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Next Generation SSDs Delayed Due To Vista

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the favorite-whipping-boy dept.

Data Storage 600

PoliTech notes in a journal entry that "Vista is the gift that just keeps on giving." "Speaking during SanDisk's second-quarter earnings conference call, Chairman and [CEO] Eli Harari said that Windows Vista will present a special challenge for solid state drive makers. 'As soon as you get into Vista applications in notebook and desktop, you start running into very demanding applications because Vista is not optimized for flash memory solid state disk,' he said... 'The next generation controllers need to basically compensate for Vista shortfalls,' he said. 'Unfortunately, (SSDs) performance in the Vista environment falls short of what the market really needs and that is why we need to develop the next generation, which we'll start sampling end of this year, early next year.' Harari said this challenge alone is putting SanDisk behind schedule. "We have very good internal controller technology... That said, I'd say that we are now behind because we did not fully understand, frankly, the limitations in the Vista environment.'"

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Unbelievable (5, Insightful)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 5 years ago | (#24299951)

It seems hardly a day goes by without seeing yet another example of Microsoft's utter disregard for the needs and desires of virtually every market -- consumer, enterprise, and OEM. Rarely in the history of American business has any company shot themselves in the foot in such a spectacular manner, earning the ire of so many. I almost feel sorry for them. They really need to regain some sense regarding Win7, bring back the MinWin idea and use a good, transparent virtualization scheme for backwards compatability. Otherwise I think they will be pretty well finished in the OS market. The OEMs are not going down with them if they can help it, you can be sure of that. And once Windows is no longer the defacto preloaded OS it's all over.

Re:Unbelievable (5, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 5 years ago | (#24299971)

Impressive; Vista can slow down a company's product development, not just the computers it's running on!

Re:Unbelievable (5, Funny)

crackp1pe (1301669) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300107)

I heard that Vista causes cancer, kicks puppies, and is responsible for global warming.

Re:Unbelievable (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24300273)

Oh, by requiring more computing power it is indeed responsible for a bit of global warming...

Re:Unbelievable (-1, Offtopic)

aXi (6533) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300487)

How very true, but don't forget global warming eventually will cause cancer and kill puppies.

Correction, causes cancer and killed many a puppy.

Newsflash (5, Insightful)

ne0n (884282) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300457)

Vista actually does contribute to global warming.
Requires big beefy CPUs and wastes cycles on DRM and other assorted nonsense? Check.
Constantly "optimizes" the disk in background, thereby disabling a power-saving measure? Check.

Re:Unbelievable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24300461)

I heard that Vista causes cancer, kicks puppies, and is responsible for global warming.

You forgot hair loss and impotence. It's believed to be a contributing factor in Tourettes Syndrome since it leads to uncontrollable swearing.

Re:Unbelievable (0, Flamebait)

aXi (6533) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300505)

Well it is at least partially responsible for global warming, so be careful what you wish for as one day it all might come true.

Re:Unbelievable (5, Insightful)

LackThereof (916566) | more than 5 years ago | (#24299995)

They really need to [...] use a good, transparent virtualization scheme for backwards compatability.

Yes, THIS. Running legacy apps in a virtualized 2k/xp environment so they can get a clean start without worrying about backwards compatibility and all the bullshit that comes with it. Hardware is plenty powerful enough to do it, these days.

Re:Unbelievable (5, Insightful)

Tx (96709) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300039)

It seems hardly a day goes by without seeing yet another example of Microsoft's utter disregard for the needs and desires of virtually every market -- consumer, enterprise, and OEM

Much as I love Microsoft bashing, this is bull. The SSD manufacturers are moving their products into a market dominated by an established technology, namely hard disks, and it's up to them to make their products perform well enough to displace that established technology. Running well on SSDs wasn't a design goal of Vista, and AFAICS there is a limit to what Microsoft can do about this in the short term. I'm sure this will be on the radar for the next version of Windows, but at the moment I would say the SSD manufacturers need to work on their products rather than casting blame.

Re:Unbelievable (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24300115)

I've run Vista Home Premium on an Asus Eee PC (with 4GB SSD) and it runs just fine. And quick. I have no idea what they are complaining about.

Re:Unbelievable (3, Insightful)

danwat1234 (942579) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300269)

How in the world did you fit Vista in a 4GB space? Usually clean installs are 6GB+!

Re:Unbelievable (4, Interesting)

Christophotron (812632) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300433)

6GB, are you kidding?! I consider 18GB the bare minimum for JUST THE VISTA OS PARTITION. That's with my Program Files, Users, and ProgramData directories moved to a separate partition and linked into the C drive using NTFS junctions. I learned this the hard way when I decided I wanted separation of Applications from OS data. Basically, the Windows directory itself (particularly WinSXS) starts to build up DLLs and other cruft faster than you can imagine and expands to many gigabytes. Not to mention the applications that just INSIST on filling up your C drive with their crap hidden in various places you wouldn't expect. Oh yeah, and every single freaking windows update is stored in WinSXS and CAN NEVER BE DELETED. WinSXS and every program and system file that the updates act upon MUST be located on the same physical volume or Windows Update will error out. In the end, I decided it's a huge pain in the ass to attempt to organize Windows and it is not really worth it if you have a big enough hard drive to just make a huge (100GB+) C partition. I really can't understand how someone could possibly succeed at running Vista on 4GB, or why they would even think that's a good idea.

