matija's account has been suspended until further notice .
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Post by Strid » Fri Aug 14, 2009 2:12 pm

Cov wrote:Image
Haha, I love that sticker! Might be a little cheesy, but still awesome.

By the way, of all the upgrades I've done to my workstation in the past many years, the SSD was the single upgrade with the most effect. Both on noise and office use type of performance. Simply amazing.
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Post by K.Murx » Fri Aug 14, 2009 2:51 pm

Note for those guys that are curious how effective a SSD would be:
You might want to give Puppy Linux a spin. Just install it to a USB drive and boot from that.
Upon boot, it copies it's data into RAM and runs from there, which means you have even faster access times than a SSD.

Btw, if you have enough RAM (and a small enough distribution), you can do that with any Linux version...

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Post by whispercat » Fri Aug 14, 2009 4:59 pm

Cov wrote:
Image
Wow...that picture is worth a thousand words, and really says it all.

Incredible how the storage technology is evolving.

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Post by Dirge » Fri Aug 14, 2009 5:33 pm

Those are very impressive pictures Cov, thanks for sharing them. I particularly like how small the drive is, its a shame a standard case doesn't yet support room for a 2.5' disk.

I am still really keen to hear others opinions on daily use, I have heard conflicting reports about the promised speed up/added responsiveness.

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Post by Eunos » Fri Aug 14, 2009 5:37 pm

A nice picture indeed, but my first thought was that normal 2.5" platter drives are smaller by a similar degree. I suppose it is hard for any picture to really display the real-world difference to the end user of a top SSD.

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Post by alleycat » Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:37 am

K.Murx wrote:Note for those guys that are curious how effective a SSD would be:
You might want to give Puppy Linux a spin. Just install it to a USB drive and boot from that.
Upon boot, it copies it's data into RAM and runs from there, which means you have even faster access times than a SSD.

Btw, if you have enough RAM (and a small enough distribution), you can do that with any Linux version...
Totally agree with this. RAM can be cheaply enormous these days. There's no reason why an OS and apps can't be efficiently held in RAM for ultimate performance. Unfortunately as far as I know, W7 is incapable of this but I need Excel/VBA.

SSD is useful as the system image repository. I'm guessing that the advent of Solid State Storage may have profound effects on future computer architecture. These are early days for this technology.

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Post by nutball » Sat Aug 15, 2009 12:14 pm

alleycat wrote:Totally agree with this. RAM can be cheaply enormous these days. There's no reason why an OS and apps can't be efficiently held in RAM for ultimate performance. Unfortunately as far as I know, W7 is incapable of this but I need Excel/VBA.
Well, there is a good reason. Lose power and you lose the contents of your RAM, which would mean you lose your apps if stored only in RAM.

If you're willing to have your apps stored in RAM for speed but backed-up to hard-drive for persistence, you could install them on the HD, fire them up and keep them running. If you want to power down your PC, use S3(STR) which has been available for a decade now. Your apps will be available as instantly on resume as a persistent RAM disk, and the storage is just as reliable (ie. lose power, lose data

W7 is capable of this.

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Post by lm » Sat Aug 15, 2009 2:02 pm

MikeC wrote:Due to use of abusive language and expression of undue hostility, Matija's account has been suspended until further notice .
I don't know any parties involved, just checked back on page 5 of the SSD thread, but didn't cov call Matija's comment retarded first?

Wouldn't anyone be offended by someone implying they are retarded?

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Post by Cov » Sat Aug 15, 2009 2:21 pm

lm wrote:... but didn't cov call Matija's comment retarded first?
What is so difficult in reading a text I wonder ?

I did not call Matija's comment retarded, I did not even call Matija's joke retarded but I implied it was.

There is a fine difference.

Besides this, if you look back again and tell me the meaning of the "joke", then you might find out that the "joke" itself was already an offence.

Didn't Matija confess that he was retarded by himself ?

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Post by K.Murx » Sat Aug 15, 2009 5:53 pm

nutball wrote: Well, there is a good reason. Lose power and you lose the contents of your RAM, which would mean you lose your apps if stored only in RAM.

