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Old February 10th, 2012, 03:03 AM   #1
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Intel SSD's

This came up elsewhere and relates primarily to the Samurai and Ninja, but is also worthy of note for anyone using Intel 320 SSD's (sometimes also known as X25-V).

Currently ONLY the Intel X25 40Gb, 80GB and 160GB SSD's are recommended for the Atomos products. These drives are I believe from the X25-M range, not the newer X25-V range. I would be very cautious about using unsupported SSD's. Many SSD's have issues when used in video devices, not just the Samurai. If using Intel 320's in particular you must be very careful as Intel admit that these can suffer from something they call Bad Context 13x Error, where the drive effectively dies with the loss of all data if it is disconnected or reconnected to it's power source in anything other than a completely perfect manner, which could clearly be a regular occurrence in a device like the Samurai as you remove it and plug it in to the caddy. There is a firmware update for the 320 SSD's from intel

Intel(R) Redirect

But reading through the forums, it appears that the problem has not completely gone away even with the firmware update.

It's not a risk I would be happy with. I believe the 300GB Intel X25-V is actually from the 320 series. I believe the X25-M's are only available in sizes up to 160GB, but I could be wrong.

There's are good reasons why some SSD's and HDD's get approved and others don't. I use Intel X25-M 160GB drives and so far have had no issues.
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Old February 10th, 2012, 05:49 AM   #2
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Re: Intel SSD's

That's rather worrying, especially as it's proving very hard to even find X25-M SSDs anywhere now. Looks like I'll be switching back to the WD Scorpio Black HDD for the next few jobs, until I can get replacement SSDs.

I've not had any issues at all with my 320s, but data loss on client work just isn't an option.

Thanks for the heads-up, Alister.

Dominic
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Old February 10th, 2012, 06:10 AM   #3
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Re: Intel SSD's

Here I was, thinking SSDs were going to be the answer for risky HDDs and would see off for good, the horrors of munted tapes. I had a SSD, not Intel, which would not work out of the box. It did go, of all places, successfully inside of a USB MyBook in which the Seagate HDD had died. So far, the death toll on HDDs for me is five.

I only ever had one MiniDV/HDV tape fail on me. - I had dropped it on a hard surface, so it was not on a critical mission.

I never ever had a product failure with 16mm motion picture film. That is not to say it won't deteriorate over time as an archive but so far so good touch wood.
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Old February 10th, 2012, 11:44 AM   #4
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Re: Intel SSD's

Alister, et al...I'm also using the WD 'Black Scorpio 320GB HDD, Intel X-25 160GB SSD all is well so far, but I haven't done any extensive shooting with the Samurai, yet. I've used the 320GB HDD for fairly static interview style shots and some experimentation. BTW, thanks for the Aurora images, I'm always greatfull to those who are pushing the hardware to it's limits, it lets folks like me know what the technology is capable of. Thanks for the information.

Best regards,

J.
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Old February 10th, 2012, 01:56 PM   #5
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Re: Intel SSD's

I just performed a dry run using the Samurai (2.7 Firmware) with the Kingston 240GB HyperX SSD. Two act play, approx 53 mins each. No issues at all - worked flawlessly.

Kingston 240GB HYPERX 2.5" Solid State Drive SH100S3/240G
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Old February 10th, 2012, 06:40 PM   #6
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Re: Intel SSD's

The Kingston HyperX's also work with Hyperdeck Shuttle's uncompressed recording and PIX 240.
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Old February 11th, 2012, 08:43 AM   #7
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Re: Intel SSD's

Part of the problem is that SSD's were never designed for video use. In a computer, most of the time the majority of the data gets written to the drive and from then on the data is primarily only read from that part of the SSD and relatively little writing takes place. However when used for video, data is constantly being written, read, rewritten, so the number of write cycles can often be much higher than would occur in a computer. In addition in a computer you don't normally fill the drive to capacity, so the SSD's controller can do a lot of "wear levelling" by spreading the data across previously un used parts. In a video recorder, it's quite common to fill the drive whenever it's used so there is less wear levelling or tolerance for defective cells. Memory cells do wear out, they do have limited cycle lives, especially higher capacity/lower cost devices that use MLC (Multi Level Cell) technology that can record several bits of data in a single memory cell by representing different data bits by different voltage levels (as opposed to a Single Level Cell which is one bit of data, either on or off). Any leakage in a MLC cell will corrupt the data. SSD's are still in their infancy and have a long way to go before they achieve the stability of other types of large storage (ignoring shock performance etc).
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Old February 11th, 2012, 08:58 AM   #8
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Re: Intel SSD's

This thread got me thinking: One of the "downsides" I saw to the Gemini is that they use only 1 type of, essentially proprietary ssds. I have thought all along that this is a major downside, but now I'm wondering if this isn't an extremely wise decision by Convergent Design (assuming, of course, that these specific SSDs function without flaws).

Alister and others: do you know if the SSDs for the Gemini have different characteristics from the "off the shelf" SSDs (e.g., use MLC technology, etc"?
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Old February 11th, 2012, 10:03 AM   #9
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Re: Intel SSD's

I have 2 of the Intel SSDSA2CW160G310 solid state drives. One I purchased from B&H photo and the other from a vendor on EBAY. Both were NEW in the box. Both 160 gig drives have been used on 11 commercial shoots in Atomas's Ninja.

I have had zero issues with these recommended drives. When I use these drives I NEVER install them or REMOVE them when the ninja is powered up. I also NEVER install them into the reader with my computer powered up or remove them while said computer is powered up.