Re:Unbelievable (5, Insightful)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300161)

Seriously, how could the SSD manufacturers not know that one of Vista requirements were: Thrash the hard disk for no reason at some random point in time yielding no apparent benefits.

Re:Unbelievable (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24300285)

Well, OS X does that quite a bit. Maybe not thrash, but my machine has a continually on-going relationship with the hard drive despite 4 GB of RAM it could talk with instead. I don't understand why a machine whose diagnostic app from the OS vendor lists 2.3 GB of free (available) RAM is relying on hard disk-based virtual memory for basic tasks. Then there's the lack of control for real-time systems, but that's for another discussion....

Re:Unbelievable (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24300521)

"no apparent reason"? Firstly, Vista does not trash the hard disk at random times. A majority of the time, if no other program is requesting access, the drive stays idle. When it does do something, it's building the search index, building a restore point, ect.

You can either use the Performance Monitor included with Vista, or download one of Mark Russinovich's wonderful tools [microsoft.com] to determine exactly what the disk activity is, if you think it's a problem.

I'd bet hand over fist, 9 out of 10 trolls bitching about disk usage actually have a 3rd party program doing the thrashing, but again, for the lazy mind it's just best to bash Microsoft.

Re:Unbelievable (2, Insightful)

Artuir (1226648) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300315)

You make it sound like that's all they're sitting around doing, is casting blame. I never understood that logic.

Don't you think they have a R&D department working hard to make this next generation happen? Why does this announcement and working on their products have to be exclusive from one another? Lets be a bit more sensible in the course of discussion. Vista is shit, that was their point.

Re:Unbelievable (5, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300513)

I actually tried reading the article to try to find out what it is that Vista does wrong that the other O/Ses (like Windows XP, OSX, Linux) don't.

And guess what, the article is crap. No details.

Of course Vista isn't optimized for SSDs, why should it have been? Is Windows XP optimized for SSDs? The only thing related difference I can see is Vista has a larger footprint.

To me it looks like they're casting blame (while trying to get their tech up to speed).

Vista is crap. But "Next Gen SSDs Delayed Due To Vista" sounds like bullshit to me.

Re:Unbelievable (1)

BPPG (1181851) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300319)

I think you may be missing commentary for complaints. People have been talking about SSDs for several years now, and I've actually kind of wondered that, if they were so great, why aren't we seeing more of them in mainstream desktop use?

This is why.

You have a point, that you may as well blame gravity for pulling down. Many technologies do (or at least did) benefit from Windows' popularity, but SSD technology clearly does not.

Re:Unbelievable (1)

BRSloth (578824) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300507)

Much as I love Microsoft bashing, this is bull.

I like to bash Microsoft too, so let me ask: Why this sounds like it's a Vista problem and not a "generic operating system" problem? I don't see people saying that Linux wasn't designed to SSD...

Re:Unbelievable (5, Insightful)

countvlad (666933) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300077)

Your first line is pretty trollish, but I agree with some of the points you make later. But first... Are you actually naive enough to buy this "our sales and performance are bad because Vista isn't optimized, omg!" bullshit? Do you think XP, OSX, and for that matter, Linux, are generally "optimized for SSDs"? This is a plea to investors and market analysts, saying "look, it's not our fault our numbers suck...it's Vista! Blame them!" It's a little after the fact to be blaming Vista on your shitty performance - Vista has been around long enough for them to get their act together. I remember the backlash when XP became mainstream and MSFT was everyone's favorite whipping boy because "Windows 98SE had better performance" and "Windows 2000 doesn't have a playskool theme." Now everyone swears by XP. Not that Vista is a fantastic or even decent OS - but it's become everyone's favorite whipping boy, the George Bush of the technology industry, and it's more than a little retarded. I'd like to see MSFT bring modularity and optionality to more of it's core components (read: remove IE and WMP). And they absolutely should leverage their Hypervisor tech, using it as a foundation for backwards compatibility - how great would it be to be able to run your legacy apps in a well-hidden (previous) Windows virtual machine? But the fact of the matter is, MSFT has the tech world by the balls, and the day when "openoffice experience" and "Microsoft Office experience" are equivalent on a secretaries resume are a long, long way off.

Re:Unbelievable (5, Interesting)

lorenzo.boccaccia (1263310) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300267)

linux has different scheduling algorithms, usually anticipatory and cfq are used for disks, and those schedulers tries to pack reads of adiacent sectors (reading also unneeded data to keep the sustained speed) - but linux also have a do nothing schedule to be used with disks with low random acces time and low bandwidth (as the SSDs)

if vista has the same sort of disk optimization, without the ability to manually chose the disk scheduling, then the os is wasting the scarce bandwidth on a medium which is the exact opposite of a disk in term of performance. not that the optimization is bad per se, and it is very common to find prefetching on hd (even done by the controller).

