Introduction and Specifications
Intel has pushed out many SSDs over the years, and unlike many manufacturers, they have never stopped heavily pushing SSD in the enterprise. They did so with their very first push of the X25-M / X25-E, where they seemingly came out of nowhere and just plunked down a pair of very heavy hitting SSDs. What was also interesting was that back then they seemed to blur the lines by calling their consumer offering 'mainstream', and considering it good enough for even some enterprise applications. Even though the die-hard stuff was left to the SLC-based X25-E, that didn't stop some consumers from placing them into their home systems. The X25-E used in this review came from a good friend of mine, who previously had it installed in his home PC.
With several enterprise class models out there, we figured it was high time we put them all alongside each other to see where things are at, and that's the goal of this particular piece. We were motivated to group them together by the recent releases of the DC S3500 and DC S3700 drives, both using Intel's new Intel 8-channel controller.
|X25-E||SSD 320||SSD 710||SSD 910*||DC S3500||DC S3700|
|Capacity||32, 64GB||40, 80, 120, 160, 300, 600GB||100, 200, 300GB||400, 800GB||80, 120, 160, 240, 300, 480, 600, 800GB||100, 200, 400, 800GB|
|Write (4k)||3.3k||23k (8GB span)||2.7k||18.7k||11k||32k|
- Since the SSD 910 is subdivided into 4 or 2 (depending on capacity) physical 200GB volumes, we chose to test just one of those physical units. Scaling can then be compared to other units placed into various RAID configurations. 910 specs were corrected to that of the single physical unit tested.
- All other listed specs are specific to the tested (bold) capacity point.
Starting with the good old X25-E, which pretty much started it all, is Intel's original SATA 3Gb/sec 10-channel controller. Despite minor tweaks, this same controller was used in the X25-M, X25-M G2, SSD 320 and SSD 710 Series. Prior to Intel releasing their own 6Gb/sec SATA controller, they filled some of those voids by introducing Marvell and SandForce controllers with the 510 and 520, respectively, but those two were consumer-oriented drives. For the enterprise, Intel filled this same gap with the 910 Series - a PCIe LSI Falcon SAS RAID controller driving 2 or 4 6Gb/sec SAS Hitachi Ultrastar SSDs. Finally (and most recently), Intel introduced their own SATA 6Gb/sec controller in the form of the DC S3500 and DC S3700. Both are essentially the same 8-channel controller driving 20nm or 25nm IMFT flash, respectively.
More to follow on the next page, where we dive into the guts of each unit.
Subject: Storage | June 3, 2013 - 09:59 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: super talent, ssd, mx3, computex 2013, computex
San Jose-based storage manufacturer Super Talent has announced its new UltraDrive MX3 SSD. This new drive is the successor to the existing UltraDrive MX2, and is allegedly twice as fast. In an interesting twist, Super Talent is releasing the MX3 in both MLC and SLC flavors, to serve the consumer and enterprise markets simultaneously with the same branded drive and controller.
The MX3 is a SATA 3 6Gbps drive that is rated at 500MB/s reads and 400MB/s writes. The MLC version will come in capacities ranging from 64GB to 512GB while the SLC flash SKUs top out at 256GB. The chart below details the model numbers at each capacity point for both the MLC and SLC SKUs, depending on what you need.
In the press release, Super Talent CEO Abraham Ma stated the following:
“We are excited to introduce the MX3. Not only does it offer a considerable upgrade in speed from its predecessor, the MX2, it is also an extremely reliable device that we believe fits the needs of our OEM and consumer customers.”
Pricing and availability have not been announced, however.
Stay tuned to PC Perspective throughout the week for more Computex 2013 news.
Subject: Storage | May 28, 2013 - 01:47 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ssd, crucial m500, mlc, marvell 9187, RAIN
Before discussing the impressive price point of Crucial's M500 drive their are two features worth mentioning about this drive, RAIN and the Marvell 9187 controller. RAIN is Redundant Array of Independent NAND which offers data parity which will allow you to successfully recreate data after an uncorrectable error, something which might put the minds of those still leery of SSDs to rest. The new Marvell controller is the secret to the pricing of this drive, it allows the usage of 128Gbit (16GB) NAND dies as opposed to the more common 64GBit dies and is produced at a lower cost than other controllers. [H]ard|OCP tested the 512GB drive and does warn that the specifications of the two smaller capacity drives are different enough to require individual testing. However as you can pick up the 512GB drive for $400 you might simply opt for the largest drive which offers competitive performance at an amazing $0.78/GB.
