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 Post subject: Preferred SSD Brand These Days?
PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 8:38 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:19 am
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Greetings!

I'm curious what everyone thinks about the various SSD offerings these days. Who provides reliable hardware these days? I would gladly accept a 10% performance hit for a lower likelihood of premature failure. My usage pattern involves massive small-file access and random database access, as well as some gaming (starcraft, path of exile, etc).

I bought a C300 a few years ago, and have had an excellent experience. I have my Linux OS, project data, and some games on the drive, and have only done ~66 full writes thus far. The drive has served me well, but I want more ssd space and possibly an SSD for my laptop. I keep all other data on mirrored RAID, so SSD failure is my greatest fear (barring catastrophic PSU failure. I use dust filters since the Second Great Computer Fry of 2004...).

Who are the reliable players in the game these days? Still Crucial and Intel? Is Sandforce still slightly scary if you care about your data?

Edit: Also I am budget-concious, so don't type the letters "SLC" unless you know something I don't :)

Edit2: Also, what do people think about SSD swap? I went to great lengths to limit writes on my first SSD, but given that I still have about 190 years of estimated wear leveling left on the drive given current usage rates, perhaps I should not be so anal. Then again, I do tend to write software which attempts to initialize infinite data structures more frequently than I would like to admit.

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 Post subject: Re: Preferred SSD Brand These Days?
PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 10:08 pm 
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Crucial M4 and Samsung 830 have been on the market for couple of years been rock solid ssds, they have already a proven history and mature firmware, but those two are bieng replaced for newer ssds.

Samsung 840pro is currently the top of the ssds, already with 6 months in the market has most bugs worked out, so this would be my bet. The replacement of the C300 was the M4 which was great, but its being replaced by the M500, which was relesed on april, reviews puts it as very good performer, but not as fast as the 840pro, but they bet on higher capacity ssds, with the 960gb verison. Intel also has very good record, my X25m are still solid no issues in more than 3 years.... i didnt really test their new gen as they went with Sanforce with the 335/520, but they seem solid ssds also, i still dont bet on sanforce, but it not as bad as with the OCZ.

Im about to do a build with haswell and im almost sure im going with 840pros.

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Last edited by Abula on Wed May 01, 2013 10:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Preferred SSD Brand These Days?
PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 10:22 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 11:23 am
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Location: Germany
I'd go with Intel or Samsung, nothing else. If i want a cheap SSD, i'd pick whatever suits my budget. But if i want reliability, it stays Intel or Samsung for me.


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 Post subject: Re: Preferred SSD Brand These Days?
PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 10:48 pm 
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Pappnaas wrote:
I'd go with Intel or Samsung, nothing else. If i want a cheap SSD, i'd pick whatever suits my budget. But if i want reliability, it stays Intel or Samsung for me.

Do you have an argument against Crucial? In the past Crucial was one of the better options.

I will have to do some reading about the Samsung drives. I don't recall looking at them much in 2010.

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 Post subject: Re: Preferred SSD Brand These Days?
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 12:20 am 
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I haven't found any reports indicating failures with Crucial drives more than to be expected. But i also haven't found any longer term reliability data, so i do not really know about them compared to the available reports for Samsung and Intel.

IMHO Samsung and Intel have the best QA. But they charge a premium for it.


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 Post subject: Re: Preferred SSD Brand These Days?
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 12:48 am 
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Pappnaas wrote:
IMHO Samsung and Intel have the best QA. But they charge a premium for it.

This is definitely information that I value. Have you had QA experience with them, or is your information primarily an accumulation of reports/reviews?

I go out of my way to buy ASUS products where they exist because of the good QA experiences I have personally had. I dream of the day that they will enter the HDD/SSD markets :) But since they don't even make RAM, I guess this is a bit of a pipe dream :)

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 Post subject: Re: Preferred SSD Brand These Days?
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 1:02 am 
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Not that many people will agree with me, but i have not had any problems with my Vertex 3.

I think what Abula said about OCZ being unreliable used to be true when they used the SandForce SF-2200 controller with early firmware, then SandForce sent out firmware updates.
As for being careful with the wear level on a SSD it may have been something to be aware of when SSD's first came onto the market for consumers, but i think now people have had more experience with them they are finding its not necessarily. even heavy usage of a SSD will still see it lasting longer than 20 odd years.

