Toshiba Cuts NAND Flash Production By 30 Percent To Combat Plummeting Prices - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 07-24-2012, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Toshiba Cuts NAND Flash Production By 30 Percent To Combat Plummeting Prices

Have you noticed how cheap NAND-powered memory devices have gotten? Flash drives and SSDs aren't quite a dime a dozen these days, but they're significantly cheaper than they have been in the past. While you and I may appreciate the decline in costs, low pricing is putting the pinch on NAND manufacturers, and Toshiba is cutting its NAND production by about 30 percent to compensate. (And drive up prices, of course.)
toshiba_nand_1.jpg
The press release was fairly short and sweet, with most of the juicy info coming in a single paragraph:

Oversupply of NAND flash memory in the retail market, for application in USB memories and memory cards, has resulted in continual price declines since the beginning of this year. Toshiba has responded by adjusting shipments to the retail market since June and from today will reduce the operating rate at the (Yokkaichi Operation plant in Mie Prefecture, Japan) in order to adjust output. This move will help to reduce inventory in the market and improve the overall balance between supply and demand.

Toshiba expects things to pick back up later in the year thanks to a rise in demand for smartphones and SSDs, however. That being said, Toshiba's "balance between supply and demand" will likely drive up prices for NAND flash in the future.

The funny part? According to a June report by IHS iSuppli, Toshiba had the best Q1 of any NAND supplier, with sales up 19.2 percent compared to the last quarter of 2011, to $1.71 billion. That industry-leading performance boosted the company's stake to over a third of the overall NAND flash market.

"In contrast, the overall NAND flash market suffered a 1 percent sequential decline in revenue, and all the other suppliers experienced sales decreases, most by double-digit percentages," IHS iSuppli reports. Maybe the industry woes have caught up to Toshiba?


http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/toshiba_cuts_nand_flash_production_30_percent_combat_plummeting_prices



It will suck if NAND prices go back up because that means SSD could cost more.

Currently Toshiba Toggle NAND is a premium option in high end drives, and offers increased performance.

Drives that use Toshiba TOGGLE NAND are often the fastest and highest performing drives available. It sucks to see those go up in price if they do.

The market is already saturated with a bunch of crappier NAND devices for super low prices.

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post #2 of 27 Old 07-24-2012, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

The market is already saturated with a bunch of crappier NAND devices for super low prices.

Wait.

I thought they were all the same?

Sorry. Couldn't resist. cool.gif
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post #3 of 27 Old 07-24-2012, 12:04 PM
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Which drive manufacturers use Toshiba NAND?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Currently Toshiba Toggle NAND is a premium option in high end drives, and offers increased performance.
Drives that use Toshiba TOGGLE NAND are often the fastest and highest performing drives available. It sucks to see those go up in price if they do.
[/SIZE]

Not all premium. Sandisk SSDs use this toggle NAND (they're actually Toshiba's NAND partner) and they're usually pretty cut rate.

EDIT - Forgot about the Mushkin Chronos Deluxe. It's also a Toggle NAND drive and is regularly in the $90 range for 120GB. (The plain Chronos uses asynchronous ONFI).
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post #5 of 27 Old 07-24-2012, 12:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JackDiesel14 View Post

Which drive manufacturers use Toshiba NAND?

Many. Too Many MFG use it so your better looking at the individual models. If a MFG uses it but you buy a drive without it it means nothing.

Not sure listing them would help because many MFG use both Toshiba NAND and also others kinds too. I would look into specific models instead of MFG.

Toshiba NAND is considered premium high performance option in many MFG drive lines.

There is different kinds of NAND. Example: Sync vs Async vs TOGGLE. You see things like "ONFI" and such listed often

There is a large difference in speed and performance between various types of NAND.

TOSHIBA TOGGLE NAND is considered a premium option.

To answer your question better you would have to look at a specific MFG since many MFG choose to use it and also not use it across the product lines.

