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Intel Updates SSDs, Supports TRIM, Faster Writes

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the nice-trim dept.

Data Storage 112

MojoKid writes "Intel has just released a firmware update for their 34nm Gen X25-M solid state drives that not only boosts sequential write performance, but adds support for the TRIM command as well. A performance optimization tool is also being released today, for users of Windows Vista and XP, who won't be able to take advantage of TRIM. After being flashed with the new firmware update, Intel's 34nm Gen 2 X25-M 160GB drive offered increased performance in a myriad of benchmarks shown here, and sequential write performance was increased on the order of 30%."

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Great (1)

headhot (137860) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883793)

Now what file systems support TRIM?

Re:Great (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29883893)

TRIM is not in the file system, TRIM is in the operating system. The file system keeps track of where the files are at, and independently, the TRIM command sent from the operating system permits the drive's logic unit to keep track of where the files aren't.

As a result, it is file system independent.

Re:Great (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884001)

Well, not exactly. The filesystem driver in the OS needs to support it. It's not something that you can just support for every filesystem easily, because each filesystem keeps track of which blocks are in use and which are not in a different way. An OS will support it by exporting a trim command from the block driver level, which will be ignored by older drivers and mapped to the SATA TRIM command on drivers for newer controllers. Each filesystem will then be responsible for actually issuing these commands.

Re:Great (2, Informative)

sverdlichenko (105710) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884145)

There is no trace of commits to linux filesystems, but article about Microsoft claims NTFS was updated.

Re:Great (2, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 4 years ago | (#29885201)

Actually, you're not correct. Support has been included in LKDEV devices and and ioctl since 2.6.28 [kernelnewbies.org] . TRIM support (called 'discard' by the Linux kernel maintainers), is included the latest kernel builds in the ext4 filesystem (see the LKML, etc.)

Re:Great (0)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 4 years ago | (#29885221)

s/LKDEV/BLKDEV

Re:Great (2, Funny)

s2theg (1185203) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884409)

Wow, for once linux users will get flashed and take advantage of trim!

Re:Great (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883981)

Now what file systems support TRIM?

Any file system whose checking program supports retrieving a list of cluster ranges that aren't in use can be made to support TRIM. These include any FS that uses a "bitmap" to record sector allocation (e.g. HFS or NTFS), as well as any that use a linked list of cluster numbers (e.g. FAT32, exFAT).

Re:Great (1)

sverdlichenko (105710) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884109)

NTFS in Windows 7 does. Read the links.

Re:Great (4, Informative)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884111)

Now what file systems support TRIM?

ext4, but the block layer needs to handle it too. There was some LKML traffic a couple months ago about smart designs for this - it's probably not in current distro releases yet. TRIM can be very expensive if not well-optimized (the non-optimized demo took a half hour to delete a kernel tree with TRIM on a supporting SSD) and the right thing to do may depend on drive model capabilities. The moral is it's not worth doing poorly, and doing it right may require some re-plumbing. But the upside is that Linux ought to be very fast and efficient about it when it lands because smart folks are making sure it ships when it's ready, not by some arbitrary date.

Re:Great (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29884319)

pussyfs supports trim. Unfortunately, a lot of girls don't bother. You shave your legs, you shave your amrpits, why stop there?

A better write up at anandtech (5, Informative)

Zebadias (861722) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883807)

Re:A better write up at anandtech (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884345)

People rarely link to Anandtech in summaries, instead giving links to much more superficial articles. Pcper.com is the other really nice site when it comes to consumer SSD issues.

Re:A better write up at anandtech (3, Informative)

Vigile (99919) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884371)

Here is PCPer.com's post on this update:

http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=805 [pcper.com]

Re:A better write up at anandtech (1)

tunapez (1161697) | more than 4 years ago | (#29885185)

Probably because they are the far extreme opposite of superficial. His 3 part series on SSDs was both enlightening and mind-numbing simultaneously. His site is a great service for the hardcore hardware techs(CPU mag, as well...except for CmdrTaco's articles, lulz... j/k roberto), but well over most users' heads...even "power-users".
 
