Today Micron initiated the first of a multi-tier launch of a new SATA Enterprise SSD lineup built around their IMFT 32-layer 3D NAND Flash. It may seem odd for a full enterprise line to use IMFT 3D TLC, as that flash has not been known for the high random IOPS demands of the datacenter, but Micron looks to be making it work, and work well.
Above is a performance consistency plot of their MAX model. While this does have the highest OP of all of the models, the consistency is surpassing even NVMe models (using a bus *much* faster than SATA). Sure the results are only using 1-second averages and not our Latency Percentile, but we will be able to pick out any single-IO inconsistencies once we get samples in for detailed review.
Saturated IOPS performance also looks good 'on paper'.
The advantage to operating their flash in TLC mode is that the per die capacity moves from 32GB to 48GB, ultimately driving down the cost/GB of these products and making them an easier sell to enterprise customers. It also enables high capacities - the max capacity of the model with the least overprovisioning (ECO) will reach 8TB in a 2.5" SATA form factor when the last leg of this launch is completed later next year.
The three lines are all using the same controller and base firmware, but with differences in how the dies are laid out with respect to expected performance and endurance.
Below are all of the products being launched. All products use a Marvell 88SS1074 controller at SATA 6Gbit:
- 5100 ECO
- 2.5" 7mm: 480, 960, 1920, 3840, 7680 GB
- M.2 2280: 480, 960, 1920 GB
- Sequential read/write: 540 / 380-520 MB/s
- Random read/write: 93k / 9k-31k IOPS
- Endurance: <=1 DWPD
- Cost / GB: $0.45 - $0.55
- 5100 PRO
- 2.5" 7mm: 240, 480, 960, 1920, 3840 GB
- M.2 2280: 240, 480, 960, 1920 GB
- Sequential read/write: 540 / 380-520 MB/s
- Random read/write: 78 (240GB)-93k / 26k-43k IOPS
- Endurance: 1-3 DWPD
- Cost / GB: $0.55 - $0.65
- 5100 MAX
- 2.5" 7mm: 240, 480, 960, 1920 GB
- M.2 2280: (none)
- Sequential read/write: 540 / 310-520 MB/s
- Random read/write: 93k / 48k-74k IOPS
- Endurance: 5 DWPD
- Cost / GB: $0.65 - $0.75
All models come with Micron 'Flex Capacity', which enables custom *increases* in OverProvisioning. Flex Security enables FIPS 140-2 validated 256-bit AES encryption.
The specs are very good when you consider their performance consistency claims, meaning a 74k IOPS random write rating applies to random writes across the *entire span* of the SSD *at steady state*. Consumer SSD firmware typically chokes with this type of workload, even ones equipped with MLC flash.
We will have more on the 5100 Series from Micron as these products are rolled out and sampled to us for performance review.
Press blast after the break.
Subject: General Tech | December 5, 2016 - 01:50 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Intel, Puma, latency, lag
Intel's Puma 6 system on a chip is a popular choice in modem provided by ISPs across the western world and if you have recently upgraded your broadband modem you may have noticed an undesirable side effect. There is an issue with the chip which is causing bursts of high latency, ruining video streaming and gaming for those affected by the issue. There is good news, The Register confirmed with Intel that a fix is forthcoming and you should expect your ISP to push out a firmware update soon, hopefully not while you are in the middle of something important.
"Intel's Puma 6 chipset, used in gigabit broadband modems around the world, suffers from latency jitter so bad it ruins online gaming and other real-time connections."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Sh... IoT just got real: Mirai botnet attacks targeting multiple ISPs @ The Register
- Does Windows 10's Data Collection Trade Privacy For Microsoft's Security? @ Slashdot
- Elon Musk uses GTA V to accelerate AI rise of the Terminators @ The Inquirer
- Netflix Keeping Bandwidth Usage Low By Encoding Its Video With VP9 and H.264/AVC Codecs @ Slashdot
- Windows 10 'HomeHub': Microsoft to rival Amazon Echo with no new devices @ The Inquirer
- AK Racing PRO X Gaming Chair Review @ NikKTech
- I made my dumb appliances smarter with the Internet of Things @ The Tech Report
Subject: Storage | December 6, 2016 - 03:32 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: kingston, dc400, enterprise ssd
One does not usually think of Kingston when building out a server but perhaps the DC 400 series of SSDs might change that. It uses 15nm MLC NAND and a pair of quad core Phison PS3110-S10 controllers, each with 256GB DDR3L-1600 of cache. You will find enterprise class features such as SmartRefresh, SmartECC and firmware controlled power loss management. Currently there are 480GB and 960GB models, with a 1.6TB model expected soon and all models have over-provisioning which can be modified by the user after purchase. Pop over to Kitguru to see if the drive can meet its advertised speeds.
