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ComputerWorld: Value of SSD drives overrated

updated 12:10 pm EDT, Wed April 30, 2008

CW: SSD drives overrated

People contemplating SSD versions of computers like the MacBook Air -- which costs approximately $1,300 more than the HDD edition -- may not find the performance difference worthwhile, writes Computerworld. The magazine has conducted a test of 32GB SSDs by Crucial and Ridata, in comparison to two 7200rpm hard drives by Seagate. All four drives used cloned copies of Vista Home Premium, and were benchmarked by software called HD Tach.

The publication notes that despite the reputation of flash memory as being quick to load, the best burst speeds were achieved by Seagate's 2.5-inch Momentus drive, which achieved 214.3MBs; by comparison, Crucial's SSD was second-fastest at 137.3MBs, and the Ridata drive registered only 71.2MBs. In terms of average speeds the Ridata model was also only par with the Seagate offerings at 54-55MBs, but the Crucial drive did reach 120.7MBs.

Other unexpected figures in the test include copy times, which for the same files took 243 and 264.5 seconds for Crucial and Ridata, whereas the HDDs were nearly a minute faster at 185 seconds. In terms of cold boots the Crucial drive measured a slow 78.4 seconds, versus 59.9 and 55.6 for the Seagates. The Ridata disk compensated for some otherwise slow speeds by booting in only 54.8 seconds.

The test concludes that while SSD drives may be more reliable, and consume less power, they have "yet to live up to their true potential" in light of price-to-performance value.





By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. rvhernandez

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2005

    +7

    Other reasons...

    I like the fact that I don't have to worry about bumps causing heads to crash with a SSD.I'll tell you the other thing the MBA with SSD is silent. It is great using a computer that makes no noise.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +2

    umm...

    The SDD drive tacks on $1000 to the cost, not $1300.

  1. dmsimmer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005

    -1

    And...

    You're using Vista to benchmark.

  1. ender

    Junior Member

    Joined: Mar 1999

    +4

    7200

    In other shocking news, a 5400 rpm drive has been proven to be slower than a 7200 rpm drive!The test needs to take a refresher in Apples vs Oranges. They compared SSD to 7200 rpm drives. There probably would have been a less dramatic difference in the testing, and since few laptops (arguably the main candidate for SSD) ship with 7200 rpm drives it would have been a more practical comparison. I'm not a proponent of SSD, just saying the "test" is of only limited usefulness.

  1. dliup

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006

    +4

    How about a real review?

    The ComputerWorld author compared 2.5" SSD with 3.5" Harddrives, "to make sure I was working from an even playing field." Yeah right, comparing 2.5" laptop drive with 3.5" desktop drive is definitely an even comparison (sarcasm).2.5" drive isn't the value of 3.5" drive? I wonder why.Burst speed don't mean a thing. See average read, and random access time. There is a reason why good SSD drives (not the cheap stuff) are expensive.A real test would be to compare 2.5" harddrive with 2.5" SSD, such as HD vs SSD in MBA.http://barefeats.com/macair1.htmlNote, there are SSD drives faster than the one used in the test (the author make it seem like the one he tested is the fastest on the market when it's not).When I checked a few months ago, the top end SSD 2.5" drive from Matron can SUSTAIN about 100MB/s write, 120MB/s read even until 99% full. Faster than any 2.5" drives. But it is expensive.

  1. dliup

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006

    +3

    damn spacing

    New macnn posting system does not seem to allow paragraphs (that the old system allowed). In my above post, there are suppose to be paragraph breaks, in places where it showed no sentence breaks. such as .2.5"

  1. dliup

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006

    -1

    damn spacing

    New macnn posting system does not seem to allow paragraphs (that the old system allowed). In my above post, there are suppose to be paragraph breaks, in places where it showed no sentence breaks such as .2.5"

  1. dliup

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006

    -1

    damn spacing

    New macnn posting system does not seem to allow paragraphs (that the old system allowed). In my above post, there are suppose to be paragraph breaks, in places where it showed no sentence breaks such as after the period of: .2.5" and between html and note: htmlNote

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