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Kingston will resell Intel SSDs to its hardware partners.  (Source: Intel)
Kingston and Intel work together to sell Intel's new SSDs

SSDs are trickling into the consumer market in notebooks and especially netbook computers. In the enterprise market, the benefits of a SSD are more apparent when used in high-demand environments.

Kingston and Intel have teamed up to market Intel SSDs to the computer industry according to Mobile Tech Today. Kingston is one of the leading makers of memory products for computers and its wares find their way into desktop and notebook systems from a variety of PC makers like Dell, HP and IBM among others.

Intel's SSDs showed up on a roadmap in August and launched a few weeks ago. The firm makes a pair of SSDs with one aimed at notebook computers and the other aimed at enterprise use in servers. Intel's SSDs have read speeds of up to 240MB per second and write speeds of up to 170MB per second. The enterprise series uses a standard 2.5-inch form factor and the consumer-oriented series uses a 1.8-inch form factor.

Traditionally, Kingston is trepid in entering new markets. A good example is the several years Kingston waited to enter the flash-based memory card market. The same market now accounts for a full quarter of Kingston's yearly sales. Kingston attributes its late entry and rapid growth in the memory card market to its broad range of partner firms it sells to.

The SSD market is far from mature and has a long way to go by most accounts before it reaches maturity. Kingston is getting into SSDs while the market is emerging, a big change for the firm. Kingston spokesman David Leong said, "[entering the SSD market] almost flies in the face of the usual Kingston model. This is one market where we believe it will grow quite a bit. The opportunity was there to jump into it right now with Intel."

Mobile Tech Today reports that Kingston and Intel have partnered together in a similar fashion before. The two firms worked together on a memory module that improved the reliability and performance of memory inside servers.

Under the partnership, Kingston will resell Intel SSDs to its partners including Dell and HP. It's not clear at this point if Kingston will be selling both the server and consumer versions of Intel's SSD or the server version alone. The market for consumer SSDs is still very soft and it's likely that Kingston will stick to the enterprise market at least in the beginning.

As SSDs become more popular in the consumer notebook market -- something not likely to happen until prices fall and storage capacities go up -- Kingston will be in a very good position to sell the consumer Intel SSDs for integration into notebook and netbook systems.

Kingston is a main rival to SanDisk in the flash storage and media market. SanDisk has been in the news recently as its falling stock price has made it the target of acquisition talks and rumors. SanDisk's board unanimously turned down a purchase offer form electronics giant Samsung. Interestingly, after SanDisk turned down Samsung, Intel was one of the names rumored to be interested in acquiring SanDisk. That rumor has yet to be confirmed.

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Intel in retail?
By DallasTexas on 10/3/2008 4:20:58 PM , Rating: 2
Where did it say intel is in the SSD retail business? Are you waiting for an Intel branded SSD in retail? There's your problem right there.

RE: Intel in retail?
By PandaBear on 10/4/2008 1:13:41 AM , Rating: 5
Kingston is a company that doesn't make its own products. Its USB is Samsung, its SD card is Toshiba, and soon SSD will be Intel.

What it means is Intel will design and build the drive, and Kingston will guarantee to buy 100k+ of them per year, and sell them to make a profit. If Kingston couldn't sell them, then it is Kingston's responsibility to do rebates, discounts, marketing, warranty, PR, etc.

Intel doesn't like to do small business with too low of a margin, Kingston has good marketing so that's what they will be doing.

RE: Intel in retail?
By mindless1 on 10/4/2008 5:36:26 PM , Rating: 2
The unfortunate part is that Kingston seems to overcharge for many of their memory products, if they don't rethink this they may have a small window of opportunity to make good profits before other players have SSD with close enough performance:cost ratio, as price is still going to be the main thing slowing adoption by the masses. The world wants cheaper computers, then later they think about failures.

If it were not the case the lower end notebooks, CPUs, etc, wouldn't be the best sellers. IOW, most people don't have WD Raptors in their system even though it's faster than most other drives - the cost wasn't justified.

RE: Intel in retail?
By PandaBear on 10/4/2008 7:07:19 PM , Rating: 3
I think Kingston is "fairly" priced in most cases. They are not dumping their products at a loss (no sane business would) like ADATA, and since they are re-badge, they can always switch to the winner of the day without being hit with a failed design that bust.