"Kingston’s DC400 series are the latest additions to the companies Enterprise range of SSDs and have been designed as entry level drives for data centers. The new drives have been built with read-intensive applications in mind for use in a mixed workload environments."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- ADATA Premier SP550 480GB Solid-State Drive Review @ Techgage
- Plextor S2C 512GB Entry-Level SATA3 SSD @ eTeknix
- TerraStation F2-220 2-Bay SMB Cloud Storage NAS @ eTeknix
- Seagate Skyhawk 10TB Review @ OCC
Subject: General Tech | December 7, 2016 - 03:04 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, amd, gaming, watch dogs 2, GTX 1080, gtx 1070, gtx 1060, rx 480x, rx 470
[H]ard|OCP have spent a lot of with Watch Dogs 2 recently, enough to create three articles covering the game of which two are now published. The first article focuses on performance at ultra settings and finding the highest playable settings that the GPUs they tested were capable of, without installing the high resolution texture pack. As it turns out, the game is much more graphically demanding than many other recent releases, so much so that only the Titan X and GTX 1080 was able to perform at 4k resolutions, the GTX 1070 and 1060, as well as the RX 480 and 470 only feature at lower resolutions.
The second article looks at performance with the texture pack installed, which did not have much effect on overall performance but significantly increased VRAM usage. Even the mighty Titan X struggled with this game, we will need a new generation of GPUs to utilize all the available graphics features available in this game. The last review will be up soon and will focus on what effect each of the graphical settings have on the visual appearance of the game.
"Watch Dogs 2 has been released on the PC. We will have a three part evaluation of performance and image quality starting today with performance comparisons. We will also find the highest playable settings for each graphics card and the gameplay experience delivered. Finally, a graphically demanding game."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Ubisoft Giving Away Yet Another Free Game @ [H]ard|OCP
- Dishonored 2 update 1.3 brings performance boosts @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Tobii Tech 4C eye tracker for gaming @ Kitguru
- Wot I Think: Tyranny @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Gears of War 4 DirectX 12 Graphics Performance @ eTeknix
- Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 is an off-brand Far Cry game @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- The Last Guardian Is Finally Here—and Yes, It Was Worth the Wait @ Wired
- Dead Rising 4 shambles onto Windows 10 @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Nvidia launches GeForce GTX 1050 and 1060 Indie Bundle @ HEXUS
- Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Graphics Performance Analysis @ eTeknix
- Mugs and mayhem: eight minutes of Prey @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Tenebra is a free horror game inspired by silent films @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech | December 8, 2016 - 01:22 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: rumour, Intel, skylake-x, kaby lake x, LGA 2066
DigiTimes today published a possibly accurate post on the upcoming replacement for the ageing Broadwell-E platform, Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X. These chips will feature a new socket and along with that a new chipset, bearing the predictable name of X299. The quoted prices seem to fit with Intel's pricing scheme, from $468 to $1,780 but we did not hear of any core counts or frequency ranges, the expected release date is about a year away. The new chips will of course support DDR4 and we might see a hint of them at Gamescom 2017 in Germany. They also state you can expect to see Intel's 7xxx family of chips and the accompanying Z270 and H270 chipsets at CES this January; a reasonable expectation.
"The new Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X processors will feature a new LGA 2066 socket and support DDR4 memory. The CPUs will pair with Intel's new X299 chipsets."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Bluetooth 5 launches with eight times the capacity and double the speed @ The Inquirer
- Sigh... 'Hundreds of thousands' of... sigh, web CCTV cams still at risk of... sigh, hijacking @ The Register
- Symantec: 95.4 percent of PowerShell script is malicious @ The Inquirer
- Improving Storage Performance with Ceph and Flash @ Linux.com
- Firmware freakout sends Epson Wi-Fi printers into reboot loop @ The Register
- Microsoft Officially Closes Its $26.2B Acquisition of LinkedIn @ Slashdot
- Christmas 2016 Mega Worldwide Giveaway @ NikKTech
Subject: Processors | December 8, 2016 - 09:00 AM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: Xilinx, TSMC, standard cells, layout, FinFET, EDA, custom cell, arm, 7nm
Today ARM is announcing their partnership with Xilinx to deliver design solutions for their products on TSMC’s upcoming 7nm process node. ARM has previously partnered with Xilinx on other nodes including 28, 20, and 16nm. Their partnership extends into design considerations to improve the time to market of complex parts and to rapidly synthesize new designs for cutting edge process nodes.
