Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

SSDs vs. Hard Drives In Value Comparison

kdawson posted about 4 years ago | from the mostly-clear-with-scattered-data dept.

Data Storage 263

EconolineCrush writes "SSDs hardly offer compelling value on the cost-per-gigabyte basis. But what if one considers performance per dollar? This article takes a closer look at the value proposition offered by today's most common SSDs, mixing raw performance data with each drive's cost, both per gigabyte and as a component of a complete system. A dozen SSD configurations are compared, and results from a collection of mechanical hard drives provide additional context. The data are laid out in detailed scatter plots clearly illustrating the most favorable intersections of price and performance, and you might be surprised to see just how well the SSDs fare versus traditional hard drives. A few of the SSDs offer much better value than their solid-state competitors, too."

cancel ×

263 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Niggers (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32820492)

This story was written by some dumb ass niggers. Lynch them!

Typo in summary? (4, Insightful)

Piete (2687) | about 4 years ago | (#32820506)

It says: "A few of the SSDs offer much better value than their solid-state competitors, too."
Is that meant to be "SSDs"?

Re:Typo in summary? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32820534)

Probably since some of the SSDs are likely more of a value than others.

Re:Typo in summary? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32821134)

The day after thanksgiving a few years ago, Steve Gibson was sitting on the toilet constipated. After about 4 days without being able to take a shit he finally decided to force it out. Straining himself, he began pushing really hard and eventually he started to hear a dripping into the toilet.

"Almost got it," he thought, and gave it one more big push. Kaaa splooosh! What a relief, he must have lost at least ten pounds right there. He started to wipe, but he then noticed that his hand was covered with blood. He quickly jumped up to see a pile of bloody intestines trailing their way back to his ripped open bloody asshole.

"Oh God! I can't believe this is happening to me," the distressed programmer yelled, grabbing his intestines out of the toilet and trying to push them back into his ass. The experience was so disgusting that he puked all over himself and passed out. His dog found him later that day and ate most of the intestines that were outside of his body. How did he survive you ask? Well, lets just say that the power of SpinRite should never be underestimated.

It's a trap! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32820666)

Super Star Destroyers are better value?!?!

Re:It's a trap! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32821866)

Shit Streaked Dick. When you anally fuck a chick or dude (depending on how you swing) when they have a dirty colon or when they need to crap.

Re:Typo in summary? (5, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | about 4 years ago | (#32821082)

A few of the SSDs offer much better value than their solid-state competitors

Data corruption - it's not just for hard drives any more :-)

Maybe missing the point (4, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about 4 years ago | (#32821830)

The test is very unfair on small SSDs like the Intel X25-V because it doesn't look at overall price, only $/Gb. Hardly anybody is going to install a small SSD as the only drive in a machine. Most people would combine them with a big hard disk so the final score would be a blend of the scores for the SSD and the second hard disk.

eg. I just rebuilt my machine with an X25-V for the OS and applications. The X25-V gives the machine amazing boot up times and near-instant application load times - way faster then my old Velociraptor. As an overall performance enhancement it's a complete no-brainer for $110.

For the price of a big SSD you can probably get an X25-V (boot drive) plus a 300Gb Velociraptor (video editing and/or your hardcore games) plus a 1.5Tb HDD (for your torrentz and AVIs). Beat that for price/performance!

Re:Typo in summary? (1)

trentblase (717954) | about 4 years ago | (#32822000)

I think they are trying to say that within the SSD category, value varies significantly.

Reliability? (5, Insightful)

TheRedDuke (1734262) | about 4 years ago | (#32820522)

While a pretty comprehensive article, nowhere do they actually talk about reliablity and longevity of these drives in their value calculations. That's a pretty important factor for me, and has been one of the reasons (besides price) that I haven't seriously considered one yet.

Re:Reliability? (5, Interesting)

rm999 (775449) | about 4 years ago | (#32820684)

Longevity and reliability are tough to quantify, because for the vast majority of users the median SSD or disk drive will never fail as long as they use it.

Failures of disks occur at the tail end. Perhaps 10% of disk drives and 1% of SSDs fail over two years, but how do you compare them? Do you say the disk is 9% worse, or 10x worse?

Re:Reliability? (4, Insightful)

Miseph (979059) | about 4 years ago | (#32820918)

"Do you say the disk is 9% worse, or 10x worse?"

Probably depends on which product we're advertising. No, scratch that, it depends ENTIRELY on which product we're advertising.

Re:Reliability? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32820956)

because for the vast majority of users the median SSD or disk drive will never fail as long as they use it.

Bwahaha, right. Have you known many people using SSD's? I do and they have an extremely high failure rate. Currently much higher than the old spinning media. Most last less than 6 months. The oldest SSD I know of lasted 2 years. I know of no SSD that lasted longer than that.

I'll stick with hard-drives until that improves significantly.

Re:Reliability? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32821070)

IDK, I've got three netbooks with SSDs, one of those died during/after a power-outage (I blame line transients at failure or turn-on, combined with a cheap power-supply and brittle SSD controller design, but I'll never know for sure), none of them have died from old age, and the runcore SSD I replaced that one with is still doing fine as well.

So I've only got a sample size of 4, ranges from 1 to 2.5 years old (all over your "6 month" average), and 3/4 are still good, and the one that failed was not wear-related -- not scientifically conclusive, but enough that I think you're either full of it, or are comparing semi-disposable media (SD/MMC/MS/CF) which do have alarming failure rates in heavy usage against purpose-built SSDs that seem to be built with better wear-leveling and more spare blocks...

