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Super Talent releases a new budget line of SSDs

When it comes to SSDs, Super Talent isn't standing still when it comes to new models. Super Talent and OCZ have both been battling it out to bring faster, cheaper models to the masses based on multi-level cell (MLC) NAND technology.

Just two weeks ago, Super Talent launched new MLC-based MasterDrive OX drives which feature read speeds of 150MB/sec and write speeds of 100MB/sec. Prices range from $149 for the 32GB model on up to $419 for the 128GB mode.

Today, Super Talent is expanding its presence in the lower end of the market with a new line of budget SSDs. Super Talent's new MasterDrive LX lineup is targeting customers that want the advantages of SSDs without the relatively high costs. The price advantages of the MasterDrive LX SSDs come in the form of speed cuts compared to the MasterDrive OX family.

Super Talent's 64GB and 128GB MasterDrive LX drives are rated at 100MB/sec reads and only 40MB/sec writes. However, the prices are much more palatable at $179 and $299 respectively. Both drives are paired with a rather short one-year warranty and feature a SATA-II interface.

"The MasterDrive LX is our most cost-effective SSD yet. However, we’ve made no compromises in quality and reliability," said Super Talent Director of Marketing Joe James.

The Master Drive OX SSDs will be available next week.

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quality with only 1 year support?
By zshift on 9/29/2008 9:57:50 PM , Rating: 6
Both drives are paired with a rather short one-year warranty and feature a SATA-II interface.
"The MasterDrive LX is our most cost-effective SSD yet. However, we’ve made no compromises in quality and reliability," said Super Talent Director of Marketing Joe James.

...if there were no compromises in quality and reliability, why can't they back this statement up with a better warranty. 1 year for a device that's supposed to store thousands of important documents seems like a load of crap to me. We all wanted cheaper SSDs, but very few are willing to risk the integrity of their data to such a slim warranty.

RE: quality with only 1 year support?
By someguy123 on 9/29/2008 10:17:28 PM , Rating: 3
yeah, exactly. I don't think the biggest problem is the read/writes, it's the life span. if these things have parts that die within a year how can you feel safe storing anything on them? might as well just have a slower drive that I can use without having to worry that a sector will just suddenly die on me.

this is ESPECIALLY annoying with all these DRM schemes being tossed around. sector with mass effect dies, gotta reinstall, whoops no more installs for you buddy! ARSDFSDFSG

RE: quality with only 1 year support?
By codeThug on 9/30/2008 1:13:06 AM , Rating: 2
Who said they had parts that die within a year?

Nothing lasts forever. Look, if want to protect your data, you're going to need raid 1 or 5 with full backup. You simply cannot do it with one device.

RE: quality with only 1 year support?
By Samus on 9/30/08, Rating: 0
RE: quality with only 1 year support?
By doctat on 9/30/2008 8:58:21 AM , Rating: 2
why would raid5 void your warranty? or, zomg, do you have some misconception of how raid works perhaps...

RE: quality with only 1 year support?
By Cincybeck on 9/30/2008 9:09:20 AM , Rating: 2
Everyone's so serious all the time how do you guys live..? Or lack there of, is what I really should say. If that post didn't have sarcastic overtones, then I'm a monkey's uncle. =P

By SpaceRanger on 9/30/2008 10:30:45 AM , Rating: 2
Need a banana?

RE: quality with only 1 year support?
By Chadder007 on 9/30/2008 10:03:19 AM , Rating: 2
But reliability because of no moving parts and speed is what SSD's are all about....having a 1 year warranty doesn't instill confidence in purchasing this and expecting it to be reliable.

By walk2k on 9/30/2008 12:59:58 PM , Rating: 2
That's because people have had massive failures with them. Check the OCZ forums (these use the same chips).

1 year on a solid-state device with no moving parts should be a BIG red flag. Most DIMMs come with LIFETIME warranty fer chrissakes. Even hard drives with multiple spinny platters and heads that crash into them come with 3 to 5 year warranties.

RE: quality with only 1 year support?
By Devo2007 on 9/29/2008 10:17:47 PM , Rating: 2
I was going to say the exact same thing.