Re:Unbelievable (5, Insightful)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300363)

Yeah, I had to laugh at this, what a fucking joke. "We are moving from building SSDs for primarily digital cameras which, less face it, have pretty low IO requirements, other than burst write rates on higher megapixel models, to computers using them as their primary drives with heavy read-write IO. Accordingly, we're going to blame the fact that our hardware wasn't designed for such a thing on the fact that OSes may perform heavy read/write".

What a travesty.

"We didn't make as much profit because SSDs are with every passing day becoming more and more of a commodity, and due to the fact that we make products on the higher end of the market than the $10/gb K-mart crap (i.e. Ultra and Extreme product lines)". Far more accurate.

Slashdot isn't much better, "Ooh, look, `nother chance to slap Vista for max page views and ad revenue, jump on it!"

Re:Unbelievable (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300095)

It seems hardly a day goes by without seeing yet another example of Microsoft's utter disregard for the needs and desires of virtually every market -- consumer, enterprise, and OEM

What amazes me is that there isn't more of an awareness of (and outcry about) Vista's crap factor on the consumer level, or that business isn't more forceful with Microsoft about the issue. People just seem to accept it.

Re:Unbelievable (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300359)

Simple solution: Get rid of Vista preloaded. Then show the masses what a properly set up Linux on an SSD can do.

(Oblig.: This could really be the year of Linux on the desktop!)

What sort of optimization? (5, Interesting)

hplus (1310833) | more than 5 years ago | (#24299969)

TFA doesn't go into much detail - by "not optimized" do they mean that Vista pages frequently, and thus would wear out the SSD rapidly? Or is it possibly something to do with sustained read speeds?

Re:What sort of optimization? (3, Interesting)

Saint Gerbil (1155665) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300333)

Its complete crap i was reading about this on ars and the macbook air has the same limits as vista, and people were hinting that Linux has similar issues. Or os Vista now causing problems with Mac products now.

Optimized? (5, Interesting)

pthisis (27352) | more than 5 years ago | (#24299977)

It greatly upsets me that they view this as a question of optimization.

Seek speed is nice, but it's only one aspect of SSD technology. Heat is another, and for a large segment of us the noise generated is the dominant feature. The HD is the only piece of the machine standing in the way of silent operation, and unlike power use or speed that's something that can affect the owner all day long even when they're not actually using the machine.

Holding up silent drives because they aren't quite fast enough is just disheartening. :-( I'm guessing for others, holding up cooler drives is equally sad.

Re:Optimized? (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300171)

and for a large segment of us the noise generated is the dominant feature.

Does this same "large segment" encompass those people who run 50 million open tabs tabs at once or have the TV and/or movies playing in the background at the same time, only to freak out if they hear a little hum or whir from their HDD?

Just asking, cuz some folks are very selective about the choosing just what "noise" irritates them.

Re:Optimized? (3, Interesting)

fabs64 (657132) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300199)

To be fair, I'm one of those people who happily run all that stuff at once.

Currently: ff 12 tabs, pdf reader, oo.org calc, windows xp in vmware with outlook, azureus, eclipse, pidgin, and I'm often watching videos. Yet incredibly, with 2gb of RAM (standard for a PC) I haven't hit the swap in months.

Take a guess why.

Re:Optimized? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24300289)

Take a guess why.

It hung up a few hours ago and no one has rebooted yet ?

Re:Optimized? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24300419)

You forgot to run swapon?

Re:Optimized? (1)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300213)

> and for a large segment of us the noise generated is the dominant feature. This is indeed a dominant feature of conventional hard drives. Audible alert of system trashing.

Re:Optimized? (1)

backwardMechanic (959818) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300475)

Some of us just want serious life out of a laptop battery. Hard disks are monsters for power consumption. Once we get cheap SSDs, then we can start moaning about the screen (I was going to say fixing, but seriously, I don't do the dev work, I just moan).

It is not just vista... (4, Informative)

statusbar (314703) | more than 5 years ago | (#24299985)

For some reason 'rpm' from mandrake is surprisingly inefficient on SSD's. It makes mandrake practically unusable for me on my eeepc. Yet dpkg/apt-get/aptitude on debian and ubuntu is just zippy.


Re:It is not just vista... (0, Offtopic)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300063)

For some reason 'rpm' from mandrake is surprisingly inefficient on SSD's. It makes mandrake practically unusable for me on my eeepc. Yet dpkg/apt-get/aptitude on debian and ubuntu is just zippy.


An aptly named program, to be sure.

Pointing fingers (0)

FoolsGold (1139759) | more than 5 years ago | (#24299989)

This sounds more like a manufacturer who can't properly develop drivers for their hardware. It's up to them to support Vista, not for Microsoft to support their hardware.

Sure, the IDE/SATA Controller drivers supplied with Vista won't work well with SSD technology. So guess what? Drive manufacturers should make their own drivers to control their own hardware. This is just flaming.

Re:Pointing fingers (3, Insightful)

setagllib (753300) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300023)

It's more like Vista's disk scheduler and disk usage patterns are complete incompetent on modern hardware.

While Linux has modern filesystems and gets optimized and fixed almost constantly, Windows Vista still uses the same basic NTFS layout and associated algorithms that were finalised around 10 years ago, and weren't even very good back then. There have been only very minor revisions to NTFS and virtually none of them have improved its performance or reduced its fragmentation.

