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Solid State Drives and controllers.
SSD Drive Info Booth. Jan 10, 2014 ).
This Is a large thread that is kept reasonably up to date, here is a Index of it’s contents, it’s been put together to help members with there choice of ssd drive :- Please Note! spoilers are used and hold a considerable amount of information including links to manufacturers and benchmarking websites.
SSD News. A regular news update of what’s going on with ssd drives and ssd technology, with links.
SSD Info booth. General info on ssd drives which includes sub headings :---
Trim on SSD drives, Trim and the IDE issue, Overprovisioning and Wearlevelling. Some are linked. I have also added notes on TLC memory and Migrating the OS to SSD drive.
Types of Controllers used in SSD drives. A list of controllers used in ssd drives.
SSD drives in Alpherbetical order. A list of the more well known client ssd drives on the market. Drives are continually going EOL ( End of line/life ) These drives will be marked and eventually removed.
SSD Drive Links of various kinds.
SSD Endurance Testing. Added Oct 2013, a list of links to sites that are testing ssd’s Enduration with updates.
SSD’s in RAID mostly raid 0. Links to various ssd drives in raid configurations, there are also links to Raid setups in the Alphabetical section for various drives.
SSD Performance Tweaks. Info on setting up ssd drives and getting the best performance. These are links to various sites.
CES 2014 ssd news
January 8 2014 Plextor due to release M6 Pro ssd. News at TheSSDReview.
January 8 2014 SSD’s due to be released with Marvell’s new 88SS9293 –BSA2 controller. Early news from TheSSDReview.
January 8 2014 OCZ to release it’s first consumer ssd drive since it’s partnership with Toshiba, the new Vertex 460 with Toshiba’s latest advanced 19nm toggle memory and the Barefoot M10 controller, news at TheSSDReview.
January 7 2014 Kingston getting ready to release ssd drives with new LSI Sandforce 3700 controller which is due in April, news at TheSSDReview.
January 7 2014 Adata set to release two ssd drives with the new LSI Sandforce 3700 Griffin controller, the SP610 and the SX930, the SX930 highest capacity looks like it will be 2TB. News at TheSSDReview.
December 9 2013 Samsung makes the 840 pro compatible with the Rapid caching system as released earlier on the 840 EVO, news at TheSSDReview.
December 5 2013 Intel’s 2014 ssd roadmap leaked, news from Tweaktown.
December 3 2013 Toshiba buys OCZ for 35 million dollars under a bankrupsy deal, news at TheSSDReview.
November 27 2013 OCZ files for bankrupcy, Toshiba offers to buy assets, news at Anandtech.
November 21 2013 LSI Sandforce due to release the LS3700 series of flash controller in the second quarter of 2014, news from TheSSDReview and Anandtech.
November 7 2013 New OCZ Vector 150 reviewed at TheSSDReview.
November 1 2013 Toshiba Q series reviewed at TheSSDReview, good performance and great price.
October 31 2013 The Silicon Motion SM2246EM controller was introduced at the 2013 flash memory summit and is a Sata3 controller with four pipelines and has now been reviewed by TheSSDReview, this controller is probably aimed at the cheaper value end of the market, due to it’s lower number of memory channels, Here’s the review.
October 31 2013 Those interested in ssd endurence TechReport ssd endurance reaches the 200TB mark, drives tested are the Samsung 840, 2 x Kingston HyperX 3k ( one with compessable data, one with incompressable data ), Intel 335, Samsung 840 Pro and the Corsair Neutron GTX.
September 9 2013 Intel about to release the SSD Pro 1500 series with 2281 controller and updated security and power for business use, news at TheSSDReview.
August 28 2013 Intel releases firmware bugfix for ssd 530 series that caused the ssd to hang on resume, a new toolbox ver 3.1.8 as been released to address the issue, the toolbox also includes other improvements the smart technology, info at BitTech.
August 23 2013 Corsair release the Force LS series ssd drive with a Phison controller and Toshiba nand memory, news at TheSSDReview.
August 11 2013 Silicon Motion releases new SM2246EN controller for the client market, a single core four channel design similar to the Marvel 9175 controller, review at Tom’s Hardware.
August 9 2013 Plextor about to release the M6 ssd drive with the new Marvel 9187 controller, news at TheSSDReview.
August 6 2013 Samsung develops a more reliable and better performing nand memory called 3d V nand, this memory could be used in ssd drives sometime in the future, news at Techspot. Also released on the same day by crossbar inc was a new memory called Resistive ram or ReRam which also shows great promise, news also at Techspot.
August 2 2013 Samsungs ssd division answers questions on ssd technology at Tom’s Hardware.
July 25 2013 TheSSDReview benchmarks the new Samsung 840 EVO with remarkable results for a ssd drive with TLC memory, here’s the review. Anandtech also reviews the full EVO series.
July 25 2013 Intel announces the 530 ssd drive with 20nm memory, news at TheSSDReview.
July 21 2013 Samsungs Turbowrite technology improves write performance on the new 840 EVO, news at TheSSDReview.
July 21 2013 Samsungs Rapid Mode Technology accelerates 840 EVO to 1Gb/s speeds, news at TheSSDReview.
July 18 2013 Samsung introduces the 840 EVO to it’s ssd lineup, The EVO uses samsungs TLR memory and will eventually replace the 840 and features part of the memory being used in single bit mode ( Pseudo SLC ) for write cacheing, slightly different use to the Pseudo SLC used on the Sandisk Extreme 2 series of ssd drives , this will improve write speeds to as high as 520MB/s, the EVO will be released in capacities of 120gb to 1TB, news at Tom’s Hardware and a explanation of the way The EVO uses the cache at Techreport.
July 12 2013 Chinese site VR Zone leaks the Intel ssd roadmap for 2014, news at Techreport.
June 12 2013 Transcend releases the sata3 SSD740 series with the JMF667H controller, news at TheSSDReview.
June 11 2013 Intel releases the DC S3500 enterprise drive, a much cheaper drive than the DC S3700 due to the use of MLC memory, the drive is aimed at data centres that are read orientated. Reviews at The SSDReview and Anandtech.
June 5 2013 Memoright releases the XTM series of ssd drives with the Marvell 9187 controller and Toshiba 19mn memory, Memoright have also released the XT3 series of ssd drives with TLC nand memory and a Plextor controller, news at TheSSDReview.
June 5 2013 Super Talent announces new Ultradrive MX3 series of ssd drives, these drives are available with SLC or MLC nand memory. News at TheSSDReview.
June 3 2013 Sandisk releases the Extreme 2 series of ssd drives, the earlier Extreme series had the Sandforce 2281 controller, the Extreme 2 as the Marvell’s 9187 controller like the one used on the Crucial M500 series of ssd drives. News at Anandtech.
May 30 2013 Kingston releases the KC300 series of ssd drives powered by the second generation Sandforce 2281 controller, news at TheSSDReview.
May 23 2013 OCZ releases the Vertex 450 with the M10 barefoot controller, review at TheSSDReview and Techspot.
May 7 2013 Seagate releases the retail 600 and 600 pro series of ssd’s drives to the client market using the link-a-media controller LM87800AA, this controller is the same as the ones used on the corsair neutron ssd drives. The drives also use Toshiba’s 19mn toggle mlc nand memory, a review of the 480gb drive can be found at TheSSDReview. The 600 Pro which appears to be aimed at the enterprise market is a mixed bag with some drives having more overprovisioning, the pro as improved power loss protection as well. Anandtech also as reviews of the client 600 drive and the 600 pro drive.
SSD DRIVE INFO
SSD Drives have matured considerably since Intel released there 2 1/2” drive in early 2008, many other makes were released, none that were really as good as the 1st generation Intel drives, these early drives with Jmicro controllers and Samsung controllers suffered stuttering and Micro freezing problems and there overall performance was average compared to the Intel offering, which didn't suffer from the same problems. They were also extremely expensive for what they offered.
For those people needing more information about buying a ssd drive LesT a Extreme Overclocking member has his own website, The SSD Review with a lot of information on these drives.
Technology as we all know, doesn't stand still and the release of the Indilinx Barefoot Controller leveled up the playing field considerably.
Since then, many different makes, by many different manufacturer's ( 300 and counting ) of SSD drives have been marketed with different makes of controllers, all with differing performance levels.
Firmware for these drives and controllers as also improved, making stuttering and freezing a thing of the past.
Trim on SSD Drives
When I first wrote this article/thread, which was for my own benefit and was eventually turned into this thread, as it is today, trim was not available on ssd drives, when it did arrive, there were mixed idea’s on how it worked, a lot that was incorrect at the time, a lot of new users do not understand the use of Trim even today, explanations tend to be very technical as trim is a complicated issue at the best of times. I found a simple explanation for the implementation of trim in late 2009, I came across it again the other day, it still holds true today so here’s the link, ( I know you are going to point me to AnandTech explanations, there are links in this thread, if your a technically minded person, then AnandTech’s articles may be a better option ) this simpler explanation is still active in late 2011. As you can see if you carry on reading and don’t turn off, how complicated it can be for a non-technical user of ssd drives. So here’s my explanation of trim. Remember this a generalization of most ssd drives, it’s a lot easier when your dealing with your own ssd drive.
Trim and it’s association with GC ( garbage collection )
Trim varies depending on how the controller’s "GC" handles the use of Trim ( Win7 ). Trim is activated, by deleting files in the OS ( Win7 ), it doesn’t actually trim the ssd drive, but marks the block/file header’s with a 1 making that block/file available for being re-written or deleted. Trimming is actually done by the GC and will only work if the block doesn’t contain other files that haven’t been marked deleted, but this again depends on how GC is implemented, the GC can wait till the block is full, then move un-deleted files to another block allowing for the block to be trimmed ( GC ), in doing this, the GC uses a lot more write amplification than it does if Trim in win7 has previously marked these blocks/files for deletion, flash memory can only be ‘deleted’ if all the information in that block as been marked with 1, this allows the whole block to be re-written. GC can only erase/Trim a full block, not individual files or pages.
What trim does
What trim does is mark these blocks/files etc and make it simpler for the inbuilt GC ( garbage collection ) to recognize the blocks that are available for further use, on some controller’s this will not necessarily happen immediately, it depends on whether the controller as been designed for “idle” use, “on the fly” use or “stand by use”, GC/Trim can be brought into use in many different ways, having the computer sitting with the bios open, having the computer idling at log in, placing the computer in stand by mode, deleting files or just simple idling the computer for a hour or so or overnight
Re-formatting a modern ssd drive also triggers trim on most modern ssd drives. It’s a matter of finding out how the controller in your particular ssd handles the garbage collection. You will find the most efficient way is by experimentation or by other members passing on there particular way of doing it.
Low level formatting
Low level formatting used on conventional HDD drives writes mainly 0’s to every cell on a SSD drive, it’s the opposite to how flash memory actually works, if you low level format with Win7 or any software that writes 0’s or 0’s and 1’s to the individual cells, you are not necessarily cleaning the ssd drive completely, ( hence the need for secure erase software on older ssd drives ), you can actually make the performance worse. As technology changes ( 2012/13 ) and the way GC/Trim have improved there will be less need to secure erase ssd drives, simply formatting or re-formatting the ssd drive will in most cases trigger the internal GC or Trim in win7.
If you use software designed for writing 1’s to each cell, like you would if it was designed for ssd drives, this will “clean” the drive and is a good thing to do if you are selling the drive, or as a last resort or if you are having problems with your ssd drive. The downside of using this type of erasure, is that it not only takes a long time it uses high write amplification and if used regularly can reduce the flash cells life expectancy considerably, these type’s of deletions bypass most controllers durawrite capabilities ( the way controllers extend the life expectancy of the ssd’s individual MLC cells ), Durawrite ( Sandforce ), other controllers have this technology in some form or other, it increases MLC life expectancy by between 5 and up to 30 times depending on the design of the controller. Durawrite is LSI Sandforce’s name for this type of technology, other controllers use similar technology for extending cell life.
Basically a command line program like dispart and dispar will secure erase a ssd drive either by writing to the individual ( “Cleanall“ command ) cells or simply marking the blocks to be deleted with a 1 ( “Clean” command ), you need to use the latter which takes only seconds and will return the majority of ssd's to a new state without impacting too much on write amplification. XP may not have the “Clean” command it was added when Vista was released. New commands are added each time a new OS is released.
That’s how I see the use of GC and Trim in win7 today ( Nov 2011 ). Note! Most ssd software, tool boxes etc use the inbuilt win7 diskpart commands, to make it easier than using the command line. There is a explanation for the use of diskpart and can be found HERE, but NOTE! It’s written with conventional hard drives in mind, not ssd drives.