I'm probably going to pick up an OCZ Core 64GB SSD this week (unless there's a compelling reason not to do so). I think I could get Vista and a few apps/games on it. :)

RE: quality with only 1 year support?
By amanojaku on 9/29/2008 10:31:16 PM , Rating: 5
RE: quality with only 1 year support?
By ipay on 9/30/2008 2:40:39 PM , Rating: 2
SSDs eat children!

By someguy123 on 9/29/2008 10:32:23 PM , Rating: 4
I believe OCZ's MLC SSD's have a problem with their Jmicron controller that causes really high latencies on small random read/writes, causing your entire system to freeze when you have multiple read/writes going on at once.

RE: quality with only 1 year support?
By lagomorpha on 9/29/2008 10:21:12 PM , Rating: 3
Nonsense. Important documents go on conventional harddrives. The seek time is good for installing software that is absolutely worthless (Vista).

By Brandon Hill on 9/29/2008 10:26:00 PM , Rating: 1
Not if you're using a laptop which these 2.5" SSDs are aimed at -- that's unless you're using a hulking desktop replacement notebook with dual HDD bays.

RE: quality with only 1 year support?
By amanojaku on 9/29/2008 10:39:54 PM , Rating: 2
It could be Super Talent doesn't want to take the risk of offering support for a device with a limited write life. Flash-based disks will eventually loose capacity as writes accumulate. I seem to remember some magnetic hard drives came with a one-year warranty a few years ago, as well. People still bought them, and some of us still use 'em.

RE: quality with only 1 year support?
By oab on 9/29/2008 11:32:48 PM , Rating: 2
Western Digital "retail box" drives. I think they still come with 1-years.

I also believe that Maxtor "retail" drives had the same limited warranty. So do all external drives, you would be hard pressed to find one that comes with more than 1 year that isn't a "professional grade" series one.

RE: quality with only 1 year support?
By joey2264 on 9/30/08, Rating: -1
By amanojaku on 9/30/2008 11:39:52 AM , Rating: 2
Damn, do some research! Western Digital currently offers warranties of 3-5 years. They no longer offer drives (other than clearance drives) with warranties of 1 year. And the drives aren't crap. The Raptor is the de facto performance and reliability standard of SATA drives. Their other drives are highly competitive with drives from Seagate, Hitachi and Samsung.

RE: quality with only 1 year support?
By icanhascpu on 9/30/08, Rating: 0
RE: quality with only 1 year support?
By Brandon Hill on 9/30/2008 5:11:13 AM , Rating: 4
1) It's a 2.5" drive
2) Most notebooks have a single HDD drive bay
3) 2.5" SSDs are primarily aimed at notebook users

So how are you going to simply have an "OS drive" in a notebook with a single drive bay? That would only be an option for a person with a desktop replacement notebook with two HDD drive bays.

So his point still stands.

RE: quality with only 1 year support?
By icanhascpu on 9/30/08, Rating: -1
By walk2k on 9/30/2008 1:11:33 PM , Rating: 2
Look, you should always backup your data. That said, how many people actually do it on a regular basis?

Even with backups, your OS isn't important??

If this fails after 13 months you are STILL out your $300 or whatever (in case you didn't notice these are very expensive per GB) and you have to re-install, which takes time, and time is money, yes even in 2008 (although in 2008 money isn't worth as much as it used to be...)

By someguy123 on 9/30/2008 9:17:26 PM , Rating: 2
i'm sure by important he just meant files he would like to keep. you're also talking about importance in the corporate sense. there's plenty of "important" files like photos and videos, downloads etc that you don't want to lose, and very few people will be constantly updating their ghost HD, if they even went out of their way and their wallets to buy one, which would most likely always be at home (talking about notebook users here).

a one year warranty on something that is suppose to be storing my files and is known to have problems with it's lifespan is quite a powerful deterrent to me.

RE: quality with only 1 year support?
By psychobriggsy on 9/30/2008 7:52:44 AM , Rating: 2

The spec sheet says the device has unlimited lifetime for reads, and 35 years for writes (70 years for the 128GB device).

