So what's the latency / seek time? - how long before it starts delivering data when asked to?
That's supposed to be the real advantage; that SSD's make the PC feel a lot snappier because of the low seek time..
Samsung has the factory hamster wheels oiled and has started mass-production of 128GB solid-state hard drives. The company usually says nothing about the price of its new products, and it's sticking to that line today. However, Samsung promises the production ramp will be accompanied by "more attractive pricing" for the latest …
Seek time and longevity would be far greater advantages than just straight transfer speed in most cases. Certainly as OS drives anyway because the increased reliability and seek speed would affect the system quite favourably. Of course on drives which are used to store lots of large files, you'd probably still be better off with a normal hard drive.
"They only burn 0.2W in standby mode and 0.5W in active mode."
Where do your figures come from?
I had a look around when this story landed the other day, you can pick up a 64GB OCZ SSD for £180 at the moment. If you're trying to build a quiet media centre (or any other quiet machine) then the lack of HD physical noise and the reduction in heat generation has to be a good thing.
1024Gb is 128GB, so the maths is fine.
No the maths isn't out. Look closer and you will see that 16Gb had a small "b" for bits. so that's 64 x 16 / 8 = 128GB. There is redundancy in the flash chips themselves but it is "under the covers". Dud cells are mapped out and spares used. It's one of the features that keeps the price of flash down as it vastly improves yields.
No math problem, just a reading problem, it's a small B on Gb - so that's Gigabit on Gigabyte - 64 x 16Gbit = 64 x 2GB = 128GB.
Of course they have a seek time still, it's just that it happens to be a static seek time regardless of where the data is, so the average seek is the same as the min and max seek times.
Bits, bytes, whatever.
But the maths problem is not entirely yours. Can I assume that 2Gb chips contain just 2e9 bits, or are there in fact just 56 of them in the device, not 64, or dare we hope that this 128GB drive actually has a capacity of 128GB? (If it turns out to be the third case, as SSDs become more common how much longer can the HD manufacturers cling to the line that "most folks expect us to lie about capacity"?)
Not sure about that, there's more than a touch of ambiguity about the statement:
"Samsung said the 128GB drives consist of 64 MLC NAND flash memory chips of 16Gb each. They only burn 0.2W in standby mode and 0.5W in active mode."
I'm assuming the "They" is the 128Gb drive; you're assuming the "They" is the "64 MLC NAND flash memory chips of 16Gb each". One of us might be right.
Would make a very wise choice as a portable external "carry your useful tools around sites" kind of hard drive. I am sick of dropping mine.
And is a reasonable size to carry everything else you might want, like your MP3 collection, some video's, a TV series perhaps.
Give it a few months to seep through the market and the price to drop.
The quoted power figure will be for the drive although I suspect that the active mode figure is a little conservative. In stand-by mode, 16Gb MLC NAND flash burns about 3mW per device so the standby figure is fairly accurate. In operating mode 16Gb MLC NAND burns about 45mW per device which would be 2.88W if all devices were active at the same time. Of course Samsung are smart so they probably only activate individual devices as required and can keep the typical power consumtion down to 0.5W for the whole drive. Now that's low power!
OCZ drives can already be found on dabs and aria,
32Gb versions are around a £100.
The ones on dabs claim 120MB/s read and 80MB/s write (Mega Bytes) with a seek time of 0.35ms (Milli seconds)
In Reg standard units thats a read speed of about 32*10^7 Librearian reading bits a second and about 18*10^7 Math teacher writing a second.
With a seek time of about 1/4 of a welsh woolly blink seek time.
- Ill get my coat.
For years now, you have been able to do this Compact Flash cards. One of their operating modes imitates an IDE drive. All you need is a passive IDE to CF adapter (available on eBay at very reasonable prices) and you can hook it up to your PC. Many embedded PCs go this route and my home PC happily runs Windows 2K off a 2 gigabyte CF card plugged directly into the motherboard. And very nippy it is too!
Re: '(If it turns out to be the third case, as SSDs become more common how much longer can the HD manufacturers cling to the line that "most folks expect us to lie about capacity"?)'
HD manufacturers don't lie, they just use the standard metric type version of K, M etc. rather than the base 2 versions used for memory.
K = 1,000
M = 1,000,000
Strictly speaking, KB = 1,000 Bytes, if you want to represent 1,024 Bytes it should be written as KiB (although most people, including myself, still tend to write KB anyway!).
So if this drive is a true 128 Giga Byte drive, it should be labelled as 128GiB rather than 128GB, that way you know it has more storage than a 128GB drive.
128GB = 128,000,000,000 bytes
128GiB = 137,438,953,472 bytes
As an example, if you go out and buy yourself a nice big 1TB HD drive, it's actually 1,000,000,000,000 bytes, which translates as being 931.322575 GiB.
Hence why Windows only shows it as a 931GB size drive, as Windows is actually talking about GiB (base 2), not GB (base 10).
Most OS's make the same mistake, treating hard drives which use one standard, the same as memory, which uses a different standard.
Personally I wish they'd just stick to one standard, the base 2 version, esspecially now with SSD devices, as these are rated the same as memory, so can't be directly compared to HD drives, as SSD's would actually be bigger for the same size rating!
Gate, just because I can :-)
The fuss is... these SSDs can be used exactly as one would use a traditional rotating glass platter hard-drive. Your CF card or OCZ "SSD", formatted to NTFS and running Windows 2K with swap-file et al would not last a reasonable amount of time.
