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MyDigitalSSD BP4 finally offers a Phison-based SSD that isn't terrible?

QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,765Member Uncommon

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6809/mydigitalssd-bp4-25-msata-240gb-review

In the beginning (i.e., around 2007), there were several SSD controllers.  All of them were terrible.  Then Intel made the first SSD controller that was actually good, or at least good enough to be worthwhile.  This gave them a monopoly on good SSDs, so they did what all good monopolists do:  charge an arm and a leg for their product.  80 GB for $600.

Then Indilinx made a controller that also wasn't terrible.  While not as good as Intel's, it was at least good enough to create SSDs that were worthwhile.  Finally, there was real competition.  Alas, there were still some terrible controllers on the market, which means that you had to be very careful about which particular SSD you bought.

Then SandForce came out with a controller that was actually good.  Then Marvell did.  Or perhaps rather, Crucial figured out how to write firmware for a Marvell controller that was good; the same controller with earlier firmware was still terrible.  Indilinx, incidentally, had initially had the same problem.  Then Samsung made a good controller to replace their previous terrible one.  Then SandForce made a better controller.  Then Samsung made another, better controller.  Then LAMD made a good controller.  Then Indilinx made a better one.  And Marvell kept tweaking their own controller, even as Plextor, OCZ, and others figured out how to write good firmware for it as Crucial already had.  Finally there were lots of good SSD controllers, and lots of competition.

And, alas, still some terrible controllers, most notably from JMicron and Phison.  That means that, while there were more good SSDs and fewer bad ones on the market than before, there were still some bad ones.  It didn't help that some SSD vendors used good controllers for some SSDs and bad ones for others, and had confusing naming schemes that made it hard to figure out what you were getting.  (Kingston and Adata, I'm looking at you.)

Now someone has figured out how to make a budget SSD based on a Phison controller that is, if not great, at least not terrible.  And what do I mean by terrible?  How about completely stalling for 20 seconds and not accepting any writes whatsoever in that time so that the entire computer locks up for the duration.  That's what the previous version MyDigitalSSD BP3 repeatedly did in one benchmark AnandTech ran.

It remains to be seen whether the rest of the Phison-based SSDs will also get working firmware; the only garbage ones still in stock on New Egg are a bunch of Crucial V4s.  But if so, then that leaves JMicron as the last of the bad controllers still on the market.

Maybe someday, we'll reach the point where if you want to buy an SSD, you can just buy whatever and it will actually be good.  Some particular SSDs will always be better than others, of course.  But if the others are always a lot faster than any hard drive, that sure beats the "others" being liable to lock up your computer for 20 seconds at a time.

Comments

  • AoriAori Carbondale, ILPosts: 1,886Member Uncommon

    Out with the bad and in with the good. I can't imagine it'll be all that much longer before SSD's completely replace HDD's. More options, more competition and lower prices.  As long as reliability is more or less equal then there will be little reason to use an HDD except for those few people who still have wierd storage requirements or purely for backups.

     

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,765Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Aori

    Out with the bad and in with the good. I can't imagine it'll be all that much longer before SSD's completely replace HDD's. More options, more competition and lower prices.  As long as reliability is more or less equal then there will be little reason to use an HDD except for those few people who still have wierd storage requirements or purely for backups.

     

    SSDs may not ever replace hard drives entirely.  No matter how much storage space you give people, some will find creatively wasteful ways to fill it up.  There are also scientific or enterprise purposes that generate and need to store massive amounts of data.  And SSDs won't be able to compete with hard drives in capacity at a given price until we get some revolution that's unforeseeable at this point.

  • AoriAori Carbondale, ILPosts: 1,886Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    Originally posted by Aori

    Out with the bad and in with the good. I can't imagine it'll be all that much longer before SSD's completely replace HDD's. More options, more competition and lower prices.  As long as reliability is more or less equal then there will be little reason to use an HDD except for those few people who still have wierd storage requirements or purely for backups.

     

    SSDs may not ever replace hard drives entirely.  No matter how much storage space you give people, some will find creatively wasteful ways to fill it up.  There are also scientific or enterprise purposes that generate and need to store massive amounts of data.  And SSDs won't be able to compete with hard drives in capacity at a given price until we get some revolution that's unforeseeable at this point.

    I get the whole storage thing.. hince me mentioning it. However for the general consumer it is near the point now if you're buying a PC there is little reason to go with an HDD. With advancements to cloud networks, streaming and bandwith power many don't need a HDD for storage.

    Now granted I personally will have an external HDD for backups but thats it. I'll never have one again in a PC I build.

    Either way more viable SSD options is better for everyone.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,765Member Uncommon

    Whether it makes sense for someone to buy a hard drive and whether he'll actually buy a hard drive are two different questions.  Remember that a large fraction of computers are bought by people who are clueless.  Several years from now, given the choice between a 4 TB hard drive and a 500 GB SSD for the same price, a lot of people who will never use more than 200 GB will probably pick the hard drive, thinking it must be better because 4 TB is better than 500 GB.  SSD vendors have taken to quoting IOPS numbers, because that's where they blow away hard drives, but people who are clueless about computers are less likely to understand IOPS than capacity.

    What I'm really interested in with this thread is not so much the prospect of more good SSD options, but rather, fewer bad ones.  It would be great if people who are clueless about computers could go buy any old SSD without the risk that they'd be ending up with a junk part.  The occasion for this thread was someone finally making good firmware for an SSD controller from one of the two widely-used "bad" controller vendors.

    And then there are Seagate's efforts to convince people that their "SSHD" hard drives are just like an SSD because they have a token amount of NAND flash on them.  A hybrid drive with 64 GB of NAND flash might someday make sense, but 8 GB sure doesn't--especially when saddled to a 5400 RPM hard drive.

  • GroovyFlowerGroovyFlower RdamPosts: 1,245Member

    I can't see into future 5 years from now, maybe alot will change but at moment i would not in a million years choose to store all my stuff  on cloud, not only i dont trust it, i want complete control over it.

    And my ssd"s function perfectly with some external hd drives ive no need of cloud only limited like steam.

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