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Solid State Drives Break the 50 Cents Per GiB Barrier, OCZ ARC 100 Launched

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 months ago | from the ssds-for-everyone dept.

Data Storage 183

MojoKid (1002251) writes Though solid state drives have a long way to go before they break price parity with hard drives (and may never make it, at least with the current technology), the gap continues to close. More recently, SSD manufacturers have been approaching 50 cents per GiB of storage. OCZ Storage Solutions, with the help of their parent company Toshiba's 19nm MLC NAND, just launched their ARC 100 family of drives that are priced at exactly .5 per GiB at launch and it's possible street prices will drift lower down the road. The ARC 100 features the very same OCZ Barefoot 3 M10 controller as the higher-end OCZ Vertex 460, but these new drives feature more affordable Toshiba A19nm (Advanced 19 nanometer) NAND flash memory. The ARC 100 also ships without any sort of accessory bundle, to keep costs down. Performance-wise, OCZ's new ARC 100 240GB solid state drive didn't lead the pack in any particular category, but the drive did offer consistently competitive performance throughout testing. Large sequential transfers, small file transfers at high queue depths, and low access times were the ARC 100's strong suits, as well as its low cost. These new drives are rated at 20GB/day write endurance and carry a 3-year warranty.

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Not a barrier (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47662975)

An arbitrary number is not a "barrier". A barrier is what your father should have worn.

Re:Not a barrier (2, Insightful)

ClintJCL (264898) | about 2 months ago | (#47663009)

It's a mental barrier. People have price points, and they are often round numbers like $1/M, $1/G (depending on when you grew up), etc.

Re:Not a barrier (-1)

Karganeth (1017580) | about 2 months ago | (#47663013)

No, that's not how reality works. Sorry.

Re:Not a barrier (2)

bondsbw (888959) | about 2 months ago | (#47663043)

Whose reality? This is reality for many people.

Besides, if you take the "per GiB" out and just talk about a 500 GiB drive for $250, that is exactly how it works.

It's called money. Learn it.

Re:Not a barrier (4, Interesting)

plopez (54068) | about 2 months ago | (#47663199)

That depends. If you have to cram a long term storage device into a small package then SSDs may win that battle regardless of the price difference. If you need virtualy 'instant on' storage or quick booting capabilities then SSDs win. If you need a very light weight solution the SSDs win. Price is but one factor.

Re:Not a barrier (1)

WuphonsReach (684551) | about 2 months ago | (#47664015)

If you have to cram a long term storage device into a small package then SSDs may win that battle

Depends on how you define "long term". A powered off SSD only retains data for as little as 6 months up to a few years (and as cell sizes get smaller, that will get worse).

Traditional magnetic media is still going to be better for 5-15 year lifespans on a shelf.

Re:Not a barrier (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 months ago | (#47663887)

What for? That junk is worth less and less every day.

Re:Not a barrier (-1, Troll)

ClintJCL (264898) | about 2 months ago | (#47663075)

Except it is, and you don't dictate how reality works. All I have to do is have made a purchasing decision by that criteria at any point in my own life (which you can't disprove) in order to have a counter example that disproves your idiotic statement.

Re:Not a barrier (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47663147)

"which you can't disprove"

That's not how rational arguments work.

Re:Not a barrier (1)

Jason Goatcher (3498937) | about 2 months ago | (#47664111)

Symbolic barriers are just as real as physical barriers.

Not to be offensive, but do you have autism or OCD? Because this conversation has a rather pedantic topic.

Re: Not a barrier (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47664385)

OCD isn't really relevant here. OCPD, maybe.

Re:Not a barrier (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47663377)

All I have to do is have made a purchasing decision by that criteria at any point in my own life (which you can't disprove) in order to have a counter example

But you won't. People can't disprove it, but nevertheless you probably didn't ever do that. That's the trick: how do you persuade someone to be the one who steps forth and proclaims to the world, "I'm an idiot!" just to prove your point?

If you look at how real people really behave, they look at total prices that have sufficient capacity to fit their needs. And almost nobody's needs are ever a convenient round number, though sometimes (though even this is somewhat rare) their pre-tax pre-shipping cost constraints are nice round numbers. So you rarely find someone who says "I would pay $115 (but not $116) after shipping for a 500GB (but not 500 GiB) SSD." Nobody wants to say that just to prove a point, since it comes with the cost as being outed as a fuckwit. No one wants to be outed like that. It's not that they mind being fuckwits or even some people knowing how dumb they are, but they don't like having such a clear explicit indicator. That is reality.

And the thing is, if you only rarely run into people who share arbitrary points like that, they aren't a "barrier." Sure, everyone has their own point, so there are millions of them, but it's not like there are really millions of "barriers. A lot of people have to have a point in common, for it to be a big deal. The SSD market doesn't have that, unless maybe, we talk about the point where it costs the same as disks. That will be a big important barrier.