  Disclaimer: I'm lucky to understand 50-75% of the time.

They still are crap compared to Fusion-io (-1, Troll)

mr_stinky_britches (926212) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883813)

What the article fails to mention, is that Fusion-io devices still clobber these things in terms of performance.

Re:They still are crap compared to Fusion-io (5, Insightful)

crazypip666 (930562) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883839)

What you fail to mention is that Fusion-IO devices aren't bootable.

Re:They still are crap compared to Fusion-io (2, Insightful)

clarkn0va (807617) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883993)

No, but that doesn't stop me from putting a boot partition on a USB stick and / on the Fusion-io.

Now, the fact that I could buy a good used car for the price of the Fusion-io, that stops me.

Re:They still are crap compared to Fusion-io (5, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883863)

Sure, if you're willing to pay $3500 for the same 80GB that you can get for $350 on the Intel drive you had better expect it to perform faster. It's literally an order of magnitude more expensive!

Kingston (1)

clarkn0va (807617) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883959)

I prefer the Kingston-branded equivalent at $267. [shopbot.ca] Anybody know if the Kingstons support trim?

Re:Kingston (2)

clarkn0va (807617) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884115)

Never mind, I'll answer my own question: no. [anandtech.com]

Re:Kingston (2, Interesting)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884975)

Considering that the cheapest Kingston 80 GB edition is 267 and the cheapest Intel X25-M G2 80 GB is 259, I don't see why you would prefer Kingston's version.

Anandtech's article clearly shows that it is severely lacking compared to the other drives, primarily because it is limited to a 5-way internal raid vs 10-way for Intel's own.

Now, if the Kingston was significantly cheaper or offered better performance, it would make sense, but here you're paying more for a much worse product. That makes no sense to me.

Re:Kingston (1)

clarkn0va (807617) | more than 4 years ago | (#29885141)

the cheapest Intel X25-M G2 80 GB is 259, I don't see why you would prefer Kingston's version.

You got me there, I didn't see the cheaper Intels.

Anandtech's article clearly shows that it is severely lacking compared to the other drives, primarily because it is limited to a 5-way internal raid vs 10-way for Intel's own.

You're referring to Kingston's 40GB V Series drive. They also sell 80 and 160GB drives which are identical in performance to the Intel equivalents. The V Series apparently doesn't support TRIM, but perhaps the larger, faster M Series do? If so then it's an entirely comparable product. If not, then yes, the TRIM support lends higher value to the Intel brand.

Re:Kingston (1)

Wintergr33n (1369379) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886781)

The M series is a rebadge of the 1st-gen X-25M and the V uses the crappy JMicron controller (albeit slightly modified to prevent some of the worse problems seen with that)

Probably the best Kingston to consider is the V+ (not very imaginative with their names are they?) which uses the superior Samsung controller - basically the same as the Corsair P-series, OCZ Summit Series and Samsung’s own PM series.

The other (better in my IMO) option are the SSDs using the Indilinx controller, such as the Patriot Torqx, OCZ Vertex and G.Skill Falcon series - these do support TRIM and Indilinx will support with future firmware updates. As far as I know Kingston does not offer their own version of this, maybe due to its close relationship with Intel in the SSD market?

Re:Kingston (1)

clarkn0va (807617) | more than 4 years ago | (#29889115)

According to Anand [anandtech.com] , the Kingston V Series 40GB drive uses Intel's controller; it's basically just one half of the X-25M 80GB drive. Which is really unfortunate and potentially confusing, considering that Kingston has some "older" 64 and 128GB SSDs with a JMicron controller, as you rightfully pointed out, also wearing the V badge.

Incidentally, I've been following Anand's SSD anthology and I'm aware of the poor reputation of the JMicron controller. My first SSDs were Indilinx and Intel-based for this reason. However, a few months back I decided to experiment with the less expensive JMicron-based Kinston V Series, as some had reported the stuttering issues did not plague these drives. All in all I've been very happy with this drive, and the Atom-based Winxp machine it runs in is delightfully peppy--a clear improvement over any HDD system.

