Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

SSD Sata 3 [6gb/s] (Sandforce) is it worth it now?

Last response: in Storage
Share
June 23, 2011 4:07:58 AM

Hey Guys,

I am building my new gaming rig. And i am also thinking of buying some sata 3(6 gb/s) ssd, particularly one of these- osz vertex 3, osz agility 3, or corsair force 3 with the capacity of 120 gb. The problem is that, while scanning the internet, i have found out that sata 3 ssds with sandforce controllers, cause too many problems, like BSODs, freezes etc. Actually corsair have recalled its force 3 120 gb ssds recently, however i have found reviews, saying that it didnt solve the mentioned above issues...

So the question is ,are those issues mentioned above rare? And is it worth waiting for fixes, and am i going to be okay on a gaming rig with ordinary 7200 rpm hdd (i.e. wd caviar black sata-600) ?

It would be great, if i could also hear answers from people who actually own sata 3 ssds...

Thx
a c 283 G Storage
June 23, 2011 4:52:04 AM

I have a SATA II ssd, but not a SandForce.

SandForce based SATA II (3 Gb/s) and SATA III (6Gb/s) ssd's seem to have too many issues. It has reached the point where articles are appearing in newspapers.

I definitely recommend waiting until issues are resolved. You have another option. For reliability Intel and Samsung are at the top of the list. In terms of synthetic benchmarks, Intel and Samsung are not speed burners. However, in actual real world environments they can definitely hang in there.

If you can wait, Intel will be releasing brand new ssd's in a few months. According to Intel the new 520 series will be SATA III (6Gb/s) based ssd's for gamers and enthusiasts.



June 23, 2011 5:03:28 AM

Thank you for your prompt replies Gene O and JohnyLucky, they are very informative.
And yes, i have started my research from vendors websites.
A few months waiting for 520 is a lot...)

Hope to get more replies on the topic...
Related resources
a c 415 G Storage
June 23, 2011 6:41:58 AM

I've been using a 160GB Intel X-25M G2 for 18 months now and it's worked flawlessly. The stability of my system is important to me, and I chose Intel in large part because I felt it was likely to be the most reliable SSD on the market. This report of PC component failure rates confirms my choice.

For me stability is the most important criteria, followed by performance and then price. If I was buying another SSD today I'd still choose Intel.
a b G Storage
June 23, 2011 1:19:09 PM

My V3 runs flawlessly no metter what firmware I"ve tried(beta and public). Most don't have issues and all the crap you see around the net are the minority. Have to remember that good news travels fast and bad news travels even faster. Particularly in the case of OCZ as there are a lot of flamers out there who make it a point to go out of their way to chime in even when never having ever owned a Sandforce controller. Is surely a perspective "half full/half empty" kinda thing.

Is exactly like looking around for owners of a particular model of vehicle that's known to have transmission problems. When you read all the crap you think it's a massive issue until you look over at you next door neighbors car which has over 150k miles on it without issue, your sister in laws, or anyone else you know who has one. Then while you're driving around you see them in the next lane, all over the parking lots, and just about everywhere you go. Point is that when sales volumes are high?.. you get the wrong impression and can't get a good handle on the percentage aspect. Same with Sandforce controlled drives. I have 7 drives and all are without issue, family members have 2, and a few friends as well as numerous buddies over at OCZ forums.

As for the currently advertised issues with the 6G controllers(SF2281)?.. similar to the car transmission analogy above there are not nearly the amount of people having issues as an overall percentage which one would think by reading all the horror stories. I have no vested interest in OCZ products despite being given the opportunity to beta-test their drives and can say without reservation that they are amazing drives if you have a mainstream machine that agrees with them. Even if they don't?.. flash the firmware and move on with your life. The newest one is is barely any slower(some even report slight speed gains) and the bulk of the one's who have any slowdowns whatsoever are the knuckleheads who had prior issues, hacked the crap out of their installs to try workarounds, and refuse to secure erase and install fresh. Simple fact is that the mapping requires time to translate all the code changes and sync back up with the system and bitmap. Haven't seen one report so far for anyone who has lost major speed(more than 5-10MB/s linear write speeds using incompressible data) with the new firmware after having properly refreshed their drives with SE/reimage or reinstallation.

