Print 23 comment(s) - last by mindless1.. on Jan 8 at 1:00 AM

OCZ delivers some astonishing performance numbers with its latest generation 2.5: SSD

It seem as though each day is better than the next when it comes to new product announcements here at CES -- especially when it comes to the hot field of SSDs. Everyone is in a game of one-upmanship, with Micron announcing its 415/260 (read/write) RealSSD C400 on Tuesday and Corsair announcing its 480/320 Performance 3 Series yesterday.

Now it's OCZ's turn to blow everyone out the water with its new Vertex 3 Pro. The Vertex 3 Pro is based on SandForce's SF-2582 SATA III/6Gbps compliant controller, and delivers read speeds of a whopping 550MB/sec and write speeds of an almost equally blazing 525MB/sec.

When paired with a SATA III controller, the real world numbers are equally impressive. Anand Shimpi of AnandTech was able to record a maximum of 492MB/sec sequential read and 518MB/sec sequential write using a prototype drive.

"Performance may even increase by the time OCZ actually ships the drive," said Shimpi. "Furthermore, this is the performance of a single drive with a single controller - there’s no funny on-board RAID going on, we’re just talking about the performance of a single drive."

The Vertex 3 Pro SSDs will be available in capacities ranging from 64GB to 512GB. We'll get your some up close and personal pictures of the SSDs (and hopefully a word on pricing) later today.

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RE: Incompressable data - 260MB/s
By Flunk on 1/6/2011 10:07:09 AM , Rating: 2
260MB/s is still great. Does Intel really have SSD-specific fanboys?

This basically just reinforces that the SATA interface is what is currently holding SSDs back. As soon as they bring out a new one an SSD that can saturate it completely isn't too far behind.

RE: Incompressable data - 260MB/s
By DanNeely on 1/6/2011 10:29:07 AM , Rating: 2
Big enterprise SSDs have been PCIe for a few years now. For consumer drives the difference between 3 and 6GB is deep enough into diminishing returns that I don't expect a 12GB version in the near future, and not just because it would bottleneck the connection from the CPU/northbridge to the southbridge.

RE: Incompressable data - 260MB/s
By XZerg on 1/6/2011 11:25:37 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed that most consumers will not even feel the difference between a SATA2 or SATA3 even with the SSD. Take a DVD image for example - 4.5gb on a SATA2 it would take about 15 seconds adn on SATA3 it would take about 9 seconds - 6 seconds more. That's one of the worst case scenarios for most "consumers" - note they don't do massive 4k random seeks. Hell i even test drove a SSD (Intel 40gb) to compile about 2000 files, the difference against a 500GB 7200RPM drive was not phenomenal. I realize the Intel V isn't the best representative but I felt the CPU was the bottleneck there, not the SSD - hence the point SSDs will not offer enough performance to be noticeable for most consumers, especially after ages of being used to waiting for things to happen.

SSDs are a step forward but most consumers they will only see the program load times cut by some noticeable and unnoticeable differences.

AGAIN MOST CONSUMERS - not enterprises, not heavy users and not uber "I MUST HAVE MAX PERF" folks.

RE: Incompressable data - 260MB/s
By geddarkstorm on 1/6/2011 2:19:24 PM , Rating: 3
Actually, a 4.9 gb DVD on SATA II would take ~18 seconds to read or write at 260 MB/s, which is the fastest the SATA II connection can do in the real world (actually, it's usually pegged out a little below that), while this new SandForce drive would do the same in the ~ >9 seconds you calculated.

That is, you'd be twice as fast with the Vertex 3 drive, and it looks like this drive may be pegging out, or almost pegging out, the SATA III real world speed. We'll have to see.

So, I respectfully, and completely, disagree with you. Every time a new piece of tech comes out people say the same as you did, and almost always they are wrong. Just looking at the Real C300's SATA III performance, which in real world application loading tests proves my point, as it's noticeably and significantly faster than SATA II. Again, in the real world. And that drive is no where near as fast as this new Vortex 3, nor no where close to saturating the SATA III connection.

Give people more speed and headroom, and they will always find ways to use it.

By mindless1 on 1/8/2011 1:00:35 AM , Rating: 2
You seem to be conveniently omitting a few things.

1) You have to be assuming either the source or destination is another equally fast SSD. How many of the small minority of users of a PC, will comprise the smaller still minority that have more than one SSD in their system, among the smaller still group having them not in RAID so there is a separate source and destination volume, and of this minuscule group, how many are going to be copying DVD images back and forth in a situation where it really matters how many seconds it takes?

IMO, common sense has gone out the window on your argument, particularly when it takes far longer just to read in the DVD from the source disc, and even moreso when you consider the average person doesn't even rip their DVDs to HDD at all and it is certainly not because there may or may not be an 18 sec vs 9 second difference from one particular SSD make and model they could be in the future.

You wrote "give people more speed and headroom and they will always find ways to use it"... Nope. The vast majority of semi-modern PCs turned on right now are idling away at under 5% CPU utilization, possibly an equally low storage throughput utilization, and their users are by far the biggest bottleneck.

RE: Incompressable data - 260MB/s
By LazLong on 1/7/2011 1:41:13 AM , Rating: 1
AGAIN MOST CONSUMERS - not enterprises, not heavy users and not uber "I MUST HAVE MAX PERF" folks.

You are forgetting about those of us who are lacking in the schlong department. We must always have the biggest, fastest, most phallic-enhancing tech!

