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Samsung Mass Produces Fast 256GB SSDs

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the i'm-sure-this-will-be-a-bargain dept.

Data Storage 280

Lucas123 writes "Samsung said it's now mass producing a 256GB solid state disk that it says has sequential read/write rates of 220MB/sec and 200/MBsec, respectively. Samsung said it focused on narrowing the disparity of read/write rates on its SSD drive with this model by interleaving NAND flash chips using eight channels, the same way Intel boosts its X25 SSD. The drive doubles the performance of Samsung's previous 64GB and 128GB SSDs. 'The 256GB SSD launches applications 10 times faster than the fastest 7200rpm notebook HDD,' Samsung said in a statement."

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cant wait (0, Redundant)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878465)

to put some of these into my servers

Re:cant wait (2, Interesting)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878545)

to put some of these into my servers

ditto, but im waiting for permanent data erasure to become a little more mature. i understand the wear leveling incorporated into SSD can cause current programs to stumble.

Re:cant wait (4, Insightful)

Shard013 (530636) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878997)

ditto, but im waiting for permanent data erasure to become a little more mature. i understand the wear leveling incorporated into SSD can cause current programs to stumble.

The mean time to fail in the new SSD's is a bucket load better that most regular HDD's.

http://www.google.com/search?q=ssd+mean+failure+vs+hdd [google.com]

Between the 10,000-100,000 writes and the logic used to try not to rewrite the same place over and over they do quite well.

Re:cant wait (4, Informative)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879577)

One problem is they write in blocks (128kb?) and the entire block needs to be erased to modify a single byte.

That chews those writes faster than you'd expect, and write leveling can only do so much especially if the drive is mostly full.

Re:cant wait (4, Informative)

timeOday (582209) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878921)

Me neither. We spent weeks (which translates to tens of thousands of dollars) benchmarking and optimizing a database app. The thought of accelerating it by a factor of 5-10x with a simple hardware upgrade is stunning.

Yeah but it costs how much? (2, Interesting)

jeepmeister (241971) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878481)

My left nut is an unreasonable price.

Re:Yeah but it costs how much? (0, Troll)

drpimp (900837) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878591)

My left nut is reserved for a hot female if that is what it costs to court her. So the question is ...

A) my right nut has plenty of semen to procreate and force her to be a part of my life for at least 18 years.
B) my right nut can be used to buy the SSD.

Shit... decisions decisions! What happens whent he next fastest SSD comes out, I have no nuts left. FUCK!

Re:Yeah but it costs how much? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25878645)

Why? You're not using it anyway.

Re:Yeah but it costs how much? (5, Funny)

v1 (525388) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878659)

My left nut is an unreasonable price.

"don't worry, son, that's why God gave you two."

Re:Yeah but it costs how much? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25878769)

My left nut is an unreasonable price.

"don't worry, son, that's why God gave you two."

Two left nuts? Isn't that the cure for two left feet?

Re:Yeah but it costs how much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25879073)

No, he did not. Only one. :(

Re:Yeah but it costs how much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25879571)

People have two left nuts? That's news to me...

Re:Yeah but it costs how much? (4, Funny)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878955)

Yeah, it'll be 1 to 3 organs, depending on demand. Demand for soft organs is red-hot right now, so it's pretty well sure to be a triple-donation. Probably the usual combo: eyeball, kidney, testicle. If they want bone, they'll take an arm or a leg, but we haven't done a limb-cut in days.

Re:Yeah but it costs how much? (2, Funny)

BKX (5066) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879367)

You've been watching Lexx lately haven't you. Next thing you'll know, you'll start referring to His Great Shadow every third sentence.

Re:Yeah but it costs how much? (3, Funny)

Lifthrasir (646067) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879461)

His Divine Shadow, but who's counting?

Re:Yeah but it costs how much? (2, Informative)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879025)

For comparison, an Imation 128GB costs between $1,900 [cdw.com] and $2,500 [cdw.com] .

I'd guess that the Samsung 256GB ones would therefore cost in the range of $5,000 +/- $2,000 (probably more likely +, given there's usually a premium for new and for bigger).