If you're willing to have your apps stored in RAM for speed but backed-up to hard-drive for persistence, you could install them on the HD, fire them up and keep them running. If you want to power down your PC, use S3(STR) which has been available for a decade now. Your apps will be available as instantly on resume as a persistent RAM disk, and the storage is just as reliable (ie. lose power, lose data

W7 is capable of this.
The point is to keep not only your applications in RAM, but to keep the whole OS and all it's random little writes/reads in RAM. Which W (7 or otherwise) is incapable of ;)
BtW, you do not lose persistence this way, as the OS is stored on disk and loaded upon boot. You can still save all changes made to the OS to disk (upon shutdown, e.g.).

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Post by lm » Sun Aug 16, 2009 7:34 am

Cov wrote:
lm wrote:... but didn't cov call Matija's comment retarded first?
What is so difficult in reading a text I wonder ?
The only meaning of that sentence is to diss me in a way that is too vague for me to defend myself against.
Cov wrote: I did not call Matija's comment retarded, I did not even call Matija's joke retarded but I implied it was.

There is a fine difference.
The fine difference being, that if you cleverly imply that you imply that someone is retarded, you can get away with it for free.
Cov wrote:
Besides this, if you look back again and tell me the meaning of the "joke", then you might find out that the "joke" itself was already an offence.
That elephant thing obviously just pointed out that your comment (the one with pictures) before it was structured as a reply to the guy who asked about responsiveness, but (while being on topic to the thread) was mostly something else than a reply to his question.

The elephant post was bad style, but I don't think any retardation implications should have been made by just that.
Cov wrote: Didn't Matija confess that he was retarded by himself ?
My guess is that he was seriously hurt and angered by your post. Why else would he have made such outburst.

That must be a rethorical question from you anyway, as you well know what he tried to do with that comment.


What I'm trying to say is that there was some point in his original post (even though bad style), but you were imo more offending back, triggering his limits.

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Post by swivelguy2 » Sun Aug 16, 2009 7:59 am

K.Murx wrote:The point is to keep not only your applications in RAM, but to keep the whole OS and all it's random little writes/reads in RAM. Which W (7 or otherwise) is incapable of ;)
BtW, you do not lose persistence this way, as the OS is stored on disk and loaded upon boot. You can still save all changes made to the OS to disk (upon shutdown, e.g.).
But you can't save the whole OS back to disk upon an unexpected power failure. This is a recipe for needing to reinstall the OS if anything goes wrong and it doesn't get saved to disk when something changes, or gets saved in an inconsistent way.

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Post by K.Murx » Sun Aug 16, 2009 9:49 am

swivelguy2 wrote: But you can't save the whole OS back to disk upon an unexpected power failure. This is a recipe for needing to reinstall the OS if anything goes wrong and it doesn't get saved to disk when something changes, or gets saved in an inconsistent way.
But how many changes to your OS do you make during a typical work session? Because only those changes are lost. The "stored" OS is unharmed.
Which can be used as a great security feature, btw - one can keep the "stored" OS read-only unless you explicitly want to change something and thus lose all unwelcome changes (virii,etc) upon shutdown...
You also don't need to write the whole OS back but only those parts that changed. The installation might be killed if the power goes out during this process, but this risk is very low and can be eliminated by an UPS :)

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Post by nutball » Sun Aug 16, 2009 9:57 am

TBH I'd rather have a smart PCIE-to-SATA storage controller with a large (4-16GB) battery-backed write-behind/read cache interposed between the OS and whatever storage I choose, be it HD, SSD, or both.

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Post by Cov » Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:59 am

Im, no matter how much you enjoy playing solicitor, the case Matja is closed for me.

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Post by alleycat » Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:59 am


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Post by Kristian » Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:24 am

The fan is a little discouraging. Besides the performance improvement, the silence of the SSD is - for me at least - a very big part of its apeal.

