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Crucial m4 And Intel SSD 320: The Other SSD Competitors

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March 28, 2011 2:23:39 PM

Oooo, Crucial or Vertex? Decisions, decisions!
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Anonymous
March 28, 2011 3:28:21 PM

Could you expand on the Full Disk Encryption capabilities of the Intel 320?
If you can actually use hardware FDE on that drive (rather than just secure erase), that's a winner for me.
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March 28, 2011 3:31:24 PM

Why does the Intel 510 250GB appear to have two scores in crystalmark? (469.4 and 259.7) on the top benchmark on page: "Benchmark Results: CrystalDiskMark Streaming Performance" the specs are identical for both.
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March 28, 2011 3:42:23 PM

Great lil tidbit, wonder what the difference will be between other SSD's with different interface connections other than physical appearance and the interface connection. More on the lines of pro's and con's between the SSD interface connections I'm referring to the OCZ PCI-e drives vs. SATA 6GB just a thought to stir up the hoop la of ssd's :p 
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a b å Intel
March 28, 2011 4:13:56 PM

I am beginning to wonder if we haven't reached the point where the human eye and brain are finding it harder to differentiate performance among ssd's. Some mainstream benchmarks seem to suggest that. Some of the benchmarks in this review seem to indicate the same. There are some very tight groupings.
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March 28, 2011 4:49:00 PM

At the speed points that SSDs are functioning, I'm beginning to think that durability and reliability might be the best basis for decision. I would also really like to see some boot times from Windows 7, or loading time for games.
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March 28, 2011 5:13:05 PM

Does anyone know when the vertex 3 and M4 are going to actually be available? I have heard rumors that the vertex 3 will be released "any day now" since mid march...
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March 28, 2011 7:35:49 PM

I'll go SSD in my next build, probably in a year and a half. Right now I'm satisfied with Raid 0-ed 1TB Caviar Blacks.
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March 28, 2011 8:19:46 PM

No mention of a release date. When will they be "in stores?" Q2 isn't exact enough.
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March 28, 2011 8:20:36 PM

Alert! Spelling police is coming and their PISSED

(yes, it was intentional)
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March 28, 2011 8:23:41 PM

Why are the I/O's for this drive way off on your review compared to others such as Anand and PCPer?
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March 28, 2011 9:00:33 PM

Would have been interesting to see those Vantage marks on a Vertex 3 that hadn't already been hammered into a throttled state by all the previous tests. While it obviously shows the stamina and expected performance of the V3 after extremely heavy usage, the test doesn't take into consideration what many will see on newly installed drives that are used moderately. From that standpoint, the testing protocol is flawed, IMO.

IOW, the testing protocol in reverse would have been more interesting to see typical Vantage scores from an unthrottled controller. I know for fact through personal beta-testing of the V3 that they would have been much higher.

Or even better yet would be too take into account the special Durawrite throttling which the Sandforce drives STILL have built into the firmware(though not nearly as aggressive as the V2). Would surely give a nice little boost to SF through secure erase cleansing. If done at the 50% point it would show the potential in certain portions of the test suite that most WOULD see when not hitting thier drives with benchmark after benchmark in some sort of "hammer em' till the dust settles" protocol.

Decent enough writeup though and all the review sites will eventually get it figured out, I guess.
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March 28, 2011 9:39:09 PM

Our SQL server has done more than 5*10^25 I/O Write Bytes in its 3 years lifespan. I really doubt the reliability of SSDs in a corporate server, although the IOs would be nice since our server can be crippled to 500% disk usage with disk queue sizes up to 8 at times.
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Anonymous
March 29, 2011 12:27:14 AM

praxgtiOur SQL server has done more than 5*10^25 I/O Write Bytes in its 3 years lifespan. I really doubt the reliability of SSDs in a corporate server, although the IOs would be nice since our server can be crippled to 500% disk usage with disk queue sizes up to 8 at times.


How did you work that one out,

10^24 bytes is a 1 yobibyte = 2^80 bytes = 1208925819614629174706176 bytes = 1,024 zebibytes

1 zebibyte = 270 bytes = 1180591620717411303424 bytes = 1,024 exbibytes

1 exbibyte = 260 bytes = 1152921504606846976 bytes = 1,024 pebibytes

All of the data in the world on every hard drive is estimated at around 500 exbibytes.

even in bits you are in order of several magnitude off
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March 29, 2011 12:28:58 AM

groberts101 said:
Would have been interesting to see those Vantage marks on a Vertex 3 that hadn't already been hammered into a throttled state by all the previous tests. While it obviously shows the stamina and expected performance of the V3 after extremely heavy usage, the test doesn't take into consideration what many will see on newly installed drives that are used moderately. From that standpoint, the testing protocol is flawed, IMO.