EXAMPLE USING OCZ:


Agility uses the cheapest lowest performing NAND. Why they are the cheapest and also the slowest. (Still pretty fast and great value)
OCZ has started publishing both peak and incompressible write performance data, but only on its product sheets. While peak performance isn't affected, incompressible performance is. Using AS-SSD as a benchmark, OCZ claims the Agility 3 is only able to muster about 200MB/s for peak sequential reads/writes on the 240GB drive - that's less than half the score the Vertex 3 gets in AS-SSD's read test. Our benchmarks, as you'll soon see, confirm the deficit.

If it's not the controller causing this, and it's not the firmware - then it's the NAND. The Agility 3 (and Solid 3) both use asynchronous NAND.

Asynchronous NAND: An ONFi History Lesson

It takes 50µs to read 8KB from a 25nm Intel NAND die. That works out to a staggering 156MB/s, from a single NAND die. Even the old 50nm stuff Intel used in the first X25-M could pull 4KB in 50µs or ~78MB/s. The original X25-M had 10 channels of NAND, giving it the ability to push nearly 800MB/s of data. Of course we never saw such speeds, as it's only one thing to read a few KB of data from a NAND array and dump it into a register. It's another thing entirely to transfer that data over an interface to the host controller.
idf.jpg


Back in 2006 the Open NAND Flash Interface (ONFi) workgroup was formed with the task of defining a standardized interface for NAND Flash. Today, Intel and Micron are the chief supporters of ONFi while Toshiba and Samsung abide by a separate, comparable standard.
As is typically the case, the first standard out of the workgroup featured very limited performance. ONFi 1.0 topped out at 50MB/s, which was clearly the limiting factor in NAND transfer speed (see my example above). The original ONFi spec called for an asynchronous interface, as in one not driven by a clock signal. Most logic these days is synchronous, meaning it operates off of a host clock frequency. Depending on the architecture, all logic within a synchronously clocked system will execute/switch whenever the clock signal goes high, low or both. Asynchronous logic on the other hand looks for a separate signal, similar to a clock, but not widely distributed - more like a simple enable pin. In the asynchronous NAND world this is the role of the RE, WE and CLE (read/write/command-latch enable) signals.


onfi.jpg


ONFi 2.0 brought the move to source synchronous clocking, as well as double data rate (DDR) operation. Not only were ONFi 2.0 NAND devices tied to a clock frequency, transfers happened on both rising and falling edges of the clock - a similar transition was made in SDRAM over a decade ago. While ONFi 1.0 NAND was good for up to 50MB/s, ONFi 2.0 increased the interface speed to 133MB/s. Present day synchronous ONFi 2.1/2.2 NAND is no longer interface limited as the spec supports 166MB/s and 200MB/s operating modes. Work on ONFi 3.0 is being done now to take the interface up to 400MB/s.



37942.png
The above benchmark is 22 minutes long and it consists of 128,895 read operations and 72,411 write operations. Roughly 44% of all IOs were sequential. Approximately 30% of all accesses were 4KB in size, 12% were 16KB in size, 14% were 32KB and 20% were 64KB. Average queue depth was 3.59.

Here is another comparision for you:
37928.png
Above is the Overall System Performance using PCMark Vantage:
PCMark Vantage, another system-wide performance suite. For those of you who aren’t familiar with PCMark Vantage, it ends up being the most real-world-like hard drive test I can come up with. It runs things like application launches, file searches, web browsing, contacts searching, video playback, photo editing and other completely mundane but real-world tasks. I’ve described the benchmark in great detail before but if you’d like to read up on what it does in particular, take a look at Futuremark’s whitepaper on the benchmark; it’s not perfect, but it’s good enough to be a member of a comprehensive storage benchmark suite. Any performance impacts here would most likely be reflected in the real world.



Next,

Vertex 3 drives use Intel 25nm MLC NAND, as seen below: This is better than Async found in the Agility. It is why with the same controller the VERTEX3 has better and faster performance and specs.
_DSC5318sm.jpg

VERTEX3 MAX IOPS EDITION uses TOSHIBA TOGGLE NAND: Superior in performance (and cost) to both sync and Async in the above lines.

