|Patriot Torqx MLC SSD PFZ128GS25SSDR|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Thursday, 28 May 2009|
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Patriot Torqx SSD Features
EDITORS NOTE 07/08/09: Patriot has increased the factory warranty for all Torqx-series SSD products from two- to ten-years.
Patriot Torqx Solid State (SSD) drives are the latest in storage technology based on flash memory. Using state-of-the-art NAND flash chips and an ultra-fast controller, Torqx SSDs offer a fast, quiet and ultra-reliable solution for your data storage needs. Torqx SSD is designed with built in DRAM cache which allows faster real-time transfers that leads to faster drive performance. Patriot Torqx SSDs provide the ultimate in storage technology for desktops, laptops, workstations, servers and Apple computers.
Solid State Disk (SSD) Drives are completely interchangeable with industry standard hard disk drives. SSDs conform to the same physical dimensions as hard drives, so they can fit in the standard drive bays and enclosures used by millions of computers. And SSDs use the same Serial ATA (SATA) or IDE interface as hard drives, making them functionally identical. This 100% physical and electrical compatibility and interchangeability with hard drives makes it very easy to design SSDs into systems and storage appliances.
In short, an SSD is a storage device that is based on semiconductors rather than rotating magnetic platters. Most SSDs, including Super Talent's offerings, are based on NAND Flash chips because they are fast, highly reliable, widely available and are non-volatile, meaning they save data even without a power source.
Flash vs. DRAM
SSDs based on DRAM components are lower cost than their NAND Flash based siblings. But DRAM is volatile storage, meaning it will lose all data if the power supply is removed. In a power outage, all the data stored on a DRAM based SSD would be permanently lost. Some DRAM based SSDs get around this limitation by including built-in rechargeable batteries. The obvious disadvantages of this solution are that batteries are heavy, have a limited life, and result in a unit that is far less reliable than an SSD based on non-volatile NAND Flash components.
Flash endurance has increased due to a few techniques that have been implemented gradually in the past few years. The write/erase mechanism in Flash causes the Silicon to wear down over time. The procedure to program Flash can be done one word (byte) at a time and the procedure to erase is done on a per-block-basis. The degradation of the semiconductor material causes Flash to have a limit of 100,000-300,000 write/erase cycles. When a block reaches this threshold, the device can become unreliable and failure can occur.
Since it only takes one block to cause the entire Flash device to fail, wear leveling is incorporated to ensure that write/erase mechanisms are evenly distributed over all blocks. The technique does not allow one block to reach this limit sooner than other blocks. For example, if block A is written to 10x times and other blocks are written to x times, the algorithm will stop writing to block A and will write to other blocks. Thus, this will increase the endurance of the Flash device.
Low Power Consumption
A major disadvantage of hard drives is the amount of power they consume. Most of the power in a hard drive is used by the motor that has to spin the disk. Faster performance in a hard drive requires faster rotational speeds of the disk, up to 10,000 rpm's for high performance hard drives. The SSD offers an enormous advantage over hard drives in power efficiency. Thanks to the lack of motors and to the efficiency of flash IC's, SSDs consume a fraction of the power a conventional hard drive demands. When idle, SSDs use about 95% less power than hard drives; and when active, 50 to 85% less power. Lower power consumption means less heat produced inside the chassis that needs to be expelled, which results in cooler components and a lighter need for chassis ventilation. And more important, in mobile computing less power means longer battery life. Furthermore, each SSD can save up to 21.9 Kilowatt-Hours of power per year compared to a hard drive, making SSDs the ultimate choice for eco-friendly computing.
Hard drives and flash technology have very different performance characteristics. With Access times in the 10-20ms range, hard drives are very slow to locate data, Flash has the advantage of lightning fast access time, well below 1ms. Therefore, SSDs are far superior to hard drives for small random reads and writes.
Hard drives are relatively fast for burst transfers of large sequential blocks of data. But the fastest SSD drives support even faster sustained read and write speeds than the fastest hard drives. High speed SSDs are the best choice for maximum throughput. Another considerable advantage flash has over hard drives is that they do not suffer from delay waking from sleep mode because with no moving parts, they have no need to spin down like a conventional hard drive.
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