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Mtron MSD, MSD PRO and MSD XTM SSD family  (Source: Mtron)
Mtron steam rolls past SanDisk and Samsung in SSD performance

Solid-state disks (SSDs) are still a long way from entering the regular mainstream market, but that isn't stopping companies from releasing larger and faster products on a continual basis.

SanDisk and Samsung are currently sitting at 64GB with their SSDs. SanDisk's offering features read speeds of 67MB/sec (write speeds are unknown) while Samsung quotes 65MB/sec reads and 45MB/sec writes. Adtron's 160GB SSD trumps both with a maximum read speed of 70MB/sec and maximum write speed of 55MB/sec.

Mtron is leaving all three manufacturers in the dust with its new range of SSDs. The South Korean manufacturer boasts that its new 2.5" and 3.5" drives feature read speeds of 120MB/sec and write speeds of 90MB/sec.

According to Mtron, the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB drives will be available in September. During the fourth quarter, the company is expected to launch a 128GB SSD in a 1.8" form factor.

Mtron has not released pricing for the drives, but expect to pay a pretty penny considering the read/write speeds of the memory chips being used. For those looking for a more cost-effective solution, there's always SanDisk's new uSSD 5000 lineup.

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Why use the ancient form factors?
By B166ER on 9/4/2007 3:12:11 AM , Rating: 2
I understand the tech hasn't matured and all but is it not so advanced to use a smaller form factor? 3.5" is sooooo 20 years ago, and unless the space is needed by the flash technology, then why make em so big? And don't give me compatibility, it costs nothing to make brackets that'll fit 3.5", 5.25" spaces. not to mention we start today with smaller drivers and by tomorrow we're fitting 20-30 of them suckas in our cases. Makes sense(but costs major dollas!), but with a 3.5" sizeyou can fit what, 4 in your current case? 1.8" and less FTW!

By B166ER on 9/4/2007 3:15:01 AM , Rating: 2
And, as i read on Mtrons site, "A tantalizing 128GB drive in the 1.8-inch form factor is also in the works for the fourth quarter of 2007." So tell me again why they even dropped a larger sized drive?

By Bluestealth on 9/4/2007 4:23:26 AM , Rating: 3
Easy pop in replacements for OEMs?
This is especially important in the laptop market where the SATA connectors need to line up perfectly in order to actually be useful. It also tends to be where most of these early drives are likely to end up.

RE: Why use the ancient form factors?
By teldar on 9/4/2007 8:21:30 AM , Rating: 2
3.5" isn't so 20 years ago, 10 years ago my sister's computer had a 5.25" quantum big foot. That was awful....

And who says a case can only hold 4 drives? Mine holds 6 and I can get adapters to have it hold another 4 plus the 2 optical drives I have. And that's without trying to cram one into the extra external 3.5"s.

If you need more drives, get a bigger case....

By tedrodai on 9/4/2007 10:11:54 AM , Rating: 3
Yeah, they're not quite THAT old, but the point of smaller form factors is so you don't have to get a bigger case. You can have room for 4+ drives, and you still have extra space for more equipment or better air flow, etc., or--a smaller case. My computer at home is in a big tower case, but despite being an enthusiast, I definitely wouldn't mind a smaller computer that performs the same as my current one.

RE: Why use the ancient form factors?
By B166ER on 9/4/2007 10:31:39 AM , Rating: 2

Read son, Rodime dropped the first 3.5" in '83, by 88 they were quite available. Your sistas 5.25" unit in 98 was a joke.
And unlike those who wield 17" laptops, these a current crop and generation that would prefer that size NOT be everything. Getting bigger need not mean better.

By Gul Westfale on 9/4/2007 11:36:53 AM , Rating: 2
they cannot simply change the form factor on their own, without industry support. after all they need to be able to sell these things to somebody, and if nobody makes enclosures/spaces in laptop or desktop cases for this custom size then they are out of luck.

once these things become mainstream i'm sure some of the manufacturers will get together and develop a new standard.

By Polynikes on 9/4/2007 12:31:43 PM , Rating: 3
Maybe because someday SSD tech will be fast and cheap enough for people to warrant putting them in their desktops. There's a reason people buy Raptors. They want the fastest there is.

