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32GB OCZ Core SATA II SSD $99 after Rebate
SSDs dip below $100

It's been quite some time since DailyTech has posted a Daily Hot Deals post, but this particular deal is simply too mind-blowing to pass over. Newegg currently has the recently released 32GB OCZ Core Series SATA II SSD for $159 -- MWAVE also lists the drive for the same price. There is also a $60 manufacturer's rebate which drops the price down to $99 -- this is a new low for high-speed solid state drives.

The 32GB Core Series SSD has write speeds of 83MB/sec and read speeds of 120MB/sec.

There have been some concerns raised about the performance issues of OCZ's MLC-based Core Series SSDs in recent tests, but the sub-$100 price tag may just be low enough to get some users to at least give the burgeoning technology a try.



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meh
By legoman666 on 9/9/2008 7:46:08 AM , Rating: 5
Quoting Anandtech's review:
quote:
As I've mentioned before, the random write issues with JMicron JMF602 based MLC SSDs are simply unacceptable and in my opinion they make the drives unusable for use in any desktop or notebook that you actually care about. Next year we may see a JMicron controller that fixes the problem but until then, I'd consider those drives off limits.


Steer clear.




RE: meh
By Snowy on 9/9/2008 8:26:04 AM , Rating: 2
If I wanted one, just to install my OS on, would it be ok?


RE: meh
By tastyratz on 9/9/2008 8:41:11 AM , Rating: 4
Be ok? probably.
Be worth it? Don't waste your money.

The largest favorable reason to switch to ssd in terms of performance is the lack of a mechanically limited seek time.

The jmicron controller they used basically makes it slower than a hard drive.
I remember seeing a review on these and the ssd took 4x longer for a random write test. Its sad really, I was so hyped up on buying this exact drive but now I have 0 interest.


RE: meh
By JustTom on 9/9/2008 8:42:17 AM , Rating: 5
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/intel/showdoc...

Read that and decide for yourself. I'd not do it, the issues seem really severe.


RE: meh
By Funksultan on 9/9/2008 8:50:17 AM , Rating: 4
Agreed, but remember that all these problems are performance related.

If you've got a small laptop and are looking to keep the heat down and prolong battery life, this might not be a bad purchase.


RE: meh
By therealnickdanger on 9/9/2008 9:18:39 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I think it's important to keep this SSD in perspective of the storage it could replace. Even with its pausing problem, it can still blow the hinges off 5400RPM notebook drives, small "SSDs" in netbooks, and many 7200RPM drives in nearly every category.

Let's not jump all over the "OCZ Core sux" bandwagon just yet. It doesn't suck. It could just be a lot better - Intel has showed us that it can be better - but at 6X the price it better be! LOL

For $100, I would buy this drive to replace just about any notebook/netbook HDD. $60 would be even better... ;-)


RE: meh
By Sunrise089 on 9/9/2008 10:08:36 AM , Rating: 3
It certainly is NOT faster than a 5400RPM notebook drive (much less a decent 7200 RPM drive) when it's stuttering. Anand pointed out system hands with sending IM messages. That is simply unacceptable performance.


RE: meh
By therealnickdanger on 9/9/2008 11:11:57 AM , Rating: 2
I've read and re-read the reviews repeatedly. Despite the "unacceptable" performance, the Core drives still manage to beat the Velociraptor in many benchmarks. I'm sorry, Anand is over-reacting a bit. I've seen these systems in operation - they behave very well in standard desktop operation. It's almost laughable that Anand is simulating 100% random writes as reasoning against these drives. Afterall, look at the AT review of the Core line several weeks ago:

http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=33...

Editors choice. It's not just AT either, there is a consensus among hardware review sites: the Core line offers noticeably improved system-wide performance. Clearly, the new Intel drive is a HUGE step beyond Core, but I don't think it's fair to count them out completely - especially at the right price.


RE: meh
By Zshazz on 9/9/2008 11:25:06 AM , Rating: 4
It's not just "simulations" being run that show this... The reason they were alerted to this problem was due to random pauses of nearly a second on certain easy tasks... such as sending an IM. The culprit was found to be things like updating a small log file.