"Crucial's M500 offers the lowest price per gigabyte for an MLC SSD with enterprise-class features not seen on typical consumer SSD data drives. With new 128Gbit MLC NAND paired with the Marvell 9187 controller the M500 should deliver great performance at a historically low price point. Is the Crucial M500's performance up to par?"
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- 240GB OCZ Vertex 3.20 Solid State Drive @ Benchmark Reviews
- OCZ Vertex 3.20 120GB SSD Review @ Techgage
- Solidata K8 1920E SSD Review - SandForce Driven and an Amazing 2TB Capacity @ SSD Review
- OCZ Vertex 3.20 Solid State Drive @ X-bit Labs
- OCZ Vertex 3.20 240GB SATA III 2.5'' SSD Review @ Madshrimps
- OCZ Vertex 450 256GB SSD Review @ Legit Reviews
- OCZ Vertex 450 SSD @ Techspot
- OCZ Vertex 450 @ Hardware.info
- OCZ Vertex 450 SSD @ SSD Review
- OCZ Vertex 450 256GB @ Tweaktown
- SanDisk Ultra Plus 256GB SSD @ eTekinx
- Samsung SSD 840 comparison @ Hardwareoverclock
- Seagate 600 Pro SSD @ SSD Review
- Crucial M500 480GB SSD @ eTeknix
- Bang for Your Buck: Best 256GB Class SSD's under $200 @ Tweaktown
- OCZ Vertex 3.20 240GB Solid State Drive Review @ OCIA.net
- Kingston SSDNow E100 Enterprise SSD @ Tweaktown
- Mushkin Chronos GO Deluxe 1.8″ SATA 3 SSD Review ? Lightning Speeds Ultrathin Design @ SSD Review
- HGST Travelstar 7K1000 1TB 2.5" Hard Drive @ Tweaktown
- 4TB Seagate Desktop HDD ST4000DM000 @ Benchmark Reviews
- WD Se 4TB Enterprise Hard Drive Review @ Techgage
- Western Digital Scorpio Blue (WD5000LPVT) 500GB HDD @ Tweaktown
- Seagate Laptop Thin SSHD 500GB review: 2.5-inch hard disk with SSD cache @ Hardware.info
- Seagate Desktop HDD.15 4TB Hard Drive Review @ Hardware Canucks
- ADATA DashDrive Elite UE700 USB 3.0 Flash Drive @ Tweaktown
- Kingston DT Workspace 64GB 'Windows To Go' USB 3.0 Flash Drive @ Tweaktown
- Adata DashDrive Elite UE700 32GB Flash Drive Review @ Ninjalane
- Kingston HyperX Predator 512GB @ Hardware.info
- 32 32/64GB USB 3.0 memory stick test: lots of differences @ Hardware.info
- Patriot Supersonic Magnum Flash Drive @ Benchmark Reviews
- Lexar Professional 128GB Compact Flash Memory Card @ Tweaktown
- Transcend 32GB Wi-Fi SDHC @ Tweaktown
- Kingston 64GB microSDXC SDCX10/64GB @ Bjorn3D
- WD My Passport Ultra 1TB Portable Storage Drive Review @ Legit Reviews
- ADATA DashDrive Air AE400 Wireless Storage Reader and Power Bank Review @ Madshrimps
- Rosewill RDEE-12002 USB 3.0 Hard Drive Enclosure @ techPowerUp
- Corsair Voyager Air 500GB Wireless Storage Device @ Tweaktown
- Transcend StoreJet Cloud 32GB Wireless Storage Device @ Tweaktown
- Kingston MobileLite Wireless Review @ Pro-Clockers
- Synology DS213j review: deluxe entry-level NAS @ Hardware.info
- Icy Dock FlexCage MB975SP-B 5x3.5" in 3x5.25" HDD Cage Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- Shuttle OMNINAS KD20 @ techPowerUp
- iStarUSA BPU-340SATA Military Grade Drive Enclosure @ NikKTech
- LaCie CloudBox 1TB Personal NAS @ Tweaktown
Introduction, Specifications and Packaging
Last month OCZ introduced the Vertex 3.20, which took their popular Vertex line to 20nm flash territory. The Vertex 3.20 used the same tride and true SandForce controller used in previous iterations of that line. The older Vertex line was starting to show its age, and the move to 20nm didn't really help the issue. We knew it was just a matter of time before they brought 20nm to their Indilinx Barefoot line, and that time is now. The new model suggests OCZ may abandon the Vector name, and resurrect the performance of their flagship product line by shifting their Indilinx Barefoot 3 (BF3-M10) over to a newly dubbed Vertex 450:
Lets jump right into the specs:
- Capacity: 128, 256GB, 512GB
- Sequential read: 540 MB/sec
- Sequential write: 525 MB/sec
- Random read IOPS (up to): 85 k-IOPS
- Random write IOPS (up to): 90 k-IOPS