I haven't seen any random read/write test results for these JMicron V Series, and haven't bothered to do any benchmarking myself, but for a budget drive I'm totally satisfied with the way it handles itself and I'll be using them in near-future budget builds until something better displaces them as cost/capacity king (the new 40GB V Series perhaps? although 40GB is a little slim in the days of Vista and 7).

Re:Kingston (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29885311)

Those Kingston items you linked to are quite different from Fusion-io's products.

The Fusion-io devices [hothardware.com] are PCIe cards that connect directly to the PCIe bus. They don't use SATA. They have breathtaking performance and prices to match.

Re:They still are crap compared to Fusion-io (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29886289)

I just wanted to commend you for the proper use of the word "literally." It gives me hope that the word may somehow survive with its meaning unblemished.

Re:They still are crap compared to Fusion-io (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29889155)

Small file IOPS with the new firmware took a major jump and is getting close to the IODrive. The article at PC Perspective was the only one I saw to point that out though.

http://www.pcper.com

Re:They still are crap compared to Fusion-io (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883907)

And for only 10x the price...

Re:They still are crap compared to Fusion-io (2, Insightful)

Happy Nuclear Death (911893) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884015)

That's a ridiculous comparison. FusionIO cards are not anywhere near the same class at the Intel drives. They have a certain purpose and are geared toward a certain market. The Intel SSDs are a completely different beast. You can't very well use a PCI card in a notebook, which is a typical host for SSDs. The Intel SSDs are coming pretty close to maxing out the SATA 2 port, and that's all that matters for consumer-level systems. It's pretty frelling impressive. I, for one, welcome our performance-improving firmware overlords!

Re:They still are crap compared to Fusion-io (1, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884501)

That's a ridiculous comparison. FusionIO cards are not anywhere near the same class at the Intel drives. They have a certain purpose and are geared toward a certain market. The Intel SSDs are a completely different beast. You can't very well use a PCI card in a notebook, which is a typical host for SSDs. The Intel SSDs are coming pretty close to maxing out the SATA 2 port, and that's all that matters for consumer-level systems. It's pretty frelling impressive. I, for one, welcome our performance-improving firmware overlords!

Yes you can.

Many netbooks with SSDs don't have a SATA-connected hard drive. Instead, they have an SSD connected to the miniPCIe slot inside. The card pretends to be a standard IDE hard drive (after all, an Intel SSD on a SATA controller is the same thing - the SATA controller sits on the PCIe bus), and BIOS boots from it when it enumerates all the storage controllers and storage devices attached. Linux etc. see it as a standard disk and nothing special, too.

I'm referring to SSDs that connect via miniPCIe via the PCIe interface - there are a bunch that are just thumbdrives and use the USB side of the miniPCIe slot. (Like ExpressCard, miniPCIe has both PCIe x1 and USB 2.0, WWAN cards use the USB side, as do card readers and the like).

The reason for stuff like SATA SSDs is because it's familiar to more people - you have a black box with a SATA interface, it must be a hard drive and acts like a hard drive (or it could be optical, but I'm assuming a modicum of intelligence). Plus, it works in cases where you have SATA but not PCIe.

Re:They still are crap compared to Fusion-io (1)

Happy Nuclear Death (911893) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886505)

Figures. I haven't bought a new notebook in 6 years so I've clearly missed a few things.

Re:They still are crap compared to Fusion-io (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884097)

Maybe for write performance. For read performance, it looks like most SSDs are maxing out the 3Gbps SATA bus, so we'll need the 6Gbps goodness that SATA 3.0 [wikipedia.org] offers for better read performance.

Re:They still are crap compared to Fusion-io (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29884203)

The Intel SSD, afair, doesn't

Re:They still are crap compared to Fusion-io (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884215)

Er, the Fusion-IO card sits off of the PCIe bus, so SATA speeds are not a limiting factor for it. The primary limiting factor is that it is catastrophically expensive per GB.

Re:They still are crap compared to Fusion-io (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 4 years ago | (#29885845)

I see. So Fusion-IO gets its speed advantage from bypassing the SATA bus speed limitation. I would suppose it would lose much of that advantage when SATA 3.0 SSD drives start shipping.

