Subject: Memory, Storage | June 4, 2014 - 11:15 AM | Sebastian Peak
ADATA has been showing off some upcoming products at Computex, and it's all about DRAM.
We'll begin with an upcoming line of PCIe Enterprise/Server SSDs powered by the SandForce SF3700-series controller. We've been waiting for products with the SF3700 controller since January, when ADATA showed a prototype board at CES, and ADATA is now showcasing the controller in the "SR1020" series drives.
The first is a 2TB 2.5" drive, but the interface was not announced (and the sample on the floor appeared to be an empty shell). The listed specs are performance up to 1800MB/s and 150K IOPS, with the drive powered by the SF-3739 controller. Support for both AHCI and NVMe is also listed, along with the usual TRIM, NCQ, and SMART support.
Another 2TB SSD was shown with exactly the same specs as the 2.5" version, but this one is built on the M.2 spec. The drive will connect via 4 lanes of Gen 2 PCI Express. Both drives in ADATA's SR1020 PCIe SSD lineup will be available in capacities from 240GB - 2TB, and retail pricing and availability is forthcoming.
Continuing the DRAM theme, ADATA also showed new DDR4 modules in commodity and enthusiast flavors. Both of the registered DIMMs on display (an ultra-low profile DIMM was also shown) had standard DDR4 specs of 2133MHz at 1.2V, but ADATA also showed some performance DDR4 at their booth.
A pair of XPG Z1 DDR4 modules in action
No pricing or availability just yet on these products.
May 28, 2014 - 05:30 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The Super Talent RAIDDrive II Plus is a rather interesting take on a PCIe SSD card, it's USB 3.0 connected 25nm MLC NAND storage is on one PCB with a SF-2281 to handle the traffic and on the second PCB is an LSI 2108 RAID on a Chip and 1GB of DDR2-800. That LSI RoC can support most RAID modes, giving you either higher performance or increased reliability all on a single PCIe SSD card. For testing purposes The SSD Review used RAID 0 and found that except in one certain scenario the card was outclassed by a single Intel 480 SSD. If you are not scared of a tough price of $4/GB on a 2TB device and need fast large block sequential reads and writes with no expectation of quick random reads nor writes this is a good choice. Otherwise you might want to consider other alternatives but the technology on this device is rather intriguing.
"The second type of PCIe add-in-card storage takes more of a brute force approach. These devices typically have off-the-shelf SATA/SAS controllers and connect via a PCIe bridge. Think of a HBA/RAID card connected to a SATA SSD, but on a single card. These designs have many advantages and disadvantages. While the cost and time-to-market can be low, they are inherently limited due to the architecture."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Samsung XP941 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD Mini Review @ Legit Reviews
- ASRock Z97 Extreme6 Tests Samsung XP941 M.2 x4, Plextor M6e M.2 x2 and Samsung 840 Pro SATA 3 SSDs @ The SSD Review
- Seagate Enterprise Capacity 3.5 V4 6TB SATA III HDD @ NikKTech
- Corsair Force LX SSD @ The SSD Review
- Plextor M6M 256GB mSATA SSD Review @ Legit Reviews
- OCZ Vertex 460 (240GB) @ Bjorn3d
- Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Edge Boost Server 7mm SSD @ The SSD Review
- Seagate Desktop 3.5″ 4TB Solid State Hybrid Drive @ eTeknix
- Lexar High-Performance microSDHC UHS-I 32GB (633x) Card Review @ Madshrimps
- Kingston Class 10 UHS-1 Ultimate SDXC Card @ The SSD Review
- SanDisk Extreme PRO 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive @ NikKTech
- SanDisk Extreme PRO 128GB USB3 Flash Drive @ Kitguru
- SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-II 32GB Memory Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- Kingston DataTraveler R3.0 G2 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive @ NikKTech
- ADATA XPG 64GB SDXC UHS-I Speed Class 3 U3 Memory Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- Addonics AD25MSD mSATA to 2.5-inch SATA Drive Adapter Review @ Legit Reviews
- RaidSonic ICY BOX IB-RD3662U3S External HDD RAID Enclosure @ NikKTech
- Silicon Power Diamond D20 500GB USB 3.0 Portable HDD Review @ Madshrimps
- QNAP SilentNAS HS-210 2-Bay NAS @ eTeknix
- Synology DiskStation DS214se @ Funky Kit
- ioSafe 214 Dual-bay Disaster-Proof NAS Review @ Techgage
- QNAP SilentNAS HS-210 NAS Server @ NikKTech
- Thecus N2310 2-bay Intelligent NAS @ eTeknix
- Thecus N2560 Network Attached Storage Review @ Modders-Inc
April 4, 2014 - 02:05 AM | Tim Verry
Update: Plextor has provided MSRP pricing for all three drives (see table below). Further, the company expects Newegg prices to be at or possibly slightly below MSRP. The new pricing information certainly makes the drives more attractive than previous estimates.
Plextor showed off its M6e PCI-E SSD at CES earlier this year, and the drives will soon be available for purchase in the US. The M6e is a M.2 form factor SSD that uses a Marvell 88SS9183 controller and Toshiba Toggle NAND MLC flash to offer up to 512GB of speedy (and bootable!) storage.
[inline:files/news/2014-04-04/Plextor M6e PCI-E SSD.png]
The Plextor M6e drive comes as a bare M.2 drive or as a version paired with a M.2-to-PCI-E adapter card for desktop PCs without the newer M.2 connector on the motherboard itself. In either case, the M6e utilizes two PCI-E 2.0 lanes and avoids the SATA III 6Gbps storage bottleneck altogether. The drive has its own BIOS implementation and should not require users to install separate drivers. The SSD supports both legacy and UEFI BIOSes along with standard storage technology such as AHCI, NCQ, encryption (AES-256), TRIM, SMART, et al.