In the case of most Toolboxes provided by manufacturer’s, the OCZ Toolbox is a typical example, they are incompatible with Intel’s RST driver, you would need to use Diskpart from the command line. Also Toolboxes will in most cases, not secure erase a ssd with a OS on it or if the ssd drive is in use as the OS drive eg. ( “C:/” partition ).
If you want to secure erase an OS drive you need to delete all the partitions on the drive including any hidden partitions, there’s an excellent tutorial on the Intel toolbox on LesT’s website, TheSSDReview here’s the Link.
You will have to use Diskpart or Diskpar from the Dos prompt, you can’t be in windows with the ssd drive you intend to erase. This is mainly if the toolboxes fail to work and deleting the partitions refuses to solve the problem.
I’m sure there are exceptions to what I have written and easier ways of explaining trim or secure erasing some types of ssd drives. All I ask is you don’t isolate passages out of context, please read the whole article, before you tell me I’m incorrect. There are a lot of more informative people out there than me on this subject, so I’m open to criticism on the subject. I want to impart only the correct facts on this thread.
Trim and the IDE issue
The Intel IDE drivers after Vista sp2 are fully compatible with the trim command , but for trim to pass through this command, the ssd controller itself has also got to be compatible with IDE mode, eg. Intel drives with the Intel controllers are ( according to Intel ) fully compatible. The Crucial M4 appears not to be, other controllers optimized for AHCI may also not be compatible. I can’t comment on the Intel 510 as I’ve only ever used them in AHCI mode.
Here’s an explanation that’s not too complicated, its from StorageSearch.com, here’s the LINK.
Also from StorageSearch.com, a simple explanation for the need for overprovisioning, same link as above. This actual link covers a number of technologies used by the ssd controller in ssd drives. Overprovisioning improves write performance, if the ssd is used in a high write situation, increasing the overprovisioning will improve performance and write endurance, in a high read situation too much can hinder performance, in a os situation the 7% supplied on most client drives, in most cases is probably adequate depending on it’s use, if there’s a lot of writing done to the drive daily, reducing the partition size, which will increase overprovisioning by a small amount may improve performance.
Also not overfilling a ssd will help it’s performance, some drives will maintain performance in a full state better than others, it’s probably better not to go above 70% in most cases.
There’s a excellent article recently released ( January 2013 ) by LSI employee Kent Smith which explains the use of overprovisioning and its improvement to the Trim command. Here's the Link.
TLC memory and SSD Drives
Up until now (Sept 2012 ) TLC ( triple cell ) memory, ( mainly used on usb flash drives ), as not been an option for ssd drives, Samsung’s new 840 drive as changed all that, it uses Samsung's TLC Toggle memory, TLC memory as been experimented by ssd drive manufacturers for quite a few years, up until now it hasn’t been a viable option due to reliability, cell life, bit leakage, lower performance and various other reasons. This was once the case with MLC memory which is now used on all client drives and considerably lowered the price of ssd drives. Micron also now as viable TLC nand memory due for release, probably in 2013.
The major advantage of TLC memory, it will be cheaper by an estimated 30% once it matures and less chips are required for the same capacity as MLC memory. ( I should also note, Samsung website no longer quote’s endurance figures, They’ve been removed. ). Here’s a link from AnandTech that explains the technology.
Migrating the OS to a SSD drive.
There are a lot of people "for and against" when it comes to the subject of Migration or a clean install, I’ve always migrated all of my OS drives and before ssd drives, conventional hard drives, I’ve had absolutely no problem doing it and performance as never suffered. Since Vista was released, I’ve only reformatted twice, once for the Vista Ultimate 64b OS and once for the Win7 Ultimate 64b OS.
I can understand that from a benchmarking point of view or a new build with new hardware, a clean format is the only way to go, but I can’t see the point of not migrating otherwise, if the OS drive is properly maintained, especially on a laptop where clean formats are annoying, ( a hard drive or OS with errors generally will not clone, the clone usually fails, most cloning software will use Windows ChkDsk to test the drive prior to cloning if this fails so will the clone ), all I’m saying is I personally have not had bad issues cloning drives with software that’s compatible with the OS being used.
My own laptop OS drive usually has between 200 and 300gb/s of data on it, I’ve had no trouble migrating and cloning backups for any of the drives, I am presently using a 512gb M4 ssd drive. I’ve also used an Intel 160gb G2 and two Intel 510 256gb ssd drives in that period of time on both a Desktop computer and the Laptop ( 3 year old ). The only problem I’ve ever had was a faulty eSata cable.
Probably the biggest problem when migrating is moving an early IDE setup, this can be done with certain changes, the IDE set-up needs to be changed to AHCI in the motherboards BIOS, most modern ssd drives are optimized for AHCI mode, some will not even work in IDE mode, in this case it’s advisable to change to AHCI mode prior to the change to the ssd drive.
This can be done by disabling the IDE driver in the windows registry, rebooting and going into the bios and changing the bios setting to AHCI, saving the setting and windows should boot normally. The boot drive can then be migrated ( cloned or imaged ) to the ssd drive.
Good migration software such as Acronis will re-align an XP partition and win 7 will detect the ssd drive and make some changes accordingly (I mention Acronis, not because it's the best, it's what I am familiar with ).
Trim in win7 should be activated by default, this can be easily checked using the win7 command line or checking with a application such as the free version of ssd Life, also certain benchmarking software will tell you whether trim is active. There is also a free program called Trimcheck that can determine that your ssd drive as actually been trimmed.
Advantages: -- You simply swap drives after the migration, time 2 hrs including swapping drives. The major advantages is that your computer or laptop will work with either drive and the old drive can be kept as a OS back-up.
Disadvantages :-- I’ve yet to find any on a straight forward disk drive or ssd drive update.
Problems :-- Cloning can fail for any number of reasons, most are not related to the cloning procedure eg. bad cables, incompatible software or hardware, disk drive file errors, disk drive hardware errors, malware, with raid arrays you need cloning software that is capable of cloning raid arrays with your type of hardware.
You’ve also got to realize an ssd drive when cloned may be as much as 75% - 80% full, it’s not going to have the same benchmarks as a drive with only a OS on it. The GC ( garbage collection ) on most modern drives will return the drive to it’s natural speed in a short period of time anyway.
One of the major problems most people face when moving to a ssd drive from a conventional drive, the conventional drive will be considerably larger and may only consist of a single partition, when migrating, the data contained on the larger conventional drive as to be less than the usable capacity of the ssd drive, excess data needs to be copied to another drive before cloning / imaging can take place. There is a difference between cloning and imaging, with most free cloning software you can't clone partitions only full drives but you can image partitions or parts of a drive.
The downside of imaging (in most cases), any errors on the disk drive or OS will be carried over to the new drive and the original image may get deleted from the old ssd or conventional drive, the drive is usually not tested with ChkDsk by the imaging software, my advice before either cloning or imaging is to do a comprehensive virus and malware check and in the case of imaging to run windows ChkDisk manually prior to doing the imaging.
Cloning and imaging software is changing and being updated all the time, some cloning software now as the capability of doing partitions or just part of a disk drive, to get this capability you may have to upgrade your software.
Types of Controllers used in SSD drives.
Indilinx IDX100M01-LC Amigos controller ( Sata II - 3Gb/s ). This controller is basically a barefoot controller using half the pipelines than those used on the barefoot, this controller is used in the OCZ Onyx series of value ssd drives.
Indilinx IDX110M00-FC Barefoot Controller ( Sata II - 3Gb/s ) This is one of the better performing controllers and is found in SSD drives with MLC nand flash memory, doesn't suffer from stuttering or micro freezing. Very popular among enthusiasts due to it's excellent performance. Website and TechReport review.
Indilinx IDX110M00-LC Barefoot Controller ( Sata II - 3Gb/s ) This is one of the better performing controllers and is found in enterprise SSD drives with MLC and SLC nand flash memory.
Indilinx IDX110M01-LC (ECO) Barefoot Controller ( Sata II - 3Gb/s ) Updated barefoot controller, compatible with 34nm Nand Memory. This newer barefoot controller is now called the “ Martini “ and is to be used in the new Ocz Vertex Plus series, this controller as been previewed by AnandTech. The big differences will be the increase in memory put aside for garbage collection, a rise from 7% to 10% and new firmware ( not compatible with the older barefoot drive ). Previously called the ECO? The numbers on the silicone chips are the same.
Indilinx IDX300M00-BC ( Everest ) ( Sata III – 6 GB/s ).
These are re-branded Marvell 9174 controllers with Indilinx firmware. Re-named Everest controller, this controller is used in OCZ Octane series of ssd drives.
Indilinx IDX400M00-BC ( Everest 2 ) ( Sata 3 – 6 GB/s ).
These are re-branded Marvell 9187 Controllers with Indilinx firmware. Re-named the Everest 2 controller, used to power the OCZ Vertex 4 series of ssd drives. This controller is being tested with various different types of nand flash memory so there could be other series released with different nand flash memory.
Intel ( PC29AS21CA0 ) S3700 ( sata3 – 6Gb/s ) – This controller release is considered Intel's 3rd generation controller and as been released on Intel's own DC S3700 enterprise ssd drive, this drive will supersede the 710 enterprise series which will go EOL late 2012.
Intel EW29AA31AA1 ( SAS 6Gb/s ) – This Intel controller is used in the Hitachi Ultrastar SSD400M SAS enterprise drive, this 6Gb/s controller as read speeds of 495 and write speeds 385, giving it performance similar to the Micron P300 drives. ( removed the M4 as a comparison as it's not a enterprise drive, the controllers in the M4 and P300 were identical ).
Intel PC29AS21AA0 Controller ( Sata II - 3Gb/s ) 1st Generation Intel Controller.
Intel PC29AS21BA0 Controller ( Sata II - 3Gb/s ) 2nd Generation Intel Controller. This controller offers 10 pipelines to distribute it's data across the drive. Also used on the Intel 320 ( G3 ) or the G2 refresh. Certain actions such as 128 bit compression have been activated and the sequential write cap as been removed.
J Micron Controllers
JMicron JMF602 ( Sata II - 3Gb/s ) Early Ist generation controller, suffered from stuttering and micro freezing problems. This early Anandtech review released in 2008, shows the weaknesses of the early JMF602 and Samsung controllers.
JMicron JMF602B ( sata II - 3Gb/s ). 2nd Generation JMicron Controller, often configured in pairs with internal raid 0, slight improvement over the JM602, due to the addition of a 16Kb cache buffer, small by today's standard.
JMicron JMF616 ( Sata II - 3Gb/s ) - Could probably called a third generation controller, recently released and used on the A Data S 596 Turbo.
JMicron JMF612/618 ( Sata II - 3Gb/s ) Much improved 2nd generation controller with NO apparent stuttering or micro-freezing problems, JMF612 supports Samsung and Intel memory modules, JMF618 supports Toshiba memory modules. Reviews at BenchMarkReviews and BitTech. These controllers support up to 256mb of cache and use 8 channels to distribute data across the drive.
Link A Media Devices
LAMD LM87800 ( Sata3 – 6Gb/s ). The LAMD LM87800 is a Sata3 controller, this company makes controllers mostly for the high end enterprise sector, Corsair is using this particular controller on there Neutron series of ssd drives. This controller as now been released for use in on other Client ssd drives.
Marvel Da Vinci 88SS8014-BHP2 Controller ( Sata II - 3Gb/s ). Here is a BenchMarkReviews review on this controller.
Marvell 88NV9145 ( Sata3 – 6Gb/s ). This Marvell Controller is used in OCZ new range of Z5 PCIe ssd drives. This controller is also used in OCZ's Vertex 4 and Agility 4 as of info sourced july 4, 2012.
Marvell's 88SS9032-BLN2 ( Sata 3 – 6Gb/s ) enterprise grade SSD processor. - Released on the Toshiba MKx001GRZB Enterprise SSD designed around a SAS interface.
Marvell 88SS9174-BJP2 ( Sata III - 6Gb/s ) This controller is used on the Crucial Real SSD. BenchMarkReviews.review. Overall, one of, if not the fastest desktop ssd controller released, especially when used with a 6GB/s controller, latest firmware, improvements to power consumption, better GC and Trim performance, Data integrity and reduced write latency, the drive activity has also been activated, have vastly improved the C300 drives. This controller as 8 pipelines.
