Print 27 comment(s) - last by eguy.. on May 30 at 7:12 PM

Solid as a rock

I don't know whether to shout for joy or cry from sadness. Samsung has announced the world's first PC with a NAND flash-based solid state disk (SSD). The joy comes from the fact that the 32GB SSD makes Samsung's 12.1", 2.56 pound Q30 notebook completely silent. With the spinning hard disk drive gone, there is absolutely no noise. In addition, the SSD can withstand twice the impact force of a traditional hard drive, offers 300% faster reads (53MB/sec) and 150% faster writes (28MB/sec), boots into Windows XP 25-50% faster and weighs roughly half as much.

So how could I possibly be sad with all of these positives? Samsung has decided to throw the 32GB SSD into its ancient (in the computer world) Q30 notebook. This means that the notebook is based around the outdated 915GMS chipset and features Intel GMA900 graphics. That also means that memory is limited to DDR2 400 spec. The processor also is a rather meager 1.2GHz Celeron M 753. Not even a Pentium M at least?

For now, it appears that the Q30-SSD is a Korean market only notebook. That may be for the best as its $3,700 USD price tag would surely make potential buyers do a double take -- especially given the outdated components surrounding the fabulous storage disk.

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By segagenesis on 5/23/2006 4:42:40 PM , Rating: 2
Given the price I can only see this as being useful for ultra reliablity, and the specs are indeed partly. A large chunk of that cost though has to be in the SSD, so that is at least expected. Really sounds more of a Lambo with a VW beetle motor though.

RE: Imbalanced?
By dice1111 on 5/23/2006 4:48:57 PM , Rating: 2
I would love one of these drives, but defiantly not and these costs, and packaged in poorly spec'd laptops. It makes you wonder just how much these SSD components cost when manufactures need to make these decisions.

Apparently way too much to make it a viable mainstream solution to current HDD's. Here's hoping the flash memory cost will be slashed dramatically, and soon.

To Samsung; good idea, poor implementation and price.

RE: Imbalanced?
By NuroMancer on 5/23/2006 5:35:58 PM , Rating: 2
Quick question,
Does this type of storage still suffer from a very limited amount of read/writes?

RE: Imbalanced?
By Drexial on 5/23/2006 6:46:04 PM , Rating: 2
i dont belive they do, from what i have heard latly those may have been crap reports, just to deter people from getting it.

RE: Imbalanced?
By BladeVenom on 5/24/2006 12:50:05 AM , Rating: 2
I think all flash memory has a limited write cycles. It's just that it's probably over a million cycles nowadays.

Who is this for?
By White Widow on 5/23/2006 5:41:42 PM , Rating: 1
To whom does this setup actually appeal to?

If I recall from some reviews of the iRAM (on maybe?), that device was connected via the SATA interface. While the solid-state drive was definitley faster than any SATA drive, the overall impact was limited by the interface. It was postulated that if the card used the PCI Express bus it would get much better throughput. Since this notebook uses an older chipset, which only supports SATA 1.0/150, the real-world impact will probably be somewhat muted. Especially considering the meager grpahics and CPU attached to it, how can this EXPENSIVE and SMALL sorage device be expcted to shine? You're not gonna be doing any graphics or video editing, hard core gaming, CAD/CAM, etc on a 1.2GHz CELERON with GMA video.

Who is this system intended for???

RE: Who is this for?
By Hippiekiller on 5/23/2006 6:15:49 PM , Rating: 3
Your mom.

RE: Who is this for?
By eomhS on 5/23/2006 6:47:25 PM , Rating: 2
lmao, i couldnt stop laughing when i read that, god one hippie, one of the best "Your Mom's" i've seen in a whlie and i'm a sophomore.

RE: Who is this for?
By Trisped on 5/23/2006 6:48:11 PM , Rating: 2
It looks like a proof of concept rather then an actual product. They probably had a few of these Q30's laying around (warrantees maybe) and thought they would use them to prototype their new drove. The Laptops probably cost them nothing, and the enthusiasts will just buy the laptop, pop it open, and stick the drive where they want it.

RE: Who is this for?
By jkresh on 5/23/2006 8:32:37 PM , Rating: 2
Its not currently targeted for a particularly large market but with a solid state drive, along with the rest of those components it should get great battery life and still be moderately quick for normal tasks. I would prefer if they put it in a core duo system with a 7900gtx and maybe a second 160gig drive for large storage purposes, but that might negate the battery improvement of ssd. I also would suspect that they don’t have the capacity to make too many of these drives at the moment and if they sold them in workstation or high end gaming notebooks they wouldn’t be able to keep up with demand.

By Souka on 5/24/2006 1:13:02 AM , Rating: 2
IMHO... this is just a media hype release...

"With the spinning hard disk drive gone, there is absolutely no noise."

Uh yeah.... sure... cooling fan noise is primary noise source for laptops... especially ultra portables with 4200rpm 2.5" or 1.8" drives.

RE: IMHO....
By sxr7171 on 5/24/2006 1:36:28 AM , Rating: 2
Do you have an ultra-portable? Yeah I thought not. My IBM X31 never turns on the fan unless pegged at 100% CPU for a few minutes. Even then it might be for a minute. In fact the sound I hear most from my laptop is the hard drive which is a relatively noisy 7200RPM unit.