Not wanting to be completely married to Intel NAND production, OCZ wanted to introduce a version of the Vertex 3 that used 32nm Toshiba Toggle NAND; Rather than call the new drive a Vertex 3 with a slightly different model number, OCZ opted for a more pronounced suffix: MAX IOPS.
DSC_4139sm.jpg

The largest NAND die you could ship at 32/34nm was 4GB - the move to 25nm brought us 8GB die. What this means is that for a given capacity, the MAX IOPS edition will have twice as many MLC NAND die under the hood. The standard 240GB Vertex 3 has 32 die spread across 16 chips. The MAX IOPS version doubles that to 64 die in 16 chips. The 120GB Vertex 3 only has 16 die across 16 chips while the MAX IOPS version has 32 die, but only using 8 chips. The SF-2281 is an 8-channel controller so with 32 die you get a 4-way interleave and 8-way with the 64 die version. There are obviously diminishing returns to how well you can interleave requests to hide command latencies - 4 die per channel seems to be the ideal target for the SF-2281.


This is basically why an Agility, a Vertex3 and a Vertex3 MAX IOPS all use the same exact controller in them but deliver different levels of performance. The difference is the NAND inside (Memory)

Here is a chart that includes the MAX IOPS:
39197.png

If your keeping score from the first above comparing the Agility and the Vertex3 here is the MAX IOPS added in:

SCORES (most real world test IMO to show difference between drives)
Agility 3 240GB: 18968
Vertex3 240GB: 19161
Vertex3 120GB: 17400

NOW IS SHOULD BE NOTED THAT LARGER SSD DRIVES ALWAYS PERFORM BETTER THAN SMALLER ONES AND HAVE INCREASED SPEED / PERFORMANCE.
That is why the 120GB Vertex3 scores lower than the same Vertex3 in 240GB size. Only difference is more chips.

120GB MAX IOPS VERTEX3: 19215. Yes. higher than the 120GB Vertex3's 17400, and also higher than both the 240GB drives at double the capacity. Also faster than a 256GB Crucial M4, even at only 120GB size. Conclusion, the NAND inside a drive can infact directly effect performance. You should look at more than just the brand or MFG. You should compare the price relative to the performance. While the TOSHIBA TOGGLE NAND MAX IOPS is faster, it's not the best value or a good choice for normal users since you pay more for it. A much better value is in a slightly slower, but still very fast and inexpensive Vertex3. You can steal a 120GB for $69 on sale, and $79-$89 all day long regular price. Fast enough over the Agility to make it worth the $10 more, and plenty fast and cheaper than the MAX IOPS to be a much better value.




I hope this helps answer your question.
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post #6 of 27 Old 07-24-2012, 12:30 PM
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asynchronous and synchronous are the two types of ONFI NAND, ONFI standing for Open NAND Flash Interface, which is an industry standards-setting consortium

Toshiba/Sandisk and Samsung are the primary Toggle NAND backers.

Some companies (Kingston, OCZ, Patriot I think, probably others), makes different drive models using each of the three types.

Here's what Tom's Hardware wrote, by the way:

"Second-gen SandForce SSDs are available with different flavors of memory, and this is their order of performance, from highest to lowest.

1.SandForce with Toggle-mode NAND (i.e. Mushkin Chronos Deluxe, Patriot Wildfire, OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS)
2.SandForce with Synchronous ONFi NAND (i.e. OCZ Vertex 3, Corsair Force GT, Kingston HyperX)
3.SandForce with Asynchronous ONFi NAND (i.e. OCZ Agility 3, Corsair Force 3, Mushkin Chronos, Patriot Pyro)

Toggle-mode and ONFi are simply interface standards, similar to the way FireWire and USB are. They arose from a design disagreement among NAND manufacturers. Intel and Micron back ONFi, while Toshiba and Samsung support Toggle-mode. However, making a simple performance comparison between the two NAND interfaces isn’t easy. Due to the differences in the signaling architecture, it’s not appropriate to compare their peak bandwidth ratings. With that said, Toggle-mode-equipped SSDs commonly top our performance charts, and are some of the fastest SATA drives that we’ve ever tested.
"
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

Not all premium. Sandisk SSDs use this toggle NAND (they're actually Toshiba's NAND partner) and they're usually pretty cut rate.
EDIT - Forgot about the Mushkin Chronos Deluxe. It's also a Toggle NAND drive and is regularly in the $90 range for 120GB. (The plain Chronos uses asynchronous ONFI).