Using a CF card as a hard-drive is only a viable option if you plan to customise your system sufficiently that you won't knacker the flash card after a few months useage. I would certainly consider that option for running a more specialised system such as an in-car computer (CF more rugged) or an HTPC that streams media from more traditional hard-drives elsewhere.
Hasn't this been around for years? I used (1998- I'm old, okay?) to have a machine with a heatsunk motherboard, heatsunk graphics card, bloody-great-heatsink-equipped processor and an HDD in a small internal caddy. And a passively cooled hardware MPEG2 decoder.
Absolutely silent (until you put a DVD drive in, but a DVD drive will never be silent). Low power consumption. Played DVDs beautifully, played music just fine, browsed the 'net as well as could be expected on dial-up and had a full office suite. Loaded pretty quickly as well thanks to some startup-crap-removal.
Ontopic: 128GB SSD, sounds fantastic! How long till it's in a Super-eeePC?
I see a few comments along the 'silent and cool' line.
Well, both these, purely relative, terms MAY be incorrect, if extrapolated to more realistic sizes.
Let's just suppose these things are a lot cooler than mechanical HDs, I can't help wondering how much heat a hypothetical 1TB version would generate?
Having fallen into the 'Raptor trap' in search of speed (and they are noticeably faster - downside: you do need ear defenders) I also fell foul of temperature issues there.
Raptors consistently run 39 degrees, other HDs seem to run around 32 degrees - BUT, Raptors being rather low capacity, you also wind up using more of them... see where I'm coming from? More AND hotter?
The other point being, 'conventional' (non-Raptor) HDs seem to run the same temp regardless of capacity - but it would seem to me that SSDs MUST, because of their technology, generate heat directly proportional to their capacity, so lots of little SSD's probably aren't the answer either.
Is this really the way we want to go? I've reached the point where I now have to watercool RAM (well, everything else is on the machine in question:-) ) because a couple of 1200 rpm 120mm case fans can't keep RAM temperatures at a reasonable level (reasonable? One where they are stable and don't fail regularly).
If SSDs become common, and high capacity, will they be sold with attached fans (ooops, there went the 'quiet', or just massive (ooops, there goes the physical size advantage too) heatsinks and a requirement for the sort of case airflow only achievable with a lot of fan noise?
Conventional HDs may have their limitations and possibly aren't an ideal solution to static storage, but... when you think carefully about it, SSDs at current conventional HD capacities MIGHT prove just as noisy (albeit indirectly and possibly not as bad as Raptors), and/or bulky, and/or hot running as the present generation of HDs...
Ah, the unending search for the 'silent' high performance PC!
The issue here really is that using energy generates heat. And everything in a PC uses energy, to a greater or lesser extent.
Quiet cooling is problematical (my best solution so far is minimal mechanical (fan) cooling and a hybrid liquid cooling system based on a Reserator2 heat exchanger with a decent external pump).
The question boils down to: Do I really want to deal with the heat generated by a couple of TB of SSD drive?
Or stick with my Samsung Spinrites (or their equivalent by the time sensible size SSDs are available at something remotely resembling a realistic price point)?
SSDs may have their place. In laptops and compact media players, or digital cameras (still and movie).
But, unless I'm completely and utterly incorrect in my reasoning, they almost certainly don't have much application to 'quiet' high performance PCs.
Seek time refers to the amount of time taken for the read/write heads of a mechanical hard disk to move and the average seek time is usually quoted because the seek time varies depending on how far the head needs to move..
SSDs don't have read/write heads therefore they don't have seek times. They have a uniform access time. Not the same at all.
"SSDs don't have a seek time.
It's basically memory and one location can be read as quickly as any other. The interesting figures are throughput and read and write times."
True, but wrong.
The latancy of the drive has an impact on performance, so it may not have a seek time, it will have a latancy which is pritty much the same thing.
Other than laptop owners I want these beastys in my desktop so I can have a Raid 0 system (striping) with no noise, low heat and low pwr consumption.
So whilse I might beable to get the same performance from a pair of raptor drives, I do not want to invest in ear plugs, and a massive colling fan for an arry of them.
NB: did anybody else notice the 1.5Tb article...., that *new* drive is using SATA I ;( how poo.
Anyway, untill SSD's drop to *only* 50% more than a drive 50% bigger (raptor type price), there is no way this size will see much in the way of domestic sales. IMO
Personally, I have a central server. Doesn't run anything serious but on a 1Gb network hub it services everything, even my modded Xbox runs movies from it and I can FTP my pictures to it while away from home.
A reliable, low heat storage device that I can leave on all the time ... that's got to be a big plus side from my viewpoint; I live most days pondering when my server is going to throw a wobbly and potentially lose all my data .. investing in new hard drives every few years and then another motherboard because the interface has changed (again!) [not quite, but you know where I'm coming from]
The desktop can run whatever it likes 'cause it doesn't matter, a single raptor would do me proud; the data bulk isn't on it. Once these things reach a good size at a reasonable price, I'm in the queue ... There's no way I'd spend two days in the face of wind and rain for a Jesus phone, but I'd certainly do it for a storage medium like this.
If that Cherrypal PC-ish-thingy develops to the degree that it can have one or two of these attached on SATA II, then I'll be there, baby! It'll spell the end for at least one of my giant fan blasting towers with eight fans.