Re:Pointing fingers (5, Interesting)

silentcoder (1241496) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300071)

The interesting thing is the Ingo Molnar has said outright that none of the current Linux filesystems is GOOD ENOUGH for SSD's - he has his hopes on BTRFS to save us in the longer run - and the Linux filesystems are a damn-sight better at it than Vista...
Intriguing how Linux was already the best, and yet working on improvement when the competition hasn't even considered the problem yet.

Re:Pointing fingers (2, Interesting)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300403)

The interesting thing is the Ingo Molnar has said outright that none of the current Linux filesystems is GOOD ENOUGH for SSD's - he has his hopes on BTRFS to save us in the longer run -

Precisely. Linux WILL have a fix soon, and it will be incorporated into all the major distros at the next release.

When are we going to see a MS filesystem that doesn't suck? (Alright, I thought about it. Make one with a BSD licence...)

Re:Pointing fingers (2, Interesting)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300293)

They did intend to change the filesystem when designing Vista, to WinFS. WinFS turned out to stink for a lot of reasons, and seems to have quietly vanished off the product release schedule. This is a good thing: WinFS is XML based and apparently severely patent encumbered, and would mean a nightmare writing and publishing new drivers for Linux and other OS's that can comfortably read and write FAT32 and NTFS now.

Re:Pointing fingers (4, Funny)

hostyle (773991) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300305)

So basically, Vista murders your disks? Steve Ballmer should be worried. Didn't they put Hans Reiser in jail for something like this?

Re:Pointing fingers (1)

Barsteward (969998) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300459)

Hans Reiser is actually in the actor credits of the film "The Great Escape" so watch this space

Re:Pointing fingers (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24300043)

Driver is for supporting device abstraction layer in an OS.

If the fault is within the file system not optimizing for flash wear leveling or have frequent unnecessary writes to a device, would you suggest a hardware device vendor to make the file system too? How far in the OS do you want a 3rd party hardware vendor to work on?

Re:Pointing fingers (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300045)

An interesting concept. So you would still have 5.25" floppy drives and support a max partition size of 32GB then? After all new hardware would expect support from the OS.

Re:Pointing fingers (0, Redundant)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300079)

So guess what? Drive manufacturers should make their own drivers to control their own hardware.

In soviet linux programmers write drivers!

Re:Pointing fingers (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24300209)

This sounds more like a manufacturer who can't properly develop drivers for their hardware. It's up to them to support Vista, not for Microsoft to support their hardware.

On behalf of the users of every non-MS OS out there, I say: No, fuck you, and I hate you for even suggesting this.

Re:Pointing fingers (0, Flamebait)

FoolsGold (1139759) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300329)

That's nice.

There's a reason I stick wire Windows - I'm tired of being treated second-class by developers and manufacturers when it comes to software and hardware. Since I don't have time to wait for things to change, I don't really give a fuck what users of non-MS systems think.

MS marketing doesnt consider it a problem (2, Insightful)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300033)

'As soon as you get into Vista applications in notebook and desktop, you start running into very demanding applications because Vista is not optimized for flash memory solid state disk,'

Based on the statement, it earns the Vista Capable sticker...

On a serious note, I would try not to think that this is a case of -insert company- blaming MS for their own shortfall. Although I am more likely to believe that this is Vista's fault and in this case MS should be the one issuing some patches...

Re:MS marketing doesnt consider it a problem (4, Insightful)

scoot80 (1017822) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300149)

How so?

Vista works fine on current hard drives, and flash based memory is historically slower than HDDs, so blaming MS for it is absurd. If they cannot develop fast enough SSDs, its their bloody fault. What you are saying is that MS should patch their software so it works with the brand new state of art SLOW hardware.

Poor Vista Performance... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24300037)

...just means your drives are shit in general. I don't see hard drive manufacturers complaining.

File swapping destroys SSDs (3, Insightful)

naz404 (1282810) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300047)

Flash memory has a certain "read-write" lifespan, after X thousands of reads/writes, the media becomes damaged and eventually becomes unusable.

Thus, lots of reads/writes via the swap file or web browser caches accelerate the death of Flash SSDs.

I wish newer OSes made tinier footprints and would use RAMDrives more like Damn Small Linux, thus prolonging the life of the "hard drives" of machines like the Asus EEE.

Re:File swapping destroys SSDs (5, Informative)

palumbor (854887) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300387)

Seriously can we put this statement to bed yet? It has been several years (think, five or so) since this statement has even been slightly accurate. Yes, many writes can destroy a drive, but the number is in the (upper) hundreds of millions - performed on one single sector.

Today flash hard drives levy on technology used in older embedded devices that relied on flash, called "wear leveling".

Because each write is spread out throughout the entire disk, you don't physically write to the same sector X thousands of times when updating a cache file or whatnot.

Even if you had something thrashing the SSD continuously, you would not destroy the drive within the reasonable lifespan of a comparable rotating media drive.

Obligatory matrix misquote (5, Funny)

silentcoder (1241496) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300049)

"We did not fully understand the limitations of the Vista environment" - Neither did anybody else, including Microsoft... no one can be told how limited Vista is - you have to suffer it for yourself.