Right.

But what is better?

The Chronos or the Chronos Deluxe?

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post #8 of 27 Old 07-24-2012, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Right.
But what is better?
The Chronos or the Chronos Deluxe?

The Deluxe is supposed to be the higher priced, higher performance model, but often sells for less than the plain.

Better? Well, the Deluxe will produce faster benchmarks. Will they perform differently in real life? Not noticably.

Newegg has some of them listed wrong, by the way. They list them all as Mushkin Enhanced as the brand, just with different model numbers, but if you look at the picture you will see some are just Chronos and some are Chronos Deluxe. They do the same with some of the the Callisto. It's also one of those "Newegg reviews are silly" moments when you see significantly different reviews for the plain and the Deluxe when the only difference is the NAND type.
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post #9 of 27 Old 07-24-2012, 12:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

asynchronous and synchronous are the two types of ONFI NAND, ONFI standing for Open NAND Flash Interface, which is an industry standards-setting consortium
Toshiba/Sandisk and Samsung are the primary Toggle NAND backers.
Some companies (Kingston, OCZ, Patriot I think, probably others), makes different drive models using each of the three types.

yes.

This is all correct.

Including the Pariot you had a question mark about. Patriot makes the Wildfire which is basically just like the MAX IOPS I was posting about above in the OCZ line.

It's a beast of a drive. I saw some bench's in RAID 0 in another forum that hit 1200MB/sec. That's blazing fast.

To put it in perspective most 128GB drives like the Crucial M4 often top out in the 400-475MB range read and only 150MB writes.

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post #10 of 27 Old 07-24-2012, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

asynchronous and synchronous are the two types of ONFI NAND, ONFI standing for Open NAND Flash Interface, which is an industry standards-setting consortium
Toshiba/Sandisk and Samsung are the primary Toggle NAND backers.
Some companies (Kingston, OCZ, Patriot I think, probably others), makes different drive models using each of the three types.
Here's what Tom's Hardware wrote, by the way:
"Second-gen SandForce SSDs are available with different flavors of memory, and this is their order of performance, from highest to lowest.
1.SandForce with Toggle-mode NAND (i.e. Mushkin Chronos Deluxe, Patriot Wildfire, OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS)
2.SandForce with Synchronous ONFi NAND (i.e. OCZ Vertex 3, Corsair Force GT, Kingston HyperX)
3.SandForce with Asynchronous ONFi NAND (i.e. OCZ Agility 3, Corsair Force 3, Mushkin Chronos, Patriot Pyro)
Toggle-mode and ONFi are simply interface standards, similar to the way FireWire and USB are. They arose from a design disagreement among NAND manufacturers. Intel and Micron back ONFi, while Toshiba and Samsung support Toggle-mode. However, making a simple performance comparison between the two NAND interfaces isn’t easy. Due to the differences in the signaling architecture, it’s not appropriate to compare their peak bandwidth ratings. With that said, Toggle-mode-equipped SSDs commonly top our performance charts, and are some of the fastest SATA drives that we’ve ever tested.
"


Did you add the Tomshardware stuff? Edit the post.

I see it added and yes your very much on the mark with this.

Your not mentioning non Sandforce controller SSD drives which helps to clear up confusion but any SSD can have a different type of NAND (memory chips inside)

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post #11 of 27 Old 07-24-2012, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

yes.
This is all correct.
Including the Pariot you had a question mark about. Patriot makes the Wildfire which is basically just like the MAX IOPS I was posting about above in the OCZ line.
It's a beast of a drive. I saw some bench's in RAID 0 in another forum that hit 1200MB/sec. That's blazing fast.
To put it in perspective most 128GB drives like the Crucial M4 often top out in the 400-475MB range read and only 150MB writes.

I just wasn't sure if Patriot made all three. Mushkin, for example, only makes two: one with asynchronous ONFI, and one with Toggle.

