Introduction and Specifications
Last week, Samsung flew a select group of press out to Seoul, Korea. The event was the 2013 Samsung Global SSD Summit. Here we saw the launch of a new consumer SSD, the 840 EVO:
This new SSD aims to replace the older 840 (non-Pro) model with one that is considerably more competitive. Let's just right into the specs:
Subject: Storage | July 18, 2013 - 01:39 AM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: ssd, Samsung, pricing, EVO, 840 evo
Subject: Storage | July 18, 2013 - 01:12 AM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: tlc, ssd, slc, sata, Samsung, cache, 840 evo
Samsung's release of the 840 EVO earlier today likely prompted some questions, such as what type of flash does it employ and how does it achieve such high write speeds. Here is the short answer, with many slides in-between, starting off with the main differences between the 840 and the 840 EVO:
So, slightly increased specs to help boost drive performance, and an important tidbit in that the new SSD does in fact keep TLC flash. Now a closer look at the increased write specs:
Ok, the speeds are much quicker, even though the flash is still TLC and even on a smaller process. How does it pull off this trick? Tech that Samsung calls TurboWrite.
A segment of the TLC flash is accessed by the controller as if it were SLC flash. This section of flash can be accessed (especially written) much faster. Writes are initially dumped to this area and that data is later moved over to the TLC area. This happenes as it would in a normal write-back cache - either during idle states or once the cache becomes full, which is what would happen during a sustained maximum speed write operation that is larger than the cache capacity. Here is the net effect with the cache in use and also when the cache becomes full:
For most users, even the smallest cache capacity will be sufficient for the vast majority of typical use. Larger caches appear in larger capacities, further improving performance under periods of large write demand. Here's the full spread of cache sizes per capacity point:
So there you have it, Samsung's new TurboWrite technology in a nutshell. More to follow (along with a performance review coming in the next few days). Stay tuned!
Subject: Storage | July 17, 2013 - 09:06 PM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: Samsung, ssd, sata
Good morning from Seoul, Korea!
We're covering the 2013 Samsung Global SSD Summit, and the press embargo has just been lifted on a new SSD - the 840 EVO:
The EVO will push 10nm-class (1x nm) flash, promises increased (2x-3x) write speed improvements over the 840, and will be available in capaities as high as 1TB:
Full press blast after the break, and more to follow as the Samsung SSD Summit continues.
Subject: Storage | July 15, 2013 - 04:05 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: sandisk, Extreme II series, ssd, mlc, slc
SanDisk has done something interesting with their new Extreme II SSD series, they have used both SLC and MLC flash in the drive to attempt to give users the best of both worlds. The drive still has a DDR cache sitting between the flash storage and the controller, but there is an nCache between the MLC flash and the DDR comprised of ~1GB of SLC flash. The idea is that the SLC can quickly accumulate a number of small writes into a larger single write block which can then be passed to the MLC flash for storage. Don't think of it as a traditional cache in which entire programs are stored for quick access but more as a write buffer which fills up and then passes its self to the long term storage media once it is full. The Tech Report put this drive through their tests and found it to be a great all around performer, not the fastest nor the best value but very good in almost any usage scenario.
"With MLC main storage and an SLC flash cache, the SanDisk Extreme II is unlike any other SSD we've encountered. We explore the drive's unique design and see whether it can keep up with the fastest SSDs on the market."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB SSD RAID 0 Performance @ Legit Reviews
- SanDisk Extreme II @ SSD Review
- OCZ Vector 256GB @ LanOC Reviews
- Silicon Power Velox V55 240GB SSD @ NikKTech
- Western Digital Se 4TB Review @ TechwareLabs
- Seagate Laptop Thin SSHD 500 GB HDD Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Seagate Desktop HDD.15 4TB / Barracuda XT 4TB @ Hardware.info
- Western Digital SE 4TB Hard Drive @ hardCOREware
- Toshiba Nearline MG03ACA400 4TB SATA III HDD @ NikKTech
- Western Digital Sentinel DX4000 16TB RAID5 4-Bay NAS @ eTeknix
- Icy Box IB-WF200HD @ Rbmods
- Sandisk Extreme microSDXC UHS-I 64GB Memory Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- Patriot SuperSonic Mini 16GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive @ NikKTech
- 49 SD and MicroSD cards tested: there's a difference @ Hardware.info
- Mach Xtreme MX-FX 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive @ NikKTech
Subject: General Tech | July 4, 2013 - 12:45 AM | Ken Addison
Tagged: podcast, video, corsair, 900D, 7790, 650ti boost, amd, Richland, nvidia, kepler, titan, Intel, ssd
PC Perspective Podcast #258 - 07/04/2013
Join us this week as we discuss the Corsair 900D, HD 7790 vs GTX 650Ti BOOST, Leaked AMD APUs 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, Jeremy Hellstrom and Allyn Malventano
Program length: 1:14:23
Week in Review:
0:10:50 HD 7790 and 650 Ti BOOST Roundup
News items of interest:
0:58:25 Hardware/Software Picks of the Week:
1-888-38-PCPER or email@example.com
Subject: Storage | July 3, 2013 - 03:04 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: toshiba, THNSNH 256GB, ssd
If you buy a machine with an SSD installed inside of it there is a good chance it is from Toshiba and it might even be the THNSNH 256GB model. As these drives are not sold separately but only inside OEM machines it is not often benchmarked. [H]ard|OCP wants to change that and put this drive and its internally designed controller up against some of their favourite retail drives. Their testing revealed a mixed bag of performance as in some tests it came close to beating out Samsung's 840 series but in other testing ended up at the bottom of the pack. Still, as this drive will end up in many mobile devices it is good to get an idea of the performance you can expect from it.