To lower price you have to lower component (NAND) price. Currently it is still expensive to make a large or fast or reliable SSD, you have to wait till 32nm or smaller to see the price really drop to affordable, then it is like 1999 all over again.

RE: Intel in retail?
By mindless1 on 10/4/2008 11:31:22 PM , Rating: 2
What's fair about selling the same thing at a higher price? Often you can't even assume buying two of the same part number from Kingston will mean getting the same memory because they mix-n-match use of whatever chips they get cheapest in the same model of product.

You write that no sane business would dump product and yet plenty of companies still in business do sell for less than Kingston. Basically, it makes no sense to buy any Kingston product today from a consumer's standpoint. I'm sure they have more overhead from things like advertising but that only helps someone who has no idea what's out there, not those who are veterans at buying computer parts (which just happens to be the majority who make the purchasing decisions if considering volume rather than # of buying events).

RE: Intel in retail?
By PandaBear on 10/5/2008 3:02:27 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know why are you holding grudges against Kingston, but I think their flash memory is very cheap ($15 for 4GB sometimes) compare to other brands like Lexar and SanDisk. Everyone buy memories from buy guys and put labels on them, it is not just the memory business, but all commodities. You don't get the same hard drive from DELL, they always use at least 4 suppliers for risk management and have them out bid each others for low cost for the same reliability.

If you are whinning that ADATA or PQI is selling for cheaper than Kingston, you have to understand why. True, no sane business would dump unless 1) their supplier is dumping and they get the parts for cheap, 2) they need to sell a certain volume to get a discount, so the last 10% of the business is just to get rid of stuck inventory, 3) depreciation in memory business for large company (say, SanDisk), can be $10M per month, so the longer you wait, the more you lose.

Intel doesn't like to deal with customers that are picky and cheap, that's why they still leave the consumer motherboard business to the Taiwanese MB companies, and they intend to sell their own SSD to large OEM that buy in large volume. It cost a lot of money and energy to deal with companies like Bestbuy and fight for shelf space, talk to the press, RMA, supply chain, etc.

Newsflash: veterans at buying computer parts are only good at buying parts after they are design, not picking a winning design that is yet to be build and have no prototype. Unless you have teams of people who run the latest benchmark in labs with prototype stuff and then tell the suppliers what to build for you 6 months down the road, the suppliers probably wouldn't know what to sell you. OEM like Dell knows what they want (cheap, good enough performance, and high reliability), but customers don't always (fast, cheap, and good enough reliability). Kingston guarantees a volume, and that takes out a lot of business risk from Intel.

Just because there is a cheaper alternative doesn't means it is the best solution. I'll never buy from some of the Chinese/Taiwanese brand memory because I've seen in the lab how poorly build they are (no wear leveling, spontaneous timeout due to bad garbage collection, like the JMicro SSD controller). Your usage pattern may not fail, but it may also fail miserably. Kingston has been pretty good to me so far and all their stuffs work for me, so I don't know why are you saying they are overpriced. Can you give an example.

RE: Intel in retail?
By Calin on 10/5/2008 1:45:17 PM , Rating: 2
I have a Dell laptop (Vostro 1500), and while there are two possible WiFi cards on it, there are no less than 11 (eleven) possible DVD units (all DVD-RW) for the same SERVICE TAG.
So, this happens with most big companies, on a larger or smaller level

RE: Intel in retail?
By mindless1 on 10/5/2008 5:17:38 PM , Rating: 2
It's not a grudge to state fact. Fact is, the equivalent product from Kingston costs more the majority of the time.

Don't bother trying to cherry-pick one exception from Lexar or Sandisk (who BTW is also overpriced on many of their products), do the sensible thing any experienced purchaser does and check prices on several items at someplace like Newegg, making sure you also check the specs so it's an equivalent part not just the slowest 4GB flash you can buy from Kingston opposed to something better or cheaper from others.

You wrote "Intel doesn't like to deal with customers that are picky or cheap". That is arbitrary made-up nonsense. They prefer not to deal with retail sales but it has nothing to do with picky or cheap.

