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Leaked Intel Roadmap Shows 600GB SSD

Soulskill posted about 4 years ago | from the bigger-and-bigger dept.

Data Storage 228

An anonymous reader writes "Solid State Drives have been trying to fill the mechanical hard drive niche for some time now. The problem is that while flash memory is faster than a spinning platter, it is also much more expensive per gigabyte. Over the weekend details leaked about Intel's SSD roadmap, and what's most interesting about it is that the capacities of Intel's SSDs are going to increase in a big way. First off is a refresh to the high performance X25-M range of SSDs. Currently available in 80GB and 160GB models, these will be replaced by a new design, codenamed Postville, which will come in 160GB, 300GB and 600GB variants."

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price still needs to come down! (4, Insightful)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | about 4 years ago | (#33266114)

price still needs to come down!

Re:price still needs to come down! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33266158)

Captain Obvious to the rescue...

Re:price still needs to come down! (1, Insightful)

OrangeTide (124937) | about 4 years ago | (#33266230)

Why does it need to come down? Buy a spinning platter if price is such a huge factor for you.
I found the 64GB SSDs to be quite affordable and sufficient for a laptop where I don't need my entire archive of mp3s and movie on it. One less noisy component in my laptop and a small but measurable power savings as well (added 15 minutes to my battery life when I did a simple comparison).

Re:price still needs to come down! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33266284)

cause only dinks are going to pay over 100 bucks for a obsolete drive

Let's measure our disks (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33266892)

That's right, because dick [sic] size is the only metric there is! Let's ignore seek time, streaming read/write performance, MTBF [wikipedia.org] , power efficiency, shock resistance or any other number of characteristics that might be weighted in different levels of importance between laptop users, desktop users and server architects.

Re:Let's measure our disks (0)

logjon (1411219) | about 4 years ago | (#33267266)

dink = "double income, no kids"

obsessing over something are we?

Re:price still needs to come down! (-1, Redundant)

logjon (1411219) | about 4 years ago | (#33267338)

why is this modded flamebait? because people on slashdot can't see the acronym 'dink' without immediately thinking of something phallic?

Re: vs. Spinning Platter (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | about 4 years ago | (#33266424)

Aren't SSD's supposed to be way more stable in laptops that get bumped?

Re: vs. Spinning Platter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33267078)

Spinning hard drives are very slightly more stable against bumps, due to the gyroscopic effect.

Re: vs. Spinning Platter (2, Interesting)

PitaBred (632671) | about 4 years ago | (#33267422)

Very much so. But hard drives with the shock protection are still pretty robust. I love having the SSD in my machine... it's amazing how fast everything goes. Programs start instantly, it boots so fast that I disabled hibernation, but I'm still at a paucity of space with a 256GB SSD.

The thing you're paying for with SSDs is performance. If you haven't used one, you don't know what you're missing, but if you have, you never wanna go back to things the way they were.

postville first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33266474)

Let me fix that for you:

If price comes down first, Postville might have a chance.

As punishment you are to abstain from posting on /. for a week.

Re:price still needs to come down! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33266558)

Yup,

The real issue is the cost difference per storage needs to be closer between the SSD and the Magnetic HDD. Translation is cost per megabyte.

What would be good is to keep the old lines iff they can be manufactured less then the new technology. This is not to be expected due to the need to sell enough of the new technology to offset the research and development costs.

There-fore the price is still too expensive and in particular for a Desktop computer. Even though they are better for a Laptop or Notebook the cost is still expensive for most users needs.

So it is great they are getting close in costs, but a Raid of Magnetic SATA drives at 1 to 2+ Gigs will still be cheaper.

Re:price still needs to come down! (4, Interesting)

DJRumpy (1345787) | about 4 years ago | (#33266980)

I have to wonder why the cost is still so expensive. They are starting to see widespread use, with most vendors offing an SSD selection for notebook and desktop models. Most technology typically experiences a rapid drop in price long before the level of market acceptance we're seeing for SSD. These have been available for years now, yet the price is still prohibitive. Is it the raw materials that are so expensive? The R&D for the basic design is pretty much a done deal at this point, no?

Re:price still needs to come down! (1, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | about 4 years ago | (#33266588)

Not really. Most users have been over-buying disks for ages. A 64GB SSD is big enough for most users and is nearly the same cost of the large mechanical disks they've been buying and wasting up until now.

Those who really need terabytes of space would be best-served by using external drives.

Re:price still needs to come down! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33266802)

you know windows 7 can suck up 16-20 gigs by itself, that really does not leave a ton of room for modern computing

get me a 80 or 120 gig for under 50 bucks then we can talk

Re:price still needs to come down! (3, Insightful)

ddegirmenci (1644853) | about 4 years ago | (#33267110)

Not to mention gaming...

Re:price still needs to come down! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33266940)

Those who really need terabytes of space would be best-served by using external drives.

Yes, so instead of buying a cheaper, internal HDD your solution is to buy a more expensive and more power hungry external HDD? Really?

Re:price still needs to come down! (2, Interesting)

dgatwood (11270) | about 4 years ago | (#33266972)

I couldn't disagree more, for several reasons:

  • Your OS, drivers, and applications will easily eat half of that 64 GB without saving a single file of user data.
  • A web browser's on-disk cache typically hovers at another gig or so.
  • My photo collection alone is 60 GB. Sure, I take lots of pictures, but as megapixel counts increase, the size of photo collections does, too. That's mostly from shooting at the smallest size on my DSLR....
  • In this day and age, most computer users buy laptops as their primary machines because they are portable. External hard drives are the opposite of that.
  • External hard drives drain your battery much faster than a larger internal drive. Much, MUCH faster.

