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Power-Loss-Protected SSDs Tested: Only Intel S3500 Passes

Soulskill posted about 8 months ago | from the 95%-of-everything-is-crud dept.

Data Storage 293

lkcl writes "After the reports on SSD reliability and after experiencing a costly 50% failure rate on over 200 remote-deployed OCZ Vertex SSDs, a degree of paranoia set in where I work. I was asked to carry out SSD analysis with some very specific criteria: budget below £100, size greater than 16Gbytes and Power-loss protection mandatory. This was almost an impossible task: after months of searching the shortlist was very short indeed. There was only one drive that survived the torturing: the Intel S3500. After more than 6,500 power-cycles over several days of heavy sustained random writes, not a single byte of data was lost. Crucial M4: failed. Toshiba THNSNH060GCS: failed. Innodisk 3MP SATA Slim: failed. OCZ: failed hard. Only the end-of-lifed Intel 320 and its newer replacement, the S3500, survived unscathed. The conclusion: if you care about data even when power could be unreliable, only buy Intel SSDs." Relatedly, don't expect SSDs to become cheaper than HDDs any time soon.

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Stop Bragging! (5, Funny)

CajunArson (465943) | about 8 months ago | (#45800277)

"after experiencing a costly 50% failure rate on over 200 remote-deployed OCZ Vertex SSDs"

Stop gloating about how you got the good batch of OCZ SSDs! Some of us weren't so lucky....

Re:Stop Bragging! (0)

Threni (635302) | about 8 months ago | (#45800313)

LOL, but your comment is going to upset all those people who claim - wrongly- that SSDs currently enjoy an acceptable failure rate.

Re:Stop Bragging! (4, Insightful)

ColaMan (37550) | about 8 months ago | (#45800447)

SSD's from certain companies were crap. Unfortunately you couldn't tell straight away (and I guess, they couldn't tell either, otherwise they wouldn't have shipped them).

Re:Stop Bragging! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45800831)

and I guess, they couldn't tell either, otherwise they wouldn't have shipped them

Haha, good one!

Re:Stop Bragging! (4, Funny)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 8 months ago | (#45800975)

Companies are all about making money. I don't think they would have shipped such dodgy products, since it resulted in bankruptcy

Re:Stop Bragging! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45800461)

They do, once you take out OCZ which everyone knew was shit, is still shit, and well deserves the bankruptcy it finds itself in.

Re:Stop Bragging! (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about 8 months ago | (#45800693)

Your argument is that cars are unacceptably poor reliability because Ford (or other maker you don't like) makes cars. Just because Escorts were crap doesn't mean that cars are crap.

Re:Stop Bragging! (1)

Threni (635302) | about 8 months ago | (#45800717)

Poor analogy. It's more like arguing that all first generation cars were poor.

Re:Stop Bragging! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45801053)

Not really, all generations of OCZ SSDs were crap. The analogy works just fine.

Re:Stop Bragging! (2)

gweihir (88907) | about 8 months ago | (#45801059)

Consumer SSDs (except OCZ) have the standard approximately 5%/year failure rate that consumer electronics makers aim for. If you want something significantly better, go for industrial electronics that is rated for better reliability. Note that industrial electronics can be even less reliable, as it expects you to read and understand the data-sheet.

Re:Stop Bragging! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45800347)

He must work for Intel.

So make the power reliable... (5, Insightful)

ssufficool (1836898) | about 8 months ago | (#45800279)

and get a UPS. Why blow more money on a slightly more reliable SSD when a UPS is so much cheaper?

Re:So make the power reliable... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45800395)

The conclusion: if you care about data even when power could be unreliable, only buy Intel SSDs

Just stick them in laptops and buy M4s.

Your Crucial support team.

Re: So make the power reliable... (4, Informative)

nerdguy0 (101358) | about 8 months ago | (#45800627)

Or get an m500 which is basically a m4 with capacitor backup and newer NAND.

Re: So make the power reliable... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45800979)

Yes, why test the (already discontinued) M4, which I don't remember ever being marketed as "power protected" instead of the current m500 models that actually are?
I started deploying the m500 drives as soon as l heard about that one improvement (though only one of the numerous M4s got corrupted (less than 0.1% data lost) apparently due to power loss. Admittedly none of our Intel drives have failed yet either, but the new 530s tendency to disappear after a warm boot made us wary of them up until last week when Intel finally released the firmware fix for that issue.

