by Andy Patrizio
The 1TB flash barrier is falling to pieces, thanks to a Kingston 1TB thumb drive and more significantly, a Mushkin Chronos 960GB solid-state drive (SSD), due to ship this month.
Chronos line is of 2.5-inch drives focused on performance, supporting SATA III for 6GBps of throughput. The 960GB Chronos doubles the high end of capacity for Chronos drives and is targeted at disk-intensive applications like workstations and servers.
The Chronos line uses LSI’s SandForce SF-2281 controllers, the same ones used in the . Chronos 480GB SSD, which can reach read speed of up to 540MB/s read speed, write speeds of up to 430MB/s and up to 37000 input/output operations per second (IOPS).
Mushkin has not said when it will ship or listed a price yet, but NewEgg lists it at $999, putting it slightly over $1 per GB. That’s well below the trend on SSD drives. Mushkin’s 240GB Chronos is $164 on NewEgg and the 480GB drive is $319. So you would actually save a significant amount of money buying two 480GB drives and striping them with RAID0.
“With the growing demand for higher capacity and higher performance storage, we are excited to now offer our Chronos SSD in an industry-leading size, and continue our commitment to meeting market needs,” said Brian Flood, director of product development at Mushkin in a statement. “For CAD, animation or similar applications where speed and space are key, the new 960GB high-capacity Chronos SSD really shines.”
Jim Handy, president of Objective Analysis, follows the SSD market and has a mixed view. “The folks at Cadence [Design Systems] tell me that CAD doesn’t benefit a lot from SSDs. As for animation, that’s a small enough market that it doesn’t matter much, but it does get good benefits from SSDs. I have spoken to some animators who swear by SSDs,” he said.
For consumers, the trend in SSD has been to use the SSD as a fast boot drive for Windows but leave apps and data on a large, standard HDD drive. Those folks aren’t as likely to jump to the big, expensive SSD.
“Few end-users other than gamers see any value to using a high-capacity SSD. It’s just too costly, and the benefits are too small. At least gamers get to brag to an audience of fellow gamers who will listen in admiration. You and me? If we talk about adding a 1TB SSD to our systems everyone will simply ask: ‘Why?’ So the market for this would be the enterprise and gamers,” said Handy.