Print 43 comment(s) - last by tygrus.. on Jul 28 at 10:12 AM

Samsung solid-state NAND hard drives will be cheaper than reported, more versatile

Earlier today Samsung announced its 4GB solid-state NAND hard drives. The 1.8" and 2.5" devices will primarily be marketed for enthusiast and high-end desktops supporting Microsoft Windows Vista's ReadyBoost feature.

A DailyTech competitor claims "Samsung confirmed to TG Daily that the SSD is likely to be priced below $200," implying the price of the drive would be just under $200.  In fact, when DailyTech talked to Samsung the company confirmed that the device will cost significantly less than that, perhaps as much as $100 less. The company has not released pricing on the drive yet, but current prices on the NAND spot market quote 4GB of flash memory between $62 and $70.  Samsung Semiconductor's Director of Flash Marketing, Don Barnetson, was able to confirm that a slight premium on these prices was more in line with real pricing of the drives.

Samsung clarified during our conversation that the initial versions of the SSD will feature a Parallel ATA interface as opposed to the newer Serial ATA interface use in notebooks and PCs. Additionally, many of the chipsets Intel is releasing do not support the PATA interface so Samsung will definitely need to think about switching to SATA sooner than later. The SSD drives can be mounted in a PC using mechanical mounts or a 2.5-inch slot.

According to Samsung, the 4GB SSD should be ready to ship in time for the Vista launch, and features 57MBps read speeds and 31MBps write speeds and up to 5,000 operations per second.

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SOunds like a great speed boost with Vista...
By kingpotnoodle on 7/26/2006 10:20:59 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds like these are intended to work with Vista's intelligent caching system which will put the 4GB worth of most accessed files straight onto the SSD. (I'm a little worried all it will do is fill up with mp3 and movies though, I hope MS have thought of that)...

For the more expensive system an extra $100 for the serious speed boost this could bring would be a bargain... however as most high end systems are already limited with PATA ports and the new Intel chipsets don't feature it AT ALL unless the motherboard manufactuers add a extra chip (JMicron seem to be doing well out of that) then for the life of me I cannot understand how in the hell Samsung thought a PATA interface was the right one? I hope its just becuase its simpler to implement for development and that a SATA model (with NCQ) will be available in the winter when this and Vista actually hit the shelves!!

RE: SOunds like a great speed boost with Vista...
By shamgar03 on 7/27/2006 8:58:02 AM , Rating: 2
I don't really understand this, linux is actually smart enough to load up your ram as cache when you aren't using it. Windows on the other hand just lets the ram sit empty 90% of the time. If the windows designers took a page from the linux book we wouldn't really need to cache on flash drives.

RE: SOunds like a great speed boost with Vista...
By TomZ on 7/27/2006 10:38:42 AM , Rating: 2
I guess you don't understand Windows memory usage at all if you feel it is less sophisticated than Linux. Windows makes good use of memory when it is "empty" (as you say). Here's an article with a quick overview; use google if you want to learn more details.

By highlandsun on 7/27/2006 3:01:17 PM , Rating: 2
That link is talking about Vista/Longhorn. Windows today is very brain-damaged and doesn't use RAM nearly as well as it could. I've got 2GB of RAM installed in my laptop, only about 200MB of it ever goes to the buffer cache, with typically 1.3GB unused. Even when I start a disk and memory intensive job (compiling code) it never caches as much as it should. (And yes, I've already done all the registry tweaks to enable the large cache, etc...)

The Windows cache manager acts like it's allergic to RAM, and tries to empty it as much as possible, dumping out pages even when there's no memory pressure whatsoever. Stupid.

RE: SOunds like a great speed boost with Vista...
By TomZ on 7/27/2006 3:04:12 PM , Rating: 2
That link is talking about Vista/Longhorn.

You need to read more closely. From the article...

In today's versions of Windows, a technology called the Windows Prefetcher performs simple memory caching in a bid to improve overall system performance. The Prefetcher uses available system RAM to cache, or prefetch, memory pages that it believes the user will need in the future. The goal is to reduce unnecessary disk access because random disk I/O is one of the most obvious performance bottlenecks on a typical PC. "To get the disk out of the way," Aul told me, "the Prefetcher precaches the data it thinks you will need. That way, the disk read operation won't be necessary."

Windows XP's Prefetcher performs this service for a wide variety of file types, including Windows Explorer, the Windows boot files, and others. But Prefetcher has some limitations. If you run several memory-intensive tasks (e.g., games, graphics editing, video editing) all of those cached memory pages will be pushed out to the disk-based page file. So when you go back to a cached task, the system has to read them back from disk, thus obviating any performance benefit.

By Zoomer on 7/28/2006 3:19:42 AM , Rating: 2
What does it matter? It's obviously broken.

I see the same thing happening as well. It normally uses about a few hundred megs of system cache, out of 1.5 free gigs.

He's right to say that this is retarded. Dram, unlike flash, do not have any real write limits.

"This is about the Internet.  Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
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