10,000 RPM (1)

neoform (551705) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878485)

Does this mean it's no longer useful to buy 10,000RPM drives? 10x faster? Sweet.

Re:10,000 RPM (5, Insightful)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878513)

Just imagine the power savings as well. Also, they should last an order of a magnitude longer than media that needs to spin all the time.

As soon as these get cheaper and have more capacity, spinning media is dead.

Re:10,000 RPM (4, Insightful)

bunratty (545641) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878669)

Spinning media already is dead. It's just that no one's told it yet.

Actually, spinning media will continue to be used in servers that need huge capacities of storage. But for cheaper devices, the speed, energy efficiency, durability, and price of solid state drives will effectively make using spinning media obsolete in the next few years.

Re:10,000 RPM (4, Funny)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878783)

It isn't dead until Netcraft confirms it.

Re:10,000 RPM (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25879017)

What the hell is Netcraft? I guess i'm new here. :(

Re:10,000 RPM (1)

shermo (1284310) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879369)

Surely the cheap, huge capacity market is claimed by tape drives, and they're not going away any time soon. It'll be interesting to see if conventional hard drives can fill the middle niche, or if they get squeezed.

Re: SSDs vs HDDs (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879523)

Well, this year I bought an Acer AspireOne netbook, but I decided for the model with a HDD instead of the SSD version...

However, if SSDs continue improving and becoming cheaper, maybe my next mobile computer will be moving-part free!

Re:10,000 RPM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25879525)

Spinning Media isn't going anywhere. It will have a better price per GB for many years to come. And when I'm buying 2TB spinning drives for $150 a year or two from now, and $150 would get me a 64gb flash drive, the choice is going to be as clear then as it is now.

And when the 2TB flash drive costs $150, the 10TB spinning disk will also, and so on and so forth.

Re:10,000 RPM (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25878809)

Check out the free pron.
http://mrfriendly.freehostia.com/

Re:10,000 RPM (4, Informative)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878939)

1 TB of SSD today = 17 * $150 [newegg.com] = $2,550.

1 TB conventional storage = $95 [newegg.com] .

SSDs are still over 25 times as expensive. They will improve quickly, but they need to hit a moving target to kill conventional drives.

Re:10,000 RPM (5, Interesting)

bunratty (545641) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879051)

SSDs are still over 25 times as expensive for 1 TB of storage. Fixed that for you.

64 GB SSD today = $150.
80 GB hard disk = $40.
If you need only 64 GB of storage, as most handhelds, laptops, and desktops do, SSDs are only about four times more expensive today. You can expect SSDs to become cheaper than hard disks in about two years, at least for the smaller capacity drives.

Re:10,000 RPM (2, Interesting)

DogDude (805747) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879197)

Where can you get a 64 GB SSD for $150? I'd buy about 10 of those right now if I could find 'em.

Re:10,000 RPM (1)

andy_t_roo (912592) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879251)

your grand-parents post has a newegg link to a 60Gb SSD drive for 150 - its not quite the 64G that your parents post has, but its close enough (ie, you could probably find enough of a discount by shopping around to get to the same $/GB as the 150/64 you seem to want.)

Re:10,000 RPM (3, Informative)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879323)

Those are MLC flash, random writes are going to be horribly slow and will reduce the wear life to months in a server application. Would be perfectly usable in a netbook/laptop application though.

Re:10,000 RPM (3, Informative)

Teilo (91279) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879279)

http://tinyurl.com/cheapssd [tinyurl.com]

Probably nothing like a Seagate, but, technically they are SSD drives. I imagine they are probably more like big thumbdrives with a run-of-the-mill SATA controller slapped on them.

Re:10,000 RPM (1)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879271)

Well at 80GB hard drive prices don't scale as well because hardly anyone makes 80GB hard drives anymore. Your comparison is a bit unfairly slanted, because while 64GB might have been fine 3 or 4 years ago, these days Windows takes up 11GB by itself, and in the age of HD movie downloading and double-digit GB games 64GB doesn't quite cut it. However, if you're going for more of an ultraportable type device you can probably get by with 64GB easily I suppose, and add on with an external HDD.