Marvell 88SS9174 –BKK2 ( sata III – 6Gb/s ).
This updated controller is to be used in the RealSSDC400, it is huge update and as far better performance figures than it’s predecessor, the BJP2 on the C300. This controller is also used on the Intel 501, but due to using Intel firmware, it is optimized for movement of large compressed files rather than use with a OS. This controller is also used on Corsair P3 and the Plextor M2 ssd drives.
Marvell 88SS9174-BLD2 ( sata III - 6Gb/s ).
Has mentioned previously, this is a slight revision on the BKK2 silicone that was released on the Intel 501, Corsair P3 and the Plextor M2 ssd drives, as so far only been released on the Marvell C400 enterprise drive and the Crucial M4 client drive. There is a review on this particular silicone at BenchMarkReviews. This controller as the same 8 channels as the previous two versions of the 9174 controller.
Marvell 88SS9175-BJM2 ( sata3 – 6Gb/s ).
Similar controller to the 9174 but consumes less power and as only 4 data channels ( pipelines ) compared to the 9174 with eight data channels (pipelines), this controller is used on the SanDisk Ultra Plus Client drive, the controller as similar sequential speeds but overall performance suffers due to the lower number of pipelines.
Marvell 88SS9187 ( sata3 - 6Gb/s ).
Marvell’s latest controller, so far aimed at the the Ultrabook/Enterprise/Mobile Market, boasts sequential write speeds of 500MB/s, even in dirty drive conditions, Adaptive read and write schemes, as in build raid capabilities and is capable of using up to 1gb ddr3 memory for the buffer. This controller could be used with forthcoming Crucial Client ssd update.
Phison PS3016-S3 Controller ( Sata II - 3Gb/s ) Poor performing controller.
Phison PS3105-S5 ( SataII – 3Gb/s ).
Much improved controller over the earlier Phisons, used on the Patriot Torx 2, this controller is classed as a budget entry level value controller, but it as nowhere the performance of controllers such as the SF1200, now also classed as a value controller. Information on this controller can be found HERE.
Phison PS3108-S8 ( Sata3 – 6Gb/s ).
Reasonable performing Sata3 controller aimed at value market, this controller as been released on the MyDigitalSSD BP3 512gb ssd drive, the review on this drive can be found HERE.
Pliant PTHEM12 – 1V0 ( SAS – 6Gb/s )
Enterprise controller used on the SanDisk Lightening LB406S SAS Enterprise ssd drive.
Samsung S3C29RBB01-YK40N1TRPNPK ARM Controller ( Sata II - 3Gb/s ) RBB controller seems to excel at games performance, but as other weak points.
Samsung S3C29MAX01-Y340 ( Sata II – 3Gb/s ). Samsungs latest controller as of Nov 2010, a upgrade of the RBB controller, this controller is used on the Samsung 470 series of ssd drives. This controller uses 8 pipelines to distribute data to the memory.
Samsung S4LJ204X01 – Y040 ( Sata III – 6GB/s ).
Samsungs latest controller as of Nov 2011, an upgrade to the MAX, this controller is used on the Samsung 830 series of ssd drives. Performance is similar, better in some cases to the Crucial controlled drives. This controller uses 8 pipelines to distribute data to the memory this is similar to the Sandforce and Marvell controllers.
Samsung ( MDX ) S4LN021X01-8030 ( Sata III – 6GB/s ).
Samsung latest controller as Sept 2012, this is a upgrade to the MCX controller on the 830 drive and will be used on the the 840 and the 840 Pro ssd drives due for release in the last quarter of 2012. The overall performance is exceptional, especially when writing compressed, which is a weak point with the Sandforce SF2281 controller which was originally designed with SLC memory in mind ( there is very little compressed write loss on Sandforce controllers using SLC memory ). The weakness with this particular Samsung controller seems to be poor uncompressed write figures, this may be addressed with future Firmware.
Samsung ( MDX ) S4LN045X01-8030 ( Sata III – 6GB/s ). Samsung latest controller as Sept 2012, this is a upgrade to the former MDX controller on the 840 drives and will be used on the the 840 EVO due for release in the third quarter of 2013. Considered to be 33% faster than the previous MDX controller.
Sandforce SF 1200 Controller ( SF-1222TA3-SBH ) ( Sata II - 3Gb/s ) To be used mainly on MLC drives. These Sandforce controllers do not seem to require ddr ram buffers, there is small internal buffer, within the controller. BenchMarkReviews have released a comparison review of the differing firmware used on these drives and have updated there testing procedures to show the differences. The link is found HERE. These controllers don't use external cache, instead use's a certain amount of nand flash for the same purpose, the controller uses 8 channels to distribute data across the drive. For drives larger than 250g the SF1232 controller is used.
Sandforce SF 1500 Controller ( SF-1565TA2-SBH ) ( Sata II - 3Gb/s ) Mainly for use on SLC enterprise drives, but as been released on MLC drives, extremely fast controller. For drives larger than 256g the SF1575 controller is used. Review at BenchMarkReviews.
Sandforce SF 2100 series ( Sata II 3Gb/s ) –
This series of controllers consists of the SF2141 which has a 4 channel controller and the SF2181 which as 8 channels, the SF2141 is compatible with 25nm nand memory,but is limited to 64gb, the SF2181 is a upgrade for the previous SF1200 controller.
Sandforce SF 2200 series ( Sata III 6Gb/s ) –
This series of controllers comes in two configurations, the SF2281 has 8 channels and 8 byte lanes that can scale up to 512gb capacity and will be the most common performance controller used on drives below the 512gb range, the SF2282 has 8 channels and 16 byte lanes and will be more commonly used on the large 512gb ( 480 ) drives. Details about both the 2100 and 2200 series controllers can be found at this Tweaktown link or the Sandforce website.
Sandforce SF2382 – Released Dec 2011. This is a Industrial/ enterprise processor. The difference being the capability of having military erase, eMLC compatibility, SAS connectivity and the use of the super capacitor. Seems to have been developed with 'Cloud' computing in mind.
Sandforce SF2500/2600 series ( sata III 6Gb/s ) - Enterprise controller from Sandforce. the SF2500 supports 512B sedtors, the SF2600 supports 520, 524, 528 and 4K+Dif, capacities up to 512gb. Info at Sandforce website. The SF2582 is the controller used in the OCZ Vertex 3 Pro, which will be available sometime in the second quarter. This controller as eight pipelines to distribute the data across the ssd drive. The SF2581 is used in Smart Storage Systems ExceedStor 500S series of enterprise drives.
LSI Sandforce SF3700 series due for release in April 2014, a nine channel controller capable of 1800MB/s.
Toshiba TC58NCF602GAT controller. This controller is based on the Jmicron JMF602 Controller, with reduced stuttering problems and better performance.. This controller is used in the Kingston SSDNow V series.
Toshiba TC58NCF618GBT ( Sata II 3Gb/s ), a re- branded Jmicron JMF618 controller, this controller is used in the Kingston SSDNow V ( SNV425 – S2 ) series.
Toshiba TC58NC5HJ8GSB ( Sata3 – 6Gb/s ). This controller also as Sandforce written on the Silicone, could be a re-branded SF2281 controller, yet to verify. This controller as been released on mSata drives used in the new mac air notebooks, the samsung 830 is also used.
Toshiba T6UG1XBG Controller ( Sata II - 3Gb/s ). A decent performing controller. Big improvement on previous Toshiba controllers. Review at BenchMarkReview Jan.2010.
We will see further improvements, better technology and better controllers released in 2012/13, below is a Alphabetical list of SSD drives available as of July 2012/13, I hope the Information and the Links supplied will help people choose the ideal SSD Drive for there needs.
I also intend to upgrade this list as new drives and information is released. Anywhere you see a lack of information, it's either because I've been unable to find the info or unable to verify it. The info on drives ( as there are now over 400 builders and manufacturers of ssd products ), the list will be limited to the more popular & notable drives.
The majority of these drives use MLC Nand Flash Memory and are for use in non- enterprise situations, such as desktop and laptop use, this type of memory is not as hardy as SLC type memory and as only about a tenth or greater the lifespan, MLC memory is estimated to be capable of above 3000 to 5000 write operations per cell, memory quality and the controller, both have a bearing on this figure, SLC memory used in enterprise drives, for server applications, as a estimated capability of 30,000 to 100,000 write operations, due to this, the SLC enterprise drives cost considerably more. It should be noted that controller development as vastly improved the lifespan of MLC memory making the lifespan of ssd with it much longer, lifespan appears to be no longer an issue, reliability and compatibility are now the main concern.
The read and write speeds are those issued by the manufacturer using ATTO software. Sequential speeds are less important than random access speeds. These performance figures can vary depending on the size of the SSD drive, the figures posted here are mainly for drives around 125/256GB, smaller drives of the same series may have lower performance figures, larger drives, better performance figures.
These Sequential speeds are far less important than Random speeds when the SSD is used as an OS drive, sequential write speeds become important when the drive is needed for rendering, re-authorizing movies etc. ( my opinion only ). The higher the IOP's rating, the better a drive is at multitasking. Most drives released in 2012 have extremely high IOP's. I should also add that huge iops figures on client drives are very rarely maintained in high write situations, a drive may start at a figure of 70,000 iops but with sustained writing can drop to as low as 10,000 after ½ hour of sustained use, enterprise drives may have lower advertised iops but the figure will drop only fractionally after days off sustained writing.
SSD Drives ( Alphabetical Order ).
To find more detailed information, links to the manufacturers website and benchmarks on the individual ssd drives, click the spoiler.
A DATA ( 2yr to 5yr warranty period )
Adata also manufactures the XM13 500, XPG SX300 and Premier Pro SP300 series mSata ssd drives.
A Data S510 series ( Sata III – 6Gb/s ). -
Sandforce SF2281 Controller. Read 550 write 510. Capacities of 60 and 120gb, ssd drive uses Micron 25nm asynchronous NAND flash memory 29F64G0BCBAAA. Product page including software download page HERE. Firmware is slightly different depending on capacity, appear to be derivatives of the 332 version.
A Data S511 series ( Sata III – 6Gb/s ) –
Sandforce SF2281 Controller. Read 550 write 520. Capacities from 60gb to 480gb, the ssd drive uses Intel MLC Synchronous memory giving the drive slightly better performance than the S510 also as slightly difference in write speeds on lower capacities, but very minimal. Product page including Software download page HERE. Latest firmware for these drives is version 332. Reviews at Tweaktown and Storage Reviews.
A Data Premier Pro SP600 series ( Sata rev. 3 – 6Gb/s ) –
JMicron JMF661 Controller. Read 360 write 130, buffer is a single Nanya NT5TU64M16GG-AC chip with 64MB/s of ddr ram, there is the usual support for GC and Trim in Win7. Capacities for these drives are 32, 64 and 128gb of Intel 29F16B09CCME3 MLC nand memory. Website and reviews at bcchardware and PureOverclock.. I would class this series of ssd drives as value drives.
A Data Premier SP800 series ( sata2 – 3Gb/s ) –
Sandforce SF2141 Controller. Read 280 write 265, usual support for GC and Trim in win7, Drive capacities 32 and 64gb of synchronous MLC nand memory, these drives have 0% over-provisioning. Website and Reviews.
NEW! A Data Premier Pro SP900 series ( sata3 – 6Gb/s ) -
Sandforce SF2281 Controller. Read 550, write 520 ( write varies with compressed data, depending on the size of the drive ). Usual support for GC and Trim in win7. Drive capacities are 64 to 256gb of asynchronous MLC nand memory, these drives have what is called 0% over-provisioning giving extra user space than previous Sandforce controlled drives. Website and Review at Real World Labs.
NEW! A Data XPG SX900 series ( sata3 – 6Gb/s ) –
Sandforce SF2281 Controller. Read 550, write 520 ( write varies with compressed data, depending on the size of the drive ), usual support for GC and Trim in Win7. Drive capacities are 64 to 512gb of synchronous MLC nand memory, these drives have what is called 0% over-provisioning giving extra user space than previous sandforce controlled drives. Website and Reviews at AnandTech and Overclockers.
NEW! A Data XPG SX 910 series ( sata3 – 6Gb/s ) –
Sandforce SF2281 Controller. Read 550, write 530 ( write varies with compressed data, depending on the size of the drive ), usual support for GC and Trim in Win7. Drive capacities are 128gb to 512gb of synchronous MLC nand memory, This drive also has 0% overprovisioning. Website and Reviews.
CORSAIR ( 3yr warranty period ). Upgraded recently to 3 years.