Xilinx is licensing out the latest ARM Artisan Physical IP platform for TSMC’s 7nm. Artisan Physical IP is a set of tools to help rapidly roll out complex designs as compared to what previous generations of products faced. ARM has specialized libraries and tools to help implement these designs on a variety of processes and receive good results even on the shortest possible design times.
Design relies on two basic methodologies. There is custom cell and then standard cell designs. Custom cell design allows for a tremendous amount of flexibility in layout and electrical characteristics, but it requires a lot of man-hours to complete even the simplest logic. Custom cell designs typically draw less power and provide higher clockspeeds than standard cell design. Standard cells are like Legos in that the cells can be quickly laid out to create complex logic. Software called EDA (Electronic Design Automation) can quickly place and route these cells. GPUs lean heavily on standard cells and EDA software to get highly complex products out to market quickly.
These two basic methods have netted good results over the years, but during that time we have seen implementations of standard cells become more custom in how they behave. While not achieving full custom performance, we have seen semi-custom type endeavors achieve appreciable gains without requiring the man hours to achieve fully custom.
In this particular case ARM is achieving a solid performance in power and speed through automated design that improves upon standard cells, but without the downsides of a fully custom part. This provides positive power and speed benefits without the extra power draw of a traditional standard cell. ARM further improves upon this with the ARM Artisan Power Grid Architect (PGA) which simplifies the development of a complex power grid that services a large and complex chip.
We have seen these types of advancements in the GPU world that NVIDIA and AMD enjoy talking about. A better power grid allows the ASIC to perform at lower power envelopes due to less impedence. The GPU guys have also utilized High Density Libraries to pack in the transistors as tight as possible to utilize less space and increase spatial efficiency. A smaller chip, which requires less power is always a positive development over a larger chip of the same capabilities that requires more power. ARM looks to be doing their own version of these technologies and are applying them to TSMC’s upcoming 7nm FinFET process.
TSMC is not releasing this process to mass production until at least 2018. In 1H 2017 we will see some initial test and early production runs for a handful of partners. Full blown production of 7nm will be in 2018. Early runs and production are increasingly being used for companies working with low power devices. We can look back at 20/16/14 nm processes and see that they were initially used by designs that do not require a lot of power and will run at moderate clockspeeds. We have seen a shift in who uses these new processes with the introduction of sub-28nm process nodes. The complexity of the design, process steps, materials, and libraries have pushed the higher performance and power hungry parts to a secondary position as the foundries attempt to get these next generation nodes up to speed. It isn’t until after some many months of these low power parts are pushed through that we see adjustments and improvements in these next generation nodes to handle the higher power and clockspeed needs of products like desktop CPUs and GPUs.
ARM is certainly being much more aggressive in addressing next generation nodes and pushing their cutting edge products on them to allow for far more powerful mobile products that also exhibit improved battery life. This step with 7nm and Xilinx will provide a lot of data to ARM and its partners downstream when the time comes to implement new designs. Artisan will continue to evolve to allow partners to quickly and efficiently introduce new products on new nodes to the market at an accelerated rate as compared to years past.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 8, 2016 - 03:52 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: thermaltake, watercooling, tower 900, liquid cooling, E-ATX Case, case mods
You might remember mention of the Thermaltake 900 Vertical Super Tower on the podcast last night, if not it should be posted soon so you can catch up. This plus-sized tower was designed to give watercooling fanatics enough space to fit in whatever they can dream up and [H]ard|OCP received one for review. The design proved to be unfriendly for self contained watercoolers which have a two fan radiator, only single fan rads will fit in the front portion of the case. For the more serious, this case can contain up to three full enthusiast class radiators, 240, 280, 360, 480 or 540mm rads can be accommodated. The sheer size of the case makes installation convenient for those who will build a system worthy of this case. [H]ard|OCP gave this a gold, and offered some interesting modding suggestions on their conclusion page; check it out here.