I'm well aware of the reasons for Intel going with Kingston, but it bears no weight on your other arguments nor does it detract from what I wrote about their higher than average market prices.

You wrote "just because there is a cheaper alternative doesn't mean it is the best solution". Ok then, quit babbling and tell us why Kingston is best. Kingston is no higher quality than many other alternatives (some extreme example of terrible manufacturing only bears on that product, NOT all the other alternative products), no higher performing at the same price point, and costs more than average. In other words there's little about kingston that is equal let alone better except from Intel's standpoint of their volume.

Next you went on to write about a JMicro SSD controller when it's not Kingston picking controllers.

They are overpriced because you can get the same quality, capacity, and performance for less (on average, random sales on random products will always make a very few exceptions) from others. This is well established but ok I will give an example, a totally random one. It will literally be the very first comparison I can find at Newegg by typing "Memory" in their search box. Having searched for "memory" you're brought to a page of featured memory deals. In case those are sale prices we will reject those deals and go to the top category (for no other reason than it's first on the list), desktop memory. Next a "Power Search" for Kingston products - they have two listings, "Kingston HyperX" and "Kingston Technology".

Now let's pick the most popular contemporary speed and capacity of DDR2 memory. Is that capacity 2 x 1GB or 2 x 2GB? I think the result will be the same either way but like before I will just pick the first option whenever possible so 2 x 1GB. Speed PC2-6400.

Kingston has one listing that is 36.48, it's low bin CAS6. Now go back one webpage to the Power Search again and instead of selecting Kingston, select "Any" Manufacturer but leave the other variables the same - 2 x 1GB and PC2-6400. From these search results you will see several entries from OCZ, Corsair, Crucial, Wintec.

I've examined enough Kingston memory to know it's not higher than average build quality, but either you are deliberately biased to the point if introducing misleading info or your supposed time in some "lab" hasn't exposed you to many products at all because if it had you would have encountered plenty of products with equal quality to Kingston, not just those with a Lexar or Sandisk branding on them. Didn't you even realize the majority of relabel brands out there are made by a few major manufacturers? This is even more true when talking about flash memory.

Go ahead and buy Kingston if you want but the truth is most experienced buyers don't and that includes both end users, computer shop, and OEM purchasing departments. I'm sure some computer shops will order it by special request but it's not the default config.

Remember something, I wouldn't have written about Kingston's prices without reason. I constantly keep an eye on memory prices.

RE: Intel in retail?
By PandaBear on 10/6/2008 4:01:38 PM , Rating: 3
Cool down dude.

I'm not saying Kingston is best, but as far as I have seen, I haven't found any crap that is made from them yet. I have seen many from other more generic brands like ADATA and OCZ, like those brands that uses JMicro controller (Kingston not using them is a good thing).

Example. Since you like newegg so much, I'll use newegg as an example. 2GB SD card, Kingston is 6.99 with free shipping, 226 ratings of 5 eggs. The cheapest competitor is Transend with 4.15 with 6.99 shipping and only 74 ratings of 4 eggs.

Example. 1GB USB drive on newegg. Kingston is 5.49 with 6.99 shipping, 5 year warranty, and 150 ratings of 5 eggs. Transend is 4.99 with 6.99 shipping, 1 year warranty, and 22 ratings of 5 eggs. Transend has faster transfer speed (10MS/S vs 6MB/S), 50 cents cheaper, so is a better deal, but that doesn't mean Kingston is overpriced.

You are the one that needs to get over your bias. I don't trust your reason to write about Kingston. True, they may be overpriced on DRAM, but DRAM is much easier to make than flash drive. There is no wear leveling and the only thing you have to worry about is voltage and compatibility (and overclocking for some).

Last time I check Bestbuy and Circuit City aren't carrying ADATA or Transend, and I'm not sure if that means anything but they don't have the volume of Kingston. Why? Kingston have good relationship with Samsung and Toshiba, and when Samsung wants to dump memory last DEC, it sold 1 million chips of 8G bit each to Kingston in one shot on the promise that it wouldn't be sold as chips on the spot market to drive down the contract price.