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Post by lm » Mon Aug 17, 2009 10:43 am

whispercat wrote:
Cov wrote:
Image
Wow...that picture is worth a thousand words, and really says it all.

Incredible how the storage technology is evolving.
You could make the same comparison between a 3.5" hdd and a 2.5" hdd and say the same thing?

You can get 2TB in a 3.5" form factor, not so with 2.5" hdd or ssd.

2.5" hdd would be much better comparison target to a ssd for SPCR purposes, because it uses less power and is smaller and quieter. Obviously this would make the performance gap even larger, but otherwise the comparison would make more sense.

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Post by Blue_Sky » Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:33 pm

@ lm

I think that you can.

The Intel Gen2 is less than 80% of the volume of a normal 2.5 in drive, and 60% of a Velociraptor, to which comparisons are commonly made.

It uses only 30-40% of the power at load and an even smaller fraction at idle. It is lighter than your average hdd as well.

Right now you can actually get a bigger SSD than 2.5 in hdd (512 vs 500 GB). That said, the former costs more than 2000 USD.

This is all on top of the noise and performance differences. I'm honestly surprised at how SSDs haven't been more of a hit here at SPCR. In most of my builds the hard drive is the loudest part, especially because it is where I have the least control.

I'd put it this way: if you could get a 320 GB Intel-spec'd drive for $100, wouldn't you? At some point in the (hopefully near) future, this will be the reality.

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Post by swivelguy2 » Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:04 pm

Blue_Sky wrote:I'd put it this way: if you could get a 320 GB Intel-spec'd drive for $100, wouldn't you? At some point in the (hopefully near) future, this will be the reality.
But it's not like HDD technology is going to stop advancing as well. When 320GB Intel SSDs are $100, those same $100 will get you roughly 16TB of 3.5" HDD.

Obviously, one technology is for speed and the other is for bulk storage. People get so riled up about which is "better" but they're just different.

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Post by Blue_Sky » Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:19 pm

I'd like to make a couple of comments.

This "better" you mentioned is obviously unqualified. Sure, it is really better for me, and I think a lot of other people, but certainly not better for data storage right now. If you think about the average consumer (not enthusiasts, businesses or SPCR members) things will likely change when they have the choice between a SSD or a slower disk drive with much more capacity that they may not use.

I think your rate of technological advancement is a little off there - dollar for dollar, the 320 GB drive will be equivalent to an 8 TB drive. Also this means that spinning disks will have to pick up the pace (there has been a recent slowing in magnetic disk density doubling by my count) and SSDs will have to slow down their pace as well. It is hard to measure and not representative of the future, but if you go by Intel and OCZ's offerings, it is close to double that of disks.

Also, SSDs aren't mature as a technology. There is no guarantee that controllers won't get better over time. On the other hand, hdds see incremental increases in buffer size and platter density while form factor and RPM is constant. We simply don't know whether flash technology has more potential than disks five or ten years from now.

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Post by lm » Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:33 am

Let me make it clear that I am in no way against SSDs.

The picture with the 2.5" SSD on top of a 3.5" HDD was just odd, because 2.5" HDDs are common.

I got my Velociraptor when the Intel drives were still very expensive. If I were to build my system now, I might get the 80GB 34nm Intel SSD instead.

But then I could not have both my linux and my windows partitions on it for lack of space (currently I fill 23GB on the linux partition and 74GB on the windows, and I do not want to pay attention to the amount of unused space because that would be a major nuisance and defeat any performance benefits by eating up my real time). And then I'd definitely need a second drive anyway and the noise reduction / low power points would be moot.

However with 8GB of RAM and the Velociraptor, I assume I have plenty of fast disk cache to offset the slower access time, so the SSD upgrade can wait. Maybe I get one for myself as a present when I accomplish a certain long term goal I am working towards in near-ish future.

