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SSD Evaluation List of 1H2009 announced by DRAMeXchange

13 May 2009 Semiconductors

Taipei,April 22, 2009----DRAMeXchange announces the evaluation result of SSD(Solid-state drive).OCZ wins “Best Overall performance” award while Chiantech is “Best industrial design”. Besides NAND Flash chips, controlling chips are also key components to SSDs,and now there are some Taiwan based fables join in this market including Skymedi, Jmicro, Silicon Motion and Phison. Meanwhile, the chairman of Jmicron is Tsai Ming-kai who is the chairman of Media Tek which catches more eyes on this sector. DRAMeXchange states, the penetration of SSD will grow once the price goes down.

According to the result, PQI SSD S527 256GB wins” Best transfer rate”, A-Data S592 128GB SSD wins “Best access time “ ,and Transcend TS192GSSD25S-M 192GB has “Best system disk” award. Furthermore, Apacer 64GB SSD is “Best entry SSD”, and KingSpec is rewarded as “Best multi-interface design”.

Since the first release of the new solution which is based upon dynamic random access memory (DRAM) or Flash memory, SSD has been winning increasing market acceptance.
It is generally known that several SSD products have featured higher power efficiency than traditional hard disks, with some already finding their feet in server and Notebook PC fields.
DRAMeXchange has evaluated several models of SSD products from different manufactures, and has combined Seagate’s traditional HDD test in the evaluation.
Many products provide mini USB as well as the SATA interface, which are suitable for use in business-use Notebook PCs and desk PCs, but are still not high-end SSDs.
Except that high-end SSDs mainly use SLC chips, the SSD products with PCI-E interface are more efficient than regular SSDs with SATA interface, and they are not designed for common use but for use in workstations and server.It can be seen in all the tests that the major difference among the SSD products is in the writing and reading efficiency.
the efficiency of controlling IC is improving
According to the result, besides NAND Flash chips, controlling chips play a big role to SSD as well .DRAMeXchange says,controlling chips account for “wear leveling” wchich means the efficiency and lifespan. On top of that,there are different kind suppliers of controlling IC. One is IC design houses set by some NAND Flash companies in order to stimulate synergy ,such as Samaung,Toshiba.The other kind is independent IC desigh houses.For example,Jmicron is the supplier for many SSD makers while Marvell work with Intel.
Firstly, the efficiency of different Flash chips adopted, though all are MLC NAND Flash, can influence the overall SSD efficiency. Secondly, the controlling chip adopted and the size of Cache also could have impact on the SSD efficiency. For example, with its 64M Cache, the OCZ 120GB has got higher scores in several tests than other SSD products.
As to stability, efficiency of some SSDs dropped in the processes of tests and recovered after disk formatting. SSD efficiency has not remarkably dropped in the large volume and long time writing and reading test, which part will be continued tracking in future reports.
Considering the price, take 128GB SSD as an example and it costs USD300 ~USD 400 which is not attractive to end users. In the long term, DRAMeXchange believes that SSD is going to gain more market share after 2010 ,once the price goes soft.
Now , DRAMeXchange provides the information of SSD street price and report. Please check the website and there will be another SSD evaluation soon.
What is Wear Leveling?
As the writing times of Flash memory chips is limited to between thousand of times to ten thousand times, many may be concerned about the lifespan of Flash memory based SSDs. Considering this fact, the manufacturers have adopted the calculation manner which takes account of the storage times and detrition of different areas of the chip, and have established the balanced quality subject to the written data, avoiding the over-written of specific zone of the chip. The mostly used technology is called Wear Leveling.

In this 1H2009 SSD evaluation list, we have offered different awards and honors to some products based on their scores in the tests.
(Link to full evaluation result including important disclosures:

A. Best Overall performance >> OCZ Vertex 120GB
B. Best transfer rate >>PQI SSD S527 256GB
C. Best access time >> A-Data S592 128GB SSD
D. Best IO Efficiency>>Corsair CMFSSD-128GB
E. Best ssytem disk >>Transcend TS192GSSD25S-M 192GB
F. Best multi-interface design>>KingSpec KSD-SU25.1-064MJ
G. Best entry SSD >>Apacer 64GB SSD
H. Best industrial design>>Chaintech APOGEE FlashSSD 128GB
I. Best cooling design>>Patriot Memory 128GB SSD






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