Re:So make the power reliable... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45800439)

If you are good with electricity, and computer electrical needs are modest, one might be even better off by going with a solar panel setup, a couple sets of AGM solar batteries, a PSW inverter, and a MPPT charge controller. This wouldn't allow a 15 amp circuit to run at full throttle for long, but a computer that takes at most 200-400 watts (the new Mac Pro maxes at 480 watts), it would provide steady, clean power regardless of anything in the house.

Solar is cheap, so much that having a dedicated circuit is a step ahead of a UPS.

Re:So make the power reliable... (3, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | about 8 months ago | (#45800471)

Because Intel doesn't make UPS and he is shilling for Intel? Seriously, people actually run WITHOUT a UPS nowadays? There's no excuse. They're not $700 beasts like they used to be.

Re:So make the power reliable... (4, Insightful)

haystd (145257) | about 8 months ago | (#45800637)

The "remote-deployed" may have something to do with it. These may be part of some kind of set-and-forget devices that are not maintained by IT types. Think industrial settings.

If the UPS units were desktop grade, they are a crapshoot for quality and would probably have to be rotated out every 2-3 years and are expensive to ship due to weight. Add in the hassle of recycling the lead-acid batteries.

Re:So make the power reliable... (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 8 months ago | (#45800723)

Then get a lithium one, smaller, lighter, and easier to ship. Replacement batteries are easier to swap as well.

Re:So make the power reliable... (4, Interesting)

lgw (121541) | about 8 months ago | (#45800775)

I've never found a UPS useful. I used to buy them, but this always happened:

* Power went out
* UPS didn't quite come up in time
* Computer reset
* UPS now was happy to provide power for my computer to boot

I've tried very expensive and very cheap - they just don't work for computers in my experience, and the batteries need replacing every couple of years, and are difficult to dispose of.

Re:So make the power reliable... (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 8 months ago | (#45800931)

I've had at least two UPSes add injury to insult by simply dropping dead and failing to even act as a power strip, merrily cutting power to everything attached to them despite mains power being available (and every 'unprotected' device not even flickering). Thanks a lot APC...

Re: So make the power reliable... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45800941)

You do know you can't plug your SLI 1500W monster into an APC 350, right?

Re: So make the power reliable... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45801209)

You could use monster cables. They're quite good.

Re:So make the power reliable... (3, Insightful)

Tumbleweed (3706) | about 8 months ago | (#45800983)

I've never found a UPS useful. I used to buy them, but this always happened:

* Power went out
* UPS didn't quite come up in time
* Computer reset
* UPS now was happy to provide power for my computer to boot

I've tried very expensive and very cheap - they just don't work for computers in my experience, and the batteries need replacing every couple of years, and are difficult to dispose of.

"UPS didn't quite come up in time"? WTF? I've never had a UPS do that, and I"m on my third one in 12 years.

Re:So make the power reliable... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45801283)

Wild guess: He's mixing a cheap off-line UPS with a horrible PC PSU that can't do the required hold-up time.

Re: So make the power reliable... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45801081)

In other words you cheaper out on either the UPS or the equipment power supplies or both. Ours always work perfectly, and tell us when the batteries are due for replacement

Re:So make the power reliable... (3, Insightful)

ahabswhale (1189519) | about 8 months ago | (#45801259)

I've never had this problem. I run my computer, monitor, wifi, and cable modem into mine and it works like a champ every time. I've only had two UPSs but they both worked without fail each and every time. The only problem they have is that their power is reduced as they age.

Re:So make the power reliable... (1)

Kenja (541830) | about 8 months ago | (#45800521)

The people in Starbucks look at me funny when I walk in with my Macbook Air and a UPS.

Re: So make the power reliable... (4, Insightful)

iamhassi (659463) | about 8 months ago | (#45800603)

Your MacBook Air came with a UPS built-in, it's called the battery.

Re: So make the power reliable... (5, Funny)

couchslug (175151) | about 8 months ago | (#45801025)

"Your MacBook Air came with a UPS built-in, it's called the battery."

Yet another brilliant example of Apple design!

Re:So make the power reliable... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45800609)

Would be funny if it weren't that none of those SSDs would fit in your Macbook Air.

Oops.

Re:So make the power reliable... (2)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 8 months ago | (#45800561)

and get a UPS. Why blow more money on a slightly more reliable SSD when a UPS is so much cheaper?