Subject: General Tech | May 9, 2013 - 11:30 AM | Ken Addison
Tagged: Volcanic Islands, ssd, silvermont, Seagate, podcast, pcper, iris pro, iris, Intel, haswell, gamer memory, amd
PC Perspective Podcast #250 - 05/09/2013
Join us this week as we discuss Haswell Iris Graphics, Intel Silvermont, AMD HD 9000 Series Rumors 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, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Morry Teitelman
Program length: 1:19:46
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
Jeremy: BitTorrent Bundle
1-888-38-PCPER or firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Storage | May 7, 2013 - 06:31 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: x8 accelerator, virident, ssd, seagate 1200, Seagate, pci-e
In addition to its recently-announced 600 and 600 Pro consumer line of solid state drives, Seagate has unveiled two new drives aimed at the enterprise SSD market. The Seagate 1200 series is a 2.5" SAS SSD and the Seagate X8 is a PCI-E based accelerator card.
Unfortunately, details are extremely scarce on both upcoming enterprise drives. Performance, specifications, pricing, and availability are still unknown. Seagate has officially confirmed there existence and shared a few tidbits of information, however.
The Seagate 1200 SSDs are 2.5" form factor drives with a 12Gbps SAS interface, which suggests that they will be at least somewhat faster than the consumer versions due to Seagate implementing the faster drive interface. The most important detail however, is that Seagate will be using its own custom SSD controller in the 1200 series. The new controller is still a mystery, but it is developed by Seagate and not Link A Media with customized firmware like the 600 and 600 Pro drives. I am especially interested to find out more about this aspect of the drive. Hopefully the new controller is successful and will trickle down to the company's next-generation consumer SSDs.
Meanwhile, Seagate's X8 Accelerator card is a half-height, half-length expansion card with up to 2.2TB of flash memory. The new PCI-E based drive is based on technology from Virident and can be used to accelerate applicators or database operations in servers. It will be available in capacities ranging from 550GB to 2.2TB. The SSD controller/management duties are handled by the host system's CPU and maintenance operations like garbage collection can be scheduled for periods of downtime when the server is not being hit hard by things like database requests for a popular web application. According to Seagate, each X8 Accelerator will be capable of up to 1.5 million IOPS.
Both of the new enterprise solid state drives will be released later this year.
Subject: General Tech | May 7, 2013 - 03:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ssd, Seagate, LM87800, 600 Pro, 600, LAMD
Seagate has used Link_A_Media's Amber LM87800 controller and Toshiba Type C 19nm MLC NAND along with their own custom firmware to create the Seagate 600 series of SSDs. The components are very similar to Corsair's Neutron series of drives, it seems that the biggest difference is going to be in the functionality of the firmware. The first difference [H]ard|OCP spotted was in the efficiency of the drives, they pulled less power than their rivals and the Pro version sported enhanced endurance and power capacitors which will be very important to enterprise users. Check out the full review to see where they sit in the pack after the benchmarks were all completed.
"Seagate refreshes its line of consumer and enterprise SSDs with a new family of third-generation SSD products. We take a look at the consumer mainstream Seagate 600 and the enthusiast model, the Seagate 600 Pro. Will its LAMD Amber LM87800 controller, custom firmware, and Toshiba Type C 19nm MLC NAND make it a standout?"
