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  #11 (permalink)  
Old June 12, 2010, 04:20 AM
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Originally Posted by gingerbee View Post
well it's all about there firmware ocz has 1.5 which supports wiper and itgc and as soon as akg see this he can fill in all the mess details if you really want them. i would wait till the middle of summer to buy and ya the intel drive is slated to become very cheap over the next little while ( well maybe not very cheap but rumor/internet and my resellers/dealers/e-tailers hinting at price around where the 40gb V is or a little higher )
On another thread, he stated there will be a future review of another Sandforce controller drive?

I am not sure if the price will approach the Kingston V (forget the model name) but I think the Kingston is 64GB and around $140 or so. That's about my limit right now.... I just want it for a Windows boot drive.

Else, I'll buy a 320 to 500GB legacy HDD but I don't need so much disk space... I prefer larger capacity drives for my storage drives. But, at $40 to $60 for one of those drives, it's tempting.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old June 12, 2010, 05:06 AM
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The problem with RAID and SSDs is that right now no raid controllers pass along the TRIM command (this is a hardware AND software issue). What this means is that the drives have to rely on their self cleaning and maintenance routines to keep themselves from getting into a degraded state. A degraded state is when some or all the free cells have been "used" and need to be erased before they can be used again (they contain invlaid data). Since SSDs need to erase at the block level this does add a bit of time to a NEW write command (it doesnt effect read speed) as it has to read a block into chache, lookup which ones are actually being USED, rewrite the good data and erase the others (by writing 1s to them) and THEN and only then write the new data to the drive. This is a bad thing. ;)

To keep this from happening SSD mfg'ers came up with a plan, during "low IO periods / slack time / idle time" the drive will check its look up table and compare that to what is actually written in the cell blocks. When it finds invalid data is does an erase on that block and frees up the invalid cells while keeping the good data. Rinse and repeat for as long as the idle period lasts. While it is doing this it also does data consolidation so that as few blocks as possible are only partially used.

The various mfg'ers algorithms are proprietary and trade secrets and thus they vary in their effectiveness from not really to degrade state wont happen unless the drive is being USED and accessed 24/7. The down side to self cleaning (AKA Idle Time Garbage Collection, though this is the Samsung name for it) is that it is harder on the cells. The more aggressive the ITGC the more effective it is, but the harder it is on the cells and the more cell life it uses. Intel is extremely mild in its self cleaning. While not as "ineffective" as SandForce....two X25m's in Raid will in most cases get into a degraded state. They are still FAST when degraded but not as fast as they should be. Indilinx drives on the other hand have a very good balance of self cleaning effectiveness vs cell usage and a LOT of people prefer them to Intel for RAIDing drives as they usually DONT get into a degraded state. An argument can be made that two X25m's in a degrade state are still "faster" then clean Indilinx drives....but personally that is being a bit to enthusiastic and I'll take 2 or more Indis in raid over damn near any other out there.

SandForce self cleaning routines make Intel look down right GOOD in comparison and it is almost too easy to get one into a degrade state. The firmware is still young on them so in a couple months this may change...at which point they will be simply the best drives to use for both single and RAID situations and new or old OS's. This is what happened with Indilinx (and really wasnt until 1.3 / 1571 that they got "great") so it is very possible with SF as well.


TL;DR version:
What I usually recommend is: A) try one SSD and see if it is fast enough for you IF its enough space...dont RAID (Im not a fond lover of RAIDing SSDs) B) if you need more space and "have" to RAID pick Indilinx as they have a lot less care and feeding to them to keep them from getting slow. Unless you want the most speed possible and dont mind a lot more work to keep them fast in which case pick Intel.

Yes there will be another couple reviews of SF drives in the future. The usual suspects will all be covered. ;)
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Old June 12, 2010, 05:58 PM
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Default good info above

Good info, there. I'd almost forego a bit of speed for convenience but that's just me. If Sandforce controllers are going to improve at ITGC, it sounds like a good choice. I was wondering what happens in the meantime... it's ineffective for a while? But, firmware updates may improve the situation and then the self-cleaning will restore the condition of the drive?

Okay, I agree with some comments previously given about SSD being an 'experimental' situation for disk storage (well, for the OS) but hard to disregard the speed gains and the hardware advantages (e.g. no moving parts).

I thought I'd consider these drives for now unless I change my mind and go with a cheap low capacity legacy drive (120 to 500GB).