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Post by Beyonder » Thu Aug 20, 2009 3:31 pm

JazzJackRabbit wrote: Install FileMon and watch in awe how much read/write activity windows does even when it's supposed to be "idle", and most of it for small files/registry/checking if file is there or not, etc...
Although it looks like this conversation already degraded, I will say that Windows has very aggressive caching of disk information so the disk activity reported in filemon can be deceiving from a performance standpoint. I know this first hand. The second read of a file is often literally "free" compared to the first, because most (decent) operating systems use some concept of temporal locality--as in, if you've recently used something, it's pretty likely you may want to use it again in the near future. And often times it's more work to remove something from memory than it is to just leave it there, so most (decent) operating systems will have some respectable caching algorithm to avoid hitting the disk any more than they need to. Even an SSD is slow compared to main memory.

Furthermore, disk drives themselves use their cache for this very purpose. So it's not incorrect to state that SSDs are really only going to help you with truly "random" access or on first-run of an application (which is certainly nothing to scoff at, IMO); for stuff that isn't random, it's pretty likely that it's already been cached away somewhere.

Sequential read/write speed has almost completely written itself out of the performance equation, unless the use case is reading gigantic files.
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Post by JazzJackRabbit » Fri Aug 21, 2009 8:23 am

Beyonder wrote:
JazzJackRabbit wrote: Install FileMon and watch in awe how much read/write activity windows does even when it's supposed to be "idle", and most of it for small files/registry/checking if file is there or not, etc...
Although it looks like this conversation already degraded, I will say that Windows has very aggressive caching of disk information so the disk activity reported in filemon can be deceiving from a performance standpoint. I know this first hand. The second read of a file is often literally "free" compared to the first, because most (decent) operating systems use some concept of temporal locality--as in, if you've recently used something, it's pretty likely you may want to use it again in the near future. And often times it's more work to remove something from memory than it is to just leave it there, so most (decent) operating systems will have some respectable caching algorithm to avoid hitting the disk any more than they need to. Even an SSD is slow compared to main memory.

Furthermore, disk drives themselves use their cache for this very purpose. So it's not incorrect to state that SSDs are really only going to help you with truly "random" access or on first-run of an application (which is certainly nothing to scoff at, IMO); for stuff that isn't random, it's pretty likely that it's already been cached away somewhere.

Sequential read/write speed has almost completely written itself out of the performance equation, unless the use case is reading gigantic files.
Cache or no cache, if it's a miss it has to go to the drive to get data.

Anyway, I ordered G2 drive, hopefully it will arrive before next weekend, at which point I'll install Windows 7 and will see for myself if SSD is really worth it.

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Post by Beyonder » Mon Aug 24, 2009 4:21 pm

Yes, but that's sort of obvious and not the point I was making: filemon is a misleading way to understand how much read/write activity windows does. The vast majority of that is totally cached and won't go anywhere near the disk.

That said, I'd be on the SSD bandwagon today if I had a few hundred bucks lying around; it's pretty clear where the future lies, and it doesn't involve RPM.
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Post by halcyon » Sat Aug 29, 2009 2:11 am

My quick comments on my experience with X25-M 160GB G2 w/ Win7 64-bit:

- extremely fast operations - compared to a much faster 32bit XP setup using a WD 7200RPM Black Caviar
- loss of WD noise (rubber grommeted, non-suspended) is audible to me
- expensive for my wallet, but worth the smooth speed and extra silence

I might also add that those of you running lots of RAM, creating a non-volatile RAMdisk volume that gets written to HD on shutdown and installing your software/temp there can speed up things enormously. I've tried this myself with Firefox (app/cache/profile on ramdisk) and the difference even compared to a X25-M is noticeable.

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Post by whispercat » Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:45 am

Where are people getting their Intel G2 SSDs from? I can't find one anywhere for sale as nobody has any stock. :?

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Post by Erssa » Sun Aug 30, 2009 1:34 pm

whispercat wrote:Where are people getting their Intel G2 SSDs from? I can't find one anywhere for sale as nobody has any stock. :?
Well I'm not from Canada, but I made my order 5 weeks ago and my order has been pushed back several times. Current deadline is next friday, but I'm not holding my breath...
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