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HP S700 SSD Review

Conclusion

The DRAMless saga continues as fabless SSD manufacturers look for ways to reduce costs in the middle of a NAND shortage. We would like to say this wasn't planned, but its been on the roadmap for several years. DRAMless SSDs debuted in OEM systems and are now a part of the entry-level retail SSD market.

If the NAND shortage didn't spike flash pricing, and ultimately consumer SSD prices, products like the HP S700 would be more compelling. If users save $20 on an $80 purchase, the performance shortfalls could seem reasonable. Saving $20 on a $200 purchase changes the entire tone of the argument. It's still $20, but it doesn't seem like as much of a value. The shortage due to extreme demand moved the market into the second scenario when normal pricing declines should have 512GB-class products in the $100 range by now. 

Regardless of what would or could have been, we have to look at the market as it is right now. At this time, the HP S700 costs more than most mainstream SSDs, including the Samsung 850 Pro, which is the best consumer SATA SSD on the market. We would like to put this on the NAND fabs, but even other fabless SSD manufacturers have products with a better overall value.

Flash prices are up, but the S700's price is well above fair market price and the other DRAMless SSDs are selling for much less. We're not sure if the price increase is linked to licensing the HP name or if the manufacturer just has an unfavorable flash contract. We suspect both may be at play. Either way, the HP S700's list price is well above what its performance justifies.

At this time, and under these market conditions, the HP S700 is not a compelling or competitive SSD series. We think many will sell over the next year on name recognition alone.


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  • mapesdhs
    Still the non-zero-origin graph for the sequential read results; really needs fixing. Other than that, thanks for the review!
    Reply
  • mapesdhs
    PS. The forum mechanism is *completely* broken. Took ages to get the page in a logged-in state to post the above (forum link doesn't work properly); I wanted to edit my message but the .co.uk site keeps redirecting incorrectly, both sites fail to remember login details, the comment submission button often produces in invalid form error... it just goes on and on. Why is the toms forum system such a mess?
    Reply
  • derekullo
    20408892 said:
    PS. The forum mechanism is *completely* broken. Took ages to get the page in a logged-in state to post the above (forum link doesn't work properly); I wanted to edit my message but the .co.uk site keeps redirecting incorrectly, both sites fail to remember login details, the comment submission button often produces in invalid form error... it just goes on and on. Why is the toms forum system such a mess?

    Yeah, the Tom's new forums reminds me of the Intellilink episode of south park...

    http://southpark.cc.com/clips/pcqo6r/intellilink-is-amazing

    Reply
  • Zaporro
    whats the point of even listing interface speed if devices dont make full use of it? interface type sure, thats important but speed is meaningless

    "oh look at our drive, its 6Gb/s interface speed, and lest completely forget that we are bottlenecked at controller speed (SSD) or plate speed (HDD) maybe customer is too stupid to find out"

    for HDD even SATAI was enough for most of them

    when SSD started appearing SATAIII was a standard already and just, it seems that fastests SSD's in 2.5" factor form reach ~550MB/s which still has plenty of headroom in SATA3 theoretical 750MB/s

    the "Technical specification" table should list actual read/write speeds first before the useless interface speed, that what an user would expect from a serious technical review site...
    Reply
  • mapesdhs
    20409992 said:
    ... it seems that fastests SSD's in 2.5" factor form reach ~550MB/s which still has plenty of headroom in SATA3 theoretical 750MB/s

    Ten seconds in a search engine would find the answer. To quote MariusMatutiae from howtogeek.com:

    "While data is actually sent at 6 Gb/s, it is encoded to counteract two common defects in telecommunications, DC Bias and Clock Recovery. This is often accomplished using a specific coding algorithm called 8b/10b Encoding. It is not the only encoding algorithm which has been devised to this end (there is also a Manchester encoding), but it has become the de facto standard for SATA data transfer.

    In 8b/10b encoding, eight bits of signal are replaced by 10 bits of (signal + code). This means that, out of the 6 Gb the channel sends in a second, only 8/10 (4/5) are signal. 4/5’s of 6 Gb is 4.8 Gb, which in turn equals 600 MB. This is what degrades the 6 Gb/s channel into a mere(?) 600 MB/s channel.

    The advantages obtained by compensating for DC bias and allowing for Clock Recovery more than compensate for this slight degradation."

    In reality, with other overhead issues factored in aswell, SATA3 tops out at around 550MB/sec, as confirmed by PCIe models based on the same technology as their SATA3 counterparts.

    Ian.
    Reply
  • WyomingKnott
    "It's not a heart-racing combination, but it's still faster than a hard disk drive under most workloads." Under most workloads? They've managed to slow SSDs down to the speed of hard drives?
    Reply
  • mapesdhs
    20421269 said:
    "... They've managed to slow SSDs down to the speed of hard drives?

    It is kinda nuts. I bet if mainstream and good SSDs from a few years ago were included in modern test results, instead of only current models, a lot of the current products would look pretty rotten. As long as this trend continues, I just keep looking for lightly used 840 Pro and other decent models (Vector, Neutron GTX, Vertex 4, etc.)

    Ian.


    Reply