My current laptop HD is 500 GB. I have only 50 GB free. Now about 240 GB of the space taken up is in the form of large files that could reasonably live on an external HD because I don't really need or want it with me. Still, that means I have 210 GB of stuff that I legitimately would want to carry around at all times, up from 160 GB two years ago when the last drive died, meaning that I pack on an estimated 25 GB per year of new material. And even that pales compared with people who do lots of movie downloading (legal or otherwise). (Yes, you could argue that those downloads could be put on an external drive, but that becomes a management headache when deciding what movies to bring with you on a trip, and... you get the idea.)

With the upswing in downloadable content (both movies and software), the need for hard drive space is in a rapid upswing. If most people only needed 60 GB drives, you'd still be able to buy spinning drives that small, and the few percent of users who needed the bigger capacity would have to deal by adding external drives. Since we're not seeing any sign of the demand for larger drives slowing, I think it's safe to say that 64 GB is not enough for most users. I doubt it is enough even for most casual users.

What the?! (4, Insightful)

Sits (117492) | about 4 years ago | (#33267356)

While I can somewhat agree with your sentiment (64GBytes isn't a lot when you are saving media data) I feel you have exaggerated a bit in the OS numbers:

  • The OS I'm typing this on (which is on a Intel Core 2 laptop with 4GBytes of RAM) is taking up 6GBytes and has various development tools and libraries installed on it. The OS on my EeePC takes up 3GBytes.
  • Even on the bigger computer the current Chromium cache size is 437MBytes. Perhaps it scales with disk size?

On all but the most unusual of setups (I know people who do FPGA development whose tools take up 20GBytes by themselves) it's going to be "user data" that is taking up the vast majority of the disk space - not the operating system and applications (given that most operating systems still ship on no more than a single 4GByte DVD you would need compression of about 8:1 to fill up the disk from that alone). I have no doubt that if you take photos or have a big movie collection 500GBytes is not going to see like all that much though.

Re:price still needs to come down! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33267418)

Your OS, drivers, and applications will easily eat half of that 64 GB without saving a single file of user data.

My entire ubuntu install, including mythtv front and backends and a second full file system for LTSP, but no media files, is under 12GB. Now, my win7 install, with a stack of apps including XPmode, MS Office, OOo, and Visual Studio is 41 GB-Win7 itself is 18GB and XPmode another 10-but yeah, if you're on windows, the OS and apps could be half of a 64 GB drive, leaving you a paltry 32 GB!! for user data. In my experience, user data is either tiny (text, code, and similar data actually generated by the user that may amount to 1 GB), or massive (photos, movies, music that falls between 100 GB and 1+TB). There's no special reason to put media and similar files on an SSD. One doesn't (generally) even access many of those media files frequently. They're also probably files you'll want to keep longer than the computer anyway, so an external HD, for most people, is a perfectly sane solution.

A web browser's on-disk cache typically hovers at another gig or so.

Funny, my cache is 15MB

My photo collection alone is 60 GB

See above comment regarding media files and the desirability to keep them longer than your present computer.

In this day and age, most computer users buy laptops as their primary machines because they are portable.

This I can agree with. But, portable has and always will be more limited than stationary. If portable is your primary concern, then you sacrifice one of a)cash to pay for the big SSD b) battery life to support the spinning disk or c) some of those media files.

Re:price still needs to come down! (1)

Bryansix (761547) | about 4 years ago | (#33267452)

Exactly. And to compare I shoot my DSLR on RAW and the files are about 23MB each. My total photo collection is at 1.5 TB right now and growing. At a typical event I will shoot 22GB of new photos. Then the good ones get exported to JPG or TIFF and take up even more space.

Re:price still needs to come down! (4, Funny)

fattmatt (1042156) | about 4 years ago | (#33267220)

I've heard this before ... something along the lines of "64 GB ought to be enough for anybody"

Well. Nobody's going to buy the existing ones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33266596)

Since they know new ones are on the way. So demand will fall, and so will prices.

Re:price still needs to come down! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33266766)

Looks to me like prices keep on coming down. I got an SSD for my workstation. Ubuntu bolts up in 6 seconds from grub to login, and quite a lot is started up. Compiling the software project I work on (over a milloin liked of code) is almost two times faster. Starting it up in debug mode takes 45s vs. 4 minutes before. I'm pretty sure it won't take many months to pay itself back. After seeing this, no workstations without ssd's will be puchased for our developers anymore.

Re:price still needs to come down! (2, Insightful)

peacefinder (469349) | about 4 years ago | (#33267184)

Not really. (Different version.)

With a new SSD, one can sometimes remove a substantial performance bottleneck in an otherwise adequate older machine. Dropping a few hundred bucks on a new SSD drive might delay the purchase of a whole new machine by a year or two. From there, it's pretty easy to see why people wil be willing to pay pretty stiff prices for SSDs and also why Intel would be extremely motivated to not miss out on that market.

This is great news! (1)

socz (1057222) | about 4 years ago | (#33266122)

Now I'll be able to afford the 60GB model! (Because you know, I deal with junk!)

Re:This is great news! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33266236)

yo mamma deals with my junk

Any update in terms of long run use? (2, Insightful)

e065c8515d206cb0e190 (1785896) | about 4 years ago | (#33266124)

Not trying to be ironic here, but do we have any idea on how those will behave in the longer run? Are there improvements from the previous generations? TFA doesn't have much information besides capacity.

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (3, Insightful)

Kepesk (1093871) | about 4 years ago | (#33266190)

Agreed, SSDs still have many cost and reliability issues to overcome, and I'm not going to get too excited till I see some improvements in those areas. Solid State is the wave of the future, but the wave is still way out there and is only just reaching the rocks off-shore.

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (2, Funny)

pezpunk (205653) | about 4 years ago | (#33266264)

yeah because mechanical hard drives never, ever crash...