Re:Not a barrier (1)

Jason Goatcher (3498937) | about 2 months ago | (#47664137)

What if we call it a barrier beyond which people read the story and say to themselves,"That's so frickin cool?"

Re:Not a barrier (1)

njnnja (2833511) | about 2 months ago | (#47664435)

So you rarely find someone who says "I would pay $115 (but not $116) after shipping for a 500GB (but not 500 GiB) SSD."

Although the particular person at $115 is pretty rare, they are very important, since they are the marginal buyer [wikipedia.org] at $115. The "rare" marginal buyer at 115, and the "rare" buyer at 116, and at 117, and at 118, etc.create the demand curve.

But there are likely to be discontinuities in the curve, especially at round numbers, so the number of marginal buyers of a 500gb drive from $250 down to $249 is probably a decent sized chunk, whereas the number of buyers from say $257 to $256 is probably not so significant.

Re:Not a barrier (4, Insightful)

harrkev (623093) | about 2 months ago | (#47663249)

Hmmm.. I remember the Atari 1020ST was sold as the first computer ever to be under $1 per Kilobyte. It is true that $0.50 / gigabyte is nothing magical from a tech standpoint, but this is not about tech, it is about psychology. Human beings are not entirely logical, and emotions play a large part in decisions.

Re:Not a barrier (1)

pla (258480) | about 2 months ago | (#47663763)

No, that's not how reality works. Sorry.

Perhaps you could explain that to the stock market(s)?

Look at the price of Apple for the year - Notice that sudden drastic jump in late April? They did a 7-to-1 stock split, which has no effect whatsoever on the underlying value of the asset. And yet, people rushed to get in on "cheaper" Apple stock, driving the per-share price up by 12% in three days.

Whether it makes sense or not, in any activity dependent on human behavior, you need to factor in how humans respond to stupid things like big round numbers (DJIA at 17000), to fake "discounts" (like Apple stock at $75), even to days of the week (look at volume for Fridays vs any other day).

Re:Not a barrier (1)

jon3k (691256) | about 2 months ago | (#47664359)

Yes it does.

Re:Not a barrier (1)

master_kaos (1027308) | about 2 months ago | (#47664427)

Actually it is, and for exactly this. I made a decision that I wasn't going to buy an SSD until I could get a good one that was > 200GB at $0.5/gig just like this example. This was the price I was comfortable paying. I ended up getting a Samsung 840 EVO 250GB for exactly $125 (canadian) at staples.

Cheaper drives (5, Informative)

Vigile (99919) | about 2 months ago | (#47662977)

Good drive, for sure, but keep in mind that the Crucial MX100 broke that barrier at its launch in June (and at $0.44/GB).

http://www.pcper.com/reviews/S... [pcper.com]

Re:Cheaper drives (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 months ago | (#47663035)

What barrier is this? Is there some reason why getting below $0.50/GB is difficult, or is it merely the result of gradually falling prices?

Re:Cheaper drives (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47663077)

It's a mental barrier. It's where I decided to buy one. Psychology is real. If it weren't, gas prices wouldn't be to the tenth of a cent in the US.

Re:Cheaper drives (4, Insightful)

Vigile (99919) | about 2 months ago | (#47663157)

No, no particular technical difficulty, just another step in gradually falling prices. We have seen drives hit $0.39/GB as well with standard Amazon.com pricing. The Crucial M550 (a bit faster) is at $407 for 1TB model today, for example: http://amzn.to/1kBpIs1 [amzn.to]

Re:Cheaper drives (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about 2 months ago | (#47663163)

It's falling prices, but it's a measure of how fast they're falling. Not too long ago, $1/GB was the "barrier" everyone wanted to cross. Before that it was probably $5/GB or something. Next we'll be looking to break $0.25/GB, then probably price parity with hard drives.

It's like the 1GHz barrier on CPUs, back in the day. It wasn't so much a barrier as it was a milestone, a mark of how far we've progressed.

Re:Cheaper drives (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 2 months ago | (#47663423)

It's falling prices, but it's a measure of how fast they're falling. Not too long ago, $1/GB was the "barrier" everyone wanted to cross. Before that it was probably $5/GB or something. Next we'll be looking to break $0.25/GB, then probably price parity with hard drives.

Price parity with hard drives is hard, because SSDs only really get cheaper according to Moore's law (because each transistor is the storage element - the more of them you can stuff on a die, the more storage). But hard drive capacity and cost don't have to follow Moore's law.

I mean, 4TB drives are only around $200 or so these days. And that gets you a 500GB SSD.

The growth in hard drive capacity will have to significantly slow for an extended period of time (or halt) before SSDs can really catch up.

