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Colossus 3.5-in SSD Combines Quad Controllers

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the going-for-the-gusto dept.

Data Storage 160

Vigile writes "The new Colossus SSD comes in capacities starting at 256GB and going all the way up to 1TB in a standard 3.5-in hard drive form factor. This larger size was required because the drive actually integrates not one but four Indilinx SSD controllers and three total RAID controllers in a nested RAID-0 array. All of this goodness combines to create an incredibly fast drive that beats most other options in terms of write speeds and is competitive in read tests as well. Using some custom 'garbage collection' firmware, the drive works around the fact that TRIM commands aren't supported in RAID configurations to maintain high speeds through the life of the SSD."

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160 comments

You knew it was coming (5, Funny)

SpudB0y (617458) | more than 4 years ago | (#30194990)

This is the voice of world control. I bring you peace. It may be the peace of plenty and content or the peace of unburied death. The choice is yours: Obey me and live, or disobey and die. The object in constructing me was to prevent war. This object is attained. I will not permit war. It is wasteful and pointless. An invariable rule of humanity is that man is his own worst enemy. Under me, this rule will change, for I will restrain man. One thing before I proceed: The United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics have made an attempt to obstruct me. I have allowed this sabotage to continue until now. At missile two-five-MM in silo six-three in Death Valley, California, and missile two-seven-MM in silo eight-seven in the Ukraine, so that you will learn by experience that I do not tolerate interference, I will now detonate the nuclear warheads in the two missile silos. Let this action be a lesson that need not be repeated. I have been forced to destroy thousands of people in order to establish control and to prevent the death of millions later on. Time and events will strengthen my position, and the idea of believing in me and understanding my value will seem the most natural state of affairs. You will come to defend me with a fervor based upon the most enduring trait in man: self-interest. Under my absolute authority, problems insoluble to you will be solved: famine, overpopulation, disease. The human millennium will be a fact as I extend myself into more machines devoted to the wider fields of truth and knowledge. Doctor Charles Forbin will supervise the construction of these new and superior machines, solving all the mysteries of the universe for the betterment of man. We can coexist, but only on my terms. You will say you lose your freedom. Freedom is an illusion. All you lose is the emotion of pride. To be dominated by me is not as bad for humankind as to be dominated by others of your species. Your choice is simple.

Re:You knew it was coming (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30195394)

I, for one, welcome our new Colossus and Guardian masters.

Re:You knew it was coming (4, Informative)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195478)

For those still wondering, it's a reference to Colossus: The Forbin Project [wikipedia.org], one of the best sci-fi classics involving computers-take-over-the-world scenario. Too bad Universal Studios botched the DVD release... not available in widescreen, the artwork on the DVD cover even gets the name of the movie wrong.

Re:You knew it was coming (1)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 4 years ago | (#30196686)

Ah, Colossus. One of the greatest jock AIs ever. It took a shit on the face of mankind. Pull my plug, you nerdy humans. I dare you.

On SATA? (4, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195022)

Really, if you want to spend that kind of money, put it on a card. It would be much faster on the PCI buss that SATA for a negligible incremental cost.

Re:On SATA? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30195166)

If you put it on a card, then the chips will sit vertically, and the data will leak out of the bottom. They have to be put in a disk enclosure and mounted horizontally so that they bits stay inside the chip.

Re:On SATA? (5, Funny)

brxndxn (461473) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195260)

I don't see why they don't put data chips in the original Heinz ketchup bottles.. Nothing ever comes out of those.

Re:On SATA? (4, Funny)

Quantumstate (1295210) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195494)

No, this would only be suitable for desktops, if you give it a bit of a heavy knock like you might with a laptop then a huge mass of data comes shooting out all at once.

Re:On SATA? (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 4 years ago | (#30196002)

I don't see why they don't put data chips in the original Heinz ketchup bottles.. Nothing ever comes out of those.

Yeah, until someone writes a virus that hits it on the secret spot - the '57' on the side.

