back to article 32GB storage to go, please

It’s a pretty safe bet that anything limited edition will be a greatfully received Christmas gift. So for the storage geek in your life, why not consider equipping them with one of Toshiba’s colossal 32GB USB Flash memory drives. The Toshiba TransMemory U2K drive series, which now also includes 1, 2, 4 and 8GB models, can be …

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Anonymous Coward

Flash memory....

...how many re-writes can you do on the most recent types of flash memory - has it improved over the old technology - anyone know?

(had to post anon. as I hate showing up my ignorance with all the uber geeks round here)

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Anonymous Coward

tis better to greatfully receive than not to receive at all

Com on, El Reg! We're supposed to rally behind the .co.uk domain, and then accept words like "greatfully"?

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Flash still too slow to be useful

I have read so much these past few years about how Flash memory is the way of the future, that it will replace hard drives. In my experience, this is hogwash. I've had a number of USB Flash-based drives, and none of them have ever made me even think about replacing my hard drive with a larger version of them. The reasons are simple to understand:

1. Flash-based drives have a limited number of write cycles. Even if this number is as high as 100,000, that's still not a lot over the life of the device. Sure, adaptive mapping helps, but it's still nothing compared to a hard drive.

2. They're SLOW for anything other than large sequential writes. For example, my current drive is an Adata 4GB (model PD8) formatted FAT32, with a claimed write speed of 13MB/sec. Copying a single zip file (388,902,879 bytes) to the drive using XCOPY averages 36 seconds (10.30 MB/s); deleting that file takes 4 seconds. Copy a group of files (792 files totaling 528,217,974 bytes) averages 248 seconds (2.03 MB/s); deleting those files averages 84 seconds. Copying a group of small files (4,480 files totaling 123,457,940 bytes) averages 1066 seconds (0.11 MB/s); deleting those files averages 420 seconds.

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Flash still too slow to be useful - To some people

Errr, no.

I use flash drive a lot, and the speed on all flash memory is not the same. Often USB gets the blame, and if you have a crap implementaion of it sure its rather crappy performance (you can tell because ever your external drives run like 1.44Mb floppy's with a hair trapped in them).

True ram drives have come down in price alot, and I expect so see more on then soon.

-sin.

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Anonymous Coward

Does anyone follow tech news or just remember headlines from 5 years ago

You should ralise that the flash drives we are used to are connected by USB which is the limiting factor, not the memory itself, and the 100,000 read/writes went out a long time ago, they are talking about 2 million now and don't forget hard drive sectors are going wrong all the time, it's just the error correction that fixes it without you knowing.

This is quoted from a Sandisc Press Release on their website dated 4th January 2007 titled "SanDisk Launches 32-Gigabyte Solid State Drive Targeting Hard Disk Replacement In Notebook Computers"

"Using NAND flash enhanced by SanDisk’s patented TrueFFS® flash management technology, SanDisk SSD delivers two million hours mean time between failures (MTBF)[i]. With no moving parts, it does not need to spin into action or seek files in the way that conventional hard disk drives do. These characteristics, combined with SanDisk's advanced flash management technology, make it possible for SanDisk SSD to deliver excellent performance compared with hard disk drives and competing solid state drives.

The SanDisk SSD announced today achieves a sustained read rate of 62 megabytes (MB)[ii] per second and a random read rate of 7,000 inputs/outputs per second (IOPS) for a 512-byte transfer[iii] – more than 100 times faster than most hard disk drives. Taking advantage of this performance, a laptop PC equipped with SanDisk SSD can boot Microsoft Windows® Vista™ Enterprise in as little as 35 seconds [iv]. It also can achieve an average file access rate of 0.12 milliseconds, compared with 55 seconds and 19 milliseconds, respectively, for a laptop PC with a hard disk drive[v].

Another advantage of SanDisk SSD is its extremely low power consumption rate compared to the hard disk drive: 0.4 watt during active operation versus 1.0 watt [vi]. This is particularly important to extend the battery life for the benefit of enterprise road warriors. These results enable new operating systems, such as Microsoft® Vista™, to provide mobile PC users with a superior overall system experience."

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