Re:Cheaper drives (2)

qval (844544) | about 2 months ago | (#47664249)

yes, but in smaller capacities, they will probably catch up before the end of the decade. At 320GB or so, a 250 GB SSD that costs $30 or $50 more will be a no brainer. I'm looking forward to the days when the cheapest laptops all come with SSDs because it's cheaper. It's kind of happening already with the 16 GB chromebooks, but a few more steps of moore's law will put that into very competitive capacities.

Re:Cheaper drives (2)

mlts (1038732) | about 2 months ago | (#47664259)

There is a "good enough" point. What SSDs bring to the table is the fact that any number of processes can access the drive at virtually the same time without queuing up for the drive head to get in line with the data wanted, or hopefully find the data in the cache.

What I see that may become more common are drive units that have 256 gigs or so of SSD space and several terabytes of HDD, presenting themselves to the OS as two separate volumes. This allows the OS and core applications to boot and quickly while still having a lot of space for documents and other files, perhaps even backups. So far, I've seen one drive do this, and I wouldn't be surprised to see other models follow.

It's a mental barrier (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 2 months ago | (#47663185)

The result is just one of gradually falling prices, but it is one where it is cheap enough to interest more people. At that price the drives are now "cheap enough" for them.

Re:It's a mental barrier (1)

WuphonsReach (684551) | about 2 months ago | (#47664129)

Exactly. The magic price point for business use was when $150 would buy you a big enough drive to meet the needs of 90% of your office workers. The cost is small enough that it's worth spending the extra amount of money in order to get a machine that performs much better then a traditional drive. It means less twiddling of thumbs of your employees while they wait on a slow hard drive. (More common then a lot of people think, they've just grown used to the slowness.)

Personally, I think that happened at the $1.20/GB mark. It made 80-120GB SSD drives cheap enough for office machines that you'd recoup the savings in a year or two. Either through improved productivity, or not having to replace the machine for another 2-3 years.

As the price gets lower and lower, unless you need >500GB of raw storage, it makes more and more sense to just go SSD instead of traditional. And maybe by next year, that break point will be 1TB, then 2TB.

Re:Cheaper drives (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 2 months ago | (#47663333)

What barrier is this? Is there some reason why getting below $0.50/GB is difficult, or is it merely the result of gradually falling prices?

How can people be so worked up about this "barrier" thing? It was obviously chosen as an interesting goal as it is exactly half a dollar per gigabyte. That's all there is to it.

Re:Cheaper drives (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 2 months ago | (#47663815)

Well, what is the next 'barrier' then? I vote for $0.40/GB. Then we can have another /. submission.

Re:Cheaper drives (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 months ago | (#47664237)

Well there will be a point where SSD are cheap enough for people to decide to pay a little extra to get them.

As magnetic drives get cheaper per storage, they are sold at around the same price but with more storage. It isn't uncommon for someone to get a PC built with a few Terabytes of data in a magnetic drive. Or for the same price you can get a SSD rated in hundreds of Gigabytes.

At a particular point the faster SSD drives with be affordable enough to offer the space that they need at a cost they want to spend.

Re:Cheaper drives (1)

jon3k (691256) | about 2 months ago | (#47664367)

It's just more of a milestone.

Re:Cheaper drives (5, Funny)

schlachter (862210) | about 2 months ago | (#47663083)

Maybe Apple will soon be breaking the $2.00/GB barrier.

Re:Cheaper drives (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47663433)

SSDs in Apple devices aren't at 2 dollars a gig. Nice FUD tho...

Re:Cheaper drives (5, Insightful)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 2 months ago | (#47663601)

I love my Apple products, but let's be honest: their storage prices are outrageous. If we calculate the value they place on each GB based on the difference in prices between models that have different amounts of storage but are otherwise identical, the lowest they ever go with SSDs is $1.56/GB (which we see in their laptops and high-end iPads). For lower-end or mid-range iOS devices, the prices are as high as $6.25/GB (for the $100 16GB->32GB step up) or $3.13/GB (for the 32GB->64GB step up that costs $100).

So, suggesting they are $2/GB seems fair to me, even if it doesn't universally apply across all of their products.

Re:Cheaper drives (1)

nuonguy (264254) | about 2 months ago | (#47664351)

Doesn't Apple say they use 'enterprise grade' drives? Those aren't the same drives you buy from the shelf at Fry's or the daily sale at Newegg.

I don't know if it's true or if that would justify the high prices if true. For that matter, I don't even know what would practically makes an 'enterprise grade' drive. High MTBF? Longer Warranty?

Re:Cheaper drives (2)

geekmux (1040042) | about 2 months ago | (#47663997)

SSDs in Apple devices aren't at 2 dollars a gig. Nice FUD tho...

There is no Fear or Uncertainty when you walk into an Apple store. You are paying a premium for that hardware.

And there is no Doubt as to what price you'll pay at Apple or any other store selling Apple products. You'll pay THE price.

Let's just drop the FUD now.