Re:10,000 RPM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25879591)

That's still really high end. I'm a university and almost nobody I know uses more than 60 GB. Gamers and movie downloaders are among those that make up the exception to the rule still.

Re:10,000 RPM (1)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879393)

I agree that SSDs will find a niche soon, and that niche will continue to grow. My point is simply that spinning drives are nowhere near being a "dead" technology as the original post stated.

You can expect SSDs to become cheaper than hard disks in about two years, at least for the smaller capacity drives.

Is this just speculation? In any case, it seems likely. Every hard drive requires a calibrated motor and many other specialized parts. The cheapest hard drive can only be so cheap, and so at smaller sizes, SSDs may take over soon.

Re:10,000 RPM (3, Funny)

kklein (900361) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879493)

If you need only 64 GB of storage, as most handhelds, laptops, and desktops do

My laptop has a 250GB drive that's almost full with work files. I haven't had less than a few hundred GB of storage on a desktop for almost a decade.

Hell, even my iPod is 80GB, and almost full.

Are you from the past?

Re:10,000 RPM (5, Funny)

ignavus (213578) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879229)

1 TB of SSD today = 17 * $150 [newegg.com] = $2,550.

1 TB conventional storage = $95 [newegg.com] .

SSDs are still over 25 times as expensive. They will improve quickly, but they need to hit a moving target to kill conventional drives.

A perfect choice for RAVED - Redundant Array of Very Expensive Disks.

Re:10,000 RPM (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879337)

Not expensive at all if what you need is IOPS instead of storage (though you would want SLC flash for a server app which is more expensive).

Re:10,000 RPM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25879445)

I prefer RAGED - Redundant Array of Greatly Expensive Disks.

Re:10,000 RPM (1)

jarlsberg71 (953227) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879363)

Well if you're going to make analogies, keep them atleast the same form factor. Newegg has 2.5" 128GB SSD's, for $278. so 8 = $2224 and their 2.5" HDD? 300GB for $260. 4 = $1040 so twice the price, less power, and 3-10x faster

WRONG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25879485)

You would be incorrect to think SSD's use much less power than a hard-drive. This is really visible in the netbook market where HD equipped machines have a longer battery life than the SSD versions.

Now SSD's may use less power than a 3.5" HD, but it's not quite the savings you would think and the larger the SSD, the more power it uses. I imagine this 256GB SSD draws considerable power.

Then top it off with the short lifespan of flash memory and you're still stuck with a losing solution. We tested SSD's for use in development workstations and database servers and in both cases the lifespan was on the order of a few months before the memory starting crapping out.

I hate hard-drives too but the SSD technology isn't quite there yet.

No price yet (5, Funny)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878487)

FTFA:

Samsung would not release the price of the drive because, it said, the product is targeted at the reseller market and those vendors would have to determine the mark up for the drive in their desktops and laptops.

Damn -- How can I bitch about how expensive it is when they won't even tell me!

Re:No price yet (5, Funny)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878653)

If you have to ask, you can't afford it.

Re:No price yet (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878755)

Putting a 128 GB Samsung SSD into a Lenovo laptop (instead of the stock 80 GB 5400 RPM hard disk drive) costs $499 today. You could expect to pay at least $1000 to get a 256 GB Samsung SSD right away. Of course, the price will drop to reasonable levels in a year or two.

Re:No price yet (5, Funny)

wuulfgar (703966) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879037)

Waiting for more complete data before commencing the bitching? . . . You're new here aren't you?

Re:No price yet (1)

PRMan (959735) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879335)

They're not done price fixing yet...

I kid, I kid...

How much does it cost? (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878497)

It makes a nice press release. But I like to see a story with a little more meat on the bones.

Re:How much does it cost? (0, Offtopic)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878661)

It makes a nice press release. But I like to see a story with a little more meat on the bones.