Plextor uses Toshiba Toggle in all of its drives, I believe.
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post #12 of 27 Old 07-24-2012, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

The Deluxe is supposed to be the higher priced, higher performance model, but often sells for less than the plain.
Better? Well, the Deluxe will produce faster benchmarks. Will they perform differently in real life? Not noticably.
Newegg has some of them listed wrong, by the way. They list them all as Mushkin Enhanced as the brand, just with different model numbers, but if you look at the picture you will see some are just Chronos and some are Chronos Deluxe. They do the same with some of the the Callisto. It's also one of those "Newegg reviews are silly" moments when you see significantly different reviews for the plain and the Deluxe when the only difference is the NAND type.
'


Right.

And also the reason why the Mushkin Chronos Deluxe is the number #1 rated drive for a $115 price category at Toms Hardware. (and we know you can find it for $89 or less easy making it even greater value.)

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-benchmark-review,3237-3.html



Prior to that it was the Vertex3 120GB. The Mushkin stole it's spot as best buy recommended.

They also recommend the 90GB Mushkin at the lower price point. But street prices on the 120GB make it almost the same price so most should just buy that.


If your afraid of Sandforce drives, the Samsung is the top choice for about $20or so more and does not use a Sandforce controller. Samsung makes good NAND, and that drive is both high performance and has high reports of reliability. Owners seem to like it.

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post #13 of 27 Old 07-24-2012, 01:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

I just wasn't sure if Patriot made all three. Mushkin, for example, only makes two: one with asynchronous ONFI, and one with Toggle.
Plextor uses Toshiba Toggle in all of its drives, I believe.

Reason why the TOGGLE NAND Mushkin SSD DRIVE is so hot right now.

The Patriot is a high performer, but I don't see great prices on it.

and,

PLEXTOR does use TOGGLE from Toshiba and is another solid drive.

Any of the TOGGLE Toshiba NAND drives are excellent choices if you are concerned with performance as much as price.

If your most concerned with price even at the expensive of performance- Then Toshiba Toggle NAND is not for you.

Look for cheaper sync and async.

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post #14 of 27 Old 07-24-2012, 02:39 PM
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Samsung Toggle-Mode
Samsung 830 (Samsung)

SanDisk Toggle-Mode (Flash Forward, Ltd: Toshiba-SanDisk)
SanDisk Extreme (SandForce)
other SanDisk SSDs?

Toshiba Toggle-Mode (Flash Forward, Ltd: Toshiba-SanDisk)
Plextor M3, M3 Pro (Marvell)
Corsair Performance Pro (Marvell)
Corsair Force GS (SandForce)
Mushkin Chronos Deluxe (SandForce)
OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS (SandForce)
Patriot Wildfire (SandForce)

IMFT Synchronous ONFi (Intel-Micron Flash Technologies)
Intel 320 (Intel)
Intel 510 (Marvell)
Intel 330, 520 (SandForce)
Crucial m4 (Marvell)
Plextor M5S (Marvell)
Corsair Force GT (SandForce)
Kingston Hyper X, HyperX 3K (SandForce)
Mushkin Chronos Deluxe MX (SandForce)
OCZ Vertex 3 (SandForce)
Patriot Pyro SE (SandForce)
OCZ Vertex 4 (Marvell/Indilinx)

IMFT Asynchronous ONFi (Intel-Micron Flash Technologies)
Corsair Force 3 (SandForce)
Mushkin Chronos (SandForce)
OCZ Agility 3 (SandForce)
Patriot Pyro (SandForce)
OCZ Agility 4 (Marvell/Indilinx)

Bunch more SandForce SSDs but I believe the above are the most popular.

Just a comment, the Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 120GB with Toggle-Mode NAND usually goes for around $170-190 on Newegg. The one that can be found for $110-115 is the Mushkin Chronos Deluxe MX 120GB which uses IMFT sync NAND. The $90 Mushkin Chronos 120GB uses async NAND. Tom's Hardware made a mistake with that (probably because the product names are extremely similar).
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Wow. Where did you get this info ?


Great post.

