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Q&A: Tom's Hardware And Kingston On SSD Technology

Upgrade To Insanity

TH: It almost sounds like we’re having an overclocking discussion.

LK: Yes! It’s a performance upgrade. I mean, you’re increasing the overall responsiveness of your system. It's akin to getting a processor upgrade. If you benchmark a system with PCMark Vantage and do nothing but change the HDD to an SSD, I gained over 40% overall system performance when I did this on my ThinkPad. It’s just like I overclocked the thing into orbit.


TH: I’ll second that. My main system used to take five minutes to boot. Now, with an SSD, it’s under a minute.

LK: If we can measure it in the amount of work you can get done, I think that’s a big deal. You’re not waiting for apps to open. I hang in HPC circles sometimes, and what’s the point of going with 24GB of memory and all this other good stuff when you’re still waiting on that hard drive? In the past, my solution has been to stripe four hard drives, but after one look at SSD technology, I saw that one SSD would smoke my four hard drive stripe. I just thought, man, this is the Holy Grail. And when I wanted even more performance, I found that SSDs in a RAID scaled just fine. So I don't know if there’s one killer app that I would pick for SSDs. Encryption is definitely one that we can point at easily, but I just think it's the overall system response. Like look at netbooks. That underpowered system is great for doing simple things, but to me it's almost unusable. Throw an SSD in one, though, and it gets usable really quickly.

TH: The president of OCZ told me that. He said I’d be stunned at the number of drives they sell that go into netbooks as upgrades.

LK: Yup, I wouldn't doubt it. People are doing whatever they can to upgrade to SSD. Throwing Vista or Windows 7 on a netbook is tough already on the processor. You've only got 2GB of memory. You’re making that thing work pretty hard, and SSD can really boost that, plus extend the battery life.

  • nonxcarbonx
    Kingston's mitigation software is the best I've seen. On another note, is there a link to the destruction video?
  • pink315
    "Now, with a hard drive, the arm has to move. Now, with a hard drive, the arm has to move."

    I'm not sure if you were trying to be dramatic, or if you just accidentally wrote the same thought twice. Just pointing it out.
  • ta152h
    One way to preserve some of the life of any hard drive is to shut off virtual memory. Most computers don't need it, and if you do, than you're probably better off getting more memory anyway.

    The ideal thing for booting up fast would be to go back to using core memory :-P. RAM that doesn't lose power when you turn it off is pretty cool. Low power, low heat, and would impress people when you say "Oh, that? It's my core memory array.". You'd get dates for sure. Can't say what they'd look like, or if they'd be sane. Or even female :( .

    Still, I'd buy it. Cache handles most reads anyway, and I'm too old fashioned to feel something is a computer without some form of magnetic storage in it.
  • outlw6669
    Fun read but nothing really new...

    I like how good they are at dodging the tough questions.
    What value is there in Kingstons Intel based SSD's vs Intel original?
    Well, they helped Kingston launch a very strong product :P
  • neiroatopelcc
    Maybe it's just me, but I don't feel they properly answered the question of why there's a wear difference bewtween sequential and random ...
  • mitch074
    I solved my netbook's boot times...

    It runs Linux, with a compressed kernel image.

    Looks like real mode disk access, registry hives, antivirus and such do slow Windows boot times.
  • vvhocare5
    I guess Im not a fan of these types of interviews. The interviewee is really just trying to get advertising for their product and they only say good things and gloss over the negatives. They also have some good one liners they toss out, but thats about it.

    I would prefer to see the product benchmarked and compared on price..and then let us decide how we are going to spend our money.
  • JohnnyLucky
    It's interesting but what about the price? Still too high.
  • anamaniac
    Interesting interview.
    Keep them coming. =)

    Now I have the urge to go buy a 256GB SLC drive and play flaming baseball with it... I probably shouldn't...
  • El_Capitan
    I like how they say, "The worst kind of writes that you can apply to an SSD are random. You will wear a drive out quicker that way". However, Kingston and Intel put all their advertising efforts into promoting the speed of their IOPS for their SSD's for server environments. That means they want you to buy their product to use it so it wears out quicker... which means you need to buy another one to replace it. Now that's a wicket smart business strategy.