Cache SSD Shipments to Drive SSD Market Growth

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ap3x

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[citation][nom]malissa_geraldcc12483[/nom]my buddy's mom makes $75 every hour on the internet. She has been laid off for 9 months but last month her pay was $7522 just working on the internet for a few hours. Go to this web site and read more: LazyCash4.com[/citation]

BS, how does this have anything to do with the topic. Please stop with the spam and the scams that no one will fall for. TomsHardware should also do more to insure that this stuff does not get put into the comments. It really detracts from the conversation.
 
G

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I purchased an OCZ Synapse drive a while back and I can tell a worlds of difference between that and just using a WD Raptor.
 
I assume this is the same or similar to hybrid SSD/HDD. Why isn't this idea killed already? For 95+% of people 64GB is plenty so just include those instead of a regular hard drive. They are cheap enough as they run about the same as you run of the mill hard drive. Especially after the price jump due to the flooding in Taiwan.

Heck 32GB even 16GB would be plenty if Windows didn't bloat up so much after updates and temp files. Plus if software makers streamlined their software when releasing new versions rather than doubling the size with bloat for a handful of new features. From what I have seen most peoples data can fit on one DVD.
 
I would like a cache SSD but need it to daisy chain to the HD. The limited number of SATA connectors on many older desktops would benefit from the daisy chain approach. SATA original specs had daisy chaining and I wonder if it will ever catch on. This is the one advantage PATA still holds over SATA until its used.
 

Chainzsaw

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I don't like the idea of cache SSDs. Whenever someone asks about it...I tell them to go for a straight SSD rather than a cache/HDD set up. The reason is cache SSD's need to "learn" your habits and it takes about 3-4 good sessions to get them up and running, whereas the straight SSD solution - it's always on and it always give you 100% performance.

To me cache SSD's seem like a "band-aid" solution for bridging the digital divide between HDDs and SSD's, which in my opinion, would be better to go for the straight up SSD solution.
 

southernshark

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Is see AMD doing well in this sector. Intel is trying to position itself at the high end range of thin notebooks, but let's be honest, Apple will always dominate that sector (well at least for the time being). So Intel is going to fail at taking the top end. Maybe it will be able to position itself as a slightly lower priced alternative to a Mac. But for myself, I'd rather have a Trinity model priced in the 500 dollar range.

 

southernshark

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[citation][nom]velocityg4[/nom]I assume this is the same or similar to hybrid SSD/HDD. Why isn't this idea killed already? For 95+% of people 64GB is plenty.[/citation]

Ah negative. 64GB is nothing and even if you just download movies and take a lot of pictures, then you can fill that up fast. I mean I've had 8gb of just music on a computer. So no 64gb is not enough for most users. It sure as heck isn't enough for say... STUDENTS, who are going to be major targets for the sellers of such devices. Students would scoff at a computer with that kind of storage, since they could not load it up with music, videos, movies, games and random junk. So it would end up being a computer for boring white guys who don't download stuff. I don't think that's the target market.
 

southernshark

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[citation][nom]Chainzsaw[/nom]To me cache SSD's seem like a "band-aid" solution for bridging the digital divide between HDDs and SSD's, which in my opinion, would be better to go for the straight up SSD solution.[/citation]

Its better if the cost comes down. Right now though AMD is forced to go after the $500- $600 dollar market so putting a 200 gb SSD in the computer is just not going to happen.
 

nottheking

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I will admit some of the puzzlement at combining a SSD with an HDD... After all, isn't space at the biggest premium of all in an ultrabook? It's counter-intuitive to then have more than one drive... Even if the "cache SSD" is smaller than a 2.5" drive.

I think we all need to keep in mind what each application needs here. Even for the same user, they're going to need a different amount of storage for each device. For a desktop, I don't think HDDs will ever, ever be fully replaced by SSDs, because they offer easily scalable, cheap storage, that offers vastly superior performance to any and all removable media. For storing terabytes of media, such as high-definition video or massed photo albums, (for both personal and hosting use) a SSD makes no sense: the improved performance goes to waste, and the cost-per-gigabyte (Even amidst the aftermath of the Thai floods) is still way too high.