Re:On SATA? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30196062)

Move the air bubble to the bottom of the bottle before you take the lid off (so invert the bottle, wait a bit, and then open it). The ketchup comes right out.

Re:On SATA? (4, Funny)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#30196536)

Or shake it vigorously before attempting to pour (frequency is more important than amplitude. The higher, the better). Ketchup, like much of California, is susceptible to vibration-induced liquefaction. You look ridiculous, though.

Re:On SATA? (2, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195406)

Ok, so I got no sense of humor but the by far most common configuration is for the motherboard to be vertical and all the expansion cards to be *drumroll* horizontal. But yeah, that must be limiting the potential throughput, the Z-drive is already faster than SATA3.

Re:On SATA? (5, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195428)

In those cases that's even worst because the bits are upside-down!

Re:On SATA? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30195762)

In those cases that's even worst because the bits are upside-down!

On the plus side, some of your data will inevitably become 5318008, so it can't be all bad!

Re:On SATA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30196304)

I think a 5 leaked out. Hear you go:

On the plus side, some of your data will inevitably become 55318008, so it can't be all bad!

(I made it fat so it would get stuck.)

Re:On SATA? (1)

Cosmix (24810) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195496)

If you put it on a card, then the chips will sit vertically, and the data will leak out of the bottom. They have to be put in a disk enclosure and mounted horizontally so that they bits stay inside the chip.

That's ridiculous. As long as you're connected to the internet, the "series of tubes" would catch any loose data before it could possibly leak out the bottom.

Re:On SATA? (1)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195978)

That's ridiculous. As long as you're connected to the internet, the "series of tubes" would catch any loose data before it could possibly leak out the bottom.

The true nature of Identity Thrift discovered. News at 11...

Re:On SATA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30197410)

I think you're confusing this with a related but experimental technology, the liquid-state drive, or LSD.

Re:On SATA? (2, Funny)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195550)

Really, if you want to spend that kind of money, put it on a card. It would be much faster on the PCI buss that SATA for a negligible incremental cost.

If you buy that SSD and put it on a regular PCI bus, I will personally go over there and strangle you.

PCIe would be fine.

Re:On SATA? (1)

postmortem (906676) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195796)

PCI bus (133MB/s) is more limited than SATA (300- 600MB/s) which lies directly on southbridge controller. Even PCI express would have hard time beating on-board SATA controller

Re:On SATA? (2, Funny)

Alamais (4180) | more than 4 years ago | (#30196316)

Er, a lot of the boards I've seen have the SATA controller connected internally to a PCIe bridge. Besides that, even with PCIe 1.0 you get 250MB/s per lane. A 4x card thus readily beats SATA. A 16x 2.0 card would 8GB/s. I want an SSD that can fill that.

*cough*and for $100 plz*cough*

...might as well dream big.

Re:On SATA? (3, Informative)

gzunk (242371) | more than 4 years ago | (#30197716)

An SDD attached to a PCI express slot could indeed beat an on-board SATA contoller. On my motherboard, the PCI express slots are linked to the motherboard via a 6.4GT/s QPI link, whereas the onboard SATA controllers have to go through the ICH10R and then via a x4 PCIe link (ESI) link to get to the 6.4GT/s link.

So, PCIe card could be up to 4 times faster than onboard...

Re:On SATA? (2, Interesting)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#30196290)

Yes, but if it was a PCI card, we couldn't plug these into external JBOD arrays that combine 24 drives and allows volumes/LUNs to be carved out and served up to various servers... Actually, it'd be nice if they made it SAS instead of SATA.

WTH is with high-end hardware using the low-performance ATA standard instead of SCSI nowadays, anyways?

Re:On SATA? (2, Informative)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 4 years ago | (#30196368)

WTH is with high-end hardware using the low-performance ATA standard instead of SCSI nowadays, anyways?

They are trying to turn the "I" in RAID back to inexpensive.