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Seagate 600 SSD Review (480GB) @ SDD Review
- Seagate Pro 600 Enterprise SSD @ Tweeaktown
- Seagate 600 SSD ST480HM000 480GB SSD @ Tweaktown
- Seagate 600 SSD 240GB RAID Report @ Tweaktown
- Seagate 600 SSD ST240HM000 240GB @ Tweaktown
- Samsung 840 SSD 250 GB @ techPowerUp
- Seagate Constellation ES.3 4TB Review @ OCC
- Toshiba DT01ACA300 3TB Hard Disk Drive Review @ Madshrimps
- iStarUSA BPN-DE340SS Storage Bay Adapter Review @ NikKTech
- Teratrend TS231U Dual Bay USB 3.0 / eSATA Enclosure @ Tweaktown
- QNAP TS-669L 6-Bay NAS @ Tweaktown
- Silicon Power Armor A80 1TB USB 3.0 Portable @ Bjorn3D
Seagate has officially moved into the solid state drive (SSD) market with two new consumer drives: the 600 and 600 Pro series. The new drives come in capacities ranging from 100GB to 480GB. Both series utilize the Link A Media (LAMD) LM87800 SSD controller and 19nm 2-bit per cell MLC NAND flash from Toshiba. Seagate has not provided pricing or availability dates, but pricing should be in-line with existing drives, and reviews are already available around the Internet.
The Seagate 600 series is the lowest-tier solid state drive. It will be available in 120, 240, and 480GB capacities. Seagate is using 128GB, 256, and 512GB of NAND flash on 2, 4, and 8 channels respectively. In addition to the LM87800 SSD controller (which features custom Seagate firmware) and NAND flash, Seagate is including 1MB of DDR2-800 DRAM per 1GB of NAND flash for a total of 128, 256, and 512MB of DRAM on the 120, 240, and 480GB capacity drives.
The 600 Series is rated at up to 500MB/s peak 128KB reads and 400MB/s writes (limited to 300MB/s on the lowest-capacity 120GB drive). Further, Seagate states that the 120GB drive is capable of 80,000 random read and 60,000 random write (4K) IOPS, while the 240GB and 480GB drives can reach up to 80,000 random read and 70,000 random write (4K) IOPS.
Also note that the 600 series comes in both 7mm and 5mm form factors, which makes it compatible with most laptops. Seagate provides a 3 year warranty on the 600 series.
The Seagate 600 Pro series steps things up a notch by adding overprovisioning, capacitors for power-loss protection, and a longer 5 year warranty. The 600 Pro series will come in 100, 120, 200, 240, 400, and 480GB capacities. The 100, 200, and 400GB versions of the SSD offer additional overprovisioning which gives the SSD controller more space to work with. The capacitores are intended to provide enough power in the event of a PC power loss to write all data to the NAND flash and prevent data loss.
The 600 Pro drives offer the same 6Gbps SATA interface, LM87800 controller, and 1MB-to-1GB DRAM to NAND ratio. The Pro drives do not come in the 5mm high form factor, so laptop compatibility is limited.
Further, the 600 Pro Seagate SSDs are faster drives. According to Seagate, the Pro series offers up to 85,000 and 30,000 random read and write (4K) IOPS on the overprovisioned drives and p to 85,000/11,000 random IOPS on the 240 and 480GB drives. The 100 and 120GB drives are slower than the other drives though due to less NAND flash and channels between the flash and controller. The chart below details the rated specifications for all of the announced drives.
|Series||600 Pro||600 Pro||600 Pro||600 Pro||600 Pro||600 Pro||600||600||600|
|Random 4K r/w KIOPS||80/20||80/8||85/30||85/11||85/30||85/11||80/60||80/70||80/70|
|128KB r/w sustained sequential||>500/>300||>500/>400||>500/>400|
|128KB peak sequential r/w||520/300||520/300||520/450||520/450||520/450||520/450|
Blank areas indicate that rated specifications were not available.
Fortunately, the reviews available online (such as AnandTech's) do seem to support the new drives as far as performance is concerned. The drives are stacking up nicely versus the competition, which is interesting given the controller choice. For example, the sequential read speed looks promising.
The 600 and 600 Pro drives are looking like solid drives so long as the pricing is competitive. I'm excited to see where Seagate goes from here.
Subject: Storage | May 3, 2013 - 07:32 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: LAMD, corsair, neutron, ssd, asynchronous NAND, 22nm
Still featuring the Link_A_Media Devices LM87800 controller but with all new 22nm SK Hynix Synchronous NAND the refreshed Corsair Neutron SSD series just arrived on [H]ard|OCP's test bench. The refresh brings both good and bad attributes, while the 22nm NAND proves a little slower than the original 25nm it also brings a much lower price. That lower price paired with a 5 year warranty should make this drive attractive to users that are holding off on picking up an SSD because of fears that the drive will stop functioning in a few years, or who have a hard time spending well over $1/GB for storage.