Apparently there is a thread going at wickedfire.com [wickedfire.com] talking about how you push your adverts onto places like digg and reddit. Unfortunately I don't feel like registering with the dirt bags to find out if there is a thread on Slashdot... but with more and more posts that seem to be press releases, makes ya wonder.

Re:How much does it cost? (0)

jhines (82154) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878757)

I believe the technical term is "your left testicle", but as its somewhat impolite, thats why its not quoted.

Fuzzy math (4, Interesting)

msblack (191749) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878503)

So it launches applications 10 times faster [sic] (should say in 1/10 the amount of time), but the article only claims speed improvements of about 3.5 to 1. People need to seriously examine how they quote or accept statistics.

Jim Elliott, vice president of memory marketing at Samsung, said the new 256GB drive can store 25 high-definition movies taking up 10GB of space each in just 21 minutes, which he said is a significant advancement over a 7200rpm hard disk drive, which takes about 70 minutes.

Re:Fuzzy math (5, Insightful)

Walpurgiss (723989) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878603)

the transfer speed they tout is probably the peak transfer speed. But the time it takes to launch a program also depends on factors besides the transfer speed. Like seek time for example.

Hard disks have to position the heads at the right sector before starting a read. Maybe these SSDs don't have a solid state analog to that activity and are thus faster by however long that takes.

I don't know the specifics, but I'd guess that comparing overall program access and launch time to peak transfer speed is apples and oranges.

Re:Fuzzy math (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878711)

the transfer speed they tout is probably the peak transfer speed. But the time it takes to launch a program also depends on factors besides the transfer speed. Like seek time for example.

My eeePc feels much more consistent than a system with a rotating disk.

Re:Fuzzy math (5, Informative)

ustolemyname (1301665) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878625)

So it launches applications 10 times faster [sic] (should say in 1/10 the amount of time), but the article only claims speed improvements of about 3.5 to 1. People need to seriously examine how they quote or accept statistics.

Jim Elliott, vice president of memory marketing at Samsung, said the new 256GB drive can store 25 high-definition movies taking up 10GB of space each in just 21 minutes, which he said is a significant advancement over a 7200rpm hard disk drive, which takes about 70 minutes.

Ah yes, but you don't have the seek times of the 7200rpm drive which are at best ~7ms. And since opening an application involves opening lots of different files (in different physical locations on the drive), this is where launching an app can be 10x faster.

So for straight writing a single, large, contiguous piece of data, it's only 3.5 times faster. For loading 200 random, tiny files, it's ten times faster.

Re:Fuzzy math (5, Insightful)

TeacherOfHeroes (892498) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878851)

This is somethat that a lot of people tend to overlook, either because they don't understand how a hard drive works, or because they don't stop and think about it. Loading programmes, especially ones which rely on libraries, translation files, multimedia, etc... at other locations on a disk would greatly slow down a HDD in comparison to an SSD.

Contrasted with SSDs, which are pretty much random access devices, in order to read each of those files from an HDD, there are basically 3 time factors to consider.

1. Seek time. The time it takes to move a reader head to a specific track (ring of data on a platter). Assuming that there is only this read taking place, you can pretty much assume that the reader head moves from its current location to the correct spot on the disk right away. Things are not always this pretty, though.

2. Rotation time. On average, you will have to wait half a rotation for the correct spot on the disk to spin around to the reader heads. There may be algorithms designed to mitigate this by reading even as it waits. In case the read is large enough to span a significant portion of the track, it can append that buffered data later, but I don't know if this is done or not.

3. Read time. This is the amount of time required to read the data off of a single track, and can take up to 1 rotation of the platter to complete.

So while the GP has a point in that people need to be careful about what kinds of statistics they believe, he/she glosses over the fact that reading a single piece of data with an HDD is hardly a random access, constant time operation (or linear time for n pieces of data).

Yep (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879275)

Disk I/O is the one area I still have an easy time slamming modern computers on. Most others, it isn't too expensive for me to simply get enough power that handles what I want in realtime without slowdown. Multiple VM, no problem quad cores are cheap. Big audio projects? Hell I can get 4GB of RAM for less than a month's Internet access... However when those projects start hitting the disk, I start having problems, even with a RAID array. The sequential stuff isn't it, it's the random access that kills it.

