Print 60 comment(s) - last by TreeDude62.. on May 28 at 9:19 AM

Samsung throws down the gauntlet when it comes to SSD performance

The solid state disk (SSD) market is really starting to heat up as more player enter the market and NAND flash memory/controller technology improves. A few weeks ago, Super Talent dazzled consumers with a new "budget" line of SSDs which offered surprisingly large storage capacities at relatively affordable levels.

Samsung today is taking tackling the opposite end of the pricing spectrum with its new 256GB SSDs which it plans to introduce later this year. Samsung's new SATA II SSD should obliterate the competition with read speeds of 200MB/sec and write speeds of an amazing 160MB/sec. This compares to 120MB/sec and 40MB/sec respectively for Super Talents latest SSDs. Even Mtron falls far behind Samsung's new 256GB SSD with read speeds of 120MB/sec and write speeds of 100MB/sec.

Most would take a guess that Samsung is using single-level cell (SLC) NAND chips to achieve these unheard of performance figures, however, the company instead settled on cheaper multi-level cell (MLC) NAND chips.

"With development of the 256GB SSD, the notebook PC is on the brink of a second stage of evolution," said Samsung Memory Marketing VP Jim Elliott. "This change is comparable to the evolution from the Sony Walkman to NAND memory-based MP3 players, representing an initial step in the shift to thinner, smaller SSD-based notebooks with significantly improved performance and more than ample storage."

Given the wide performance delta between Samsung's new 256GB SSD and lesser rivals, the drive will likely come to the market with a price tag that pushing into the multi-thousand dollar range. With a price tag that high, the SSD will likely be relegated to high-end business use and for consumer with plenty of money to burn.

However, as the technology matures, we can expect to see prices drop as we have seen with the offerings from Super Talent. And if Intel has anything to say about it, it will offer SSD performance that will rival all contenders and likely will use its girth to push pricing further down to “mere mortal” levels.

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Nice job, Sammy!
By therealnickdanger on 5/26/2008 5:32:17 PM , Rating: 4
Naturally, I'll never be able to afford this, but I'm glad none of these guys are backing down pushing the SSD market forward! Keep it up! The HDD is the last bottleneck to conquer...

RE: Nice job, Sammy!
By codeThug on 5/26/2008 8:56:46 PM , Rating: 1
The HDD is the last bottleneck to conquer...

Not so fast there...

The next bottleneck will be system RAM which is still pretty slow. That's why Intel and AMD strive to cram as much cache into their respective CPU's. All that Cache takes up die space and generates heat.

After that, I'd say non multi-core optimized code will be the bottleneck.

It never ends.

RE: Nice job, Sammy!
By Alexstarfire on 5/26/2008 9:55:27 PM , Rating: 3
True, but physical limitations like the HDD and optical drives are the last BIG bottlenecks. Even the slowest RAM probably has an access time 10x faster than any HDD, save SSDs perhaps.

RE: Nice job, Sammy!
By Zoomer on 5/26/2008 10:30:48 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, more like >1000 times faster. I seem to recall PC-100 or PC-133 ram having access times of ~8ns.

It's also interesting to see that this thing is about as speedy as EDO ram. :p

RE: Nice job, Sammy!
By MrPoletski on 5/26/2008 10:34:33 PM , Rating: 5
RAM access times are measured in nano seconds, HDD access times in milliseconds. thats 1,000,000 x faster. WE also have the technology for much faster system ram, but it is prohibitively expensive and you'd need much more expensive motherbaords (extra layers for better signal traces) as well as RAM chips.

RE: Nice job, Sammy!
By tastyratz on 5/27/2008 12:13:34 AM , Rating: 3
system ram isn't the bottleneck at all on modern systems. it USED to be, but not for awhile if you ask me.
People like to make it look like going for that ddr2 1200 overclock is going to net you better performance but many benchmarks have shown over ddr2 800 is near useless.

Right now dropping the front side bus is the SECOND largest bottleneck on its way out, the external storage like hard drives/optical drives are the main slow points.

All these ssd articles make my mouth water, I would love to have one for just my windows drive - How about samsung releases a 16 or 32gb entry level model with the same read/write speeds for affordable pricing... hey I can hope right?

