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back to article Flashy fists fly as OCZ and DDRdrive row over SSD performance

Two solid state disk SSD suppliers are arguing about NAND flash performance drop-off. OCZ supplies NAND flash solid state drives (SSDs) and regularly announces high-performance products. DDRdrive has recently exited stealth mode and makes the X1 hybrid DRAM/NAND SSD. It criticises OCZ and other flash suppliers for products …

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Bronze badge

gotta love statisitics!!

For any given case, there is a statisitc that will prove that product X is better than product Y stranagely the better stat almost always belongs to the person commisioning said report... spooky!!!

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Paris Hilton

Tried a SSD once

SSDs from OCZ are like Paris,

You pays extortionate amounts of money, expect great things, but turns out to be dead on the inside...

My Vertex2 90gb was the only HD I have ever ordered that arrived DOA.

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FAIL

Tried a HD once

HDs from Maxtor are like Paris,

You pays extortionate amounts of money, expect great things, but turns out to be dead on the inside...

My DiamondMax 80gb was the only HD I have ever ordered that arrived DOA.

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FAIL

DDRDrive FAIL

$2k for an 8GB drive, WTF?!

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Nope

No, $2k for a 4GB drive, WTF?!

It uses 4GB NAND to back up the 4GB of volatile memory.

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Bronze badge
Alien

Eep

I do the same thing with standard RAM, hard disks and some Linux SW raid magic, does me for about 8GB/sec (well actually perf measuring tools start to freak out at 8GB/sec.. dunno what it really is), 1.1m random seeks/sec and immeasurable read access time and it didn't cost me more money than the server with RAM I'm not using anyways. Okay it's not ideal with write performance but it's not an issue for me anyways and it's set up for safety rather than performance on write. And I actually got 8GB of storage :)

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Looking at the graphs...

"you can't use an X1 dragster on the open road but you can use a Ferrari Vertex 2 EX. ®"

I'd say this was the wrong way around. its the Vertex 2 EX that starts out fast and after 7mins falls away whilst the X1 sustains for the duration. And as a result I'd say that OCZ are agreeing, but still pointing out that theirs is the fastest.

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FAIL

Graphs

The graphs are a torture synthetic benchmark. They dump random(ish) data sequentially to the hard drive with no TRIM or the like, nor breathing room for the Garbage Collector to kick in. This is NOT how a normal computer operates. This benchmark is to show the actual physical performance of the drive, not use in real-world scenarios. If you stuffed this Vertex 2 behind a benchmark of random read/write blends of 70/30% with a queue depth of 4 (or ideally 32), you'll start to see the drive breath a little. Also, this is continuous hard drive hammering. While I'm typing this, unless I'm transcoding video or the like, my hard drive likely isn't even in use, thus the garbage collector could potentially run and clean the drive a bit.

The real apples to oranges parallel in all of this is this DDRdrive uses DRAM and NAND, whereas the Vertex2 drives actually have no drive cache AT ALL, let alone the multiple GB of cache these DDRdrives have.

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Price

Surely on price alone this is not comparing apples with apples? GB for GB the DDRdrive is about 50 times the price.

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Gold badge
Happy

Re: Price

As it was put in Mad Max: "Speed is just a matter of money. How fast can you afford to go?"

If the price per GB is your main concern you shouldn't be looking at either, as spinning disk is the winner in that particular pissing contest. The Seagate Momentus XT hybrids are probably the kings in a price / performance tradeoff.........

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FAIL

Fusion-io

Is it just me, or does DDRdrive's real competition seem to be Fusion-io's devices and NOT SSDs? My only guess is they didn't go after Fusion-io because their product couldn't win THAT fight...

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Anonymous Coward

Clearing solid state confusion

Fusion-IO is a PCIe SLC NAND based SSD that uses a special IO driver.

OCZ also makes a PCIe card but with (cheaper, less reliable) mirrored MLC NAND SSDs (appear as one LUN) and no special driver.

DDR is faster in (almost?) every measure compared to NAND, no way around this. But, it's volatile (unlike NAND) and crazy expensive (unlike NAND) when presented as a LUN. Even compared to enterprise SLC NAND SSDs, DDRdrive X1 is pricey - you can get 3x 64GB Intel SLC SSDs for one 4GB DDRdrive X1.

Plus, what is DDRdrive's service and support like? That's a big deal for enterprises dependent on a special driver and smoking fast hardware pushing mission critical IOPs.

You know, when the founder and CTO is running Windows 7 benchmarks on your only product, that's not a good sign! :)

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Anonymous Coward

Comment correction

Correction: OCZ makes *striped/RAID-0* MLC NAND SSDs on a PCIe card, not mirrored. -qpzm11

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Linux

Weird

I didn't know that Windows can do ZFS.

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Don't touch, it bites.

I bought an OCZ 128 GB drive for a client about 18 months ago. Unfortunately for me I did not check the machine. It was a Lenovo X300 which has a teeny-weeny form factor drive from Samsung rather than a 2.5" form factor.

So I ended up with a AU$1,300.00 drive that I didn't want..... so I thought I would give it a good thrashing ans see if it would make one of my servers run better.

What a peice of crap. I mean really, what an extortionately price heap of junk. Rediculously slow at writes and not much better at reads.

The drive comes with a USB 2 interface as well as SATA. Just for comparison, I copied and read a stack of stuff from 2+GB down to <1k files over USB. It really sucked. One of the files was a video which when played had the jitters.

The comparison drive was a Seagate Momentus 250 GB SATA 7200 RPM drive in a shitbox USB enclosure.

The same data hit the drive twice as fast and the video played back without jitters.

I erased both drives and installed them as SATA drives and it was the same story. The Seagate just thrashed the OCZ.

I have to say I was both saddened and pleased when the drive was knocked off out of my van along with a load of other stuff in March 2010. Saddened because that was $1,300.00 I had lost but pleased because I would not have to try and con someone into buying it.

It was one of the most disappointing tech buys I have had in 20 years.

A complete POWOC (Pile of Wobbly Old Crap).

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FAIL

OCZ have serious quality control issues

I had three brand-new RevoDrives fail on me, each within 26 hours of arrival. First drive was simply DOA, second failed after 26 hours, third failed within four hours. In each case, half of the RAID0 array dropped out, and the fault light on the card was lit.

Price per gigabyte and performance are important, but they are not as important as knowing your PC will boot, the next time you switch it on. After three tries, I got sick of spending money to return faulty merchandise, and went for a refund. I did not really feel I had much choice - my stockist was starting to take a very dim view of me, because I had returned three drives in a row. I do like the idea of the RevoDrive and RevoDrive 2, but I will be waiting for a manufacturer OTHER than OCZ to produce one before I hop on that particular bandwagon again. In the meantime, I've gone back to booting from rotational media.

If Corsair or Intel produced a consumer-grade SSD on PCIe, I would be particularly interested.

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