Audio only takes 172Kbytes per second per track (for 32-bit floating point). So you figure that doing something with, say, 64 tracks isn't a big deal right? Only about 11Mbytes/sec, way under what a single disk can take. However you can find that it'll choke. Reason being is that the audio isn't all nice and sequential. It's written to disk as 32 separate stereo audio files. Also you maybe have some of them reading, some of them writing and so on. The disk gets overloaded trying to seek to the information in time.

VMs are the same thing. Two VMs running computations at the same time on a system works at full speed. They each use a core of the CPU, there's no problem. The do contend for memory bandwidth, but that is plenty high enough. Likewise one VM doing disk access happens at near native speeds. There's not a lot of overhead to read and write to the disk. However get two VMs doing disk access, man things grind to a halt. Your drive is dancing all over trying to service the simultaneous requests from different areas so throughput grinds to a halt.

An SSD would just be amazing for apps like this. Not because it has so much more bandwidth, but because it's bandwidth stays much higher under intense random access. Where a harddrive might obtain 50MB/sec in sequential read, the same drive might struggle to pull even 5MB/sec in random reads. For the SSD it might be more along the lines of 200MB/sec for sequential and 180MB/sec for random. Even though it isn't full speed, it's close enough as no odds. With that, the VM and audio work would have no throughput problems.

Re:Fuzzy math (1)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878629)

Both claims could be correct. It is entirely possible that by having a really low seek time and high read speed the drive could launch programs, specifically larger applications that involve many smaller files and plug-ins, an order of magnitude faster than current drives. At the same time, it could have a write speed that is only a couple times faster than normal drives. Personally, I take all of this with a grain of salt until independent benchmarks come out but the claims themselves are not impossible or contradictory.

Re:Fuzzy math (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25878671)

"store" = write speed
"launch" = read speed

people need to read the statistics before bashing them.

Re:Fuzzy math (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878733)

It is not a contradiction for the relative performance of two devices to vary depending on the workload.

Re:Fuzzy math (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25878735)

Yeah, except you're comparing 10 times faster (launching apps .. or reading) versus 3.5 to 1 (writing 25 HD movies). See .. reading .. writing. I still wonder about the 10 times faster, but you are mis-comparing stats yourself.

Re:Fuzzy math (3, Insightful)

kimvette (919543) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878841)

That the job time differs by a factor of 3.5 does not mean that data transfer speeds aren't improved tenfold. There are other factors involved, you know. It'd have been a cleaner comparison if they had transferred a single 250GB file from one HDD to another HDD, then a copy of that same file from one SSD to another SSD.

All the same, once capacities reach 750gb or better and the price point is below $200 or so, I'll be buying them. Hell, I'd probably consider buying a 256GB drive just to improve boot times. (when Linux decides it's time to fsck boot times are slow)

Question: That they could transfer 10 25 GB files to the SSD leads me to think it's 256 gigabytes rather than gibibytes? Are these SSDs rated using actual gigabytes, or gibibytes with the gigabyte label? I think SSD technology is a great breaking point where manufacturers could/should agree to abandon the misleading gibibyte ratings.

On an unrelated note: Maybe a spyware-infested Windows box will boot in under two minutes now ;)

Re:Fuzzy math (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879041)

The new 256GB drive can store 25 high-definition movies taking up 10GB of space each in just 21 minutes

That will be nice to know the next time I need to manually rip 25 Blu-Ray discs to a laptop in a single half-hour session.

Rather than set up an automated download from a home media server.

keep it up (4, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878541)

The spinning disc is slowly beginning to wind its way down.

And of course no price (0, Redundant)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878563)

IT had better not be same price/GB as Intel, at 1800$ I'd say it's a speciality interest drive. If they can match the 7-800$ for the 250GB OCZ SSD but without the horrible Jmicron controller, this could be a winner.