Re:Obligatory matrix misquote (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300397)

Its a sad day when a company can't say: "We do not fully understand the opportunities of the Vista environment."
Instead of making Vista an opportunity for product developers and making their life easier, Microsoft is making their life harder and more miserable.
Microsoft seems to forget its history: Its strength lies in the external developers and manufacturers who make products that work seamlessly with Windows.
Screwing them is not an option for MSFT especially when Apple is making inroads into traditional PC market.
The two eyes for Microsoft are its developers and manufacturers of Peripherals.
Poke them both in the eye and MSFT can kiss its business model goodbye.
IBM did that and it quit PC business altogether.

Indeed indeed! Vista would ruin an SSD fast. (4, Insightful)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300055)

Vista absoloutely randomly thrashes your hard disk almost constantly for the first few weeks of installation, all you can hear is tickety tick, clickety click from the damn machine.
What is it doing? I'm not sure, auto defrag? file index? superfetch? I can't be sure, what I can be sure of is that it's *apparently* meant to run at idle priority, in reality I can clearly visibly see the performance decrease of say loading firefox or nero or any application under Vista compared to XP, while the drive thrashes about like a 'special person' thrown in the deep end of a swimming pool.

I am sadly 'oldschool' I remember running DOS 5 and 6 and I recall watching my drive light, I used to be able to spot a machine with a virus purely from the damned disk activity on the machine, because it simply isn't supposed to do anything when you're not, how that has changed over the years, it's sad, even smartdrv would stop fiddling with the drive after about 5 or 10 seconds under 6.22
Win 95, 98, virus scanners, spyware detectors, 2k, XP - it's all slowly gotten worse over the years but Vista really takes the cake, I'd love to see a laptop power consumption test of XP vs Vista on an identically spec'd machine. (tickety tick, thrashity thrash)

The short story is, I agree with the article entirely, SSD's would be worn out substantially faster under Vista than previous versions of Windows.

Re:Indeed indeed! Vista would ruin an SSD fast. (4, Interesting)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300105)

I'd love to see a laptop power consumption test of XP vs Vista on an identically spec'd machine. (tickety tick, thrashity thrash)

On my Thinkpad X60, Vista reduced the run time by at least an hour, until I disabled the damn disk indexing crap (and it's still shorter -- I'll move back to XP when I decide to quit being lazy).

Re:Indeed indeed! Vista would ruin an SSD fast. (1)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300153)

Vista forced my Dell 8600 to go from running the fan at speed 1 of 3 to speed 2 of 3 at all times, no matter what I shut down or disabled.

Vista also touched my taint, ghastly chap.

Re:Indeed indeed! Vista would ruin an SSD fast. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24300181)

I upgraded my computer at the time from XP to Vista, and once Superfetch learned what programs I used a lot, I noticed programs like Firefox and Visual Studio loaded significantly faster than under XP.

Also, by default Vista doesn't index files as fast/at all when a laptop is on battery, so this affect the battery life of a laptop. I don't know how XP and Vista actually compare on power consumption, but your example isn't what will make a difference.

Re:Indeed indeed! Vista would ruin an SSD fast. (1)

Nightspirit (846159) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300411)

Do you know in Vista you can schedule defrag, backup, and autoupdate so they don't pester you? In addition you can select the files and folders that vista indexes. For instance on Friday nights I have scheduled defrag, then backup, then autoupdate. My machine never slows down when I am using it (to be fair I'm using NOD32 antivirus which is pretty lightweight. I imagine a machine with norton on it would bring vista to a crawl).

After the first couple of weeks battery life is pretty similar between vista/xp/ubuntu (I triple-boot on the same machine, my sound card for recording only works under XP).

I wonder what he means (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300065)

It does too many many writes? Or it doesn't support large cluster sizes?

Or maybe it doesn't mark sectors as junk when they are no longer in use which is good for wear levelling.

Re:I wonder what he means (3, Informative)

adisakp (705706) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300369)

It does too many many writes?

Vista does lots and lots of writing - especially lots of small writes... Then again so does XP - just Vista does more.
  • Continuously queries and makes small writes to the registry for nearly every action performed by the OS including on continual background basis.
  • Frequent writes to the PageFile for Virtual Memory
  • NTFS filesystem updates Last Access Time whenever a file is touched in any way (including just looking at it)
  • Additional journaling writes by NTFS
  • Background Building of Search Indices for Built-In Windows Search
  • Runs "System Restore" on volumes by default
  • "Simplified" disk defragmenter scheduled to run on all volumes
  • May store arbitrary install and temp files on any drive (examples: MSOCACHE, ie temporary install files, service pack files, etc)
  • Runs background scans on disk (Windows Defender)
  • Writes for automatic optimization of disk for boot (not aware that it's unnecessary for SSD)
  • Etc, etc, etc (too many more to list)

Trust me, Vista is vicious to a hard drive. I got a new Quad6600 with 3GB and it felt slow... sometimes absolutely crawling because it had a slower 8MB cache 500GB drive installed. I finally figured out that the HD was the performance bottle neck. I just bought a WD Velociraptor (10K RPM 32MB cache) for $300 and my computer feels about twice as fast for daily usage.