That will give absolutely zero help when the machine blows a fuse and halts.

Re:So make the power reliable... (2)

vux984 (928602) | about 8 months ago | (#45800731)

That will give absolutely zero help when the machine blows a fuse and halts.

And what if the "fuse blown" is inside the SSD itself?

Onboard reliable power only helps in a very limited number of places that a UPS does not, and there are still plenty of obscure failure modes that onboard power doesn't protect you from.

At some point you have to accept that some things are beyond your control and maybe you should have a backup or two of your important data.

Re:So make the power reliable... (1)

operagost (62405) | about 8 months ago | (#45800595)

Other hardware issues could cause the OS to hang hard, requiring the power to be reset. That being said, in such a situation I/O should have halted and thus data corruption should be unlikely.

some arcade games use ssd with hard power (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45800631)

some of them have hard power on off switches and some places use power breaks to mass turn games off at the end of day

Is it that hard to include a capacitor? (5, Insightful)

ZorinLynx (31751) | about 8 months ago | (#45800289)

These things are already expensive; surely spending a few more cents per unit on a capacitor to ensure power loss reliability isn't a big deal.

The cap only has to be big enough so the controller can do a controlled shutdown.

Re:Is it that hard to include a capacitor? (1)

Miamicanes (730264) | about 8 months ago | (#45800453)

I'm still trying to process the fact that there are new SSDs that DON'T have ultracaps. You'd think that what happened to OCZ might have taught the industry a lesson or something. Well, besides, "There's a sucker born every minute!"

Feels Good Having My Buying Habits Confirmed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45800291)

I've bought a few handfuls of SSDs over the years, all Intel, all reliable... except one OCZ drive which was flaky and unreliable.

Cool story? You bet it is.

Brought to you by... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45800295)

Your friends at Intel.

So (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45800311)

I am unsure if any of the drives that "failed" have a critical component that allows for the drive to sustain a temporary loss of power. Which, if any, stated that they could?

Consumer grade vs. Enterprise Grade (5, Insightful)

CajunArson (465943) | about 8 months ago | (#45800345)

Slightly more seriously than my last post, the S3500 was the only enterprise-grade SSD tested in that batch. Frankly, I have little sympathy for you if you expected consumer-grade SSDs to perform like Enterprise-grade SSDs in a mission-critical application.

Consumer grade drives, even/especially the "high performance" ones that will often benchmark better than the "overpriced" enterprise drives, ain't designed to have perfect data retention. Of course, consumer or enterprise, any drive can fail and appropriate measures including RAID and backup* should always be in place no matter what type of drive you have.

* Yes, RAID != backup, I know, don't bother making that post.

Re:Consumer grade vs. Enterprise Grade (5, Insightful)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 8 months ago | (#45800519)

If one company's enterprise grade drive is the same price as another company's consumer level drive, isn't it valid to compare them head to head?

Re:Consumer grade vs. Enterprise Grade (3, Interesting)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 8 months ago | (#45800553)

A £100 budget was mentioned. I guess Intel was the only vendor that offered enterprise hardware below that.

The Intel 320 apparently delived good results as well, and that's not enterprise grade whatever that means anyway.

Re:Consumer grade vs. Enterprise Grade (1)

Above (100351) | about 8 months ago | (#45801087)

Agreed.

I'd really like to see an sTec [stec-inc.com] enterprise grade drive tested. It will be over the price point, but probably not by all that much and I suspect will perform great.

borderline intel advertisement (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45800359)

but still interesting and good to know i suppose

am I missing something? (2)

kcmastrpc (2818817) | about 8 months ago | (#45800387)

If I were to pull the plug on a consumer grade mechanical hdd in the middle of a write, would it not lose data as well?

Probably... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45800891)

That it is losing data outside of the data being written.

Some SSDs are notorious for the firmware's block tables getting corrupted if they're suddenly powered off. Unlike a hard disk, what this means is they could potentially be writing under the assumption that the set of blocks they're reading/writing are meant for an entirely different set of sectors than they actually contain. IE massive data corruption because you're not getting back the data you're assuming you will. Due to the write limits of Flash, the SSDs are basically constantly shuffling the window of writable sectors in order to do 'wear levelling', which means if anything disrupts that process and they're using either old or new physical block locations with the old logical ones, your data may not be ending up as it should be.

