Print 21 comment(s) - last by androticus.. on Aug 18 at 3:52 AM

Say goodbye to long application load times

Samsung is putting its high-speed NAND flash memory to good use with today's announcement of a 4GB solid state disk (SSD) which can be used in conjunction with traditional hard disk drives (HDDs) to increase I/O performance in Windows Vista. The flash SSD leverages Microsoft's new Windows ReadyBoost technology to improve system responsiveness and practically eliminate long load times and application delays that users have become accustomed to with HDDs.

Windows ReadyBoost caches user data to the flash SSD in the background without any user intervention. When the user or an application then requests data, it is quickly retrieved much faster than with a traditional HDD. Whereas a HDD can perform 100-200 requests per second, Samsung's SSD can service up to 5,000 requests per second.

Samsung's 4GB SSD device will be quite the versatile addition to any notebook or desktop PC. Not only can it be used in conjunction with traditional HDDs, but it will also be compatible with upcoming hybrid hard drives which will give users a second source for ReadyBoost (yet another still comes in the form of thumb drives plugged into a free USB port). And as an added bonus, Windows compresses the information on a ReadyBoost device which means that the 4GB SSD would actually cache 8GB of user data.

According to Samsung, the 4GB SSD can be incorporated directly onto the motherboard through the ATA interface or as seen on the right, in a more traditional 2.5" drive layout.

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By stmok on 7/26/2006 2:38:12 AM , Rating: 3
This sounds all great and everything, but when it comes down to it, how much is this gonna cost the consumer?

RE: Cost?
By jkresh on 7/26/2006 2:43:20 AM , Rating: 2
I would guess less then $100 (4gig usb keys are close to that now)

RE: Cost?
By Kougar on 7/26/2006 2:57:39 AM , Rating: 2
Cost, warranty, and life expectancy are what I'm interested in... Put the OS install & program files on one unit, swap file on another one, throw them in a Core 2 Duo OCed to 4ghz running 1:1 with good DDR2-800mhz memory... Now that should make for some interesting results!

RE: Cost?
By jonp on 7/26/2006 8:56:40 AM , Rating: 2
Hmmm...I wonder if you could put the swap file in NAND memory? Doesn't appear it would last long:

RE: Cost?
By sandytheguy on 7/26/2006 1:14:38 PM , Rating: 2
I think it's better just to get more RAM and disable the page file. That's what I do and the performance gains are huge.

RE: Cost?
By androticus on 8/18/2006 3:49:00 AM , Rating: 2
Swap files are really going the way of the dodo. My monitors on my systems rarely show any swapfile usage any more. When you have 1G and more of RAM, it gets VERY hard to really fill it all up, and the system is mostly using it (wisely!) for caching files. Well, at least Linux and Mac OS are using it wisely... ;) I've been noticing how much people have been complaining on the forums about how HDs are the weaklinkbane of our existence, and its true -- having today's screaming-fast cpu's having to wait for HDs to swap pieces of code in and out would be totally gruesome. Despite their cost, I think these Flash SSDs are really going to catch on quickly, precisely because there is no amount of money you can pay to overcome the eevil slow HDs -- I mean, think about it -- HD rotation speeds have pretty much been the same for years, even tens of years, and seek times haven't improved that much, so the ratio of CPU speed to HD speed has increased probably more than any other thing, even CPU/DRAM (which itself is fairly awful).

You can play around with this yourself -- newegg at this time (8/18/06) has a 8G CF card for ~$140, and an adapter you can plug into an IDE port for ~$10. "Vee don't need no shtenkin Samsung promiseware!" ;)

"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins
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