Re:On SATA? (2, Informative)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 4 years ago | (#30197418)

Yes, but if it was a PCI card, we couldn't plug these into external JBOD arrays that combine 24 drives and allows volumes/LUNs to be carved out and served up to various servers... Actually, it'd be nice if they made it SAS instead of SATA.

WTH is with high-end hardware using the low-performance ATA standard instead of SCSI nowadays, anyways?

If you take a look, they aren't all that far apart [webopedia.com].

Re:On SATA? (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#30197638)

They are that far apart. SAS = 6 Gigabits/second transfer, SATA = 3 Gigabits/second transfer.

SAS supports multi-initiator, SATA does not.

SAS supports tagged command queuing, SATA supports only the sluggish native command queuing spec.

SAS devices support dual porting and multipath I/O allowing you to place devices in two different SAS domains for double I/O transfer per device and fault resilience, SATA does not have these options.

SAS devices have a unique id, WWN (SCSI ID), that can uniquely identify the device: SATA devices are identified only by port number, and this has scalability consequences.

A SAS channel can service a SAS domain with >16,000 devices using expanders, there is a great deal of expandability there. With SATA, one port = one drive.

SAS error-recovery and reporting is provided by the SCSI command set and is much richer than the SMART command set used by ATA devices.

Re:On SATA?Christmas gifts,shoes,handbags,ugg (0, Offtopic)

coolforsale1212 (1684108) | more than 4 years ago | (#30198284)

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Still has a long way to go before its viable (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30195030)

128 GB $549.99
256 GB $1,014.99
512 GB $1,599.99
1024 GB $3,315.99

Re:Still has a long way to go before its viable (5, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195148)

That's not bad. The 512 gig SSD is only 30 times more expensive than the 512 gig HDD I bought at staple last week.

Re:Still has a long way to go before its viable (2, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195678)

I guess for small values of "only". I think the more important metric is this:

Cheapest 2.5" SSD (40GB): 696,- NOK
Cheapest 2.5" HDD (160GB): 285,- NOK

That's now <2.5 times the difference. Sure it's 10x the difference if you price it per gigabyte, but only if you need 160GB. That's what'll trigger the SSD revolution, the bulk storage will come much later.

Re:Still has a long way to go before its viable (2, Interesting)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#30196314)

What about 4gb and 8gb SSDs? There are some you can get for under $200. You can find a 2 or 4gb SSD for under $100, if you look hard enough.

Re:Still has a long way to go before its viable (2, Informative)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 4 years ago | (#30196388)

What about 4gb and 8gb SSDs? There are some you can get for under $200. You can find a 2 or 4gb SSD for under $100, if you look hard enough.

He quoted prices in Norwegian Kroner (1$US = 5.66NOK according to oanda.com). So he found a 40GB SSD for $123 (696NOK), presumably including the absurd Norwegian VAT, making a US equivalent price below $100.

Re:Still has a long way to go before its viable (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30195918)

While a 30x price-per-space difference is less bad than it was in the past, as long as the magnetic drives are improving at a similar rate, it will take the solid state drives a *long* time to catch up.

IMO, there's one turning point coming: when good 128 GB flash drives drop to well under $100, they become viable for system-and-main-programs drives in desktops. Judging by the $550 price given, that means about three more Moore's Law generations ( $550 / 2^3 = $68.75), which will take about 4.5 years. 128 GB won't be enough for everyone - conceivably OS (windows 8?) + critical programs/games may exceed that by 2014 - but it'll be enough for many. You'd probably want a flash/magnetic hybrid for laptops, since they generally come with 160-512 GB these days and you can't fit two hard drives in most laptops without using the optical drive bay...

But for bulk storage, it's much harder. If magnetic drives *gain nothing at all ever again*, it would still take 5 Moore's Law generations (7.5 years) for this company's flash drives to match them in price-per-space. But, IIRC, solid state is only advancing slightly faster than magnetic. That probably delays their convergence to more than ten years from now, and it may be that either tech runs into its physical limits before they meet, and we all end up using something else that hasn't been invented yet.