EDIT:
Asus is going to be entering the SSD market, but maybe a bit expensive. search Google for 'Asus' ROG RAIDR Express'

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 Post subject: Re: Preferred SSD Brand These Days?
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 1:24 am 
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Spoon Boy wrote:
EDIT:
Asus is going to be entering the SSD market, but maybe a bit expensive. search Google for 'Asus' ROG RAIDR Express'

Interesting. Still trying to decide what the first result (bit-tech) means by two devices in "striped RAID 0" though :) Tom's confrims RAID-0. Does sound expensive though, between mirroring and PCIe interface...

Sandforce cards are generally scary to me due to the risk of Byzantine controller failure.
Edit: And I mean that in a purely hardware oh-I-just-got-hit-with-a-voltage-fluctuation way. If a bit in a block gets flipped, we have a data recovery problem... (Or however much error recovery they use, but my guess is that it is low for consumer devices.)

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 Post subject: Re: Preferred SSD Brand These Days?
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 12:16 pm 
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If you are happy with the C300 performance / don't need anything at the top of the charts, and want to maximize the GB/$, then look at the Crucial M4 or newer Samsung 840.

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 Post subject: Re: Preferred SSD Brand These Days?
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 11:04 pm 
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andymcca wrote:
This is definitely information that I value. Have you had QA experience with them, or is your information primarily an accumulation of reports/reviews?


I've had my fair share of experience with several Intel/Samsung/Other SSds, but inspite of making a living out of IT, the numbers are far to small to deduce a founded statistical result. But as far as i have seen, no problems with either Intel or Samsung, but a few problems with other brands, which can be explained by bad luck if you are inclined to be a fan of one of those "other" brands.

I talked to a guy involved with a big insurance company and he told me that for their Server-SSDs they only use Intel or Samsung, because they tried OCZ a while ago and were hit with more failures than their managers liked (again: a biased, non scientifical opinion).


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 Post subject: Re: Preferred SSD Brand These Days?
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 11:27 pm 
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I haven't heard of many failures from Crucial m4 owners. These can be considered quite reliable. I own two of them and couldn't be happier!

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 Post subject: Re: Preferred SSD Brand These Days?
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 12:58 am 
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Just for perspective, I've compared the Crucial m4 128 GB, Kingston HyperX 3k 90 GB and Samsung 830 128 GB locally, and there was no appreciable speed difference. On performance charts like the X-Bit Labs relative chart (http://www.xbitlabs.com/images/storage/ocz-vector/table3.png) the m4 should be slowest, the 3k slightly faster, and the 830 the fastest by a big margin - but in practice there was no discernable difference.

Every game I tried loaded lightning-fast on all drives, all copy operations were just as swift, and working with dozens or hundreds of tiny files (work files, personal backups) was a breeze.

From a speed perspective, every modern performance drive (non-budget/value/cheapo) is pretty much instantaneous in everyday use, so you should look at reliability (mature drives) and value ($/GB). It's worth it to upgrade from 128 to 256 by simply getting an older drive like an m4 instead of the latest and greatest model.

PS. I'm a little biased because the m4 I kept has worked like a charm (but there have been at least 4 firmware updates I've made to it).

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 Post subject: Re: Preferred SSD Brand These Days?
PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 6:33 am 
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I've got a heap of Crucial M4 drives, no problems with any of them. I've had to upgrade the firmware a few times, but it was always simple from within Windows.

I've also got a few Samsung drives, 830 and PM830. No problems with them at all.

Finally, I have an old Kingston V+200, which has been perfectly fine too. Oddly, despite being probably the slowest during benchmarking, it "feels" the fastest.

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 Post subject: Re: Preferred SSD Brand These Days?
PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 9:12 am 
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HellDiverUK wrote:
Finally, I have an old Kingston V+200, which has been perfectly fine too. Oddly, despite being probably the slowest during benchmarking, it "feels" the fastest.


I think that's because people put to much earnest on Mbps, when latency and IOPS are more important with regards to SSD's when used for a OS drive.

Sadly though most benchmarks and website reviews still go on what used to differentiated one HDD from another and that was Mbps, and there isn't much that can be done to improve latency and IOPS with spinning rust.
Or so i have been lead to believe, maybe someone else can debunk or confirm that :|

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