So far so good on my end. I do have a back up HDD spinning 500 gig drive,yet have yet to use it. I consider it my "Hail Mary" drive. I,m not really a fan of the HDD as I am moving around a lot with my FS100 rig set up wise while on location. I fear one good bump could trash a days work of work.
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Old February 12th, 2012, 06:45 AM   #10
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Re: Intel SSD's

SSD's are new technology, capable of recording uncompressed full HD.
They have different strengths and weaknesses to HDD's and other solid state drives.
Their write speed is phenomenal, outstripping SCSI RAID by a factor of 3 and rising.
One downside is they have a limited(but not short) life for write / rewrite.
But they are 1/20th the cost of P2 cards at a rough estimate, and 1/4th the cost of SD memory while being 4x faster to record.
It will become clearer in time what kind of disk management is needed to maintain data integity.
In the meantime, I for one am embracing this technology.
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Old February 12th, 2012, 12:19 PM   #11
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Re: Intel SSD's

Paul...I'm with you, the technology is a little green at this stage, but with continued consumer demand, the technology should become more robust.

Regards,

J.
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Old February 13th, 2012, 09:31 AM   #12
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Re: Intel SSD's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kimmel View Post
This thread got me thinking: One of the "downsides" I saw to the Gemini is that they use only 1 type of, essentially proprietary ssds. I have thought all along that this is a major downside, but now I'm wondering if this isn't an extremely wise decision by Convergent Design (assuming, of course, that these specific SSDs function without flaws).

Alister and others: do you know if the SSDs for the Gemini have different characteristics from the "off the shelf" SSDs (e.g., use MLC technology, etc"?
Dear Steve and other Friends,

We tested almost every 1.8" SSD on the market, before we decided on the one we selected.

Then, we have been testing these drives daily, on many Gemini 4:4:4's, for many months.

We know of special techniques, that we employ, to achieve the performance and reliability that our SSD's offer.

These technique allow our SSD's to not slow down as they fill up. And another technique ensures that our SSD's do not slow down over time as they are reformatted and reused.

And we are very conservative in using the SSD's; we are not on the bleeding edge of performance as far as the SSD's are concerned.

Yes, choosing one specific, extremly high performance SSD, is critical to the success of the Gemini 4:4:4.

Our SSD is actually a non-proprietary SSD from a major manufacturer, But they do not sell this SSD via normal retail channels.

In addition, we want every SSD that is used in the Gemini 4:4:4 to be thoroughly tested to ensure that they will work on set. We have to reject (and eat the cost of) SSD's that do not meet our performance standards.

Many SSD's, due to their design, will not work in the Gemini 4:4:4, or any other high-performance device, as they will not meet their published performance specifications when recording video files.

In response to another question:

SSD's do not like it when the power is removed when one is reading or writing to the SSD.

We have built into the Gemini 4:4:4 an effective tool for recovering these SSD's when this occurs.

Thus, with the Gemini 4:4:4, it is important to not remove power at the wrong times, but we can easliy recover if it happens.

Most likely, this will be a user error, if it does happen.

The Gemini 4:4:4 accepts 6 to 19 Volts DC.

With a professional battery, powering a professional camera, the camera will shutdown when the battery gets low (say 10 volts). On some cameras this is a menu option.

The HD-SDI output stops when the camera shuts down, but there is still power left in the battery.

Then the Gemini 4:4:4 will automatically stop the recording and close the file.

Also, a small, low cost UPS will soon be offered, as an accessory, to ensure continuous power to the Gemini 4:4:4 even when the power cord is pulled.

As a side note: We released significant, new "Production Level" firmware for the Gemini 4:4:4 last Friday, February 10, 2012. This is described in our Convergent Design - nanoFlash forum on DVInfo.net.

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/converge...1-0-594-a.html

And this firmware is available on our webstie:

Gemini 444 Firmware Updates | Convergent Design, Professional Video Recorders


I hope this helps.
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Last edited by Dan Keaton; February 13th, 2012 at 05:45 PM.
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Old February 18th, 2012, 10:02 PM   #13
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Re: Intel SSD's

I've been running a 160gb Intel 320-series for a couple of months now without any problems. I never hot-swap the cartridge and always do ejects and inserts with power down. I like the new Intel drives. I just ordered one of the newer 520-series 180gb drives with insanely fast specs for my Samurai.
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 11:09 AM   #14
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Re: Intel SSD's

This video from BVE last week is very interesting: StudioTech 28: BVE 2012 - Atomos Samurai and Ninja - YouTube In it, Jeromy Young (Atomos CEO) demonstrates the Samurai, specifically using an Intel 320 160GB SSD. I wonder if that means they are now 'approved' ...
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 12:03 PM   #15
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Re: Intel SSD's

Dominic...indeed. Before purchasing my current HDD & SDDs I looked at every YouTube video I could find specifically trying to suss out what drives they were using. In several videos I found the Atomos folks using HDDs & SSDs not necessarily on the 'official' Atomos list. For example:

*Hitachi HTS547575A9E384, 750GB, 5400rpm - Used by Jeromy Young at IAB 2011.
*Hitachi HTE725050A9A364, 500GB, 7200rpm - MacVideo review 2011

Note: These are HDDs.

There are several others

Regards,

J.

Last edited by James Kuhn; February 22nd, 2012 at 12:04 PM. Reason: Added 'Note'.
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