Happier (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29883815)

I thought I couldn't be happier with my 80GB X25-M (34nm).

Easily worth the 220 €.

Re:Happier (1)

trickyD1ck (1313117) | more than 4 years ago | (#29887545)

same here. SSD is a qualitative leap

Storage Driver (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883943)

For the time being, however, you're stuck using the Microsoft Storage Controller drivers if you want TRIM support because Intel's don't support it (yet - they're supposed to have new drivers out "soon" that will).

Samsung is lagging (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883951)

My fault for being an early adopter, but my Dell XPS with, according to hdparm:

Model=SAMSUNG SSD RBX Series 128GB M , FwRev=VAM05D1Q, SerialNo=DFF1L0A835SE835A1948

This neither seems to support trim nor seems to have any firmware upgrades at all.

Re:Samsung is lagging (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 4 years ago | (#29885351)

Worse yet, the Intel drives don't really NEED TRIM. Yeah, it helps, but they don't see the horrific slowdowns that older drives do. Unfortunately, those older drives are Samsung, or use Samsung controllers....

Re:Samsung is lagging (1)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 4 years ago | (#29887363)

Firmware updates are, so far, only available for the high performance drives. Intel's drives, OCZ's Vertex series, etc.

TRIM (4, Funny)

EriktheGreen (660160) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884037)

Great, now even my computer is getting more TRIM than I am.

Re:TRIM (3, Funny)

n1ckml007 (683046) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884161)

Yes, the computer will TRIM the FAT.

Re:TRIM (4, Funny)

bughunter (10093) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886577)

Apparently that sense of the word 'trim' is regional.

I grew up in Florida and Colorado, and wasn't aware of that meaning until one day a couple years ago, when I was discussing my afternoon's plans with my wife, "I'll go to the grocery for some things, but I think I'll stop in for a trim first."

My wife tittered, "Don't say that!"

Here, I was utterly confused by her reaction, "Say what?"

She blushed and said "You know."

At this point I was becoming disoriented, because my wife is seldom either obtuse or squeamish. "What!"

"You don't know?"

I began to feel like the Knights of the Round Table saying 'it' to the Knights of Ni. "I really don't know."

She whispered, "'Trim!'"

I boggled for a beat. "I'm going to go to the barber for a trim. What did you think I meant?"

More girlish giggling, "You know!"

"No, I don't. What else does 'trim' mean to you, besides a haircut, or lawn maintenance?"

She finally realized I was serious, and said, "It's slang for the female genitals!" like I'm an idiot. Which is a much more familiar tone.

But I began imagining the etymology of such a usage, and began to picture a well-trimmed female pubic area. "You mean, like in trimmed pubic hair?"

More blushing and giggling, "Yes!"

Now I was intrigued, "Wow. I've never heard 'trim' used like that before; it must be a West Coast thing. So, is 'trim' used as a noun, like 'I want some of that trim?' Or is 'trim' a verb, as in 'I'd trim that?' Or maybe an adjective, as in 'trim pie?'" Every time I said the word, she flinched or tittered or giggled. The Pythonesque feeling returned.

"It's a noun, I guess. The boys in college used it all the time." Of course, this was taking all the fun out of it for her, but now that I'd found a new button to press, my fun was just starting...

[This reminds me of the time I illustrated the phrase 'tongue in cheek' by poking out my right cheek with my tongue... and nearly got fired for sexual harrassment. But that's another post.]

Re:TRIM (1)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 4 years ago | (#29887523)

but now that I'd found a new button to press, my fun was just starting

Heh, the trim button, huh.

Re:TRIM (1)

csartanis (863147) | more than 4 years ago | (#29888001)

Is this a troll? I've never heard this before (I'm in the midwest)

Re:TRIM (1)

bughunter (10093) | more than 4 years ago | (#29888479)

No, not a troll. My post history might support a joke conclusion, but not troll.

But I swear, it's a true story. (The dialog accuracy is probably poor, but it's functionally valid.)

Re:TRIM (1)

EvolutionsPeak (913411) | more than 4 years ago | (#29888109)

Hmmm, I've lived on the West Coast (California) my whole life and have never heard "trim" used that way.