Re:Cheaper drives (3, Insightful)

cdrudge (68377) | about 2 months ago | (#47664263)

$2.02/GB flash drive [apple.com]

Boom! Proved you wrong. ;)

Re:Cheaper drives (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47663947)

Apple has the highest margins of any PC Maker. They make a lot of that on storage options. It's their business model. If you don't like it, don't buy apple. I don't!

Apple's vertical integration and complete control of their design and supply chain also makes them the most profitable PC maker. Their margins are orders of magnitude better than everyone else's and they make the other manufactures green with envy. (Nobody else can do what Apple does, though, because you can't make premium devices by slapping your label on shit made by one of a handfuls of Chinese OEMs. An aluminum shell and fancy label does not a macbook pro make)

Apple also packages in fairly high end SSDs. You can get similar devices (with a similar price) form makers like Samsung and Intel, and they aren't the budget low cost-per-gig devices like you see here. Higher quality flash, better quality control overall, etc.

Re:Cheaper drives (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 months ago | (#47663179)

I'm definitely in favor of more solidly adequate drives at attractive prices; but a quick look through newegg (without any effort at comparison shopping or grubbing for special offers) shows a fair selection at and under the $0.5/GB mark. The MX100 has a particularly good reputation for that price; but prices in that range haven't been a 'barrier' for some time.

Re:Cheaper drives (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 2 months ago | (#47663495)

Yeah, I was reading this and thinking to myself, "haven't they been under $0.50/GB for awhile now?" Just yesterday I was speccing out parts for a new PC, and the prices for SSDs went as low as $0.35/GB [pcpartpicker.com] . They're still roughly an order of magnitude more expensive per GB than HDDs [pcpartpicker.com] , but they're starting to get cheap enough that the difference is mattering less and less.

Re: Cheaper drives (1)

Radish03 (248960) | about 2 months ago | (#47663603)

I know the Samsung 840 1TB drive has been available for $500 or less for most of the year. I've had one since February. "Prices stay relatively constant for 6 months but LOOK new shiny!" is just less discussion worthy.

Re:Cheaper drives (1)

otis wildflower (4889) | about 2 months ago | (#47663605)

Samsung's 840 EVO 500GB dipped below $0.5/GB unformatted on Newegg a couple weeks ago, with coupon.. IIRC the Crucial M550 512GB at newegg is below $0.5/GB without coupon..

Re:Cheaper drives (3, Interesting)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 2 months ago | (#47663673)

Yup, I bought a 512GB Crucial MX100 for less than $250. It gives 90%+ the performance of Intel models I've used at 50% of the price, without using any nasty trickery like compression.

Re:Cheaper drives (1)

drachenfyre (550754) | about 2 months ago | (#47664035)

The crucial MX100 will also run circles around this drive, and was reviewed here on Slashdot, including its pricepoint. How did this even make it through the submission queue.

Re:Cheaper drives (1)

WhoBeDaPlaya (984958) | about 2 months ago | (#47664075)

Crucial was late to the party. PNY already broke the $0.50/GB barrier using Silicon Motion's controller in their Optima line. Hell, even Samsung came close. I bought my 500GB 840 for $260 years ago.

As do you (4, Funny)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 months ago | (#47663011)

> 50 cents per GiB

I prefer to think of it as 0.0007 cents per body part closeup.

0.50$ per Gb was already broken (1)

Eloking (877834) | about 2 months ago | (#47663023)

I've saw 1TB SSD under 500 bucks on amazon for a long time. Maybe "Solid State Drives Break the 50 Cents Per GiB Barrier for average user" would be a better title.

Re:0.50$ per Gb was already broken (2)

WuphonsReach (684551) | about 2 months ago | (#47664217)

Enterprise quality SSDs are still $1.00 to $2.50 per GB.

The Intel DC S3500 is only about $1/GB for a 600GB version. Which is not bad for a drive suitable for use in a server. The S3700 series is closer to $2/GB.

(Both of those drive series have the capacitor inside to enable the SSD to shutdown cleanly in cases where the drive loses power.)

Performance (4, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 2 months ago | (#47663045)

If SSD's had come first we'd be talking about how HDD's finally broke the 3ms latency barrier or the or the 1 Gb/s barrier. SSDs' aren't about capacity, that's just not what they're for. While it's certainly nice that you can have a usable amount of space for a decent price, 120GB is enough SSD space to see 95% of the benefits for 60% of users. If laptop manufacturers would make 2 bay laptops standard that 60% would jump to 95%.

Re:Performance (3, Insightful)

harrkev (623093) | about 2 months ago | (#47663135)

Bingo. Laptop users. Laptops are on the way up, desktops are dying. And since the higher-end laptops (ultrabooks) are even ditching optical drives to save size and weight, what do you think are the odds that they will make space for a 2nd drive. In fact, I would not be surprised of the 2.5" drive bays went away entirely in the next three years, to be replaced by slots (probably PCIe or something similar). Unless you are going for a larger device -- gaming or workstation laptop, you are not going to have the luxury of two drive bays.