Note** EOL ( End of Line/Life ) have been discontinued and may have been removed from the website. There may still be some support for these drives.
Corsair Force 3 series ( sata III – 6Gb/s ) –
Sandforce SF2281 Controller. Read 550 write 520, IOPS 85000, Support for GC and Trim in Win7, this drive uses Micron 29F64G08CBAAA asynchronous MLC NAND memory and is therefore cheaper than the GT. Website and Reviews at HardwareCanucks and Tweaktown.
Corsair Force GT series ( Sata III – 6Gb/s ) –
Sandforce SF2281 Controller. Read 555 write 525. Memory used in this drive is the MLC 25nm Micron branded Synchronous 29F64G08CBAAB ONFi 2 NAND, this performs better than the onfi 1 memory, but as less performance than toggle memory. Website and Reviews at Hardware Canucks. and TheSSDReview.
NEW! Corsair Force GS series ( Sata III – 6Gb/s ) –
Sandforce SF2281 Controller. Read 555 write 525. Usual Support for Gc and Trim in Win7, The available capacities are 180gb, 240gb, 360gb and 480gb of SanDisk 24nm Toggle Mode NAND flash memory (SDZNPQBHER-016GT). This drive as just been released. July 2012. No other info at this point, there’s a short news release from Anandtech and TheSSDReview. Website and Review at RealWorldLabs.
NEW! Corsair Neutron series ( sata3 – 6Gb/s ) –
LAMD LM87800AA controller, 540 read, 370 write, similar to the GTX, except with Micron 25nm 29F128G08CFAAB Synchronous memory, facts are sketchy at this point. Only available in two capacities of 120gb and 240gb. Website and Reviews at HardOP.
NEW! Corsair Neutron GTX series ( sata3 – 6Gb/s ) –
LAMD LM87800AA controller, 555 read 470 write, Buffer appears to be back to back 256mb ( 512mb ) modules of ddr800 ram, the drive as support for GC and trim in win7, this drive as capacities of 120gb, 240gb and 480gb of Toshiba 19nm TH58TEG8D2HBA8C Toggle memory, this drive was recently announced at Computec 2012, so info is sketchy, it’s a high performance drive with a relatively newly released controller to the client community and has some impressive specs, which include being available in the standard 9.5mm and 7mm thicknesses, the controller has life endurance and Adaptive technology, the chip also has the capability of being used with different levels of Overprovisioning and handles compressed data almost as well as compressed. Here are some links to this drive from LAMD. Website and Reviews from AnandTech and Tweaktown. Here's some info on LAMD’s new controller and a news release from TheSSDReview. The drive is now available and as a 5 year warranty.
General Info on Corsair SSD drives.
Support for Corsair drives appears to be by email or through there Forums.
Corsair Support Forums with SSD Firmware Updates.
CRUCIAL ( Limited 3yr warranty period )
EOL! Crucial RealSSD M4 (C400) ( Sata III 6Gb/s ) –
Marvell 88SS9174-BLD2 Controller, Read 415 write 260, Performance varies on these drives depending on the size of the nand memory ( 512/256gb 415/260, the 125gb and the 64gb have lower read and write speeds ). The Crucial M4 Marvell Controller is an slight revision update on the 9174-BKK2 released in the 510, P3 and M2 ssd drives. Firmware for these drives is 0001, some people are having freezing problems with the M4, especially in some laptops due to incompatiblities, so check when buying this drive for laptops ( Macbook Pro’s in particular ). New firmware 0009 as been released improving the M4 reliability and performance. The latest firmware is ver. 000F ( as of Sept 2012 ).
The variation in performance between the different capacities of the M4 ssd drive is quite large, this link from Tom’s Hardware tests the four different capacities, the firmware in the test drives is 0006.
NEW! Crucial M500 ( Sata rev.3 - 6Gb/s ) –
Marvell 88SS9187-BLD2 Controller. Sequential read 500MB/s, Sequential write speeds vary on the two lower capacity’s, 120gb/130MB/s, 240gb/250 the 480gb and 960gb are 400. There is usual support with GC and Trim in Win7/8, The cache or buffer is Micron 256MB DDR3 SDRAM cache MT41K256M16HA-125 on the 960gb drive, there are 4 capacities 120, 240, 480 and 960gb, The memory modules on the 960gb drive are Micron 20nm MLC MT29F512G08CKCABH7 onfi Ver 3.0 ( higher maximum interface speed and lower voltages ) with each being a capacity of 64GB. The M5 as improved power protection, adaptive thermal technology, the drive throttles back if it becomes overheated, and encryption technology. The performance and technology are first rate, ( according to TheSSDReview ) alongside the Samsung Pro and Vector ssd drives at this point, offering no ssd toolbox and only a 3 year warranty is a bit disappointing, but Crucial fans will be used to that. Website and reviews at TheSSDReview, Storage review.com and Anandtech. The more thorough testing done at Storage Review.com showed the drives weaknesses and putting it much lower on the performance list, the Samsung Pro and the Vector are still better propositions for overall performance, the drive as decent performance but needs to be offered much cheaper than the Pro or Vector to be a viable option.
Putting performance issues to one side, the drive is compatible with win 8 edrive standards and hardware accelerated bitlocker encryption which as been improved over the win7 version, an explanation at Anandtech shows the differences between the Samsung pro and the M500 where encryption is concerned.
Also better power protection similar to that supplied by Intel drives and the availability of a cost effective 960gb drive size make the M5 series a more overall viable option. The downside is the move to the 20nm onfi v3.0 memory which even though it makes a 960gb drive possible without having to use triple bit memory, the larger pagefile and block size effects trim speed and overall performance. Overprovisioning has increased from the standard 7% of the M4 to 14% probably due to the higher error rate of the memory.
The Anandtech review places a lot of emphasis on the nand type and it’s weaknesses, this is not a top tier ssd drive, it’s a excellent value mid tier drive designed for masses rather than a performance drive. It’s main rival appears to be the Samsung 840 rather than the Pro. The benchmarking was mid range, real world testing on the other hand was outstanding. This is an early opinion which could change due to the outstanding real world figures.
For the average user the M5 appears to be a excellent ssd drive.
EOL! Crucial V4 ( Sata rev.2 - 3Gb/s ) –
Phison PS3105 Controller. Sequential read speeds vary only on the smallest capacity at 200MB/s, the remaining capacities are 230MB/s, Sequential write speeds vary for each capacity ranging from 60MB/s to 190MB/s, the buffer on these drives is a Micron 2EB17-D9LQX with 125MB of LPDDR-333, there is the usual support for GC and Trim in Win7. Capacities for this series of drives are 32gb, 64gb, 128gb and 256gb of Micron 29F256G08CJAAB 25nm synchronous MLC NAND memory. This drive is a value drive designed for use on Sata rev.2 – 3Gb/s systems, the performance is low in comparison with modern day Sata rev.3 – 6Gb/s drives, the performance is comparable to the Indilinx barefoot drives of 2 year ago with the exception of a very aggressive GC/trim function that appears similar to the that used on the M4. Website and reviews at Anandtech and LegitReviews. Firmware on the test drive is S5F AMM22 and the drive as a 3 year warranty.
General Crucial SSD Information
Crucial SSD Forums HERE.
SSD Re-alignment without data loss. HERE.
G SKILL ( 2yr warranty period )
G Skill seem to be less involved with the ssd market, couldn’t find the Phoenix 2 drives on the website, which is there only sata3 drive. July 24, 2012. The Website as now been updated.
EOL! G Skill Phoenix 2 series ( sata III – 6Gb/s ) –
Sandforce SF2200 Controller, Read 550 write 500.
NEW! G Skill Phoenix 3 series ( sata III – 6Gb/s ) –
Sandforce SF2281 Controller, Read 550 write 520. Available in Capacities of 120g and 240gb.
G Skill Phoenix Pro series ( Sata II - 3Gb/s ) -
Sandforce SF1200 Controller. 280 read 270 write. Support fo Trim in Win7 and GC. Website and reviews at BenchMarkReviews and TweakTown. This drive as the 7% over-provisioning. FW3.1 update, check download above under Phoenix.
NEW! G Skill Phoenix EVO series ( sata II – 3Gb/s ) –
Sandforce SF1200 Controller, the EVO will be offered as a value drive with 25nm nand memory and in only one capacity of 115 usable gb’s.
EOL! G Skill Sniper series ( sata II 3Gb/s ) –
Sandforce SF1200 Controller. Read 285 (max ) write 275 ( max ) IOPs 50,000 ( max ). Support for internal GC and Trim in Win7, available with capacities of 60 and 120gb of MLC nand memory. Website.
General Notes on G Skill SSD drives.
G Skill SSD Forums and Update Information.
INTEL ( 3 yr warranty period )
New firmware as been released for the Intel silver G2 drives, the new firmware is available from Intel at this link, the new firmware is 2CV102M3 and deals with a number of issues including slow boot up times on Sata III motherboards. NOTE! Certain notebooks need to be changed to IDE ( Lenovo ) for the update to work and any drive passwords need to be disabled. There are two ways of updating the firmware on Intel ssd drives, you can do it through the Intel Toolbox or use the more reliable Intel Solid State Firmware upgrade Tool. This firmware tool covers all the Intel drives old and new. Both These Software Applications can be found on Intels ssd download page. Updated Dec 2011.
NEW! Intel 311 ssd drive ( Larson Creek ) ( sata II – 3Gb/s –
Intel PC29AS21BA0 processor. This is a cache drive with a 20gb capacity, optimized for Intel Smart Response Technology, which debuts with the Intel Z68-Express chipset and works with the entire Sandy Bridge series. Read 200, combined IOP’s 40,000. The memory used is Intels 34nm SLC flash.
EOL! Intel 320 series ( G2 refresh ) G3 ssd drive ( sata II – 3Gb/s ) –
Intel PC29AS21BA0 Controller. Read 270, write speeds varies depending on the size of the drive, 40gb / 45MB/s / 3.7k IOPS, 80gb/90/10k, 120gb/130/14k, 160gb/165/21k, 300gb/205/23k, 600gb/220/23k, these are Intels specs. These drives use a Hynix 64mb sdram buffer and the controller as 256k on-die buffer, The drive uses these buffers for caching memory maps etc. Power failure caching is done by a series or array of multiple capacitors ( info Anandtech review ). This system is considered by Intel as being more reliable than a single large capacitor. Spare non-usable ram is 12.8% ( over-provisioning ). The capacity windows will see is approximately 13% less than the rated capacity. Also included in the g2/g3 controller is AES-128bit data compression, not activated on the G2. Dec 2011 This drive still as the exception 13x ( 8mb ) problem which new firmware as failed to resolve, not a drive to buy until the problems sorted, this problem can happen with a sudden loss of power and by simply coming out of sleep mode, a ups does not solve the problem, rmaing the drive doesn’t seem to help either. Note* not all users have this problem, but worth checking out before buying. Here is a thread about the problem on the Intel forum.
Website and Comprehensive Reviews from AnandTech and LegitReviews.
Intel 335 series ( Sata3 – 6Gb/s ) –
Sandforce SF2281 Controller, Read 500 write 450, usual support for GC and Trim in Win7, the drive is available in capacities of 60gb, 120gb and 180gb of Intel 29F16B08CCME2 25nm Synchronous nand memory, this memory is similar to that of the 520, Intel bins all it’s silicone, the 520 uses memory modules from bin1 the 330 from bin 2 which is of a slightly lower quality, the effect being slightly lower performance and lower life cycles than the top tier bin 1 memory. Website and Reviews at TheSSDReview and TomsHardware.
EOL! Intel 510 series SSD Drive ( Sata III – 6Gb/s ) -
Marvell 88SS9174-BKK2 Controller, this is the similar controller to the RealSSD M4, the M4 controller as a slight revision, the Hynix H5TQ1G638FA 125mb ddr3 buffer is the same, as in the M4 except the M4 uses two to double the size of the buffer, Intel have used there own firmware on the drive, 250gb/125gb Sata III speeds, sustained sequential read 500/450MB/s, sustained sequential write 315/210MB/s. Sata II speeds, sustained sequential read 265/265 MB/s, sustained sequential write 240/200MB/s. Note! These according to Intel are sustained sequential speeds and are usually lower than standard or partial sustained sequential speeds. Random 4kb speeds at a 32 queue depth are (250gb/125gb) Read 20,000 IOPs and write 8,000 IOPs. The Nand Flash memory for these drives is Intel 29F6B08JAMDD MLC 34nm Nand Flash memory, 34nm memory is more reliable, as better performance figures, as a lower error count and lasts longer than the newer 2xnm flash memory. 2xnm is cheaper to manufacture. Intels Data Migration, Toolbox and SSD Optimizer software are available for these drives.