So my advice is... if you want safe?.. go Intel. If you want fast and on the edge?.. Sandforce is top of the SSD food chain. I'm more Sandforce knowledgable than most though.. and will always take the fastest option even if it takes more work on the front end to implement it due to the requirements of my vid/gfx work. YMMV on a gamers machine but it is very well known that Sandforce's small random and ultra low latency is enjoyed by many on extreme gamer machines. That's my dirty penny on the matter and good luck with the hunt.
June 23, 2011 2:16:38 PM

Thank you, for your reply groberts101.

Out of significant amount of people (posting threads on other forums and talking to my friends over the phone) - you are actually the first one to say that V3 is a good stuff. All your reply sound reasonable and logic, i am just hoping you are not a OCZ staff person or in connection with it in any way )))) Will take your opinion, as an unbiased one...)
June 23, 2011 4:25:32 PM

How about a Crucial M4, or C300? Would those not be Viable alternatives?
a b G Storage
June 23, 2011 4:55:20 PM

RRoller said:
Thank you, for your reply groberts101.

Out of significant amount of people (posting threads on other forums and talking to my friends over the phone) - you are actually the first one to say that V3 is a good stuff. All your reply sound reasonable and logic, i am just hoping you are not a OCZ staff person or in connection with it in any way )))) Will take your opinion, as an unbiased one...)


LOL.. you're not talking to people that actually use them then. Sandforce is a very unique controller and has some very smart internal algorithms. It too has weaknesses but all the strengths more than make up for the few that are present.

And just to be upfront.. I make no attemp to hide the fact that I was given the opportunity to beta-test for OCZ but have absolutley no affiliation or employed allegiance to that company. I own 7 Sandforce along with 8 Indilinx controlled SSD drives manufactured by OCZ and prefer speed over anything else as my workflow is the main concern. I've tried and tested over 40 drives with 6 different controllers so far from various mfgrs so my opinions are purely based on experience and some reading like anyone else would do when deciding what to buy. I don't succumb to advertising very quickly because I've been fooled and outright ripped off too many times in my lifetime. That makes me extremeely guarded and very pessimistic/cynical. Not really a bad way to be if you're protecting your wallet, eh?

That being said.. I am one of the most vocal and "from the hip" individuals you will come across. I almost got kicked off the OCZ forums more than a few times because of that very nature. The fact that I do actually walk the walk and have learned so much about Sandforce along with my excellent testing protocols has earned me the right to test these drives. Was and probably never will be bought(they can't afford me.. lol) by receiving some goods to test. I actually almost turned the offer down as I immediately thought it may be a roundabout way of forcing some silence/buttering up of improved attitudes towards mfgrs in general. I'm a consumer just like anyone else and am loyal to myself first and foremost. I just go out of my way to share what I have learned and many take me as a "payed OCZ fanboy" as a result of all the positive things I have to say about my drives. But from my perspective.. who wouldn't be a fanboy with 15 awesome drives without issue, right?

So.. I will say this to end your concerns there. I call it like I see it and OCZ isn't the monster that many try and paint them to be despite making some stupid mistakes. They are a multi-million dollar corporation like most others and will easily dupe you into believing whatever they need you to believe to get your money. Intel, Microsoft, etc,.. are all the same in that regard. It's just big business and you have to muddle your way through the advertising if you want to see the clear path ahead. I just tell people what obstacles have been on the path that I've traveled so far, is all. I just give "take it or leave it and ALWAYS add salt" advice. Hope that helps clarify my viewpoints based on where I came from and where I been so far. Good Luck to ya on the hunt and you can't really go wrong on any of the top 3 drives as the firmware and internal smarts are much improved these days. The 6G speeds are just the icing on the cake, is all.
June 24, 2011 9:46:17 AM

As i understood from your replies, you are an advanced user.