Re:I wonder what he means (4, Informative)

adisakp (705706) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300383)

Oh, also. Vista has a great tool for seeing how much disk activity is going on. Hit CTRL-ALT-DEL then click on "Start Task Manager". On the "Performance" tab, click "Resource Manager". UAC will prompt you to continue. Then click to expand the "Disk" section.

You can see even when you think your computer should be idle that Vista has anywhere from several dozen to over a hundred outstanding writes queued up to the hard drive at just about any time.

Funny how Sandisk is the only one with this proble (4, Interesting)

d_jedi (773213) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300083)

Sandisk SSD drives are poorly made and perform poorly (much worse than others..). This is just Sandisk trying to shift the blame elsewhere..

Re:Funny how Sandisk is the only one with this pro (5, Informative)

MojoStan (776183) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300173)

Sandisk SSD drives are poorly made and perform poorly (much worse than others..). This is just Sandisk trying to shift the blame elsewhere..

DailyTech's article [dailytech.com] (and others [techspot.com] ) have also added opinions similar to yours. From the DT article:

  • "It is quite true that SanDisk's SSD are woefully subpar in performance when running Windows Vista. Numerous benchmarks from around the web have shown SanDisk SSDs getting outpaced by the competition.

    In fact, it's not uncommon to see SanDisk SSDs rank last in testing in almost every benchmark and by a large margin -- even in Windows XP. Recent testing showed that MSI's Wind netbook was no faster with a SanDisk SATA 5000 SSD [laptopmag.com] than with the standard 80GB HDD -- an Eee PC 1000h featuring similar specifications was significantly faster with a competing SSD from Samsung [laptopmag.com] .

    While Vista may be a performance inhibitor compared to Windows XP for SSDs, it appears that most new, current-generation SSDs are having no problems performing well with the operating system. The problem appears to be SanDisk's low reads and writes (67 MB/sec and 50 MB/sec respectively) compared to the competition (i.e., OCZ's new Core Series SSDs [dailytech.com] which clock in at 120 to 143 MB/sec for reads and 80 to 93 MB/sec for writes)."

minor compared to all the other things (0, Offtopic)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300085)

Compared to all the other things that are delayed because of Microsoft, SSDs are not at the top of my list to worry about: the main reason we're still using 1980's style window systems, programmed in 1970's style languages, running on top of 1960's style kernels and file systems is because Microsoft perpetuated that.

If Microsoft hadn't dragged the market to the bottom of the cesspool with the bad "standards" that they set, companies would actually have been able to produce innovative operating systems and user interfaces, and market forces could have led to a gradual improvement.

Re:minor compared to all the other things (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300449)

I cant agree more. I have always been interested in OS research and concept implementations. Some of those implementations have been mindbogglingly fast, agile and stable and introduced very nice concepts like stateless computing, distributed systems and extremely fault tolerant enviroments for applications. Much of those things arent that hard to implement. Microsoft could have done it but they couldnt care less. To them good enough is whatever their monopoly can ship without being publicly tared and feathered, sometimes even worse like with Vista.

The monopoly effectivly shuts out any comercial players from entering the fray leaving only OS like Linux, BSD and such. MacOS only lives because its artificially tied to Apples hardware. The moment they release it to general PC's they will be shut down wich they know very well.

Linux isnt the right place for disruptive innovation at all because its tightly knit around *NIX, is mature and depends on an enormous amount of third party applications. Its use of an evolving development model prohibits making big changes instead of baby steps.

The biggest hindrance to any development in the computer business is Microsofts monopoly. No sane company even considers doing something that may end up competing with them no matter how much better, safer, faster or cheaper it would be.

I see todays computer world as a very conservative place where nothing really changes that much, its just the buzzwords that change. If you just look at what you can do with the computer things are very stale and not much new happens at all. Whats the real difference between Star OS, Amiga OS or GEOS and a modern OS except massive resource missuse, multitasking and a tcp/ip stack?

that's one way to look at it (4, Informative)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300099)

Another way to look at it is that SSDs aren't optimized for Vista.

Here's a basic issue with NAND. NAND is most efficient when written in chunks of at least 128KB in size. Some NAND chips aren't even efficient until 256KB. Because this is the smallest unit that can be erased in NAND. If you write a smaller amount (say 8KB), it actually has to erase a new block, copy 120KB to the new block from the old, then write in the new 8KB. Then, if you write another 8KB, might have to do it again!

So these SSDs would be fastest if Vista would write in larger blocks. Unfortunately, 512B is the block size for ATA. There are extensions for 2KB, 4KB and 8KB blocks, but Vista doesn't implement them. And it doesn't have to, as they're optional.

Also notable is that even some regular magnetic hard drives now have native 2KB or 4KB blocks and it is written in 512B chunks, it might have to do a read-modify-write cycle to do it.

Anyway, if you know ATA until recently the LARGEST possible write was 128KB (256 blocks), to expect Vista to use writes this large or larger when many drives (like almost any under 137GB) doesn't even implement them is perhaps too optimistic. To expect it to use 2KB or 4KB blocks when 95% of drives don't implement them is perhaps too optimistic.

