We have all been drooling over the low-power love of the SSD drive. The idea of totally solid-state technology is fantastic - no platters to break, heads to wear through...no seek times, no spin-up...heaven. However, all SSD drives are not created equal. In fact, it really depends a lot on who actually makes the drive - which is an art that RiData, a division of RiTech, has carefully mastered.
In some of our SSD tests, we've seen performance that's not very far from a standard hard drive. And then there's the new 128GB drive that RiData has developed, which is headed out to OEMs as we speak. The drive technology currently is insanely expensive, due to the design that the company uses to make them. However, the results speak for themselves - about 235MB read speed, 120MB write.
Let me repeat that: 235MB up, 120MB down. On your hard drive. Which is actually big enough to store more than your OS.
So, how fast is that
fast? Well, raise your hands if you've played Crysis
. The load times on a level can be quite lengthy - anywhere from thirty seconds to a minute and thirty seconds on an average 7200RPM drive with 16MB cache.
The RiData result? 16.8 seconds
We have some theories on how this is possible, as the drive also has some high-level ECC algorithms. It looks (as hypothesised by one of my engineer friends, Jamie from Matrix Orbital) as though it's the controller that RiData has worked so hard on, perhaps opening up the data fetching bus while it was tooling with the error correction and random reading.
This type of blistering speed is way too expensive currently for daily use products, as the 128GB drives cost around a whopping $3,000. However, the company's technology for 32GB and 64GB is starting to trickle down to OEMs now, who are looking for the perfect balance of performance and power.
We were pretty impressed, but we'll have to see the price come down on these drives before we can really get excited. However, we may just have to get our hands on some to test in our own labs for a little.
In the meantime, do you have any thoughts on drives with that level of speed? Would you like to cut your Oblivion
load times in thirds or even quarters? Tell us your dreams of storage speed in our forums