Mittwoch, 13. Mai 2009

Understanding SSDs / which SSD to choose nowadays

Since december 2008 I'm using a SSD for my OS and the installed programs. I had to make a choice between the OCZ Core v2 / Solid - series (MLC, JMicron-based), the Patriot Warp v2 (MLC, JMicron-based) or the Mtron Mobi 3500-series (SLC, proprietary development-chip). Because of better price per GB and availability I picked the Patriot Warp v2. Sadly I had to return it to the shop some days later because of terrible stuttering/pause-problems.

Then I chose the Mtron Mobi 3500-series (3525 32GB in fact) and experienced some very satisfying performance. I'm using it for 5 months now and I'm still happy with my decision not to keep the Patriot Warp but switching to the Mtron Mobi. The diurnal performance of this drive is just astonishing in my book. Applications start in a fraction of time they did before (using a quite fast Samsung-HDD).

If you want to make your laptop/pc faster and are "still" using an HDD, all you have to do is to put any (good) SSD into it. This update is worth much more than adding more RAM, upgrading the CPU or anything else!!!

So, it's been a while and some new SSDs are available down to the present day. OCZ launched their Vertex series (Summit comming soon), the Samsung SLC-SSD dropped in price, they launched the new PB22-J and a lot of other drives are pretty much available. So it's hard to select the right one if you want to have a good performing SSD for your OS and applications. Within the last days I read a lot of reviews concerning the Intel X25-E and the OCZ Vertex, two very attractive SSDs these days.

There is one article that is definitely worth reading: At the Anandtech-Website you can find it: The SSD Anthology: Understanding SSDs and New Drives from OCZ. This article starts with some facts about the stuttering/pause-problems (JMicron-based SSDs, esp. JMF602A/JMF602B) like I had with the Patriot Warp v2, explaines generally why you should want an SSD. Then it accurately describes the anatomy of an SSD (very worth reading), it deals with the performance degradation problem (also very worth reading!!!), describes how you can restore the peak performance of your SSD using secure erase-mechanism. Furthermore there is a comparison of the performances of new vs. used drives, a very juicy story about the development of the OCZ Vertex and finally a chunk of benchmark and real-world-usage results.

Unhappily this article does not include any words about my Mtron Mobi, but it explains a lot about SSDs itself, its architecture, its development during the last couple of month and has a clother look at the OCZ Vertex and Intel X25-M, two very interesting drives today.

If you're planning to purchase a SSD and want to know why not to choose the OCZ Solid / Core, Patriot Warp and some other samples, you definitely have to read that article.

current prices of some SSDs:

(I picked ~60GB and 2,5" models, omitted old JMicron-based SSDs, sorted them by price/gb)

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