In the end, drive (including SSD) companies can't operate in a vacuum. They know they have to make what is useful for the customer, which means usable by the OS.

As an additional note, MacOS recently (10.4.something) added support for 2KB, 4KB, etc. blocks, but it still has difficulty using large writes too. I think when operating through the file system, it never generates a write larger than 256 blocks either (which is 128KB or more depending on block size).

Re:that's one way to look at it (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24300483)

Vista does support disks with sector size up to 4Kb. It can't go to 8Kb because it requires the ability to write an x86/amd64 page (4Kb) atomically.

Re:that's one way to look at it (2, Informative)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300523)

Maybe, but it is insane to develop hardware to suit software. Far too many types of software will want to use the same hardware, you can't optimize for them all. It is far more logical, far more rational, to optimize the hardware for the task, and leave it to software on the device or drivers on the host machine to present a suitable view for the operating system. Any remaining problems are for the OS to take care of. If the OS doesn't, that's the OS' problem, not the hardware's.

In this case, let's take the thrashing problem. If the driver did not provide write-through, knew enough to distinguish data from indexes and had sufficient ramdisk to work with, it should be possible to eliminate writes until the last possible moment, and to maximize the number of whole-block writes. Ideally, you'd mirror the entire drive in RAM, do everything in a ramdrive, then reorganize and write only once at the very end. In practice, you won't have that much RAM, but you should have enough to absorb unnecessary or inefficient writing methods.

Famous quote (4, Funny)

Trogre (513942) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300103)

When I read this, a certain quote comes to mind:

"The Wise adapts himself to the world. The Fool adapts the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the Fool." -Unknown

So perhaps on some plane of reality we might be grateful to the good people at Microsoft for forcing SSD makers to make improvements they might not otherwise have made?

Re:Famous quote (1)

BPPG (1181851) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300395)

These aren't improvements so much as they are accomodations for Vista's complexity, or at least that's what I got from TFA. Until more details are released, we can't really say for sure that this is a blessing in disguise.

Surprise... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24300125)

Vista is optimized for Intel's TurboMemory architecture... that's the WINTEL conspiracy.

Who cares about Vista? (0, Troll)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300151)

They should release an SSD version for Servers and Linux boxes in general and just ignore Vista while waiting. My eeePC runs Ubuntu Linux like a charm with its SSD and with a couple of simple alterations i have minimized disk writes to a bare minimum (log to memory, no indexing, write less often to disk and turn off browser cache etc). I very rarely see the disk light, this on a 512 MB internal mem computer.

Let Microsoft sort the numerous problems with Vista out.

what about linux? (1)

nephridium (928664) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300165)

Does anyone have any benchmark comparisons between HDDs and SSDs on Linux? In fact I'd love to see a showdown of common tasks performed between the current OSes (WinXP, Vista, Server versions, Ubuntu, openSuse, Slackware etc.) on different system configurations to see who can utilize current tech best.

Also what ever happened to "Intel Turbo Memory" [wikipedia.org] (which is basically an SSD "light", i.e. a miny buffer of Flash memory to cache frequently accessed files). It seems right now *only* Vista supports it, even though it is part of many notebooks nowadays and the technology was introduced nearly 3 years ago!

I really wished Linux could lead in this respect and show others how it's done. Warrios of the OS community: Vista has crippled the M$ giant momentarily, but you still have to strike him down through your own innovations!

Re:what about linux? (4, Informative)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300203)

Not exactly what you were looking for, but at least on the macbook air the SSD doesnt seem to improve performance [gizmodo.com] , but there are other reasons to get SSDs besides peformance. For starters, you can create a laptop with almost no moving parts, which can be very nice for certain environments. Plus, the SSD is less likely to have a catastrophic crash than traditional hds(provided you aren't doing an inordinate amount of writes, all the more reason to have as much ram as possible!)

So, what are they good for? (1)

Aryeh Goretsky (129230) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300215)


Having read TFA, I did not see any mention of which operating systems might perform well on SanDisk's SSDs. Does anyone have a link to a transcript of their 2Q earnings conference call, or information about operating systems which perform well when paired with them?


Aryeh Goretsky

Honey, I'll be late home for dinner... (2, Funny)

spankymm (1327643) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300259)

... I did not fully understand, frankly, the limitations in the Vista environment."

Be warned, it only works once.

Unless she is also using Vista, but then dinner will be late anyway.

Vista is not optimized for... (1, Interesting)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300341)

Vista is not optimized for flash memory solid state disk

Vista is not optimized for ANY Hard Drive in existence today.
Like Crysis, it can bring any system down to its knees.
Throw a seagate barracuda @ 7200 RPM and 16MB cache at it and it will slow down the disk.
Throw a WD Caviar black with a 32 MB cache, and it will slow down the disk.
Hell, for fcuk's sake if i use a RAM Disk with 64-bit Vista and a 10 GB RAM disk as non-system disk, it will slow down even RAM by superfetching its crap.
Any software that does not run on current hardware is not worth buying.
Mac OS X Leopard runs on my iBook G4 768MB RAM. I upgraded from Tiger and found Leopard actually is faster. (same was case when i moved from Panther to Tiger).
Hmmm... when will Microsoft learn that upgrading an OS should NOT slow down an existing system.

why is this vista's fault? (1)

cliffski (65094) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300367)

Vista uses the disk the way it likes, I don't see why there is this expectation that they must design their O/S around this companies products. If this was music, this thread would be filled with people telling these guys to "stop bleating about your outdated business model!!111"

Apparently that doesn't apply here, ebcause it would prevent an opportunity to rant at Micro$oft and Vi$ta.