Now slow down and think. Why would I, someone that works in SanDisk, defend our competitor (Kingston)? Because their stuff ain't bad and they are not overpriced. True, you might once in a while find good deals in other companies, because they once in a while get good deals from their suppliers that over produce. But in the long run everyone has about the same cost (unless they screwed up and/or score a jack pot). Your good deal may not last, and Kingston may give you good deal in the future.

RE: Intel in retail?
By leexgx on 10/5/2008 8:41:06 AM , Rating: 2
Kingston do seem to charge higher prices then any one els (mostly in ram as thats i only ever looked at) but there sdram in the past allways worked when others did not

may end up that intel is setting the price on these SSD drives

RE: Intel in retail?
By PandaBear on 10/6/2008 4:08:07 PM , Rating: 2
Intel set the volume whole sale price, but it is up to Kingston to take it or leave it.

Usually the price trickle down from the fab or trickle up, or when a competitor or supplier comes into the field.

I'd imagine Intel won't be selling only to Kingston (may also sell to Seagate/WDC/etc), and Kingston won't be only selling Intel (most likely will be selling some Samsung or Toshiba SSD too).

The point is, large OEMs and retailers won't start using lots of SSD unless there are at least 3 to 4 suppliers that they can lowball on.

RE: Intel in retail?
By PandaBear on 10/6/2008 4:13:28 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not in the DRAM business, but from what I saw in our company's IT dept, the lazy asses want to have stuff that always works and pay a higher price for them. Since it is company's money and they will end up fixing compatibility issues if stuff doesn't work, they rather have someone that are proven if buying upgrade, either from OEM like DELL/HP (I know, stupid to buy the same RAM from DELL and pay 2x), or big brand like Crucial/Muskin/Corsair/Kingston. Too those lazy IT, nothing sells better than "tested, proven to work in brand ABC model XYZ" and they are willing to pay 100% more for them.

They are available
RE: They are available
By KITH on 10/3/2008 5:30:31 PM , Rating: 2
RE: They are available
By Ender17 on 10/4/2008 7:04:18 PM , Rating: 2
thanks so much for this info
they are on ebay too, but horrible title, you have to search with the model number you used: SSDSA2MH080G1C5
picked up one for $682.19 shipped minus $200 cashback for a total of $482.19!
thanks again!

RE: They are available
By Nyceis on 10/4/2008 8:34:22 PM , Rating: 2
Great tip - just did this myself!

Can't Wait!
By gemsurf on 10/3/2008 1:41:37 PM , Rating: 2
I'm all over one of these as soon as they hit the market. Anyone heard when? I hate these paper launches.

RE: Can't Wait!
By Alpha4 on 10/3/2008 2:06:56 PM , Rating: 2
I hear ya. I'd rather not even know about new desktop components until they're at most a month away from mass production. After all, a chip in the hand is worth two in the fab.

RE: Can't Wait!
By icrf on 10/3/2008 9:11:14 PM , Rating: 2
Heard that.

This sounds like Dell will end up getting them, which means I can request one for my next desktop at work. Already planned on waiting on Nehalem before the request. Figure that and an Intel SSD, should be pretty good. If I'm really lucky, late this year, but hopefully by early next. Until then, I'll keep trucking along with my old Netburst 2.8 GHz Pentium-D.

By JediSmurf on 10/5/2008 9:55:08 PM , Rating: 2
The first time I've ever seen "trepid" used. It even shows up as an incorrect word in FF's spellcheck, but it sounds like it should be right.. the opposite of "intrepid" yes?

By Shadowmaster625 on 10/9/2008 2:25:46 PM , Rating: 2
AMD and Intel need to agree on a standard for an integrated SSD controller. And then create a new open standard for a Flash SSD DIMM socket.

Then I could buy a 32 or 64 GB SSD DIMM and plug it into a socket next to my RAM, and have a SUPER-FAST hard drive. Imagine a SSD DIMM that costs $50 and puts out even better numbers than the Fusion-IO! With economy of scale, it would only cost a few dollers per CPU and a few dollars more for the motherboard. But the performance would shatter the current paradigm.