On the other hand, you have plenty of uses for storage in the rapidly-growing mobile environment: smartphones, tablets, and now ultrabooks are all need storage too, and in their case, they don't need anywhere near as much as a desktop or server. In such a case, the potentially reduced form-factor and power consumption of SSDs can be a boon. The price-per-gigabyte issue can be addressed simply by having the storage space be smaller: after all, given that smartphones and tablets lack an HD screen, they obviously won't be playing HD video. Few (if any) people are complaining "I wish my Android/iPhone had 2TB of storage;" they're generally happy with the 16-64GB size range available today.

Hence, for an application like an ultrabook, two drives makes little sense. And given the push for extreme slimness, and the bulkiness of even the thinnest consumer HDDs, it'd be best to just ditch HDDs entirely; after all, that's what the current MacBook Air ultrabooks do, and most of the whole point of other companies' ultrabooks is to take the market from Apple.

Also, as I recall some of the growth in SSD sales is still coming from the price spike in HDDs, which, for some users who'd been on the fence, would give them just enough of a push to take the plunge on SSDs.

[citation][nom]drwho1[/nom]This "cache SSD's" should be embedded into Motherboards with a capacity of at least 120GB in the near future.[/citation]
This begs the question of, "why?" For some that's an unnecessary expense; flash memory cells run in the neighborhood of $1US per gigabyte, so you're basically adding $100US+ onto the price of a motherboard. And for others, that 120 GB may be woefully insufficient.

So what's the solution? Perhaps motherboards should have a plug-in slot for flash memory, so users can buy individual modules and plug in whatever ones they want- oh wait we already have that: it's called SATA. ;)
 

DRosencraft

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I don't know about 120GB, but I agree that this should be a possible direction for the future. Having something small like 16-32GB imbedded on a board would allow you to install just the OS and some apps and still have a free SATA slot to add more conventional storage. It would add a premium onto the price of the board, but hey, it'd probably be a top-end board anyway. In a very narrow example you could use this in a home HTPC to keep the OS and such seperate from the storage side where all your movies and pictures and whatnot.

I still think this whole cache-SSD thing is a stop-gap until capacities go up and prices come down more on pure SSDs, but that's not a bad thing. As others have already said, if it brings the price down on the larger capacity pure SSDs then why not? Most people are basically using their SSDs as a cache anyway.
 

nikorr

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Timing is everything, HDD $$$ are up + SSD's are on the market long enough.

This is great time to push the SSD's to the masses : )

I was sold 2+ years ago and love it! Vertex2 and still works like new.
 

JimmiG

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[citation][nom]Chainzsaw[/nom]I don't like the idea of cache SSDs. Whenever someone asks about it...I tell them to go for a straight SSD rather than a cache/HDD set up. The reason is cache SSD's need to "learn" your habits and it takes about 3-4 good sessions to get them up and running, whereas the straight SSD solution - it's always on and it always give you 100% performance.To me cache SSD's seem like a "band-aid" solution for bridging the digital divide between HDDs and SSD's, which in my opinion, would be better to go for the straight up SSD solution.[/citation]

Straight SSD will be a better option once 500GB-1TB SSD's become affordable. Right now, a 64GB cache SSD is a very affordable option if you want to boost the performance of your system.

While it's true that cache SSD's need to "learn" your habits, a regular SSD+mechanical disk needs to be *taught* your habits. You do this by manually installing the things you *think* you will need to access to at high speed on the SSD. If you change your mind, you'll have to uninstall the application or game from one drive (e.g. the mechanical HDD) and then re-install it on the other drive (SSD).
A cache SSD seamlessly adapts to new usage patterns in the background. If I stop playing Skryim, it gets removed from the SSD to make room for something else while still being available in case I want to revisit it later. Also it doesn't guess wrong as much as humans do. The applications you *think* you use the most might not be the ones you actually use most of the time.

Because of the Pareto principle (80-20 rule), a small cache SSD paired with a much larger HDD will give you almost the same performance as a very large SSD.
 

waethorn

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You don't need 120GB for SSD caching. 16-32GB is more than enough! Consider that your hard drive has probably only 1/10th of the cache, and a caching SSD offers another caching level (like an L3 cache in a CPU, since you have the L1 cache in the drive, and Windows will use your fast RAM for L2 disk caching), and it really does improve the performance of just a straight hard drive without costing as much as a "full-sized" SSD (meaning something in the 128-256GB size, considering that 512GB SSD's are far more money than the now low-average hard drive size of 500GB).