RE: IMHO....
By Souka on 5/24/2006 9:25:10 AM , Rating: 2
as I stated....4200rpm drives which are common for ultra-portables.

You are using an upgraded 7200rpm your flame is unwarranted and unnecessary.

RE: IMHO....
By Clauzii on 5/24/2006 10:43:25 PM , Rating: 2
Where does it say the machine have a CPU-fan - have You looked?

By Clauzii on 5/24/2006 10:57:08 PM , Rating: 2
In addition, stored data can be more easily retrieved from flash memory than traditional hard drives when PCs are dropped or liquid is spilled on the device. These mobile computing devices are the ideal solution for professionals and executives who are constantly on the move.

The typical notebook PC will generate around 30dB of operating noise, while the Q30-SSD will operate in complete silence. This is an unprecedented feature for people who want to use their PC in a library or other places where noise is not allowed.

These are from Samsungs site, which makes me write two things:

1: The first statement means I can throw more around with it at even drink a beer or five while jamming around with the thing :)

2: If the second statement is true (for which I see no reason why it shouldn't be - especially considering the library statement ;) it means the "Poor Slow Thing" is TOTALLY SILENT - nothing less :)

Thank You Samsung.
You make A noisy world more enjoyable :)

RE: Read!
By Scabies on 5/25/2006 2:36:06 PM , Rating: 2
Executives and professionals, dropping and spilling?

RE: Read!
By Clauzii on 5/26/2006 5:10:35 AM , Rating: 2
Working at dusty construction sites :) etc....

RE: Read!
By lemonadesoda on 5/30/2006 5:02:10 PM , Rating: 2
Careful in your reading. "Retrieve" does not mean the laptop is still working after your drop/spill. What is means is the data is recoverable even though the laptop is smashed. This is really important for some professionals/executives where the DATA is actually worth MUCH MORE than the laptop. Especially if there is time-critic info that needs to be retrieved.

By Scabies on 5/23/2006 5:11:20 PM , Rating: 2
I was kind of hoping that we would see a more practical launch for this technology. I have had my eye on the Giga-Byte IRam ( seeing the potential for incredible performance and high durability. The IRam stores information like a hard drive, but on ram modules, requiring a battery backup to retain data on shutdown. A NAND SSD looks amazing, but in a weaksauce laptop.. too bad. They should come out with a standalone drive before they have integrated---
damn, what an idea. With this technology, we could end up seeing motherboards with integrated solid-state storage. BIOS, Processor, RAM, all on board? Would that not yeild blistering speed?

Also, this drive form factor is 1.8"
NAND-SSD RAID 0 anyone? *face melts*

By segagenesis on 5/23/2006 5:36:39 PM , Rating: 2
SSD disks are available already and have been for some years now but not targeted as average consumer devices. Some costing in the tens of thousands used for applications ranging from big iron server performance to military. This would be the first consumer oriented device and hopefully, not the last.

By SkAiN on 5/23/2006 6:45:49 PM , Rating: 2
Yes I remember in like 1999 the now-defunct had 2GB SSD's for around $10,000...

I remember drooling about it back then, it's good to see these are starting to come along. Hopefully the tech will be mainstream in the next couple of years.

By middlehead on 5/23/2006 4:43:07 PM , Rating: 3
Weighing down that hard drive with those components makes the baby jesus cry.

By isaacmacdonald on 5/23/2006 4:43:23 PM , Rating: 2
I've been waiting for this for quite a while. This should have tangible impacts on power consumption, battery life, and sleep modes (no need to spin up right?).

I don't see anything sad about this at all. Maybe THIS laptop is a little underpowered and expensive (no doubt due largely to the exepense of storage), but it's a precursor of things to come.


painful price
By Drexial on 5/23/2006 6:53:20 PM , Rating: 2
OUCH, i could get 15 2 Gig SD Ultra 2 disks for that kind of memory.... and while i understand its nto a direct comparison, its also not that different. there is no way a 32 gig drive should cost that much. if they were going to make the price that high they should have added $500 more into it and given it a better memory,chipset, and PCU. then atl;east there could be soem masking in the price. and atleast pretend not all the cost was the drive. plus you would actualy feel like you bought somthing.

At least it´s showing now :)
By Clauzii on 5/24/2006 12:18:48 AM , Rating: 2
While it might not be the fastest machine on earth, it CAN be used for 95% of wahat most people use a LapTop for: Surfing, writing, Photoshop´ing (allthough one needs more storage in that situation :), watching movies, eMail´ing, IM, Chat download etc... etc.... - just not gaming as #1 priority. Hmmm - no bad there, I think.

Does anybody know the power drain from this type of disk?

Nice drive crappy laptop.
By sxr7171 on 5/24/2006 1:09:57 AM , Rating: 2
If I were rich I would buy the laptop and harvest the drive to drop it into a real laptop like a Thinkpad x60s.

Anyhow, 53MB/s is 300% faster than what?

I have idea where people get such BS numbers from and how no one checks anything to see if it makes sense.

By eguy on 5/30/2006 7:12:04 PM , Rating: 2
You don't have to wait for something that MAY come out in Korea, and maybe here later. You can put an SSD into any notebook computer. I've seen three DIY Asus notebooks with a selection of SSDs at and the SSDs separately at . It's about time!

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay
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