Re:TRIM (1)

bughunter (10093) | more than 4 years ago | (#29888411)

Well, she grew up in Modesto, CA and went to CSU-Stanislaus and then Cal Poly Pomona, if that's any help.

I thought it was just a local colloquialism, but ever since that day, I've noticed occasional use of 'trim' as slang... mostly online, so I have no geographical data.

Direct link to update tool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29884041)

Re:Direct link to update tool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29889023)

"This download is no longer available."

OSX ? (2, Interesting)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884091)

What is the state of OS X in relation to TRIM? Anybody?

Re:OSX ? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29884363)

Not yet. The first place you'll see it is on OS X Server. Keep in mind that TRIM is not a ratified standard yet. Until it is, Apple has stated that OS X isn't going to support it.

Re:OSX ? (2, Informative)

Latinhypercube (935707) | more than 4 years ago | (#29887309)

...like Blu-ray ?

Re:OSX ? (1)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884623)

last I read it was in 10.6.1 or in the 10.6.2 developer preview

Re:OSX ? (1)

ThousandStars (556222) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884867)

MIA. It's not being discussed publicly by anyone inside Apple, so far as I've seen. Incidentally, all this SSD love makes me wish Apple would offer an SSD build-to-order option for those sweet new iMacs [apple.com] . An external FW drive could house movies and music. That would be sweet and relatively easy for Apple: they already SSDs in MacBooks Pro [upenn.edu] .

Re:OSX ? (2, Informative)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 4 years ago | (#29885403)

Don't buy an SSD from any major manufacturer as a build-to-order. They almost all use Samsung drives, which have a lot of problems. Let them put a cheap hard drive in your machine and then put your own aftermarket SSD in it - one with either an Indilinx controller or an Intel.

http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=3631&p=19 [anandtech.com]

call me bitter (2, Interesting)

nimbius (983462) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884195)

but this is intel. i suspect the new found performance in SSD's is directly proportional to market and revenue factors. this company has been burned in the past using tactics that amount to "some ingenious breakthrough in technology" thats obviously been squandered and secluded for 7 months.

hang the customers out to yank away at them like cash cows, and another AMD will come along and punish you accordingly.

Re:call me bitter (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 4 years ago | (#29885419)

There is. It's called Indilinx. They build the controllers that are in most of the non-Intel and non-Samsung drives, and they're nipping at Intel's heels.

Re:call me bitter (3, Interesting)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 4 years ago | (#29885965)

Actually Intel are pretty good on the tech side, but in true Dilbert style their marketing department screws the customers.

The P4 is a good example. For marketing reasons they built a CPU that could be clocked really high at the expense of performance. The P4 was a consumer product as it defined the headline speed of a PC. Motherboard chipsets, on the other hand, are never mentioned in consumer marketing blurb so those stayed mostly about the technology.

Intel NICs, chipsets and mobile CPUs have all been pretty good down the years. Anything designed with the minimum of interference from marketing has had pretty good performance and reliability, and these SSDs are no exception.

What about reliability? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884205)

Does this do anything to address that current SSDs will only last for years and years under most workstation loads?

Re:What about reliability? (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 4 years ago | (#29885447)

The guy from Anandtech calculates about 900 years under typical workstation load. Should be good enough for anyone, no?

TRIM (1)

WilyCoder (736280) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884217)

Those intel drives will TRIM down your wallet too.

I can't wait for the price to drop, those 160GB intels were supposed to be $450....Newegg has them for around $650 :\

Re:TRIM (1)

CrimsonScythe (876496) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884317)

Well, Newegg is actually very overpriced on this drive. You can find it (SSDSA2MH160G2R5) for $467 on Amazon.com.