And I don't know about you, but I don't have any 2.5" or 1.8" disk drive mounting cages in MY case.

RE: Why use the ancient form factors?
By iFX on 9/4/2007 1:31:35 PM , Rating: 2
You ansered your own question. Compatibility.

Do you honestly think the industry hasn't thought about moving to a smaller form factor? Of course they have.

RE: Why use the ancient form factors?
By B166ER on 9/4/2007 3:17:27 PM , Rating: 2
It was all but impossible with magnetic technology, you can only shrink magnetics so much. But this is a totally different tech. And, I reiterate, compatibility is an afterthought with shrinking such because it is nothing near difficult to provide brackets. Many case manufs and some hard drive makers (at least when the switch to the smaller 3.5" drives happened) provided brackets to allow such fit. Not to mention I'm not talking immediately, but in the meantime, 1.8" is such a scale to thats too impossible to comprehend? C'mon.

By SoCalBoomer on 9/4/2007 4:20:52 PM , Rating: 2
Compatibility being that Dell or HP or anyone building desktop computers can begin to pick these up and snap them into existing form factors without modification. Forcing desktop manufacturers to adjust to smaller immediately is going to alienate the manufacturers rather than actually accomplishing anything.

It is an added expense to use brackets - and eliminates the chance for tool-less cases and such.

It will come - force it and you get backlash.

By JeffDM on 9/4/2007 11:00:29 PM , Rating: 2
The space might be needed to fit all those chips in? I mean, high capacity chips cost money, so maybe they can just add a lot of lower capacity chips and be able to sell them at a lower price.

If you have a mobile computer, space means something, a stationary computer can probably hide behind the desk.

Finally a SSD...
By defter on 9/4/2007 2:22:32 AM , Rating: 2
Thas has similar read/write speeds as a basic HDD.

Too bad that SSDs are still 50-100 times as expensive.

RE: Finally a SSD...
By AnnihilatorX on 9/4/2007 6:55:37 AM , Rating: 2
120MB/s is 50% faster transfer rate sustained than the fastest HDD
even the older Mtron had 100MB/s rate sustained

RE: Finally a SSD...
By erikejw on 9/4/2007 8:23:16 AM , Rating: 3
Since 99% + of a regular users diskaccess is for small files the access time is what is most important. SSDs have access times at 0.1 ms compared to the HDDs 10ms. That is where SSDs really excel. They are still too pricey for regular users though but in a years time I'd probably put my operating system and swapfile on a SSD and use the 2TB of other drives for pure storage.

RE: Finally a SSD...
By PlasmaBomb on 9/4/2007 4:27:36 PM , Rating: 2
SSDs won't get anywhere near 120MB/s on numerous small files.

RE: Finally a SSD...
By leexgx on 9/4/2007 8:45:31 PM , Rating: 2
depends what you call an small file if it reads an file thats 32KB the speed per 0.05ms will be 32KB
on an norm hard disk it takes time for it to Seek to the next file as well it mite be wanting to read an big file at the same time with SSD unless its accessing more then 300 small files at once the drive should still do 120MB/s (cant rember what its I/O rate is but its Blows Scsi disk out of the water thay do not even come close to SSD) its when it has to write something it may slow down as it takes alot longer to do it but thay do in write speed is 90MB/s and thats very good, WD raptor Reads at that speed

Mtron drives are overpriced
By AnnihilatorX on 9/4/2007 6:53:45 AM , Rating: 2
Mtron drives are overpriced. 4 times more expensive per GB than Sandisk SSD

I think the hybrid DDR RAM + HDD solution is more elegant in terms of price/performance ratio.

DTS M-cell is only available as 3.5" form factor though as it incorporates a 2.5" HDD into a 3-5" enclosure complete with DDR RAM & battery
Look at the price though. $120 is about same price as a low-end Raptor

RE: Mtron drives are overpriced
By JeffDM on 9/4/2007 11:05:12 PM , Rating: 2
4 times more expensive per GB than Sandisk SSD

The performance numbers look better though. If it's really that much faster, then it's probably worth it. Faster flash memory costs more, so I don't see the problem here. Sandisk's SSD drives aren't terribly fast last I saw, their 1.8" SSD is almost as fast as a 2.5" hard drive, not much faster as we're lead to believe.

