white paper: the ssd advantage
WHITE PAPER: THE SSD ADVANTAGE
The Benefits of SSDs on Computing Speed,
Reliability and Performance
1
INTRODUCTION: THE SSD ADVANTAGE
Solid state drives (SSDs) have
offered significant performance
advantages over conventional hard
disk drives (HDDs) for some time but
until recently IT managers and PC
buyers had few options in what data
storage devices they could use in
desktops, laptops or workstations,
either due to cost or to dominant
system configurations that
favored HDDs.
HDD’s work by way of a mechanical
drive head that must physically
move to access locations on a
rapidly-spinning magnetic disk.
When the computer sends a
request to retrieve data, the disk
and arm must each move to the
GLOBAL SSD UNIT
SHIPMENT FORECAST
250
Millions of Units
200
150
Another advantage seen my SSD’s
is their consistent performance.
Unlike HDD’s which can suffer
50
0
’11 ’12 ’13 ’14 ’15 ’16
Source: IHS iSuppli Research, January 20132
from data fragmentation, the use
of integrated circuits instead of
spinning platters allow SSD’s to
manage how the data is stored.
This again leads to lower data
access latency and need to run
defragmentation programs used
to manage the storage location
on a HDD.
This paper explores the benefits
of SDDs versus HDDs in meeting
today’s computing demands
characterized by a burgeoning
number of devices, applications,
and user needs across diverse
industries – which might make
now the right time for businesses
to embrace SDDs.
SSD ADOPTION GAINS PACE
Benefits like higher performance,
better efficiency and cost effectiveness
are driving SSD adoption in the current
computing landscape that is seeing an
explosion of devices, applications, big
data analytics and cloud computing.
Many industry analysts have
predicted that by 2015 the number
of computing devices will triple, while
data needs will increase six times over
2011 levels. Both the number of users
and apps are similarly expected to
double in just a few short years.1
100
2
appropriate location for the data to
be collected and sent to the CPU
for processing. SSD’s, on the other
hand, have no moving parts, and is
therefore capable of accessing any
location on the drive with equally
fast speed and precision. This
means that the typical random data
access time on a modern SSD is
0.1ms or less, whereas mainstream
2.5” consumer HDD’s take about
10~12ms. Another way of putting
this is that SSD’s are 100 times
faster at accessing data than
an HDD.
All of these factors are accelerating
demand for faster, more reliable
storage solutions . An indication that
SSDs have finally seen wider usage
surpassing its early adopter niche is
that units shipped have increased
exponentially in the last few years.
Since 2012, worldwide SSD shipments
have been doubling year over year.
“SSD adoption continues to expand
in both the client and the enterprise
market as the industry looks to take
advantage of many of the inherent
benefits of the technology to provide
faster, more efficient access to stored
data,” says Jeffrey Janukowicz, research
director for Solid State Storage
Technologies at IDC.3
Zsolt Kerekes, a veteran storage
industry analyst who predicted in 2003
the exponential growth the market is
seeing in SSDs now, said in November
2012 regarding the relative popularity
of HDDs: “My analysis had led me to
the conclusion that whatever products
or technologies might come out of
the hard drive market in future years
- would have no significant impact
on slowing down or preventing the
ultimate growth of the solid state
storage market.”4
SSD DECLINING PRICES
The past two years have seen
breakthroughs in how users and
industry analysts are evaluating SSD
market viability based on pricing.
HDDs enjoy economies of scale
pricing and the cost-per-gigabyte
still favors HDDs, but SDDs are
gaining ground.
the PC market, from the growth in
media tablets and Ultrabooks to
the introduction of Windows 8 and
increased use of caching solutions
such as dual drives (systems
containing both an SSD and an HDD).
He concluded in his 2012 report on
worldwide SSD shipments, that “the
increasing use of flash in enterprise
solutions, explosive growth of mobile
client devices, and lower SSD pricing is
creating a perfect storm for increased
SSD shipments and revenue over our
forecast. IDC believes the net effect
of these dynamics supports increased
SSD shipments.”6
SSD pricing seems to have hit a level
where users are weighing the tradeoff between higher priced SSDs for
improved performance in faster
boot-up and application load times,
low latency, a noiseless computing
experience, greater durability and
other attributes that make it a
competitive choice for users.
favoring SDD adoption and the later
impacting shipments of HDDs.