The cost of the DIMMs would be low because there would be no expensive controller on the module, like there is now with flash SSDs. And that is how it should be! There is NO need for a controller on a memory module! How we ended up taking this convoluted route baffles me. It is a fatally flawed design that is always going to be bottlenecked by the SATA interface, no matter how fast it is. The SSD MUST have a direct link to the CPU in order to unleash its true performance potential.

This would increase performance so much that if VIA did this with their Nano CPU, they would have an end product that outperforms even Nehalem in real-world everyday PC usage. If you dont believe me, you need to check out the Fusion-IO. With SSD controller integration, you can have Fusion-IO level performance for dirt cheap.

If you understand what I am talking about here, and can see that this is truly the way to go with SSDs, then you need to help get the word to AMD and Intel. Whoever does it first is going to make a killing. I'd prefer it to be AMD at this point but it just needs to get done.

But you can't buy them anywhere
By LTG on 10/3/08, Rating: -1
RE: But you can't buy them anywhere
By amanojaku on 10/3/08, Rating: -1
RE: But you can't buy them anywhere
By TheFace on 10/3/2008 12:08:28 PM , Rating: 5
Have you heard the specs on these? Intel pretty much stated that you could write 30 GB daily on these for 5 (FIVE) YEARS, before they should wear out. That is why they are odd numbers in terms of capacity. There is extra capacity on them, it's just for when the cells wear out they use some of the extra capacity. I don't know what you do, but I have never come close to writing 30GB daily. Sure there have been large file transfers from one drive to another, but that was usually just the one time.

RE: But you can't buy them anywhere
By amanojaku on 10/3/08, Rating: -1
RE: But you can't buy them anywhere
By omnicronx on 10/3/2008 12:53:11 PM , Rating: 2
Although I have no seen official 'proof' they don't just get that 5 years from nothing. Simliar to how car companies test their vehicles, they stress test them to see how long they can last. Keeping one of these hard drives on and constantly reading and writing for 10 days (or however many the equivalent to 5 years 30GB a day is) can give you a pretty good idea of how long it will last.

RE: But you can't buy them anywhere
By invidious on 10/3/2008 1:25:34 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with amanojaku, when it comes to new technology you can't factor manufacturer speculation into the purchasing decision.

Cars have been manufactured for a century, we know how they work and we know how to make a representative test. SSDs are just emmerging and no one knows how they are going to hold up to years of daily use. Even if you can simulate something like that you have no reason to believe the simulation is accurate until you have control data to compare it to.

I am not saying the claim by intel is right or wrong or that they are lying. Just that it is very possible for their best educated guess to be completely incorrect.

RE: But you can't buy them anywhere
By Myg on 10/4/2008 4:33:04 AM , Rating: 2
I agree with invidious, lets not decide untill we see the SATA cables spontaneously combust. ;-)

Seriously tho; its good to be critical of everything, very important skill.

RE: But you can't buy them anywhere
By JackBurton on 10/3/2008 1:42:36 PM , Rating: 2
You just go ahead and wait the five years then. And when a manufacturer claims 20 years, go ahead and wait 20 years to make sure their claims are correct.

RE: But you can't buy them anywhere
By spread on 10/3/2008 2:29:24 PM , Rating: 5
30GB/Day = 30,000MB/day.

Speed of 170MB/s write.

30,000MB/day * 365day/year * 5year
= 54,750,000 MB/170MB/s
= 322,058s / 3600s/HR
= 89.5HRs of writing.

Why wait 5 years?

RE: But you can't buy them anywhere
By omnicronx on 10/3/2008 2:44:15 PM , Rating: 2
I did not do the math, so I didnt realize how little time you would need, but you proved my point. It is a pretty safe bet that 4-5 years is a good prediction of how long the drive will last.

By mindless1 on 10/4/2008 5:19:49 PM , Rating: 2
All this speculation is crazy. Let even ONE PERSON on earth use a SSD of ample capacity and wear it out before doubting the only available spec from a manufacturer.

Tell us you constantly write to a mechanical hard drive as fast as possible, 100% 24 hours 7 days a week. I dare say almost nobody does unless their only goal is seeing if they can break it.

Lifespan of any decent SSD is longer than the system it is installed in for typical PC or laptop uses.

