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!" ;)

By rklaver on 7/26/2006 3:10:37 AM , Rating: 2
The 4GB PCMCIA Flash drives that are used for the Panasonic HVX200 HD camera run about $1400.

RE: Pricey?
By rklaver on 7/26/2006 3:14:49 AM , Rating: 2
nevermind, the prices dropped already. The 8GB is about $1400.
The 4GB is around $500.

RE: Pricey?
By Zarsky on 7/26/2006 8:53:48 AM , Rating: 2
Those Panasonic cards have a small integrated computer that saves all information from the filming event, that's a reason why they are so expensive.

RE: Pricey?
By androticus on 8/18/2006 3:52:19 AM , Rating: 2
You can get an 8G CF card on today for $140 (yes, that is correct.)

Old cache on mobo days are back!
By Pirks on 7/26/2006 2:29:46 AM , Rating: 2
Remember those cache chips on your mobo besides your sexy new 486DX2-66? Now this cache is grown and SHE IS BEAUTIFUL! :-)

RE: Old cache on mobo days are back!
By Byte on 7/26/2006 5:43:47 AM , Rating: 2
This looks sexy. My new laptop has a new 160GB HDD, but its only 4200RPM and @ss slow. Hopefully this will help. I'm too spoiled with my 15K SCSI hard drives.

By tk109 on 7/26/2006 3:02:45 AM , Rating: 2
I just want all solid state drives. Lets get those larger capicity drives rolling out and cheaper.

RE: ..
By bunnyfubbles on 7/26/2006 3:35:30 AM , Rating: 2
The problem there is price as well as a few technical set backs (and even some weaknesses that these SSDs can have).

Having best of both worlds is actually pretty nice. Cheap/massive storage with traditional drives (which can actually be pretty good when handling large files) and fast access to lots of little and random files.

We'll have TBs of storage for our HD content and game files, yet we’ll also have these specialty drives to smooth the transition to the larger and slower drives. Kinda like putting in a large amount of slow RAM to contain system files...we're just adding another stage to improve the performance now that it seems to really be needed (given the current lousy boot times with beta Vista compared to XP compared to 2K...)

I can imagine it; these SSDs for system / swap and minor programs, fast hybrid drives for larger programs (such as games), and the traditional drives for sheer volume of storage.

Is it worth it?
By ecktt on 7/26/2006 4:41:57 AM , Rating: 2
Boot times aside, unless it has some sort of caching algorithum, I don't see this have a major impact on performce. The difference between a HD with 8MB of cache and 16MB is practicall none existant. I'm guess the money might be better spent on dumping more memory in to the computer and letting the OS handle the handle the caching. Then again I only reboot on patch Tuesday.

RE: Is it worth it?
By Donegrim on 7/26/2006 5:31:30 AM , Rating: 2
I think that's what Vista's ReadyBoostDriveShat is: some sort of caching algorithm built into the OS. The marketing bull describes it as boosting performance in vista, so it would make sense that vista has some kind of support built in.

New hard drives?
By archcommus on 7/26/2006 8:53:29 AM , Rating: 2
So does this mean now isn't the best time to be purchasing a new hard drive? Would it be smarter to wait until Vista is released and drives start incorporating this built-in?

RE: New hard drives?
By oneils on 7/26/2006 9:55:29 AM , Rating: 2
Why worry about it? HDDs are so cheap these days, might as well pull the trigger. I just bought a 320gb SATA HDD for $100 canadian. My old 120gb drive cost more than that less than two years ago.

By LumbergTech on 7/26/2006 3:50:57 AM , Rating: 2
considering that they are going to build this into hard drives, the standalone version is probably not going to be worth the price

This will be great...
By sxr7171 on 7/26/2006 5:06:47 AM , Rating: 2
Well yes, putting the data into a large amount of RAM requires that the data be read from the HDD everytime the computer is rebooted. In this case Windows can intelligently leave parts of the OS on this non-volatile drive while using the HDD also to boost startup of both the OS and applications.

Also for laptop users the battery savings will be tremendous.

By robbase29a on 7/26/2006 11:44:10 AM , Rating: 2
ATA?... Yeah, that's cool...

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