Based on declining PC sales and other
data, Tom Coughlin, a storage expert
and contributor to Forbes magazine,
believes that “a switch from client
to enterprise storage capacity will
fundamentally change the HDD and
SSD markets.”7
This change is being described as a
complementary force in the market
by other industry watchers such as
Kevin Kwang of ZDNet. He cautions
that, “SSDs will replace HDDs as a
storage solution.”8
While sales for tablets and Ultrabooks
are increasing, PC shipments are
declining with the former trend
According to Janukowicz of IDC, there
are a number of dynamics influencing
NARROWING PRICE GAP
HDD PRICE PER GB
SSD PRICE PER GB
0.1
1.9
0.095
1.7
0.09
0.085
1.5
0.08
0.075
1.3
0.07
1.1
0.065
0.06
0.9
0.055
0.05
0.7
6/2011
12/2011
6/2012
12/2012
6/2011
12/2011
6/2012
12/2012
Source: Dynamite Data, April 20135
The cost per GB of SSDs (right) has continued to decline while HDDs prices (left) for the same time period returned to
earlier levels after a notable bump representing supply shortages caused by flooding in Thailand in late 2011. While
SSDs remain more than 10 times the price of HDDs, the gap continues to narrow.
3
A TECHNOLOGY COMPARISON: SSDS VS HDDS
SSDs and HDDs technically do the
same job – they both store data,
files and applications, as well as boot
computing devices. However, each
has unique features, pros and cons.
Here’s a brief overview of the product
attributes and price considerations
impacting what kind of data storage
works best.
HDDs
Hard disk drives were first introduced
by IBM in 1956. They have improved
continuously since and remain a
dominant data storage technology.
HDDs are read/write mechanical
devices with moving parts that store
data on a magnetic rotating platter.
They use a complex arrangement of
motor-driven spindles, actuator arms
and other mechanical parts to position
a recording head over the rapidly
spinning magnetic-coated disks.
The major advantage of an HDD is its
storage capacity. HDDs in laptops store
1 Terabyte (1,024 gigabytes) with a
$/GB of around $0.075/GB compared
to $1.00/GB cost for an SSD in a 240
GB model. If you want cheap storage
and lots of it, using a standard hard
drive is still the more appealing way to
go. Some desktop hard drives store up
to 4 TB of data and come in 2.5” – 3.5”
disk sizes.
SSDs
Unlike HDDs that have moving
parts, the internal components of
SSDs (consisting primarily of the
Controller and Flash Memory) are
‘solid’ or ‘static.’ Data can be stored in
a permanent state when the power
supply is removed. Because there are
no moving parts combined with the
differences in memory types (RAM is
used in solid state technology while
HDDs use sequential processing), SSDs
support read/write data functions
Rotating Platter
Spindle
NAND Flash
Head
MDX Controller
Actuator
DRAM
SATA III Connector
4
at much higher IOPS (Input-Output
per Second) speeds than HDDs. Prior
to the development and successful
deployment of NAND Flash non-volatile
memory, DRAM volatile memory was
widely used to store data in SSDs.
Solid state drive storage has been an
option from the beginning of personal
computing but it didn’t really take
off until flash memory technology
took hold in the early 2000s, with
the rise of netbooks and Ultrabooks.
SSD capacities have increased to a
standard size of 2.5” which means
they can easily replace hard drives in
laptops and desktops. Other product
improvements to interfaces such
as SATA (the most commonly used
interface standard) PCIe, SAS, USB,
and others, combined with NAND flash
memory process improvements, are
making SDDs a more viable
storage option.