"Corsair keeps pace with continuing innovation in the NAND market by switching from 25nm IMFT NAND to the rarely seen 22nm SK Hynix NAND. This NAND provides a lower price point and extra capacity. Today we take a look to see if the Neutron Series performance remains and how this new SSD build stacks up to the competition."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- ADATA XPG SX900 128GB SSD Review Redux @ [H]ard|OCP
- Crucial M500 480GB Solid-State Drive Review @ Legit Reviews
- Comay Pluto SC3 Enterprise SSD @ Tweaktown
- ASUS RAIDR Express 240GB PCI-Express SSD review: is this the future? @ Hardware.info
- Corsair SSD Toolbox Software Overview - Better than Never @ Tweaktown
- Top SSD Recommendations For May 2013 - Samsung TLC Dethrones the SanDisk SSD Family @ SSD Review
- The SSD Optimization Guide Ultimate Windows 8 (And Win7) Edition @ The SSD Review
- OCZ Vertex 3.20 240GB SSD w/20nm Flash @ FunkyKit
- OWC Mercury Accelsior E2 PCIe SSD @ SSD Review
- Transcend MSA720 128GB mSATA SSD Review @ Legit Reviews
- Seagate Laptop Thin SSHD 500GB Review @ Techgage
- SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB Compact Flash Memory Card @ Tweaktown
- ADATA DashDrive Air AE400 Wireless Storage @ Benchmark Reviews
- takeMS LumX 4GB USB Flash Drive Review @ Madshrimps
- SanDisk Extreme Pro SDHC and microSDHC Memory Card @ Tweaktown
- Corsair Flash Survivor Stealth 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive @ Tweaktown
- ADATA DashDrive Durable UD310 32GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive @ eTeknix
- Synology DS213+ High-Performance 2-Bay NAS Server for SMB Review @ Madshrimps
- Corsair Voyager Air 1TB Wireless Hard Drive @ eTecknix
- Patriot Supersonic Rage XT 64GB Flash Drive @ FunkyKit
- Mach Xtreme MX-ES 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive @ Tweaktown
- Transcend Wi-Fi SD Card @ Hardware.info
- PQI Air Bank 500GB External Wi-Fi Hard Disk Drive @ Tweaktown
- Asustor AS-604T 4-Bay NAS @ Tweaktown
- QNAP's TS-EC1279U-RP 12-bay Flagship Rackmount NAS @ AnandTech
- nfortrend EonNAS Pro 510 NAS @ Tweaktown
- Asustor AS-606T @ Legion Hardware
Subject: Storage | April 19, 2013 - 06:10 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: trim, ssd, sandforce 2281, sandforce, ROG, raidr, raid, PCIe SSD, asus
ASUS is reportedly adding two new PCI-E Solid State Drives (SSD) to its Republic Of Gamers lineup. Dubbed RAIDR, the new PCI-E SSDs use 19nm Toshiba MLC NAND flash driven by two SandForce 2281 controllers. In turn, the two SandForce drives are put into a hardware RAID 0 configuration for maximum speed. The RAIDR SSD internals are encased in a stylized EMI shield along with a ROG-branded back-plate. In all, ASUS’ RAIDR SSDs measure 157 x 120 x 20mm.
The ASUS RAIDR drives show up as a single disk driven by a standard AHCI controller, which allows the two RAID 0 SSDs connected via the PCI-E bus to be boot-able and support the TRIM command. Both RAIDR solid state drives also support Native Command Queuing (NCQ), SMART, Secure Erase, Windows 8 Secure Boot.
According to specifications provided by Sweclockers, ASUS is launching 120GB and 240GB versions of the PCI-E SSDs. Both capacities feature 100,000 IOPS, 128-bit AES encryption, and 620,000 MTBF ratings.
The 120GB RAIDR SSD supports up to 765MB/s sequential reads and 775MB/s sequential write speeds. On the other hand, the 240GB RAIDR drive supports up to 830MB/s sequential reads and 810MB/s sequential writes.
Additionally, ASUS is bundling its RAIDR drives with Kaspersky Antivirus 2013 and a number of ASUS utilities (including SSD TweakIt). The drives should be available sometime next month, but pricing is still unknown. Adding PCI-E SSDs is an interesting move by ASUS that should help the company diversify and expand its ROG branding. Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing how the drives stack up when they are released (and hopefully a PC Perspective review)!