Re:Reliability? (1)

abhi_beckert (785219) | about 4 years ago | (#32821186)

The fact that either drive may fail means you have to be able to recover from it perfectly.

So the only factor is cost: if 10% of disk drives fail, then you should add 10% to your budget plus whatever time you predict spending installing the new drives.

Re:Reliability? (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | about 4 years ago | (#32821348)

Only someone who failed statistics would ask that question. I mean, really?

Re:Reliability? (2, Informative)

itzdandy (183397) | about 4 years ago | (#32821554)

how do you get 9% worse? 1% of 100 is, well, 1, 10% of 100 is 10, 1:10 is 10X different. 9% worse would be 1.1% return rate. you cant say 10% - 1% is 9%, thats not how it works.

Re:Reliability? (3, Interesting)

LordKronos (470910) | about 4 years ago | (#32820698)

Thats because the write-cycle limitation is pretty much a moot point these days. Considering the better reliability of flash memory, coupled with better wear leveling, reserved space, etc it takes a hell of a lot of writing to use up that life span. The thing is, drives that are very heavily written to tend to also need tons of storage (such as A/V editing)...much more than would be economical in SSDs. So the systems which would likely have a chance at wearing out an SSD are also usually the systems that cannot realistically use an SSD for data storage. At the moment (current cost of SSDs), the problem sort of solves itself.

Re:Reliability? (3, Interesting)

Local ID10T (790134) | about 4 years ago | (#32820722)

While a pretty comprehensive article, nowhere do they actually talk about reliablity and longevity of these drives in their value calculations. That's a pretty important factor for me, and has been one of the reasons (besides price) that I haven't seriously considered one yet.

Honestly? No.

I recently replaced a less than 1 year old (failing) HD with a SSD in one of my servers. I expect my HDs to fail. I expect my SSD to fail. I put the SSD in instead of just another HD because it was a (relatively) cheap way to increase the performance of the machine significantly. If it lives for 1 year before failing, its doing better than the HD it replaced -even if it doesn't, the performance boost is worth it.

Re:Reliability? (2, Insightful)

TheRedDuke (1734262) | about 4 years ago | (#32820946)

I honestly don't feel like rebuilding our MySQL server once a year. Or any other server for that matter. And as for value, a good 128GB SSD is $300. For about $200 more, you can get 3 x 150GB Raptors and a $100 Adaptec SATA RAID controller, config it in RAID 5 and get comparable performance, not to mention a little redundancy. The extra initial investement will pay for itself in uptime over the long-term.

SSDs for expendable client laptops - possibly. For mission-critical servers - hell no.

Re:Reliability? (1)

gullevek (174152) | about 4 years ago | (#32820996)

I would rather create a raid1 + hotspare for a mysql server. write performance is bad in raid5.

Re:Reliability? (1)

Local ID10T (790134) | about 4 years ago | (#32821012)

I agree with you on the lack of desire to rebuild a system, but replacing a drive doesn't necessitate rebuilding the system. If it does, then the system was not designed well. Your design addresses this with RAID 5. Currently RAID cards do not support TRIM, but its a feature that is expected this year (at least according to Adaptec). I'm addressing this with snapshots currently, but looking forward to going RAID later this year.

Re:Reliability? (5, Interesting)

Mad Merlin (837387) | about 4 years ago | (#32821054)

And as for value, a good 128GB SSD is $300. For about $200 more, you can get 3 x 150GB Raptors and a $100 Adaptec SATA RAID controller, config it in RAID 5 and get comparable performance, not to mention a little redundancy. The extra initial investement will pay for itself in uptime over the long-term.

I'm sorry, but you're completely and hopelessly wrong. Spinning rust gets around 100 IOPS, maybe 200 at 15k RPM. The Intel X25-E gets around 10,000 IOPS. Assuming linear speedup (which you won't get anything close to), you'd need 100 rotational drives to come close to the performance of a single X25-E.

The only performance metric where SSDs and spinning rust are anywhere close is on linear read/write speeds. Sadly, that's of no consequence, because that workload only exists in benchmarks.

(Also, god help you if you put a database server on RAID 5... goodbye performance! RAID 10 or bust.)

Re:Reliability? (1, Informative)

scotch (102596) | about 4 years ago | (#32821090)

Streaming media applications.

Re:Reliability? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 4 years ago | (#32821300)

(Also, god help you if you put a database server on RAID 5... goodbye performance! RAID 10 or bust.)

Only if your database is writing fast enough to overflow the battery backed cache on your RAID controller. As long as your writes fit in the cache before they get flushed to disk, then IOPS's of the drive don't really matter.

And if the parent poster really is running his databases on 3 SATA drives + $100 SATA controller, I'd bet that his database isn't busy enough to warrant RAID1+0 let alone an SSD. His 3 disk RAID volume gives him the performance he needs at a good pricepoint.

Of the 70 databases I manage (a mix of SQL/Server, Oracle, and MySQL), none of them are busy enough to make switching to SSD's cost effective -- most get along quite well on a shared SAN LUN on RAID-DP (RAID-6) - with only 2GB of cache shared among them.

Re:Reliability? (2, Insightful)

multiplexo (27356) | about 4 years ago | (#32821970)

(Also, god help you if you put a database server on RAID 5... goodbye performance! RAID 10 or bust.)

Don't get out much do you? Ten years ago this might have been the case, but with modern storage technology you can run a lot of database loads on RAID-5 with an acceptable level of performance and as a matter of fact I've done so. Indeed the technology has improved so much that when I migrated the Oracle environment at my last job off of a SAN using RAID 1+0 volumes to a SAN using RAID-5 disk access was still around 10 times faster. I'm not sure that I'd run any kind of OLTP system on RAID-5, but a lot of other databases will run just fine.