Re:TRIM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29885077)

Newegg wasn't always overpricing the drives. I got my 160GB from there for $450.

http://blog.sublogic.com/2009/09/finally-free-of-the-platter-how-did-i-live-before-ssd-oh-and-newegg-price-gouging/

Re:TRIM (2, Informative)

clarkn0va (807617) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884473)

The first mistake most people make when talking about SSDs vs HDDs is comparing cost/GB. SSDs are not for storing data. They're for installing your OS and programs, while your data goes to the fileserver or the secondary drive in the workstation. Almost every system builder I've talked to fails to recognize that for your typical home or office user, spending an extra $100-200 on a solid-state system drive, even if it means reducing your CPU budget correspondingly, will show huge gains in system usability and responsiveness. I've built several systems on this philosophy and my customers couldn't be happier.

Re:TRIM (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884749)

I don't mean to dispute your point, it is a good one for a desktop, but I would like to put an SSD into my laptop, so cost/GB is a consideration (at least until low end SSDs are bigger than I need).

Re:TRIM (1)

clarkn0va (807617) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884891)

Then I guess it's a question of how mobile you are, or how much you actually need to store on the laptop. I personally bought an acer timeline with the 80GB Intel SSD. I repartitioned it something like 20/50/10 for Ubuntu/Vista/unused and keep all my big files on the NAS. That leaves me 15/30GB or so of free space to drop movies for a road trip or updates and drivers for a support visit into dialup country.

Granted, if you are somebody that needs to carry around huge files or games on your laptop, or if it's your only storage for extended periods of time, you may prefer to opt for a bigger drive, or, circumstances permitting, a 2-drive machine with the mixed SSD-HDD setup I mentioned above. For the vast majority of users though, I suspect 80GB is enough, and the performance improvement will have you hooked. I know. Anand's final paragraph in the linked article says it all for me:

I still firmly believe that an SSD is the single best performance improvement you can buy for your system today. Would I recommend waiting until next year to buy? This is one of the rare cases where I'd have to answer no. I made the switch last year and I wouldn't go back, it really does change the way your PC behaves.

Absolutely

Re:TRIM (2, Interesting)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#29885115)

I fall into the 'only storage for extended periods' category, prefer the convenience of having everything 'inside' the laptop, do not particularly need the performance, and am somewhat budget oriented (in that I don't have a huge amount of money that I want to spend on computer stuff). So I guess the biggest problem I have with SSDs at the moment is just the cost, mostly regardless of the size. After that, the fact that cost/GB is still falling quite rapidly is a big consideration, as is the ongoing increase in available capacity; 300 GB for something like $350 is where those considerations go right out the window, so I only probably need to wait through 2 or 3 more product cycles.

I certainly don't doubt that the performance is great, I'm just a cheap ass.

Re:TRIM (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 4 years ago | (#29885491)

Look into ditching your optical drive.

When I went to upgrade to Snow Leopard I noticed that my superdrive was refusing to read (and scratching as a bonus) DVDs. I hadn't used it in over a year. Shortly after I came across a bracket to let you put a 2.5" hard drive in the optical drive bay. Hm....

Re:TRIM (1)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884869)

What if in my case I'm about to remove the optical drive from my laptop and replace it with another HD. If I setup the laptop so the SSD is the boot drive and the HD is the secondary, would I put my aperture library on the SSD or the HD?

Re:TRIM (1)

clarkn0va (807617) | more than 4 years ago | (#29885071)

That's photos, right? I would put those on the HD.

Generally I recommend / or C: on the SSD and /home or /Users on the HD.

At home I actually keep /home on the SSD and mount a media folder on the NAS, which is where I keep most stuff. The advantage of this setup is having all my dot-files on the SSD, which seems to greatly speed up the login process. but effectively all my working data sits on spinning hard drives.

There are plenty of other tweaks out there too for improving performance and/or reducing SSD wear, such as the use of ramdisks for temp and cache directories, and proper partitioning and formatting of SSD to leverage the natural boundaries of the device's page and block. The OCZ forums are a wealth of information and a good place to start. The linux thread on that forum is particularly instructive for Linux and Windows users alike.

Re:TRIM (0, Flamebait)

Karganeth (1017580) | more than 4 years ago | (#29885611)

The first mistake most people make when talking about SSDs vs HDDs is comparing cost/GB. SSDs are not for storing data. They're for installing your OS and programs, while your data goes to the fileserver or the secondary drive in the workstation.