Benchmarks taken for the 510 by Tom’s Hardware and Legit Reviews 2x256gb Intel 510 in Raid 0, show clearly that the drive is optimized for movement of large files rather than it’s use as a OS drive, the IOPs and random readings are poor compared to the latest SF2200/2500 Controllers, but excels better at large file movement. The 4KB transfers are poor, the 512KB transfers are excellent. A very disappointing drive, as the early benchmarks do not seem to reflect Intel's written specifications. The firmware on these drives is PWG2.
EOL! Intel 520 series ( sata3 – 6 Gb/s ) –
Sandforce SF2281 Controller, Read 550 write 520, usual support for GC and Trim in win7. Capacities available are from 60 to 480gb of Intel 29F16B08CCME2 25nm NAND flash memory, this memory is similar to the newer 330 but is top binned 5K compared to the 330’s which is rated at 3K this drive series as been released to benchmarking sites, here are reviews from from TheSSDReview and Tom’sHardware. Performance is considered in some cases better than the OCZ Vertex 3 and the OCZ Vertex Max Iops, but looking at more benchmarks shows the 520’s performance similar but not better than the Vertex 3 Max IOPs or the Kingston HyperX. The SSD Review as also tested three of the 256gb Intel 520’s in Raid 0 on a Highpoint 2720SGL raid controller, HERE is the link.
NEW! Intel 530 series ( sata3 – 6 Gb/s ) –
Sandforce SF2281 Controller, Read 540 write 490, usual support for GC and Trim in win7. Capacities available are from 80 to 480gb.
NEW! Intel DC S3700 enterprise series ( Sata 3 – 6Gb/s ) –
Intel S3700 controller (PC29AS21CA0 ). Read 500 write 460, the buffer size varies with the 800gb drive having 1gb of dram, as explained previously this is Intels 710 replacement enterprise drive, the overprovisioning as been reduced, the 200gb drive as a extra 64gb of nand memory compared to 120gb on the 710 drive, overprovisioning is used by the controller for wear levelling, block re-cycling, redundancy and block replacement. The drive comes in capacities of 100gb, 200gb, 400gb and 800gb, the memory is the same as the 710 using Intels 25nm HET MLC nand. The pricing is also lower than the 710 drive. Review at Anandtech.
General Information on Intel ssd drives
Intel SSD Installation GuidePDF
New Intel SSD Toolbox V2.0, includes improved SSD Optimizer which optimizes free space. Download.
Intel Matrix Storage Manager can be downloaded HERE.
Intel 9.6 Rapid Storage Technology Driver. Download, NOTE! this driver does NOT support the use of Trim in raid arrays, but does allow trim to be passed on to a single ssd boot drive, when the motherboard is set to RAID. Previous Intel drivers did not allow this. This link from TechReport clarifies this.
Reference on Raid support for the RST driver, released by Intel.
Intel Data Migration Software. Intel as introduced free cloning software for there ssd drives, both the migrating software and PDF file instructions can be found HERE. According to Maurice at Intel, the software is designed to run from a traditional hard drive and not a ssd drive.
Intel SSD Support Forums found Here.
Intel Firmware Update Tool and Firmware ISO.Download and Read Me file.
Firmware as been updated for X25M silver drives to 2CV102M3 Jan 18, 2011, this resolves the slow booting on motherboards with sata III, plus various other improvements.
ATA Secure Erase. For those people having problems with Secure Erase 3.3, Secure Erase's support for motherboard controllers can be patchy, the alternative is to use the HDparm command that is built into the OS, instructions for doing this can be found HERE.
GParted Live ISO Image can be downloaded HERE.
IMPORTANT! Intel advises AGAINST enabling a BIOS DRIVE PASSWORD on there G2 ( 34nm ) drives, the ssd drive may become inoperable. According to firmware notes the AUG.2009 firmware 2CV102G9 fixes this issue, the latest firmware for these drives is the NOV.2009. ( latest as of March 2010 ) release 2CV102HD. The firmware ISO and Download Centre Link below. If it's an older drive check your firmware. Firmware 2CV102HA causes problems with some drives. Both the HA and HD firmware add trim in Win7. NOTE! Intel is now recommending " NOT updating to the latest HD firmware, if the 2CV102HA firmware is working".
KINGSTON ( warranty on these drives vary between 3 and 5 years )
Kingston still do not seem to cater for a Forum, but do have a communities section, which includes informative white papers on the products they sell. Here's the Link. Support as improved considerably and still seems to be in transition, but now includes Faq’s and firmware updates where available rather than just communication by email. Here's the Link.
Drives marked EOL are no longer available on the Kingston Website. The links on these drives go to the Kingston website not the drives, these drives will eventually be removed.
EOL! Kingston SSDNow HyperX series ( Sata3 – 6Gb/s ) –
Sandforce SF2281 controller, read 525 write 480, usual support fo GC and Trim in Win7. Capacities are 120gb and 240gb of Intel 25nm Synchronous ONFI ver 2.2 MLC nand flash memory, the read and write speeds a little conservative and have proved to be better under testing. Website and reviews at TweakTown and HardwareCanucks. Latest Firmware ver. 332 and should only be applied if experiencing problems. Downloads appear specific to capacity, the firmware update is also specific to win7. This drive as been replaced by the HyperX 3k.
NEW! Kingston SSDNow HyperX 3K series ( Sata3 – 6Gb/s ) –
Sandforce SF2281 controller, read 555 write 510, usual support for GC and trim in Win7. Capacities are 90gb, 120gb, 240gb and 480 of Intel 29F16B08CCME3 25nm NAND flash memory which as a write life of 3K cycles, the Hyper X above as 5K cycles giving better life endurance. Website and Reviews at TheSSDReview and AnandTech. The drive is shipped with 5.01ABBO firmware.
NEW! Kingston SSDNow KC300 series ( sata 3 – 6Gb/s ) –
Sandforce SF2281 controller. Read 525 write 500. Usual support for GC and Trim in Win7. Capacities are 60gb to 480gb of MLC memory. This is a client drive with slightly less write performance than there HyperX 3k which uses toggle memory. Website and reviews.
EOL! Kingston SSDNow V+200 series ( sata3 – 6Gb/s ) –
Sandforce SF2281 Controller. Read 535 write 480, usual support for GC and trim in Win7, Capacities for this drive are 60gb to 480gb of Intel's 25nm asynchronous NAND with only 3K p/e cycles. This is similar to the Vertex Agility 3 ssd drive and would be classed as a value drive. Website and reviews at StorageReviews and Techspot.
NEW! Kingston SSDNow V300 series ( sata3 – 6Gb/s ) –
Sandforce SF 2281 ( rebranded Kingston 13821Z ) Controller. Read 450 write upto 450, usual support for GC and Trim in win7. The drive will eventually be available in 60, 120 and 240gb capacities of Toshiba’s brand new ( 2012 ) 19mn Toggle memory ( re-branded Kingston FT64G08UCT1 – 8B ) these drives have a 3 year warranty. Website and review at TheSSDReview.
General Info on Kingston SSD Drives.
The Kingston Support Site is HERE.
It seems the only way to get support for Kingston ssd drives is by email and I can't seem to find a forum for them either, Support for re-branded Intel drives, is found on the Intel site, RMA is done by Kingston.
Memoright ssd drives are reknowned for there quality. They also produce the M701 msata drive.
NEW! FTM Plus Champion series ( Sata3 – 6Gb/s ) –
Sandforce SF2281 Controller. Read 550 write 500, usual support for GC and Trim in Win7, available in capacities of 60gb, 120gb, 240gb and 480gb of MLC memory. Website. This drive is advertised as a ruggedized drive.
NEW! FTM Plus series ( Sata3 – 6Gb/s ) –
Sandforce SF2281 Controller. Read 550 write 500, usual support for GC and Trim in Win7, available in capacities of 60gb, 120gb, 240gb and 480gb of MLC memory. Website and reviews at The SSDReview and Tweaktown. This drive is advertised as a Commercial drive.
NEW! FTM Plus Slim series ( Sata3 – 6Gb/s ) –
Sandforce SF2281 Controller. Read 550 write 500, usual support for GC and Trim in Win7, available in capacities of 60gb, 120gb, 240gb and 480gb of MLC memory. Website and review at StorageReview. This drive is advertised as a semi-ruggedized drive. The slim being a reference to it’s 7mm thickness.
MUSHKIN ( 2yr warranty period ).
Mushkin Chronos ( sata III – 6Gb/s ) –
Sandforce SF2281 Controller, The memory used on this drive is Micron 29F64G08CBAAA 25nm Asynchronous ONFI ver 1. Website and Reviews at Overclockers and XBitLabs.
Mushkin Chronus MX ( Sata3 – 6Gb/s ) –
Sandforce SF2281 Controller, Read 565 write 520 ( uncompressed data ) 170 ( compressed ), supports GC and Trim in W7, appears at the moment to be available in one size of 125gb of Intel 29F64G08ACME3 25nm Synchronous nand flash memory. Website and Review at LegitReviews.
NEW! Mushkin Chronos Deluxe ( sata III - 6Gb/s ) –
Sandforce SF2281 Controller, The memory used in this drive is Toshiba TH58TAG7D2FBAS9 32nm Asynchronous Toggle Mode MLC NAND, there is the usual support for GC and Trim in W7, this memory runs at an interface speed of 133Mb/s ( check ) and is the same as used in the Patriot Wildfire, not as fast as the the onfi v2 memory. Website and review at HardwareCanucks.
Mushkin Callisto Deluxe 40GB SSD Single & RAID Review from HardwareCanucks.
OCZ SSD Drives. ( 3yr warranty period )
Dec 2013 OCZ as been acquired by Toshiba so I believe drives will be sold under both OCZ and Toshiba names.
End Of Line drives ( EOL ) marked in green that have not been removed are no longer sold or supported, the warranty on these drives as usually elapsed.
BSOD with the new Sandforce drives
I noticed in a OCZ forum listing, that changing to Intels latest Enterprise version of the RST drivers as in some cases appeared to solve this problem, here’s the LINK. After further study, it’s hit and miss, but you might find the link interesting.
Note# When flashing firmware on any OCZ ssd drive, consult the OCZ forum stickies for the exact procedure especially if the drive as not been flashed for quite sometime and is not up to date.
Indilinx Barefoot Controlled SSD Drives.
Having continuous problems with your Indilinx drive Check this forum link for a possible solution.
Firmware “ Arowana” FW 3.55 released 28 mar 2012 for barefoot drives manufactured after Dec2009, the update increases over-provisioning which in turn gives the better sequential and random write performance, also increasing the longevity of the drive at the cost of reduced capacity ( 6-7%) and reduced read performance. This update is destructive so the drive needs backing up. The OCZ identity tool needs to be used to check the drives code against the codes that are compatible for the update
Firmware FW1.70 as been released for the barefoot drives. Requires FW1.60 before flashing.
Firmware FW1.60 released for Indilinx drives, check Vertex section for Links.
Indilinx Everest Controlled Drives.
New Firmware Ver. 1.13 as been released for these drives the download can be found on the OCZ ssd Support page, here are some cautions related to the update.
• Updating the firmware from the toolbox is not supported when Windows is running off the drive you are trying to update.
• WARNING: This is a Destructive Flash, back up all data on SSD. Proceeding with this update will result in complete loss of data on the SSD.
• -The toolbox requires MSAHCI drivers to run.
-The Intel X79 chipset is not yet supported.
-Drives must not appear as "Drive0" for updates. Please ensure update is not performed on a disk set to primary.
Latest Firmware For Petrol S2 is ver. 3.12 and can be found on the support page.
Indilinx Everest 2 Controlled SSD drives
Firmware Ver. 4.1rc as been released for the Vertex 4. Here’s some info on the new release.
Sandforce SF 2200 Controlled SSD drives.
New Firmware as been released for these new drives. Download is available from the support page, the link is HERE.
Firmware FW2.15 as been released for these drives.
Firmware FW2.11 as been released for these drives, there is evidence on the OCZ forum of problems with this firmware, so check the forum before updating.
Sandforce SF1200 Controlled SSD drives.
Firmware FW1.35 as been released for SF1200 controlled drives.Firmware FW1.29 as been released for Sandforce drives. Download available HERE.
Firmware FW1.28 as been released for Sandforce controlled drives.
