"A swift call..."
You know, you could have phoned them before dismantling the thing.
Although the pictures wouldn't have been quite so good.
Crucial supplies a fair amount of information about its CT256M225 256GB SSD, including the facts that it uses MLC Flash, has a read speed of 250MB/s, a write speed of 200MB/s and comes with a 64MB cache. Crucial CT256M225 Crucial's CT256M225: Indilinx' controller on board The one piece of data that is clearly missing is …
SSDs are not used as storage drives, they are used for the OS and applications. That's where the speed advantages are most important. As they are not bought for storage but for speed their value should not be compared as "cost per GB" but rather "cost per speed" (once sufficient capacity is reached).
I bought one of these exact drives to replace a pair of Western Digital Raptors (widely regarded as the fastest regular HDDs around) in RAID0 configuration and there is definitely a perceptible speed boost from the SSD.
The best part is that the Crucial drives come with a 5 year warranty which is great peace of mind when you consider SSD tech is still relatively new and the drives themselves have a limited shelf life.
The only downside I've had is that the most recent firmware that was made available for the drive was withdrawn shortly after being released (not before many including myself installed it) due to reports of corruption issues in Windows 7. There is talk of a new firmware coming soon to fix this but it apparently involves a destructive reformat of the drive. Personally I just consider this par for the course for cutting edge technology but others might be put off.
Price has gone up to 435ukp. Or a nice round 500ukp to the common man with his value added rip-off.
Not sure whether this very article contributed towards that boost or not.
This clearly puts it right up there in the 'Ridiculous expensive luxuries' dept and as a result I, and many of my colleagues and friends simply will not be buying.
To me, and many others, 256Gb is the starting point of useful NV storage capacities, and to say that SSD hasn't yet started doing that nice downward price spiral that sparks the industry into full consumer adoption is, shall we say, a bit of an understatement.
C'mon industry, sell em cheap to begin with and we'll keep coming back, drug dealers do it all the time!
While sequential throughput is a nice number to talk about, what makes more of a difference is the number of ios/sec the drives can sustain, particularly writes. Intel's controllers on the 2G X25 SSDs are particularly good for this, offering up to about 8500 random writes / sec, whereas some competitors are often <200 (yes, that big a difference). How do the Crucial drives compare?
"SSDs are not used as storage drives"
It does seem that SSDs are competing against HDDs for storage capacity.
But I want to run my OS from a SSD and store my data on my home server. I don't want 256GB. I don't even want to pay for 64GB (the smallest new Crucial). I would love a couple of fast (SLC) 8GB drives to run my OS in RAID0 but can't seem to find any.
"...new firmware...but it apparently involves a destructive reformat of the drive. Personally I just consider this par for the course for cutting edge technology but others might be put off."
A destructive reformat is something I would consider tolerable for a beta product, but not for a commercial product I have paid money for. If that`s the best a manufacturer can do, then they'll not be getting any of my money.
"""A destructive reformat is something I would consider tolerable for a beta product, but not for a commercial product I have paid money for. If that`s the best a manufacturer can do, then they'll not be getting any of my money."""
Since the changes the firmware brings generally affect the way data is stored in the flash memory, you can't get speed benefits without a reformat. And officially you're not supposed to be flashing the things at all - on some brands that use the same controller flashing will void your warranty.
I've just bought one of these based on this recommendation and others. I have a lot of programs installed and vast numbers of photographs (or which I've got many 10's of thousands), I got it, simply because I'm fed up of the lengthy boot time and lack of responsiveness when things like virus scanners (and heaven knows what else) kick in.
Programs like Lightroom maintain highly dynamic databases and generates vast numbers of small files for previews (on my setup, Lightroom has generated over 26,000 preview photos). Such things are poisonous to performance on hard drives. There are lots of others like this too, not least of which is what happens on the system disk and what browsers do with cookie files and the like. Random performance is the king, and a drive that can (realistically) do a few thousand random IOPs rather than, maybe, 140 on a 7200 RPM disk make a massive difference.
The solid state disk has absolutely transformed the usability of the machine. It is not, of course, cost-effective for the bulk of photographic and video needs, but even under the heaviest system load, the (4 core) machine remains highly usable.
The way it is configured is with the SSD partitioned into a system partition (80GB) and a data partition (where I keep use account space). As there is no requirement to re-drag an SSD, I could have probably reduced the system partion to 60GB. Bulk storage is provided by mounting hard drive partitions into the appropriate part of the MyDocs file structure (so there are archive partitions in MyPictures, MyVideos, MyDocs etc.). The SSD makes an excellent place to hold things like the Lightroom DB and thumbnails and for working space - once that is done, a simple matter to drag the relevant files and directories across to the archive area.
On reflection, I could have probably (with more work) have managed with a 128GB SSD and the same system, but as my old system disk was 256GB this made the move easier.
Some programs that you might not expect to also gain - Outlook steams along with small emails coming down in one tenth of the time. That's probably a reflection on the fact a .pst file is, in effect, a small database all on its own.
I don't quite get the 200MBps of the benchmarks - more like 120-150MBps, but that is sutained pretty well what the access pattern.
So anybody building a new PC - consider putting at least a 128GB SSD in place for the system and the top level of your data. If you have a complex setup, then you really won't regret it. What's needed is a laptop manufacturer to provide for both a 1.8" SSD and a 2.5" "bulk" storage device with an appropriate configuration.
(nb. a filing system that could work transparently across both using caching or data profiling would be a wonderful innovation),
I have one, also at 1571 firmware in a Macbook Pro; silent and fast. It sometimes has problems on Macbook Pros, the later firmware has even more problems, and there will certainly be upgrades to the firmware needed. I need to run with hibernate mode disabled (never did like it anyway). Check Crucial and Apple support forums before you take the plunge. I suspect Indilinx will iron out the problems eventually.
Note also the potential problem of flash drives slowing down with use.
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