"It's a tower and it's super! Thermaltake's new Tower 900 is not close to your typical PC computer enclosure. It is built for a very specific customer; the enthusiast that wants plenty of room to do highly customized build and then have the ability to easily show it off is the target demographic for this chassis."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Cooler Master MasterCase Maker 5t @ Modders-Inc
- Cooler Master MasterBox 5t Review @ OCC
- Cooler Master MasterCase Maker 5T @ Benchmark Reviews
- Cooler Master Masterbox 5t @ eTeknix
- Corsair's Carbide Series Air 740 @ The Tech Report
- Rosewill Gram @ techPowerUp
Subject: Editorial | December 8, 2016 - 04:00 PM | AlexL
Tagged: podcast, Thrustmaster, thermaltake, tablet, snapdragon, razer, nvidia, microsoft, Mechwarrior, Khronos, Intel, hp, evga, Deepcool, AUKEY
PC Perspective Podcast #428 - 12/8/16
Join us this week as we discuss Khronos Group, Enterprise SSDs, Water cooled cases and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
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- Google Play - Subscribe to our audio podcast directly through Google Play!
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Hosts: Allyn Malventano, Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom
Program length: 1:13:35
- Join our spam list to get notified when we go live!
- Win a White Special Edition Corsair RM1000i Power Supply!
- Week in Review:
- 0:04:16 AUKEY KM-G3 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review
- 0:08:06 Thrustmaster TMX Review: Budget FFB for Xbox One and PC
- 0:15:16 Deepcool GamerStorm GENOME Liquid-Cooled Case Review
- 0:23:06 EVGA SuperNOVA 550W G3 Power Supply Review
- 0:28:01 Qualcomm and Microsoft Bring Full Windows 10 to Snapdragon Devices
- News items of interest:
- 0:32:07 Razer Joins The Khronos Group
- 0:36:54 Thermaltake Launches Water Cooling Friendly E-ATX Tower 900 Series Case
- 0:39:32 Intel Z270 Express and H270 Express Chipsets Support Kaby Lake, More PCI-E 3.0 Lanes
- 0:42:12 MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries Announced on Unreal Engine 4
- 0:46:10 HP Launches Ruggedized Apollo Lake Powered Convertible Tablet For Students
- 0:47:33 Micron Launches 5100 Series Enterprise SSDs - 3D TLC up to 8TB!
- 0:52:12 WD and HGST Refresh Enterprise SSDs to Include 8TB, Push HDDs to 12TB and Beyond
- 1:02:37 NVIDIA Releases GeForce 376.19 Drivers (and Two Contests)
- 1:04:14 The Khronos Group Announces VR Standard Initiative
- Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
Subject: Storage | December 8, 2016 - 05:59 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Seagate, external hard drive, cloud storage, cloud backup, amazon drive, amazon
Seagate and Amazon have partnered up to offer a new USB external hard drive called the Seagate Duet that, while functioning as you would expect an external drive to, also automatically keeps files synced between itself and the user's Amazon Drive cloud storage. The Duet is based on Seagate's Backup Plus drive series and is a 1TB drive with two platters and PMR (perpendicular magnetic recording) technology that spins at 5400 RPM. It connects to PCs over USB 3.0.
During the initial setup, users provide their Amazon Drive login to the Duet software which will upload all media files stored on the external drive to Amazon Drive as well as download any files stored on Amazon Drive regardless of whether they were uploaded by the Duet or other devices not using the Duet software.
Seagate offers a two year warranty on the drive which will be an Amazon.com exclusive and available on December 10th for $99.99. The Duet does come at quite the premium over other drives (even Seagate's own) with non-automatic cloud syncing 1TB USB 3.0 drives coming in at around $50 and 2TB drives able to be found easily for less than the Duet's $100 price.
However, there is a bit of a saving grace in that the Seagate Duet does come with one year of free Amazon Drive Unlimited storage which normally costs $59.99 a year.
For enthusiasts, there are cheaper 1TB or higher capacity drives for the same price as the Duet, but I find myself thinking that this would be a great gift for family members to help them protect their precious family photos and videos from a drive failure or lost drive! With the holidays coming up fast, if you have not figured out the perfect gift yet this may just be the thing to buy – and if something does happen, the real gift is that their photos are safely backed up!
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