I'm really sad at the news as well, but if you want to suffer through inconsistent performance, you're certainly allowed to. Just remember, peak performance makes nice-looking benchmarks, but people actually care about general performance and/or worst-case performance... these MLC drives simply aren't up to the task after you look at the fact that they fail at relatively simple real-world tasks. :(


RE: meh
By feraltoad on 9/9/2008 8:51:41 PM , Rating: 2
people actually care about general performance and/or worst-case performance...

Well said! Who would choose a video card that was much faster when it came to maximum fps but with a minimum of 1 fps at times while gaming? In that scenario most people would choose a lower but steady frame rate. Imagine that freeze in COD4 right before u try 2 snipe someone running!

Although they are just unloading the things, I hope this signals a price drop for SSDs. If a company sold a 64gb SSD for under $200 they wouldn't be able to keep them on the shelves. Which is why they would charge more. :( Economics <sigh>...


RE: meh
By bhieb on 9/9/2008 11:28:47 AM , Rating: 2
I think your missing the reason for the concern. In benchmarks the drives look fine, but in actual real world usage you can tell a difference anytime there are more random writes than the buffer can handle. Sorry but most users heavily use their Web browser and IM client. And even if it is happening once or twice and hour it simply is not acceptable for the price premium/other small benefits.

It boils down to what you want most.

Battery Life/Ruggedness
- stick with a desktop drive the premium is not there.

Quick application starts
- SSD obviously has an edge here even the older MLC's beat a normal drive.

Overall better experience
- You won't get that from the older MLC. What difference does it make if your browser starts fast if it is pausing for up to a second randomly throughout the day. Sorry that is a complete failure compared to a normal drive.

This is a subjective category and for whatever reason a random pause is noticed by the user more than a steady slowness. You get quite used to your apps taking x number of seconds to load, but and unexplain random slowness will always impact your overall experience more.


RE: meh
By xsilver on 9/9/2008 12:05:49 PM , Rating: 2
well some poor sods have to buy them at least in order to reduce the prices further on the next generation drives! ;)

and they still are useful if you want durability/battery performance.
tough break though - the price point is very tempting although the size is still just a tad small for os install. 64gb is just about right. When that hits the $100 price point without this issue - I think the floodgates will open on sales.


RE: meh
By therealnickdanger on 9/9/2008 12:43:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
This is a subjective category and for whatever reason a random pause is noticed by the user more than a steady slowness.

"Subjective" being the key word. Objectively, the reviews show these as lightning-fast drives. Subjectively, I didn't notice anything like what Anand mentioned on a system (Vista-32, 2GB RAM) running the 64GB Core and I did plenty of surfing. I did not use IM though (I rarely do anyway). What I did notice was a snappy responsiveness that I had never experienced prior.

Friday is payday and I'll likely purchase this drive. I'll keep investigating up to the very second I click the "purchase" button. I'm trying to encourage people not to just dismiss this drive - as powerful as Anand's comments can be. There is MUCH to benefit the common user with one of these. If your workload produces constant small, random writes, then this isn't the drive for you. It's inappropriate to call it "crap" however.


RE: meh
By TheLiberalTruth on 9/9/2008 1:56:16 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Friday is payday and I'll likely purchase this drive.

By all means, buy it! We need suckers *ahem* I mean someone to buy up all these drives so the retailers can make room for new models that work right.


RE: meh
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 9/9/2008 1:33:10 PM , Rating: 5
You're quoting the wrong SSD drive. The drive in the review you point out is OCZ's SLC drive. SLC drives don't have the performance/stuttering issues. It is NOT the Core Series SSD which use MLC NAND flash.

The drive in question (and which is the subject of this article and Anand's review yesterday) is an MLC drive -- the Core Series.


RE: meh
By therealnickdanger on 9/9/2008 2:53:08 PM , Rating: 2
<idiot>me</idiot>

Still doesn't change the overall performance benefits of the Core series, however.


RE: meh
By DigitalFreak on 9/9/2008 2:56:06 PM , Rating: 1
Hmm... Shall I trust the opinion of someone with the handle "therealdickdanger", or Anand?

Not really that difficult of a decision.


RE: meh
By atrabilious on 9/9/2008 2:37:57 PM , Rating: 2
Why take the risk when in 6 months, you can get a much better drive for less money, that doesn't have these problems? Is it really so important to pull the trigger now?


RE: meh
By rudolphna on 9/9/2008 3:29:41 PM , Rating: 2
I dunno, a 1 second lag for sending an IM seems pretty crappy to me.