Re:Performance (3)

plopez (54068) | about 2 months ago | (#47663221)

Laptops, hand held devised, tablets, space exploration verticals, drones, and remote sensing equipment are probably only a few examples.

Re:Performance (2)

timeOday (582209) | about 2 months ago | (#47663297)

No desktop should be HDD-only. The are too slow. Conventional wisdom used to be that maxxing out RAM was the first thing to do, but after even 8GB (which isn't all that much in a desktop any more) I would get an SSD for it before anything else.

Re:Performance (1)

thejynxed (831517) | about 2 months ago | (#47663931)

I differ, in that I would make sure it had a top-rated and reliable power supply (Corsair or Seasonic) and a powerful GPU (currently the best price to power ratios are the 750 GTX Ti and the R9 270 series from everything I've been reading) before it had an SSD any day of the week.

Why? I've had SSDs bite the dust more than once, very early into their supposed life cycles at rates that should be an absolute embarrassment to the engineering teams at the manufacturers in question.

Re:Performance (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 2 months ago | (#47664475)

I think SSDs are not unlike power supplies in that some poor quality options are available so you can't just shop price. So far I've stuck with Intel and Samsung SSDs, passing up cheaper options, with good results. As the technology matures I suppose that budget brands will become a safer bet. But getting back to this article, I would not be first in line to buy a new model OCZ.

Re:Performance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47664411)

What tasks are you performing that your performance bottleneck is more often disk I/O than lack of memory?

Re:Performance (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47663465)

desktops are dying

LOL. People have been saying that for over a decade and it ain't happening. It seems like the myth lives on by being rekindled in new generations of geeks who weren't around to see the prognosticating last go 'round.

Re:Performance (1)

gaiageek (1070870) | about 2 months ago | (#47664227)

desktops are dying

LOL. People have been saying that for over a decade and it ain't happening. It seems like the myth lives on by being rekindled in new generations of geeks who weren't around to see the prognosticating last go 'round.

I agree that they're not dying as in becoming obsolete, but they're certainly dying in terms of consumer demand. I'd guess that 90-95% of my friends don't own and desktop and will never buy one again.

Add to that the fact that many companies automatically retire systems after 3 years (warranty expired) resulting in lots of incredibly capable enterprise-class desktops available for under $200 through Craigslist. Really, unless you're a gamer, there's little reason to buy a brand new desktop as a consumer.

Re:Performance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47663515)

With SSDs morphing into M.2 cards the size of a RAM stick, we will indeed see an increasing number of laptops with two "drive bays", one for a 2.5" SATA drive and one for an M.2 module.

Re:Performance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47664061)

You are a decade late. Now it's laptops which are dying against tablets. Desktops don't anymore have the mass-market that could die much further.

Re:Performance (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 months ago | (#47664189)

Many "ultrabook" class laptops moved to mini PCIe SSDs a few years ago. My NEC LaVie X has a socketed 250GB Toshiba drive that I am considering upgrading for one that supports Opal V2. I can the move it to my server machine.

Re:Performance (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 2 months ago | (#47663173)

I would not want to replace the SSD in my Mac Book Air with a HD ... and I doubt there is any that fits.
For you it might be only speed (sad ;) ) for me it is how long the machine is running ... 14h with my way of using it is quite superb.

Re:Performance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47663513)

I'd say 250GB, not 120GB. I've used both, and I find 250 is enough to not worry about running out of space (while using a HDD for media storage), while a 120 GB always left me with less than 10GB to play with.

Yay! I can lose my data cheaply now! (5, Insightful)

omems (1869410) | about 2 months ago | (#47663067)

After my only two Vertex drives spontaneously died when the power was cut, I'll never own another OCZ product. This turned out to be a common problem with the first gen Vertex, and I will not forgive their engineers. Thankfully my backups worked. +1 for Acronis.

Re:Yay! I can lose my data cheaply now! (4, Insightful)

Admiral_Grinder (830562) | about 2 months ago | (#47663307)

I hear your song, but I heard it before by the HDD cover band before the SSD members were even born. All hardware is prone to not coming back up after the power was cut (or turned off in the case of a laptop I have), SSD is not special in this. It appears you have heard it, but if not, tune in to the greatest hits channel and you will hear the number 1 song for the past 30 years: "Always have working up to date backups". I'm glad your backups work.

Re:Yay! I can lose my data cheaply now! (4, Insightful)

thsths (31372) | about 2 months ago | (#47663529)

>All hardware is prone to not coming back up after the power was cut (or turned off in the case of a laptop I have), SSD is not special in this.

