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JMicron JMF670H SSD Controller Preview

Conclusion

The SSD industry moves quickly. Partners from all sides come together to streamline progress. Solid-state drives are no longer performance parts found only in enthusiast PCs. Most of us own products reliant on NAND without even realizing it. The number of products exposed to flash is growing, but only because new controller technology allows low-cost NAND to be viable.

The next big push will try to displace hard drives as boot devices in nearly all PCs. It's ambitious, to say the least, but projections show it's possible to sell SSDs for the same price as existing 2.5" hard drives. Even though the lowest-cost SSDs cannot keep up with high-performance models, they'r still significantly faster than their mechanical predecessors. Dramatically more random performance translates directly into a better computing experience.

The untold aspect is available capacity. You can already purchase 128GB SSDs for the same price as 2.5" HDDs. For this example, we're using a 120GB PNY CS1111 SSD and comparing it to a large number of 2.5" 5400 RPM HDDs with 250GB of space. Current pricing comes out to $49 for the SSD and $35 for the hard drive. Once 256GB SSDs start selling for somewhere around $50 to $60, you'll see them becoming even more prolific. Believe it or not, that's going to happen this year.

Controllers like JMicron's JMF670H give me reason to believe that the SSD industry will be able to hit those low price points without moving to three-bit-per-cell (TLC) flash. This is good news. MLC at low capacity points is fairly slow compared to the enthusiast-oriented SSDs we benchmark most often. But TLC in low capacities from most flash vendors is like using a thumb drive for your operating system. Sadly, in some cases, that's still faster than a hard disk, though.


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Chris Ramseyer is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware, covering Storage. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

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  • none12345
    "he untold aspect is available capacity. You can already purchase 128GB SSDs for the same price as 2.5" HDDs. For this example, we're using a 120GB PNY CS1111 SSD and comparing it to a large number of 2.5" 5400 RPM HDDs with 250GB of space. Current pricing comes out to $49 for the SSD and $35 for the hard drive. Once 256GB SSDs start selling for somewhere around $50 to $60, you'll see them becoming even more prolific. Believe it or not, that's going to happen this year."

    Wouldn't a much more appropriate comparison be the 1TB 2.5" 5400rpm drives that sell for about $50? 1TB HGST drive on newegg for $52(free ship) right now, first one i checked, so i didn't look for best price.

    When you say, look we can buy a 128gb flash drive for only a 30% more then a 250gb 2.5inch hard drive....you vastly inflate storage the value of the ssd compared to hdd.

    Dont get me wrong, would i want a $49 128gb ssd over a $35 250gb hhd as my only storage drive, yes! But, would i want the same ssd over a 1tb $52 drive as my only storage drive....no! Would i much rather have the $49 ssd AND the $52 drive as dual drives, YES!(well id much rather pay more then that and get both drives bigger tho ie 256gb and 2tb)
    Reply
  • Felipe Buxcador
    Just days ago Tomshardware ranted at users using adblocker applications, and today this page is putting my CPU at 100% usage for no reason.

    Sorry Tomshardware, you are blacklisted, and you need to earn your reputation back.

    ...and, by the way, this page took 40 seconds to load, and that without the crappy chart animations.
    You really need to fire the dude who made the charts, fix the long load, and fix you resource hungry ads. You have a problem here.
    Reply
  • apache_lives
    Samsung or Intel for SSD nothing else
    Reply
  • CRamseyer
    "he untold aspect is available capacity. You can already purchase 128GB SSDs for the same price as 2.5" HDDs. For this example, we're using a 120GB PNY CS1111 SSD and comparing it to a large number of 2.5" 5400 RPM HDDs with 250GB of space. Current pricing comes out to $49 for the SSD and $35 for the hard drive. Once 256GB SSDs start selling for somewhere around $50 to $60, you'll see them becoming even more prolific. Believe it or not, that's going to happen this year."

    Wouldn't a much more appropriate comparison be the 1TB 2.5" 5400rpm drives that sell for about $50? 1TB HGST drive on newegg for $52(free ship) right now, first one i checked, so i didn't look for best price.

    When you say, look we can buy a 128gb flash drive for only a 30% more then a 250gb 2.5inch hard drive....you vastly inflate storage the value of the ssd compared to hdd.

    Dont get me wrong, would i want a $49 128gb ssd over a $35 250gb hhd as my only storage drive, yes! But, would i want the same ssd over a 1tb $52 drive as my only storage drive....no! Would i much rather have the $49 ssd AND the $52 drive as dual drives, YES!(well id much rather pay more then that and get both drives bigger tho ie 256gb and 2tb)

    The choice to compare low capacity sizes revolves around OEMs and the lowest priced products. Even though a 1TB 2.5" HDD represents a great value, the OEMs will always choose a low capacity size model that shaves a few dollars off the price.

    A report came out last night that stated major OEMs are now buying 128GB SSDs at $50. Sadly, I didn't have that data when I wrote this article.
    Reply
  • RamCity
    Good article Chris. There is a certainly a lot happening in high-volume end of the SSD industry. The tipping point for the 256GB HDD vs SSD choice (based purely on price) is very close.
    Reply
  • PaulBags
    Heard a few times lately about fancy current controllers enabling more fragile nand to be effective. That's cool, building algorithms etc that can do more with lesser nand is impressive. Still, I wish there was some news of consumer/prosumer grade ssds with slc and/or larger nm nand taking advantage of newer controllers to be even more rock solid and effective. It's great and impressive that it works stability tricks work, but when I want performance I don't want to be relying so heavily on error correction.
    Reply
  • CRamseyer
    I'm with you. Long live SLC. Sadly though, I don't want to spend 1500 Dollars on a low capacity SSD that rips through my workloads at high speeds.
    Reply
  • f-14
    THE REAL Conclusion: Mushikin's Reactor is walking all over the competition even when the testing was rigged to make jmicrons newest 32 bit bottlenecked solution look better.
    Reply