Re:Reliability? (5, Funny)

nxtw (866177) | about 4 years ago | (#32821304)

our MySQL server

3 x 150GB Raptors

100 Adaptec SATA RAID controller

RAID 5

Now you have four problems. Could you Do It Wrong in any more ways?

Re:Reliability? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32821388)

RAID5? yay! slower write performance than a single spinning drive. you sure look like you know what you're talking about

Re:Reliability? (1)

haruchai (17472) | about 4 years ago | (#32821546)

If you're using the $100 Adaptec SATA RAID controller in your "mission-critical" server, I'm very critical of your mission.
And, comparable performance - only if your MySQL does a lot of large sequential reads / writes. If it doing mostly small random writes, you're dreaming in Technicolor (TM), if you think performance will be the same.

And, why not spend the same amount of money on both setups? The extra $200 will probably get you a 256 GB SSD and possibly faster write performance although, as you pointed out, absolutely no redundancy.
 

Re:Reliability? (2, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | about 4 years ago | (#32821658)

I'd rather spend an extra $100 and get 2xSSD's and do software RAID1 across them, since no RAID controller I have benchmarked can keep up with a single Intel X-25e it's best to do software raid anyways =)

Re:Reliability? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32821716)

One of the biggest gains I see from SSD is in boot time. I tend not to reboot my servers. I tend to boot my client machines when I need them. So I see little to no point in putting SSDs in a server, anyway. A RAID-5 of Raptors, yeah, that's a nice idea!

My PhotoShop machine, on the other hand, gets booted when I want to work on some photos - maybe once a week. I put in an SSD as the boot drive, and save a noticeable amount of time when it boots, and when it loads programs, like PhotoShop. I put in a second SSD to use as workspace - I put a folder of images onto the SSD when I am working on it, and Adobe Bridge runs like lightning. SSDs in this machine make perfect sense to me. The files on the workspace drive are transient - I copy them back to magnetic storage after working on them. The files on the boot drive are almost entirely system and software - if the drive failed I'd have to re-install, that's all.

So reliability, while a nice-to-have, isn't critical.

Re:Reliability? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 4 years ago | (#32821936)

If you're running a critical database server you could try smaller SSDs in RAID - about the same cost per Gb as a big SSD but you get the redundancy.

Re:Reliability? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 4 years ago | (#32820894)

Look up the ones with a 5/3 year warranty.

Re:Reliability? (2, Informative)

timeOday (582209) | about 4 years ago | (#32820988)

Consider that nobody ever really knew what HDD reliability was, either. Google's 2007 study of HDD reliability [engadget.com] was surprising on many counts. How is that possible with such a mature technology?

Me, I just go for a good warranty and keep backups.

Re:Reliability? (1)

pwnies (1034518) | about 4 years ago | (#32821214)

Did you just link to an Engadget story which links back to /.?

Re:Reliability? (2, Funny)

sjwt (161428) | about 4 years ago | (#32821966)

redendent back ups, their not just for HHDs.

i don't know about the stats... (4, Interesting)

jafo (11982) | about 4 years ago | (#32820540)

I don't know about the cost/benefit for most people, but we're all running SSDs for our laptops now, and it's definitely worth it.

Once I realized that I could fit on a 64GB SSD comfortably if I didn't keep my ENTIRE photo collection on my laptop, it was a pretty easy decision to make to try them.

And after some testing, I've decided that it's enough worth it for us that we're all using them. In most cases it isn't a bit noticeable difference. But for some things it really does make a difference, and not having to wait for them is a big gain. The things that are a lot faster are: booting (rarely, but you're entirely "down" while doing it), opening big apps like OpenOffice, re-opening firefox or thunderbird when they flake out, and doing big find/grep jobs. Searching through e-mail and the like? Great.

For a long time, CPU increases were way outpacing the disc performance gains. We how have CPUs that are faster than most of my staff can really take advantage of on our laptops. But disc performance, even at 7200 RPM, was often the bottleneck.

So, we've traded volume for performance, and been very happy with it.

Re:i don't know about the stats... (1)

Mad Merlin (837387) | about 4 years ago | (#32820690)

SSDs absolutely blow spinning rust out of the water on a price/performance basis, even the initial models that cost a grand for <100G of storage. The only problem is that there's a lot of poor quality SSDs out there now that perform badly on random writes. If you balk at the price, you don't need the performance anyways, move along.

Re:i don't know about the stats... (4, Interesting)

QuantumRiff (120817) | about 4 years ago | (#32820694)

Were doing the same thing, for a few thousand laptops. 7200 RPM drives in laptops eat batteries, generate heat, and can't keep up with all the background application needed for monitoring, compliance, AV scanning, etc.

really, at a couple hundred more each (less if you order in quantity) they pay for themselves very quickly if you have a mobile workforce. If you have a 10 minute boot up, and people on the road visiting clients, several times a day, (and standby is disabled because of security concerns with disk encryption) then a 3 minute boot can pay for itself in a few months.

I was disappointed to not see any Samsung SSD's on the list. They are in a TON of OEM laptops.

10 minute boot up? Standby is a security risk? (2, Interesting)

SuperBanana (662181) | about 4 years ago | (#32821260)

If you have a 10 minute boot up, and people on the road visiting clients, several times a day, (and standby is disabled because of security concerns with disk encryption) then a 3 minute boot can pay for itself in a few months.

If your laptops take 10 minutes to boot, you've got much bigger problems...and how is standby a concern with disk encryption? If you wake the machine, you should have to enter a password.