But OCZ SSDs were. The failure of OCZ drives doubled the industry average failure rate, that is how bad they were. Returns were in the double digit percents.

And still I hear your statement that this could happen to any company. Which is true. But OCZ ignored the problem and pretended it did not exist, instead of showing a bit of generosity towards the (rightly) disappointed customers. This I will not forget, and like me many others.

Re:Yay! I can lose my data cheaply now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47663725)

That may be so, but OCZ's drives were notorious for their unreliability. I was already aware of major problems with various OCZ models (and wouldn't have touched them with a bargepole) when my boss bought in a bunch of OCZ drives- for retail resale- that were *way* cheaper than the equivalent capacity models from other manufacturers (dubiously inexpensive even accounting for the fact that OCZ were already some of the cheapest around).

I looked into it, and sure enough there were apparently problems with that model. It was no big surprise when around half the drives were returned as faulty over the next couple of months.

OCZ knowingly and deliberately cut corners to offer "high" performance at such a low price. For example, as "MiamiCanes" explained [slashdot.org] :-

A lot of OCZ's problems were self-inflicted, with Sandforce's active complicity. [Sandforce designed the controllers OCZ- amongst others- used.]

For example, Sandforce's engineers came up with an ugly, performance-killing hack that allowed the drive to avoid corruption if it were powered-down mid-write so they could officially claim that the ultracapacitor was "optional" in "cost-sensitive applications". OCZ built drives without the ultracap, then had Sandforce furnish them with firmware that DISABLED THAT SAFETY MEASURE to avoid killing their drives' write performance in benchmarks.

It's worth remembering- of course- that the OCZ referred to above is the original company that went bankrupt and whose assets were bought by Toshiba to form the "new" OCZ referred to in the story. How much of the "taint" of OCZ's original reputations remains- or should remain- is open to discussion.

Re:Yay! I can lose my data cheaply now! (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 2 months ago | (#47664223)

For what obscure reason should an SSD not come back after a power cut? Care to explain?
Filesystem error, because a directory was not written, ok, but a haedware failure, I would say: no way! (And same for a HD, why should there be a hardware problem on next boot after a power loss?)

Re:Yay! I can lose my data cheaply now! (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 2 months ago | (#47663387)

After the Toshiba acquisition, the designs and quality assurance procedures for OCZ drives have most likely been completely revamped.

Re:Yay! I can lose my data cheaply now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47663517)

...you think *engineers* have any power in how a corporation ships its products!???

BAAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAAAAA!!!!!!

You *must* be an engineer to have such a naive and egotistical view. Engineers are nothing but a tragic impediment in the way to more profit.

Re:Yay! I can lose my data cheaply now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47663999)

OCZ has put out some real shit devices in the past. Just objectively bad products with bad design decisions. Things like intentionally setting features in the firmware that cause the problems you describe, but also grant extra speed.

OCZ went bankrupt and got bought out by Toshiba. Toshiba is one of the leading flash makers, and now have their own controller too. SSDs have come a long way in the past few years, both in terms of performance and expectations of reliably.

It's worth giving these new devices a second look because they're probably more "Toshiba" devices than they are OCZ.

Great ad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47663099)

Really, how much advertising fluff do we need in the description?

So much SPAM... (4, Insightful)

bobbied (2522392) | about 2 months ago | (#47663131)

I don't see how this whole article is anything but a commercial advertisement. $0.50/Gig was broken a long time ago, at least for your average consumer. I have a 500GB SSD in a laptop that was well under $0.50/GB from a national brick and mortar retailer.

So this is just more evidence how far Slash-dot has fallen? Come on folks, I don't mind the banner ads on the website, you all have to eat, but can we dispense with these kinds of stories?

Re:So much SPAM... (4, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | about 2 months ago | (#47663641)

Yeah, I bought a 1000GB 840 EVO from Amazon for $495 back in March. That's about as mainstream as you can possibly get.

Re:So much SPAM... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47664317)

"News for Nerds, sometimes several months late".
Don't forget to look for the reposts down the road.

Huh... (-1)

thevirtualcat (1071504) | about 2 months ago | (#47663153)

I didn't realize OCZ was still in business.

Re:Huh... (4, Informative)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about 2 months ago | (#47663263)

OCZ's storage division was bought by Toshiba, who now sells Toshiba drives under the OCZ brand.

Not sure what the thinking was on that one.

Re:Huh... (4, Insightful)

thevirtualcat (1071504) | about 2 months ago | (#47663359)

There are so many analogies I could make for that.

Ford Motor Company eliminates Ford brand and replaces it with Edsel.
Microsoft changes Windows 7 to Windows Vista Second Edition.
Cisco to deprecate Cisco trademark in favor of Linksys. *

* Yes, I realize that Cisco no longer owns Linksys.

Re:Huh... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47663371)

1) Buy crappy brand cheap.
2) Sell quality stuff with it for a couple of years to improve brand value.
3) Sell brand to someone who needs a quality brand.
4) Profit!

