Saturday, July 19, 2008

Asus Eee PC SSD read and write tests. 901 vs 900 vs 900 16G


There are some good news and some bad news...

Click here to see more

Asus Eee PC 901 internal 4GB SSD


Asus Eee PC 900 internal 4GB SSD


Asus Eee PC 901 8GB PCI-E SSD


Asus Eee PC 900 16GB PCI-E SSD


New Asus Eee PC 900 16G, 16GB PCI-E SSD


For comparison, this is the 30GB Toshiba MK3008GL HDD




So... 901 has a bit better write speed but slower read on the 4GB SSD.

8/16GB PCI-E SSD is the same as on Eee 900..

But.. The new cheaper Eee PC 900 16G is slow... super slow.
I have tested XP on my 900's 16GB SSD, and it was slow.
But this new one is horrible slow.

My advice: Don't buy the new Asus Eee 900 16G.
If you have bought it, return it.

Earlier tests: 4G vs 8G vs 900

Add 8, 16, 32, and 64 GB to your ASUS EEE PC with MYDIGITALSSD PCI-e SSD!Buy from MyDigitalDiscount.com
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66 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting... :) Thanks once again JKK

inquisitor said...

Thanks.

As these results should let people consider replacing the SSD-module by a 1.8" HDD, it would be interesting to see a comparison of the SSD-modules against a 1.8" HDD in terms of battery life.

Chippy said...

If you had hibernation enabled, the battery would be flat before it completed hibernation ;-)

England said...

Thank you, you saved me from buying one. I think now I will just save up a little more, and see what is on the market in a few months. Thanks JKK!

TRGfunds said...

Will it be possible to put faster/larger SSD drives into the 900 as they become more affordable?

England said...

TGR, yes I believe it is. As one of the SSD's is not soldered to the motherboard.

Travis said...

I'm so glad I went from 702 8G to the 1000H. It should be here in a week or so.

seba said...

JKK: can u run same test on your 1.8" 30 GB HDD?

rizal said...

looks almost the same for me....

JKK said...

Updated with HDD speed as requested..

Emilio said...

Hm, the PCI-E SSD is so slow... I'll definitely rip it out and substitute it with something akin to the Toshiba HDD.

Anonymous said...

@Emilio

The question is, how the replacement of the SSD by a HDD will affect battery life.

JKK said...

on 901 there seems to be no difference on battery life..

access time, heat and durability will suffer thou..

Inquisitor said...

Does a 1.8" HDD produce that much heat, that you fear a shortened durability?

Mathias said...

Is the Asus Eee 900 16G so slow that it wont work in a normal Windows XP enviroment? I want to use it for browsing the web and maybe watch some movies.

DougC-3 said...

Up until now, I have not been bothered by ASUS's multi-model approach. If they want to use up spare components they have on hand or can obtain conveniently, that's fine with me... if the buyer is informed about what s/he is getting. But is this not beginning to look like "let the buyer bewared?"

We're very fortunate to have someone like you, JKK, to test these things out for us. Thanks

DougC-3 said...

Of course I meant "let the buyer beware." <:]

England said...

The HDD does have much better write speeds though...darn. I'm torn between the 900 and 901. Jkk, what is your honest opinion? I'm on a tightISH budget. Being 16, $600 is quite a bit of money for me.

Glen said...

It's the 903 that I'm interested in! I wish they'd hurry up and make an announcement about the 903. If they don't soon i'll probably buy the new Kohjinsa SC instead.

JKK: i have itchy fingers. do you have any info. on the 903 that could stop me buying a Kojinsha? :) Relese date? info. on specs? anything?

Anonymous said...

@Glen: "Eee PC 903" was just a working name; the actual product name will be "Eee 900 A".

Mike Cane said...

Maybe I'm going blind, but I don't see a huge difference. Does it really *feel* that slow in actual use? That model isn't here in the US (by US, I mean J&R -- ha!), so not really a worry for me. Besides, after seeing you drop that HD into the 901, it's gone up in my estimation. But, ouch!, US$600!!!

Travis said...

@Inquisitor
In regards to durability I think JKK means that the HDD is prone to damage when dropped and the SSD isn't

Noname said...