What are you storing that requires this level of paranoia with so many client visits? Clearly not defense.

Re:10 minute boot up? Standby is a security risk? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32821594)

If you have a 10 minute boot up, and people on the road visiting clients, several times a day, (and standby is disabled because of security concerns with disk encryption) then a 3 minute boot can pay for itself in a few months.

If your laptops take 10 minutes to boot, you've got much bigger problems...and how is standby a concern with disk encryption? If you wake the machine, you should have to enter a password.

What are you storing that requires this level of paranoia with so many client visits? Clearly not defense.

Google for cold boot attacks - there are issues with disk encryption + standby. Posting as AC cause im lazy.

Re:10 minute boot up? Standby is a security risk? (1)

afidel (530433) | about 4 years ago | (#32821684)

Full disk encryption + AV + bloatware = 10 minute boot easily.

Re:i don't know about the stats... (2, Insightful)

luther349 (645380) | about 4 years ago | (#32821334)

they didnt test all brands but all the controllers the brands use. so look up your samsong controller and that site probly has the test.

Re:i don't know about the stats... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32820810)

Generally speaking, yeah SSDs are better for laptops where battery life is a huge concern. But on a desktop, HDDs rule supreme where electricity is constantly supplied and people expect to have EVERYTHING on their systems.

Have we traded volume for performance? On laptops, definitely. On desktop, certainly not.

Re:i don't know about the stats... (1)

dangitman (862676) | about 4 years ago | (#32821020)

opening big apps like OpenOffice, re-opening firefox or thunderbird when they flake out,

This seems like more of a problem with Firefox and Thunderbird than your system configuration. Seriously, why is Firefox so freaking slow and crashy? It's a lot more economical to ditch such bloated software for something that's better, than to replace your HDDs with SSDs.

Re:i don't know about the stats... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32821290)

boring troll is boring. what part of "it makes everything fucking faster" do you not understand?

Re:i don't know about the stats... (1)

dangitman (862676) | about 4 years ago | (#32821810)

boring troll is boring. what part of "it makes everything fucking faster" do you not understand?

I understand that perfectly. But how does it make Firefox and Thunderbird "not flake out"? And if you're not using Firefox or IE, other browsers open pretty much instantly without an SSD.

Re:i don't know about the stats... (3, Interesting)

Jayws (1613285) | about 4 years ago | (#32821032)

Oh dear lord my CULV laptop w/ SSD is wonderful. Feels super fast and I average 7 hours of battery for day to day use. It's great to be able to fully shutdown too and not have to use battery draining standby because the boot is so quick. Forget hibernate, that'll only kill the drive life faster. You really don't need a large drive to run your typical applications off of. I took the 500GB HD that came with the laptop and popped it in an external case for my portable media storage (pictures, videos, etc). I can't wait for prices to come down and performance to keep going up as these fantastic devices become more mainstream.

Nope. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32820586)

Sorry, but until I can get an SSD and not have to spend almost the same amount of money again for a drive to store media and games on, no deal. They are just way too expensive per GB, and I'd rather pay for one HDD to get a lot of space than pay for a HDD PLUS an SSD just to get a speed increase with only slightly more space.

I'm afraid that people jumping big-time on the expensive SSD bandwagon, though, will not encourage makers to decrease prices as fast as if people would have actually smartly waited until they were a decent price to size ratio.

Re:Nope. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32820818)

you're a moron who doesnt understand the economies of scale. let me guess, you're 14 and live in your parents basement?

Re:Nope. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32821532)

Economies of scale? You mean like how I'd have to pay pretty much twice as much to get 1.03 times the space?

Re:Nope. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32821894)

no, as in the prices come down because early adopters buy shit even though it's expensive, allowing manufacturers to make the widgets in larger quantities.

the original statement it was in response to:

will not encourage makers to decrease prices as fast as if people would have actually smartly waited until they were a decent price to size ratio.

which is utterly retarded. if noone buys something, it doesn encourage manufacturers to decrease prices. it encourage manufacturers to to making that thing

Re:Nope. (1)

ooshna (1654125) | about 4 years ago | (#32821522)

Umm apparently you never seen SSDs back when they were like 5k

Re:Nope. (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 4 years ago | (#32821924)

Umm apparently you never seen SSDs back when they were like 5k

$5k? My first SSD was $50k, had a capacity of 128MB and lost all the data when you powered it down... it sure made Windows 3.1. start up fast once you'd copied the files over though.

In fact I'd say the improvement back then compared to a hard drive was much greater than the improvement of my modern SSD relative to a modern hard drive.

Price only (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32820598)

"Intel X25-V Intel PC29AS21BA0 32MB 40GB $110"

I stopped reading there. Everything else was at least three times as expensive and I'm not spending half as much on a damn SSD as the whole computer which is the new Mac mini model at $750CAD.

Re:Price only (1)

Meshach (578918) | about 4 years ago | (#32820674)

Agreed. There are some huge differentials in price there. Some of those parameters may make a different for servers and business machines but for home machines who cares?

Re:Price only (1)

Auroch (1403671) | about 4 years ago | (#32820878)

"Intel X25-V Intel PC29AS21BA0 32MB 40GB $110"

I stopped reading there. Everything else was at least three times as expensive and I'm not spending half as much on a damn SSD as the whole computer which is the new Mac mini model at $750CAD.

Good thing they clear that up at the end, stating that if you're buying a budget system, SSDs don't make a lot of sense, but once you hit the $1000+ mark, they ought to be a given. Which makes sense - if you're getting cheap hardware, why throw good money after bad?