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (5, Insightful)

gumbi west (610122) | about 4 years ago | (#33266448)

That criticism makes sense for a netbook drive where when it dies you just replace it and no need to backup--the email are already on IMAP and everything else was just caches. But for places where you really care about your data then there are all sorts of other questions: how does it crash? Does it crash in such a way that the RAID you are using keeps its integrity?

In general, conservatives (in the sense of not wanting to change) are right to be conservative because of the long arm of the law of unintended consequences. People who try new things can end up with better results if things go as planed. But there are many more ways for things to go not as planed and for the project to crash and burn--leaving you at square one with nothing to show but lots of money/time spent on a cinder.

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (1)

MartinSchou (1360093) | about 4 years ago | (#33266898)

Ask yourself this - in what way could it possibly be worse than a regular harddrive?

how does it crash? HDD: Painfully and irrevocably. SSD: Read only
Does it crash in such a way that the RAID you are using keeps its integrity? Depends on how you configured your RAID. In what way could it possibly fail that would make it worse than an HDD failing?

When your hard drive fails, you've just lost all its data, unless you're willing to pay a ton of money for recovery. With an HDD, ALL data is lost. With an SSD only new data after the failure is lost.
If you're running RAID0 on your important array, you're an idiot to begin with, and you deserve what you get.

And when you look at the performance difference between a massive SAS drive and a single SSD, there's hardly any reason to use RAID for SSD, as you can often replace 8 HDDs with a single SSD, when all you need is IO.

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (1)

gumbi west (610122) | about 4 years ago | (#33267054)

You are thinking about just the drive as described, but it is part of a system. How long will the controller in the drive last? How will it fail? Will my controller on the mobo successfully alert me to the crash, will it handle it well? When the drive gets old, will the wear leveling slow the drive to a crawl? You are also assuming that the advertising literature is right, a risky business.

Look, I'm not saying that you are definitively wrong, only that you might be wrong in so many different ways that those who stick with the tried and true are often wise to do so. Your point has to be that you are 100% sure you are right, that's a pretty difficult standard.

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (2, Informative)

networkBoy (774728) | about 4 years ago | (#33267166)

FWIW I've already seen flash device failures (SSD and USB sticks). They tend to fail into a RO mode rather than a blank, or unreadable mode. This is a good thing from a data integrity standpoint (though a bad thing from an IS standpoint).

I personally would feel comfortable using SSDs in a transaction server and such from a data integrity view, but I'm not sure if they could actually handle massive IOPS for a sustained period. Massive OPS, however, they seem to be awesome at, and that's how we're currently using them. A front end cache for largely static datasets that need high read availability. Where we used to be bottlenecking on the drive, we are now bottlenecking on the controller logic.

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (2, Interesting)

nschubach (922175) | about 4 years ago | (#33266946)

That's why I think hard disks will still be the norm for mid-term retention for a while. It can't take much to run your system off an SSD and mirror it to a platter... can it?

My best guess would be like a "hybrid" drive that uses the SSD for all immediate tasks and cache write that data to disk when it's free. In the event of an outage, you still have the data on the SSD which should always be considered accurate and you have the platters in case the SSD fails.

I'm pretty sure there are no RAID controllers that support that, but my RAID knowledge is limited to the basics of 0, 1, 5, 6, 10 so there could be...

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (1)

halltk1983 (855209) | about 4 years ago | (#33267386)

Rsync run by crontab to a backup drive.

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | about 4 years ago | (#33266470)

I've had an 80 western digital for about 10 years or so (cost 300 bucks at the time), and my other HDDs are at least 6 to 3 years old. On the other hand my oldest USB mass storage device is about 2 years and sometimes has issues writing to it. Granted my personal experience doesn't mean the entire market of USB mass storage devices are that unreliable but there is certainly some issues in that department.

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (1)

Kepesk (1093871) | about 4 years ago | (#33266518)

Indeed, I'll admit to having had issues with spinny drives in the past. I had two fail within a month of each other last year, both less than 2 years after I got them. So I suppose I'm more in the 'Yay Solid State' box than I made myself out to be, but I'm still going to wait a little while longer before diving in.

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (1)

nschubach (922175) | about 4 years ago | (#33266988)

People will end up pointing out the special cases though. If SSD has an "IBM 80G DeskStar" type situation where one particular set of chips comes out completely unreliable I think it will be more detrimental to SSD than it was the HDD. Mainly because HDDs didn't have much for alternate storage technology.

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (4, Interesting)

Coren22 (1625475) | about 4 years ago | (#33266418)

Yeah...I am sure that you have looked at the reliability numbers...like ever...

Intel x-25m reliability: http://download.intel.com/design/flash/nand/mainstream/mainstream-sata-ssd-datasheet.pdf [intel.com]

BER (read error rate) of 1 sector per 10^15 bits read
MTBF 1,200,000 hours
Minimum 5 years useful life

WD Raptor Reliability: http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.asp?driveid=495 [wdc.com]

MTBF 1,400,000 hours
Other figures not given

and the WD Raptor is considered an Enterprise hard drive, so that should say something about the reliability expected. I don't see these drives failing any time soon, and I have a Intel x-25m 32GB I bought a little over a year ago running quite strong with no errors in my desktop that rarely is shutdown.

The only reliability problems I have seen is in MLC based drives we use here at work for database servers, they go offline and have to be reseated in order to bring them back, but we haven't had any of these fail yet even under the heavy strain of a database server.

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (1)

amorsen (7485) | about 4 years ago | (#33267146)

Which MLC drives are you using? I have so far had extremely positive experience with SLC drives for the enterprise and Intel MLC for laptops. So positive in fact that I'm tempted to try Intel MLC for the enterprise too.

