Solid State Drives (SSDs) have always underperformed when coupled with Windows Vista. SanDisk’s new file system method now being used on its SSDs aims to change all that.
Daily Tech is reporting that SanDisk has unveiled a new file system fine-tuned for flash drive performance. The new system “ExtremeFFS,” according to SanDisk, offers 100 times faster random write speeds, and will begin shipping on SanDisk products in 2009.
The main reason the new drives mean better performance in Vista-equipped machines has to do with new metrics systems in place to better identify areas of improvement. The vRPM measure details performance between a SSD and a hard disk drive (HDD) or another SSD. The LDE metric measures drive lifespan. SanDisk believes both metrics will help it show off its new file system in addition to the benefits with Vista. Rich Heye, senior vice president and general manager for SanDisk’s Solid-State Drive (SSD) Business Unit remarked, “SSDs will revolutionize client storage, but we need new benchmarks that allow them to be treated differently than HDDs.”
According to Mr. Heye, the large number of random writes in Windows Vista are a critical issue to performance. He stated, “The mismatch to block size is significant.” Vista uses the hard drives associated with the system differently than previous versions of Windows, and it has made performance on any manufacturers’ SSDs very poor overall.
To better combat these issues, the new system allows independent NAND channel operation, allowing some channels to be reading, while others are employed with writes or garbage collection. The new system also “learns” usage patterns and groups data together on the drive smartly to improve performance among most commonly used applications. Mr. Heye continued, “This feature might not show up in benchmarks, but we believe it is the right thing to do for end-users.”
At this point, I don’t really understand why so much attention is being paid to Vista in regards to making hardware work better with it. In a short time, Vista will be old news and Windows 7 will be in the spotlight. I guess some people will always remain die-hard Vista fans, and continually want improvements for the OS.