What about new Linux 20 gb version?

Anonymous said...

I mean asus eee 901 20gb linux version. Same speed as 16 gb on 900?

Anonymous said...

Some Best Buy's in the US have the 16 GB 900 out so you can play with them. I wanted to check it out before I bought one and I'm glad I did. It was horribly slow. I ordered a 901 instead.

bostonirishguy13 said...

"Maybe I'm going blind, but I don't see a huge difference. Does it really *feel* that slow in actual use?"

Nope. Works fine for everyday use. I think we need to define "slow."

Sebulon Starfighter said...

Thanks for this extremely useful information. I canceled my pre-order for an EEE 900 16G here in Sweden and will be looking for other better options that are not trying to cheat their customers.

Anonymous said...

What is the Y-axis in the diagrams?

Comparing e.g. 4GB 900 and 8GB 901 the overall impression is that the latter is slower, but that is only for Y-values above 16.0. For smaller Y's 8GB 901 is actually faster. So what is it? kB or MB?

And what Y's apply to normal usage?

/David A

JKK said...

it is transfer rate in mb/sec..

values are file sizes..

so writing speed for 8192mb file on 901 is 31,359 mb/sec

"normal" usage depends on what you are doing..

so if you are surfing you write small files..
if you are transfering pic from cam you are writing bigger files.

Anonymous said...

So the read speeds of the second 8gb ssd in the 901 almost match those of the faster 4gb one! Would that not suggest that there will be no real advantage in installing software on the 4gb ssd, and that it can be kept exclusively for the operating system?

Anonymous said...

File size in megabytes then.

Statistics from my file system. Number of non-empty files categorized by sizes. Only 106 of 55559 files are 8.0 MB or larger. 0.2%.

Size File Percent
MB Count of files
---- ----- -------
0..1 53252 95.8%
1..2 246 0.4%
2..4 556 1.0%
4..8 1399 2.5%
8.. 106 0.2%
---- ----- -------
Total 55559 99.9%

Me, I should only compare in the four topmost bars in each diagram.

Your milage etc.

/David A

Anonymous said...

How can you tell if your eeePC 900 20GB is the newer or older version. Would the serial number begin differently, by any chance?

Anonymous said...

I am still confused. How can you write a 8192MB file onto a 4GB flash disk? Is it maybe kilobytes?

/David A

JKK said...

yep 8192 is kilobytes..

Popol55 said...

http://img243.imageshack.us/img243/9993/attoaao1dy6.jpg

Here is the SSD test of AcerAspire ONE

Anonymous said...

This is a really big issue acually.
I just bought one of the 900:s in sweden. The SSD is so slow in random write its impossible to download torrents and do normal work at the same time.

Torrent download tops out at 100-200k with waiting for IO at 99%. Sometime it goes to 300k and than freezes and drops back to 10k/s. Its so terrible that I'm looking for ways to return it. My 3g mobile internet tops out the computer at download...

Don't buy it!

Tom said...

Hi JKK, thanks for great work! I wish I had seen these tests before I ordered my new EEE 900 16G.

However, I am thinking about possible solution to the speed problem. What if I buy a new fast 8GB SDHC card, plug it to the reader, and install WinXP on this one. Is there some technological reason why it would not work? Would Class 6 card ($30-40 at Amazon) be fast enough? I am sure it would be a great help for many unlucky new EEE owners if you could either say why this would not work or try it out for us.

Anonymous said...

I got one of the 16GB models in Denmark. The Xandros OS runs fine, I assume it's because it does very few writes.

However I gave up on Windows 2000, because it would run so unbelieveably slow. I mean, really, run fine for 5 seconds, wait for 20 seconds, run for 5 seconds, then wait again. That is how Windows 2000 SP4 runs on it :-(

marky said...

Is this just write and read speed?
Is it slower at other operations, like surfing the web etc.?

Anonymous said...

Relax. I have Eee PC 900 and it's not slow. I suppose that this model is enough comfortable to see movies (HD quality also) and browse www...

Flemming Toft said...

