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Mtron seems to be making an effort to expand the market presence in general of Solid State drives with a number of different product lines for different market segments and has innovated to produce what they claim is the ‘world’s fastest drive’, even if the title is only temporarily.

If only their competitors would adopt the same strategy. In that case then not only would the adoption of SSD in mainstream computing increase but the increased adoption and equalising competition would have a positive effect on reducing the unit pricing for these devices, where at the moment they are priced at a premium aimed at those who absolutely need the cutting edge disk performance and don’t mind paying a 10x price premium for the privilege.

The Imation company’s pickup of [Mtron’s] SSD products will introduce SSD to users or channels who have previously unaware of this technology and its advantages.

As we have indicated, the unit price is an inhibition to a number of users including early adopters from purchasing SSD. Mtron indicated to us that they are open to using memory components any [major] memory vendor such as Toshiba, Samsung, Micron and Hynix and do not use an exclusive supplier. The Flash memory market in general is dominated by Samsung of Korea and Toshiba of Japan.

There are advantages and disadvantages of this strategy. Maintaining multiple component suppliers allows a vendor to differentiate their products and take advantages of technological and pricing developments with memory. Focusing on a single supplier allows a vendor to optimise reliability and performance but at the expensive of being dynamic and flexible.

In response to Samsungs announcement that they are entering the SSD market, Mtron have entered discussions to formalise a partnership with Toshiba. This is an ideal way to tackle this tough but emerging market and other firms have done the same thing such as Sandisk partnering with M|Systems.

We think that there is more to come, the traditional hard disk vendors such as Seagate, Western Digital and Fujitsu have yet to play all their cards.

Availability in the Australian is currently limited to a single Australian distribution (plus other channels for the Imation products) but we have been told that additional distributors have been signed up during CeBIT Australia resulting in wider availability of SSD in this region in the near future.

The ultimate question remains is as a publication does or can we recommend SSD, which in 2008 have evolved greatly to our readers and the on-line community, whether they are from Mtron or even a competitor?

Well the answer is yes, although our colleagues at other media outlets have disagreed in their analysis of these storage products because they tend to fail to see the bigger picture.

Users have always paid extra for a widget or gadget something that is better, faster and stronger. If one can’t afford the basic gadget in the first place then it shouldn’t be considered to begin with.

Society has bought faster cars, purchased stronger tools or more relevantly, early adopters have paid full price for the fastest computing products upon their release.

It all comes down to time. A faster computing device will let you get your task done quicker, in some cases by an order of magnitude. Letting the user get on with their daily tasks or lives.

What is your time worth to you? The answer isn’t what your pay-check says. Time is priceless. If money isn’t the primary issue and you can pay say 5-10x the purchase price to obtain a device that is in order of magnitudes better that a typical solution then there is no excuse to settle with the cheaper, slower solution.

Yes, Computing power and performance is constantly increasing across the board but what one does with the power is increasing also, it is a never increasing cycle.

What do you do with a bigger truck? You carry more goods. What do you do with more processing cores or faster storage; you do more tasks in the same amount of time.

How many hours have we wasted in our lives staring at progress bars, hourglasses or blank, ‘frozen’ screens? It is not worth it; do we continue our lives staring at these time wasters? Better to early adopt a device and take advantage of it’s time saving properties than wait and acquire such device when the user has little benefit for it.

Users who have been early adopters of the top of the line processors and graphic cards for instance experience a two fold advantage over those who wait :

* Instant time savings

* Future proofing, no upgrades required and device performance sufficient for 3-5yrs use or more.

There is a counter argument though, ‘technology is improving all the time, what I buy now will be outdated next year’

This is true, yes however for traditional disk drives their performance has climaxed and vendors are trying to find new ways to extract more performance out of existing densities and form factors, as demonstrated by theWestern Digital VelociRaptor product or hard disk drives with large on board cache memories such as 32 Megabytes, so there is a very good chance your expensive SSD will still be fast when the next product cycle arrives – plus the piece of mind that SSD are more reliable than HDD.

Other media outlets will just benchmark their product and tell you product x is faster than product y without any explanation as to why you, the user would need such device in the first place or what benefits it would bring.

We can, will and do that, but we would prefer to educate our readers and the community of what alternative storage solutions are out there , especially types which will increase in popularity in the short term.

So we end this article by saying while the purchase cost of SSD is quite high, in the thousands of dollars range for a unit of 64GB and above, they are a wise investment if the finances are available and it’s a small price to pay if it means you can have your tasks done in half or less or the time and spend the saved time away from a computer in the real world.

Further Reading

Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000GLFS Hard Disk Drive Review -

HD Tune benchmark -

Storagesearch -

Mtron MOBI 3000 review -

Mtron PRO 7000 review -

Memoright GT SSD in RAID 0 array configuration review -