How many hours will it last if used as swap? (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25878569)

Wonder how many hours this drive would last if used for swap or a database container until the flash cells wear out and start returning errors.

Re:How many hours will it last if used as swap? (1)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878721)

You could always use RAM for something that needs high seek speed, frequent access, and constant I/O...

Just sit the device on a massive voltage-regenerating battery-driven power-supply.

Re:How many hours will it last if used as swap? (3, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879097)

Wonder how many hours this drive would last if used for swap or a database container until the flash cells wear out and start returning errors.

10k*256GB / 200MB/s write speed = 151 days at full write 24/7. And you'll probably get some nice warnings without data loss since the typical failure mode is that they can be read but no longer written. Of course if you're using swap even nearly that much, you're doing it wrong. I'd be very surprised if my swap use exceeded 10GB/day, in which case it'll take me some 700 years to hit the write limit. And if you're running a heavy database there are drives for you, just not this one. So who do you work for? Western Digital? I think they're the only ones that haven't realized the boat is leaving and they're lost in the mountains.

Re:How many hours will it last if used as swap? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25879311)

Your calculation negates the fact that flash does not like re-writing. To overwrite a page you have to write a new one elsewhere and garbage collect the old one. This is what makes flash totally unsuitable for swap, and ideal for large files.

I remember reading about some sandisk invention that optimises this by reducing the garbage collections:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/11/07/sandisk_extremeffs_dram_buffer/

Do samsung have similar tech? I know samsung pay sandisk millions for patent licences, do you think this is one of them?

Perfect... once they become affordable (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878699)

I am thrilled, as a home user I think 250 gigs is the sweet spot for my laptop. While I certainly could fill more than that, I think that mark represents a reasonable amount of space for the average mobile user looking to ditch the problems associated with a spinning platter. I also expect the price to fall quickly, making these drive much more affordable in the near future. SSD is finally getting close to the masses.

Not Yet Available? (2, Interesting)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878775)

The ComputerWorld article says "and are available for resellers today". The Samsung press release [businesswire.com] says, "announced today that it has begun mass producing". I couldn't find them in any of the usual places.

The Samsung website is particularly un-useful and hard to navigate, though I suppose it's appropriate that they require you to use Flash for this one.

SSD = Single Sided Disc (2, Funny)

wooferhound (546132) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878791)

W O W
I never thought a Single Sided Disc (SSD)
would ever be able to hold so much data . . .

Re:SSD = Single Sided Disc (5, Funny)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878823)

W O W
I never thought a Single Sided Disc (SSD)
would ever be able to hold so much data . . .

Just try installing one flipped. Cutting the notch will surely be a bitch.

Re:SSD = Single Sided Disc (4, Interesting)

FlightTest (90079) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879057)

I wonder how many of today's /.'ers remember doing this. To the best of my hazy recollection, I never had a "single sided" disk fail to format both sides.

When I first heard about it, I used a second disc to mark the location and an X-acto knife to cut the slot. I recall it being several months before tools to cut the slots started showing up in computer stores.

I also recall discussions about whether spinning the disk "backwards" would dislodge dirt trapped in the liner and cause premature failure of the disk. In hindsight it sure didn't seem to.

Re:SSD = Single Sided Disc (1)

PRMan (959735) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879389)

We had one brand of floppies that were completely unfinished on the back and wouldn't hold data. But most of them, including very cheap brands, worked just fine.

And you didn't use a hole punch? That's what all the cool kids were doing...

Re:SSD = Single Sided Disc (2, Informative)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879407)

I do. I never had a single sided disk fail to format, though a couple of times I accidentally hit the media while punching the notch. I always just used a regular paper puncher to punch my notches, so it wasn't quite as precise as one of the square punching tools would have been.

That didn't last all that long though. I went from cassettes in a TI 99/4A in 1984 to 5.25" diskettes for the Apple ][ machines at school from 1986-1988. By the time I got to college the 3.5" disks were starting to come out and this trick didn't work on them.