The problem is that most users are intermediate and upper-intermediate, and the thing is that the product for most users should be just limited to pluging in, and using it. I am ready to believe that you are running 15 drives flawlessly i would probably agree , that there are more good ssds, than faulty ones, with this particular controller.
And most probably, the users who are writing posts about their sandforce ssd's issues, dont know much about it and dont know how to handle the situation, but the thing is that they dont have to. When you are buying a washing machine, you dont have to be aware of software and hardware it uses, it must simply work when you plug it in the power supply.
And that is the issue of most pc vendors nowadays, first, they like to launch unfinished products, second they dont pay much attention to compatibility with other software/hardware.

Anyway thank you for your input, all the best...)
June 24, 2011 9:51:56 AM

zedekc said:
How about a Crucial M4, or C300? Would those not be Viable alternatives?


In the online shop, i am buying all my pc stuff, they dont have crucial, so my choice is limited to ssds mentioned in the SP.
June 24, 2011 10:59:00 AM

JohnnyLucky said:
Ya'll might find this brand new review interesting:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4341/ocz-vertex-3-max-iop...

Real World performance on page 3 of the review is pretty much what I've been saying for several months.




Hi, Do you know specifically which Toshiba '32nm SF-2281' drives he is referring to in this article? I would potentially be highly interested in them. thanks!


"This new batch of 32nm Toshiba based SF-2281 drives fixes my issue with the 120GB Vertex 3. These drives 120GB are now competitive with both Intel's SSD 510 and the 240GB Vertex 3. For desktop users looking for the best absolute performance at the 120GB price point, these are the SF-2281 drives you've been looking for"
a b G Storage
June 24, 2011 11:57:05 AM

My advice:

Purchase 2 Samsung Spinpoint SATA 3.0Gb/s mechanical HDDs and RAID them on SATA 6.0Gb/s
a c 283 G Storage
June 24, 2011 12:01:48 PM

zedekc - Anand meant the new Patriot Wildfire series of ssd's in the review. The ssd's use a SandForce SF-2281 controller with Toshiba 32nm NAND Flash. The firmware for the Patriot ssd's is different than the firmware for the OCZ ssd's. The ssd's should be available for purchase by the end of this month.

BTW - Toshiba has been offering their own solid state drives for several years. Toshiba also makes the T6UG1XBG controller used in the Kingston V+ ssd's.

Here is a link to my ssd database which just happens to identify the controllers used in consumer ssd's:

http://www.johnnylucky.org/data-storage/ssd-database.ht...
a c 353 G Storage
June 24, 2011 12:32:51 PM

@ Agility 3 120 gig– currently Boot drive & data drive, I5-2500k. Not used enough, yet but No problem
QUALIFIER – 2nd Agility III was for a Laptop, Could not install operating system – Multiple attempts – 1st SSDF I’ve had ANY problem with.

Other SSDs - Absolutely not one single problem with (in use for 1 -> 1 ½ Years.)
Patriot Phoenix Pro (Sata II, SF1200) – I5-750
Patriot Torqx 120 gig – Laptop
Intel G2 80 Gig – Currently in new SB Laptop (Samsung RF711) Temp since Agility III would not install, will replace probably with an Intel
WD Blue 120 Gig (Slow for a SSD) & an Intel 80 Gig G1 (No trim support) – Both Win 7 32 bit. I use this at work and swap drives depending on work (Require USB->serial and the two programs are not compatible with each other.

I will buy the fastest one, But Reliability and easy of installing comes first. I find little difference in day-to-day performance (Excluding the WD) between the High end sata II and the new sata III excluding boot time. Once into the operating system if I cannot move my mouse fast enough to a spreadsheet cell to edit it (My Phoenix pro) how does “faster” help. Qualifier; I’m not a gamer; Do not work with HUGH spreadsheets, nor Do I compile large Programs. I’m just an average guy that works with excel spread sheets, Office docs, and work with data files from a Satellite Instrument under test.
The problem I had with the Agility III is no big issue with me (I gambled and lost – my fault). However after reading the OCZ forum looking for answers I was totally turned off by the attitude of the company. For this reason I cannot support, nor recommend OCZ.