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | about 4 years ago | (#33267250)

Samsung I believe, I would have to pull one to see, but don't really want to cause a rebuild of the array. When we inquired of the server vendor about the issue we were having, we were told we would have to replace all of them as the RAID card no longer supports these drives due to the problem we are having.

Sucks when your vendor suggests replacing 10k worth of drives (per server X 4) with 15k worth of drives...

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (1)

tokul (682258) | about 4 years ago | (#33267412)

http://www.wdc.com/wdproducts/library/SpecSheet/ENG/2879-701284.pdf [wdc.com]

1. Sustained transfer rate - WD Raptor has higher write speed (126MB/s vs 70 MB/s), SSD wins with 250 MB/s read speed.

2. Size - 32 GB vs 300 GB. Drives are not from same league.

3. Price
    INTEL X25-V SATA2 SSD 40GB 2.5" MLC 34NM (115 EUR, 2.9 EUR/GB)
    WD VELOCIRAPTOR 300GB SATA2 10KRPM 16MB (185 EUR, 0.62 EUR/GB)

4. SMART
    both drives support it, but I don't know how much time SSD can give between warning and dieing.

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (4, Interesting)

rabtech (223758) | about 4 years ago | (#33266516)

Agreed, SSDs still have many cost and reliability issues to overcome, and I'm not going to get too excited till I see some improvements in those areas. Solid State is the wave of the future, but the wave is still way out there and is only just reaching the rocks off-shore.

That greatly depends on your specific application. I can tell you that installing an SSD in my work laptop was the single greatest (relative) performance jump I've ever seen, starting with my 8086/1MB/CGA machine until the present day, including all processor/memory/graphics upgrades I've ever done.

I can also say that some Antivirus products really, really suck and take up tons of CPU and have single-threading bottlenecks, so that if you have the RTV scanner turned on, you will give back a lot of the performance gains. (I'm talking about the one that installs 19 different drivers and services. Someone in IT got a kickback on that purchase).

I'd pit this SSD against a mechanical hard drive in a laptop any day of the week. It can take all sorts of bumps, bounces, heat, etc that could kill a HDD. Better battery life, increased performance. At 160GB, it is about 100GB less than the HDDs they are installing in new laptops, but other than that it is better in every way.

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (5, Informative)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 4 years ago | (#33266586)

I keep hearing people claim reliability issues when SSD articles come along to slashdot.

I have never seen a citation, so I went looking for them via Google but could only find citations attesting to the high reliability of these devices.

Dell's Lionel Menchaca stated in 2008, when it was reported by Avian Securities that Dell was having SSD reliability issues, "Our global reliability data shows that SSD drives [that we shipped] are equal to or better than traditional hard disk drives we've shipped." [dell.com] He further notes that Avian Securities never contacted them and that their numbers were a complete fabrication.

At this point I consider any claims that SSD's are less reliable to simply be a myth derived from dishonest reporting.

Furthermore, there are published studies [pcworld.com] detailing how unreliable traditional magnetic platter drives are.

Do they have write limits? Yes. Can other parts of the device fail? Yes. Are they more expensive than economy platters? Yes. Is there real world data showing that they are less reliable as claimed? Apparently not.

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33266820)

I keep hearing people claim reliability issues when SSD articles come along to slashdot.

It's just a meme that won't die.

When the first consumer solid-state drives were being developed and deployed, this actually was an issue. The SSDs had a limited number of writes. So compared, at the time, to hard drives (a very mature technology), they had a more limited lifetime. Thus a meme was developed along the lines of "SSD is faster but is more expensive and has a limited lifetime". The problem is that within a couple of years, SSD technology had advanced to the point that the lifetime was as good as a hard drive... but by then the meme was out in the wild and being repeated faster than the new facts could spread.

So now we have misinformation continuing to spread. If you search hard you can find the old comparisons that show SSDs having very limited write cycles (like, 10,000 or 100,000 writes) which implies a device lifetime of a year or whatever. But all the modern studies show that SSDs can handle millions and millions of writes, which combined with wear leveling gives them basically the same useful lifetime as a modern HDD. It's actually rather amazing how fast SSDs have caught up to HDDs, considering how much of a head-start the HDDs have had.

As you say, both disk-based storage and solid-state storage have failure modes. And there are probably some cheap SSDs on the market that will die sooner than a good disk-based hard drive. But overall the limited lifetime issue has been solved. What hasn't been solved is perception. Just goes to show how important those initial impressions (and press releases) can be.

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | about 4 years ago | (#33266686)

Agreed, SSDs still have many cost and reliability issues to overcome, and I'm not going to get too excited till I see some improvements in those areas.

Agreed, mechanical drives still have many speed and durability issues to overcome, and I'm not going to get too excited till I see some improvements in those areas. ...

Get it? An SSD is just fantastically faster than a mech drive, and it is never going to biff up if you bump your laptop while it's writing. SSDs are already superior to mech drives for most applications, mobile computing (smartphones and laptops) being the most obvious.

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (1)

amorsen (7485) | about 4 years ago | (#33267096)

So far I have heard zero horror stories about decent SSD drives, and lots of horror stories (including personal experience) about spinning disks.

All the concern about SSD seems to be theoretical.

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33267310)

Shelf life is something I wonder about. SSDs just have not been around enough to show that they are able to stand the test of time when it comes to storing data. They have shown themselves to be decent storage in data centers world wide.

However I wonder if one can take a SSD, put it on a shelf for a decade, then come back to it and have the ability to recover the data. I'm sure SLC cells are better than MLC, but eventually the signal to noise ratio will degrade so much to make it hard to a one from a zero.

Still ironic that even after 40 years, the only technology that gives you more than 5 years of archival life guaranteed is tape. Maybe optical, but bit rot and oxidation due to cheaply made media makes that a gamble.