Why would they then undermine this confidence with a one year warranty?

By amanojaku on 9/30/2008 11:31:07 AM , Rating: 3
I guess you missed this:

Reliability Specifications
Data Integrity 10 years

I'd say the 10 year value contradicts their endurance claim.

RE: quality with only 1 year support?
By jonmcc33 on 9/30/2008 8:02:24 AM , Rating: 3
...if there were no compromises in quality and reliability, why can't they back this statement up with a better warranty. 1 year for a device that's supposed to store thousands of important documents seems like a load of crap to me. We all wanted cheaper SSDs, but very few are willing to risk the integrity of their data to such a slim warranty.

Warranty is moot if you are worried about thousands of important documents. Warranty doesn't cover recovery of your documents. I don't care if there's a 5 year or 10 year warranty on it. That won't get your data back.

So to me, 1 year warranty is fine if it keeps cost down. I will put my thousands of important documents on backup optical storage media where they are safer.

RE: quality with only 1 year support?
By inighthawki on 9/30/2008 12:21:53 PM , Rating: 2
This is probably one of the most well put comments on here. If you are worried about backing data up, or storing "important documents", it shouldn't be on a laptop or a backup raid config. Buy a couple dvds for about 25 cents and burn all of your documents there and you'll be good.

By inighthawki on 9/30/2008 9:08:34 PM , Rating: 2
lol, when i proofread this i guess i didn't do too well of a job, it's meant to say "it shouldn't be on a laptop but rather a backup raid config" (or optical storage, just to stick that in there)

By Chaser on 9/30/2008 8:18:28 AM , Rating: 2
I agree completely that the warranty is short. But woudln't tbe most practical use of this type and size of drive would be to hold the booting Operating System and then another separate drive for data?

By InvertMe on 9/30/2008 12:07:53 PM , Rating: 2
Tommy: Let's think about this for a sec, Ted, why would somebody put a guarantee on a box? Hmmm, very interesting.

Ted Nelson, Customer: Go on, I'm listening.

Tommy: Here's the way I see it, Ted. Guy puts a fancy guarantee on a box 'cause he wants you to fell all warm and toasty inside.

Ted Nelson, Customer: Yeah, makes a man feel good.

Tommy: 'Course it does. Why shouldn't it? Ya figure you put that little box under your pillow at night, the Guarantee Fairy might come by and leave a quarter, am I right, Ted?
[chuckles until he sees that Ted is not laughing too]

Ted Nelson, Customer: [impatiently] What's your point?

Tommy: The point is, how do you know the fairy isn't a crazy glue sniffer? "Building model airplanes" says the little fairy; well, we're not buying it. He sneaks into your house once, that's all it takes. The next thing you know, there's money missing off the dresser, and your daughter's knocked up. I seen it a hundred times.

Ted Nelson, Customer: But why do they put a guarantee on the box?

Tommy: Because they know all they sold ya was a guaranteed piece of shit. That's all it is, isn't it? Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed, I will. I got spare time. But for now, for your customer's sake, for your daughter's sake, ya might wanna think about buying a quality product from me.

Ted Nelson, Customer: [pause] Okay, I'll buy from you.

By DeepBlue1975 on 9/30/2008 12:33:33 PM , Rating: 2
Welcome to the world of marketing bs, in which a box can show a product making a lot of people happy when it can only toast bread.

Misleading is their treat, deception becomes our deal.
In a world of make believe where appearance becomes both jury and judge, and in which money can buy appearance, no one should feel surprised when lies and empty promises crowd the media.

Only he who learns to see in the dark, can avoid those obstacles laid out in the field that he was never supposed to see.

PS: aside from my stupid comment, I think not even the 6 on your rating is doing any justice to your post. If more people learnt to observe "little details" like you did this time, the misleading marketing campaigns would start to slowly disappear as they'd fool no one... But you and I know it's not gonna happen, though I admit I don't wanna loose my faith and continue to believe that some day it will.

By swimflyfast on 10/1/2008 10:42:49 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think the one year warrenty thing is to worry about. Any new technology needs to run through its "proof of performance" before I would trust it. Vendors can talk about this but until there are hundreds of thousands being used who cares what they say. I'll give it six months and see what the crash reports look like from other users. If there are problems we should start seeing them in the field soon.

