STORAGE SHENANIGANS

samsung-980-pro-1tb

It seems that the storage industry shenanigans are more than shoveling drive managed shingled hard drives into unsuspecting NAS users. Now new is coming in that WD, Samsung and others are swapping TLC NAND for QLC NAND and/or changing controllers in their respective products,

Such changes should have been heralded with new product numbers but instead the same models are sold side by side. This has led to much confusion in the market place and many are fearful of being given less than what they expected.

Hard disks have long used decimal instead of the JEDEC standard. Long ago hard disks were often used for a database store and the format was often unorthodox as the needs of the database did not fit conventional formats. Given RAM mapping to a hard disk requires exact JEDEC precision shows the folly of the industry.

Today revisionist which I fundamentally object to are an insult to the JEDEC and CPU standards of binary precision. Hard disks use 4096 bytes (4KB) sectors which are JEDEC blocks. So the revisionists want to mess with this as well.

The Intel 665p is an honest QLC SSD and the Samsung 980 PRO is an honest TLC SSD. The low cost Chinese brands are not changing much as they focus on the mainstream affordable components,

Western Digital fessed up to the change, once it was found out, saying in a statement: “In June 2021 we replaced the NAND on the WD Blue SN550 NVMe SSD and updated the firmware. At that time, we updated the product data sheet. For more transparency going forward, if we make a change to an existing internal SSD, we commit to providing a new model number whenever any relevant published specifications are affected. We value our customers and are committed to providing the best possible solution to their data storage needs.”

The Samsung 970 EVO seems to be changing slightly. “In order to continue offering the Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD to consumers during supply constraints, Samsung changed the controller and upgraded to the sixth-generation V-NAND,” a company spokesperson said. “To be transparent with consumers, we updated information on Samsung.com.”

Quiet component shuffling among makers of storage products turns out to be common practice. Only yesterday, Western Digital acknowledged that it had swapped out some SSD components without much notice. Crucial and Adata have also been recently accused of poorly disclosed SSD part swaps, to the detriment of product performance.

Caveat emptor!

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