I just purchased the new Eee900 but stille kept my Eee701 both has XP Pro in a nLite version. My 701 runs perfect top speed.......but my NEW 900 :-( i will make it back to LINUX until i find out what is wrong with this setup for XP, it runs perfect for 2 min. then it i horrable fore 1 min and it continues.........

Daniel said...

I bought the 16G-version today - and sure its slow as hell at first. But after installing all drivers and programs, rebooting twice - everything went from slow to smooth. No issue there.

Joakim said...

Hello!
Tnx for all the great info about all mini pc´s. I have allredy bought a Asus Eee 900 whit the slow 16gb harddrive. And i have some questions. Is it relly slow whit xp on it? Do you think its a okey computer to just surf and play poker on?

Emil Cox said...

Okay so I'm in the mood for buying one of these litte f**kers, and I will also do my best to install a touchscreen on it as showed on this very blog.

Now as I've read this post, and several others on the same topic, I'm starting to doubt my plan of buying the new 900 (the one with the slow ssd) and instead thinking about waiting for the 901.

'Wait' I say beacause it is not released here in sweden yet, and I really need the computer before the 27th of August. Is it released in other countries as of now and do you think I should spend the extra cost and time of importing one?

d@vK3nR3m said...

I purchased a 900 16g from Best Buy (Windows Version) Slower than dirt, I'm going to keep it due to their 15% restocking fee. Any of the new drives for under $250.00 at www.mydigitaldiscount.com make a difference in these machine? Is the problem with these processor speed or SSD speed. I put 2gig of RAM in it and it does not seem tom amke much difference.

Aaron said...

Awwww DAMNIT! I ordered the new 900 with the really slow SSD for 399. I guess I'll just stick with it.

Kristoffer said...

I modded in a USB HDD 160GB. That makes the machine a smooth operator, was a snug fit but managed to find a spot under the motherboard.

The SDD drive can go choke on itself, that 16GB one was HORRIBLE.. thank god you can mod these things quite easily.

Currently upgraded ram to 2GB, installed 160GB HDD, upgraded battery to the 10400mAh, installed bluetooth into it.

Working on adding GPS and a radio transmitter around the screen area. It's amazing how much things you can fit into the machine.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to order 900 but there are 2 version...1) 16GB SSD ram 309euro 2) 4GB+16GB SSD for 329euro...the money is not the problem but what is better to buy? and something else...how much GB ssd can i plus in future?..thank you

JKK said...

If those were my 2 choises, I'd get the 4GB + 16GB. That way I would have more choises to upgrade if needed.

Currently the biggest SSD for it would be 64GB

Anonymous said...

Thank you JKK!..I'm going to order then 900 4GB+16GB ssd with Linux..Thank you againa from Greece

Miss Dipsy said...

I have a 900 16G and I haven't noticed any problems with speed at all - in fact I'd say it's at least as fast as my desktop PC!

I have the Linux version, though, which I'm sure makes a difference; I wouldn't bother with Windows on an Eee PC, I don't see what the benefit is!? Why on earth would you want to install a massive bloated OS on a netbook? What exactly can you do with Windows that you can't do on a Linux machine? Virtually every comment I've seen complaining about the speed has been from people with Windows Eees. I'm not a Linux obsessive, I've got a Windows PC and the Eee is the first Linux computer that I've owned, so I'm not saying this as some sort of Linux evangelist!! I'm guessing some people assume Linux is too geeky and difficult to use, but it couldn't be further from the truth in the case of the Eee; the default "easy mode" could be used by a complete novice or technophobe, and the "advanced mode" is fine for most people with a moderate level of computing experience.

I'm sure the speed would become more of a problem with certain kinds of tasks, such as the Anonymous poster who said he couldn't download torrents whilst working on something else (I have to say: why not just do your serious downloading on a desktop PC?! You're not going to fit much on a 16gig drive anyway!), but I think for most people's purposes they really wouldn't notice any problem with speed.

My advice: get the Linux version, and remember that the Eee is not supposed to be a substitute for a "proper" PC, it's meant to be a simple ultraportable netbook, well suited to web browsing, document editing etc, but not for downloading massive files or running demanding software.

JKK said...