In the mean time I will set a 128gb drive up for a scratch disk using photoshop for a while and see what happens.
That seems alike a safe way to test the technology.

By ilkhan on 9/30/2008 3:37:01 AM , Rating: 2
The specs and price Im waiting for in a 2.5" SATA SSD:
150MB/s read, 100MB/s write

Soon as we hit that point Ill grab one for my laptop.

By dickeywang on 9/30/2008 5:35:38 AM , Rating: 2
I'm also waiting for the price to drop to $1/GB, although the transferring rate isn't that important to me. It should be fine to me as long as these can deliver transferring rate which is comparable to the current mainstream 3.5" HDD.

By vcespon on 9/30/2008 11:01:59 AM , Rating: 2
Because OCZ SSDs Core V2 are almost at that point.

The problem (and the answer to the 1 year warranty on these Supertalent drives) is given on a post above. These drives are mainly intended for laptops, which mainly have only one HDD bay, so the OS is going to be installed there.

Now, if you consider how much Vista trashes the disk on a default install and typical usage...
- Pagefile
- System restore
- Defrag
- File indexing
- System updates

This generates a lot of writes, and most people is not aware of it's implications for a MLC SSD.
A MLC SSD is always going to be slow on small writes, and when several programs are hitting the HDD at the same time. Also, they have a shorter lifespan, so the manufacturer covers his back providing only 1 year warranty.
It's difficult that anyone writes 200 GB to disk every day, but they want to be sure.

By ilkhan on 9/30/2008 1:20:39 PM , Rating: 2
Long as it meets those specs, why would I care SLC or MLC? :)

Warrentee being one year doesnt bother me. After a year a replacement drive will either be much cheaper, or you spend the same amount of get a bigger, faster, less power hungry replacement. And remember, nobody says that the drive is going to explode on day 366.

Pagefile I have turned off on my laptop already
system restore as well
defrag should be turned off on ANY SSD
file indexing and sys updates aren't going to burn through writes THAT quick.

Among the biggest benefits of SSDs (to me) is the performance they bring to 1.8/2.5" drives. Excepting the VRaptors (not exactly a laptop drive), these are 2-3x faster at reads than platter laptop drives, and same to double the write speeds (~60MB/s write for 2.5" platter drives). Add the seek benefits and drive performance on a laptop is now just as good as you get from a desktop drive.

When you USE your laptop as your only machine (As I do, with external mouse, KB, speakers, screen, its basically a desktop), that makes a huge difference in system responsiveness. Ill wait for the price to come down a bit more, but these are the future.

Jmicron controller?
By Dribble on 9/30/2008 4:43:03 AM , Rating: 2
You don't say whether these have the dodgy jmicron controller in them?
If they do it's not worth buying them no matter how cheap they are.

RE: Jmicron controller?
By 7Enigma on 9/30/2008 7:09:49 AM , Rating: 2
They do have the same Jmicron controller, and as such while they can quote wonderful read and write numbers it doesn't mean a damn thing when they just pause, they are CRAP. Sure if you have an old laptop HD you will see some performance increase when they are working but I wouldn't touch these.

People, PLEASE read Anand's article on the latest Intel SSD where they show you just what is wrong with this Supertalent drive, and all the other's that use the same controller.

"The symptoms are pretty obvious: horrible stuttering/pausing/lagging during the use of the drive. The drive still works, it's just that certain accesses can take a long time to complete. It's a lot like using a slow laptop hard drive and trying to multitask, everything just comes to a halt."

"Though the OCZ core drive is our example, but please remember that this isn't an OCZ specific issue: the performance problems we see with this drive are apparent on all current MLC drives in the market that use a Jmicron controller with Samsung flash."

"You'll notice a new column called number of pauses; this column is the number of times all disk activity ceased on the system, causing the whole machine to stutter for a moment. You'll also notice that there are zeros in this column, unless the drive uses the JMicron controller. Also note the randomness of the problem, the OCZ, SuperTalent and Silicon Power drives all use the same hardware yet I saw tremendous variations between runs."