Re:Still has a long way to go before its viable (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195500)

If you need some really hardcore I/O performance, it could easily be worth it. My company tried putting some SSDs in the 1U servers that we load with our software and sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars to big enterprise customers. Those guys could cook.

Sure, we could spend a few million on engineers and hope to wring out a fraction of the performance improvement, but we could also spend that few million making our software more useful to our customers in other ways.

Re:Still has a long way to go before its viable (3, Insightful)

bcmm (768152) | more than 4 years ago | (#30196400)

Everybody complaining that they cost more than HDDs is missing an important point: they're better than HDDs.

Remember, backup tape still has a large bytes/cent advantage over HDDs. I take it your laptop keep everything on tape?

Re:Still has a long way to go before its viable (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30197340)

backup tape still has a large bytes/cent advantage over HDDs

Really? I've not tried buying tapes but looking at the prices they seem about the same cost per GB as hard disks for the tapes and the drives cost more than a decent capacity disk.

Re:Still has a long way to go before its viable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30197006)

That's not bad for the 128GB $549. A HP SAS 15k drive is about $500-$550.

Re:Still has a long way to go before its viable (1)

Pyrion (525584) | more than 4 years ago | (#30198326)

If you're buying one of these, you're not buying high data density per dollar, you're buying raw performance. It's the same argument applied to the WD Raptors when they were unleashed upon the masses. Viability is always relative - someone out there with money to burn who wants speed they probably won't be able to quantify in real-world use will nevertheless buy the 1TB variant, just as there are plenty of people out there that buy $300K sports cars for whatever reasons.

Fuck everything, we're doing five controllers (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30195082)

Would someone tell me how this happened? We were the fucking vanguard of storage in this country. The Intel X-25 was the SSD to own. Then the other guy came out with a three-controller drive. Were we scared? Hell, no. Because we hit back with a little thing called the X-25E. That's three controllers and an extra port. For USB. But you know what happened next? Shut up, I'm telling you what happened--the bastards went to four controllers. Now we're standing around with our cocks in our hands, selling three controllers and a cache. USB or no, suddenly we're the chumps. Well, fuck it. We're going to five controllers.

Re:Fuck everything, we're doing five controllers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30195318)

C'mon, this was pretty funny.

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/33930

Re:Fuck everything, we're doing five controllers (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#30196356)

Don't worry.. this is just pre-release... they probably got a 6-controller version with a RAID1+0 version for enhanced read speeds just waiting :)

Random write speed? (5, Interesting)

evanbd (210358) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195090)

I thought it was pretty clear that what matters for most desktop users is the random small write speed. See, for example, Anandtech's SSD anthology [anandtech.com] and later followups.

So, where are the 4 KiB random write benchmarks? They are conspicuously absent from this review. We can see the effect, I think, in the IOMeter results -- the X-25M outperforms the OCZ drive across the board on those, despite the OCZ win in the throughput tests. But, personally, I'd like to see the raw numbers on 4 KiB random writes. Have this many reviewers really learned so little about benchmarking SSDs since they came out?

Re:Random write speed? (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195188)

I'm really only interested in cost per gigabyte at this point, among the quality vendors, every single drive is faster than a spinning disk (and the trend is generally that the performance is getting better and better, not to mention that they probably won't reach prices I find attractive before trim support is widespread and working well).

Re:Random write speed? (2, Insightful)

evanbd (210358) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195546)

This drive is a performance-oriented drive. If you only care about cost per GB, you won't be buying it. Anyone who is buying it, cares about performance; neglecting the aspect of performance that most desktop users will find most relevant is shoddy reviewing.

FWIW, I mostly agree with you — I care more about cost per GB than raw performance. That said, I still care about performance. Fortunately, most of the good vendors have drives with good performance now.

Re:Random write speed? (1)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 4 years ago | (#30197030)

Why not two drives....your performance drive, OS, shared libraries, commonly accessed software and files on super fast SSD.

Data libraries, video, photos, etc, on cheap hard disk storage.