Miss Dipsy, yep, it's good for "most" people. But not for me or most of my readers that are tech orientated and actually want to use these computers as "proper" PC.

I'm using mine as a mobile computer at work everyday and I need the performance, reliability and support for work related softwares which are not available for Linux.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have figures for the new atom based 901 with the 20G ssd? Im thinking of upgrading if that drive is better.

Anonymous said...

Hi

I would like to buy a EEE 900A or EEE 901. We have a few available versions in Romania:
-EEE 900A with 16Gb
-EEE 901 with 12Gb with Windows XP installed
-EEE 901 with 20Gb
I need a very light notebook to carry around.

JKK I have read about the speed tests (thanks a lot) and I wonder which one to choose. Is there a significant difference between the 3 models? I want to use Windows XP for web-browsing, mail and document editing. Would I also be able to play a movie (probably when I travel by train)?

Which one should I choose?
Thanks a lot and keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Some of these links are worth a read as they may influence how you interpret the results of your
SSD capacity comparison tests:
http://www.neowin.net/news/main/08/08/07/samsung-and-microsoft-work-to-speed-up-ssds
hardware.slashdot.org/hardware/08/07/23/0029227.shtml
http://gizmodo.com/5027778/sandisk-blames-vista-for-slow-deployment-in-ssds
http://www.engadget.com/2008/07/22/sandisk-ceo-says-vista-not-optimized-for-ssds/

What would be additional information that would help this analysis would be the block size implemented by each of the SSDs you have tried. Do the larger SSDs up the block size or are they all using the same?

Windows XP and Vista appear (currently) not to deal with certain block sizes very well.

Justin said...

Buyer beware. I have the 900, and it's *completely unusable*. Even just for browsing the web. 3 minutes to open firefox. 1-2 minute delays on every click. I've tried various things, in fact I got to hear by googling for fixes, but nothing is forthcoming. It's just horrible. Avoid at all costs.

Anonymous said...

I just got a 16GB 900 for use at work (for use as a coms room laptop). Anyway, i put XP on it and it was hopelessly slow. I was seeing write IO response times in the order of 3 seconds plus!!! (100- 50ms is more resonable for a workstation). So i frigged about for a while trying to mitigate the impact of this hopeless write response (RAM disks, no demand paging, XP prefetch off etc). And then I updated the BIOS to the latest on the ASUS website. Response times down to about 300ms - which means XP is now perfecly usable...

Kevinmc2000 said...

I just compared my 900 linux with a 900 Windows version. The windows eee has a 4gb drive with the os and an 8Gb drive for data.In BIOS the 4Gb is called Asus Python SSD OB, while the 8Gb drive is the same name as the 16Gb that comes in the Linux eee, called ASUS Python SSD. I just compared both pc's running the same version of windows xp (that comes with this asus) and the linux EEE is CONSIDERABLY slower. The HDD light remains on most of the time while this does not happen in the windows version. Hope this may help someone.
Kevin

Anonymous said...

Shock newsflash: Numbnuts takes a windows XP disk (probably a stock copy burned from a friend) and attempts to overwrite a machine that includes custom hardware optimised to another operating system.

Makes no mention of looking up the respective Windows XP driver for the target machines 16GB ssd which the poster clearly states has a different codename in BIOS.

Surprised that it didn't perform well: No.

If you want to run windows XP on an ASUS eee then buy it preinstalled and flog anything you don't want on ebay.

Anonymous said...

I'm writing this on a 900 16Gb, using Eeebuntu 8.10
And YES, the harddrive is slowing down my work. If I have 3 or more tabs or any flash loading, the green HDD-light turns on and stays on for about 5 seconds, and sometimes the screen dims down, and then it returns. Like that, on and off.
I'm going to try to get the newest BIOS, but if that fails, I'll either have to buy a new faster SSD, or have it sent for "repairs", since I'm on 2 year contract.

Anonymous said...

JKK...are you beginning to see the end of the SSD hype cycle on the horizon?

I hope so.

You should stop pumping Flash SSD now that we all see it's a big rip-off compared to a good HDD.

