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Plextor Reveals Its TLC-based SSD

By - Source: Guru3D | B 22 comments
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The company's prototype SSD offers a lower cost and longer longevity than comparable MLC based SSDs.

Plextor has taken the wraps off a prototype Triple-level Cell (TLC) based NAND Solid State Disk that pairs Toshiba's 19 mm TLC NAND memory with a Marvel controller. Since TLC memory stores more bits per cell than Multi-level Cell (MLC) and Single-level Cell (SLC) based devices, its chips are physically smaller, require less power to operate, and so far have mostly been used in lower end memory cards where speed and reliability are not high priorities.

Plextor's new SSD goes against this trend by offering speeds in excess of 500 MB/s (read) and 400 MB/s (write), random 4k IOPS of 80,000 (read) and 72,000 (write), and better reliability than comparable MLC devices.

Though the SSD's release date, availability and price are still unknown, Plextor has announced that it will be available in 128 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB variants with 256 MB, 512 MB and 712 MB of DDR cache memory, respectively.

 

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  • 6 Hide
    iceclock , March 13, 2013 12:05 PM
    interesting specs. lets see whats the final msrp price is. than i might be more interested.

  • 2 Hide
    madjimms , March 13, 2013 12:29 PM
    The more SSD manufacturers, the cheaper the technology will become and that's a good thing for us enthusiasts.

  • 1 Hide
    Sakkura , March 13, 2013 12:38 PM
    Quote:
    Since TLC memory stores more bits per cell than Multi-level Cell (MLC) and Single-level Cell (SLC) based devices, its chips are physically smaller, require less power to operate, and so far have mostly been used in lower end memory cards where speed and reliability are not high priorities.

    Ahem... what about the Samsung 840? I suspect they've been selling like hotcakes for a while now. It's good to see other vendors joining the fray though, this could really drive the prices down, allowing consumers to reap the full benefit of TLC-based SSDs.
  • 2 Hide
    bison88 , March 13, 2013 12:48 PM
    Interesting. I have to wonder if TLC is much cheaper and smaller, then why not push drives in the 512, 768, 1024GB range as it should be easily possible?

    Lets be honest about one thing though: "better reliability than comparable MLC devices." Reliability and TLC flash do not go in the same sentence in reference to MLC. Gives the wrong impressions. It simply hasn't been around long enough in the consumer market to say otherwise.
  • 0 Hide
    greenrider02 , March 13, 2013 1:50 PM
    If TLC stands for "Tender Loving Care," then I'm definitely buying this product.
  • -7 Hide
    leandrodafontoura , March 13, 2013 2:53 PM
    Had this been offered in 1TB or 2TB, I would buy it today, but competing in 512mb against Crucial/Corsair/OCZ, I dont see Plextor making any profit
  • 0 Hide
    s3anister , March 13, 2013 3:45 PM
    bison88Interesting. I have to wonder if TLC is much cheaper and smaller, then why not push drives in the 512, 768, 1024GB range as it should be easily possible?Lets be honest about one thing though: "better reliability than comparable MLC devices." Reliability and TLC flash do not go in the same sentence in reference to MLC. Gives the wrong impressions. It simply hasn't been around long enough in the consumer market to say otherwise.

    I don't know where you're getting that quote but, "Reliability" and "TLC" have never been used in the same sentence the way you're implying it has.

    It is fact that TLC has a shorter life-span than SLC or MLC and is therefore more unreliable than the competing SLC and MLC alternatives. This is why TLC drives are more inexpensive, take the Samsung 840 line for example: The 840 is cheaper than the 840 Pro because it uses TLC unlike the Pro's MLC.
  • 0 Hide
    dalethepcman , March 13, 2013 3:50 PM
    bison88......Lets be honest about one thing though: "better reliability than comparable MLC devices." Reliability and TLC flash do not go in the same sentence in reference to MLC. Gives the wrong impressions. It simply hasn't been around long enough in the consumer market to say otherwise.