Re:Price only (3, Informative)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 4 years ago | (#32821074)

Not to mention that thanks to Readyboost [wikipedia.org] and SuperFetch [wikipedia.org] you can get many of the advantages without the crazy cost. Using an 8Gb flash that I got for a whole $18 over Xmas and the above my boot time is under 45 second (wouldn't be as long if I didn't have multiboot set up) and my wake from sleep less than 4. In addition all my apps that I use most often are nearly instant thanks to superfetch learning which apps I use at certain times and loading them into memory.

The real market I see here at the shop for SSDs is in laptops, where lack of moving heads and lower heat help extend the life of the laptop, but even then the market is shrinking thanks to the increasing popularity of netbooks in the sub $500 range, where it simply doesn't make sense to spend 35% or more of the cost of the device to replace the HDD with a SSD. In those cases I simply sell them a sub $80 USB drive for backups and set Win 7 to back them up a couple of times a week.

I really hope they have a breakthrough with SSDs and we see the price plummet like we have with HDDs, but ATM the price is simply too high and the sizes too small for most of my customers. With cheap HD camcorders and 10MP+ cameras becoming common you'd be surprised how many folks can quickly load up a sub 300Gb drive, and as the chart shows a 500Gb SSD is truly crazy money.

Would you employ SSDs in DB intensive tasks? (2, Informative)

bogaboga (793279) | about 4 years ago | (#32820656)

I doubt you would. I have a 40 GB Fujitsu MPG3409AT-E hard disk from 2001 that is still running yet the so called best Seagate Pulsar - the "first enterprise-ready" SSD failed after less than a year of database usage.

Bottom line: Do not trust SSDs.

Re:Would you employ SSDs in DB intensive tasks? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 4 years ago | (#32820812)

Are you sure your head it on straight?

Based on your claim, it looks to me like the bottom line is not to trust Seagate.

Re:Would you employ SSDs in DB intensive tasks? (2, Informative)

Local ID10T (790134) | about 4 years ago | (#32820880)

I doubt you would. I have a 40 GB Fujitsu MPG3409AT-E hard disk from 2001 that is still running yet the so called best Seagate Pulsar - the "first enterprise-ready" SSD failed after less than a year of database usage.

Bottom line: Do not trust SSDs.

Intensive DB read/write is exactly the use case I decided to go with a SSD for. I replaced a Seagate HD with an Intel SSD. The HD had failed in less than 1 year of use. The SSD noticeably sped up the work of every person in the office. So far so good, but even if it dies in 6 months, it would be worthwhile for my staff.

Re:Would you employ SSDs in DB intensive tasks? (5, Insightful)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about 4 years ago | (#32820892)

Well good thing we have your exceptionally small sampling size of two total drives (one of each) to make generalizations off of.

Re:Would you employ SSDs in DB intensive tasks? (5, Insightful)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | about 4 years ago | (#32821898)

No, it's a fine conclusion. Don't trust SSDs. Don't trust spinning rust. Don't trust your drives, make sure you have redundancy (RAID) and backups. And don't blindly trust your backups, test them first. Then keep a set off-site.
Now, the implied "don't-trust SSDs, trust rust instead" conclusion is bad.

Re:Would you employ SSDs in DB intensive tasks? (1)

ergo98 (9391) | about 4 years ago | (#32820920)

I doubt you would. I have a 40 GB Fujitsu MPG3409AT-E hard disk from 2001 that is still running yet the so called best Seagate Pulsar - the "first enterprise-ready" SSD failed after less than a year of database usage.

So with your sample size of one you are prepared to make absolute statements about an entire technology?

Bottom line: Do not trust SSDs.

I generally don't trust any storage device, be it magnetic disk, SSD, backup tape, or burned DVD. I take the risk (and yield the incredible benefits) of SLC SSD because I already have reliability systems in place if one or more of them fail on me.

Re:Would you employ SSDs in DB intensive tasks? (1)

sjwt (161428) | about 4 years ago | (#32822020)

And im sure we can find dozens of ppl who had the MPG3409AT-E fail within months of buying it.

Bottom line: one example dose not make a SSD (Soild Statical Debate.)

As usual, ignores the value of data integrity... (5, Insightful)

KonoWatakushi (910213) | about 4 years ago | (#32820676)

While most every hard disk supports and respects proper cache flush semantics, SSDs typically trade performance for data integrity. Although it should be a standard feature, very few SSDs include a capacitor to prevent filesystem/data corruption in the event of power loss.

Unfortunately, the vendors are very secretive about SSD internals, and the algorithms they choose to employ can also have a significant effect on data integrity. At this point in time, there is far too much blind faith required, and many vendors definitely do not deserve it.

Re:As usual, ignores the value of data integrity.. (4, Interesting)

Nemilar (173603) | about 4 years ago | (#32820788)

I've seen, and have been able to reproduce reliably, hard disks losing their internal cache data, claiming to have written it to platter when in fact it was not. And I am /not/ talking about battery-backed RAID cache, OS write cache, or anything of that nature; I am speaking specifically of the internal hard disk cache.

When we figured out what was going on, needless to say we were all a bit shaken. But the lesson is learned: your storage needs to have a battery backup system.

Re:As usual, ignores the value of data integrity.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32820848)

Although it should be a standard feature, very few SSDs include a capacitor to prevent filesystem/data corruption in the event of power loss.

OTOH, with spinning drives, you have to wait for the platter to spin back around to the head a few times before you can flush that cache. Maybe SSDs don't need anywhere near as big a capacitor to keep 'em going during that last-gasp writecycle?

