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  (Source: DailyTech/Brandon Hill)
OCZ launches another line of mainstream SSDs

Although Thursday is the "official" first day of CES, the DailyTech crew has been buzzing through the pre-show coverage to get the scoop on the latest products beforehand. This afternoon, we had a chance to get a behind the scenes look at new OCZ products that will be hitting the market within the coming weeks. The most intriguing finds were three new additions to the product category that everyone likes to talk about these days: solid state drives (SSDs). OCZ currently has a three-pronged approach to multi-level cell SSDs; this includes the Solid, Apex, and Vertex Series SSDs.

The Solid Series is the at the very bottom of the product family and offers read speeds of up to 155MB/sec and write speeds of up to 90MB/sec. At the very top is the Vertex Series which DailyTech recently talked about. These SSDs features up to 64MB of cache onboard and feature read speeds of up to 200MB/sec and write speeds of up to 160MB/sec.

There is now a third series in the middle, the Apex Series, which will replace the Core Series that brought OCZ into the mainstream SSD market. Apex Series SSDs will feature read speeds of up to 230MB/sec and write speeds of 160MB/sec. Although the Apex SSDs have a higher theoretical read speed than the range topping Vertex models, they lack the onboard cache which will hinder performance somewhat.

The SSDs will be available in 30GB, 60GB, 120GB, and 250GB flavors and have a MTBF of over 1.5 million hours.

Pricing is not yet available on the new Apex Series of SSDs, but should be available once OCZ officially announces the drives.

I also got a chance to talk with OCZ's Alex Mei a little about the infamous JMicron memory controller in relation to OCZ's SSDs. OCZ Core Series SSDs and every other manufacturer’s SSDs that use a JMicron controller have had some issues with stuttering during write operations. Mei assured me that while the new Solid and Apex Series SSDs continue to use JMicron memory controllers, they have been heavily optimized to minimize any write performance issues that may crop up during normal use.

In addition, the range-topping Vertex SSDs don't even use JMicron memory controllers, so performance should not be an issue. In fact, Mei says that the Vertex's memory controller can be used for both MLC and SLC NAND flash applications, so we may see new, high performance SLC-based SSDs from OCZ instead of the current rebranded Samsung SLC offerings.

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RE: Is JMicron okay for Media Centres?
By Reclaimer77 on 1/8/2009 5:02:36 PM , Rating: 0
I can't imagine why you would want to use SSDs to store & play DivX for a Media Center (I assume you mean HTPC). A crappy 5400rpm notebook drive is speedy enough to playback SD & HD files.

I can't imagine why you WOULDN'T use one. Have you been in a cave the last year ? SSD's are here, they are for real, and if hes got the cash I don't see a problem with the choice.

The only reason I can see for putting a SSD in a HTPC is because you have lots of cash burning a whole in your pocket and/or bragging rights.

NO seek time, no chugging, superior multi tasking, less power consumption, no noise. Umm yeah, there ARE reasons to use an SSD.

Let me ask you something. Do you still use a CRT monitor, a VCR, and 386 ? Are you anti-progress or just generally anti-SSD's ?

RE: Is JMicron okay for Media Centres?
By Alpha4 on 1/8/2009 6:07:36 PM , Rating: 2
I can't imagine why you WOULDN'T use one...
I'm certain PhoeTus is questioning the logic of purchasing an SSD exclusively for the purpose of storing & playing back HD Media.

PhoeTus rightfully suggests that any current 5400rpm notebook drive provides more than enough throughput for HD content. As I understand, the average Bluray video bitrate is between 39-40 mbits/second.

RE: Is JMicron okay for Media Centres?
By Reclaimer77 on 1/8/09, Rating: 0
By Alpha4 on 1/9/2009 12:44:40 AM , Rating: 2
LoL. I agree it's somewhat condescending to dismiss an idea as "unimaginable", and I might have detected a hint of jealousy when PhoeTus mentioned money burning holes in pockets. That aside I don't think it's fair to say magnetic storage is obsolete yet. I'm sure that as long as capacities remain significantly lower and costs higher, SSDs will only inhabit a niche market.

Props to OCZ for pushing the mainstream market so steadily though.

"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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