VOGONS


First post, by bestemor

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So, I stumbled over this thing made by Transcend while browsing:
https://www.transcend-info.com/Embedded/Products/No-836

PSD330
Transcend's 2.5" PATA SSDs offers high-speed UDMA Mode 6, and offer installation flexibility for desktops, laptops or portable devices built around the 2.5" PATA (IDE) storage device standard. When replacing a traditional 2.5" IDE HDD with an SSD to enhance overall system performance, industrial-grade 2.5" PATA SSDs are the optimal choice.

Comes in 32gb/64gb/128gb sizes, all MLC nand. And have these firmware 'features':
- Based on Ultra DMA Mode 4 . <... which seems to contradict the 'Mode 6' statement above ? >
- Built-in ECC (Error Correction Code) functionality
- Advanced Global Wear-Leveling and Block management for reliability
- Static Data Refresh
- Enhanced S.M.A.R.T. function for durability
- Security Command

Not sure what these all mean exactly, but.... I was hoping they'd be kinda 'self reliant', independant from the OS etc.
Though I take it that even with these disks, you'd still have to figure out a way to TRIM the drive manually (not built in?).
But I have yet to use a single SSD in older systems, so my knowledge and experience is rather.... non-existant.
Has anyone tried any of these ? On Win98 perhaps ?

On paper this model look rather sturdy and durable(!), and with suitable sizes for at least Win98 and up.
Thinking these might be a good long term alternative to using CF-cards or when regular spinning platters eventually are dying out. Or not?

The smallest size cost about the same as a WD Black 500gb ($100ish).

Reply 1 of 15, by mothergoose729

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They sound like an industrial product. A quick search on google shows that they aren't super expensive, but they are at least twice the cost of an equivalent capacity SATA SSD.

I think global wear leveling is a pretty standard feature on a lot of drives these days, although I am not sure about ECC and "static data refresh" (whatever that means in the context of nonvolatile memory). I am more inclined to buy a cheaper SSD and a SATA->IDE adapter.

Reply 2 of 15, by cyclone3d

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Cheaper to just get a SATA SSD and an IDE to SATA adapter for desktop use if you don't have any PCI slots available.

For desktops with PCI slots, you can just use a PCI SATA 1 RAID controller or non-RAID controller if it has a BIOS.

For laptops, you can get 44-pin IDE to m.2 adapters.

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Reply 3 of 15, by mothergoose729

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Even if I have a spare PCI slot I still prefer to use the onboard IDE controller. The RAID bios takes way longer to initialize than it saves me in boot time anyway. 33mb/s is fast enough, and that is how I feel about modern flash memory for retro computers in general.

Reply 4 of 15, by cyclone3d

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Then IDE to SATA adapter is the best option.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header
Epstein didn't kill himself

Reply 6 of 15, by darry

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mothergoose729 wrote on 2021-06-09, 22:14:

Even if I have a spare PCI slot I still prefer to use the onboard IDE controller. The RAID bios takes way longer to initialize than it saves me in boot time anyway. 33mb/s is fast enough, and that is how I feel about modern flash memory for retro computers in general.

First, I am also not a fan of RAID BIOS that is basically implemented purely in software. IMHO, one should either use non-BIOS software RAID that is not bound to a specific controller (to avoid issues in case of controller failure) OR use an actual hardware RAID controller AND have spare controllers on hand in case of a controller failure .

That said, using a non-RAID PCI controller with its own BIOS can have the added advantage of alleviating disk size constraints without having to resort to DDO or to an XTIDE .

Reply 7 of 15, by bestemor

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Heh.... ok. All I am hearing here is basically 'no' then.... so.

Was just thinking this MLC industrial drive might be somewhat (much?) more durable and/or reliable down the road, at least better than regular SSDs, which was the main attraction.
And coming brand new in such small sizes AND being native IDE from the get go, also had some allure...

Reply 8 of 15, by darry

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bestemor wrote on 2021-06-10, 01:58:

Heh.... ok. All I am hearing here is basically 'no' then.... so.

Was just thinking this MLC industrial drive might be somewhat (much?) more durable and/or reliable down the road, at least better than regular SSDs, which was the main attraction.
And coming brand new in such small sizes AND being native IDE from the get go, also had some allure...

I am not saying that it is necessarily a bad idea. But consider this
a) do not assume that an MLC based drive necessarily has better endurance than a high quality 3D TLC NAND one, especially if the drives are not the same size . Check quoted endurance figures . Those Transcend ones specify 80TBW max ( presumably for the 128GB model) which is not impressive at all. A 250GB SATA Samsung 870 EVO (3D TLC) has nearly twice the endurance and is likely much cheaper as well (not to mention twice the capacity).

b) Unless you want to use an IDE SSD in a very late generation board (which already supports large capacity drives), or you want to stick to a very small size drive, you are going to need either a DDO, an XTIDE or a PCI disk controller with a BIOS that supports large drives. If that is required, it may be simpler to get a SATA SSD and a proper SATA PCI controller .

c) if you really want to use the onboard IDE port, a good quality IDE to SATA adapter plus a SATA SSD is still probably cheaper than one of those IDE SSDs, AFAICT (and you would still likely need an XTIDE in eithet case).