The drives come in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB capacities. The M6e SSDs are rated with a 2,400,000 hour MTBF and come with a 5 year warranty. Both the 256GB and 512GB drives reportedly offer up 770 MB/s sequential reads, 105,000 4K random read IOPS, and 100,000 4K random write IOPS. The 512GB M6e SSD has the highest sequential write speeds at up to 625 MB/s with the 256GB model topping out at 580 MB/s. The 128GB version is a bit slower in sequential writes and random read/write IOPS due to fewer NAND chips and channels, but still manages to offer up to 770 MB/s reads, 335 MB/s writes, 96,000 4K random read IOPS, and 83,000 4K random write IOPS.
The table below lays out the speeds and estimated pricing of the drives at the available capacities according to Plextor. Fortunately, Tek Syndicate found that at least the 256GB drive performs very close to its rated speeds in their video review.
|Plextor M6e Capacities||128GB||256GB||512GB|
|DRAM||256MB DDR3||512MB DDR3||1GB DDR3|
|Sequential Read*||770 MB/s||770 MB/s||770 MB/s|
|Sequential Write*||335 MB/s||580 MB/s||625 MB/s|
|Random Read IOPS*||96,000||105,000||105,000|
|Random Write IOPS*||83,000||100,000||100,000|
*All listed speeds are "up to n MB/s."
The drives will be available later this month at as-yet-unreleased MSRPs. The drives will initially be a Newegg exclusive in the US from April 7th to April 13th, after which it should make its way to other retailers. Note that the USD prices in the above chart are estimates based on pricing information scattered around the internet for the M6e drives. I have reached out to Plextor for comment and will update with official MSRP information as soon as possible.
Subject: General Tech | January 9, 2014 - 02:28 AM | Ken Addison
CES 2014 Podcast Day 4 - 01/08/14
It's time for podcast fun at CES! Join us as we talk about the fourth day of the show including exciting announcements from EVGA, Origin, PCI-E SSDs from Kingston, Plextor, and ADATA and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the Store
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano and Ken Addison
Program length: 48:41
July 28, 2013 - 11:13 AM | Tim Verry
ASUS has officially launched its PCI-E based ROG RAIDR Express SSD which was first shown off at CES 2013. The company posted details and high resolution photos on its Republic of Gamers blog on Friday.
[inline:files/news/2013-07-28/ASUS RAIDR Express PCI-E SSD Installed In A System.jpg]
The new PCI-E-based solid state drive measures 157 x 120 x 20mm and contains 240GB of NAND flash encased in a sleek metal Replublic Of Gamers themed exterior. Specifically, the RAIDR Express uses 19nm Toshiba synchronous MLC NAND flash and two LSI SandForce 2281 SSD controllers. As such, the drive is actually two SSDs that are placed in a RAID 0 configuration for the best performance. ASUS rates the drive at 830 MB/s sequential reads and 810 MB/s sequential writes. The PCI-E SSD is further capable of up to 100,000 4K random IOPS.
[inline:files/news/2013-07-28/ASUS RAIDR Express PCI-E SSD Chips.png]
ASUS has also included what it is calling a "DuoMode" BIOS switch that allows the drive to be used with either legacy or modern UEFI BIOSes. When the switch is in the EUFI position, PCs with the modern UEFI-equipped motherboards can boot up faster.
Beyond the RAIDR Express SSD itself, ASUS includes the following bundled software packages:
- RAMDisk software
- HybriDisk caching software
- SSD TweakIT utility
ASUS is including RAMDisk software that is able to use as much as 80% of system RAM as a virtual drive that can be used to reduce wear on the SSD by using the RAM drive instead of the SSD for writing temporary files and the like. The above mentioned HybriDisk software allows the RAIDR Express SSD to be used as a cache drive for mechanical hard drives up to 4TB in capacity. Users can use the TweakIT utility to manage and optimize the SSD, and the CrystalDiskMark benchmark is being included to allow gamers to run benchmarks on the RAIDR Express to get an idea of its performance.
[inline:files/news/2013-07-28/ASUS RAIDR Express PCI-E SSD.png]
Oddly enough, ASUS has yet to release specific pricing or availability. More information along with the full press release can be found on the Republic of Gamers blog, however.
With that said, some sites are reporting that the RAIDR Express will be sold for around 440 Euros, which works out to about $600 USD or $2.5 per Gigabyte. Update: Commentor Roberto has pointed out that the RAIDR Express 240GB is available over in Japan for around 39,980 Yen, or ~$409 USD which is a much more reasonable price. US availability and pricing are still just estimates at this point, however. A bit on the expensive side (if the price is true) for sure, but it is nice to see another player in the PCI-E SSD space and it looks to be a speedy drive aimed at ROG fans and enthusiasts.
Also read: Details on a 120GB ASUS ROG RAIDR Express SSD @ PC Perspective.
Subject: General Tech, Storage | June 12, 2013 - 08:04 PM | Ken Addison
As Scott covered earlier this week, Apple quietly announced an update to the MacBook Air line along side the headline-grabbing Mac Pro redesign preview. Being a MacBook Air user for the past 2 years, I decided it was time to replace my Sandy Bridge-based model with some new Haswell goodness. Today marked the first day of retail store availability, and I picked up an 11" model with 256GB SSD.
Naturally, when I got back to the office there was only one route to take, installing Windows and disassembling it. While Anand uncovered the fact that these MacBooks were hiding a new unadvertised option, in a PCI-Express based SSD, I wanted to check it out for myself.
When I did some digging, I discovered that while Anand found a Samsung based SSD in his MacBook, mine actually contained a model by Sandisk. I did a quick initial benchmark in OS X, and proceeded to inspect the hardware itself.