TFA isn't that clear about what they're testing. (2)

Sanians (2738917) | about 8 months ago | (#45801063)

If I were to pull the plug on a consumer grade mechanical hdd in the middle of a write, would it not lose data as well?

My only guess is that they're looking at it from the point of view of file system corruption with journaling filesystems, and whether or not stuff committed with sync() is actually safely stored on the drive at that point in time or not. However, the poor way in which the author describes this (assuming it's what he's attempting to describe at all) seriously makes me wonder why I should trust that he knows what the hell he's doing.

Some years ago while discussing design of a journaling filesystem with someone in a newsgroup, we were wondering whether sector writes to a hard disk could be expected to be atomic or not. Once a drive has begun writing to a sector, there's a very tiny amount of time it has to keep power in order to finish the sector, which would seem trivial to store in a capacitor, and with some added circuitry, the momentum in the spindle could supply some power as well. Not to mention that attempting to read a half-written sector is going to cause all sorts of hell for an algorithm that assumes there was a full sector there and so it should be able to error correct it into something meaningful, and might cause it to prematurely declare the sector dead and remap it. So it seemed a bit silly to think that a hard disk wouldn't be able to check its power status between sector writes and simply avoid beginning one which it wasn't going to be able to finish reliably, and this would allow someone to utilize this fact when designing a journaling filesystem since they could at least count on any sector they read to contain valid data even if they couldn't count on whether it was current data or old data. For example, each sector of the journal might have an index number allowing old entries to be distinguished from new ones without worry that the drive died half-way while writing the sector, thus causing it to begin with a recent index number but contain older data at the end. Of course, neither of us knew if this was true of how drives worked or not, but one random person took the time to reply simply "sector writes are atomic" for whatever a random person's word is worth.

Solid state drives have a similar issue in that once they begin rewriting their data structures, if they don't finish, then the data on the drive is going to be rather fucked, particularly since they don't work on sectors like traditional hard drives, but rather, each page of flash holds many sectors, and they're not even in linear order but instead there are wear-leveling algorithms in play. So even when the OS asks the drive to sync(), in the interest of speed, since it will have to combine the sectors written with other sectors and additional wear-leveling data before committing it to flash, it's likely in its interest to lie to the OS and say "OK, it's done" when in fact it's merely committing to writing those sectors before it shuts down even if power is cut immediately. Obviously there are a lot of ways to screw up such a commitment and be unable to deliver upon it, and I assume that's what the author of the article is testing.
 
...but, hell if I know. It'd be nice to hear from someone who actually knows about these things.

UPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45800391)

>care about data loss
Isn't this why god created UPS?

Re:UPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45800511)

I thought he created UPS for package delivery...

Re:UPS (2, Interesting)

Miamicanes (730264) | about 8 months ago | (#45800551)

> Isn't this why god created UPS?

When my UPS battery starts going bad, the first sign is that it just cuts the power without warning. If you have a SSD, that could be the deathblow that sends your data bye-bye.

The bigger question, though, is WHY THE FUCK can't we either disable whole-drive encryption, or at least set it to a key WE control, with some means to read the bits from even a drive that's totally nonfunctional SATA-wise (JTAG, SPI, whatever) and reconstruct it offline? That's why I despise Sandforce so much. As if it's not bad ENOUGH that Sandforce-based drives can just die from a single corrupted write, they have to go a step further and make it impossible for end users to do any kind of meaningful data recovery. There's NO REASON why a corrupted SSD should require thousands of dollars of commercial data recovery. If they'd just give us some fucking way to rip the raw bits from the drive, document the data structures, and give us control over the encryption, a fucked up SSD would just be an annoyance.

Re:UPS (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 8 months ago | (#45800763)

When my UPS battery starts going bad, the first sign is that it just cuts the power without warning. If you have a SSD, that could be the deathblow that sends your data bye-bye.

What is the first sign that the backup power on the SSD isn't going twitchy?

At least you could get redundant UPS and test them from time to time.

And at the end of the day you still need backups. On disk backup power still isn't going to help you if someone spills their coffee into your computer, or if the building burns down.

Re:UPS (1)

goarilla (908067) | about 8 months ago | (#45801165)

The bigger question, though, is WHY THE FUCK can't we either disable whole-drive encryption, or at least set it to a key WE control, with some means to read the bits from even a drive that's totally nonfunctional SATA-wise (JTAG, SPI, whatever) and reconstruct it offline?