If you sell exactly the same product but with different brands and the same price you aren't really losing anything on it. The customer might not buy the brand with the bad reputation but if they do the income you get there offsets what you lost on not making the sale on your other brand.
If you have a good manufacturing process you can build up multiple brands simultaneously and then sell off one every now and then and let some shoddy person exploit the brand while they run it to the ground.
Look at the car industry, people are still buying cars based on brand quality from 30 years ago, completely oblivious of that they are assembled from parts that were made in the same production line.

Re:Huh... (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | about 2 months ago | (#47663575)

If you have a good manufacturing process you can build up multiple brands simultaneously and then sell off one every now and then and let some shoddy person exploit the brand while they run it to the ground.

Sounds like a close relative of "zombie brands", i.e. people buying out the brand (and little or nothing else) of bankrupt companies, then either slapping it on generic low-end product from a no-name OEM Chinese manufacturer, or whoring it out on a case-by-case basis to the highest third-party bidder, typically itself just a distributor of random generic tat upon which the brand will be slapped.

Consumers- often older ones who were familiar with the brand for many years and do not realise that the original company went bankrupt- are then more likely to buy such goods on the "strength" of the brand and its reputation. Which is obviously meaningless now, but they don't know that.

Polaroid is an example of this. The original company went bankrupt well over ten years ago. The assets were bought out by some random marketing operation, with only (AFAIK) the film-based cameras being "true" Polaroid products (*). Everything else- including "their" digital cameras of the time- were just rebranded generic goods with the name used under license. Polaroid was never even a manufacturer of TV and video equipment in the first place, but the name was used to sell generally mediocre flat-panel televisions anyway.

Ironically, the "new" Polaroid itself went bankrupt under shady circumstances, and was bought out again. The new owners at least seemed to be attempting to exploit the heritage with some respect (e.g. hiring Lady Ga Ga as the "creative director" a few years back- even if it *was* a blatant publicity stunt- and using her name in connection with would-be high-end photo printers). But they're still whoring it out for LCD TVs and the like.

(*) Insofar as the "new" Polaroid was "true" anyway.

Re:Huh... (1)

Hadlock (143607) | about 2 months ago | (#47663463)

Did they retain any of the technology/staff, or did they just buy the toxic OCZ brand? With failure rates for the entire brand above 5%, and approaching seventeen (17%) percent I wouldn't use an OCZ branded SSD at any cost. Imagine debugging a system with a failing drive, and then the labor required to RMA, replace, replace again, and finally buy a quality drive. Screw that.

Re:Huh... (2)

thevirtualcat (1071504) | about 2 months ago | (#47663687)

5%, and those are just the ones that outright failed. I've never had an OCZ SSD where I didn't have to update the firmware to get it to work right.

Re:Huh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47663551)

They should have just rebranded, it's going to take years for the fear of OCZ SSDs dying like flies to subside.

Re:Huh... (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 months ago | (#47664245)

OCZ is a better known brand in the west, and I guess OCZ's sales guy convinced them the name wasn't tarnished beyond repair.

It is quite common for Japanese companies to either create or buy an existing western brand to sell their stuff under. Nissan created Datsun. Mitsubishi created Verbatim. I think NEC used to have a computer brand in Europe too, which was solder to Acer... Packard Bell? I think Toyota has a US brand called Scion or something.

Part of it is to make sure that the parent company's reputation isn't damaged if the foreign company screws up. The goods they sell overseas tend to be heavily "localized" in terms of features and models, and sometimes having a non-Japanese name is part of that. Ironically some western brands set up their own Japanese sounding trade names like Matsui in the UK, because everyone realized that British electronics where shit and Japanese ones extremely high quality and reliable.

flash/disk/tape ratios still stand (2)

peter303 (12292) | about 2 months ago | (#47663159)

Cheapest retail magnetic disks are about 3 cents a gigabyte and a fraction of cent gigabyte for digital tape.

Unless one is a video hog a terabyte should be enough for anybody. And I'd stream most new content anyways. I only read/watch most stuff once.

Re:flash/disk/tape ratios still stand (4, Insightful)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 2 months ago | (#47663341)

This is a little short sighted. Video files are not th eonly kinds of file that have grown demonstrably larger over time, due to "hey, everyone has the spaces these days, let's fill it! It's CHEAP!" being a development consideration.

Be it audio files (FLAAC vs MP3), Images (jpg vs png vs bmp vs RAW), Documents (RTF vs DOC vs DOCX) 3D object files (OBJ vs MAX vs BLEND) and of course, application files (I've seen 10mb and larger DLLs and other libraries become commonplace these days, where previously they were a few kilobytes to meg or two, with 5mb being 'large')

What you mean to say, is that 1TB is more than enough for anyone, "right now."