Firmware FW1.24 as been released for Sandforce controlled drives, download available HERE. Please read the instructions carefully. The warnings are the same as FW1.23. As firmware changes seem to upset windows, if the drive vanished and causes a BSOD, OCZ advises powering down the computer and waiting 5 minutes before re-booting.
Firmware FW1.23 as been released for sandforce controlled drives, download available HERE. Note! does not work with RST drivers.
Firmware FW1.10 released for Sandforce drives, check general info section.
Firmware FW1.11 as been released for Sandforce drives, the flash is windows based and should be done in AHCI mode ( according to the OCZ forum ) and only works on Vista 32b and Win7 32b systems. Download and Info HERE.
EOL! OCZ Agility 4 ( sataIII- 6Gb/s ) –
Indilinx IDX400MOO-BC Controller ( rebranded Marvell controller ). Both Sequential read and write speeds vary depending on the size of the drive, Read 64gb/300 sizes above 420, write 64gb/200, 128gb/300, 256 and 512gb/410, The dram buffer consists of two Hynix 256MB DDR-1333 chips on the 256gb drive. The drive comes in capacities of 64, 128, 256 and 512gbs of Micron 25nm 29F128G08CFAAA (256gb drive) Asynchronous ONFI 1.0 MLC Nand Memory ( note memory designation varies on chip size ). Website and Review at Anandtech.
OCZ Synapse series Cache ssd ( sata3 – 6GB/s ) –
Sandforce SF2281 Controller. Sequential read 550 and write around 500. The drive consists of Micron 29F64G08CBAAA 8GB 25nm asynchronous MLC NAND memory in capacities of 64gb and 128gb, these drives have 50% overprovisioning and are used for enterprise caching of raid array volumes. Actual usable volume is 30gbs and 60gbs after overprovisioning is taken into consideration. Review at StorageReview.
OCZ Vector series ( sata3 – 6Gb/s ) –
Indilinx Barefoot 3 Controller. Sequential read 550 write varies slightly depending on capacity, the 128gb drive has 400 and the 256 / 512gb drives have 530 MB/s, the buffer consists of two ddr3L 1600 drams each 256mb in size, the drive as the usual support with GC internally and Trim in Win7. The nand memory is OCZ branded 25nm IMFT synchronous 2 bit per cell MLC, the spare area set aside is the usual client size of 7% or what is now called 0% overprovisioning, similar to the M4, the warranty on the Vector is 5 years or 36.5TB of writes, whichever comes first, this allows 20gb of writes a day, the endurance for most people should be well over the 5 years. The pricing on the drive is similar to the new Samsung 840 Pro. Website and Reviews at Anandtech, TheSSDReview and Storage review.com. These are pre-release specifications, hopefully other than firmware there won’t be any changes. Reliability of the drive at this point ( Dec 2012 ) appears to very good in comparison to previous drives.
NEW! OCZ Vector 150 series ( sata3 – 6Gb/s ) –
Indilinx Barefoot 3 Controller. Read 550 Write 530, the Micron dram cache varies with 512mb or 1gb depending on the size of the drive, Capacities from 120gb to 480gb of Toshiba’s TH58TEG7DDJBA4C 19mn toggle 2 nand memory. Drive as a 5 year warranty. Website and Reviews at Anandtech and Tweaktown. This a high performing drive with excellent quality nand memory.
NEW! OCZ Vertex 3.20 series ( sata III – 6Gb/s ) –
Sandforce SF2281 Controller, a client drive with read speeds 550 and write 520MB/s, these drives will be available in capacities of 120/240gb ( a 480gb version may be available in the future ) of Intel 29F16B08CCMF3 Synchronous 20nm mlc Nand Flash Memory. This is a refresh of the Vertex 3 with 20nm memory. The Vertex 3.20 is classed as a value drive and carries 3 year warranty. Website and review at TheSSDReview.
NEW! OCZ Vertex 4 ( Sata3 – 6Gb/s ) –
Indilinx Everest 2 Controller ( re-branded Marvell 9187, could also be the Marvell 9145 enterprise controller ). Read 535 Write varies depending on the size of the drive – 128gb / 200MB/s, 256gb / 380MB/s, 512gb / 475MB/s, Marvell 2AD22 D9NZR DDR3-800 buffer 2 x 512MB placed back to back on the pcb board, usual support for GC and Trim in Win7, Capacities for this series of drives is 128, 256 and 512gb of Intel 29F32B08JCME3 25nm synchronous MLC NAND memory, this could change in the future. The drive also has a 5 year warranty. The release firmware seems to be ver 05.10.30, but has since been upgraded to ver 1.4rc with varying improvements to performance, the 128gb drive biggest improvement. This drive will also be released for use as a oem drive so reliability should be greatly improved. Website and Reviews from AnandTech and StorageReview. GC on these drives as been improved, it is more conservative than on the Octane and kicks in after the computer as been idle for a hour, GC is also triggered in the background when 85% of the memory blocks have been used, a single trim pass will bring the drive back to new performance.
NEW! OCZ Vertex 450 ( Sata3 – 6Gb/s ) –
Indilinx Barefoot 3 M10 Controller ( OCZ’s own barefoot controller ). Read 540MB/s Write varies depending on the size of the drive – 128gb / 290MB/s, 256gb / 540MB/s, 512gb / 540MB/s, There are two Micron 256MB DDR3 cache buffers placed back to back on the pcb board, usual support for GC and Trim in Win7/8, Capacities for this series of drives is 128, 256 and 512gb of Micron 29F128G08CFABB 20nm synchronous MLC NAND memory. Website and reviews at Legitreviews and Tweaktown.
General Information for OCZ SSD Drives
Update Information on Indilinx Barefoot SSD drives
OCZ Support Page is located HERE.
OCZ Firmware Forum Update site for Indilinx controlled drives, located HERE.
OCZ Forum Firmware Update instructions for firmware FW1.5 update located HERE.
How to use OCZ Sanitary Erase on Indilinx Barefoot Drives. Located HERE.
Note! If your having continuous problems with your Indilinx ssd drive and having to continually to re-install Windows, the solution for this is to have your drive flashed with a specific destructive firmware. You need to download the OCZ Identity tool and email RyderOCZ with the relevent information, information on doing this can be found HERE. There is an email link on the bottom of his posts. It appears these indilinx drives can start corrupting windows installs on a regular basis and the only solution is to run a specific destructive firmware supplied by OCZ.
Note! OCZ advises using the latest Intel drivers, rather than using the Microsoft native drivers on most of there drives, including the Sandforce controlled drives, the Microsoft native drivers can cause ssd drives to run slow and cause errors with the trim function.
Indilinx controlled drives now have FW1.60 check the Vertex drive section for the links.
OCZ Official 1.3 firmware update also OCZ Forum firmware updates for versions 1.4, 1.5 and including instructions. Also includes firmware upgrades for Vertex Turbo series which are different, so read INFO carefully, before applying upgrades.
Update Information on Sandforce SSD drives.These OCZ links may not stay active, when they are outdated they are often moved and you need to be a member of the forum to access them.
Firmware for Vertex3, Agilty 3 and Solid 3 ssd drives as been updated The link to this info is HERE. Could now be out of date. Nov 2011
OCZ Toolbox 2.36 as been released for Sandforce SF1200 & 1500 ssd drives.
This toolbox will flash Sandforce drives with SF1200 controllers and SF1500 controllers if the firmware is already at FW1.32. Here’s the LINK. OCZ's latest toolbox still has incompatibilities with Intel's RST drivers, this toolbox version may be outdated. Nov 2011.
OCZ Toolbox released for Sandforce controlled drives. Note! Does not work with Intels RST drivers. Toolbox can be found, it seems the OCZ toolbox still as problems with Intel's RST drivers Nov 2011. HERE. This Toolbox appears to work with other Sandforce controlled drives, which includes the G Skill Phoenix Pro series, HardwareCanucks show it working on these drives.
Firmware update FW1.29 is now available on the support page, check the forums for this release and previous releases before updating. Read Update Instructions prior to updating the firmware.
Firmware Update FW1.23 now available, can be found HERE. The SSDUpdater software does not work with Intel RST drivers.
Firmware Update FW1.10 for Sandforce controlled drives including the LE, Found HERE. This update covers all the sandforce drives and supersedes FW1.05
General OCZ Firmware Update site found HERE.
How to change from IDE to AHCI after os installation. from OCZ Technology Forums.
CrystalDiskInfo is considered by OCZ as the most accurate software for checking ssd drives, the download can be found HERE.
Using Secure Erase on Sandforce controlled drives forum link found HERE.
CMRR – Secure Erase can be found HERE. The OCZ Toolbox also as a secure feature for these drives.
How it is very easy to cause severe issues with a brand new SandForce based ssd drive. This OCZ guide will explain what can cause unrecoverable write throttle issues.
OWC ( Pro RE series drives, 5yr warranty period, Pro drives 3yr warranty. )
NEW! OWC Electra 3G series –
Sandforce SF1200 Controller ?. Read 280 write 260, support for native GC and Trim in Win7. This drive is available in capacities of 44gb, 60gb, 120gb, 240gb, 480gb and 960gb of Asynchronous Tier 1/Grade A 2X-nm NAND Flash Storage. Website and Review. This is a value sata2 ssd drive.
NEW! OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G series ( sata III 6GB/s ) –
Sandforce SF2281 Controller. Sustained read 506 sustained write 464, Support for GC and Trim in Win7, available in capacities of 120gb, 240gb and 480gb of Toshiba TH58TAG7D2FBA89 2Xnm nand memory with 7% for over-provisioning. Review from TweakTown.
NEW! OWC Mercury Enterprise Pro 6G series ( sata3 – 6GB/s ) –
Sandforce SF2582 Controller. 550 read 525 write, 24 KO-CAP capacitors (KEMET Organic Tantalum Capacitors) instead of the Super capacitor to provide better reliability, Usual support for GC and trim in Win7, 28% over-provisioning. Capacities range from 50 to 400gb of Toshiba TH58TAG7E2FBA89 2Xnm eMLC Toggle nand memory. Review at TheSSDReview.
PATRIOT ( probably 3 or less 2011 ) ( New Patriot Zephyr 3yr warranty )
NEW! Patriot Pyro series ( sata III – 6Gb/s ) –
Sandforce SF2281 Controller. This ssd uses Micron 25nm 29F64G08CBAAA Asynchronous ONFi 1.0 nand memory, this is slower performing than the toggle or version 2.0 memory, but will only have a small effect on overall speeds, using this memory gives it similar performance to the Corsair Force 3, but lags behind the Vertex 3 and the force 3 GT. Due to the nand memory used, the drive is classed as a Value drive. Review at HardWareCanucks.
NEW! Patriot Pyro SE series ( Sata III – 6Gb/s ) –
Sandforce SF2281 Controller. Read 550 write 520. Support for GC and Trim in Win7. Website and Review at BenchMarkReviews. Capacities available for these drives are 60gb, 120gb and 240gb of Micron 25nm 29F128G08CFAAB Synchronous NAND Flash, the over-provisioning is 7%. The performance of the 60gb drive is slightly lower than the other two sizes. The performance is slightly better than the Pyro.
NEW! Patriot Torqx 2 ( sata II – 3Gb/s ) –
Phison PS3105 - S5 Controller. Read 270 write 230, Hynix H5MS1G22AFR 125mb sdram buffer, Support for GC and Trim in Win7, available in capacities of 32/64/128 and 256gb of Toshiba TH58NVG7D2FLA89 MLC memory. Website and Review at BenchMarkReviews. This is updated version of the early Phison controller, greatly improved, the performance figures are not great, classed as a value drive. Better drives available.
NEW! Patriot Wildfire series ( sata III – 6Gb/s ) –
Sandforce SF 2281VB1-SDC Controller, this is a client drive available in capacities of 120/240 and 480gb of Toshiba 2xnm TH58TAG7D2FBAS9 Asynchronous Toggle mode 1.0 MLC Nand flash memory, plus 7% which is used for overprovisioning. Website and reviews at BenchMarkReviews. This is a highly rated ssd drive and is similar in performance to the OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS ssd drive.
NEW! Patriot Wildfire SE series ( sata III – 6Gb/s ) –
Sandforce SF 2281VB1-SDC Controller, Read 550 write 530, Supports native GC and Trim in Win7,this is a client drive available in capacities of 120gb, 240gb and 480gb of Micron 32nm 29F128G08CFAAB MLC Flash memory. Website and Review at KitGuru. This is the value version of the original Wildfire version, probably with a lower performing MLC memory.