Can we do that with mechanical drives ? As someone who has to do quite a lot of data recovery recently (thank you WD 3TB Green)
I'm very interested in knowing how, also the WD Mybooks come with a hardware encryption PCB.
Has anyone had success of bypassing/cracking those, since they fail fairly often and the data on the disk is "scrambled" without them.

Re: UPS (4, Funny)

Adriax (746043) | about 8 months ago | (#45800571)

Steve Jobs created UPS technology?

You're missing the point of this advertisement. Only an Enterprise class Intel drive will save your data. All other factors of the test are irrelevant, like the other drives being consumer grade or that all the other drives were beaten with a rubber mallet for 5 minutes before each test while the intel was handled with silk mittens attached to 7 grounding point. And you definitely don't need to pay attention to the fact the power loss with the Intel drive was carried out via software shutdown while the other drives were done by power surging the computer until the motherboards burst into flames.
Nope, pay no attention to that irrelevant information. Just remember that only official certified and authorized Intel drives can protect your data. Now please wait while the next advertisement queues up, which will explain how the Intel drives protext your data with a computer rendering of the drive tucking your data into bed at night before turning off the lights.

Re: UPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45800767)

You're missing the point of this advertisement. Only an Enterprise class Intel drive will save your data. All other factors of the test are irrelevant, like the other drives being consumer grade or that all the other drives were beaten with a rubber mallet for 5 minutes before each test while the intel was handled with silk mittens attached to 7 grounding point. And you definitely don't need to pay attention to the fact the power loss with the Intel drive was carried out via software shutdown while the other drives were done by power surging the computer until the motherboards burst into flames.

The TFA makes no mention that the Intel drives followed a different procedure than the other drives. Can you point this discrepancy out for me?

Power-loss protected? No Samsung? (5, Insightful)

MatthiasF (1853064) | about 8 months ago | (#45800393)

Does this mean the write-cache is NAND too? I do not see that in the features for the SSDs they selected.

Also, why was Samsung excluded? Their 800 series with RAID support has been tested in the past with long term writes with great results.

http://us.hardware.info/reviews/4178/10/hardwareinfo-tests-lifespan-of-samsung-ssd-840-250gb-tlc-ssd-updated-with-final-conclusion-final-update-20-6-2013 [hardware.info]

I do not mean to plug a particular brand, but the range of SSD's tested in the articles does not seem very expansive nor do they seem to fit into the criteria they specify.

Re:Power-loss protected? No Samsung? (1)

dave562 (969951) | about 8 months ago | (#45800543)

+1 for wondering why Samsung was not included.

Re:Power-loss protected? No Samsung? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45800721)

+1 again for the missing Samsung drives. Would have been nice to see an 840 tested.

Re:Power-loss protected? No Samsung? (1)

Life2Death (801594) | about 8 months ago | (#45800793)

+1 one more. We have deployed like 300 of the 800 series.

I've personally used two ocz which were shit until I firmware flashed them and did a full format, then were ok. One was so bad it felt like i was running windows on a USB 2.0 flash drive (yes, I have done this -- both were windows 8 which runs pretty fast on usb, this case it did not)

I have two Samsungs, a Crucial, two intels, and a Hyper-X.

This test is biased and skewed to make a point.

Also we use these 98% in laptops which dont lose power abruptly.
For a desktop, you can get a raptor enterprise drive for give or take the same price thats twice the size so why bother?

Re:Power-loss protected? No Samsung? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45801069)

It means the drive has some big capacitors. When the external power is switched off, the capacitors supply power for a fraction of a second, just long enough to write the cache RAM to Flash.

Re:Power-loss protected? No Samsung? (2)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 8 months ago | (#45801267)

Also, why was Samsung excluded? Their 800 series with RAID support has been tested in the past with long term writes with great results.

Samsung's 800 series doesn't have power loss protection.
That's why it was excluded from a test where the main criteria was Power Loss Protection.

SSD drives are fast, but they suck for reliability (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45800419)

If you have important data don't store it on an SSD drive. I own decent size small company which ships lots of systems with the better drives (not Intel) with comparable user satisfaction ratings to Intels SSD drives and they certainly aren't that terribly reliable. They are much better than the junk SSD drives, but for real reliability stick with the 7200 RPM or 5400 RPM drives. Sadly the 7200 RPM drives are dead now. Nobody makes them for laptops. I guess the next best thing for speed + a little more reliability is Intel SSD.

