Solid State Disk Drives Are Here

Flash Vs. Flash

We already took a look at a 32 GB flash-based hard drive in September 2006. Samsung's flash SSD was equipped with 16 flash memory chips, with 2 Gb of capacity each. Unlike SanDisk's product we received for this review, Samsung used an UltraATA/66 interface. Although this interface isn't particularly slow, it was still fast enough to support the first consumer-type flash SSD; the transfer performance of the Samsung SDD did not exceed a read speed of 50 MB/s and a write speed of 30 MB/s.

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Model Number-SATA 5000
Capacity32 GB32 GB
Rotational Speed (RPM)Flash onlyFlash only
Available Capacities-16, 32 GB
Platter16 x 2 Gb16 x 4 Gb
Cache (MB)--
NV Cache Size--
Weight46 g94 g

While the Samsung prototype was encased in a plastic enclosure and was thus extremely light, SanDisk's drive was double the weight (94 g instead of 46 g). Given that high-performance notebooks are the primary market for flash SSDs, the extra weight load is not ideal. However, the SDD5000 also comes in a massive aluminum case.