RE: But you can't buy them anywhere
By Lifted on 10/3/2008 7:44:50 PM , Rating: 3
You don't even have to bother with that.

You simply write to thousands or millions of cells constantly and come up with a good minimum for the number of times they can be written to before they go bad.

According to Intel, you can write to a drive (let's assume they meant 32GB since that is their smallest offering) 30GB/day of data for 5 years. I don't know how big the cells are, but' it's east to see that they are writing to entire drive once per day, a over five years, that comes out to only 1,825 writes per cell.

If you double the size of the drive, you can theoretically double the amount of data written in those 5 years, or double the length of time before cells starting being marked as old/bad. For example:

32GB drive = 5 years at 30GB/day
64GB drive = 10 years at 30GB/day (or 5 years at 60GB/day)

Raise and lower the amount of data written per day and you can easily see how long the drive should last.

A great benefit to all of this is that the drive should be able to tell you, after being in use for several months, exactly how long it will last in it's current role assuming usage stays the same.

RE: But you can't buy them anywhere
By Lifted on 10/3/2008 7:46:19 PM , Rating: 5
And regarding 89.5 hours, I probably takes quite a bit less time to write to a cell ~2,000 times. ;)

RE: But you can't buy them anywhere
By MarkHark on 10/3/2008 8:01:03 PM , Rating: 3
Except you cannot do that.

The drive's firmware uses an algorithm to determine which cells the data will be written to, and it (alegedly) makes it so that no cell will be written a second time, until all of them have been written once.

RE: But you can't buy them anywhere
By Lifted on 10/4/2008 9:51:45 AM , Rating: 3
I was discussing writing to a cell for testing purposes by the manufacturer. Surely you would agree they have the ability to do that.

By MarkHark on 10/5/2008 8:25:51 AM , Rating: 2
Sure, you're right to that, and I believe that's how Intel arrived at their 5-year estimate.

RE: But you can't buy them anywhere
By leexgx on 10/5/2008 8:37:05 AM , Rating: 2
there is an 32MB chip(mite be 64mb) on the intel SSD that is used for storeing the the data has been saved last cell saved so that cells are not constantly been overwriten,

no other SSD does this thay use an algorithm with no cell storage that trys to make sure it does not save to many times in the same place but the Intel well will more likey make the ssd last Way longer then any none intel SSD

allso on data loss side there is space set aside for that and when cells start to die off and no longer any bad cell space left the disk starts to get smaller, intel will be provideing an tool at some point that will be able to warn the user in good time well before data loss is going to happen

RE: But you can't buy them anywhere
By Quiescent on 10/3/2008 3:36:46 PM , Rating: 2
Did anyone pay attention to my post last time in the SSD section? A faulty harddrive is no better than a faulty SSD.
I can assure you that I have gone 10 months, 5 days owning my EeePC 4G Surf (Gotta love IRC scripts!), and using it as my main computer. I have watched videos (Which includes either going to hulu or downloading them VIA utorrent), played games, play music, constantly have IRC open, used Photoshop, Nvu, and many other intense programs. Lots of heavy usage, it's always on. The only thing, and I have a swap on here as well. There has been NO problems with total space mysteriously disapearing.
So I can see where they might get 5 years. I'm sure my SSD will last 5 years too. But this is with maximum load, so this means that it's probably a 20+ year lifetime, but nobody is going to even own something for more than 5 years, with how technology has been ever-changing and evolving. Just in 2005, a single core processor with 1GB of RAM, one 7200RPM harddrive, and a decent videocard would require somewhere around a 400-500W PSU. With that, you don't even need a 300W PSU.

Back on topic, I made my point before and I'll make it again: The hype on the wear-leveling not being good is just as bad as the hype on man-made global warming. A lot of it is exagerated. Do you think a business would risk using SSDs if it had a short lifetime? NO! That would be a fatal mistake that would cost money and downtime.

RE: But you can't buy them anywhere
By StevoLincolnite on 10/3/2008 5:46:34 PM , Rating: 2
but nobody is going to even own something for more than 5 years, with how technology has been ever-changing and evolving.

Now, that's not entirely accurate, some people are different and will hang onto there PC until it bites the dust.

