Print 15 comment(s) - last by abakshi.. on Oct 14 at 4:17 PM


Samsung's Flash SSD hard drives are adopted by Fujitsu for increased battery life and improved notebook performance

Fujitsu is offering up a pretty expensive option on its Lifebook Q and Lifebook B ultra-portable notebooks. The two notebooks can be now be equipped (at least in Japan) with Samsung's 16GB or 32GB Flash SSDs. We've already seen these drives show up in Sony's VAIO UX90 and Samsung’s own Q1 SSD UMPC and Q30 notebook.

The Fujitsu FMV-Q8230 features an ULV Core Solo U1400 (1.2GHz) processor, 512MB of memory (1GB maximum), Intel 945GMZ Express chipset, 12.1" WXGA screen, GbE, two USB 2.0 ports, one Firewire port, a PCMCIA slot and a fingerprint reader with TPM. The laptop measures 11.7" x 8.6" x 0.78" and weighs 2.17 pounds. Run time is listed at 2 hours on the standard lithium-ion battery.

The Fujitsu FMV-B8230 instead goes with a Celeron M 423 (1.06GHz) processor and uses the Intel 940GML Express chipset. The notebook uses a 12.1" XGA display and otherwise is similarly equipped to the FMV-Q8230. The notebook has dimensions of 10.6" x 9.0" x 1.23" and weighs 2.75 pounds. Battery life is estimated at 4.7 hours.

By adding the 16GB or 32GB Samsung SSD to the notebooks, prices jump by $700 USD and $1,400 USD respectively. For a real-world test of the SSD in action, take a look at this video of two FMV-B8230 booting Windows XP Professional -- one with a standard 5400 RPM hard drive and one with a Flash SSD drive.

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By davidlan on 10/13/2006 11:59:36 AM , Rating: 2
Anyone know when you'll be able to buy these at retail and not only through OEMs (checked samsung's website, no help)?

RE: ?
By therealnickdanger on 10/13/2006 2:25:28 PM , Rating: 2
I would imagine that these drives in particular are not going to be available to mainstream. After another revision and a 64GB offering is added to the lineup, I could see them dropping prices (a little) and being available on newegg. My guess is that these drives are for these laptops only and are available only to recover some R&D dollars before the next line comes out. I've been wrong many times before, however.

RE: ?
By Chillin1248 on 10/14/2006 1:46:48 PM , Rating: 3
Celeron M's are rebadged Dothan or Yonah cores at lower clockspeeds and sometimes lower cache, they offer very good performance vs. price. I have on of these Celeron M's (Dothan core) and a original Banias core P-M.... The C-M and P-M lines are both very good and fast and are highly recommended.


By Orpheus333 on 10/13/2006 12:02:34 PM , Rating: 1
My extremely amateur performance analysis puts the SSD about 10- 12 seconds faster than the HDD. I don’t know what I was expecting, but for $700-1400 well...

RE: meh
By semo on 10/13/2006 12:14:26 PM , Rating: 2
given that there is almost no other way to speed up windows bootup on a laptop, i think that is pretty good when you consider that this performance/price ratio is going to increase with (hopefully not too much) time.

RE: meh
By therealnickdanger on 10/13/2006 2:31:49 PM , Rating: 2
It's expensive, but you have to also consider the power savings and the lightning-quick seek times. Windows boot-time is a very poor measure for anything due to the processes in the background. I can make Windows boot 12-15sec faster on the same hardware by simply deactivating some services or disabling other startup programs.

Also, keep in mind that this is the first real product of its kind, so there's going to be a nasty premium. I would like one of these SSDs to build my carPC, but I'm just going to use a couple 8GB ($120 each) flash cards connected via IDE.

RE: meh
By The Boston Dangler on 10/14/2006 12:04:01 AM , Rating: 2
you are correct. this proves only 10-12 seconds of the boot are spent accessing the drive. no OS boot is immediate.

not worth it
By nortexoid on 10/13/2006 1:06:29 PM , Rating: 1
Most people hibernate their laptops, so that resuming from a complete shutdown takes a fraction of the time to full-boot. So the advantage of having an SDD is negligible. Also, I tend to always keep open the applications I use, so when resuming from hibernate, they're all already open; which means, no need to load them.

Also, loading a standard application takes usually at most a few seconds on an HDD. You're not going to see a great improvement over that from an SDD.

For the same price you could get quadruple the capacity HDD and more RAM. The power savings are neglibile too. It'll only be worth it when cost comes WAYYYYYY down.

RE: not worth it
By clayclws on 10/13/2006 1:15:20 PM , Rating: 2
Hmm...seems to me you're not a frequent user of Photoshop, Illustrator, Pagemaker, AutoCAD, 3dsmax and other programs that may open, edit, save, restore, etc. files that are extremely big, ranging from 250MB to 2GB (and beyond). Trust me, SSD will make a difference.

Then again, you are right at price point. It'll only be worth when the performance/price ratio hits the sweet spot (maybe just a little pricier than normal SATA2 HDD).

RE: not worth it
By ddopson on 10/13/2006 2:01:37 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think you understand. Hibernate stands to benefit FAR more than boot-up. If this is not the case today, it is simply poor implementation (I don't know as I don't have a flash drive to play with). When resuming from hibernate, you can just pull the essential kernel pages from flash to RAM and the demand page the rest. With microsecond access times flash is game changing for pagefiles. So yes, this stuff is still a bit immature, but the instant-on scenarios it will enable will be very nice, especially when coupled with longer battery life and greatly enhanced reliability.

Oh, and don't forget that when it comes to hibernate/power save, it takes several seconds for a disk drive to spin up before you can pull the first byte off of it. So for a resume from hibernate scenario, you are talking about 3s vs a few us to get the first page from nonvol.

Why Celeron?
By BladeVenom on 10/13/2006 11:40:20 AM , Rating: 2
Why would they even offer a Celeron processor with such an expensive laptop? It's also counterproductive to the power benefits of using a flash HD.

RE: Why Celeron?
By haris on 10/13/2006 12:11:34 PM , Rating: 2
First off, the notebooks are expensive because of their size. Second if you look at the battery life numbers the celeron equiped version last more than 2hours longer. I don't think I would pay $700 for the SSD, but the performance benefit is very nice.

Miserable failure
By mindless1 on 10/14/2006 5:30:56 AM , Rating: 2
So we have SS drive, small screen, ULV CPU, and still only 2 or 4.7 hours runtime? When are notebook manufacturers going to realize some of us want a bare minimum of 8 hours runtime, preferribly longer so as to not have to recharge after part of a single day?

IMO, if you can't lug around an extra few ounces for more battery, you have more important things to worry about than boot time.

RE: Miserable failure
By abakshi on 10/14/2006 4:17:59 PM , Rating: 2
That's purely because of the weight. What else has longer battery life at just over 2 lbs?

It's pretty funny, though, that one of my current test machines, a Dell 1705 - 17", Core 2 Duo @ 2.0, ATI X1400 - gets the same battery life as (or double, for the first one) something with a 12" screen, no hard drive, and a ULV chip.

By feelingshorter on 10/14/2006 1:53:14 AM , Rating: 2
That thing makes it boot up much faster. 32 gigs HDs in raid would be great.

"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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