There were always rumors that treating your disks like this would shorten the life of your diskettes or your disk drive itself, but we always chalked that up to a conspiracy by the media manufacturers. Certainly my 5.25" disks lasted well beyond the point where there were drives to read them anymore. I never heard about anyone having to replace a drive because of it either.

Anywhoo what were we talking about again? The important thing was that I was wearing an onion on my belt, which was the fashion at the time...

Re:SSD = Single Sided Disc (1)

raddan (519638) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879581)

I do. I also remember telling my friends that it couldn't possibly work. I'm not sure if I was dumbly missing out on getting extra storage on the cheap or if I was being smart by realizing the value of my data (which I still have to a large extent). But I was in middle school at the time, so I'm opting for 'dumb'.

Re:SSD = Single Sided Disc (4, Funny)

Phroggy (441) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878901)

You fail at acronyms.

Re:SSD = Single Sided Disc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25878967)

Stupid SlashDot!

Re:SSD = Single Sided Disc (2, Funny)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878977)

You fail at acronyms.

"Sizzd"?

Re:SSD = Single Sided Disc (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879147)

"Same sh*t, different"?

small, cheap, and reliable, please! (4, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878813)

I know the impetus is to produce big and fast SS drives, but I'm more interested in cheap and fast ones. My desktop machine has 11 Gb of system and apps and <1 Gb of user files. I would be perfectly happy with a 16 Gb SSD that had great performance, was cheap, and was reliable. Reliability is a big issue. Although theoretically a device with no moving parts should always be more reliable than one with moving parts, in reality SSD technology isn't as mature as HD technology, so the failure rate may actually be higher [slashdot.org] , and there may be no way to recover from a failure.

Re:small, cheap, and reliable, please! (4, Informative)

david.given (6740) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879183)

You can get 16GB SDHC cards for about 30 USD. Those are class 6, which means you get anything from about 8MB/s to 20MB/s depending on the brand. Of course, if you want more speed, you can always use RAID0.

In fact, given how cheap they are, a RAID5 system would probably make sense. You get a speed boost, and the ability to hot swap a single card if it goes bad. ZFS would also work really well, but I don't know if you'd get a speed boost that way. Also, all these approaches would allow you to very easily extend your system by buying another card (and reader) and adding it to the pool. (You may want to check up on whether you can remove it again later, though.)

Hmm. Thanks for prompting me to go and look at this stuff. I might actually do this for my next lightweight server.

Re:small, cheap, and reliable, please! (1)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879531)

so the failure rate may actually be higher, and there may be no way to recover from a failure.

Flash fails on write, not on read. If the write was successful, then baring catastrophic failure like a bullet to the unit, it will be readable indefinitely.

Rotating disk can fail on write, but the most common failure is degradation over time that is only discovered when a read fails.

Powers of Two (2, Insightful)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878883)

All these flash drives and solid state drives keep advertising capacities in powers of two: 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB. So why do they still say a 256 GB SSD is 256 million bytes?

Re:Powers of Two (5, Funny)

darksaber (46072) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879087)

If a 256GB SSD drive is only 256 million bytes, I'm a lot more concerned about the missing factor of ~1000 than the binary/decimal notation.

Re:Powers of Two (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879391)

I would say I must be feeling British today, except that wouldn't have excused the mistake either.

Re:Powers of Two (2, Insightful)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879089)

It has 256GiB of raw capacity but some capacity is used for overhead so only 256GB is left.

Re:Powers of Two (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879443)

If the file system's overhead consumed 17.58 GiB of my 256 GiB drive, I'd look to use a different file system. There's no cause for that much to be wasted, regardless of what your block size is.

Re:Powers of Two (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879511)

The overhead really is necessary for bad block management and garbage collection. Some "enterprise" SSDs have 20% or even 50% overhead, so you're actually getting off easy.

Re:Powers of Two (1)

phozz bare (720522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879563)

I believe the extra space is reserved for use by the wear-leveling mechanism, not the file system.