I got a new notebook recently because my 5 year old Pentium M finally gave up the ghost, if it was still going I probably wouldn't have upgraded at all.

Heck, my parents still have a Cyrix PR300 desktop machine with a 2mb video card running Windows 98, and it has been running for 10 years now! Still surfs the internet and lets them check email, funny thing about it is that none of the hardware has broken down, it's still got the same 32mb of EDO Ram, still the same 3.2gb HDD, the same S3 Virge Graphics card.

The point is, not everyone is going to upgrade every 12 months when something new and shiny is released, allot of people won't bother wasting there money because the system still meets there needs.

By Quiescent on 10/3/2008 6:15:49 PM , Rating: 2
Well, that wasn't my point, that was just a side order of fries to my point. I am currently building a computer that will last me 5 years of technological lifetime, and guaranteed longer actual lifetime. But still, that was not at all my point I made.

By mindless1 on 10/4/2008 5:22:25 PM , Rating: 2
That's not relevant. These SSDs would still be working fine in that 10 year old Cyrix desktop, it would not have come close to exceeding even half of the write cycles the SSD can endure.

RE: But you can't buy them anywhere
By Alexvrb on 10/3/2008 6:47:38 PM , Rating: 2
Lots of heavy usage, it's always on. The only thing, and I have a swap on here as well. There has been NO problems with total space mysteriously disapearing.
I don't think the space will mysteriously disappear. More likely you'll just suffer data loss if it starts to fail. The wear leveling algorithms are probably quite good, but cells do have a limited number of cycles regardless.
I'm sure my SSD will last 5 years too. But this is with maximum load, so this means that it's probably a 20+ year lifetime
What you are doing is far from "maximum load". Maybe its the most load your typical low-power system will see. But this technology needs to eventually become robust enough for things like high powered desktops, workstations, servers, etc. Many systems are constantly reading and writing a lot more data than you are.
Just in 2005, a single core processor with 1GB of RAM, one 7200RPM harddrive, and a decent videocard would require somewhere around a 400-500W PSU.
Depending on what you mean by "decent videocard", most systems did NOT need 400W+ power supplies. Especially if you're talking about a high quality PSU, and not a no-name "400W" unit. Furthermore, the HDD actually consumed very little of that power.
Do you think a business would risk using SSDs if it had a short lifetime? NO! That would be a fatal mistake that would cost money and downtime.
Most businesses don't make heavy use of SSDs, particularly in critical systems. Mind you, one of the reasons for that is cost/capacity. Of course, how do the companies selling the SSDs take care of the issue? Give it a shorter warranty, end of problem.

I'm not saying SSDs are bad. Even current SSDs are very good for some things, particularly mobile devices. It's more like... there's a lot of companies in the field, and just as some models of HDDs weren't so reliable (especially when compared to enterprise-class HDDs), some models of SSDs (especially cheap ones) aren't necessarily going to be super reliable. Either way, SSDs are currently far from perfect, and a lot of the expected lifetime figures these companies throw around are leagues away from the products' warranty.

RE: But you can't buy them anywhere
By Quiescent on 10/4/2008 9:54:34 AM , Rating: 2
That's my point. I use my EeePC unlike anyone else, I even got to the point where my onboard wireless card just said "I QUIT! YOU DEMAND TOO MUCH!" I kind of abuse my Eee into doing what I would normally do on a desktop. But all that I do on here is definitely not going to use max load, I never said it was max load, I just said that it was heavy.

As for the total space disappearing, yeah it will. I've seen people complain about it when the SSDs in the 8Gs were faulty. They lost data, AND their total space mysteriously disappeared. Luckily for them, they weren't powerusers like me, and didn't have a whole lot of data that was important to them.

I think I know how SSDs are being used. I used to work for a company that a majority of their businesses were schools and businesses. They use SSDs over iRAM, because they are fast, but you can get more capacity usage, and they dispense less heat.

I was talking 1.8Ghz AMD 3000+, socket 939 motherboard, 7800GT, Audigy 2 ZS soundcard, one 80GB SATA, one 80GB IDE. Which required a 430W PSU. Compared to a E4500 core2duo, 2GB of RAM, socket 775 motherboard, an ATI 3580 graphics card, and a 320GB SATA drive on a 280W PSU.

