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Print 16 comment(s) - last by FaaR.. on Aug 11 at 6:52 PM

New firmware will be offered for all Vertex SSDs

SSDs have a few disadvantages when compared to traditional hard drives. One of those disadvantages is the price of the SSD compared to the price of a HDDs. Another of the disadvantages is the comparatively low storage capacity of SSDs today.

Yet another issue is that as SSDs have more and more files stored on them, some of the data becomes orphaned and takes up space on the drive reducing performance. As you can imagine reading the data in the cell, combining the data with new data going to the cell, and then writing the new data back to the cell adds to the time the SSD needs to complete write operations. This problem is especially time consuming when a drive is older and has had numerous files written to and from the drive.

To help reduce this sort of performance degradation, OCZ and Indilinx have collaborated on a new firmware for OCZ Vertex SSDs that will help to remove the garbage data on the SSD to improve performance as the SSD ages. OCZ will be releasing new firmware for all of its Vertex series SSDs that will actively collect garbage data on stored in the cells of the SSD during times when the drive is idle.

HotHardware tested a drive with the new firmware briefly and found that the firmware does indeed improve performance. The publication used the ATTO disk benchmark tool to run performance tests on a new drive, then a dirty drive, and then a SSD that uses the new firmware and found that the firmware dramatically improves performance with file transfers below 1MB.



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Full review
By Vigile on 8/10/2009 10:31:32 AM , Rating: 3
You guys should look at this review:

http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=760

Lots more testing and evaluation on the positives of this new firmware, but also a couple negatives.




RE: Full review
By ksherman on 8/10/2009 10:46:20 AM , Rating: 3
Something about a motherboard being propped up by pencils on top of it's box gives me the willies.


RE: Full review
By ViroMan on 8/10/2009 10:54:20 PM , Rating: 2
lol, ya I saw that too and was like wtf? I know cuz its plastic it won't generally screw anything up(unless it has a metal clip)but, it does mess with my sense of how to treat a MB right.


RE: Full review
By Moishe on 8/11/2009 3:26:59 PM , Rating: 2
I've run computers where the mobo and drives were just sitting on cardboard. Those run well for a long time. There isn't a lot of absolute need for a case.

For testing, the pencil prop is pretty handy and common.


RE: Full review
By omnicronx on 8/10/2009 11:10:49 AM , Rating: 2
Pros seem to far outweigh the con's though ;) Only real problem has already been identified as a bug, and don't forget this is still beta firmware which happens to be OCZ's first real try at custom Indilinx firmware. By the time the final version comes out I suspect the copy speed bug to be fixed and the random read spead differences to be minimized.

This next build is even suppose to support native trim (and is actually on the features list of the release this time around). Only good news for the SSD world, as this kind of technology will no doubt find its way to all SSD drives in the next year or so.


Not all indilinx drives created equally?
By Spoelie on 8/10/2009 10:38:52 AM , Rating: 4
In multiple articles all over the web it is assumed that all drives working with the same controller and flash have identical performance (also on anandtech), but is this really true?

When the first vertex reviews on anandtech hit the web, we were told how the firmware was gradually improved after pushing OCZ for changes. This news story is the second such example of vendor pushed optimizations.

This begs the question, are all Indilinx drives created equally? Do all Indilinx vendors benefit from the firmware changes pushed by OCZ?

If not then the reviews lumping all Indilinx drives in one group and choosing one representative, could draw the wrong conclusions.

For example, Anand did this in the X25-M G2 review:
http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=36...




By Vigile on 8/10/2009 10:41:38 AM , Rating: 2
You are correct - while once that was true, it looks to no longer be the case. Companies like OCZ are looking for a way to differentiate and this one of them.

Simply lumping these drives together won't work for much longer (if it does anymore).