I respect groberts101 and the evaluation/comments he provides are normally spot on, But as to the company's integrity, we will have to agree to disagree
June 24, 2011 7:19:19 PM

JohnnyLucky said:
zedekc - Anand meant the new Patriot Wildfire series of ssd's in the review. The ssd's use a SandForce SF-2281 controller with Toshiba 32nm NAND Flash. The firmware for the Patriot ssd's is different than the firmware for the OCZ ssd's. The ssd's should be available for purchase by the end of this month.

BTW - Toshiba has been offering their own solid state drives for several years. Toshiba also makes the T6UG1XBG controller used in the Kingston V+ ssd's.

Here is a link to my ssd database which just happens to identify the controllers used in consumer ssd's:

http://www.johnnylucky.org/data-storage/ssd-database.ht...




awesome thanks for the answer and the database!
June 24, 2011 7:47:43 PM

RetiredChief said:
@ Agility 3 120 gig– currently Boot drive & data drive, I5-2500k. Not used enough, yet but No problem
QUALIFIER – 2nd Agility III was for a Laptop, Could not install operating system – Multiple attempts – 1st SSDF I’ve had ANY problem with.

Other SSDs - Absolutely not one single problem with (in use for 1 -> 1 ½ Years.)
Patriot Phoenix Pro (Sata II, SF1200) – I5-750
Patriot Torqx 120 gig – Laptop
Intel G2 80 Gig – Currently in new SB Laptop (Samsung RF711) Temp since Agility III would not install, will replace probably with an Intel
WD Blue 120 Gig (Slow for a SSD) & an Intel 80 Gig G1 (No trim support) – Both Win 7 32 bit. I use this at work and swap drives depending on work (Require USB->serial and the two programs are not compatible with each other.

I will buy the fastest one, But Reliability and easy of installing comes first. I find little difference in day-to-day performance (Excluding the WD) between the High end sata II and the new sata III excluding boot time. Once into the operating system if I cannot move my mouse fast enough to a spreadsheet cell to edit it (My Phoenix pro) how does “faster” help. Qualifier; I’m not a gamer; Do not work with HUGH spreadsheets, nor Do I compile large Programs. I’m just an average guy that works with excel spread sheets, Office docs, and work with data files from a Satellite Instrument under test.
The problem I had with the Agility III is no big issue with me (I gambled and lost – my fault). However after reading the OCZ forum looking for answers I was totally turned off by the attitude of the company. For this reason I cannot support, nor recommend OCZ.

I respect groberts101 and the evaluation/comments he provides are normally spot on, But as to the company's integrity, we will have to agree to disagree


Thank you for reply, i have the same priorities as you do(reliabilty> compatibility> speed), so for how long you've been using your agility 3 ssd in your pc? So why you couldnt you install windows on your ag3 in your laptop? system does not see the drive?
June 24, 2011 7:55:12 PM

Wisecracker said:
My advice:

Purchase 2 Samsung Spinpoint SATA 3.0Gb/s mechanical HDDs and RAID them on SATA 6.0Gb/s


I will conisder that option, thank u
a c 353 G Storage
June 25, 2011 1:56:47 AM

Could complete the Install upto the first reboot at which point it could not load the operating system. Tried using the Disk that came with the laptop, tried using an Upgrade win 7 disk. Not problem using the intel G2, so I cloned the "Working" Intel G2 onto the Agility 3 - still no go.

The Bios sees the SSD, Windows Install disk has no problem removing and repartitioning the SSD. And the SSD is fine as a data disk in my I5-2500k desktop. Have not used it much as My I5-750 works great and I just have not gotten around to moving my programs over.
June 25, 2011 9:31:21 AM

I have a Vertex 3 and it works fine, it is the best SSD out right now, with the exception of the Max Iops version. The wildfire drive is the exact same thing as the OCZ Max Iops, only the PCB is different.

There are allot of haters out there, and they are usually the same ones posting on every thread that mentions a Vertex 3, I would take their opinions with a grain of salt.

