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Print 40 comment(s) - last by icanhascpu.. on Apr 13 at 5:28 PM

Not just a paper launch, these drives are already for sale

Super Talent is one of the largest suppliers of Solid State Drives, with a product selection that rivals OCZ Technology's stable. SSDs have grown in popularity by providing much better random access performance than traditional hard disk drives. The primary drawbacks hindering mass adoption of SSDs have been capacity and cost.

However, those barriers are decreasing every year since SSDs use NAND flash memory, which can be scaled down to smaller process geometries. This leads to faster, smaller, and less expensive chips on a continual basis.

Several SSD manufacturers have announced 512GB SSDs based on this trend, but there haven't been any available in the retail channel until now. Super Talent is currently shipping its new MasterDrive RX series of SSDs, with up to 512GB of storage and featuring internal RAID. There are three models using Multi-Level Cell (MLC) chips, and two models using faster and more reliable Single-Level Cell (SLC) flash.

SSDs have a limited number of write-erase cycles. MLC flash typically has around 10,000 write-erase cycles, while SLC flash has around 100,000 write-erase cycles. Wear-leveling algorithms are used to limit the number of writes and manage write-erase cycles. The higher the capacity of the SSD, the more room there is for the algorithms to do their work. Super Talent claims its 128GB MLC MasterDrive RX will last 70.2 years at 50GB worth of write-erase cycles per day, while their 256GB SLC MasterDrive RX will last 1404 years at 50GB worth of write-erase cycles per day. Super Talent offers a three-year warranty on SLC versions of the MasterDrive RX series, but only a two-year warranty on MLC variants.

The maximum sequential read speed for all MasterDrive RX models is 230 MB/s. The maximum sequential write speed is 160 MB/s for the MLC versions, but peaks at 200 MB/s for the SLC versions. Random read and write speeds were not disclosed, but random access speeds are still far superior to the fastest rotary drives.

The MasterDrive RX uses an internal two channel RAID setup in order to increase access speeds and spread the data processing and workload of the ECC (Error Correcting Code).
Super Talent declined to reveal the supplier of its flash controller chip, but it may use two JMicron 602B flash controllers along with a RAID controller. This would make it similar to OCZ's Apex series and G.Skill's Titan series. However, SLC versions of the MasterDrive RX should not encounter any stuttering problems during random writes.

SSDs are extremely rugged since there are no moving parts inside. The RX series can withstand an operating shock of 1500G, and continue operating through vibration of 16G. All models in the series use the 2.5 inch form factor commonly found in laptops.

The 512GB MasterDrive RX is available now for around $1,500 at SuperBiiz. Pricing and shipping information for other models has not yet been announced.


Channel/Retail Part Number

OEM Part Number

Size

Type

Sequential Read Speed/ Sequential Write Speed

FTM28GE25H

SX28B6E25H

128GB

 MLC

230/160 MB/sec

FTM56GE25H

SX28B6E25H

256GB

 MLC

230/160 MB/sec

FTM12GE25H

SX28B6E25H

512GB

 MLC

230/160 MB/sec

FTD28GE25H

ST28A6E25H

128GB

 SLC

230/200 MB/sec

FTD56GE25H

ST56A6E25H

256GB

 SLC

230/200 MB/sec


 



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Raid Raptors vs the MLC
By luceri on 4/8/2009 11:02:06 AM , Rating: 3
I'm not quite sure I'd go with the MLC-based SSD's vs. a pair of WD Raptors in raid 0. The JMicron chips are just bad news -- if they used anything else they'd of mentioned it. Most people will be happier with the Raptors than a pair of these MLC w/ JMicrons. Don't expect the MLC's to get near the spec'd read/writes, they never do. I bought an apex when it first came out which is basically identical to what these drives are with internal JMicron raid controller handling MLC, it was great if I was just reading or writing. Terrible if trying to read while writing simultaneously. I didn't have stuttering but the performance was really nothing to write home about, ended up returning it to Newegg while they'd still let me. (And yes, I did optimize my OS for use with the SSD's, even using the latest Windows-7 build at the time for test.)

The SLC-based drives are a different story though; should be much much better... but that doesn't really matter unless your pockets are relatively deep.

SSD's are progressing rapidly, we're in a cross-roads with the technology right now where new ideas are being implemented with internal raid controllers, etc etc. These are just the first iterations. Personally I'm waiting for the next generation once the kinks have been worked out which should be released in 6 months or so. Should be well worth the wait if the progression in the past 6 months continues. Recent shows have drives with reads and writes upwards of 600MB/s due out.

Keep that in mind if you're looking for SSD's right now -- remember the price. These drives are an investment, and that investment is going to be half as fast as the newer drives at same price will be in 6 months. Yes, technology always eventually becomes obsolete, but this stuff is in a completely different league as opposed to other PC components at the time being when it comes to how quickly they're advancing. If your pockets can afford it then go for the SLC's then replace them with new ones in a few months, but for most people that's unrealistic.




RE: Raid Raptors vs the MLC
By icanhascpu on 4/13/2009 5:28:36 PM , Rating: 2
Whats with that sort of odd mentality?

Don't buy it becuse its expencive and there will be better and cheaper in 6 months? Thats the same as anything else in this industry. Its not a whole new league, its just a new technology on the steeper end of its advancement curve.

If you can afford it, and want it, dont feel bad becuse there will be better in 6 months, becuse for those 6 months, youll have something way better than you did before the upgrade. No need to replace them againlater unless you want to.


"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer














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