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (2, Interesting)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | about 4 years ago | (#33266192)

When I see real-world usage reports of SSDs under a range of regular HDD duty cycles, rather than hand-waving "well with the wear levelling algorithm you should get about xyz writes by which time you totally would have worn out your spinning rust" (oh, really?), I might consider applying them to servers which require frequent writes.

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33266234)

Frankly, mechanical hard drives are so hilariously unreliable as well that I don't see how it would make a difference: you need a redundant array with frequent offsite backups either way, right?

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33266304)

Except replacing a hard drive is still cheaper.

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (1)

gumbi west (610122) | about 4 years ago | (#33266378)

The only thing you are going to trust is your own trial. If SSD might make sense for you, then why do you not to have a trial going now? Throw one in a mirror drive and use a less than fully partitioned HDD.

If SSD isn't a good idea for you, then reliability isn't really your issue and you will never be satisfied.

BTW, please do tell how that trial works out.

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | about 4 years ago | (#33266502)

The trial comes after the real-world evidence. I'm not a guinea pig for the solid state storage industry.

HDDs are cheap to buy and considered sufficiently non-"hilariously unreliable" by their manufacturers that they come with reasonable warranty periods.

I don't see why I would rejoice at a 600GB SSD per se. It's not like a hard drive where it actually means "we've increased the density on 3.5 inch platters and/or squeezed more platters on top of each other". If you can make a 60GB SSD, you can make a 600GB SSD. What advance in tech is being brought to the table?

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (1)

vlm (69642) | about 4 years ago | (#33266880)

If you can make a 60GB SSD, you can make a 600GB SSD. What advance in tech is being brought to the table?

Heat dissipation. Say you own a 60 GB SSD that draws 1.5 watts. A 600 GB drive would, superficially, draw 15 watts.

In theory you could trade speed (striping 10 devices in parallel) for power (concatenate 10 devices in series).

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (1)

ooshna (1654125) | about 4 years ago | (#33267040)

Reasonable warranty periods? Don't most hard drives have a 1 year warranty compared to the 3 or more they all used to have?

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (1)

networkBoy (774728) | about 4 years ago | (#33267236)

I don't see why I would rejoice at a 600GB SSD per se. It's not like a hard drive where it actually means "we've increased the density on 3.5 inch platters and/or squeezed more platters on top of each other". If you can make a 60GB SSD, you can make a 600GB SSD. What advance in tech is being brought to the table?

Basically the same types of advances:
* Hey we fit more bits per Sq mm with this new litho process
* Hey we increased the reliability of stacked die packages to the point where the yields are good enough to use them in SSDs.
-nB

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | about 4 years ago | (#33266442)

See my above post, and take that foot out of your mouth:

http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1755958&cid=33266418 [slashdot.org]

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (3, Insightful)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | about 4 years ago | (#33266524)

The manufacturer data sheet is pretty much the polar opposite of "real-world usage reports... under a range of... duty cycles".

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | about 4 years ago | (#33266672)

I gave two duty cycle example one of which is in reality 4 servers, I can't give more of a range as they are still too expensive to use everywhere that would benefit from their use.

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (1)

Surt (22457) | about 4 years ago | (#33267026)

I can report to you that we've been buying these in our desktops for over a year now. We have about 200 or so deployed, for a total of about 2000 deployment-months.
Zero failures so far.

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (1)

ivan256 (17499) | about 4 years ago | (#33266728)

Your servers that require frequent writes should be using a storage array anyway.

Professional administrators should care about two things: redundancy, and warranty. Since you seem to be trying to come across as somebody who actually manages a lot of hardware, you should already be aware that your spinning discs fail at a per-year rate relative to their age and operating temperature. Even if you've only got a piddly few hundred drives, you should be able to get a good sense of which models (yes, models. Not brands) fail, and how frequently they fail at a certain age. You should also know that your hard drives will be obsolete and probably replaced due to obsolescence after 5 years.

Pick a model with a sufficient warranty, set up your storage array for redundancy, and let the manufacturer worry about whether the advertised failure rate is correct or not.

Alternatively, you could continue with your holier-than-thou attitude, and be behind the technology curve by a decade.

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33267428)

For some real world data, see: http://archives.postgresql.org/pgsql-performance/2010-08/msg00056.php

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (1)

Jazz-Masta (240659) | about 4 years ago | (#33266300)

The postville refresh is supposed to be halogen-free, 25nm (current 34nm), 32mb buffer, "enhanced" NCQ, and a power safe write cache, as well as a slight boost in write performance.

I would like to see if the controller has improved the small random read/write operations, even though Intel drives already do a great job.

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (2, Interesting)

ocularsinister (774024) | about 4 years ago | (#33266344)

Bear in mind that when a hard disk fails you typically loose at least some of your written data, and in worst case scenarios all of it. You won't be able to write to certain areas when an SSD fails, but you can often still read the data. So, yes, SSDs might fail a bit sooner, but its usually not critical like a hard disk fail.

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (1)

toastar (573882) | about 4 years ago | (#33266644)

Bear in mind that when a hard disk fails you typically loose at least some of your written data, and in worst case scenarios all of it. You won't be able to write to certain areas when an SSD fails, but you can often still read the data. So, yes, SSDs might fail a bit sooner, but its usually not critical like a hard disk fail.

I'd say hard drive failures fall into one of three categories: 1. Motor/Lube Failure (i.e. click of death) 2. bad sector (usually non fatal) 3. Controller Failure. SSD's are really only immune to the first failure type, And the thing about the click of death Is... It usually starts clicking before it stops working. maybe not clicks, but at least other little warning signs that say: "Get you shit off this disc before it dies"

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (4, Funny)

mcgrew (92797) | about 4 years ago | (#33267024)

Bear in mind that when a hard disk fails you typically loose at least some of your written data

No you don't, your data is NOT loosed, it's locked up so tight even you can get at it. You loose your data when you publish it, you lose your data when your hard drive dies.