    Thats akin to saying "Tri-Gate technology hasn't been around long enough in the consumer market to know longevity." Its the same principle behind both of these technology's, and no company would release a product with an untested lifecycle. Considering most SSD's can sustain 50k+iops, how long under 100% load would it take for you to hit 1,000,000 or even 100,000,000 read/write cycles on a specific cell? 86,400(seconds/day) X 50,000 (iops) = 4,320,000,000 reads/writes per day. Thats over 1 million reads and writes to every bit of a 4GB chip in 3 months. You don't think they did three months of testing?

    What I am still curious about, is why hasn't a company used less expensive higher capacity chips setup in some kind of internal raid array to counteract the lower performance with sheer volume, to offer great speed and capacity at a better price point before now..
  • 0 Hide
    razor512 , March 13, 2013 4:08 PM
    TLC memory = less than half the life of MLC flash, and slower write speeds and higher error rates as the cells age.
  • -1 Hide
    blazorthon , March 13, 2013 8:37 PM
    SakkuraAhem... what about the Samsung 840? I suspect they've been selling like hotcakes for a while now. It's good to see other vendors joining the fray though, this could really drive the prices down, allowing consumers to reap the full benefit of TLC-based SSDs.


    Samsung 840 is a low power, low performance SSD. That's what the article was referring to. Samsung 840 is even slower than Crucial M4 IIRC and although that's still faster than any hard drive, especially for random throughput, it's still much slower than the high end SATA 6Gb/s SSDs such as Samsung 840 Pro and many others.

    s3anisterI don't know where you're getting that quote but, "Reliability" and "TLC" have never been used in the same sentence the way you're implying it has.It is fact that TLC has a shorter life-span than SLC or MLC and is therefore more unreliable than the competing SLC and MLC alternatives. This is why TLC drives are more inexpensive, take the Samsung 840 line for example: The 840 is cheaper than the 840 Pro because it uses TLC unlike the Pro's MLC.


    You are confusing reliability and endurance. The TLC NAND isn't any less reliable than the MLC, but it usually has lower endurance.

    madjimmsThe more SSD manufacturers, the cheaper the technology will become and that's a good thing for us enthusiasts.


    Plextor has been selling SSDs for at least two or three years now. They're not new.
  • 0 Hide
    blazorthon , March 13, 2013 8:40 PM
    razor512TLC memory = less than half the life of MLC flash, and slower write speeds and higher error rates as the cells age.


    It's not even nearly that simple. There are many other factors that go into the endurance and reliability as well as performance. Process node, process technology, binning, and much more are also factors.
  • 0 Hide
    bison88 , March 13, 2013 8:49 PM
    s3anisterI don't know where you're getting that quote but, "Reliability" and "TLC" have never been used in the same sentence the way you're implying it has.It is fact that TLC has a shorter life-span than SLC or MLC and is therefore more unreliable than the competing SLC and MLC alternatives. This is why TLC drives are more inexpensive, take the Samsung 840 line for example: The 840 is cheaper than the 840 Pro because it uses TLC unlike the Pro's MLC.


    From the article itself...

    Plextor's new SSD goes against this trend by offering speeds in excess of 500 MB/s (read) and 400 MB/s (write), random 4k IOPS of 80,000 (read) and 72,000 (write), and better reliability than comparable MLC devices.


    It definitely did imply it has better reliability, while being overly generic it implies things that aren't true. That can be spun a hundred ways from Sunday, doesn't make it right to claim especially since "comparable" MLC devices have much higher endurance and almost on par speeds for the same price many TLC devices are selling for. Samsung's devices for instance didn't drop the prices from existing MLC devices, rather the price still rose because it's marketed as a premium SSD. Point I was making is that we haven't seen TLC knock down the prices from existing MLC devices at the same cost per Gigabyte. They claim it increases storage while remaining cheap and we've seen neither in reality.

    People want to see some innovation in the SSD market. They've dropped access times from .8ms to <.1ms, the cost has dropped four fold, size has increased four fold but has remained stagnated in the consumer market, speed has tapped out SATA 3.0 since a couple months after it hit motherboards. The only thing left for TLC flash to really do if it brings down the price (which it really hasn't), is to increase the sizes of drives while remaining evenly priced with the top MLC drives. It has a side benefit as well of being more resistant to wear leveling for TLC if they did so which would give people more confidence in the product.
  • 0 Hide
    blazorthon , March 13, 2013 9:26 PM
    Quote:

    What I am still curious about, is why hasn't a company used less expensive higher capacity chips setup in some kind of internal raid array to counteract the lower performance with sheer volume, to offer great speed and capacity at a better price point before now..