General Notes on Patriot SSD drives.
Patriots Firmware and Utilities Page. This also includes Installation Guides and Performance Utility for Torx drive also Patriot Support Forums.
NEW! Plextor M2P series ( sata III 6Gb/s ) –
Marvel 88SS9174-BKK2 Controller, this is the second generation of the 9174 and is similar controller to that used on the Crucial C400 RealSSD Drive, the buffer is 256mb for the 128gb drive and 512mb of ddr3 for the larger drives and the drive supports GC and Trim in Win7. Website and Review at Legit Reviews. This drive comes in three capacities 64/128/256gb, the sequential read and write speeds for these drives are 64gb ( 340/110 ), 128gb ( 420/210 ) and the 256gb ( 480/310 ) of Toshiba TH58TVG7D2FBA89 Synchronous 34nm Nand Flash memory, as you can see the write speeds are better on the larger drives.
NEW! Plextor M3P ( Pro ) series ( Sata 3 6Gb/s ) –
Marvell 88SS 1974 – BKK2 Controller – Read 540 write speed varies with the size of the drive 125gb/ 350, 256gb/420 and the 512gb/450 MB/s, usual support for GC and Trim in win7, pretty much the same as M3S but with upgraded firmware giving the drive substancially better write performance figures than the M3S. Website and Reviews at StorageReview.com and AnandTech. The drive also as a 5 year warranty.
NEW! ]Plextor M3S series ( Sata III 6Gb/s ) –
Marvell 88SS1974 – BKK2 Controller – Read 510 write 210 speeds vary depending on the size of the drive, the 512gb drive as write speeds of 440, usual support for GC and Trim in Win7. The buffer size varies with 256mb of ddr3 for the 128gb drive to 512gb for the larger drives. Capacities of 128gb, 256gb and 512gb of Toshiba 24nm synchronous toggle nand flash memory. Website and Review at StorageReview.
NEW! Plextor M5S series ( Sata III 6Gb/s ) –
Marvell 88SS9174 – BKK2 Controller – Read 520 write speeds vary depending on the size of the drive, the 512gb drive as write speeds of 390, the 125gb/200, the 64gb/90, usual support for GC and Trim in Win7. The buffer size may vary similar to the M3S which varies with 256mb of ddr3 for the 128gb drive to 512gb for the larger drives. Capacities of 64gb, 128gb, and 256gb of Micron 25nm synchronous NAND flash memory (29F128G08CFAAB nand flash memory. Website and reviews at TheSSDReview and AnandTech.
NEW! Plextor M5 Pro series ( Sata III 6Gb/s ) –
Marvell 88SS9187-BLD2 Controller – Read 540 write speeds vary depending on the size of the drive, the 512gb and 256gb drives have write speeds of 440, the 125gb/340, the 64gb/90, usual support for GC and Trim in Win7. The buffer size may vary similar to the M5S which varies with 256mb of ddr3 for the 128gb drive to 768mb for the larger 512gb drive. Capacities of 128gb, 256gb and 512gb of Toshiba TH58TE68D2JBA8C 19nm toggle nand flash memory. Website and reviews at Tweaktown.
NEW! Plextor M5Pro Extreme series ( Sata III 6Gb/s ) –
Marvell 88SS9187 – BLD2 Controller – Seq Read 540 Seq write varies depending on capacity, 128gb at 340, the two larger capacities at 450, the cache buffer consists of one x 256mb chip ( 128gb drive ), two x 256mb chips ( 256gb drive ) and 3 x 256mb chips ( 512gb drive ) of ddr3 ram. Supports for GC and Trim in w7. The memory used on this series of drives is the Toshiba TH58TEG7DDJTA20 19nm Toggle-Mode MLC NAND memory. Website and Review at TheSSDReview. Identical in build to the Pro, testing at the TheSSDReview shows slight improvement over the Pro.
SAMSUNG ( Warranty 3yrs limited )
EOL Samsung 470 series ( sata II - 3Gb/s ) –
Samsung S3C29MAX01-Y340 Controller. Read 250 write 220, 128mb ( 2x64mb ) ddr cache buffer, support for GC and Trim in Win7, capacities available are 64g, 128g and 256g of Samsung MLC nand memory. Website and reviews from TheSSDReview and Techspot.This drives comes with Samsungs ssd magician software, which is similar to the toolboxes available from other ssd manufacturers.
This Samsung out-performs the C300 at sata II, in most tests, but drops significantly below the C300 and sandforce drives and shows the continued lower performance of samsung controllers at certain random read speeds. Here’s an interesting link from Tom’s Hardware just released Dec24 that compares Trim and firmware updates for this particular drive.
EOL Samsung 830 series ( sata III 6Gb/s ) –
Samsung S4LJ204X01-Y040 ARM ( triple core ARM 9 based ) controller. Read 520 write 400, the write varies considerably depending on the size of the drive, 512/256g have 400MB/s, 128g as 320MB/s and the 64g version 160MB/s. There’s the usual support for GC and Trim in Win7. The cache buffer is a Samsung K4T2G3140F-MCF7 with 256mb of DDR2 memory. The nand flash memory used is Samsungs K9PFGY8U7A-HCK0 27nm toggle memory, which as similar performance to Onfi 2.2 memory. Website and reviews at Toms Hardware and LegitReviews. Here’s a link from StorageReview.com to 2 x 256gb samsung 830’s in Raid0, Samsung still seem to dissappoint in the 4k random area.
EOL Samsung 840 series ( sata3 – 6Gb/s ) –
Samsung ( MDX ) S4LN021X01-8030 Controller. Read and write sequential speeds vary depending on the size of the drive, 120gib 530/110, 250gib 540/250 and the 500gib drive 540/330., The memory for this ssd drive is Samsungs TLC toggle memory, the first released to be released on a retail drive, according to Samsung the 21nm TLC toggle mode 2.0 memory as the same life expectancy as rival manufacturers MLC memory, Website inc. US pricing and review at AnandTech, this drive if written sequentially can lose performance and trim needs a bit longer to bring back the performance than on a drive with MLC memory, on a OS drive with not a lot of sequential writing, this drive will perform reasonably well, for performance users and users that do a lot of sequential writing the 840 pro would be the better choice, power consumption is also higher than the 840 pro, this could be a very good entry level ssd drive. a step below the Pro. The drive as a 3yr limited warranty.
NEW! Samsung 840 Pro series ( sata3 – 6Gb/s ) –
Samsung ( MDX ) S4LN021X01-8030 Controller. Read 540 write 450 ( 250 and 512gb versions ), usual support for GC and Trim in win7, Buffer capacity 256 MB 2x-nm class DDR2 toggle-mode NAND from a K4P4G324EB-FGC2 module.. The drive is available in capacities of 64,128, 256 and 512gb’s of Samsung 2xnm K9PHGY8U7A-CCK0 toggle MLC nand flash memory. Website ( inc. US pricing ) and Reviews at Techspot. The review at Techspot is pre-retail so the retail firmware on the drives release may resolve poor uncompressed write figures found by the Techspot review. StorageReview.com thoroughly tests the 840 Pro showing both the weak points and the strong points. The drive faired well overall against other top performing drives. The warranty on the 840 Pro is a limited 5 year, which is excellent.
NEW! Samsung 840 EVO series ( sata3 – 6Gb/s ) –
Samsung ( MDX ) S4LN042X01-8030 Controller. Read and write sequential speeds vary depending on the size of the drive, 120gib 530/330, 250gib 540/330 and the 500/750gib and 1tb drive 540/520. The buffer size varies from 256mb on the 120gb drive to a massive 1gb of DDR2 Dram on the 1tb drive, there is the usual support GC and Trim in Win7/8. The memory for this ssd drive is Samsungs 19nm TLC toggle mode 2.0 memory which includes a certain amount of single bit memory for write caching purposes, the amount varies depending on the size of the drive ( this is the reason for the better write figures over the 840 ), according to Samsung the memory as the same life expectancy as rival manufacturers of MLC memory, the estimated life expectancy from extensive testing by Samsung is around 3,700 write erase cycles, a step below the Pro. The drive as a 3yr limited warranty. There is little difference between the performance of the Pro and the EVO, performance aside the Pro overall is a better drive especially where there’s a lot of write amplification, as a OS drive the cheaper EVO may be the choice. Website and reviews at TheSSDReview and Anandtech.
Sandisk are a major nand memory producer and are now producing quality ssd drives using both there own controllers and third party controllers on there own fabricated pcb boards. Mainly producing oem msata ssd drives for ultra books and ultra thin notebooks eg. The u100 and i100 both use a 6Gb/s sandisk controller and now the sandisk extreem and x100 available msata and 2 ½ inch drives.
NEW! SanDisk Extreme series ( sata3 – 6Gb/s ) –
Sandforce SF2281 Controller, read 550 write 520, usual support for GC and Trim in win7, the drive as capacities of 120gb, 240gb and 480gb of SandDisk 05091 032G MLC toggle nand flash memory, this drive was released after the Intel 520 appears at this point to have slightly better performance than the Intel drive due to the excellent toggle memory, which appears to slightly out-perform the Toshiba toggle memory used in the OCZ max iops and the patriot wildfire. This is a top tier Sandforce controlled drive. Website and Reviews from StorageReview as some great comparisons, the performance differences are minimal between these top tier drives. Also review from TweakTown.
NEW! SanDisk Extreme 2 series ( sata3 – 6Gb/s ) –
Marvell 88SS9187-BLD2 Controller, read 550MB/s write figures vary depending on the size of the ssd drive 500MB/s/480gb, 510/240gb and340/120gb with this controller there is little difference between compressable and incompressible data when writing to the drive, buffer or cache size varies depending on the size of the drive, from 128mb to 512mb. There is the usual support for GC and Trim in win7/8, the drive as capacities of 120gb, 240gb and 480gb of SandDisk 19nm 05926 032G MLC toggle nand flash memory, This is a top tier Sandforce controlled drive. Review from Legit Reviews and Anandtech, the performance differences are minimal between these top tier drives.
NEW! SanDisk X100 series ( sata3 – 6Gb/s ) –
Sandisk 6Gb/s controller ?, 500 write 420 read, available in capacities of 32gb to 512gb of Sandisk nand flash memory. Website.
NEW! SanDisk Ultra Plus series ( sata3 – 6Gb/s ) –
Marvell 88SS9175-BJM2 Controller ( lighter version of the 9174 ), read 500 write 440 for the 256gb drive, there is a 128mb of Samsung DDR2-800 DRAM, usual support for GC and Trim in win7, the drive as capacities of 64gb, 120gb and 240gb of SanDisk’s own 19nm eX2 ABL MLC NAND, this memory is slightly different as a certain amount is used as nCache in a pseudo SLC mode, this drive as a 3yr warranty period and is classed as a value drive. Website and review at Anandtech. Because of the controllers light nature the drive works better with at least 25% more free space. Sequential speeds look good but overall performance isn’t that great probably due to the controllers use of only 4 pipelines.
NEW! Seagate 600 series ( sata 3 – 6Gb/s ) –
Link_A_Media Devices LAMD LM87800 Controller. 550MB/s read 450 write, usual support for GC and Trim in Win7/8, there are two Micron Cache buffers each with 256mb of DDR2 - 800 ram on the 240gb drive, this series of ssd drives comes in capacities of 120gb, 240gb and 480gb in widths of 5 and 7mm, the drives are populated with Toshiba’s TH58TEG8DDJBA8C 19nm MLC toggle nand memory. The controller used on these drives is the same as used on the Corsair Neutron and Neutron GTX ssd drives, the firmware is slightly different and created by Seagate giving the drive slightly differing performance to the Neutron’s in some tests, but overall the drive and performance is similar. Website and reviews at Legitreviews and also a raid 0 review on two of these drives from Tweaktown.
NEW! Seagate 600 Pro series ( sata 3 – 6Gb/s ) – Link_A_Media Devices LAMD LM87800 Controller. Read 550 Write 450. This drive is meant for cloud and data centres. Available in capacities of 100gb to 480gb. Website.
SUPER TALENT ( Warranty period varies between 1 and 3yrs )
Super Talent as done a number of name changes, most of the MasterDrives with Indilinx controllers have been re-named as UltraDrives, also other drives have been re-named. Note all but one of the MX drives are now classed as EOL or End of Line.
List of EOL (End of Life ) drives can be found HERE.
There are eight 2.5 inch drives listed in Masterdrive section, these drives are EOL ( End of line ) and have been removed.