And yes, I agree that there are some issues with the cheaper SSDs, that's why I wait for reviews on newegg on them to see what issues are issues because someone thinks they know something about SSDs but really don't, and what issues are truly issues. But again the hype over the wear-leveling being bad is way out of line, just like the hype over global warming. People are going to the extreme to say that the wear leveling is so bad that they may not even last a year, which is uncalled for, and untrue.

By PlasmaBomb on 10/5/2008 7:55:48 AM , Rating: 2
If you are a power user with lots of important data, you should be familiar with the word "backup"...

By mindless1 on 10/4/2008 5:32:12 PM , Rating: 2
"But this technology needs to eventually become robust enough for things like high powered desktops, workstations, servers, etc. Many systems are constantly reading and writing a lot more data than you are."

Where have you been? This tech is already the most robust solution mankind has ever known, the idea of waiting for some message to fall from the sky about it is completely backwards because any other solution you could choose is less reliable, robust, or however you'd like to put it.

As always there might be a very small number of applications where over many years of use the write cycle limitation could matter. In such a system a mechanical hard drive is not a solution either, that would be replaced every few years, within the lifespan of a SSD. The difference is if the SSD starts losing cells it puts data elsewhere while a HDD is also far more likely to suffer sudden total failure.

The remaining issue is the price of SSD vs capacity, not any thoughts about write cycles.

By PandaBear on 10/4/2008 1:07:35 AM , Rating: 2
I used to work for Maxtor, and right now for SanDisk. So I think I can tell you how the qualification of HD and SSD usually work:

For OEM like DELL and HP, they have a spec on write pattern, temperature, sample size, and all sorts of stuff. Basically they ask you to ship them 1000-5000 evaluation samples for a new design (when you change heads/platters/coating/chips/controllers/etc), and they randomly pick 1000 out of the 5000, and run the torture test. It has to fail less than 0.5% of the sample size, or else they reject your design.

What happens when you are rejected? Your 10 million drives per month order is now divided among your 3 other competitors and your stock drop 30-80%. Seagate is in trouble right now because they have design problem in 7200.11, Maxtor and IBM went into similar problems and never recover completely from it. Samsung is now pretty much the only game in SSD because they pass all the spec, one of our competitor (can't say who) got dropped because their memory failed. They then decided to buy Samsung's memory and passed the spec, but still fail some other test later and was dropped by DELL.

What happens to those drives/designs that failed? Bestbuy and Circuit City, they are still good enough for most users, but for a large OEM, a 0.5% extra failure rate means losing millions on profit. Retail customers will be happy if you send them a new drive with a size upgrade, or refund their purchase.

RE: But you can't buy them anywhere
By JustTom on 10/5/2008 12:18:59 PM , Rating: 1
So you'd believe it if they said they had 'unlimited reads and writes' but not if they said they had 5 years worth? Why?

RE: But you can't buy them anywhere
By LTG on 10/3/2008 12:08:43 PM , Rating: 2
>>write cycle that's so high it would take years to wear out
>>the memory even under daily use

If that's what you're waiting for then order away.

Intel has already their implementation of write leveling allows the drives to last for quite a few years even being used daily.

RE: But you can't buy them anywhere
By Oralen on 10/3/2008 2:04:39 PM , Rating: 4

One of the most irritating things, when I read reviews about an interesting product, is that when I have the money, too often I can't actually purchase it anywhere.

Add to that the fact that I live in Europe, and since the best on-line shops are based overseas, even when I could order them, delivery costs would simply be too much.

And even Anandtech, and all the other review sites are a little guilty of being to remote from the actual end-user.

They review a great product, which end up being a pre-production press sample, with a bios or firmware in such an alpha state that it is changed three times in the course of the review ...

And It takes up to NINE month before I can actually get one. But of course it's not exactly the same product any more... Revision 1.1, bios/firmware version xxx, and all that. Which kind of kills the interest of the review for me, except for the drooling factor.

Those Intel drives WILL be great... Once they will hit a store near me... In a year?


"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki

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