IOW, the testing protocol in reverse would have been more interesting to see typical Vantage scores from an unthrottled controller. I know for fact through personal beta-testing of the V3 that they would have been much higher.

Or even better yet would be too take into account the special Durawrite throttling which the Sandforce drives STILL have built into the firmware(though not nearly as aggressive as the V2). Would surely give a nice little boost to SF through secure erase cleansing. If done at the 50% point it would show the potential in certain portions of the test suite that most WOULD see when not hitting thier drives with benchmark after benchmark in some sort of "hammer em' till the dust settles" protocol.

Decent enough writeup though and all the review sites will eventually get it figured out, I guess.


Hi groberts101,

The test are actually run backwards. We just have help in a different order in the review. :) 

Cheers,
Andrew
TomsHardware
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March 29, 2011 12:29:47 AM

bto said:
Why does the Intel 510 250GB appear to have two scores in crystalmark? (469.4 and 259.7) on the top benchmark on page: "Benchmark Results: CrystalDiskMark Streaming Performance" the specs are identical for both.


I think there is a legend in the lower right hand corner. One is using the 6Gb/s port and one is using the 3Gb/s port.
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March 29, 2011 3:46:49 AM

microking4u said:
Why are the I/O's for this drive way off on your review compared to others such as Anand and PCPer?

Which ones are you referencing?
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March 29, 2011 4:35:30 AM

From what i have been hearing the new vortec 3 is going to be the best SSD on the market with faster speeds the any other one has right now.
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March 29, 2011 5:13:19 AM

I like the part in the conclusion that one not need the fastest SSDs out there especially for desktop uses.
In my opinion, Intel has a point with their new products and pricing, enable bigger capacities at lower capacities.
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March 29, 2011 5:16:07 AM

I meant prices. :p 

zodiacfmlI like the part in the conclusion that one not need the fastest SSDs out there especially for desktop uses. In my opinion, Intel has a point with their new products and pricing, enable bigger capacities at lower capacities.

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March 29, 2011 2:59:39 PM

A couple of observations:
1. I was showing these charts to a coworker and pointed out that the worst SSD had 10x better performance than a good current rotating hard drive - and the good ones were 50x or better than that. We can split hairs over which SSD but the question I ask is why are you still on a hard drive?

2. The stupid SQL server calc continues to show the ignorance people have about SSD's. 99% of that SQL server's use is READS. SSD's can read all day long - its the write cycles that count against them. The early Intel drives guaranteed 100G of writes per day for 5 years - Im not sure if the other mfg list these specs or if they are unchanged.

In business use the question you have to ask yourself is does the cost of an SSD drive either defer an upgrade or somehow return more money than you spent on it. If no, then dont buy SSD's. For personal use we have no return - its pure fun and enjoyment to see how fast these things are....

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Anonymous
March 29, 2011 9:54:08 PM

You show that the read performance of the m4 degrades significantly over time with usage. How did this degradation affect the benchmark performance of the drive? I'm mostly interested in the PCMark Vantage benchmarks where the m4 was pretty consistently the leader -- was that a fresh drive or a used drive?
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Anonymous
March 29, 2011 10:18:25 PM

"5*10^25 I/O Write Bytes in its 3 years lifespan" seems to be a bit far fetched...

5*10^25 =
50,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Bytes

Number of seconds in 3 years: 3*365*24*60*60 = 94,608,000 sec

Divide bytes by seconds to get continuous average transfer rate:
528,496,533,062,743,108 Bytes/sec

Roughly 7 Billion people in the world (assuming everyone has internet which they dont, and everyone is always downloading, which they aren't)

Transfer per person:
75,499,504 Bytes/sec/person

Which is 72MB per person per second. Not possible!

This would mean 7 Billion people in the world are consuming data constantly with their 578 Mbs (mega-bit per second) Internet connection!!

I WANT A 578 Mbs internet connection!!!