Come to think of it, anyone have any public literature about how HDDs manage to pull this off? There may not be much talk about it in SSD-maker circles, but I doubt there's a lot of talk about it in HDD-maker circles either. It's not like it's easy for benchmarkers to test for it, and while it's presumably important to server guys, it's not the first thing on the spec sheet... and the retail market probably never thinks about it.

Re:As usual, ignores the value of data integrity.. (1)

marcansoft (727665) | about 4 years ago | (#32821140)

Hard drives tend to use the momentum stored in the spindle itself to at least park heads after a power failure (especially for laptop drives that park away from the media). This presumably works by powering the drive's rails through the motor controller's protection diodes. I'm not sure if they also use it for last-gasp writing of write-cached data, though. i guess it depends on whether the write controller can handle media that is losing speed.

Re:As usual, ignores the value of data integrity.. (2, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 4 years ago | (#32821614)

Hard drives tend to use the momentum stored in the spindle itself to at least park heads after a power failure (especially for laptop drives that park away from the media). This presumably works by powering the drive's rails through the motor controller's protection diodes. I'm not sure if they also use it for last-gasp writing of write-cached data, though. i guess it depends on whether the write controller can handle media that is losing speed.

No, they don't do the last-gasp writing. It simply takes too long to do it and it's too risky as the speed is uncontrolled and there's always a danger of overwriting critical areas by accident (servo tracks, firmware regions, control data, etc) which would render the drive unusuable.

In fact, this sort of power down is designated as "emergency stop" - the momentum is used to turn the spindle motor into a generator, and the power is dumped into the voice coils directly. It's quite a violent procedure and most drives are severely derated. I've seen one rated to 50,000 load-unload cycles, but only 10,000 "emergency unloads". It's just that all those pieces slamming into each other start wearing out the mechanical bits.

Re:As usual, ignores the value of data integrity.. (1)

afidel (530433) | about 4 years ago | (#32821806)

Nope, they just lose whatever writes are in cache, that's why RAID controllers disable write caching on the drives themselves (one good reason to only use supported drives with servers, the manufacturer has made sure this process actually works).

The consumer trend seems to be clear (2, Insightful)

Nemilar (173603) | about 4 years ago | (#32820828)

I think the consumer trend is pretty clear with respect to SSDs (enterprise-level I think is still uncertain). Consumers like the speed and the battery savings (laptops being incredibly popular now) that SSDs provide, but of course there is no way you are going to get the sheer quantity of storage space that you can get with hard disks.

Consequently, a lot of companies are marketing "home storage servers." I've seen Lenovo, Acer, Asus, etc... all come out with small 4 or 5 bay boxes, usually running Windows Home Server, all aimed at the mid-range consumer market. It makes complete sense to put the platters in a box, where you can keep network-accessible massive storage, and to put the fast, low-power SSD into your client machine.

The problem arises when you need to access what's on that home NAS while you're out on the road. While I think many people have the upload bandwidth for streaming music, I don't think that exists for video (at least, not in the United States, or at least not where I live). So sites like hulu, etc.. will remain popular in that regard for the time being.

Re:The consumer trend seems to be clear (1)

NNKK (218503) | about 4 years ago | (#32820952)

How is enterprise-level "uncertain"? The performance characteristics of SSDs almost _dictate_ their adoption. A single $250-500 SSD can easily substitute for an array of 15KRPM disks in many applications.

Value of the switch (5, Interesting)

Improv (2467) | about 4 years ago | (#32820830)

About 5 months ago I bought a $700 250G SSD for my laptop and ditched the spinning disk. The system is overall faster, and for someone who's used HDs since the 286 days and floppies before then, the performance is oddly different (almost always better). The big bonus though is that my laptop takes about 10 seconds to boot (once past the BIOS) while it used to take about a minute. This has changed the way I use my computer, and is enough to justify the swap. I do have a few other systems I occasionally use, and apart from the OLPC XO-1 (which has its own performance characteristics that are different again from anything else I've seen), it's now kind of irritating to use spinning disks and feel those delays again. As the costs go down, I imagine anyone who's tasted SSDs will spread the technology very broadly among their friends.

Re:Value of the switch (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | about 4 years ago | (#32821106)

I did something similar a few months back. My desktop has an Intel 80gb SSD and my laptop has the 40gb model. Spinning disks now just make me crazy. The lag, noise, poor performance, etc are just unacceptable. Once you gone SSD its tough to go back. The machine feels like an appliance and its incredible how the bottleneck in typical usage isn't RAM or CPU anymore, its the drive.

Previous to these Intels I tried to save money with the OCZ 60gb model, but it died after a couple of months. Thankfully, it was only 'mostly dead.' I could still manage to read from it and grab whatever files I needed. It just couldn't write past a certain point. No need to freeze it, pray to cthulhu, and hit it with a hammer, like you would a mechanical drive.

The 80gb cost me a little over $200 and the 40 cost me $120. I have a separate 500gb for media and such attached to my desktop. I can't remember the last time I did a single upgrade that made so much of a difference.

Re:Value of the switch (1)

MikeURL (890801) | about 4 years ago | (#32821564)

I got the Intel X25V when it got down to about $120. I didn't think I'd be able to install much but it turns out that 40 gigabytes can go a long way. After installing Win7, updates, Excel/Word, photoshop, Firefox/Chrome, Utorrent, Security Essentials, Spybot/Malwarebytes, Blackberry Desktop and some other stuff and I still have 21 gig free. Granted I won't be moving my entire movie and music archive to this drive but that is OK (it is already mirrored on 4 HDDs).

