Samsung have announced mass production of the 256 GB Samsung SSD (solid-state drive) we reported on in May. The specifications announced for the mass produced drive are slightly different to the Samsung’s May announcement, with the production version of the drive being around 10% faster and consuming 20% more power than the original product announcement. The production version boasts sequential read speeds of 220 MB/sec (up from 200 MB/sec), sequential write speed of 200 MB/sec (up from 180 MB/sec) and power consumption of 1.1 W in use (up from 0.9 W). Erase speeds, an important consideration for flash drives where data must be erased before it is overwritten, is an impressive 100 GB/min.
Available with full disk encryption, the drive comes in the 2.5 inch, 9.5mm high form-factor commonly used for laptop computers and compliments Samsung’s existing range of SSD available in capacities from 8 to 128 GB. Connectivity is via an SATA-II interface. The performance from this latest Samsung SSD is double that of their existing 64 GB and 128 GB SSDs and well in excess of the performance available from even the fastest 7200 RPM 2.5 inch hard drives. This level of performance is unprecedented for a mobile storage device and is comparable to the noisy, power-hungry 15000 RPM drives normally found only in performance-critical servers. With hard drive access times frequently being the bottleneck in computer performance this latest drive should provide a noticeable real-world performance boost, Samsung claim the drive can launch applications ten times faster than 7200 RPM hard drives.
Previous SSDs offered good performance and power savings, but their low capacities limited their appeal in many applications. The capacity of Samsung’s latest drive makes it a viable alternative to spinning platter hard drives for mobile use for all but the most data-hungry applications.
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