Re:SSD drives are fast, but they suck for reliabil (3, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 8 months ago | (#45800455)

There's still one 720RPM laptop drive, I just bought a 1TB 7200RPM HGST drive recently...

That said one of the newer Seagate drives scored faster in a speed check. Not sure what to make of that.

Re:SSD drives are fast, but they suck for reliabil (4, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | about 8 months ago | (#45800499)

People who have "important data" and fail to make a backup copy - no matter which type of media they are using - deserve to lose their data. Seriously, what you said doesn't only apply to SSD's.

Re:SSD drives are fast, but they suck for reliabil (2)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 8 months ago | (#45800671)

This is all a great theory, until the "data" in question is something like copy protection hackery that someone's high-end software puts on your SSD boot disk without necessarily telling you anything about it.

The only time I had an SSD failure, the hardware guys were great and got a replacement to me the next day, while it took literally weeks (and, in the end, a recorded letter threatening legal action) to get Adobe to let me use the software I already f**king bought on the same f**king PC it was always installed on, after I'd reinstalled everything on the replacement SSD.

If that had been an isolated occurrence, I might be willing to drop the point, but since I know of others who have also been screwed by Adobe's DRM/copy protection mess after a drive failure and I also know of other high-end software providers who play similar games, I don't think "just back everything up" is a good enough answer to unreliable drives. A drive failure typically costs some of us at least an order of magnitude more than just replacing the hardware itself once you factor in downtime, and we shouldn't have to mess around with RAID arrays of SSDs just to compensate for poorly designed products that fail unnecessarily.

Re:SSD drives are fast, but they suck for reliabil (1)

Life2Death (801594) | about 8 months ago | (#45800825)

Dont buy shit software from EA then, because really we know they are the biggest retailer using DRM still.

To be fair, even if you dont agree and continue to buy software that is copy protected, that is the issue, not the SSD.

Backup everything fools.

Re:SSD drives are fast, but they suck for reliabil (1)

lgw (121541) | about 8 months ago | (#45800833)

If your story includes "I use an Adobe product", you really have no one to blame but yourself for any and all disasters.

Re:SSD drives are fast, but they suck for reliabil (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 8 months ago | (#45800889)

It's up to Adobe customer support to resolve this issue for you, and they probably will. I have had games with "limited number of installs" run out of installs since I constantly upgrade my machine(s). I send them an email explaining the situation and they send me a new key. After all the "copy protection" is supposed to prevent someone from cranking out pirated copies by the millions, not to make it impossible for a user to recover his software.

Re:SSD drives are fast, but they suck for reliabil (1)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about 8 months ago | (#45801101)

but for real reliability stick with the 7200 RPM or 5400 RPM drives. Sadly the 7200 RPM drives are dead now. Nobody makes them for laptops. I guess the next best thing for speed + a little more reliability is Intel SSD.

7200 RPM laptop drives are readily available from multiple vendors.

They didn't test the Samsung 840 or 830? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45800441)

Arguably the best price/performance is offered by the Samsung 840 EVO, and the 840 PRO if you care about the extra performance. These are some of the most popular SSD drives on the market! How in the hell did they not test them?

Re:They didn't test the Samsung 840 or 830? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45800503)

Posting anonymously so as not to undo my moderation. Had to post and say that I have 2 Samsung 840 EVO's both in my GARBAGE BIN. both failed hard within 6 months, one was in a barely used media streaming box and the second in my gaming rig. I will NEVER recommend a Samsung drive

Original research (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45800449)

Original research by someone whose identity I can't look up. Hmm.

I'd trust every conclusion except the one that pretty blatantly advertises Intel. I guess that means Toshiba might be worth looking into.

Re:Original research (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45801223)

Are you retarded? His web page includes his full CV and LinkedIn profile.

Repeat the experiment (2)

Dunbal (464142) | about 8 months ago | (#45800485)

Do it again OP with exactly the same parameters, but this time compare SSD's to platter hard drives.

Re:Repeat the experiment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45801193)

You buyin'?

captcha: replica

An Odd Assortment of SSDs Tested (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45800487)

I'm sure the reviewer tested what they had available, but I'm not sure I'd draw any conclusions from this list of drives. The drive that passes is the only current generation drive on the list. Everything else is last generation or older. In the case of the OCZ Vertex, much older. Most of the current popular drives seem to be omitted.