By Shadowmaster625 on 1/7/2011 8:42:59 AM , Rating: 2
Well I can tell you this: when you are in the middle of a pvp game and listening to music or having anything else going on in the background, windows likes to stutter as it swaps out data to the pagefile. It is extremely frustrating but totally eliminated by using a decent SSD.

RE: Incompressable data - 260MB/s
By vol7ron on 1/6/2011 12:07:30 PM , Rating: 2
But aren't the new 2nd gen Core i-Series CPUs supposed to do away with the Southbridge?

RE: Incompressable data - 260MB/s
By Flunk on 1/6/2011 12:28:11 PM , Rating: 2
No, they get rid of the northbridge.

RE: Incompressable data - 260MB/s
By therealnickdanger on 1/6/2011 10:38:12 AM , Rating: 2
Oh, I completely agree. 260MB/s as its slowest sequential operation is a phenomenal leap forward. And yes, I've seen a high number Interweb threads dedicated to SandForce bashing by Intel fanboys.

Granted, if the vast majority of your files are already compressed, then current SF drives don't offer a significant advantage over other controllers... but the reality is that most folks don't have excessive amounts of highly compressed files. At least not that they would store on an SSD. Folks that have TBs of uncompressable music, pictures, and videos are probably keeping them on a large platter anyway, so the argument is moot for most users. Still, it is an issue - however mild it might be.

That being said, I still believe the future of SSD storage will be PCIe (or HSDL) RAID-based devices. You can already have beyond tomorrow's 6Gbps speeds today on any PCIe-equipped computer. Raw 1GB/sec speed regardless of compression.

RE: Incompressable data - 260MB/s
By Taft12 on 1/6/2011 1:40:10 PM , Rating: 2
but the reality is that most folks don't have excessive amounts of highly compressed files

I'm not sure this is true. OS and applications data that people store on their 64GB SSD are mostly binary data which is generally not all that compressible.

Synthetic SSD benchmarks and manufacturer stated read/write speeds have been utterly useless for entire life of the SSD industry. Bring on the real-world benchmarks please! (notice OCZ wouldn't let Anand do any such thing, he was only allowed to run IOMeter)

RE: Incompressable data - 260MB/s
By B3an on 1/6/2011 11:49:15 PM , Rating: 2
It dont matter if it's compressible or not. These new Sandforce drives do really well either way. Anand also tested incompressible data and it still reached 4930MB/s read - faster than any other SSD to date.

By Shadowmaster625 on 1/7/2011 8:51:49 AM , Rating: 1
A lot of disk activity in windows consists of opening a file, simply changing a few bytes, then closing a file. In those cases, you may be transferring 10MB / sec across your SATA bus, but in actuality the Sandforce controller might only be internally writing a few bytes. And since its an SSD the bytes dont have to be sequential in any way shape or form. So you could change a few bytes in hundreds of files and store all those changes in one NAND page. The result is phenomenal performance even if the files contain a lot of totally random data! I been saying for years that's how SSD's should work and I think Sandforce is just scratching the surface of what a good flash controller can really do.

RE: Incompressable data - 260MB/s
By Drag0nFire on 1/6/2011 11:32:48 AM , Rating: 2
I'm almost willing to call myself a Intel SSD fanboy. Must say honestly, I'm quite impressed by the specs for the Vertex 3. Really curious what Intel will do for its 3rd generation SSD.

All this competition is very exciting. Should bring prices lower and lower to the point that it is actually affordable.

RE: Incompressable data - 260MB/s
By vol7ron on 1/6/2011 12:13:20 PM , Rating: 2
Reminder, as Anand noted, they're using the upper end of the SF-2000 controllers. Most consumers/enthusiasts will not buy these drives as they're meant for enterprise use.

What I'm curious to see it the mid-level controllers in use, something that will be more affordable. I want to get to the point that I can store even compressed data on SSDs.

RE: Incompressable data - 260MB/s
By geddarkstorm on 1/6/2011 2:11:49 PM , Rating: 2
You can store compressed data on an SSD, it's just the SandForce controller gets a lot of its relative speed from compressing and abridging data when it does writes. That is, the controller has to write less for a compressible chunk of data, so it appears faster. For data that's already compressed, the controller can't compress it further, so writes are now at their real speed.

No other SSD controllers do this, so what speed they have is the same over compressed and non compressed data, regardless.

By Solandri on 1/6/2011 5:58:35 PM , Rating: 2
It begs the question though. If you were to turn on, say Windows' filesystem compression, how would it compare to other SSDs?

If the speed is similar, in all honesty I think I would rather than the OS handle compression. That way I can turn it on/off on a directory-by-directory or even file-by-file basis. And I always know exactly how much real space each file takes on the drive, in case I ever need to clear up space.

RE: Incompressable data - 260MB/s
By DanNeely on 1/6/2011 1:34:52 PM , Rating: 2
Intel's 3rd gen is still going to be 3GB sata, and they're claiming 250/170GB sequential. Intel didn't give estimates of random IO speed in GS/sec, but since they're only calling for 40-50k IOPS/sec vs 60 or 75k on Sandforce 2 (OCZ is claiming higher numbers than sandforce), or 50k on Crucials C400 I don't think Intel will be winning on that front either. They're not going to be as far behind as the Indilinx Martini, but they won't be claiming the speed crown either.

By Shadowmaster625 on 1/7/2011 8:58:04 AM , Rating: 1
To be fair, Intel's SSDs always perform better than their specs indicate. Even today I do believe the X25M-G2 gives windows the fastest boot time and application load times. No one has ever really given a good explanation as to why.

By GotDiesel on 1/6/2011 12:40:40 PM , Rating: 4
It's not the interface that's holding ssd's back, it's the price..

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