They're for whatever the fuck I want them for. Who are you to tell me how to use my SSD?

Anyway, the mistake is comparing cost/GB in a LINEAR way. The first 10 GB is worth a lot more than the last 10GB on a 250 GB drive. There is a utility curve for GBs (just like the money one).

Re:TRIM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29885759)

relax. He said ssd, not pills.

Re:TRIM (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886627)

Wouldn't it just be better to get a quadcore, with around 16 - 64 GB of memory, and rarely reset? After a day or two wouldn't this perform even more snappily than the SSD?

Re:TRIM (1)

clarkn0va (807617) | more than 4 years ago | (#29887625)

Sure, and you would see the generalized benefits of a faster processor and more memory, but then your budget just went up, your power consumption went up, and you lose the benefits every time you reboot, until you run all your programs again for the first time.

On a related topic, some guy on the OCZ forums linked to a detailed post he made elsewhere, describing how he had made a two-member RAID1, the first member being his / partition and the other being a ramdisk. On each boot mdadm would rebuild the array, and his entire root partition would run therefore from RAM.

Re:TRIM (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884619)

I can't wait for the price to drop, those 160GB intels were supposed to be $450....Newegg has them for around $650 :\

Keep in mind NewEgg is one of the worst places to buy an SSD - for some reason their prices are quite a bit higher than others. It pays to shop around when dealing with SSDs. I dunno what NewEgg's problem is on this, but it's pissing a lot of people off.

Re:TRIM (1)

adisakp (705706) | more than 4 years ago | (#29885167)

I paid some big $$$ for two of the original first generation Intel 160GB drives which I have in a RAID 0 configuration. I'm a bit disappointed that Intel will not be offering a BIOS update to support TRIM commands for the G1 drives.

USB boot? (1)

growse (928427) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884253)

Anyone got any idea on how to boot the ISO from a USB drive? I don't have a CD/DVD drive :(

Re:USB boot? (1)

clarkn0va (807617) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884939)

Write the image to the USB drive. In *nix you can use unetbootin or dd. For Windows there's physdiskwrite, ddwin, and some others.

Re:USB boot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29887621)

unetbootin is for windows too

Intel change is great, but... (1, Insightful)

jackb_guppy (204733) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884295)

I have found for my kids ACER Netbooks with XP HOME that Flashfire "fixes" the slow down. http://flashfire.org/ [flashfire.org]
Was night and day during start up alone. Improved Firefox even after cutting most of it cache storage,

Also found running defrags helped a lot. Using both IO BIT Smartdefrag http://www.iobit.com/iobitsmartdefrag.html [iobit.com] and Page Defrag http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897426.aspx [microsoft.com]

Re:Intel change is great, but... (4, Informative)

Spad (470073) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884659)

Defragging SSDs is not only mostly a waste of time (Seek time is the same regardless of where the data is physically on the drive so unless you're dealing with heavy fragmentation of large files it won't have any effect), but it reduces the lifespan by needlessly reading and re-writing data all over the place; there's a good reason Windows 7 automatically disables defragmentation for SSDs.

Re:Intel change is great, but... (1)

LinuxIsGarbage (1658307) | more than 4 years ago | (#29885111)

Defragging SSDs is not only mostly a waste of time (Seek time is the same regardless of where the data is physically on the drive so unless you're dealing with heavy fragmentation of large files it won't have any effect), but it reduces the lifespan by needlessly reading and re-writing data all over the place; there's a good reason Windows 7 automatically disables defragmentation for SSDs.

It make a difference in the case of fragmented writes. As the erase block size is larger than the write cell of flash memory, if the file is spread across several erase blocks, you have to erase and re-write a lot of unrelated data, as opposed to doing a contiguous erase and write of new data. TRIM will help in this regard as well. After all even Intel SSDs have been known to have performance issues when fragmented: http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=691 [pcper.com] TRIM will also help if you do defragment an SSD, as it will save writes from moving around and rewriting deleted data.

Re:Intel change is great, but... (2, Informative)

Fross (83754) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884763)

You should not defrag an SSD. It won't give a performance boost, and will just contribute to wearing the drive down. Fragmentation is only an issue where access is not truly random, as it is with an SSD.