Re:An Odd Assortment of SSDs Tested (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 8 months ago | (#45800853)

They tested every drive out there, and only shared the results from those that made the Intel look good. A "study" commissioned by Intel would have results consistent with what was presented.

UPS? (2)

vux984 (928602) | about 8 months ago | (#45800501)

If you are worried about data loss during a power failure wouldn't the money be better spent ensuring there isn't a power loss?

UPS are cheap and reliable, and give you time to shut down.

Its interesting and good to know that the intel SSD survived thousands of powercycles while it was trying to work without losing a single byte of data. But my desktop SSD is on a UPS. And my laptop has a battery built into it. So a power failure affecting the SSD in the middle of an operation is pretty much unheard of.

Re:UPS? (1)

sribe (304414) | about 8 months ago | (#45801181)

UPS are cheap and reliable, and give you time to shut down.

BWAHAHAHAHA! Cheap UPSs are not reliable. Seriously, just put in a new NAS this year for user backups, in a building (hospital) with extremely reliable power, but put it on a UPS just in case. And within a few months the UPS failed, abruptly cutting power to the NAS. That is just one story, but I have many others involving cheap UPSs.

Did you test brownouts? (1)

Dishwasha (125561) | about 8 months ago | (#45800555)

Hey lkcl, I don't know if this is a concern of yours, but I ended up having some fairly costly troubleshooting a few years ago with the original OCZ Vertex drives where the root cause was my laptop battery had degraded enough to where the OCZ wasn't getting the necessary voltage/current on boot-up or when the power was unplugged and it ran off of battery. The OCZ Vertex drive hardware wasn't well designed to handle not getting enough power (it was still receiving power) and totally and completely corrupted the flash to the point where it had to be sent back to OCZ. I think I did 7-8 drive returns and a laptop motherboard replacement until I finally figured it out. You might try that on the Intel S3500 and see what your results are.

Statistical significance? (4, Insightful)

amaurea (2900163) | about 8 months ago | (#45800601)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but from my skim through the article, it seems like he only used a single drive of each type. That makes it hard to demonstrate that the differences he saw were real, and not just random. I.e., it may be that all drives have a 75% chance of surviving the test, and that the Intel one just happened to be the lucky one. A more robust test would be to test N copies of each drive. N = 5 should give pretty good significance if this really is completely deterministic.

Re:Statistical significance? (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about 8 months ago | (#45800765)

On top of testing 1 drive, only tested a hand full of SSD and it was 3 consumer level drives vs an enterprise level. that test is about as fair as testing towing capacity of a 1500 series pick up vs a 3500 series truck in a test of towing. I noticed Samsung ssd's weren't in that list which says test was half ass'ed IMO from minute 1.

Re:Statistical significance? (1)

bledri (1283728) | about 8 months ago | (#45800821)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but from my skim through the article, it seems like he only used a single drive of each type. That makes it hard to demonstrate that the differences he saw were real, and not just random. I.e., it may be that all drives have a 75% chance of surviving the test, and that the Intel one just happened to be the lucky one. A more robust test would be to test N copies of each drive. N = 5 should give pretty good significance if this really is completely deterministic.

I had the same thought. And to make the sample really meaningful, the N drives from each vendor would ideally come from production different lots.

UPS (1)

Chemisor (97276) | about 8 months ago | (#45800611)

Yes, you could buy an Intel SSD for twice the cost of one without power loss protection. Or, you could buy a UPS for a mere $43 [amazon.com] , and get protection not just for the SSD, but for all the other components, as well as non-disk related software. So why would I care about power loss protection in the hard drive again?

Re: UPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45800687)

And what if the power failure is not external to the computer?
PSUs can go, shorts can form else where, etc.
A live power supply going into the plug in the back of the computer means zip if the computer can't do anything with it.

Re: UPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45800801)

What if lightning hits it? What if it gets eaten by the chupacabra?

If you wish to protect your data against the unlikely, then I would suggest a budget greater than £100.

Re: UPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45801191)

What if it gets eaten by the chupacabra?

No worries there; I have a rock that keeps them away.

Not all that useful or accurate. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45800665)

This isn't particularly useful to many people, or even accurate, since it was horribly gimped with the low cost requirement.

If this was tested for every brand and a selection of each of the main SSDs they have from low, middle and high-end ranges, then it'd maybe be useful.