4 years from now, not so much.

reliability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47663183)

I still trust rotating platter drives more than SSDs. We've all had platter drives fail and have been successful in recovering data or notice that a failure is coming. When SSDs fail they do in a spectacular way. You have no way or warning for getting data back.

Re:reliability (1)

thevirtualcat (1071504) | about 2 months ago | (#47663289)

Actually, most SSDs support SMART and/or have their own monitoring system. Unless you're buying bargain basement SSDs, most of them have perfectly servicable lifecycle management.

(Purely as an example, here's Samsung's listing of the SMART attributes in their SSDs: http://www.samsung.com/global/... [samsung.com] )

That said, yes. When SSDs get the "computer will no longer boot to the OS" point of their lifecycle, you're a lot less likely to be able to recover any information. But, like magnetic disks, by the time you get to that point, you've generally been ignoring other symptoms.

Re:reliability (2)

RatherBeAnonymous (1812866) | about 2 months ago | (#47663587)

I disagree with this faith in SMART to provide aqueduct warning. So does Google.

Out of all failed drives, over 56% of them have no count in any of the four strong SMART signals, namely scan errors, reallocation count, offline reallocation, and probational count.

We conclude that it is unlikely that SMART data alone can be effectively used to build models that predict failures of individual drives.

http://static.googleuserconten... [googleusercontent.com]

Google's analysis was of spinning hard disks, but I can not believe that SMART is somehow better at monitoring SSDs than spinning hard disks. I have personally had drives that pass every smart test and hard drive scan, but click and buzz in unnatural ways. Likewise, I have had SSDs suddenly fail that were, by all external tests before and after the failure, operating within expected parameters. It doesn't help that many SSDs have a habit of rendering the stored data inaccessible with no chance of recovery when they loose power. Spinning HD manufacturers solved that problem decades ago with self-parking read-write heads. Then again, there is no SMART test that's going to predict when an electrical component is going to suddenly burst into flames. (I've seen it happen!) With a spinning HD I could replace the logic board or send the disk out for recovery and get that data back, probably unscathed. With an SSD the odds would be in no-one's favor.

When it comes to SSDs, the PC vendors need to step up their game on data redundancy. SSD Raid 1 arrays or integrated backup to cheaper storage should be standard configurations.

Re:reliability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47663951)

Sadly there is no way to make copies of data inside of a SSD that you regularly update to enure no data is lost.
Someone should invent a system like that.... maybe give it a catchy name like "backup"

ocz? (0)

gTsiros (205624) | about 2 months ago | (#47663301)

yeah, no thanks. After having been burned horribly by ocz, i'm not touching anything carrying their name, no matter who actually builds them.

Re:ocz? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47663445)

Me too but I still might buy if it comes pre-RMAed with a shipping label.

Why no 1 Tb version? (0)

Torp (199297) | about 2 months ago | (#47663615)

OCZ's reliability aside, why no 1Tb model? Believe it or not, I need most of the space for work purposes (huge source trees, virtual machines etc). A drive that just fits my OS wouldn't help at all.

Re:Why no 1 Tb version? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 months ago | (#47663917)

If your OS takes 512Mb then you really need to switch to something else. I fit my OS, all software and all the files I need 24/7 access to on my 512 SSD just fine and that is with a couple of 40gb VM images on it.

Re:Why no 1 Tb version? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47664301)

Mb? Really? You don't know the difference between Megabits and GigaBytes? You're off by a factor of 8192.

China already has this (1)

ivanl (74321) | about 2 months ago | (#47663659)

Taobao [tmall.com] has a 64GB SSD @ RMB200 (US$32.47) before shipping. That's 50 cents per GiB for you, with a SM2246EN Silicon Motion controller and Intel 25m IMFT NAND flash. According to Tom's review [tomshardware.com] on this controller, this can hold its own against Samsung 840 EVO.

shouldn't even be a headline (1)

apcullen (2504324) | about 2 months ago | (#47663751)

newegg has a 1TB one on sale for like 390... which would be 39 cents per GB, 50 cents a GB has been the rule of thumb for SSDs for over a year now.

No thanks... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 months ago | (#47663909)

OCZ is known to be junk that fail with a very short lifespan. Call me when a RELIABLE SSD like a Samsung or Intel, that has a proven track record hits the $0.50 per GB mark.

Prices are fixed by commodities brokers (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 months ago | (#47663935)

What the market will bear... remember? In these kinds of markets supply and demand don't enter into the picture.

Damn things are worth 10 cents on the dollar, if that much.

Spend money on reliability and drivers (1)

gelfling (6534) | about 2 months ago | (#47663959)

Try not to scrimp on that because you are literally killing off the entire product class by having shitty drivers and quality. No, really, you are. Half the consumers out there are getting SSD's are slower than 7200rpm SATA drives at half the reliability for 5x the cost.

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