Example discussion: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/page-246283_14_0.html [tomshardware.co.uk]

The controller should do a decent enough job of spreading out the data for you.

Re:Intel change is great, but... (1)

jackb_guppy (204733) | more than 4 years ago | (#29885927)

It does not in the end.

The defrag of system files via PAGE DEFRAG, generally finds nothing to defrag, but after a PTF from Microsoft or software load, then all is fixed.

Smart Defrag pulls fragments together leaving the fragments together more large spaces overall.

Lastly the ACER netbooks that my kids have are 8G SSD. There is not a lot of space left after all the stuff that is loaded by ACER. After removing that stuff lots of wholes are left and filled with other stuff. By defragging this help push the stuff together leaving a biggest single space for faster writes of new stuff. The FFire makes those writes better by blocking up to 64M chunks and laying that down once.

Yes there is more "wear", but I got the speed back, period. There are not too longer sluggish, taking a minute or more to open Firefox or Open Office. This is simulaur to what you need to do to windows on a normal machine to improve performance.

Theory is one thing, actual results are another.

Re:Intel change is great, but... (1)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 4 years ago | (#29887415)

PTF from Microsoft

I've never thought i'd see that term on Slashdot ;)

good info (1)

tomknl222 (1665497) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884311)

I am not a software person but I like to explore.

Feels like x-mas (1)

zipherx (1150327) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884605)

Well, i just got a 160GiB G2 less than a month ago, so this is surely really nice, thanks Intel!
It was already very nice, and it did not take much time to get used to the awesome speed of things, especially when I use vmware workstation with ubuntu to administer my nix boxes from. It starts in 2 seconds, and resume the vm in afew seconds aswell, really great for that!
I hope the update process is not to difficult, and data destructive... maybe i should read TFA?! :)

If that's your Christmas... (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884953)

I can only imagine the holiday festivities in your childhood home. "Joyous day, Father! May I insert the update pages in the World Book?"

Re:If that's your Christmas... (1)

zipherx (1150327) | more than 4 years ago | (#29885973)

No need for sarcasm, I was just happy to see the news, it is the first time i have gotten a hardware upgrade like that for free.

TRIM vs. Zeros (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29884829)

Why didn't they just make it so that a block of all zeros is not actually stored on the device? Then you could just wipe your free space with zeros.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29884831)

TRIM, Schmrim...as long as I have sufficient IO write speed.

After two months of study I bought a Corsair P128GB. The P series has the Samsung controller, no TRIM, almost as fast as intel and better value than intel, IMHO.

sudo hdparm -tT /dev/sda /dev/sda:
  Timing cached reads: 7974 MB in 1.99 seconds = 3999.00 MB/sec
  Timing buffered disk reads: 488 MB in 3.01 seconds = 162.14 MB/sec

This is after 6 months of use and being 75% full. Used to be ~190MB/sec. Best seagate drive I had was 40MB/s.

Since Ubuntu comes out with a new release every 6 months, I just TRIM manually when installing a fresh version:

1. run backup script
2. boot ubuntu or knoppix live cd
3. dd over ssh whole disk to NAS server (just incase I want it back exactly the way it was)
4. dd /dev/zero to disk (this is the manual trim step)
5. install new ubuntu
6. profit!

I will never use a real disk again on my laptop. Less power (fan only turns on when compiling), mind blowing speed, perfectly quiet and the hope (according to flash specs) that it will last 10-30 years before flash cell failure.

Re:Anonymous Coward (1)

fnj (64210) | more than 4 years ago | (#29885035)

What would make you think TRIM would affect read speeds at all?

Re:Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29885289)

Ah, good point. Missed that.

Apparently my drive is suffering a bit then. Just copied 2.7GB (4 ubuntu isos) in 134 seconds ~= 20MB/sec. I'll do the same test on Thursday after installing ubuntu 9.10 with my manual trimming and see what the transfer speed is.

Bricked 30% faster than before! (4, Informative)

ozbird (127571) | more than 4 years ago | (#29889041)

Oops. [intel.com]
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