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  (Source: (AP Photo/HO/World Cyber Games/Marcus R. Donner))

World Cyber Games 2004, San Francisco

World Cyber Games 2005, Singapore
Hopes to boost OEM sales by targeting top gamers

Samsung is a large company with a good reputation, but it faces a tough time marketing its Solid State Drives to the enthusiast market. While almost half of the NAND flash in SSDs sold globally is produced by Samsung, it also sells a complete SSD package including a NAND flash controller, DRAM cache, and firmware.

Strangely, Samsung chose not to sell its SSDs through the channel, but instead markets these SSDs as an upgrade option by OEMs such as Dell and Lenovo. So far, these have been mainly business laptops and workstations targeting business executives.
 
Samsung's PM800 series of SSDs has been offered as well to companies such as Corsair and OCZ through rebranding deals. Corsair's P256 and OCZ's Summit series of drives have been a moderate success, but have been surpassed in sales by Intel's X25-M series and OCZ's Vertex series which offer faster random write speeds.

While Samsung is relying on its whitebox partners to deliver economies of scale to the general public, it wants to start specifically targeting gamers. Besides the corporate market, these have traditionally been the early adopters most likely to pay a premium for performance in the latest GPUs, CPUs, and HDDs such as Western Digital's Raptor series.

“In addition to processing power, advanced graphic cards and high-resolution monitors, gamers want a fast storage drive for reduced loading times and faster game performance,” said Jim Elliott, Vice President of Memory Marketing for Samsung Semiconductor Inc.
 
“Our 256GB SSD provides much better overall performance than conventional HDDs, as well as longer battery life for the notebook gamer. Clearly, all PC gamers will benefit from the blistering speeds and dazzling photorealism enabled by the Samsung 256GB SSD.”

Samsung sees big money ahead as SSDs continue to move into the mainstream, which also coincides with the mainstreaming of PCs designed for gamers.
 
“The PC gaming market continues to evolve into a more mainstream segment, and should reach $30.7 billion by the end of 2012,” stated Jon Peddie, President of Jon Peddie Research.

”PC gaming enthusiasts are at the forefront for demanding the latest high-powered hardware available, making the PC gaming industry an important innovation driver for adopting cutting-edge technology, like high-performance solid state drives. Using an SSD will give the gamer the extra edge that he or she is seeking.”

Samsung is prepared to move aggressively by sponsoring major gaming events. It will start by offering SSD-enabled game stations at this years World Cyber Games (WCG). The company is encouraging participants to try out the SSD game stations at the U.S. National Finals, which will start September 25 in New York City. 

The company has been a traditional worldwide partner of the WCG, which originated in South Korea. The WCG drew approximately 1.6 million participants from 78 countries during 2008.



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RE: Hey samsung?
By jmke on 8/13/2009 9:41:12 AM , Rating: 5
I think gamers will definitely care if their systems halts every few seconds because of an inferior controller on the SSD...


RE: Hey samsung?
By tastyratz on 8/13/2009 10:11:44 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed.
Right now the advantage to ssd drives over mechanical drives to ANYONE is the reduction (near removal) of seek time, and the high iop rate. Otherwise theoretically you can get the same speed just adding more mechanical drives in raid if you want more throughput for less money.


RE: Hey samsung?
By MrBlastman on 8/13/2009 10:42:04 AM , Rating: 5
You're darn right about that.

However, realistically speaking, Samsung has their heads up their behinds. None of the competitive games that _count_ really have load time issues once the level loads. Disk access at that point is non-existent.

Games such as:

Team Fortress 2
Quake 3 Arena/Live
StarCraft
Supreme Commander
*speculating* StarCraft 2 (War 3 didn't have loadtime issues mid-game)
CounterStrike

None of these would really benefit a hardcore gamer. Once the level loads, that's it. It is time to play. Tournaments wait until everyone is loaded and in-game before they start sooooo, where's the edge? Team Fortress 2 even has a warm-up timer every time it changes levels so those who get in first... pointlessly shoot at the wall until the real round starts, giving everyone time to load up and get in the game.

I don't see the selling point here. Not all of us give a care about pretty christmas tree lights in our case, etc. and buy every shiny object we see.


