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Comment good Anandtech article (Score 1) 480

You should read anandtech's review (September 2008) of the Intel X25-M:

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/intel/showdoc.aspx?i=3403

They showed that the non-Intel MLC drives can have some serious performance issues, so I'de stick with an Intel MLC. If designed correctly, an SSD is actually more reliable than a standard HD, since you know exctly when it's going to fail. Here's some key points from the article on reliability:

page 4: OEMs wanted assurances that a user could write 20GB of data per day to these drives and still have them last, guaranteed, for five years. ... Intel went one step further and delivered 5x what the OEMs requested. Thus Intel will guarantee that you can write 100GB of data to one of its MLC SSDs every day, for the next five years, and your data will remain intact. Intel actually includes additional space on the drive, on the order of 7.5 - 8% more (6 - 6.4GB on an 80GB drive) specifically for reliability purposes. If you start running out of good blocks to write to (nearing the end of your drive's lifespan), the SSD will write to this additional space on the drive.

page 5: Intel's SSDs are designed so that when they fail, they attempt to fail on the next erase - so you don't lose data. If the drive can't fail on the next erase, it'll fail on the next program - again, so you don't lose existing data. You'll try and save a file and you'll get an error from the OS saying that the write couldn't be completed. The beauty here is that the SSD knows exactly when it can't erase/program a block, and if the drive knows, then you can use software to ask the drive what it knows. In the near future Intel will be releasing its own SSD tool that will let you query two SMART attributes on the drive: one telling you how close you are to the rated cycling limit, and one telling you when you've run out of reallocating blocks. The latter is the most important because Intel fully expects these drives to outlast their rated limits. As bad blocks develop, the SSD will mark them as such and write to new ones - by telling you when it has run out of bad blocks (or nearly run out of bad blocks), you'll know exactly when you need a new hard drive.

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