$120 is about same price as a low-end Raptor

Raptors really aren't that impressive though, and they are relatively loud. It sounds like these are faster and much quieter, if not silent.

By AnnihilatorX on 9/5/2007 2:01:03 PM , Rating: 2
I am not sure who'll pay 4 times the cost for transfer rate

Low-end SSD are not bad in terms of access time. That's their sole advantage over HDDs. Mtrons have that plus also a better transfer rate. I am still not convinced a 120GB $2000 drive is attractive enough despite how fast it is.

Raptors really aren't that impressive though, and they are relatively loud. It sounds like these are faster and much quieter, if not silent.

That's what I meant

I am saying DTS's M-cell technology I had in my topic has the same cost as a Raptor but much faster.

God damn
By Vokus on 9/4/07, Rating: 0
RE: God damn
By B166ER on 9/4/2007 2:58:56 AM , Rating: 3
Wow, talk about past thinking applied to current process. Let me do you one better: keep all your movies backed up on a nice n speedy hard disk and access them from your media extender, there you FAST access entertainment delivery, rather "pop that little suck in".

RE: God damn
By spindoc on 9/4/2007 1:15:20 PM , Rating: 2
Yes! Down with optical drives and all their acceleration time. I can't wait 3-5 seconds for the CD to spin. Bah!

[/no sarcasm]

By daftrok on 9/3/2007 10:13:51 PM , Rating: 1
We need the competition so that us consumers can benefit. Lets hope they make it the same price (or even cheaper) than the other companies' cards.

By fc1204 on 9/4/2007 12:01:23 AM , Rating: 2
I think the Mtron should be priced similar to the Adtron at the $/GB basis, which means no one person should buy it as is, but most enterprise and industrial/military procurement managers are firing up their qual teams.

Unless Mtron has changed their solution in the last 3 months, they are still using a Xilinx Spartan FPGA as its interface controller. This means SanDisk and Samsung are unaffected as their solutions do not have that huge cost tag as part of their BOM.

Funny though, no one has taken a look inside these SSD's in rip apart/tear-down reviews like most review sites did for the iPhone. I mean it's only $600-3000... and the SSD will still work as long as you don't remove anything from the actual PCB.

AnandTech Review
By FS on 9/3/2007 10:41:34 PM , Rating: 3
Marching SSDs
By alienbibin on 9/4/2007 12:07:49 AM , Rating: 2
Smells like TNT....LOL

this is good news
By nerdye on 9/4/2007 12:23:23 AM , Rating: 2
I for one have been disappointed in the raw performance of solid state drives based on their potential, therefor to see companies making good progress in the field is greatly appreciated on my part. We all need to see great performance from solid state drives, then we can watch the inevitable happen as they finally become affordable to the masses (in oF course whatever timeframe that happens to be).

By KnickKnack on 9/4/2007 6:19:47 AM , Rating: 2
God knows I'm not a big techie so I don't understand the actual process of producing SSD's, but why couldn't they stick 2 or more of them together, similar to what is happening with the CPU multi-core design and produce a multi-drive SSD, which would increase the size of the drives and also greatly increase the speed. I'm not talking about Raid, which treats the drives as seperate entities, but a single case with multiple drives inside and a single SATA connection. They would need some kind of bridge to stream the data to and from the different drives but in my greatly simplified outline for such a device, it would give us the instant performance boost that would make these devices very attractive to consumers

By Quryous on 9/11/2007 4:12:25 PM , Rating: 2
Wish they would come out with a form 54 Express Card at REALLY nice high speed reads and writes. That field is RIPE, with the introduction of Sony's new SERIES of solid state HD Video Camcorders like the PMW-EX1 and its kin to follow. Sony charges two arms and 3 legs for 8GB and 16GB cards, in a time when I would expect the smallest size to be 64GB at more reasonable cost. Come on guys, give'em some competition. I know LOTS of cameramen who are dying to get cheaper cards.

"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates
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