Hope I was a help. What's your native language?

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (3, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | about 4 years ago | (#33266506)

Unfortunately, Intel seems to do like the rest, drop SLC in favour of MLC. That has a huge negative impact on both reliability and performance, but brings the price down and the capacity up.
That said, Intel's MLC drives are pretty good for MLC drives -- the X-25M is best in class, but still far below the speed and reliability of the X-25E.

If Intel could come out with a 128 GB X-25E, I would buy it immediately over a 600 GB X-25M at the same price. But they won't, because people don't want what's best, they want what's cheapest that still carries the "right" name.

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (1)

ivan256 (17499) | about 4 years ago | (#33266808)

But they won't, because people don't want what's best, they want what's cheapest that still carries the "right" name.

MLC is sufficiently cheap that it works out better to buy multiple drives and install them with redundancy than it does to buy the more expensive and more reliable drive. It's not about what name is right, it's about achieving your goal for the least outlay possible. The X-25E exists merely to fill a niche. You need some specific constraint in order to justify spending more to buy a more reliable drive than achieving reliability through redundancy with cheaper drives.

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 4 years ago | (#33266978)

I'm not sure that this is quite right. I think the downfall of SLC is because MLC densities are approaching if not already surpassed the point where SLC makes sense.

Part of what made SLC so attractive is better performance, but the current crop of MLC drives leading the market are banging their heads on performance bottlenecks external to the drive (SATA 2.0 is fully and easily saturated, and drives are now appearing that are saturating SATA 3.0) and this is due to densities. The more flash chips they can pack on, the faster they can make the device as a whole, and its at the point now where they arent concerned about how they will get to specific performance numbers, but rather they are concerned with weather they should.

The other part of what made SLC so attractive is their write limits, but again densities are increasing undermining the concern. 100,000 writes per cell on a 64GB SLC device is about as useful as 10,000 writes per cell on a 640GB MLC device. In both cases the max is 6400000000000000 bytes written (obviously write amplification plays a role to reduce the effective limit, but does so in both SLC and MLC)

Re:Any update in terms of long run use? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33267046)

I can confirm you that their new MLCs will perform better than their previous SLCs. Some of them will have the enterprise spot previous X25-E had.

Beh (2, Informative)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#33266172)

The price is still far too high. I recognize that an SSD can provide a good performance boost, but still...the prices are way too high. I'll likely give it another year or two before I pull the trigger on one.

Not that any of you care -_-;;

Re:Beh (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | about 4 years ago | (#33266322)

I thought the prices were way too high too, but if Intel can keep the prices around $200 while doubling the capacity, the new 160GB model might be justifiable for the OS and the I/O intensive programs or games. As it stands, the 80GB is almost too small to be useful nowadays, while the currently 160GB one is way too expensive, while also not being particularly large. As I recall, this update is supposed to take place in Q4, so there's not much longer until we see.

Re:Beh (4, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#33266368)

Agreed...if they keep the price points the same, but double capacity, I would be much more inclined to pick one up. I know you don't technically *need* alot of space for a system drive, but I don't like having such limited free space. 160GB would be the absolute bare minimum I would use for a system drive these days, and even that's kinda pushing it.

It sucks to be old... (1)

crovira (10242) | about 4 years ago | (#33266580)

Call me when I can replace my 320GB "spinning rust" drives for about the same amount of money.

I remember writing to PC Magazine in 1986 about the need for adequate procedures when the first 5MB (Not GB but MB :-) hard drives were reaching the market.

Now I have 3+ terabytes on my desktop machines. Backups are just as painful as ever.

Now instead of slow diskettes for backups, I use redundant drives and DVD-Rs for off-line backups and purchased software solutions. (And I know about using "Time Machine" to back up the Macs every night, but that's local, not off-line.)

Same slow shit, different day.

Re:It sucks to be old... (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | about 4 years ago | (#33266906)

Now instead of slow diskettes for backups, I use redundant drives and DVD-Rs for off-line backups and purchased software solutions. (And I know about using "Time Machine" to back up the Macs every night, but that's local, not off-line.)

The market for home offline backups is probably incredibly small. Online backups have been making a push for a while now because they are multipurpose, storage/backup. There are also a lot of Internet based backup systems available.

I don't think you'll find much for home offline backups unless you have some money and look at small business offerings. I don't see why that should ever change either :\
I hear you though, I want such a system too, but I know I'm very biased with enterprise backup experience. If it isn't very low maintenance it just isn't going to do very well in the home PC user market. Even enterprise users lean towards disk because of a ill-placed fear of tape complexity. I've seen people opt for shared online storage over tape/VTL.. *sigh*

Re:It sucks to be old... (1)

Animaether (411575) | about 4 years ago | (#33267396)

I don't think you'll find much for home offline backups unless you have some money and look at small business offerings.

Maybe I'm mis-reading the 'offline backups' thing, but doesn't pretty much -every- USB/eSATA HDD and USB DVD/CD combo drive come with backup software these days? Not to mention the plethora of backup software for 'home use' available online.

These days (well, for at least 3 years now) you can even pick up a very simple USB/eSATA HDD 'docking station'.. hook it up to your machine, drop any HDD in there (PATA or SATA), and backup away.. store in safe. Want to do backups on separate drives? Just drop in another HDD - not much different from tape solutions in terms of operation (granted, my only hands-on experience there was QIC-80 on both an internal and an external drive, many many years ago).

In addition, most of these types of enclosures/docking stations have a button on them that talk to a special driver (usually Win/Mac only, though) and fire up pre-configured backups (usually of the entire drive).. couldn't be simpler for home use, really.