But that shit is going to be expensive, so don't expect it any time soon.
I suggest you just get yourself a UPS if you haven't already got one.
Even a simple wall UPS that goes between your computer and power will be fine.
All you will be needing is just a few minutes to make sure you shut stuff down before the power pops off, so even low-power UPSes will be fine.

No fair (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 8 months ago | (#45800669)

Intel needs to feed data from said drives to the NSA while you sleep.
(Side note: unplug the cat5).

Why not use a raid card with Cache Protection? (1)

bagboy (630125) | about 8 months ago | (#45800697)

Adaptec's new 8805 (currently backordered everywhere). Their no Zero-Maintenance-Cache-Protection = no battery cache. About $500 or in that neighborhood.

Re:Why not use a raid card with Cache Protection? (1)

Life2Death (801594) | about 8 months ago | (#45800867)

That begs that you have enterprise level everything else, including dual psu's and or a UPS.

Re:Why not use a raid card with Cache Protection? (1)

kimhanse (60133) | about 8 months ago | (#45800955)

About $500 or in that neighborhood.

Not really an option on a "budget below £100".

How many samples of each model? (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 8 months ago | (#45800883)

How many samples of each model did you test? Did you purchase them from different vendors to increase the odds of serial randomness? Was the failure rate consistent for across the same models?

I have a 6 year old Mushkin SSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45800911)

I Should probably get around to migrating off of that..

Relatedly (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 8 months ago | (#45800929)

I am responding to the relatedly footnote so no, this is not off topic.

I think one reason SSDs are not going to become cheaper than HD's anytime soon is because the price on hard drives is plummeting partly in response to the more slowly lowering price on SSDs - it's just the competitive nature of the industry, even if that means sometimes companies are competing with themselves. I can get a 1 terabyte 7,200 RPM hard drive for $50 bucks, or I can get a Sandisk Extreme 2 120GB SSD for $100. I was recently faced that decision and went with the SSD. The performance is too much to pass up. Plus I already have a fast as a hard drive can get 500GB hard drive. Depending on what you put on which drive, it really is the best solution.

Price points exist for a reason (1)

alphad0g (1172971) | about 8 months ago | (#45800993)

The expensive SSDs are not always expensive because the manufacturers are greedy. Data corruption on SSDs is a huge issue. And even before this article I would not touch OCZ if you paid me. But the author is scraping the bottom of the barrel to find a suitable solution, and the title should reflect this - sub 100 pounds is one cheap SSD. Since Intel makes Flash I would expect them to pass - or by horrified if they didn't. I would expect Samsung to pass as well as they fab lots of the flash that everyone else buys. Many of the others just buy it, arrange it on a PCB and sell it - not as much understanding or engineering going on there. Nice to know, but the blurb would be better if all the main players were included in the testing.

what's the point of this? (1)

hypergreatthing (254983) | about 8 months ago | (#45801001)

As many others have posted, a UPS will protect the whole computer from data loss in the case of a power outage. what about the data stored in memory without a UPS? Are you going to test that? the idea that a capacitor can store enough temporary power for shutdown is neat but worthless. SSDs were made to replace harddrives. what happens when you unplug power from harddrives in the middle of a write? Why would you want SSDs to be better than harddrives in that function?
What does the failure rate of ocz ssds have anything to do with this crazy test?

Test any STEC Mach2 SLC Ent NAND Flash SSDs? (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 8 months ago | (#45801149)

It looks like all the SSDs the author was testing are low-end models, that obviously don't have Enterprise features such as high-end fault protection circuits / super capacitor in the design.

price was a criteria (1)

Chirs (87576) | about 8 months ago | (#45801269)

Yes, of *course* he was mostly testing low-end models, one of the criteria was a price limitation!

Certainly if budget is increased then you can include more enterprise level drives which would be expected to have a capacitor for controlled shutdown. The whole point of the test is whether any of the low-budget drives behave well during power outages.

Right..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45801163)

I've had many diff OCZ Vertex 2 and 3's for years with constant use and no problems. I've even had power outages and they were completely unaffected. Besides, no one puts anything that can't be replaced easily on a single SSD. That's just foolishness. They are for speed and Intel has some of the worst speeds for SSD's you can get. Samsung, OCZ, and Mushkin have all the top speed and IOPS drives on the market. Intel's are simply double the cost for a fraction of the speed. I'd use a Velociraptor HDD before I'd ever buy an Intel SSD. Not to be offensive, but you obviously don't know much about the SSD tech and market.

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