RE: Not all indilinx drives created equally?
By omnicronx on 8/10/2009 10:53:40 AM , Rating: 3
No they are not all equal as the controller is only one tiny piece of the puzzle. That being said, the Gskill falcon drives are essentially identical to the Vertex drives (when I say Identical I mean the only thing that separates them are the outer casing and PCB colour, and of course price). These were the first two mainstream drives to come out with the Indilinx controller and samsung memory, so its no wonder why many reviews have been lumping them together.

The past few OCZ firmware updates have pretty much found there way over to the Gskill, so I hope this one will follow suit.. I went Gskill for 100$ CDN cheaper and it was well worth it as the performance is pretty much identical.


By FaaR on 8/11/2009 6:52:22 PM , Rating: 2
The controller is not at all a "tiny" piece of the puzzle. It's pretty much the entire fricken puzzle in of itself.

Even with standard mechanical HDDs the controller plays a huge part in deciding the performance of a unit.


Typo
By XZerg on 8/10/2009 10:25:40 AM , Rating: 4
One of those disadvantages is the price of the SSD compared to the price of a harddrive.




what about erasing?
By Beno on 8/11/2009 1:38:43 AM , Rating: 2
what about erasing the drive with HDDerase?




Advertising bla bla
By davepermen on 8/10/09, Rating: -1
RE: Advertising bla bla
By omnicronx on 8/10/2009 2:34:22 PM , Rating: 5
Someones just jealous they paid twice the price for slightly better performance.

The garbage collection for Intel is not exactly ground breaking and actually limits how fast write speeds are allowed to occur. OCZ has done nothing but good in my opinion, they have brought us a cost effective solution that blows other drives out of the water, especially at its pricepoint. It is only slightly slower in reads than Intels v1 offerings and while speedy with 4k writes, OCZ blows intel out of the water with anything larger (intel is all around capped at 80MBPS), with write speeds of mid to large files up to twice the speed.

Furthermore Intel drives do get slower as they get full, even with their so called 'amazing garbage collection' with the only way to restore is by wiping the drive. (IOPS performance drops as much as 50%)

Don't get me wrong Intel has great drives and have really kicked SSD manufacturers intel gear, but I would not be caught dead with a v1 Intel drive right now with the Indillex offerings currently available. V2 drives look very good and will support native trim which should essentially get rid of their current problem, but to say this is nothing and that this is just marketing, shows me you are merely justifying your purchase.

This kind of garbage collection makes far more sense going forward, to say it is merely a marketing ploy makes me want to slap you across the face, as this is the best news the SSD world has seen in a while as every single consumer drive out right now has problems when a drive becomes full. (i don't want to run a utility and I don't want to keep my workload light I am a poweruser with a desktop install)

Just go look for yourself, it is well documented.
http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=669&type=expe...


RE: Advertising bla bla
By kaix2 on 8/11/2009 2:12:37 AM , Rating: 2
Intel SSD G1 degration problem was solved a while ago. PCperspective wrote a new article afer the article you pasted. (http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=691)

As far as being only "80MBPS" for sequential write, I don't find that spec being nearly as important as random read/write. First of all, how often do you sit around and copy large files? Second, how many people have a secondary source that can deliever higher than 80meg per sec constantly?

OCZ makes great drives but Intel drives are just in a different league than everyone else. Especially with 2nd generation out. (http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=750&type=expe... Othe companies have a long way to go to catch up.


RE: Advertising bla bla
By kaix2 on 8/11/2009 2:13:29 AM , Rating: 2
Degradation*


RE: Advertising bla bla
By Moishe on 8/11/2009 3:31:43 PM , Rating: 1
So innovation that is touted is just crap?

Hell with that. If someone comes up with a good way to increase speed, they SHOULD be proud of that and they should advertise that fact. They should even if their new speeds are not as fast as a competitor. Fact is, we need innovation and additional R&D. I'm glad that OCZ and Indilinx are making better products.


"Game reviewers fought each other to write the most glowing coverage possible for the powerhouse Sony, MS systems. Reviewers flipped coins to see who would review the Nintendo Wii. The losers got stuck with the job." -- Andy Marken














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