RE: Jmicron controller?
By vcespon on 9/30/2008 11:25:27 AM , Rating: 2
Yea! You can see very clearly the difference between a SLC and a MLC disk. Although the MLC Core advertises higher speeds (143 / 93 MB/S), those are achieved only when transfering big files.
On the real world tests the SLC drive is twice as fast in many of them. All the real world tests show that SLC drives are SLOW, no matter if they have a ***PEAK*** transfer rate of 1 GB/s, they aer going to be used to host an operating system and launch applications, not copy 8 GB files.
Also SLC drives have 10 times the lifespan of the MLC ones.
I'm currently running the Samsung SLC drive on my laptop and everyting at every moment is fast.

RE: Jmicron controller?
By 7Enigma on 9/30/2008 12:30:46 PM , Rating: 2
All the real world tests show that SLC drives are SLOW, no matter if they have a ***PEAK*** transfer rate of 1 GB/s, they aer going to be used to host an operating system and launch applications, not copy 8 GB files.

I disagree. The data shows that those MLC drives with the Jmicron controller are slow, the Intel MLC drive is MUCH better, besting the SLC drive in several cases.

Just a bummer the Intel product will be priced like SLC drives.

I knew the prices would drop!
By abzillah on 9/29/2008 9:48:22 PM , Rating: 1
This is exciting, because the prices are dropping, the products are getting better and soon I can own 4 SDDs for Riad! I know the speed is not super fast, but I know the speed will increase in the newer models that will come later.

RE: I knew the prices would drop!
By quiksilvr on 9/29/2008 9:50:33 PM , Rating: 2
But with speeds that low the advantages of going SSD go out the window. The power savings aren't astronomically different from HDD and you're still paying 180 bucks for 60 GB. That write speed has to double in order for it to be worth getting.

RE: I knew the prices would drop!
By mathew7 on 9/30/2008 4:37:52 AM , Rating: 2
With HDDs you have a density and a rotational limitation. These limitation are harder and harder to "extend", so I cannot see big speed boosts in the following years.
With SSDs they are working mostly on speed, as the density is already pretty good, considering also how new the technology is (compare 4GB microSD with 2.5" 320GB HDD).
My estimation is that in 2 years SSDs will catch up to HDDs, as I cannot see HDDs gain more than 10-20% speed, but SSDs have a much larger room for improvement.

Seek time
By FishTankX on 9/29/2008 11:33:14 PM , Rating: 2
Let's not forget the other metric, where SSD's have an innumerable advantage over their dizzy mechanical cousins. Seek time. Even if the transfer rate is near the same speed as a mechanical disk, being 50 times faster at begining to transfer said data has got to count for something.

RE: Seek time
By codeThug on 9/30/2008 1:22:28 AM , Rating: 2
Not to mention rotational latency and head settling time.

However, not all storage access requires a seek, typically a large majority of storage requests happen while the head mechanism is already on cylinder or very close to on cylinder. Couple this with drive read ahead cylinder caching, and the benefits may not always be as rosy as SSD manufacturers would like you to think.

Does anyone have a Intel drive?
By V3ctorPT on 9/30/2008 8:49:59 AM , Rating: 2
Does anyone have an Intel SSD? I would like to know if it stutters too...

RE: Does anyone have a Intel drive?
By 7Enigma on 9/30/2008 10:16:11 AM , Rating: 2
They DO NOT stutter. Please read my comment up a little bit. I linked the Anandtech article that talks about the drives that do and do not contain the Jmicron controller.

Laptop Drive
By KingofL337 on 9/29/2008 10:33:34 PM , Rating: 2
Lets forget about performance and go with reliability. SSDs in a laptop are the ultimate goal. Not for power savings but for the raw abuse laptops take. Especially in a corporate medium, when the user doesn't own the device and punishes it daily sometimes to get a new replacement.

Price is nice
By homernoy on 9/30/2008 6:23:34 PM , Rating: 2
It seems like these SSD's are coming down in price fairly quickly. In a few years it will be nice to see some much larger drives at HDD prices.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson
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