Ya, it is Vista's fault... (5, Insightful)

TheNetAvenger (624455) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300375)

Ok, even on SlashDot, this deserves to be bashed for what it is, instead of the we hate MS lovefest that it will probably get.

Why is this the only manufacturer that seems to be having production issues, performance issues and general reliability problems on all OSes? SanDisk is the joke of Flash in all forms, especially SSD.

Motives against Vista...

Hmm, maybe when Vista was released and 80% of the SanDisk Flash Memory failed to perform well enough to be used for Readyboost, they were a bit Pissed Off? How about the devices Vista won't even see properly because they don't meet basic USB or SD specifications, that also POed SanDisk a bit.

SanDisk also has a horrible reputation with USB Card readers, as the devices won't even work at the basic BIOS levels, and people buying them that 'only' used them in Devices were POed and returning them because they started expecting them to work in their computers now too. (Issues like can't see device, SD card, or see it as 1GB when it is a 2GB card are some of the basic problems with SanDisk SD and Flash USB devices.)

99% of all other SD/Flash brands work fine with Vista, see a pattern yet?

Ok, now on to the Vista Issue - This is where it gets borderline insane...

Vista is the only OS that has internal optimizations to work with SSD read/write array patterns. Even with as 'crappy' as the SanDisk people would like everyone to believe Vista handles SSD, Vista actually squeezes about 10-15% more performance out of a hybrid or SSD than XP or other OSes in general. (Sure there are some arguments about how MFRs implemented the SSD array controllers, and SanDisk again seems to be the odd dog out in this discussion.)

So are SanDisk's problems because of Vista or because of SanDisk's 'own' issues?

I guess everyone here should decide for themselves. A few searches on both Vista and SSD or Flash devices in general and a search or two on SanDisk should put this article in perspective.

This would be a lot less laughable if they used any excuse except Vista, the main OS to have SSD kernel level support and the only OS(Windows) to outperform XP and previous versions of NT on SSD drives.

(Be sure to check out the SanDisk demonstrations that specifically use Vista to 'show off' the performance of their drives, that even makes it more goofy.)

Two questions (2, Interesting)

spitzak (4019) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300379)

My immediate impression is this is somebody trying to blame M$ for their own failings.

How well does this work on Linux (with the various filesystems) and OS/X? Is Vista really doing something stupid, or is it being blamed for the same mistake as everybody else? What about XP?

Other thing is I remember the disk-thrashing bug in Linux Ubuntu. I have it and have to run a startup program to turn off the hard disk power savings to stop the head-park every half second. I did a lot of searching of the web, looking for an explanation of why XP works, and the only real experiments I found indicated that XP just kept reading the disk, so often that it *never* parked the heads. Thus Linux's reduced (but non-zero) use of the disk made things worse. All other tests seemed to indicate they left the power saving settings the same and I never saw any other explanation. This does sound like it might be related to the SSD problems, but those tests were certainly with XP and not Vista-only. Anybody know anything about this?

Who dares wins... (1)

WoollyMittens (1065278) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300447)

Microsoft many years ago, bet that the trend of increasing complexity, speed and size would continue exponentially. They did not foresee that the current trend is to make things more compact and specialized.

SANDISK has been caught in a lie here. (5, Informative)

Coolhand2120 (1001761) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300479)

So is SANDISK telling the lie now when they say it runs poorly or are they telling the lie then when they say it will run optimally and even provide benchmarks. No matter how you look at it, SANDISK is lying.

http://www.sandisk.com/Corporate/PressRoom/PressReleases/PressRelease.aspx?ID=3785 [sandisk.com]

"The results indicate that the new Windows Vista operating system will run optimally when installed on the SanDisk SSD"

Vista's fault: the world is round (1)

zimtmaxl (667919) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300485)

Yes, alright!
If your car runs slowly on the highway or out of gas - it is of course - guess what - Vista's fault! Since there is a laptop with Vista on your backseat. Turned on and optimizing!
And it disrupts your mobile phone reception, and it is - of course - the cause for you running late...

Incredibly creative management excuse!

Anti-Vista FUD (3, Insightful)

Andronicus (263666) | more than 5 years ago | (#24300531)

If Vista's not optimized for these SSDs, are you going to now tell me that an earlier version of Windows IS?

No? Right.

Vista's just fine. It's everyone's favorite punching bag, but much of the bad rap is undeserved and reactive bandwagoning.

Hardware might be further behind. Gone are the days of the heady acceleration in hardware performance found during the 98->2K and 2K->XP transitions.

I've a beefy four year-old desktop which started life in XP and now runs Vista with an experience index of 4.8. That's better than almost all the PCs offered for sale right now! That's the sad bit. The hardware isn't as stupefyingly better in so short a time now, like it was in the past.

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