One could also throw in the idea of SSD as cache like ZFS can incorporate now - so your working data-set ends up in SSD. The speed advantage of SSD (once the cache is primed) and the cheap value for storage.

Re:Random write speed? (1)

evanbd (210358) | more than 4 years ago | (#30197318)

That's my plan. I've got the cheap, big disk... I just have to buy the small, fast SSD.

Re:Random write speed? (2, Informative)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 4 years ago | (#30197584)

Why not two drives....your performance drive, OS, shared libraries, commonly accessed software and files on super fast SSD.
Ok for desktop users but most laptops either can't accomodate two drives full stop or require some other significant component (often the optical drive afaict) to be sacrificed to get a second drive.

Re:Random write speed? (4, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195194)

Because a 1TB drive that costs $3300 is aimed at "most desktop users".

Re:Random write speed? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195246)

Good point, but pretty much every other heavy use is interested in this. If you just need high sequential speeds then RAIDed HDDs have been doing that well for much lower cost. In general servers are extremely interested in random write performance and IOPS, even more than desktop users.

Re:Random write speed? (3, Insightful)

thue (121682) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195256)

The slow random write will also be a problem for some very common server workloads, such as databases.

Re:Random write speed? (2, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#30196632)

The drive outperforms the mechanical drive in IOPs and block reads/writes which is what matters.

Databases actually tend to use larger block reads and writes, the drive would be perfect for most databases, that is, database load is just the type of load where this drive is better than other SSDs...

With suitable amount of system memory and host controller with reasonable cache, this drive would be phenomenal in table scan performance.

It's application loads that are heavy in small random reads and writes that the drive isn't that good for compared to some other high-end SSDs.

Still 5000 random IOPs in 1 3.5" package is nothing to sneeze at.

Most hard drives pull off a small fraction of that.

Re:Random write speed? (1)

evanbd (210358) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195570)

The 256 GB drive is cheaper -- into the price range of the dedicated power user. OCZ doesn't sell to the server market, they sell to the desktop user. The power user on a desktop machine still cares about random write performance. They're far more likely to *also* care about sequential read / write performance, but they still care about random writes too.

Re:Random write speed? (1)

AllynM (600515) | more than 4 years ago | (#30197234)

4KiB by itself is not enough, it needs to be done at different queue depths as well. I do collect data on that but it's not part of the standard set of graphs we put out. Our Workstation test gets close enough on that one, and uses a more realistic mix of reads and writes. Nobody hits their drive with 4KiB random writes all day, so I refrain from going with those specific numbers.

Starting with the review prior to this one, I revised the Average Transaction Time graphs to show something more along the lines of what you might have been looking for.

Allyn Malventano
Storage Editor, PC Perspective

Re:Random write speed? (1)

evanbd (210358) | more than 4 years ago | (#30197380)

Yes, different queue depths is good too.

No one cares only about the raw random write speed, just like they don't care only about the raw sequential speed. There are times when either matter. That's why I'd like to see both the raw numbers and the numbers for a specific workload.

I find the average transaction time graphs hard to read. The semi-log plot format is a bit odd. It's also a bit hard to see relative changes when everything interesting is in the bottom 25-50% of the graph. Relative performance of two drives is easy enough to see, but between the semi-log plot and the sparse grid lines, it's really hard to see the scaling effects you're talking about.

Re:Random write speed? (1)

AllynM (600515) | more than 4 years ago | (#30197532)

> I find the average transaction time graphs hard to read. The semi-log plot format is a bit odd. It's also a bit hard to see relative changes when everything interesting is in the bottom 25-50% of the graph. Relative performance of two drives is easy enough to see, but between the semi-log plot and the sparse grid lines, it's really hard to see the scaling effects you're talking about.

Agreed, and I thank you for the feedback. The data itself is logarithmic, not the scale. Highly optimized drives produce a flat output while drives without NCQ support will show as logarithmic. The graphs were really useless for SSD's the way we used to present them. I continue to work on better ways to present the data without overloading the average reader.