The Agility 3 60GB version uses asynchronous NAND and has RAISE disabled. The M4 is a rehashed C300.

The new Sandforce works best with synchronous 32nm Toshiba NAND and second best with synchronous Intel NAND and of course the larger the drive the better the performance, look for that configuration and you will have the best preforming SATA III SSD on the market at this time.

Ignore the name on the box for a minute and look for a combination of these qualities, then mix and match different options until you get to a price that you are comfortable with. (It is getting harder to find newer SSD's with 32nm NAND though :cry:  )

1. Synchronous NAND
2. 32nm NAND
3. Sandforce Controller
4. Higher ONFI
5. Larger Size

Happy Hunting!
a c 283 G Storage
June 26, 2011 9:51:20 PM

metawin - The Patriot Wildfire uses brand new firmware that is different than the OCZ firmware. Looks promising. Could be a very serious contender if no issues develop.
a b G Storage
June 28, 2011 7:44:36 PM

Patriot has no new tricks available to them that Sandforce, chipset mfgrs, and bios makers havn't learned and passed down to the others.

Once the other players have released new OROM's/drivers/Sandforce firmware?.. the issues are drying up rather quickly and Patriot is just riding the coattails of others here. They might even be waiting for things to smooth out a bit more with newer info/fix releases for known issues to be sorted first, right?
July 30, 2011 10:30:01 PM

groberts101 said:
My V3 runs flawlessly no metter what firmware I"ve tried(beta and public). Most don't have issues and all the crap you see around the net are the minority. Have to remember that good news travels fast and bad news travels even faster. Particularly in the case of OCZ as there are a lot of flamers out there who make it a point to go out of their way to chime in even when never having ever owned a Sandforce controller. Is surely a perspective "half full/half empty" kinda thing.

Is exactly like looking around for owners of a particular model of vehicle that's known to have transmission problems. When you read all the crap you think it's a massive issue until you look over at you next door neighbors car which has over 150k miles on it without issue, your sister in laws, or anyone else you know who has one. Then while you're driving around you see them in the next lane, all over the parking lots, and just about everywhere you go. Point is that when sales volumes are high?.. you get the wrong impression and can't get a good handle on the percentage aspect. Same with Sandforce controlled drives. I have 7 drives and all are without issue, family members have 2, and a few friends as well as numerous buddies over at OCZ forums.

As for the currently advertised issues with the 6G controllers(SF2281)?.. similar to the car transmission analogy above there are not nearly the amount of people having issues as an overall percentage which one would think by reading all the horror stories. I have no vested interest in OCZ products despite being given the opportunity to beta-test their drives and can say without reservation that they are amazing drives if you have a mainstream machine that agrees with them. Even if they don't?.. flash the firmware and move on with your life. The newest one is is barely any slower(some even report slight speed gains) and the bulk of the one's who have any slowdowns whatsoever are the knuckleheads who had prior issues, hacked the crap out of their installs to try workarounds, and refuse to secure erase and install fresh. Simple fact is that the mapping requires time to translate all the code changes and sync back up with the system and bitmap. Haven't seen one report so far for anyone who has lost major speed(more than 5-10MB/s linear write speeds using incompressible data) with the new firmware after having properly refreshed their drives with SE/reimage or reinstallation.

So my advice is... if you want safe?.. go Intel. If you want fast and on the edge?.. Sandforce is top of the SSD food chain. I'm more Sandforce knowledgable than most though.. and will always take the fastest option even if it takes more work on the front end to implement it due to the requirements of my vid/gfx work. YMMV on a gamers machine but it is very well known that Sandforce's small random and ultra low latency is enjoyed by many on extreme gamer machines. That's my dirty penny on the matter and good luck with the hunt.

July 30, 2011 10:55:09 PM

groberts101 said:
My V3 runs flawlessly no metter what firmware I"ve tried(beta and public). Most don't have issues and all the crap you see around the net are the minority. Have to remember that good news travels fast and bad news travels even faster. Particularly in the case of OCZ as there are a lot of flamers out there who make it a point to go out of their way to chime in even when never having ever owned a Sandforce controller. Is surely a perspective "half full/half empty" kinda thing.