The speed increase wasn't quite as dramatic as I hoped. Programs load faster for sure, particularly photoshop, but they don't pop up immediately the way I hoped they would with a SSD. It does put out a little bit less heat and losing the vibration is pretty awesome. For a value buyer the price is still too high for what you get. I think at $2 per gig it will break the dam open.

Re:Value of the switch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32821884)

The speed increase wasn't quite as dramatic as I hoped. Programs load faster for sure, particularly photoshop, but they don't pop up immediately the way I hoped they would with a SSD.

Is the drive still the bottleneck for loading applications?

Just got my first SSD, and I'll never turn back (1)

StormyWeather (543593) | about 4 years ago | (#32820860)

I dropped my latitude d620 on the concrete floor my desk sits on, and it crashed the hard drive instantly. For the replacement drive I let a friend convince me to shell out for the SSD. It's amazing. I no longer have to worry about bad sectors, my battery lasts longer, the machine is cooler, it's quieter, and the OS loads in like 5 seconds to usable state with virus scanner etc.

I have a couple slow terabyte hard drives in my old system I use for a media system/home file server, but for systems I actually use for work or play I'll never have any non solid state drive as a primary drive again.

Re:Just got my first SSD, and I'll never turn back (5, Funny)

dangitman (862676) | about 4 years ago | (#32821056)

I dropped my latitude d620 on the concrete floor my desk sits on, and it crashed the hard drive instantly. For the replacement drive I let a friend convince me to shell out for the SSD. It's amazing. I no longer have to worry about bad sectors, my battery lasts longer, the machine is cooler, it's quieter, and the OS loads in like 5 seconds to usable state with virus scanner etc.

Have you tried dropping your SSD-equipped laptop onto a concrete floor for a comparison test?

Re:Just got my first SSD, and I'll never turn back (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32821526)

Don't drop your latitude d620 on the concrete floor that way.

Wrong Metric? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32820876)

I read a lot about SSDs before buying one, and one thing I don't see stressed very often when it comes to analyzing the 'Value' of an SSD is how the life of a computer can be prolonged by adding one.

I have a three-year-old T61 Thinkpad. I would typically replace a machine like this in another year or two. However, when I added an SSD (Intel's X25-V, for about $100) to my machine, the performance boost is so great that I believe I've further extended the life of this laptop by at least another year or two.

When viewed in this light, upgrading to an SSD becomes a no-brainer for a wide variety of use cases. The lowered TCO is THAT significant.

Re:Wrong Metric? (1)

Barny (103770) | about 4 years ago | (#32820978)

Not to mention its completely dependant on the person using the machine. My HP Tablet PC could have an SSD in it sure, and I am sure windows seven would be much snappier on that, but when I install steam and load the cut-down list of games that will run on the thing, I reach about 400G used, at which point a new SSD of that size would be worth nearly 50% more than what I paid for the thing in the first place, so a 7200rpm 500G drive was put in as the "next best".

Similarly putting a SSD in my main PC would be nice, but it sits at 1.1TB used (thats mainly programs and a little fraps video) so an SSD for that, again, would likely be almost as expensive as the rest of the system.

Re:Wrong Metric? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 4 years ago | (#32821648)

You seem to think that computers can only have 1 drive in them.

Re:Wrong Metric? (1)

Barny (103770) | about 4 years ago | (#32821724)

In a 12" laptop/tablet, yes, yes I do.

As for my desktop PC, I like to keep things simple, a single storage medium means less work when configuring backups (or rebuilding from backups) and makes the thing lighter to boot (don't go to many lan parties any more, maybe 1-2 a year, but its enough to want a light machine). I have done the whole "multi drive raid/complex mounted file-system" and frankly, its more trouble than its worth (I have used both on-board and card based "fake raid" as well as some good Areca and Adaptec cards, with IOP, and all of them just complicate any small matter with storage out of all proportion).

I have worked with some hybrid HDD/SSD setups, where some folders in C: were based off the SSD and some off the HDD, and again, lots of over-complication, and it turns out that most of the apps I wanted on the SSD were in fact the ones too large to fit on it (any and all my games).

Re:Wrong Metric? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 4 years ago | (#32821804)

So something you failed to mention is the real reason you dont want an SSD for your desktop... and its not even a good reason... weight? of an SSD? really? That mouse is heavier.

Prices on the article are bunk (4, Insightful)

StormyWeather (543593) | about 4 years ago | (#32820954)

If your really a budget consumer, and are using the hard drive to get crap done then at the cheapest rate a laptop replacement SSD from newegg is going to cost you like 80 dollars more for a 64 gb SSD than a 500gb hard drive. If your time is worth 50 bucks an hour on the market, and your boot time is reduced by 2.5 minutes your ROI is at break even in around 3 work weeks according to my head math.

Don't chase dimes with dollars.

Re:Prices on the article are bunk (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32821046)

OTOH if your boot only takes 30 seconds to begin with then the SSD is unlikely to reduce that by more than 10 seconds and ROI is over two years away.

Re:Prices on the article are bunk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32821218)

Nice cynicism, but have you used one of these laptops with SSD? First of all in your little roi equation, you forgot the awesome factor, which multiplies everything by 11.
These babies are fast, not just to boot up, but to watch videos, read websites, tweeting, update friends on facebook "posting from teh laptop with SSD wheeeeee !"

Re:Prices on the article are bunk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32821576)

If your time is worth 50 bucks an hour on the market, and your boot time is reduced by 2.5 minutes your ROI is at break even in around 3 work weeks according to my head math.

3 minutes sounds long for boot time. I've never had the need to time it, but around a minute would seem more typical to me.