RE: Nice job, Sammy!
By codeThug on 5/27/08, Rating: 0
RE: Nice job, Sammy!
By Spoelie on 5/27/2008 6:41:29 AM , Rating: 3
try 150$, you can get 4gb at 75$ easily

RE: Nice job, Sammy!
By TreeDude62 on 5/27/2008 9:43:51 AM , Rating: 2
Are you kidding? As tastyratz said, anything above DDR2 800 gives little to no performance increase. So how is the RAM the bottleneck? I think you don't understand what bottleneck means.

If you have 8gb of DDR2 800 and are playing CoD4 and not getting a good framerate. I don't think getting 8gb of DDR3 1333 is going to help you much. Generally a new processor or graphics card is the way to go.

RE: Nice job, Sammy!
By teldar on 5/27/2008 6:59:36 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, what he's saying is that if you get enough ram to lose the pagefile, GENERAL performance will improve dramatically as Windows will be able to pull everything it needs for second to second running from RAM rather than the PAGE FILE. It would make a significant difference in the multi-tasking daily use arena.

RE: Nice job, Sammy!
By TreeDude62 on 5/28/2008 9:19:23 AM , Rating: 2
No he said RAM in general is a bottleneck. That means that even if you have the latest and greatest in RAM that it is still holding your system back (like a HD). That is simply not true.

Also, no matter how much RAM you have it is generally a good idea to keep a small pagefile. There are some applications out there (not games generally) which require a pagefile regardless of the amount of RAM you have.

RE: Nice job, Sammy!
By faiakes on 5/27/2008 9:02:59 AM , Rating: 3
I'm with you there. The first thing that came to my mind: a 16GB version would make an excellent OS drive.

Otherwise, HDD speeds are good enough for most uses.

RE: Nice job, Sammy!
By teldar on 5/27/2008 7:02:15 PM , Rating: 2
Spot on.

I LOVE having small OS drives and huge amounts of local storage for anime/music/movies/tv shows. My ideal system drive would either be one of these new Raptors in a 30 GB size or a super fast SSD in a 32 GB size. Big enough for Vista and standard programs, fast enough to start up nearly instantly and load programs almost as fast.


RE: Nice job, Sammy!
By codeThug on 5/27/2008 12:15:41 AM , Rating: 2
Actually the biggest bottleneck I'd like to see get wasted would be boot time. Near instant on, say <2 seconds coupled with this kind of SSD would keep me happy for a while.

RE: Nice job, Sammy!
By rudy on 5/27/2008 3:23:34 AM , Rating: 4
this would be a good thing for the fact that people would save more power by just setting their computer to hibernate if inactive for more then say 5 minutes. If shutdown and start up were really fast we could use it more like flipping off the light when you leave the room.

RE: Nice job, Sammy!
By FITCamaro on 5/27/2008 8:31:30 AM , Rating: 2
AMD is still using the same amount of L2 cache(512KB per core) as it was when the Athlon XP was in use. It used more L2 in some of the early Athlon64s and X2s(1MB per core) than it does now.

Intel crams as much cache onto its CPUs as possible because it still uses a FSB which makes it slower for it to access system memory. AMD doesn't have this problem because of Hypertransport.

RE: Nice job, Sammy!
By PlaceNRoute on 5/27/2008 2:45:57 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, the cache runs much cooler than the core. The cache is just a massive chunk of SRAM operating at a significantly lower speed than the core. A major reason CPU designers love cache so much is because you can get good performance gains for low power/temp cost.

RE: Nice job, Sammy!
By elgueroloco on 5/27/2008 10:16:43 PM , Rating: 2
Acutally, RAM and HDD's will both be conquered when they are rendered useless by the memristor.
In the future all memory functions will be handled by the memristor and nothing will ever have to be taken from a HDD or loaded into RAM again. No more booting, no more load screens.

RE: Nice job, Sammy!
By Rike on 5/27/2008 3:06:08 AM , Rating: 3
Naturally, I'll never be able to afford this, . . .

Well not this one. In about 5 years you'll be able to get one that has 4 times the capacity, that's 2 times faster and uses half the juice for about $150.

And it won't even be top of the line.

"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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