I think AMD should go to Seagate and aggressively market Barracuda XT's under the AMD brand, just like they did for RAM. Heavy marketing will translate to more sales, and will bring the price down. No more specialty controller cards or chipsets for SSD caching when the drive has it built in, just like SSD's that come with built-in garbage collection that don't require OS support for TRIM.
 

ben850

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[citation][nom]drwho1[/nom]This "cache SSD's" should be embedded into Motherboards with a capacity of at least 120GB in the near future.[/citation]

My tower is ready.
 

waethorn

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One thing that people forget:

RAM is really cheap right now. Windows (and pretty well every OS on the planet) will use unused RAM for disk caching. Why not just add more RAM to your system? 4GB of DDR3 is like ~$25 right now (AMD Entertainment RAM in 4GB DDR3-1333 and 1600 are the same price), and most desktop motherboards support 16GB or more now. The cost of a 16GB 2.5" Kingston SSD and one of those caching SSD controller cards is more than $100 though. As I said: 16GB is fine for a caching SSD. RAM is faster though. So just upgrade to 16GB of RAM and let Windows play with it. Retail RAM also includes a lifetime warranty. Let's see you get more than a few years from any SSD. Something to think about....
 

gm0n3y

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This is more about hitting low price points and battery life rather than storage space and performance. Obviously a pure SSD solution would be better, but that would drive the price up a couple hundred $.
 

51l3n5t

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[citation][nom]DRosencraft[/nom]Most people are basically using their SSDs as a cache anyway.[/citation]

So true
 

warmon6

Splendid
[citation][nom]elbert[/nom]I would like a cache SSD but need it to daisy chain to the HD. The limited number of SATA connectors on many older desktops would benefit from the daisy chain approach. SATA original specs had daisy chaining and I wonder if it will ever catch on. This is the one advantage PATA still holds over SATA until its used.[/citation]

Well sounds like your talking about "Port Multipler"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_multiplier

Although i haven't seem it used much inside a desktop, i have seen it being used with external esata enclosers like the Thermaltake BlacX Duet. Although a computer needs to support such a feature.....
 
[citation][nom]Chainzsaw[/nom]I don't like the idea of cache SSDs. Whenever someone asks about it...I tell them to go for a straight SSD rather than a cache/HDD set up. The reason is cache SSD's need to "learn" your habits and it takes about 3-4 good sessions to get them up and running, whereas the straight SSD solution - it's always on and it always give you 100% performance.To me cache SSD's seem like a "band-aid" solution for bridging the digital divide between HDDs and SSD's, which in my opinion, would be better to go for the straight up SSD solution.[/citation]
The same thing happened with memory cache in CPUs. The type of high-speed memory used in CPU caches was much more expensive than the type you plug into the motherboard. Back then, some people claimed, as you are, that caches weren't a solution. That we needed to make all of main memory this expensive type. Intel ran extensive, extensive tests, and concluded that a very modest amount of memory cache built into the CPU would give you approximately 80%-90% the speed benefit of having all your memory of the faster type.

The same is going to be true here. A small cache SSD will be able to give you a certain % of the speed improvement of a big SSD. Whether that's worth it depends on your disk usage patterns and the price differential between HDDs and SSDs. From the usage patterns I've seen with my friends and clients, the vast majority of them would probably see a 80%-90% speedup of a full-size SSD from just a 32 GB cache SSD. That would cover the OS, their favorite apps/games, with plenty of GB left over for browsing and temporary files. You do not need SSD speeds for things like playing back MP3s or movies.

If the 32 GB cache SSD has an 80% hit rate and costs $30, and a 500 GB SSD costs $500, and a 500 GB HDD costs $50, then your choices break down as follows:
SSD speed 0% of the time, HDD speed 100% of the time: $50
SSD speed 80% of the time, HDD speed 20% of the time: $80
SSD speed 100% of the time: $500

You're paying $30 for the first 80% of SSD performance. You're paying an additional $420 for the last 20% of SSD performance. With this usage pattern, the decision is a no-brainer.
 

warmon6

Splendid
[citation][nom]waethorn[/nom]One thing that people forget:RAM is really cheap right now. Windows (and pretty well every OS on the planet) will use unused RAM for disk caching. Why not just add more RAM to your system? 4GB of DDR3 is like ~$25 right now (AMD Entertainment RAM in 4GB DDR3-1333 and 1600 are the same price), and most desktop motherboards support 16GB or more now. The cost of a 16GB 2.5" Kingston SSD and one of those caching SSD controller cards is more than $100 though. As I said: 16GB is fine for a caching SSD. RAM is faster though. So just upgrade to 16GB of RAM and let Windows play with it. Retail RAM also includes a lifetime warranty. Let's see you get more than a few years from any SSD. Something to think about....[/citation]

while you are right that an OS will cache stuff to unused ram and it's way faster than an SSD, It wont cache everything that you may need right away (sometime it require an opening of an application and closing it to cache it even if you open it all the time. Such as I use chrome everyday but I dont see a speed boost of opening up till after i used it). Also if you happen to load a good chunk of ram, all that cached data is wiped clean to make room for the active application.