In your own testing you have now seen that MLC flash gets SLOWER (and NOT faster) as the capacity of the chips increases.

http://jkkmobile.blogspot.com/2008/07/asus-eee-pc-ssd-read-and-write-tests.html

The NAND Flash manufacturers have known this would happen and have been hiding it as they tricked the entire marketplace into believing that consumers would get faster computers that used less power if they only stopped buying HDD and bought NAND Flash instead.

For awhile, we believed them.

Now we are seeing that Flash SSDs make your computer slower...not faster, because (as Gene Amdahl told us 40 years ago), the speed of a system depends on the speed of the slowest part -- and NAND flash writes are WAY slower than disk. We are also now finding that there is little or no meaningful difference in battery life.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdnyCHmq51w

To make things worse JKK, you mislead your readers when you compare the performance of Flash SSD to HDD using an old, obsolete iPod HDD Toshiba MK3008GL for comparison.

Do your readers realize that you used a four-year old 4,200 RPM model with a 16MB/sec interface that was made ONLY for streaming low-bandwidth video in ultra-power constrained iPods?

http://www.toshibastorage.com/main.aspx?Path=StorageSolutions/1.8-inchHardDiskDrives/MK3008GAL/MK3008GALSpecifications

I'm guessing you already know that if you had compared those SSD's to a REAL HDD, a recent model like the Toshiba MK1214GAH, you'd have seen that it is about FOUR TIMES FASTER than SSD and when you put one in a netbook it flat out blows the Flash SSD away in almost every performance test, INCLUDING boot time and hibernate/resume.

It's time to get off the Flash SSD bandwagon. Write performance sucks and, because of the way NAND flash works at the silicon device level, Flash performance is getting WORSE as SSDs get bigger!!!! Get to the right people at Samsung, Intel and Micron and they'll all tell you that that's just the way it is...period...end of story.

Meanwhile, HDD transfer rates get BETTER as bit densities and device capacity gets bigger.

By the way...another little turd in the punchbowl at the Flash SSD hype party is a little known power calculation that the Flash SSD makers never want to publish. It's called "watts per Gigabyte". Check it out and do some math...

Sorry to rain on the Flash SSD parade, but it's time to wake up and smell the coffee. Tell me again, why should I pay 3x more for half the capacity and no performance improvement?

Flash SSD is not dead yet but it's starting to smell really bad...

JKK said...

Anon, i think you have not been following the resent news...

New mlc based SSDs intel and others are making beat any hdd...

Prices are also going done..

Have you seen my tests on runcore SSDs?

... and about slow and old drive.. just check what HP is using on their Mini 1000.


SSD party has just begun!

Anonymous said...

Hey i have a eee 901; does any one knows smth about read/write speed in raid 1/0?
does it make sense to make a raid 1 or 0 with half of the 8gb drive and the whole (faster) 4gb ?
afaik the sw raid from linux also makes striping in raid 1 by reading.

do you know smth about it? i mean if i don't have any improvment in reading speed (and writing...) i would't make sense to build an raid on an eee 901.

Anonymous said...

Hm i tried it out,
with bonnie++ and dd there is no improvment in reading speed....
I made a raid1... with archlinux..
but after testing all the stuff i had an idee....
I think the point why there is no readingspeed improvment is because both sdd's are connected to the same controler.....
keep on...

Anonymous said...

Hello can you tell me the software that you use for testing the ssd speed please?

AndytheClown said...

Ive got the Acer Aspire One with the 16GB SSD - with the native install of linux, it runs fine - with xp its so slow, and I mean 4-5min boots and 4-5 shutdown, every operation takes ages to complete, even something simple like opening the control panel - Internet browsing - dont bother.
The recovery partition was corrupt, and not having discs I scoured the net to find Linpus linux, recommended bu ASUS, narr 0 thats just as slow as XP and took about 6 hrs to install.
I ended up with PuppyLinux running and boy does it run. As puppy runs a lot in memory and doesnt access the SSD, its ideal - full driver support for Wifi and webcam with Skype - Perfect. Try it guys if you havnt already - you can boot from a USB stick live too, if you dont want to install. I think the version im using in Puppy Lupu 5.28 which is compatible with Ubuntu and Debian - but theres loads of .pups and .pets already available,

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