Is exactly like looking around for owners of a particular model of vehicle that's known to have transmission problems. When you read all the crap you think it's a massive issue until you look over at you next door neighbors car which has over 150k miles on it without issue, your sister in laws, or anyone else you know who has one. Then while you're driving around you see them in the next lane, all over the parking lots, and just about everywhere you go. Point is that when sales volumes are high?.. you get the wrong impression and can't get a good handle on the percentage aspect. Same with Sandforce controlled drives. I have 7 drives and all are without issue, family members have 2, and a few friends as well as numerous buddies over at OCZ forums.

As for the currently advertised issues with the 6G controllers(SF2281)?.. similar to the car transmission analogy above there are not nearly the amount of people having issues as an overall percentage which one would think by reading all the horror stories. I have no vested interest in OCZ products despite being given the opportunity to beta-test their drives and can say without reservation that they are amazing drives if you have a mainstream machine that agrees with them. Even if they don't?.. flash the firmware and move on with your life. The newest one is is barely any slower(some even report slight speed gains) and the bulk of the one's who have any slowdowns whatsoever are the knuckleheads who had prior issues, hacked the crap out of their installs to try workarounds, and refuse to secure erase and install fresh. Simple fact is that the mapping requires time to translate all the code changes and sync back up with the system and bitmap. Haven't seen one report so far for anyone who has lost major speed(more than 5-10MB/s linear write speeds using incompressible data) with the new firmware after having properly refreshed their drives with SE/reimage or reinstallation.

So my advice is... if you want safe?.. go Intel. If you want fast and on the edge?.. Sandforce is top of the SSD food chain. I'm more Sandforce knowledgable than most though.. and will always take the fastest option even if it takes more work on the front end to implement it due to the requirements of my vid/gfx work. YMMV on a gamers machine but it is very well known that Sandforce's small random and ultra low latency is enjoyed by many on extreme gamer machines. That's my dirty penny on the matter and good luck with the hunt.



It so happened I am the minority and I am building my new system with main stream asus p8z68-pro motherboard using the ocz agility 3 ssd. First time I power up my system the ssd is not showing up in bios. goto the ocz forum the official staff recommend people to try different sata ports and cable ( doesn't make sense to average computer user) , next suggestion is to update the firmware using linux in another computer. Did that and the ssd is not showing up on any computer. Next thing I find out is that the ssd can go into "panic state" and only ocz can unlock it. Need to go through RMA and got an exact same replacement ssd. Now I got no gut to use this brand new ssd and are waiting for a brave guy to buy from me and hopefully he can use it. What make me angry is that this hard to replicate situation mentioned in the forum happened to me 100% as descriped in the forum and the people posting there are not flamers. I never did a firmware update on any electronic I owned for 20 years and I consider the electronics should work right from the box when I buy it. Therefore I cannot agree to your point of view


a b G Storage
July 31, 2011 8:00:02 AM

Not trying to get under the skin at all but whether you agree or not is irrelevant. Facts and opinions are what they are.

Sandforce is not known to be one of the most friendly and compatible controllers on the market. For that matter, I'd actually rate them as the worst when it comes to plug and play.

There are many underlying issues at play here and newer OROM's, sata drivers, and even Windows updates are here and on their way to work around them. Should be flashing the latest firmware too as it will help work around some of these issues as well.

In the end?.. this controller is just more sensitive and unforgiving than most all others and "panic locks" with a required RMA and is not exclusive to it alone. Many bricked SSD's from ALL mfgrs to date.

If you want a controller that can be recovered easily?.. buy an Indilinx based drive and use the jumper to put it into engineering mode for destructive firmware falshing/recovery.

I would recommend reading the OCZ forums to get an idea of some platform specific issues/workarounds that may be required. Or just move away from Sandforce controllers as even the first gen SF drives have issues with these new platforms. If anything?.. they are more easily panic locked than that drive. Good Luck with it

!