In other words, unless these IDE SSDs are somehow very inexpensive to you currently, I would pass on them .

Jusy my 2 cents.

Reply 9 of 15, by cyclone3d

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darry wrote on 2021-06-10, 00:40:
mothergoose729 wrote on 2021-06-09, 22:14:

Even if I have a spare PCI slot I still prefer to use the onboard IDE controller. The RAID bios takes way longer to initialize than it saves me in boot time anyway. 33mb/s is fast enough, and that is how I feel about modern flash memory for retro computers in general.

First, I am also not a fan of RAID BIOS that is basically implemented purely in software. IMHO, one should either use non-BIOS software RAID that is not bound to a specific controller (to avoid issues in case of controller failure) OR use an actual hardware RAID controller AND have spare controllers on hand in case of a controller failure .

That said, using a non-RAID PCI controller with its own BIOS can have the added advantage of alleviating disk size constraints without having to resort to DDO or to an XTIDE .

If you set up a single drive on a RAID card, then you don't have to do any sort of configuration change to move it to a different controller or even hook it up to a regular SATA controller.

Just like a single RAID1 drive, you can hook it up to whatever controller you want and it should work just fine.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header
Epstein didn't kill himself

Reply 10 of 15, by mothergoose729

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bestemor wrote on 2021-06-10, 01:58:

Heh.... ok. All I am hearing here is basically 'no' then.... so.

Was just thinking this MLC industrial drive might be somewhat (much?) more durable and/or reliable down the road, at least better than regular SSDs, which was the main attraction.
And coming brand new in such small sizes AND being native IDE from the get go, also had some allure...

All the ways that SSD drive engineering can distinguish itself just don't matter very much for our application. More expensive SSD drive have more reserve cache to better manage performance and prolong the life of the drive as chips fail. They also have a larger volatile memory cache for handling sustained writes. Sometimes they use higher quality NAND flash or lower density MLC as well.

It's not that these drives couldn't be better, although I am skeptical that they really are. It is just that it probably doesn't matter even if it is. SSDs are not prone to spontaneous failure. Write endurance isn't important if you are only going to fill the drive up a handful of times, and more performance is wasted when you are limited by the IDE bus anyway.

Reply 11 of 15, by digistorm

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Those industrial SSDs are usually made more rugged to be guaranteed to operate reliably in harsh conditions for a prolonged time. Like high temperatures and vibrations, dust etc. They are also made to be a drop-in replacement for an existing system, without the shenanigans that you *can* have with “camera” CF or SD cards. They emulate the spinning drive they replace so the existing system does not behave erratically. That is also why they offer small sizes, to accommodate the small sizes the system accepts that they are installed into. If you do not need this kind of bullet proof reliability then a cheap consumer solution will be more suitable and affordable.

Reply 12 of 15, by The Serpent Rider

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you'd still have to figure out a way to TRIM the drive manually (not built in?).

TRIM is a part of ATA commands, so it can be used on IDE too, if SSD controller has support. The main problems is OS support - Windows will not TRIM drives which are not NTFS partition. Also occasional TRIM via additional software will not help with increased write amplification, only for restoring drive write speed. To decrease write amplification (how much NAND cells are used when writing something) TRIM must be always active.

But with Windows 98 SE you'll hardly see any negative impact. Plus you can add overprovisioning to increase drive durability - about 20-25% of storage space unpartitioned, for SSD to manage garbage collection more easily.

As for "high capacity" 44-pin IDE SSDs - they are mostly not worth it, due to price. But in some cases they slightly more compatible with motherboard or RAID controller than SATA SSD and PATA adapter duo.

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Reply 14 of 15, by The Serpent Rider

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First of all, Transcend is just flexing their marketing bull about "industrial" SSDs. Not to mention that such drives are usually not good performers in general, even for PATA interface.

Secondly, it doesn't matter, when capacity difference is 4x times or more in favor for modern SATA drive. There are some exceptions, like old SLC SSDs with very high durability (see Intel X25-E), but these Transcend drives are MLC. You simply can format mentioned WD Black to 64-128 Gb and get even better results, due to overprovisioning.

Overall, that PATA SSD is just highly overpriced crap.

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Reply 15 of 15, by sirotkaslo

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I have two of these drives and they do work great with no hassle with just a 44 to 40 pin adapter. It's not the fastest SSD out there, but than again, we're talking about win98, I had a 4.3GB drive in 1999.