That estimate also assumes you have nothing else to do but sit and wait for the computer to boot. Typically I start my computer booting, then take off my coat, put my bag away, put my lunch in the fridge, etc. The computer is ready before I am, so the benefit of a faster boot is non-existent.

Re:Prices on the article are bunk (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 4 years ago | (#32821886)

3 minutes sounds long for boot time. I've never had the need to time it, but around a minute would seem more typical to me.

Three minutes to a usable desktop where you can actually do stuff seems about right for the average prebuilt Windows system that's loaded with manufacturer's crapware. Sure, Windows may boot to the login screen in under a minute, but who gives a crap about that when it chugs for two minutes after logging in before it starts responding to anything you want to do?

I have a single-core Atom with a hard drive that boots to a usable Linux desktop in under 45 seconds, and a dual-core Atom with an SSD that boots to xbmc on Linux in about 25 seconds. So if you use a decent operating system I'm not convinced that there's really enough benefit when you consider the high cost of the SSD.

It's been obvious to me for a while... (1)

rthille (8526) | about 4 years ago | (#32820982)

It's been obvious to me for a while that drive manufacturers are missing the boat with adding a flash backup area the size of their RAM cache and some caps to give it the ability to save the RAM to flash. This would allow you to return the 'written' status to the OS much faster, _and_ be safe in the event of a power failure.

For more points, add more flash and smarts and use the flash as a cache for 'hot' portions of the drive.

Makes some older laptops better than new (5, Informative)

BagOBones (574735) | about 4 years ago | (#32821100)

We have started to deploy more multimedia intense apps and found most of our 3+ year old laptops where dogs at running them..

We then did some side by side benchmarks between an old laptop with the HD replaced with an SSD vs a new laptop with a new normal HD. Guess what? In MOST tests the old laptop performed BETTER than the new one, despite the new laptop having a faster CPU and main board...

Guess what, although they cost WAY more than a new normal HD per GB, they are WAY cheaper than a new laptop!

Re:Makes some older laptops better than new (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 4 years ago | (#32821538)

I put a 160 GB Other World Computing SSD in a 2008 MacBook (the slow white one). Totally changed the thing's outlook on life. For routine tasks, it became almost as fast as a MacBook Pro and the battery lasts perhaps 15% longer. It sings and chortles all day long. The little thing got so uppity that I had to put a similar drive in the MBP to keep it from getting jealous. Now they're both screaming around making the Mac Pro look a little long in the tooth. I'm waiting on the 500 GB drive to show up to and then I will be purely SSD for boot drives.

OS X really, really likes SSDs. I don't know whether performance will tank at some later date because Snow Leopard doesn't support TRIM and Apple is being it's usual paranoid closed self about plans for SSD support, but for now I'm lovin it.

I'm scared... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32821144)

Cost is not much of a worry for me. Reliability and random write performance is all I care about. It is my understanding oxide munching flash memory has improved somewhat but is still a problem. Intel is touting a 228 YEAR MTBF for some of their SSD products. Such claims seem to me to be rediculous and unrealistic.

Paradoxically ssd disks can take more energy than spinning platters when activly moving bytes based on process technology and how well the a/d's are designed. Obviously idle power consumption on SSD side is a huge plus.

I'm going to wait a few years for the technology to mature a bit more before jumping on the SSD bandwagon. Really hoping to eventually see a technology thats not flash based with more DRAM like characteristics take over for persistant storage.

I was about to ask about heat/battery life... (1)

Qubit (100461) | about 4 years ago | (#32821180)

...but I think I've heard enough from the existing comments.

I'm currently working on my Dell m1530, and it feels about as hot as the pan I use to fry eggs. It also doesn't have the best battery life, especially if I'm trying to watch movies or catch up on work while traveling. It sounds like switching to an SSD will help on both of those fronts.

I just hope that the price of SSDs drops by the time I'm in the market for one. I'm not entirely sure I'd like to drop $400 or $600 in addition to the $1000 for my next laptop...

Seagate Momentus XT (2, Interesting)

markierung (1519449) | about 4 years ago | (#32821376)

I dropped a Seagate Momentus XT 500 GB in my Macbook Pro for $130 the other day. It has a 4 GB SSD-like swap-space on it and it's totally boss. You don't get the performance of an SSD, but you do get better than average performance for not much more. http://www.anandtech.com/show/3734/seagates-momentus-xt-review-finally-a-good-hybrid-hdd [anandtech.com]

Re:Seagate Momentus XT (1)

multiplexo (27356) | about 4 years ago | (#32822004)

I've got a new MacBook Pro (Core I-5) on order and I ordered one of the Momentus drives for it. I'll be interested in seeing where the hybrid drives go. I want speed, but I also like hauling around a bunch of stuff with me, like three or four virtual machines, some movies, music, etc.

Speed, Safety, Heat (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 4 years ago | (#32821536)

The minute I found that 100% CPU load with long operations didn't generate heat along with crunching speeds that were doubled from my prior hard drive, it convinced me that I had just become far more productive for my 3D work. It didn't take me long to understand that more speed made me a lot more productive. It was so good, I put 2 SSDs in my i7 Mac Book Pro using MCE's Optibay so I could get the 2nd SSD in the CD/DVD bay (which I never use on the road).

silence is golden (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32821610)

i dont know about you guys but i dont like the sounds that HDDs make. newer HDDs are much quieter but still audible, so i got a sweet SSD. now my PC runs nicely without moving parts with exception to my media storage HDD drive that spins up when i need it and DVDRW drive when it has media. yep, no fans or water cooling on anything, just silence.

i love my SSD.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>