UNRIVALLED SPEED & PERFORMANCE
PERFORMANCE GAINS
Performance is the ability to access
any drive location without sacrificing
speed. SSD users experience
dramatic improvements in boot
time, application loads, and copying
files. Up to 58% of storage activity
is made up of 4K random writes,
which measures how well a drive will
perform when writing small chunks
of random data (e.g. changing a
small piece of a document or text
file and then saving the changes).
Users spend a majority of their time
not copying large files or installing
applications, but multitasking and
working with various documents and
media files – all influenced by
IOPS speed.
Blazing Speeds
Speed is the clearest way that SSDs
outshine HDDs. A SSD-equipped PC
will boot some 22 seconds faster than
the same system equipped with a
hard drive. A hard drive requires time
to spin up or fully load applications
and programs for normal operation.
A PC with an SSD boots faster,
launches apps faster, and has higher
overall performance.
Solid state devices are engineered for
users who want instant-on capabilities
for all of their devices. Current SSDs
boasts random access latency times
of 0.1ms or less, whereas the fastest
consumer HDDs take 6.83ms or more.
Samsung’s SSD 840 Pro series, for
example, is capable of delivering up to
540MB/s and 450MB/s of sequential
read and write speeds for ultra-fast file
transfers—including random speeds
of up to 100K IOPS for the fastest realworld performance (based on PC
Mark 7 performance test versus
leading competitors).9
SSDs provide workstation-class
performance for seamless video
editing or other data-heavy
computing tasks. Zip through simple
e-mail searches up to 5 times faster;
and, trim file transfer time by almost
a third. Programs like Photoshop and
PowerPoint load twice as fast as on
HDD counterparts.
Due to the fundamentally different
technologies used to store and
retrieve data, SSDs dramatically
speed up the computing experience.
SSDs access stored information in
microseconds, 10 to 100 times faster
than even the speediest HDD. As
a result, an SSD-equipped PC can
perform thousands of operations
while a HDD-equipped system is
still waiting for its disk to spin to the
proper location and its head to be
positioned over the right sector. RAM
and other solid state components
like NAND flash memory and the
controller are all measurably better
compared to HDDs based on
seek times.
And, even though a speed difference
between SSDs and HDDs is measured
in fractions of seconds, seconds start
to add up and make a difference for
more and more users in workstation,
enterprise and IT environments.
An SSD can offer up to an 800%
improvement in IOPS over a
traditional HDD. Dramatic added
value SSD performance
benefits include:
• Double File-Compilation Power
- An SSD boasts 2x faster filecompilation times than HDD
• Cut Downtime by Half - SSDs
cut simple tasks such as virus
scans by almost 50 percent
• Reduce Power Consumption SSD requires less energy than a
conventional HDD and can add
|an average of 50 minutes to
battery life
• Master Multitasking - SSD
smoothly juggles interleaving
programs regardless of size or
complexity. Application and
program load times is 3X faster
than with HDD
• Cut Video-Editing Time –
Similarly, render video file clips
over 30 percent faster with SSD
Based on PC Mark 7 performance
versus leading SSD maker
competition, the Samsung 840 Pro
256 GB achieved random speeds up
to 100K IOPS, the fastest in the field.
Read and write speeds hit 540MBs
and 450 MBs.
5
INCREASED RELIABILITY AND MORE
Key SSD Benefits
Reliability
While SSDs enjoy a Mean Time
between Failures (MTBF) of up to two
million hours for consumer drives,
high-quality consumer HDDs offer a
MTBF of only 0.5-0.6 million hours.
Samsung’s SSDs, in particular, enjoy
one of the lowest Annual Failure Rates
(AFR) in the industry of 0.05%.
With trusted reliability backed with
a 5-year warranty for long-term
performance and advanced data
security with AES 256-bit full disk
encryption, the Samsung 840 Pro
is quickly proving its workhorse
attributes in the industry.
Durability
An SSD can withstand 10X more
vibration than an HDD and up to
1500G of shock (compared to less
than 70Gs for a typical HDD). SSDs
exceed expectations in handling
shock, vibration, and temperature
extremes, an appealing benefit for
PC road warriors.