"Toshiba's massive foundry capabilities allow it to develop some of the leading SSDs for the OEM market. These SSDs come pre-installed in the latest computers with the option for an SSD, and today we look at the Toshiba THNSNH in comparison to current top-flight enthusiast-class SSDs."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- OCZ Vertex 450 256GB @ [H]ard|OCP
- OCZ's Vertex 450 solid-state drive reviewed
- Seagate 600 Series SSD 480 GB ST480HM000 @ techPowerUp
- SanDisk Ultra Plus Solid State Drive @ X-bit Reviews
- Strontium Hawk (240GB) @ AnandTech
- SanDisk Extreme II SSD 240GB @ TechSpot
- SanDisk Extreme II SSD Review (240GB) @ SSD Review
- Plextor M5 Pro PX-256M5P 256GB SSD @ NikKTech
- Angelbird SSD2Go 480GB External SSD @ SSD Review
- Monster Digital OverDrive 3.0 1TB External SSD @ SSD Review
- Seagate Backup Plus 1 TB External HDD Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Silicon Power Diamond D20 500GB USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive @ NikKTech
- QNAP TS-221 and TS-220 @ Legion Hardware
- SilverStone DS322 Compact USB 3.0 RAID Enclosure Review @ Pro-Clockers
- Patriot Memory Tab 16GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive Review @ Madshrimps
- Icy Dock MB882SP and MB982IP Hard Drive Converter Reviews @ Legit Reviews
- Nine internal DVD burners and Blu-ray drives tested @ Hardware.info
- Hard Disk Drive Myths Debunked! @ TechARP
We caught wind of a leaked Intel SSD Roadmap over at VRZone. The slide shows their rough release plans into early 2014:
Starting bottom-up, the old 320 Series (cropped slide bottom) and 330 Series are being phased out in light of the newer 500 series entrants. The 335 Series, driven by a SandForce controller and 20nm flash, may drop in capacity to only an 80GB model in order to drive customers towards the new 530 Series, which will replace both of the SandForce-driven 520 (SATA) and 525 Series (mSATA) offerings. The new 530 Series will be available in 80-480GB and connect via SATA, mSATA, and the newest M.2 SATA interfaces. You can learn more about M.2 by reading the first 6 or so slides from Paul Wassenberg's presentation from Storage Visions 2013. Here's a closer look at an M.2 unit:
From CES 2013, a Micron mSATA SSD (above) and M.2 SATA SSD (below).
With the 530 appearing to become Intel's big mainstream consumer push, they will also introduce a Pro 1500 and 2500 Series. I suspect Intel's own SATA 6Gb/sec controller will be lifted from their SSD DC S3500 and S3700 Series and trickled down into the Pro Series and possibly even into the 530 Series, though that is only speculation on my part.
For the enterprise, Intel will be further juggling their enterprise models around a bit, discontinuing the SSD 710 and possibly even the (25nm) S3700 in favor of the (20nm) S3500 Series, which will also see large gains in available capacity upwards of 800GB and even 1.6TB crammed into a 2.5" SATA unit. Intel's PCIe SSD 910 will eventually be replaced by what appears to be a quad-SSD-RAID variant of the current S3500 and S3700 Series units, dubbed P3500 and P3700, respectively. These models should show a substantial gain over the SSD 910, which did not perform spectacularly when compared to the newer SATA models available.
Subject: General Tech | June 26, 2013 - 12:56 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: HAMR, western digital, ssd, hdd, Areal Density
Western Digital, along with Seagate, Toshiba, and Hitachi are working on the next step in increasing the storage density of platter based drives while HAMR is still in the works. They will be adding overlapping tracks to their platters, which they are referring to as shingles (as in the roof, not the pox). There will be two types implemented, with the first type having the shingling hidden to ensure compatibility with existing applications which might take exception to overlapping data tracks. Type two will not hide its light under a bushel and will require applications to be aware of the shingling and hopefully take full advantage of the new type of magnetic recording. According to the presentation that The Register attended we will see shingles in the near future, with HAMR due in 2016.
"Over the coming years the remaining players will be pushing traditional technology to its limits to extend the life of hard disk technology. While the industry is pretty much standardised on perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) at present, in a couple of years there will be more fundamental hard drive technologies co-existing in the market than there are hard drive vendors."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Running Ubuntu Linux Is Messy On The 2013 MacBook Air @ Phoronix
- Rise of the ARM Clones @ Slashdot
- Intel demos real-time code compression for die shrinkage, power saving @ The Register
- HP StoreOnce has undocumented backdoor @ The Register
- Oregon Scientific SE833 Heart Rate Monitor with PC Download Review @ Madshrimps
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.