Re:Beh (1)

demonbug (309515) | about 4 years ago | (#33267094)

I recently put together a system with a 64 GB SSD system drive (~$150) and a 1.5 TB data drive (~$80).

So far it has worked pretty well. In general applications don't really use all that much space, so the small drive isn't an issue. I've got most of my normal applications installed (still a pretty new system, I tend to install apps as I need them), using about 30 gigs right now (including ~15 for Windows 7). The only problem so far is that some applications default to storing data in the User folder on the system drive, even after you change the Windows settings to use a different location for documents/etc (shouldn't be a problem at all if you are avoiding Windows). Not a problem now, but as time goes on this could result in more and more space being used on the system drive (which ideally should be pretty static in terms of volume usage, only changing when I add or remove applications).

Of course, part of the reason for the success of this system so far is that I made the decision to treat all games as second-class citizens, so they all go on the data drive, otherwise I'd be out of space real quick (I think the big ones right now are Mass Effect, which someone gave me a year or so ago and I'm finally getting around to playing - about 10 gigs; and Oblivion, which I've gone back to after a couple years, about 7 or 8 gigs with mods). From the benchmarks I've seen going with an SSD doesn't really help a whole lot with games anyway, so no big loss.

Not sure what you are doing that you need hundred-plus of gigs of apps, but so far I'm quite content with this system. The SSD does make an enormous difference in everyday usability. If you're waiting for prices to drop or capacity to increase significantly before trying them out I'd say don't bother; even if all you can fit on the SSD is your OS and one or two most-used apps you're going to appreciate the difference instantly.

Re:Beh (1)

Korin43 (881732) | about 4 years ago | (#33266772)

80 GB is plenty. 10-15 GB for the OS and programs leaves 65-70 GB for /home. That's enough space for a very large music collection and lots of photos. You may not be able to store that many movies on it, but most people don't have any movies on their computers, and if you can afford an SSD and that many movies, you can afford the $40 for an extra hard drive.

Re:Beh (1)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#33266864)

80 GB is plenty. 10-15 GB for the OS and programs leaves 65-70 GB for /home

Like I said, I know it's enough, but I don't like having that little amount of space available on my system drive.

That's enough space for a very large music collection and lots of photos. You may not be able to store that many movies on it, but most people don't have any movies on their computers

Not that this is relevant to a system drive, but most people willing to spend the money on an SSD almost certainly do have movies on their computer.

and if you can afford an SSD and that many movies, you can afford the $40 for an extra hard drive.

It's not really a matter of not being able to afford it so much as not wanting to pay that much for that amount of space.

Re:Beh (1)

EvanED (569694) | about 4 years ago | (#33267278)

80 GB is plenty. 10-15 GB for the OS and program

I don't know what programs you're installing, but I have several (games) that are in that range *each*. Starcraft 2 is 12 GB. Portal is close to 10 IIRC; all of the Orange Box is probably close to 20. Mass Effect 2 is 15 GB. Even Windows 7 is in the 10-15 GB range, somehow. There, I just filled 2/3 of that 80 GB drive.

Sure, I wouldn't have to put those on the SSD drive, but at the same time, it'd be nice to be able to.

Re:Beh (2, Insightful)

EvanED (569694) | about 4 years ago | (#33267374)

BTW I don't want to say "oh, everyone will have huge games like this" and whatnot, but at the same time, it's also way of an overgeneralization to say "80 GB is plenty".

And to continue my last thought, you could say "just put what you need" on the SSD, but that presents its own problems. How do I decide what to put on there? Do I need to be installing and uninstalling programs as I change which ones I use more? How much more of a pain is this with Steam, where you can't choose an install directory? (BTW, are you listening Valve? Add this feature.)

These sound like a huge pain, which is why I'm holding off on an SSD for a little while longer. When I can have a magnetic "media" drive for huge stuff that doesn't need fast transfers (videos, rips of my CDs as FLAC, etc.) but have an SSD for *all* or basically all my programs and most small personal data, I'll get one. In the meantime, even though I do want one, they basically seem like they'd be a bit of a pain. (I'd guess the former will happen in more than one and less than two years, but we'll see.)

Re:Beh (1)

Korin43 (881732) | about 4 years ago | (#33267472)

Starcraft 2 is 12 GB. Portal is close to 10 IIRC; all of the Orange Box is probably close to 20. Mass Effect 2 is 15 GB. Even Windows 7 is in the 10-15 GB range, somehow.

Wow, I guess that's a good point. I don't usually play games like that but if I did I would actually want them on an SSD (would help load times / area change lag). I recently started playing World of Warcraft and that's in the 20 GB range, but I assumed MMOs took more space than normal games. It's probably another case of "if you're spending $50 per game on that many games, you can probably afford a different drive to store them on" though.

And I'm still amazed at how huge Windows is. I can fit everything I use including an office suite and all of my programming tools in less space than the default install of just Windows :\

Even so, if SSDs were cheap enough to be comparable, an 80 GB hard drive would be sufficient for most people.

I thought the same thing. (1)

AltairDusk (1757788) | about 4 years ago | (#33267118)

Finally gave in and put an 80GB X-25M in my desktop as an OS drive. It's amazing how much of a difference it makes overall, everything just feels much more responsive now, some games actually saw a huge difference. WoW loading times went from annoying to practically nonexistent, if I had to make the decision again I would buy the 160GB model instead.

"Postville" is the current generation (4, Informative)

Florian Weimer (88405) | about 4 years ago | (#33266188)

For example, this is a posting using the code name: http://communities.intel.com/message/51359;jsessionid=F3036FCC8C1DD878FCED25A7A6D32547.node6COM [intel.com]

Re:"Postville" is the current generation (2, Informative)

malzfreund (1729864) | about 4 years ago | (#33266254)

That's correct. It would be more accurate to call it the Postville refresh (which uses 2Xnm NAND Si). "Postville refresh" is the term Intel uses on one of the slides that leaked.