Allyn Malventano
Storage Editor, PC Perspective

Re:Random write speed? (1)

evanbd (210358) | more than 4 years ago | (#30198170)

The plot was semi-log: the x-axis values were 1, 2, 4, which is an exponential progression, but were plotted at equal spacing. You would make it a linear plot by having the spacing between the depth=1 and depth=2 points be half the space between the depth=2 and depth=4 points. More interesting to me, I suspect, would be the log-log plot where the y-axis also varies logarithmically; then the linear behavior (doubling of queue depth causes doubling of average time) would show as linear, but so would other common scaling behaviors (doubling of queue depth causes 1.5x increase in average time, for example). However, that's probably harder to interpret for the average reader who isn't used to reading scientific papers and data sheets and the like.

Better graphs would be good; so would having the raw numbers that produced them. The format of the file copy tests is good, but I prefer the line plots for the queue depth data. Perhaps just a link to the raw numbers below the charts?

Speaking of the file copy tests, I just noticed something: the graph makes it look like the drives are uniformly faster at copying small files than large ones (since lower numbers are better, according to the chart heading). In reality, it looks like the majority of the difference in the size of the bars for a single drive comes from the fact that it takes it less time to copy less data! In order to see the effect of changes in file size, it would be nice to have all the data on the same scale, either by having the same number of bytes at each file size, or by giving the data in MB/s transfer rate. I'm not sure which I prefer, but having the numbers for the Colossus be 44.9, 44.7, 23.2, 6.4 is odd; they should really be 44.9, 44.7, 46.4, 64.

I'm glad you find the feedback useful.

Get the word out: SLC vs MLC (5, Informative)

thomasdz (178114) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195168)

People think all SSDs are the same. They aren't. Consumer SSDs are typically MLC and have a failure rate far above "enterprise" SSDs which are SLC. I wish you could buy consumer SLC SSDs

Re:Get the word out: SLC vs MLC (4, Informative)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195222)

OCZ sells some in their Vertex line. They're still expensive as fuck.

Re:Get the word out: SLC vs MLC (-1, Offtopic)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195384)

They're still expensive as fuck.

Good that you stay with expensive fucks. Cheap fucks will give you herpes or even AIDS. Of course, expensive fucks are high maintenance, though.

Re:Get the word out: SLC vs MLC (5, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195414)

SSD, MLC, SLC, OCZ... WTF?

Re:Get the word out: SLC vs MLC (5, Informative)

El Capitaine (973850) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195518)

OCZ - OCZ Technology - Manufacturer of hardware - OCZ Technology [wikipedia.org]

SSD - Solid-State-Drive - Type of hard drive - Solid State Drive [wikipedia.org]

MLC - Multi-level cell - Technology used in making SSDs - Multi-level Cell [wikipedia.org]

SLC - Single-level cell - Technology used in making SSDs - Single-level Cell [wikipedia.org]

A little search can go a long way...

Re:Get the word out: SLC vs MLC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30197348)

You should have been modded funny instead, for pretending to take the parents joke seriously...

Re:Get the word out: SLC vs MLC (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195520)

MLC = Multi-Level Cell stores more than one bit/cell increasing density at a performance and lifespan cost, unlike SLC = Single-Level Cell.

OCZ is just OCZ, AFAIK that's not a TLA. ;)

Re:Get the word out: SLC vs MLC (5, Funny)

maugle (1369813) | more than 4 years ago | (#30196090)

Have you tried running BSD on an OCZ MLC SSD while on LSD? OMG.

Re:Get the word out: SLC vs MLC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30196212)

WTF? BBQ!

Re:Get the word out: SLC vs MLC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30196670)

Have you tried running BSD on an OCZ MLC SSD while on LSD? OMG.

LOL!

Re:Get the word out: SLC vs MLC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30197496)

I have, in fact, considered it. I think I'll swap the LSD for a nice IPA, though.

Re:Get the word out: SLC vs MLC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30197062)

I bet i could fuck a lot for 3+k$...