What is the best choice out of these?:
OCZ Vertex 60GB - $160

Kingston SSDNow V Series 64GB - $150

OCZ Vertex Limited Edition SATA II 2.5" SSD 50GB - $160

OCZ Vertex 2 Extended 60GB - $182 (after rebate)

OCZ Agility 2 Extended 60GB - $172.87 (after $20 rebate)

I thought the Vertex 2... I think $150-ish is a better price for a 60-80GB SSD but whatever.

Just wondered if any prices/SSDs jump out as being a good deal.

I thought a Western Digital Caviar Blue 160GB 7200RPM 8MB Serial ATA II - $38 drive would do if I can't decide/afford one of these SSDs. I didn't want to throw money on a legacy drive if it's going to mainly be a boot (OS) drive (for Windows 7). Does that make any sense???

Okay, sorry to interrupt the RAID discussions. I haven't even used legacy drives in RAID so I thought it would probably be a hassle do run my drives like that but it's interesting, for sure.
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Old June 12, 2010, 06:08 PM
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IF you plan on running ONE SSD on Windows 7 + AHCI mode + MS AHCI (or Intels latest and greatest driver) then you need not worry about ITGC as TRIM will keep the drive fast. It is only Raid'ing and older OSs that you need worry about how effective / ineffective its self cleaning routines are as TRIM wont be an option.

Id get either the Vertex 2 or the Vertex 1. 10 bucks savings is NOT worth it for the Agility 2. The vertex LE...is decent but its not as good as the Vertex 2 (it uses preproduction SF1500 chips...that are not as good as production SF1200 controllers like that found in the Vertex 2). I do consider the extra 30 bucks for the vertex 2 to be worth it....but then again as the old saying goes YMMV. Either are great first time SSDs. :)

If you can afford 12 bucks more then the 160 Blue...get a WD 500GB black. MUCH faster and lots more room. IF you can afford another 15 on top of that get the 640GB Black. Its faster then the 500. ;)
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Old June 13, 2010, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AkG View Post
IF you plan on running ONE SSD on Windows 7 + AHCI mode + MS AHCI (or Intels latest and greatest driver) then you need not worry about ITGC as TRIM will keep the drive fast. It is only Raid'ing and older OSs that you need worry about how effective / ineffective its self cleaning routines are as TRIM wont be an option.

Id get either the Vertex 2 or the Vertex 1. 10 bucks savings is NOT worth it for the Agility 2. The vertex LE...is decent but its not as good as the Vertex 2 (it uses preproduction SF1500 chips...that are not as good as production SF1200 controllers like that found in the Vertex 2). I do consider the extra 30 bucks for the vertex 2 to be worth it....but then again as the old saying goes YMMV. Either are great first time SSDs. :)

If you can afford 12 bucks more then the 160 Blue...get a WD 500GB black. MUCH faster and lots more room. IF you can afford another 15 on top of that get the 640GB Black. Its faster then the 500. ;)
Thanks for your assessment. I read a couple of threads in some overclockers forum (??? - I forget the exact one...easy to find via Google) in which they were comparing the SF1500 Vertex LE and the SF1200 Vertex 2... the consensus wasn't so clear to me and the thread suddenly died (seen that before! lol). I assumed the Vertex 2 was the better choice and you confirmed it, thanks. I guess I'd like it a bit cheaper, though.

I thought a 500GB drive for the OS is giving a lot of 'unused' space. I try to save my files to another drive, a 1TB, say, and keep the OS with most used/essential programs. I suppose I can still do that and I'll just have two copies. Maybe I'll go with a WD Black and wait for the SSDs to come down a bit more. Then the legacy drive can be a backup (storage) drive. I try to justify a cheaper, $40 legacy drive as a small investment so the $40 that could go towards a SSD is much different than larger more expensive HDDs. :)

Of course, 80+ SSDs are ideal, imho, but most start at $220+ and go up from there. The Intel G2 80GB is close at being the main contender but I still prefer sub $200... I could make up excuses for the purchase better.

Anyway, yes, you are correct to assume I'd run the SSD as "ONE SSD on Windows 7 + AHCI mode + MS AHCI" I wonder if the SSD NAND flash manufacturers or anyone involved in the mfg process will eventually develop these hardware/firmware products to (better) accommodate RAID at some point. It means extra money since it's an additional drive and perhaps, the demand is there?
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old June 13, 2010, 09:40 PM
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OP - Q3 should have newer SSD's for a cheaper price based on 32nm from intel....Anandtech.com believes that you should get the 160gb drive on 32nm for today 80gb price...if you cant wait that is.
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