DDRdrive hits the ground running - PCI-E RAM-based SSD
Test Methodology and System Setup
Fusion-io ioDrive 160. Yummy.
We will cover the ioDrive more in-depth in a future review. For now, realize the ioDrive has a sort of turbo mode, where you can opt to increase random access performance at the expense of available capacity. We tested with both 100% and 50% capacity settings (as will be seen in the benchmarks).
For the DDRdrive to perform as well as it does with only one lane of PCI-Express, it must employ extremely low latency tech. There are as few components as possible between the PCI bus and the RAM, and those parts are as speed optimized as possible. With such a fast turnaround time, we found that unleashing the true potential of the DDRdrive required moving to a board without a beefy video card. Newer video cards like the Geforce GTX series tend to assume they own the PCI-E bus, meaning other devices have to repeatedly arbitrate to communicate with the CPU. The added latency of waiting for a hefty video card to release the bus adds up, leading to an unnecessary bottleneck at extremely high IOPS.
Given the target market for the X1 is the enterprise sector, it is not unreasonable to assume these units would be put to use in displayless server environments.
We switched to an ASUS P5Q-EM workstation board for testing the DDRdrive X1.
Test System Setup
|DDRdrive Test System Setup|
|CPU||Intel Core2 DUO E8600|
|Memory||4GB Kingston DDR2-800|
|Hard Drive||WD Caviar SE 80GB|
|Sound Card||On-board 8-channel|
|Video Card||Intel GMA|
|Power Supply||Corsair 620HX|
|Operating System||Windows XP SP3|