Some of the benefits of caching to an SSD includes:
It wont wipe data just because another program is in use
You can have faster boot up time (ram cant cache that stuff for obvious reasons)
Most of the time, you have the option to have a larger ssd cache than a motherboard can hold in ram.

As for the caching hardware, the only reason you would need a controller is if you want it on a current system that isn't a Z68 motherboard or the ssd doesn't come with software for such use.

You do have valid point, but there always 2 sides to 1 coin. Obviously, in my eyes, you should have both large amounts of ram and a ssd cache to get the best of both worlds. ;)
 

waethorn

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[citation][nom]warmon6[/nom]Well sounds like your talking about "Port Multipler"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_multiplierAlthough i haven't seem it used much inside a desktop, i have seen it being used with external esata enclosers like the Thermaltake BlacX Duet. Although a computer needs to support such a feature.....[/citation]

Most backplanes for SATA or SAS hot-swap bays also act as port replicators. I even saw a laptop once that had a SATA drive controller, but supported 2 SATA hard drives via a SAS-port-style dual backplane.

[citation][nom]warmon6[/nom]while you are right that an OS will cache stuff to unused ram and it's way faster than an SSD, It wont cache everything that you may need right away (sometime it require an opening of an application and closing it to cache it even if you open it all the time. Such as I use chrome everyday but I dont see a speed boost of opening up till after i used it). Also if you happen to load a good chunk of ram, all that cached data is wiped clean to make room for the active application.Some of the benefits of caching to an SSD includes:It wont wipe data just because another program is in useYou can have faster boot up time (ram cant cache that stuff for obvious reasons)Most of the time, you have the option to have a larger ssd cache than a motherboard can hold in ram. As for the caching hardware, the only reason you would need a controller is if you want it on a current system that isn't a Z68 motherboard or the ssd doesn't come with software for such use. You do have valid point, but there always 2 sides to 1 coin. Obviously, in my eyes, you should have both large amounts of ram and a ssd cache to get the best of both worlds.[/citation]

SSD caches work the same way - that is why they are called CACHE's. They have to check to see what you are using frequently and repetitively to build the content for the cache. Windows doesn't work any other way that a caching SSD, although it does have some software logic in it that optimizes the caching algorithm over what is hard-coded into a controller card. You can't use a caching drive until it scans what you've been using, but there is always a constant set of files that will be used by the cache, and those are usually Windows startup files. This is true whether it be RAM or a caching SSD. The difference is that those files are already loaded into RAM during bootup. Using an SSD will only improve certain aspects of bootup because the SSD is still faster to load those file blocks than the hard drive, and RAM is emptied on power down, but the argument is moot when you use Sleep (who really puts their computer into full Shut Down anymore?). Windows 8 also dramatically improves bootup by hibernating Windows startup files to disk, and even conventional hard drives boot in about 8-12 seconds. However, if you look at the mobility stuff in Windows 8, and the fact that you're likely going to see a lot of tablet form factors where you're physically moving the system around a lot while it's operated, it makes sense to get a solid-state drive instead of a hard drive in a tablet. If you think of a hard drive like a record player, you certainly wouldn't want to walk around, carrying a record player while the record is playing. A hard drive is alright for a stationary device though. And I think you may be confusing using RAM for processing data (ie. running applications) vs. Windows using spare RAM for the disk caching. Data can exist in more than one memory page at a time and Windows will prefetch information from the hard disk for loading into the disk cache when the algorithm predicts a cache hit. This is the same as the way your on-disk cache works. SSD caching isn't quite as smart though. It generally doesn't prefetch because deleting information from an SSD takes too long. Both the Z68 and Marvell controllers do this - they would prefer not to delete something until it becomes "stale" for a much longer time. RAM is much quicker to move information around though, and Windows can cache disk blocks rather than requiring whole files, which again, is how SSD caching works and why it's inferior.
 
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