Since a SSD has no moving parts, it
is more likely to keep your data safe
if the device is dropped or knocked
around while operating. Most hard
drives park their read/write heads
when the system is off, but they
6
are flying over the drive platter at
hundreds of miles an hour when
they are in operation. SSDs are
recommended for road warriors who
can be rough on equipment.
No Noise Pollution
SSDs are noiseless since they are
static devices without any mechanical
or moving parts. HDDs on the other
hand are mechanical devices with
moving parts that make noise. With
a plethora of sleek new devices like
smart phones, notebooks and net
books, noisy PCs and laptops will
become a thing of the past as users
experience computing devices with a
zero noise-pollution attribute.
Ultra Low Power Consumption for
Longer Battery Life
Samsung has made major leaps
forward in power efficiency with the
256 GB 840 Pro series. It boasts the
lowest idle power consumption of
any SSD, an extremely important
achievement considering SSDs can
sit idle most of the time (a positive
side-effect of their extremely fast
processing speeds). Samsung’s
new MDX controller consumes only
40mwatt of power during idle mode
- half that of an MCX, its predecessor,
and up to 97% less than other
SSD controllers.
Further improvements come from the
use of cache memory, which offers
higher performance while consuming
30% less power when active and 93%
less power when idle than regular
DDR2 or DDR3 memory. Because of
these improvements, batteries last
up to 50 minutes longer for Samsung
840 Pro Series SSD users.
An SSD draws an average of only
2-3 watts of power, whereas an HDD
requires an average of 6-7 watts.
Also, because SSDs complete tasks
with incredible speed, the drive
saves energy by going into idle
mode. These attributes translate into
noticeable battery life improvement.
Encryption
Safeguard data while keeping up
with demanding workloads. The
Samsung-designed multi-core
controller and firmware ensure
long-term sustained computing
with superior write performance for
non-compressible data like images,
music and videos. AES 256-bit full disk
encryption provides advanced data
security backed by a 5-year limited
warranty to deliver reliable security.
(Incompressible data performance
based on AS-SSD Sequential
Write performance versus leading
competition.)10
THE SAMSUNG ADVANTAGE
Samsung has been manufacturing
semiconductors for over 20 years,
providing the technology behind
many of the electronic marvels that
have changed the way people live and
work today. Samsung has also been
the number one supplier of SSDs in
the preinstalled storage business for
more than six years.
Designing an SSD is no trivial task –
experience matters. Samsung SSDs
have undergone rigorous testing by
some of the most demanding clients,
and reliably succeeded in delivering
speed and performance. One of
the key factors contributing to this
quality and reliability is the end-toend integration in bringing new SSDs
to market. Unlike most SSD vendors,
Samsung designs and manufactures
every major SSD component, from
NAND chips and Controllers, to DRAM
and Firmware. This means each
component that makes up an SSD
is fully optimized to work seamlessly
with its counterparts. The benefits to
the end-user from this end-to-end
integration include:
• One of the industry’s lowest
product failure rates
• Few firmware updates helping to
reduce down-time and keep
costs down
• Quick manufacturing
improvements helping to further
reduce costs
• Ability to develop next-generation
technology to further improve
customer adoption
A prime example of the advantages
of this integration, Samsung’s SSD
840 Pro Series is one of the fastest
and most reliable products on the
market. Capable of delivering up to
540MB/s and 450MB/s of sequential
read and write speeds for fast file
transfers – including random speeds
of up to 100K IOPS – the SSD 840
PRO Series provides workstationclass performance for the most
demanding business applications.
Samsung multi-core controller and
firmware ensure sustained computing
with superior write performance for
non-compressible data. Weighing
only 2 oz. and 100-percent Samsung
designed and manufactured, the 840
PRO Series features industry-leading
energy efficiency that supports
increased battery life to further
enhance the productivity of workers
on the go.
As part of its strategy to expand into
the consumer market, Samsung
also introduced the Samsung
SSD 840 EVO Series making use
of the industry’s most compact
10-nanometer class 128Gb highperformance NAND flash memory.
