Print 33 comment(s) - last by MrPoletski.. on Oct 2 at 5:50 AM

Write speed problems may mean no SSD price drops until next year

Many potential SSD customers have been waiting for 32nm NAND flash production to increase significantly before they make a purchasing decision. The new smaller chips are much cheaper to make, which would lower the price of SSDs made using those components.

Samsung is the world's largest producer of NAND flash chips used in SSDs, but there is a very large fly in the ointment. DailyTech spoke with half a dozen companies in the SSD market that use Samsung's flash chips, and the results are troubling.

All of the companies we spoke with noted significant write speed issues with Samsung's 32nm flash. The problems are so bad that these SSD makers are unable to use them in their SSDs, which means that they have to source chips from other flash manufacturers like IM Flash Tech and Toshiba.

"Of course every transition to a new process has its problems," stated one source who requested anonymity. "We just weren't expecting it to be this slow".

32nm NAND produced by Toshiba was also initially slow and problematic. However, most of those write speed problems have been resolved. Some of those chips will make its way into drives like OCZ's Agility series.

Meanwhile, Intel and Micron are reaping huge sales from production of 34nm NAND from their IMFT joint venture. SSD prices from rivals like OCZ and Super Talent dropped significantly after Intel introduced their second generation X25-M SSD using those chips.

All is not lost for Samsung though. The company is hard at work finding a solution, and it is still trying to sell those chips in the embedded market. However, time is running out as productions deadlines to meet the Windows 7 launch and critical Christmas shopping season are both approaching.

A major hardware refresh cycle is coming soon, with new CPUs from Intel, cheap DDR3, DirectX 11 hardware, and a much improved operating system all coming together to tempt consumers. Making SSDs a part of a new build or upgrade may prove irresistible, regardless of the cost.

Update: Samsung has responded to this article, which is available here.

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RE: Last paragraph
By Alexvrb on 9/30/2009 10:52:18 PM , Rating: 3
You're slapping hardware (and software) totalling $840 into a $30 box? Talk about skimping. Also the $50 PSU? There's some decent PSUs for $50, don't get me wrong, but most of the good, reliable units in that price range don't leave a lot of room for future upgrades. Also, the 60GB Vertex doesn't leave a lot of room. Throw in a HDD to provide bulk storage, and just use the SSD for OS and critical items.

If this was a cheaper build ($100 CPU, no SSD, etc) I couldn't knock it. But I certainly couldn't justify plunking down all that cash and getting a cheap case and PSU.

RE: Last paragraph
By therealnickdanger on 9/30/2009 11:42:40 PM , Rating: 2
What makes you think I (or you or anyone else) needs a better case? I've built several computers using the cheapest Rosewill cases (with and without included PSUs) Newegg offers and they are light, sturdy, and offer plenty of airflow. Give me a good reason to spend more (other than looks) and I'll consider it.

A $50 PSU is almost overkill for MOST computers IMO, unless you are running a top-end OCed system with quad-SLI. And assuming you could possibly saturate the graphics card and CPU with enough data to draw the maximum amount of power, it still wouldn't be very demanding. First, check out these system specs (higher than my build):

then check out the resulting chart when using a tool specifically designed to push the limits of the entire GPU (much more demanding than any current game):

A $50 PSU is just fine, even one with mid-to-poor efficiency - I could probably even get away with a cheap case with its own PSU and never see a problem with this build. As far as buying a better case/PSU for future upgrades... why? Every new CPU and GPU that comes out does more and more while consuming less power and generating less heat. One day my cell phone will be more powerful than my build here.

60GB Vertext is plenty for all the apps, games, and working directories I need. I keep all my media and backups on my home server... But hey, Newegg is selling a 2TB HDD for $170 today if you want to throw that price into the mix.

RE: Last paragraph
By MrPoletski on 10/1/2009 8:29:46 AM , Rating: 4
The problem with a $50 PSU isn't always its power capacity (though for $50 I question the capability of this) its also about reliability and its ability to keep its voltage within spec under load.

As for a $30 case, you'll learn eactly why you shouldn't use one when you try and build a system with any kind of real power. Much more so if you ever intend to upgrade.

I, for one, cannot stand spaghetti computers which is what you end up with in your case if you only spend $30 on it.

RE: Last paragraph
By therealnickdanger on 10/1/2009 8:54:06 AM , Rating: 2
I'll learn? Thanks, but I've been building computers for 20 years so I think I've already learned quite a bit. I'm assuming "spaghetti computers" means lots of wires jumbled around everywhere? I don't have that problem either, all my builds have wires neatly tucked away. It's not rocket-science and certainly doesn't require an expensive case to accomplish.

Again, what sort of upgrade would require a better case? A 15-inch long graphics card? 10 hard drives? You haven't given any examples to prove to me that the extra $$$ is worth it. Unless I'm adding a second GPU for SLI or CF, most upgrades take the form of swapping out a CPU, adding/swapping RAM, swapping out HDDs... none of which require the additional space, power, or cooling to justify an übercase.

Like I said before, unless you're building a super OCed system with quad-SLI or something that generates an equivalent amount of heat, there's not much point to an expensive PSU or case. Once you're up at that level, then spending more can be justified in order to keep currents flowing, to add liquid cooling, etc. But for the build I listed, the bare minimum will suffice.

RE: Last paragraph
By MrPoletski on 10/2/2009 5:50:47 AM , Rating: 2
You don't need quad SLI and a super OC to cause heating problems in a $30 case, pretty much any decent GPU card at stock will do... but then some people might be happy with a 50C+ case temp, I certainly am not.

The point is also, that a $30 case doesn't have the space to tuck cables in anywhere and a $50 PSU won't have modular cables to make your life easier either.

But more specifically with a $50 PSU, your GFX card will kill it. It might seem like it works now, but if you don't deliver the 12v current required by your card your system will eventually die.

It will look like it works fine, maybe for a couple of months perhaps only with the odd crash you put down to something else, but eventually, that 3D game you run will kill the PSU because your GFX card sucks it dry. When that happens it might take your mobo with it.


Also, I have an Antec 1200 case. It rocks. If I want to upgrade or replace something it takes 5 minutes. Off with the side panel and whip it in.

What I DONT need to do is take half my other stuff out first and if its something major like a CPU replacement... I can actually reach the clips on the Hs/F to get it off without slicing my fingers apart on various other things.

On top of that, my case temp doesn't get too high, despite my 4870x2 and i7. The biggest source of heat in my case is the 4870 so I don't OC that, the i7-920 I run at 3.7Ghz tho, but ti doesn't produce much more heat than at stock (because i7's rock the overclock).

And yes, I think I got my first 286 in 1989, IIRC which is when I started putting together my own PC's. I was 9. Ten Megahurts baby! 64 colour EGA FTW!

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