Re:Powers of Two (3, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879299)

Computer math doesn't work like regular math, like for example SATA2 which is 3Gbps. Now if I showed you a cargo ship with a capacity of 3000 tons, you'd think you could actually load 3000 tons right? And not that 600 tons of the cargo hold would have to be fixed support beams. But with computers it's somehow okay that 600Mbps is just parity bits and that you can't actually transfer more than 2400Mbps of data. And computers have been fucked with 1000/1024 at least as far back as the 1.44MB = 1.44*1000*1024 floppy which can't be right in any system and probably longer. Ignore it, honestly whoever started this has wasted more time for computer users than whoever dropped the century digits leading to the y2k problem.

Re:Powers of Two (1)

felipekk (1007591) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879371)

The missing space could be caused by several different things depending on your take:

. NSA backdoor
. DRM from RIAA/MPAA
. Hardware level secret pr0n stash
. Rootkit

etc

Re:Powers of Two (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879567)

The missing space could be caused by several different things depending on your take:

. NSA backdoor

I don't think you have to worry about that. With the wear-leveling alone, you already cannot be sure whether or not something was truly erased: your rewrites may not have gone to the same parts of memory where the file was stored in the first place.

Because that's what GB means (4, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879377)

Giga is an SI prefix. It is defined as 10^9 and abbreviated as a capital G. So to say you have 200G of something implies you have 200,000,000,000 of them.

Computers do it wrong. When computers say Giga they mean 2^30, not 10^9. That's wrong, for that you use IEC prefix of gibi, abbreviated as Gi.

The reason is that back in the day, computers had little memory. Thousands of bytes was all. So when talking about thousands of bytes, programmers started calling them "kilobytes". After all, it is close. 2^10 is close to 10^3, only 2.4% error. Well memory kept growing, and the incorrect prefix usage kept going on and they kept using bigger ones.

However this has two problems:

1) The error grows. At the giga level it is about 7% off. The large you are talking about, the more the difference between the base 10 prefix and it's "closest" base-2 amount.

2) You get confusion between levels. For example suppose your computer shows you something in megabytes. It says you have a file that is 2000 megabytes. Well that's 2 gigabytes right? Wrong, 2 gigabytes is 2048 megabytes. So it is rather unintuitive to humans. We work in base 10, the numbers displayed are base 10, but the prefixes are used wrong.

Really, the harddrive makers are right. Computers should display amounts according to the base 10 prefixes. Computers have no problems with base conversions, they should be doing that for people.

Is it really fast? (1)

edxwelch (600979) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878889)

SSDs make use of bulk read/writing to give an average i/o speed that's quite high, however reading and writing hundreds of small files that aren't located sequentially throws a spanner in the works. I'd like to see some real world benchmarks

Random access (1)

SlashDev (627697) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878937)

Does a seek-time from one RAM location to the end of the 256GB (or larger drive) as fast as the avg seek time of a 15K drive? And please stop calling them disks! Disks are cicular objects.

Re:Random access (1)

the_other_chewey (1119125) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879219)

There is no seek time when accessing a flash drive.

Re:Random access (2, Informative)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879527)

Actually there is a row access time which can be quite high, as high as .5ms for MLC which compares with 2.5ms for 15k rpm drives. Add to that the relativly low IOPS for MLC (less than 100 according to this [tomshardware.com] review using the database server IOMeter profile which is 70/30 read write if I remember correctly) and for a server load they lose bigtime to drives considering they get worse performance, have significantly lower MTBF, and have way less GB/$. SLC is a bit harder to quantify as the best units have MUCH higher IOPS per unit than disk so you have to figure out how much capacity you need and how reliable you want it to be as well as how much power budget you have.

Re:Random access (4, Insightful)

FrangoAssado (561740) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879417)

And please stop calling them disks! Disks are cicular objects.

Good luck with that. People still "dial" phones, even though phones with dials haven't existed for decades.

Part Number please? (1)

latsamajunk (1342249) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879065)

Anyone got a part number on this?

Excellent! (1)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879315)

Perfect for systems that need to be written to once, then read lots, available with minimal delay (no spin-up) and maximum reliability. ie pr0nz server. Immense sales for this market sector alone should bring prices down.

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