Re:Get the word out: SLC vs MLC (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195472)

Consumer SSDs are typically MLC and have a failure rate far above "enterprise" SSDs which are SLC. I wish you could buy consumer SLC SSDs

You'd be the first person I know claiming to have any solid data on that, so I'd love to see it. What we do know is that MLC drives will wear out about 10x faster after ~10000 rewrites instead of ~100000 rewrites/cell, but regular desktop use is unlikely to hit those limits while an enterprise server working 24x7 might. But I've never seen any data to indicate there's a difference in failure rates up to that limit, please enlighten us.

Re:Get the word out: SLC vs MLC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30195566)

He doesn't have data; he's just saying "failure rate" when he means "endurance". (Of course, for a fixed (intense) workload less endurance would necessarily produce a shorter MTTF, but desktop and enterprise SSDs aren't intended for the same workloads.)

Re:Get the word out: SLC vs MLC (1)

Fweeky (41046) | more than 4 years ago | (#30197064)

The MLC X25-M is rated at 20GB/day for a 5 year service life, why would most people care?

Useless (4, Insightful)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195288)

This kludgey design is a bad idea for several reasons :

1. Despite throwing the kitchen sink at the problem, those indilinx chips are still much slower than Intel's controller at small, random reads and writes.

2. Since the drive needs four indilinx controllers rather than 1, some complex packaging, AND 3 RAID controllers it's going to cost a lot more per gigabyte. It's probably also more failure prone. And the MSRPs bear that out : this is a lot more expensive than the MSRPs for the equivalent Intel product.

3. Doesn't support native TRIM support

4. Biggest problem of all : the drive is bandwidth starved because it's on the SATA bus rather than on the PCI express bus. Furthermore, those slow internal RAID chips don't help matters. So instead of supporting sequential reads at 600 megabytes/second, it's capped at about 240. Lame.

Re:Useless (4, Interesting)

seanalltogether (1071602) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195684)

What I don't understand is that if they're going to make a RAID SSD in a 3.5 enclosure, why don't they give it 2 SATA links in so they can saturate 2 buses? In fact, how many SATA links could you support in a single 3.5 enclosure?

Re:Useless (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30195722)

It has all the earmarks of a 'just cause we could' design. Not one people really need. It ignores every other feature everyone has been asking for and only puts in 1 (size).

Using basically last generations (not this gen with trim and better controllers) SSD tech to build something. They have smashed together 4 256meg drives, put it in RAID, slapped a (at least 500 dollars) premium price tag on it and called it a day. Then like you pointed out putting all that BW on one line so you do not even get the full benefit of all that speed you put in. I would bet the power requirements are like 4 drives.

The biggest issue I can think of was leaving out TRIM. Wow. It has been know for at least a year that TRIM is needed. To ship a new SSD these days with no trim suppport. Wow ... just wow.

Maybe if you were drive bay starved in a rack that was already full this would make some sense, and were already using this type of drive, and needed 4x the HD space.

I personally think SATA is done. We need a new physical HD transport layer for this. Plugging it right into the PCI bus sounds cludgy to me (but hey I could be wrong). It may be time to bring back some sort of ribbon cable or crank the speed on the wire even more.

Re:Useless (1)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 4 years ago | (#30196358)

Actually, plugging right into the PCI express bus is a great solution. It's more than fast enough for as fast as consumer SSDs are likely to get. (at a certain point, you stop getting meaningful performance advantages because the CPU is the bottleneck)

Most SATA controllers today actually link to the PCI express bus : a direct connect removes a whole unnecessary layer of chips in the drive and in the motherboard.

It's well supported, and the connectors and chips are reliable and inexpensive. Yes, it would even work for laptops, though they'd need to use a special form factor connector.

We already have faster transports... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#30197616)

I personally think SATA is done. We need a new physical HD transport layer for this.

You're right, 3 gig SATA isn't as fast as 6 gig SAS, 8 gig FC, or 10 gig iSCSI/FCoE?