    Internal RAID is very expensive. That's why it's not used often.
  • 0 Hide
    blazorthon , March 13, 2013 9:44 PM
    leandrodafontouraHad this been offered in 1TB or 2TB, I would buy it today, but competing in 512mb against Crucial/Corsair/OCZ, I dont see Plextor making any profit


    Why would Plextor not make any profit just because they're competing against Crucial, Corsair, and OCZ? There are dozens of other SSD companies. They manage to make profits and Plextor hasn't had any trouble making profits out of their SSDs in the past.
  • 0 Hide
    s3anister , March 13, 2013 11:10 PM
    blazorthonYou are confusing reliability and endurance. The TLC NAND isn't any less reliable than the MLC, but it usually has lower endurance.

    I can see how my comment could be construed in that way and I well know the difference between reliability and endurance. Having said that, to me endurance and reliability are nearly one and the same. When the cells have degraded enough to where they're no longer usable or the I/O performance has dropped so significantly that it's noticeable, all within a short period of time I do not consider that reliable.

    Now, I'm doing several TB worth of data in R/W all within a single month so TLC doesn't have enough endurance to last me in performance vs. MLC and as such isn't suited for me personally; but yes I do know that TLC drives like the 840 are reliable in terms of data integrity.
  • -1 Hide
    EdmondHaskell , March 14, 2013 2:25 AM
    Nicholas. even though Wayne`s blurb is super... last wednesday I bought a top of the range Citroën 2CV after making $9298 this - 4 weeks past and-in excess of, $10k this past month. it's certainly the best job Ive had. I began this three months/ago and pretty much straight away earned at least $70, per-hour. I use the details here........ http://www.miniurl.com/s/7jb
  • 0 Hide
    Rhinofart , March 14, 2013 9:47 AM
    If Plextor makes these SSD drives anywhere as near as good as they made their Optical Drives, and burners in the past, I'd snap up all I could. Plextor was a good solid brand back in the day. Hopefully, they follow suit with these new offerings.
  • 0 Hide
    Sakkura , March 14, 2013 10:03 AM
    Quote:
    Samsung 840 is a low power, low performance SSD. That's what the article was referring to. Samsung 840 is even slower than Crucial M4 IIRC and although that's still faster than any hard drive, especially for random throughput, it's still much slower than the high end SATA 6Gb/s SSDs such as Samsung 840 Pro and many others.

    Nonsense. The Samsung 840 is slightly faster than the Samsung 830, one of the faster SSDs from the previous generation.
  • 0 Hide
    iceclock , March 14, 2013 10:41 AM
    I want a 1tb ssd drive for 400$. than were talking business.

  • 0 Hide
    blazorthon , March 15, 2013 8:41 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Samsung 840 is a low power, low performance SSD. That's what the article was referring to. Samsung 840 is even slower than Crucial M4 IIRC and although that's still faster than any hard drive, especially for random throughput, it's still much slower than the high end SATA 6Gb/s SSDs such as Samsung 840 Pro and many others.

    Nonsense. The Samsung 840 is slightly faster than the Samsung 830, one of the faster SSDs from the previous generation.


    http://www.hardocp.com/article/2013/02/19/samsung_840_120gb_ssd_review/10
    The 120GB model is junk.

    The higher capacity models can still have significant performance issues when mixing reads and writes too much whereas the Samsung 830s (and most other high performing SSDs) don't falter much in the same situations:
    http://reviews.cnet.com/internal-hard-drives/samsung-840-500gb-ssd/4505-9998_7-35507710-2.html

    Samsung 840 performs well in reading most of the time (above the 120GB model in capacity, that one does poorly all-around), very well in fact, but it's write performance is very poor, among the very slowest of the mainstream SSDs.
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