Featuring Samsung’s proprietary
multi-core MEX controller, the
840 EVO achieves unrivaled value
for performance with improved
sequential read and write speeds
and demonstrates Samsung’s
commitment to being the
technology pioneer in SSDs.
7
CONCLUSION: WILL SSDs REPLACE HDDs?
“It’s unclear whether SSDs will totally
replace traditional spinning hard
drives especially with cloud storage
as a factor,“ noted Richard Leonarz,
senior product manager for memory
at Samsung Electronics America.
“What is clear is that more users are
aware that replacing the hard drive in
their laptop or PC makes sense given
increasing data needs of typical users.”
With the introduction of Samsung’s
256GB 2.5” 840 Pro series SSD, IT
managers and professional users with
high-end computing storage needs
have an affordable, high performance
storage device engineered for longterm use and designed to meet realworld demands for speed, reliability,
durability, security and an overall
enhanced performance option to
standard hard disk drives.
For now, SSDs win hands down on
speed, performance and reliability
combined with more nuanced benefits
that are becoming increasingly
important to IT managers and other
users such as no noise pollution,
longer battery life and lower energy
consumption.
QUICK PROFILE
Samsung 840 Pro Series
Solid State Drives
Form Factor: 2.5-inch
Capacity: Available in 128GB,
256GB & 512GB
Host Interface: Serial ATA
interface of 6.0Gbps; compliant
with ATA/ATAPI-8 Standard
Sequential Read Speed: Up to
540MB/s for 256GB & 512GB
models; up to 530MB/s for
128GB model
Sequential Write Speed: Up
to 520MB/s for 256GB & 512GB
models; up to 390MB/s for
128GB model
Random Read Speed: Up to
100K IOPS for 256GB & 512GB
models; up to 97K IOPS for
128GB model
Random Write Speed: Up to
90K IOPS
Power Consumption: 0.15W
Encryption: AES 256-bit Full
Disk Encryption; Class0 Self
Encryption Drive; user can set
HDD password in BIOS
setup mode
NOTES
1 “Solid State Drive Market Revenue Set to More than Double this Year on Renewed Ultrabook Hopes” by IHS iSuppli
Research analyst, Ryan Chien, January 23, 2013.
2 “39 Million SSDs Shipped WW in 2012, Up 129% from 2011 - IHS iSuppli,” Storage Newsletter, January 24th, 2013.
3 “Worldwide Solid State Storage 2012-2016 – Forecast & Analysis” by Jeffrey Janukowicz, Research Director, Solid State
Drives and Hard Drive Components, June 2012.
4 “How will the hard drive market fare in a solid state storage world?” by Zsolt Kerekes, Editor, Storage Search – November
13, 2012.
5 “Storage Pricewatch: HDDs back to pre-flood prices, SSDs grow as $/GB holds steady,” by Joel Hruska, Extremetech.com
April 19, 2013; charts by Dynamite Data, LLC (2013).
6 “IDC Research Expects Record Worldwide Solid State Shipments in 2012,” IDC Research, January 9, 2012.
7 “The Impact of Declining PC Sales on Storage Devices,” by Tom Coughlin, storage expert and Forbes contributor, Forbes,
April 11, 2013.
8 “SSD Adoption to Grow, Share Space with HDDs” by Kevin Kwang, ZDNet, February 26, 2010.
9 “Samsung SSD 840 Pro (256GB) Review,” by Anand Lal Shimpi, Anantech.com, September 24, 2012.
10 IBID
11 “Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD specs,” PCWorld, 2013.
Learn more
1-866-SAM4BIZ | samsung.com/business |
Operating Systems: Windows
Vista or Later
Environmental Specs:
Operating Temperature of 32oF
to 140oF
Weight: 0.15lb
Warranty: 5 years
@SamsungBizUSA
© 2013 Samsung Electronics America, Inc. All rights reserved. Samsung is a registered trademark of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. All products,
logos and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. Screen images simulated. This white paper
is for informational purposes only. Samsung makes no warranties, express or implied, in this white paper.
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