RE: Hey samsung?
By kattanna on 8/13/2009 10:59:46 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
None of these would really benefit a hardcore gamer. Once the level loads, that's it.


that would be incorrect.

a SSD will dramatically decrease texture load times, which can cause momentary GPU lag, especially as the explosions and such kick in.


RE: Hey samsung?
By MrBlastman on 8/13/2009 11:08:18 AM , Rating: 5
Not in competitive games that count. All of those games I listed above are highly optimized for the 'playing' experience. Team Fortress, for instance, is so smooth that a 5 ms flat panel can't keep up with how fast you can aim, shoot and re-target.... And that is with a million things going on the screen at one time.

I'm talking about competitive games that count, not your average eye-candy game. None of the hardcore games require mid-round loading (unless you have 512 megs of ram, and if so, your money is better spent on RAM, not a SSD).


RE: Hey samsung?
By troysavary on 8/13/2009 11:31:41 AM , Rating: 1
Games that count? Don't make me laugh. There is nothing "hardcore" about playing the same lame shooters as everyone else. That just makes you a trendy, wannabe-leet kid, not a hardcore gamer. Of course simplistic shooters with maps small enough to fit in RAM will not benefit from a SSD, but plenty of games will. MMORPGs, single-player RPGs, flight sims, space sims, anything with a large open world to explore. These will all benefit from not having to pause to load. A hardcore gamer knows there are plenty of games that are not RTS or FPS.


RE: Hey samsung?
By MrBlastman on 8/13/2009 11:46:20 AM , Rating: 2
So you have developed fine Situational Awareness skills, Aiming ability, quick decision making and the ability to think on your feet by playing MMO's and single player RPG's - don't make me laugh. When I say games that count, I say games that you can win money at by playing in tournaments.

I love single-player RPG's, but I generally play them leisurely and definitely not competitively.

Space Sims, umm, the current skill-based champion to that throne is still FreeSpace 2, no loading mid-game required, even with all the hard-light.net mods.

Flight Sims? I fly Falcon 4.0 modded, DCS: Black Shark, EECH modded, IL-2 1946, LOMAC, etc. - none of them require mid-sim loading if you have enough ram (2 gigs or more). IL-2 is great online actually, even though there are some air-quake servers that allow open cockpit view.

But, I really find humor in you calling TF 2/Quake 3 Arena not hardcore. They require about 5000x the brainpower to play at a high level than a MMO. You should watch some of the pro's play, heck, watch a CEVO match. If you're really lucky, you might even get to listen in on a top teams vent server. You'd be quite suprised how much skill they take. If they weren't hardcore, it would be like an MMO (oh noes!11 need Level 80 tank to buff our front line :-|) and every player would be equal frag-wise. As is, that isn't so. Top players routinely dominate, sloppy players routinely stay average or worse.

The mouse is our tennis racket.


RE: Hey samsung?
By Alexstarfire on 8/14/2009 1:05:47 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry, but anyone who says that MMORPGs are "hardcore" is someone that I'm to laugh at and not take seriously anymore. Yes, there are many people that get obsessed, but obsessed != hardcore.


RE: Hey samsung?
By MrPoletski on 8/14/2009 4:29:48 AM , Rating: 2
While I'd agree with what you say I'd also say you should check out a 1000 man fleet battle or two in EVE sometime...


RE: Hey samsung?
By Hakuryu on 8/14/2009 4:16:27 PM , Rating: 4
I've competed in shooters, and have been in some top guilds in World of Warcraft, and I can tell you there are players in both genres that are hardcore. I'd even go so far to say top WoW players are much more hardcore than shooter players.

When competing in Tribes or BF 2, we would have practice nights, scrim nights, and talk about strategies, set up rosters, and play matches.

When doing raids in WoW, we would prepare with getting tools (potions, repair bots, gems, enchants, etc) and watching videos on boss fights, and then talking strategy on Vent. During this, newer players were brought up to speed by officers, macros were developed, and the list goes on and on. I'd call players this dedicated hardcore easily.

While shooters may be tough because you have human opponents, WoW was every bit as hard. Trying to organize 25-40 people on some of the harder content, where everyone has to do their job is not easy. I remember epic shooter matches, and epic boss battles like the first time we took down Sartharion with 2 drakes up and myself and only 3 other people were left alive when we downed him.