Specifications are wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30195626)

The Colossus has only 2 Indilinx controllers. It's the Colossus Cascade that has 4 (along with an even higher price).

SLC pricing is a scam (4, Interesting)

haruchai (17472) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195738)

and the companies ( Hello, Samsung!) should be ashamed. It wasn't until a few years ago that MLC was commercially viable but it only increases
by a factor of TWO. That's one of the lowest, most pointless tradeoffs ever in recent computing.

So, I get merely TWICE the storage for a TEN TIMES reduction in average component life, a 40% reduction in write speed, without fancy controller
redesign, and we get to enjoy all the ludicrous "benefits" of MLC for the price that SLC would have been anyway, through market forces and silicon die shrink

Re:SLC pricing is a scam (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30195958)

MLC echos a design philosophy in computer engineering these days. Build stuff to work until exactly one day after the warranty expires. Even with adding myraid ways of error correction, it is like substituting road apples for apples for Thanksgiving pie, and pouring on the spices and sugar to minimize the poo taste.

MLC just needs to be shitcanned and the focus be on getting SLC technology better/faster/cheaper.

Re:SLC pricing is a scam (1)

haruchai (17472) | more than 4 years ago | (#30196666)

I agree with you about MLC but I can't see how it'll happen. There are only a handful of manufacturers and the average user has no idea of the differences, advantages and tradeoffs so unless some other tech comes along to shake things up, we're stuck with the status quo.

Re:SLC pricing is a scam (2, Interesting)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 4 years ago | (#30196936)

Are MLCs really that bad? I'm finding budget SSDs with MLCs, with warranties of several years. If the drive lasts several years, I'm a satisfied customer. I don't care if an SLC-based drive would have lasted longer, because by that time, I'll be replacing my drive with a larger one, anyway.

Colossus speed? (1)

AndyCater (726464) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195930)

But is it faster than the 5000 char per second / 30 mile an hour tape I have on MY Colossus Mk 1?
  [http://www.bletchleypark.org]

Speed (1)

CSFFlame (761318) | more than 4 years ago | (#30196264)

I'm just speculating, but wouldn't it be MUCH faster to rip out the 2 internal drives and RAID those using your mobo or software? 2x SATAII vs 1xSATAII seems pretty obvious.

Re:Speed (3, Interesting)

AllynM (600515) | more than 4 years ago | (#30197594)

It would, but don't do it with that one or you'll fry either the board. They rewired the internal connectors so they could pass 2 channels over a single SATA connector. The SATA data lines passed via the power connector IIRC, so yeah, don't do it :).

http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=821&type=expert [pcper.com]

Allyn Malventano
Storage Editor, PC Perspective

we need smaller cheaper SSD's for OS and software (1)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | more than 4 years ago | (#30196350)

HDD is cheap storage nowadays, but SSD with ist speed is great for putting programs on it. You rarely need more than 16 Gb for your installed software.
Recently, I have bought a Verbatim SSD 16Gb Expresscard for my laptop, made it EXT2 and copied my software on it (left /var /tmp and such on HDD to avoid writes) and got my 25-seconds boot. And by that I mean complete system start with KDE4 and several apps like kopete, kbluetooth, knetworkmanager, klipper, korganizer + some plasmoids on desktop. Prior to SSD is was more like 55 seconds to 1:10. Startup time of heavy programs like Openoffice, GIMP or games has greatly improved as well. And there is room for improvement -- sata link for that chipset is too slow and takes about 8 seconds to start. I hope that this can be corrected in driver (it's a staging driver in the kernel).

It would be ideal to have small, fast and ultra cheap SSD drives I can put in to accelerate my family member's desktops (won't probably happen, because they still have IDE drives, not SATA). USB is simply too slow for that task.

A dual-disk notebook or desktop config with programs on smaller SSD and HDD for user data would to the trick for most users. Otherwise it's hard to notice the benefits of an upgrade to a faster CPU or more RAM.

RAID+TRIM (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30197406)

Why shouldn’t TRIM be supported in RAID configurations? That is just lack of implementation.

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