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March 30, 2011 1:12:45 AM

Quote:
You show that the read performance of the m4 degrades significantly over time with usage. How did this degradation affect the benchmark performance of the drive? I'm mostly interested in the PCMark Vantage benchmarks where the m4 was pretty consistently the leader -- was that a fresh drive or a used drive?

Fresh out of the box. You'll see the m4 hit 65k in the PCMark HDD suite. I'll have to double check the numbers, but off the top of my head I think it was like ~54k in a steady state. Don't quote me on that though.

Remember this is for the 256 GB drive. The m4 128 GB model is suppose to hit around 55k right out of the box.
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March 30, 2011 7:38:17 AM

the read performance drop under full drive seems weird. I wonder how you precondition the drive to a full state? did you use 4k random data@Iometer to make the drive full?
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March 30, 2011 2:20:55 PM

When will Toms compare Raid 0 garbage collection and Raid 0 degraded performance of various consumer SSDs?

TRIM doesn't work in RAID so evaluating RAID 0 degraded performance is important in SSD reviews.
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April 1, 2011 6:17:21 PM

I did some looking into these new Intel 320 Series SSD, and found something out, that was not mentioned within this article:

Sustained Sequential Reads AND Writes scale according to drive size! Detailed information is from the Intel website here.

The 40GB size only rates at 200MB/s reads, and 45MB/s writes!

80B and over rate at 270MB/s reads. However, writes still scale all the way up the ladder, from 45MB/s for the 40GB unit, up to 220MB/s for the 600GB model.

Same thing for (what really matters): Random 4K reads and writes.

I understand this, but I WAS jazzed about getting 2-40GB units, with 270/220 ratings, and RAID 0 them, like my X25-V’s are now.

Oh well. As I posted on another thread here, I didn’t like the SandForce controller running the OCZ Vertex 2, due to it’s “drive throttling.” This “slows” the drive down whenever it notices a lot of writes to the drive, until it’s garbage collection can kick in, or something like that. The lag was very noticeable. I read the Vertex 3 aren’t so severe.
Anyway, I haven’t found anyone selling these Intel 320 Series SSD yet. Newegg only has 1 model listed, out-of-stock, not on MicroCenter’s site yet, and on Amazon, they are stating ships within 1-2 months. Look like I wait. By then, maybe the Z68 chipset motherboards will be out.
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April 3, 2011 6:39:24 AM

Are you sure that your over-provisioning info is accurate? By virtue of the Windows capacity and the amount of NAND installed, I expect the Crucial m4 256GB to have 7% over-provisioning and the Intel 510 250GB to have 9%.
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April 11, 2011 2:10:06 AM

I'll be waiting for the game loading benchmarks...
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Anonymous
April 20, 2011 5:57:53 PM

At the end of the discussion, for a MacBook Pro 2011 (SATA3) should I buy the Intel 510, the Crucial C300, M4 or the Vertex 3? All 250 Gb version. The use isn't anything special!
Thanks
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Anonymous
April 20, 2011 7:56:53 PM

X-25M 80GB boots Win 7 Pro in approximately 20 seconds with an AMD X2 6000. I think reviews should post practical results like Office load times, OS boot times, etc.. The Intel G2 line is also one of the most reliable SSD's on the market, don't count out some of these less expensive SSD units for home builds. Im always more concerned with reliability then speed and this unit is still a great performer at a reasonable price. Personally I think the 25nm drives are not going to last as long even with everything being done in the logic. At this point we need some architecture change or chip stacking to increase capacity. It not practical to continue to die shrink and reduce number of writes to the point that these drives wont last. Intel tested these units extensively to write 20GB of data a day and estimated for that usage level you would get over 5 years of life before the drives start to wear down. Thats more than I expect from most traditional platter drives and once you experience the performance you just wont be able to go back. Just make sure to schedule the Intel Optimizer to do perform the TRIM function to keep the unit running at peak performance. SSD's should by far be more reliable in laptop configurations, I see alot of failures of drives due to shock. My 2 Cents, hope it helps!
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May 7, 2011 2:38:11 PM

Hi. I'd like to see a comparison of 120GB-160GB drives (which I think is a good size for a laptop, and probably the battleground for the mainstream) in laptops. Some results here on tomshardware seem different to the ones on anandtech (who's bias seems to be OCZ, rather than Intel). I'm also concerned about reliability, and have been reading about lots of OCZ failures, and even Intel's not lasting much more than a year... so it would be extremely useful to have ssd drives tested to destruction, so we get independent verification of manufacturers claims?
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