NEW! Super Talent TeraDrive CT3 ( sata III – 6Gb/s ) –
Sandforce SF2281 Controller, these drives will probably be available in capacities of 60/120/240/480gb of Micron 29F64G08CBAAA 25nm MLC Asynchronous NAND Memory.
NEW! Super Talent TeraDrive FT3 ( Sata III – 6Gb/s ) –
Sandforce SF2500 Controller, Enterprise SSD Drive. These will probably be available in sizes of 50/100/200/400gb of Nand Flash memory.
NEW! Super Talent TeraNova ( sata III – 6Gb/s ) –
Sandforce SF2200 Controller, Read 500 write 500, support for GC and Trim in Win7. Available in capacities of 60 to 480gb of Micron 29F64G08CBAAA 25nm Asynchronous nand flash memory, same as the CT-3. Recent release info sketchy. Review at TheSSDReview.
Super Talent UltraDrive GX -
Indilinx Barefoot Controller released with MLC ( 260 read 190 write ) or SLC ( 260 read 210 write ) nand flash memory. 64mb dram buffer. Support for Trim in Win7. Website and review from TechArp. There is also a Performance Refresh Tool available on the UltraDrive website page.
Super Talent UltraDrive GX2 –
Indilinx Barefoot Controller. 220 read 180 write. 64Mb dram buffer. Support for Trim in Win7.
Super Talent UltraDrive ME –
Indilinx Barefoot Controller. 200 read 160 write. 64Mb dram buffer. Support for Trim in Win7. Review at BenchMarkReviews.
General Notes for Super Talent SSD drives.
The firmware information on Super Talent SSD drives can be quite complicated, do please check the download page and the Super Talent forums before updating.
Super Talent Firmware Updates Support Page.
MasterDrive Website HERE. Note! all of these MX drives have been discontinued and are classed as EOL.
Firmware Information on MasterDrive SSD drives. The MX series as both a Firmware Update Manual and the Firmware posted on the support page. GL firmware ( PX, OX and KX ), which includes a Upgrade Manual and Firmware file as also been posted on the Support page. There are other Firmware Updates, identified only by there Serial No.s, so you need to the serial No. for these drives. The OX and the PX appear to have been discontinued.
TeraDrive Website HERE. There are NO firmware updates posted for these Sandforce controlled drives.
The UltraDrive Website HERE.
The GX and the GX2 has the V1916 Firmware posted. When flashing from the V1711 ( GX2 only ) you need to downgrade to V1516 before flashing V1916. There are also Performance Refresh Tools available for the GX drive on it's website page, the tool to download depends on the firmware on the drive ( Note GX only ) and is non destructive, but check the forums. Flashing from V1816 to V1916 does not appear destructive, according to the forums, so check and backup or clone the drive to be on the safe side.
NOTE! Firmware 1916 works with with XP and Win7, doesn't work on Vista as of June 2010.
Some Firmware Updates are destructive on these drives, so you need to clone or back-up prior to updating, the latest for Barefoot drives is V1919, flashing from V1816 does not appear to be destructive according to the forums and a SSD user manual ( PDF ) are available also. Super Talent Forums, with advise on updating firmware and SSD's in general.
UltraDrive Firmware Update Information for V1916 from the forums. HERE is more information about V1916. the latest FW is V2030, Note# the firmware updaters are different for the GX and the GX2, use the wrong updater and a error message is generated.
Most Client and Enterprise ssd drives are no longer available and the products has been removed from the WD site, WD seems now to only be making embedded ssd drives and for some reason as exited the Client and Enterprise markets.
EOL! WD SiliconeEdge Blue -
JMicron JMF618 Controller ( Sata II ). 250 read 170 write. M14D5121632A-2.5BG. 32MX16. 512M DDRII. ddr2-800 ram buffer. Supports Trim in Win7. The flash memory used on the drive are Samsung k9mdg08u5m MLC flash modules. Website and reviews at StorageReview and Anandtech review. This ssd drive has a exceptionally large buffer and WD’s own firmware. The controller is marked as WD, but is believed to be the Jmicron.
High End Storage Comparison: Quad Velociraptors versus Dual WD SSD's. Comparison at PC Perspective.
EOL! WD SiliconeEdge N1x
This is a enterprise drive, just recently announced. Website.
WD Faq and Information sheet on there Silicon Edge Blue and Silicone Edge N1 SSD drives Can be found HERE.
ZALMAN ( 3yr warranty )
NEW! Zalman F1 series ( Sata3 – 6Gb/s ) –
Sandforce SF2281 Controller. Read 560 write 530, usual support for GC and Trim in Win7. Available in capacities 60gb 120gb and 240gb of Intel 29F64G08ACME3 synchronous 25nm ONFI 2.2 MLC nand flash memory. Website and Review at XBitsLabs.
NEW! Zalman N series ( sataII 3Gb/s ) –
Sandforce SF1200 Controller, Read up to 285 write up to 275, Support for GC and Trim in win7. Optimized for AHCI mode. Capacities for this series of drives are 64gb ( N64GB ) and the 125gb ( N125GB ) of Intel 34nm 29F64G08CAMDB nand memory. Website and review from LegitReviews. Endurance for this drive is listed at 5000 erase cycles. It must be noted that the size of these drives appear to include the 7% over-provisioning, with only 120gb available before formatting.
Zalman P series ( sata III - 6Gb/s ) –
Phison Controller , Read 260 write 185, capacities 64gb,128gb and 256gb of Toshiba MLC nand flash. Website.
NEW! Zalman S series ( sata II 3Gb/s ) –
Jmicron JMF616 Controller. Performance varies depending on the size of the drive, 32gb up to (R260/W60 ), 64gb up to ( R260/W120 ), 128gb up to ( R260/W210 ), 128mb ddr buffer, Support for Trim in Win7, Optimized for AHCI mode. Capacities as stated, 32gb to 128gb of Intel 34nm 29F64G08CAMDB Nand memory. Website.
Links on SSD Technology
Below are some useful SSD links, with information on how these drives work, there weaknesses and there advantages over conventional drives.
SSD Drive Links.
Understanding SSD’s : Why ssd’s hate write amplification. This is a interesting article by Kent Smith on write amplification, it’s the reason that ssd’s that are written to, with large amounts of data on a daily basis require plenty of over-provisioning or should not be over-filled, if you are going to require more than 70% of a ssd’d space, then you should buy a larger ssd drive or a drive with extra over-provisioning. Here’s the link from Techspot.
Understanding TLC Nand This Anandtech link as become important as cheaper drives will be introduced with TLC memory, The Samsung 840, which will be released in October 2012 will have Samsungs TLC toggle memory. Sept 2013 quality of nand memory over the years as improved cell life considerably, Samsung quotes the average cell life of there TLC as 3,700 writes per cell, I would consider this to be high side.
Overview of Solid State Drives. ( Mac and raid 0 orientated, but quite interesting ), from MacPerformanceGuide.
The SSD Relapse : Understanding and choosing the best SSD. Anandtech Aug 2009.
The SSD Anthology : Understanding SSD's and new drives from OCZ. Anandtech Mar.2009.
How to secure erase ( reset ) a Intel ssd drive on XP. IIS hacks Jun.2009.
How to initialize or write a signature to a secondary hard drive or Solid State drive in Windows (7, Vista, XP, 2000) from WD Customer Help FAQ’s.
Principles of Bad Block Management in Flash SSD’s. From Storagesearch.com.
SSD Endurance Testing.
Added October 2013, these will be links to sights that are testing ssd’s for life endurance, a topic that is of interest to both new users and experienced users of ssd drives.
Introducing the SSD Endurance Experiment ( just how long do they last anyway ? ). This is a experiment started by TechReport in August 2013, the ssd’s being tested are the Corsair Neutron GTX, Intel 335 series, Kingston HyperX 3k, Samsung 840 and 840 pro.
The SSD Endurance Experiment: 22TB Update
Sept 6 2013, This is a update of the TechReport endurance article posted above. The experiment is done using the Anvil ssd software.
The SSD Endurance Experiment: 200TB Update
Oct 28 2013, TechReport testing reaches 200TB mark and first bad blocks begin to appear.
The SSD Endurance Experiment: 300TB Update
Nov 25 2013, TechReport testing reaches 300TB mark, a few more bad blocks but testing shows ssd endurance is better than published statistics
The SSD Endurance Experiment: 500TB Update
Jan 9 2014, TechReport testing reaches 500TB mark, bad blocks continue to increase on the Samsung 840 but testing shows ssd endurance is better than published statistics. 500TB is a incredible amount of writing to any ssd drive, these tests show that with modern ssd drives that optimization in the case of cell life is no longer a issue with quality ssd drives. Reliability is more of a issue especially in the power section and more consistant IOPs with client drives. Read the report, the figures are amazing.
SSD's in Raid 0
All the links in this section are working as of June 2012.
Two Kingston 40 GB V series SSD boot drives in Raid 0. Review at LegitReviews. Nov.17.2009.
Two OCZ Vertex 30GB drives in raid 0. Review at Ocia.net Jun.7.2009.
OCZ Vertex Raid 0 Performance. Review at BenchMarkReviews.
Budget SSD Raid 0 on Win7, from Vlad Hrybok's Tech Notes. This link may no longer be available.
Intel X25-V in Raid 0: Faster than X25-M G2 for $250. from AnandTech.
Intel X-25M and X25V : Raid 0 Review. This Raid 0 review comparison is from StorageReview.com.
These Links show examples on how to get the best performance from SSD drives.
All links are viable as of June 2012, some of the older links may be useful for people with older ssd drives and OS's.
TheSSDReview’s windows 8 ssd optimisations and tweaks. This is a updated version of Win7 optimisations put together fo users of Windows 8, the link can be found Here. LesT (Toker) as done an excellent job on this relatively new set of optimizations for win7/8, rather than being copied from other sites, Les as put together a more realistic set of tweaks from what he as learned from testing thousands of SSD drives, these tweaks include explanations on why they should be used. Well Done Les.
SSD Migration or Fresh system Installation – An SSD Primer, Read the experts opinion on which method to use, from TheSSDReview. This is one of the guides listed below, it's a question asked repeatedly, there are number of factors in the decision to Migrate or do a fresh install, I've done both without loss of performance or issues. If it's simple to do a fresh install, it's the better option, Migrating or cloning can be difficult for people with limited experience, but if successful, is by far the quicker method. The downside to cloning from HDD to SSD, is the need to manually optimize the ssd drive after completion and reduce write amplification by disabling certain services, on a fresh install, windows 7 will automatically make most of the changes. June 2012.
Change from IDE to AHCI after Windows install This Thread is from the OCZ forum by RyderOCZ. June 2012.
Moving from IDE to AHCI can easily be done by disabling the IDE driver in the win7 registry, then rebooting with the bios set to AHCI, win7 will load it's native AHCI driver, you can change this driver later from within windows 7.
SSD Guides ( List ) These SSD guides are from Les Toker’s TheSSDReview and can be found HERE. June 2012.
Win7 Install and Optimization guide for HDD’s and SSD’s from Overclock.net June 2012, this link was provided by AndyZ28, thankyou Andy.
SSD Buyers Guide and Information thread also from Overclock.net, June 2012, I don’t necessarilly agree with everthing in the thread, but the general info is accurate and it’s reasonably up to date.
Performance tweaks for Vista. Info at Bit-Tech.net. Aug.17.2009.
TweakTown's Solid State Drive Optimization Guide. Info at TweakTown. Feb.2010.
Support and Q & A for Solid State Drives in Windows 7. found HERE May.2009.
SSD Tweaks Ver 1.2 posted HERE. May.2009. From the G Skill forums.
Tutorial on Restoring SSD performance and imaging. This is from the Corsair Forums.
Tweaks for SSD drive when using Win7 from the OCZ forums.
Note# Links from the SSDTechnology Forum have been deleted, the Forum shut down early this year or late last in the Year.
SSD GENERAL INFORMATION ( not linked )
Checking that Trim is enabled in Win7
To enable TRIM (if it's disabled), go to command prompt and type:
fsutil behavior set disabledeletenotify 0
To disable TRIM, go to command prompt and type:
fsutil behavior set disabledeletenotify 1
Note: you need administrator rights to execute fsutil.
Any information you'd like to add would also be helpful to people who are considering buying SSD's in the future.
A big thankyou from buttons for is extensive help and ZLTFUL. fixing up the quotes gradually.
Last edited by PommieB : 01-10-2014 at 01:54 AM.
Reason: Automerged Doublepost