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post #16 of 27 Old 07-25-2012, 06:35 AM
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Quote:
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Wow. Where did you get this info ?
Great post.

From memory mostly after lots of scouring through Newegg and review sites while searching for SSD deals. The Samsung 830 is very seldom on sale so that meant I had to research alternatives that were. tongue.gif
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post #17 of 27 Old 07-25-2012, 06:49 AM
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From memory mostly after lots of scouring through Newegg and review sites while searching for SSD deals. The Samsung 830 is very seldom on sale so that meant I had to research alternatives that were. tongue.gif

The 256 GB is on sale right now for 195 shipped over on Amazon. Slickdeals mentioned something about clipping the coupon to get that price. That's $.76 a GB.
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post #18 of 27 Old 07-25-2012, 06:56 AM
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Quote:
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The 256 GB is on sale right now for 195 shipped over on Amazon. Slickdeals mentioned something about clipping the coupon to get that price. That's $.76 a GB.

Unfortunately still not as good a price as the Intel 330 240GB from B&H ($140, $0.58/GB). If my order for the Intel 330 gets cancelled, that's when I'll consider getting the Samsung 830. I'm not in any hurry, anyway.
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post #19 of 27 Old 07-25-2012, 08:22 AM
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Toshiba and Samsung may be able to cut production but Micron and Hynix can't cut production that easily.
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post #20 of 27 Old 07-25-2012, 11:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dksc318 View Post

Toshiba and Samsung may be able to cut production but Micron and Hynix can't cut production that easily.

But it takes the pressure off Micron/intel.

The toshiba NAND is a premium option typically- and without that to lower the price the cheaper NAND could raise in price.

It's the Cheaper NAND you see on special like the Vertex3 and the Crucial M4 that gets people excited. 120/128GB sizes under $100.

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post #21 of 27 Old 07-25-2012, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

But it takes the pressure off Micron/intel.
The toshiba NAND is a premium option typically- and without that to lower the price the cheaper NAND could raise in price.
It's the Cheaper NAND you see on special like the Vertex3 and the Crucial M4 that gets people excited. 120/128GB sizes under $100.

Any reduction in production will have that effect. But cutting at the premium end has smaller effect.
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post #22 of 27 Old 07-26-2012, 08:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Any reduction in production will have that effect. But cutting at the premium end has smaller effect.

I hope so.

I think the "value" right now is in the middle segment using ONFI. It's not as speedy as Toshiba Toggle NAND- but it's pretty close. It's faster than the cheaper stuff, and the price is not much more.

Example:

Vertex3 vs Agility. $10 more gets you a much faster Vertex3. Better choice IMO.

Same for Mushkin- The better NAND model is sometimes even cheaper. (economies of scale?)

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post #23 of 27 Old 07-28-2012, 08:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Anyone know the difference between the two Intel SSD's with Sandforce controllers?

Why would you pay more for the higher one ?

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post #24 of 27 Old 07-28-2012, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Anyone know the difference between the two Intel SSD's with Sandforce controllers?
Why would you pay more for the higher one ?
I assume you're talking about the 330 vs. 520. I've read that it is the same h/w but Intel artificially caps the performance of the 330 so that it is slower. However given that the bench test results seem pretty close I don't think I'd spend the extra $$$ on a 520.
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post #25 of 27 Old 07-28-2012, 09:06 AM - Thread Starter
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I assume you're talking about the 330 vs. 520. I've read that it is the same h/w but Intel artificially caps the performance of the 330 so that it is slower. However given that the bench test results seem pretty close I don't think I'd spend the extra $$$ on a 520.

That is what I was wondering. If you could just crack the cheaper one to be the same thing or not

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post #26 of 27 Old 08-04-2012, 09:02 AM - Thread Starter
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That is what I was wondering. If you could just crack the cheaper one to be the same thing or not

it it firmware limited? Would replacing the firmware upgrade it ?

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post #27 of 27 Old 08-04-2012, 12:28 PM
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it it firmware limited? Would replacing the firmware upgrade it ?

No one's been able to do it yet so no idea. Maybe, maybe not. We still don't know exactly what Intel did to limit performance on the Intel 330.
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