RE: meh
By homerdog on 9/9/2008 10:26:33 AM , Rating: 2
The battery life of the system was actually lower with the OCZ Core, presumably thanks to the strange write performance issues. http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/intel/showdoc...


RE: meh
By Googer on 9/10/2008 12:35:15 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Read and decide for yourself. I did not do it..


Obviously you did not read the link you posted. The deal is for OCz SSD and the Anandtech article you linked is for the latest Intel X25-M SSD (Intel X25-M SSD: Intel Delivers One of the World's Fastest Drives).

Two different products and two different performance levels. Just because it says SSD, do not assume they are all alike in the benchmark.

This may be the correct link:
http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=3311&p=9


RE: meh
By JustTom on 9/10/2008 3:52:12 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, I read the entire article. There is a lot of information on problems with the OCZ SSD. Stuttering, slow response time and other issues. I'd give you quotes but for some reason the link isn't working. Given the data in that article, even if it was focused on Intel's product, I'd not touch OCZ core product.

The link you provided is for a different OCZ product. It is much more expensive than the Core products and doesn't have the stuttering/response time problems of the cheaper Core products. Of course, a 32 gig unit will set you back $359 rather than $99 for the Core unit. (prices from Newegg)


RE: meh
By Spacecomber on 9/9/2008 9:22:20 AM , Rating: 2
From the previously mentioned Anandtech article, it looks like you may find it quite difficult just installing Windows Vista on this hard drive. The following is excerpted from the article.

quote:
The first indication that something is wrong actually comes from running the Windows Vista install itself, the MLC drive takes 25% longer to complete the install (let’s just ignore the part about the full install not being fully functional upon completion)..... I haven’t been able to get the Vista install to complete without errors on the OCZ Core drive.....It looks like the Vista install doesn’t do well with significant delays when writing files to the disk. The only way I could actually get a reliable Vista install on the Core drive was by cloning another drive with a working Vista image on it.


Ouch!


RE: meh
By raabscuttle on 9/9/2008 1:08:03 PM , Rating: 2
Geeks.com has a MLC Transcend 32GB SSD at 97.99 (no rebate) and they state in big letters in their ad:
"This is a Multi-Level Cell SSD and therefore is not recommended for OS installation"

see: http://www.geeks.com/details_test.asp?Invtid=TS32G...

I may be inclinded to pop it into an external case and use it as an external drive (like a really big flash drive) but not pop it into a laptop.


RE: meh
By MrPickins on 9/9/2008 8:46:49 AM , Rating: 3
Exactly.

OCZ is just hoping to move as many as possible to the people who haven't read about the issue.


RE: meh
By Chadder007 on 9/9/2008 10:53:15 AM , Rating: 3
Most likely.
They would still be good for if you handle the laptop roughly like carrying it around while turned on a lot since it has no moving parts.


RE: meh
By icanhascpu on 9/12/2008 8:02:32 PM , Rating: 2
Unless youre playing frizbee while trying to defrag your HDD as it downloads mounds of torrents, the "handle your laptop roughly" point is moot.

The amount of Gs needed to screw up a 2.5" mechanical are quite high.


RE: meh
By Locutus465 on 9/9/2008 9:45:40 AM , Rating: 2
Well regardless I'm not buying into an SSD until there's an affordable one in the 200GB range... I just really need the disk space on my laptop, in fact I'm currently planning an upgrade of my 160 since it's getting tight.

Also I want good performance, that's a biggie... My laptop is maxed out at 2GB of memory, and sadly my model does *not* have a second drive bay. So I for sure need a very good performaing drive with good random read/writes.


RE: meh
By shabby on 9/9/2008 5:24:24 PM , Rating: 2
Ocz must be pissed at that article, thats a 50% drop in price right after it was posted the other day.


RE: meh
By OCZJess on 9/10/2008 3:54:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Ocz must be pissed at that article, thats a 50% drop in price right after it was posted the other day.


I wanted to start off by identifying myself as an OCZ employee...I'm a bit late here, but just wanted to clarify.

If you notice the dates of the rebates on Newegg.com, you will see they began 9/3 (5 days before the AT review).

We did not change pricing after the review and have been offering aggressive pricing on the drives from day 1 due to their mainstream performance.

We are currently developing enthusiast-grade MLC-based SSDs.


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