Re:"Postville" is the current generation (1)

Anpheus (908711) | about 4 years ago | (#33266468)

Lyndonville is the codename of the 25nm flash based SSDs, I believe.

Re:"Postville" is the current generation (3, Informative)

malzfreund (1729864) | about 4 years ago | (#33266520)

No, the OP clearly refers to the Postville refresh, which will bring capacities of 160/300/600GB NAND. Lyndonville is the codename of the follow-up to Ephraim, i.e., Intel's series of enterprise drives commonly known as X25-E. Lyndonville is expected in capacities of 100/200/400GB so that's clearly not what the article referred to.

No mention about speeds (3, Informative)

rsborg (111459) | about 4 years ago | (#33266532)

Intel does not have the fastest MLC drives [anandtech.com] out there (X25-E is SLC), and now they're ditching SLC?
I wonder how their performance will match the other controllers (Sandforce, Indilix, Samsung, etc)... perhaps their new MLC is more along the lines of what Sandforce is doing?

Re:No mention about speeds (1)

internet_everyone (1864426) | about 4 years ago | (#33266836)

If you look at the photo closely, it says "Enhanced Write Performance" and "Encryption" as the new features. So, I would think that's an indicator of good things to come. The read speed and random IO speed was already very good with x25-m.

Yay.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33266544)

for Moore's Law!

Excellent News! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33266670)

Judging by this I'll be able to fit my pr0n library on a single SSD sometime around 2038!

Of course, by then I'll be too blind to appreciate it, but you have to love the onward march of technology

650 GB (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | about 4 years ago | (#33266692)

650 GB is enough porn for anyone

40 gig turns out to be a lot (1)

MikeURL (890801) | about 4 years ago | (#33266762)

I have the 40 gig X25-V. I paid 120 but I see it has just gone under $100 at BestBuy. When I got it I was afraid that 40 gig would be pitifully small and inadequate to the task of running Win7 and all my apps.

To my surprise after I had installed everything I still had over 20 gig free. I don't have the whole list here but my install list included photoshop, excel, word and a whole laundry list of other apps. If you install carefully and make sure to delete temporary files it is surprising, at least to me, what you can fit in under 20 gigs. Of course I won't be storing many full-length movies but I have an absurd amount of storage on my LAN--I don't need any more.

So at $100 this drive is still pretty pricey on a per gig basis. But if storage isn't an issue then the question becomes one of how important it is to have a slightly more responsive system. Is that worth $30 extra dollars? I'd say it is but it requires people to have an ability to use storage on their LAN as a commodity rather than depend on the storage of the particular device they are on. Most people aren't there yet.

How will large SSDs effect databases? (1)

GargamelSpaceman (992546) | about 4 years ago | (#33266814)

Suppose SSDs were to improve so that external disks offered NO advantages in price, performance or capacity. How would this effect what sorts of databases there might be? I wonder if there are certain types of uses/queries/softwared that just don't happen/doesn't exist because it would involve alot of slow random access on large data. If this were to become very cheap for great performance, what new goodies / opportunities might this bring?

Re:How will large SSDs effect databases? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33266918)

Certain types of data warehouses / data marts that are built to supplement OLTP databases may not be required as it will be much faster to get the data you need from source. Once SSDs make their way into storage arrays (EMCs, Netapps) then it will make snapshotting etc a hell of a lot faster and reporting systems can be built right on top of source copies.

Virtualizing databases will also gain more traction as aggregate IO related latency issues will be less of a concern.

Re:How will large SSDs effect databases? (3, Informative)

Surt (22457) | about 4 years ago | (#33267130)

People who tune large databases have been IOPS focused for a long time. SSDs enable a new level of IOPS that is about one to two orders of magnitude better than spinning disks. SSDs will allow people to (re)consider all sorts of applications that are currently IOPS bound or IOPS prohibited. Soon Google will be able to keep track of how much milk you have in your fridge, and send you a reminder to buy some when you are near a store that sells it, and have plans to go home afterward so that they can be sure you will be able to refrigerate it.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704901104575423294099527212.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop [wsj.com]

Re:How will large SSDs effect databases? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33267158)

probably just sloppy db coding

Re:How will large SSDs effect databases? (1)

fgaliegue (1137441) | about 4 years ago | (#33267202)

SSD is already in many places (see smartphones). In fact, the first hard drive design was, in essence, an SSD, see here [arstechnica.com] .

The big thing is, SSD can do whatever you want it to do by design (capacity, speed or both), but it is only fairly recently that the compromise between capacity and speed has become acceptable to desktop and/or server machines. And, to be fair, only with NAND chips.

This is one part of the answer. The other is, even the notion of a "database" itself is changing: RDBMSes (CA wrt CAP) are not the "be all and end all" of databases anymore, see for instance Cassandra (AP wrt CAP). [CAP: Consistency, Availability, Partition tolerance - lookup "CAP theorem" on Wikipedia]

So, your question really is a twofold question, and there is no definite answer. Just consider the angle which is of most interest to you.

Re:How will large SSDs effect databases? (1)

khb (266593) | about 4 years ago | (#33267218)

To a first approximation ... not at all. For folks with enough $$$ (and really high performance requirements) in memory databases exist now (even Oracle and SAP) as well as smaller players with clever schemes to minimize the memory impact.

SSDs are a lot faster than spinning disk, a lot slower than DRAM. I doubt we'll be looking at a third major way to organize/structure databases ... the in-memory and "on disk" architectures will continue.

Whether an SSD then looks enough like one or the other to determine which one to select is an interesting question, but IMNSHO that's a relatively small delta vs. the sort of major transformation you allude to.

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