Shooter players are just as obsessed with their game as MMORPG players. Have a look at their forums and tell me the raging loyalty of these fans is not obsessive.


RE: Hey samsung?
By omnicronx on 8/13/2009 1:05:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
a SSD will dramatically decrease texture load times, which can cause momentary GPU lag, especially as the explosions and such kick in.
I am going to have to call foul, especially your example ;). If you have enough RAM, you should not have a problem with FPS styled games and SSD's mainly because all textures are loaded into memory upon load. MMO's on the otherhand may have an issue, as all the textures etc may not be available upon load time and as such will occur throughout gameplay. But even then from what I have seen the problem lies more with multitasking and random reads/writes.

All that being said, you comment is pretty much wrong, the GPU has nothing to do with it, nor is the cause of the stuttering linked to faster load times, but the many small writes that can occur in some instances during gameplay . Even then, I have seen people play WOW on a dual jmicron controller SSD without issue. Have no seen single controller version in action, but those drives are pretty hard to find these days, and with good reason.


RE: Hey samsung?
By TSS on 8/13/2009 1:56:15 PM , Rating: 2
I can think of a very good reason not to buy this drive.

I've got a 200GB C:\ partition with my programs/games/windows. It's about 200gb big with 60gb left, seeing as i still need to install champions online, left 4 dead 2 and modern warfare 2, i would like a bit more space so 250GB would be fine. Loading isn't an issue, as i've got 6GB of ram to keep all the files in that are loaded, and i don't mind waiting a tad longer when changing maps.

Running a 1TB now (3 partitions total), all games load reasonably fast. I've had 2 150gb raptors in raid0 before this so i do know *really* fast. The difference between this setup and my last one was about 5 seconds every 25 seconds of loading time (so i load 30 now)

On newegg, a 250gb SSD, the cheapest is $700 (OCZ vertex) and the user reviews have mentions of the drive crashing in a week and refusing to update the firmware.

The cheapest 250GB HDD is $45 and'll run like a charm.

I'm willing to bet 2 of those in raid 0 beat the SSD in any kind of test, stability or performance. And still be 8 times cheaper. And have double the space. I'll gladly wait 2-3 more seconds and spend that 600 bucks difference on my graphics card.


RE: Hey samsung?
By UNHchabo on 8/13/2009 2:51:28 PM , Rating: 2
Most gamers (excluding those who use laptops) have two hard drives; one for Windows, and one for the games. That way Windows disk activity and game disk activity is separated.

When I build my next machine, I'm putting my OS on a standard hard drive, and games on an SSD. OS startup times don't matter much to me cause I rarely reboot, but I want fast level loads.


RE: Hey samsung?
By AskTheChief on 8/13/2009 5:11:33 PM , Rating: 2
You said "I'm willing to bet 2 of those in raid 0 beat the SSD in any kind of test, stability or performance." Well this article http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_c... pits an OCZ Vertex (120 Gb version) up against several drives, one set is a pair of Rapters in RAID 0 that gets beat by the SSD by a 17% margin in the Everest Disk Benchmark. Another page in the link shows the SSD with a 20% lead on the bandwidth test over the Raptors in RAID 0.

While I agree there are several benchmarks that a set of RAID 0 drives could out perform an SSD in, those are becoming few and far between as SSD performances ramp up. But unfortunatly I can only fit one drive in my laptop. So I'll have to spend a few extra dollars on an SSD to get any more performance out of it.


RE: Hey samsung?
By luhar49 on 8/15/2009 3:58:33 PM , Rating: 2
For Battlefield games map load speed does matter.
People who spawn first, get to fly the planes/choppers. Rest have to slog it on the ground. That definitely affects the number of kills you get.
I got my Raptor for this exact reason. If others start using SSD and getting the loading time edge, I will be forced to go that route too.


RE: Hey samsung?
By MrPoletski on 8/14/2009 4:25:11 AM , Rating: 2
exactly, I (a proper gamer) bought a pair of SSDs (the first OCZ offering) to RAID together, only to find out they had stuttering issues. To solve this problem I bought an amcc 9650SE hardware raid controller with 256mb of cache. I flushed that much cash out of my wallet to sort the issue out, getting ahold of a raid card that could only be described as 'total overkill' simply because of one of it's features, write back cache.


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