Intel's Optane DC Persistent Memory DIMMs Push Latency Closer to DRAM

Subject: Storage | December 12, 2018 - 09:17 AM |
Tagged: ssd, Optane, Intel, DIMM, 3D XPoint

Intel's architecture day press release contains the following storage goodness mixed within all of the talk about 3D chip packaging:

Memory and Storage: Intel discussed updates on Intel® Optane™ technology and the products based upon that technology. Intel® Optane™ DC persistent memory is a new product that converges memory-like performance with the data persistence and large capacity of storage. The revolutionary technology brings more data closer to the CPU for faster processing of bigger data sets like those used in AI and large databases. Its large capacity and data persistence reduces the need to make time-consuming trips to storage, which can improve workload performance. Intel Optane DC persistent memory delivers cache line (64B) reads to the CPU. On average, the average idle read latency with Optane persistent memory is expected to be about 350 nanoseconds when applications direct the read operation to Optane persistent memory, or when the requested data is not cached in DRAM. For scale, an Optane DC SSD has an average idle read latency of about 10,000 nanoseconds (10 microseconds), a remarkable improvement.2  In cases where requested data is in DRAM, either cached by the CPU’s memory controller or directed by the application, memory sub-system responsiveness is expected to be identical to DRAM (<100 nanoseconds).
 
The company also showed how SSDs based on Intel’s 1 Terabit QLC NAND die move more bulk data from HDDs to SSDs, allowing faster access to that data.

Did you catch that? 3D XPoint memory in DIMM form factor is expected to have an access latency of 350 nanoseconds! That's down from 10 microseconds of the PCIe-based Optane products like Optane Memory and the P4800X. I realize those are just numbers, and showing a nearly 30x latency improvement may be easier visually, so here:

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Above is an edit to my Bridging the Gap chart from the P4800X review, showing where this new tech would fall in purple. That's all we have to go on for now, but these are certainly exciting times. Consider that non-volatile storage latencies have improved by nearly 100,000x over the last decade, and are now within striking distance (less than 10x) of DRAM! Before you get too excited, realize that Optane DIMMs will be showing up in enterprise servers first, as they require specialized configurations to treat DIMM slots as persistent storage instead of DRAM. That said, I'm sure the tech will eventually trickle down to desktops in some form or fashion. If you're hungry for more details on what makes 3D XPoint tick, check out how 3D XPoint works in my prior article.

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It's Crucial not to try two new things at once

Subject: Storage | December 7, 2018 - 03:24 PM |
Tagged: crucial, QLC, P1, 500gb, PCIe SSD, NVMe

The Crucial P1 SSD marks two firsts for the company, their first NVMe drive as well as their first SSD using QLC flash. The drive differs from Samsung's QVO in that it uses Micron's 64-layer 3D QLC flash and an SM2263 controller but still uses QLC flash, much to the dismay of The Tech Report, amongst others.  The 500GB drive currently sells for $110, which is attractive but when you look at the performance, it seems perhaps a bit expensive; which is not good.

Check it out here, or read some of our old TLC reviews if you can't stand the QLC.

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"Powered by Micron's 3D quad-level-cell NAND, the Crucial P1 might be a herald of QLC-dominated days to come. We put Crucial's first NVMe drive through its paces to see how increasing the number of bits per cell affects performance."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

We are SSDs ... I got all my QVO with me

Subject: Storage | November 27, 2018 - 06:54 PM |
Tagged: ssd, slc, sata, Samsung, QLC, 860 QVO, 2.5

Samsung have jumped up the alphabet, going from EVO to QVO with their new lower cost QLC based SSD family.  The 4TB model Allyn reviewed sells for $600, not bad for a drive of that size but still a little pricey for some.  A more affordable option can be seen at The Tech Report, the 1TB drive they reviewed sells for $150.  If you are on a somewhat limited budget and don't mind a small hit in performance nor a three year warranty or 360TB written endurance then this drive is worth a look.

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Samsung's EVO drives have ruled the SATA roost for the last several years. Today, Samsung is introducing high-capacity, lower-cost 860 QVO drives with four-bit-per-cell QLC NAND inside. Can they live up to the high expectations Samsung has set with its past products?"

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

 

14TB of secure portable spinning rust from iStorage

Subject: Storage | November 9, 2018 - 01:34 PM |
Tagged: iStorage, diskAshur, 12TB, external hdd

Not everyone needs the speed a portable SSD offers, however at $870 US the diskAshur DT2  is still a fairly large investment.  The cost is split between the Seagate IronWolf HDD and the case itself, which is fairly impressive.  The drive can be encrypted with AES-XTS 256 requiring a PIN be entered onto the numpad on the front, and supports multiple PINs so the drive can be shared with multiple users.  Inside the enclosure is a Common Criteria EAL4+ processor which offers protection against a wide variety of attacks if you happen to lose the drive and some unscrupulous person gets their hands on it.  Not only is it secure, it is the fastest external HDD Nikktech have tested.  

Drop by to take a look at a handy way to securely store a large amount of data.

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"Combining state of the art security measures with the highest available storage capacities the diskAshur DT2 Desktop Hard Drive by iStorage is the one stop to safeguarding all your sensitive data."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Source: Nikktech

Western Digital Launches 15 TB Ultrastar DC HC620 SMR Hard Drive

Subject: Storage | November 7, 2018 - 06:44 PM |
Tagged: western digital, SMR, hgst, HelioSeal, datacenter

Western Digital is expanding its data center hard drive offerings with the reveal of a 15TB model based on fourth generation HelioSeal and second generation Host Managed SMR (Shingled Magnetic Recording) technology. The new 15 TB Ultrastar DC HC620 is aimed at data center customers doing surveillance, object storage for cloud services, streaming media storage, online backup and archival storage, and other sequential write focused tasks. The 7200 RPM hard drive comes in SATA (6Gbps) or SAS (12Gbps) flavors, but is not a direct drop-in replacement for just any drive as it works with host managed SMR to optimize how data is written to the drive which needs to be sequentially to get any amount of decent performance out of it. Random performance (writes in particular) isn’t great in other words, but it does offer up to 31% lower idle watts/TB than prior generation drives while delivering respectable (for mechanical drives) sequential performance and areal density with 900TB of storage being able to fit in a 40U (60-unit) rack or 40TB more compared to using 14TB drives
 
WD Ultrastar DC HC620 SMR Hard Drive.jpg
 
Western Digital’s 15 TB DC HC620 (PDF)is a 7200 RPM hard drive with a 512 MB buffer. It is rated at 255 MB/s sustained transfer rates, 4.16 ms average latency, and 7.7ms read and 12ms write seek times. Further, the datacenter focused drives are rated for 550TB per year with a 2.5 million hour MTBF and a five year warranty.
 
While enthusiasts will not be using these new SMR drives, they may well be being used by the various cloud service providers and their services that end users take advantage of. It is interesting to see that shingled magnetic recording is still being developed and the increasing amount of data that is able to be crammed into the same 3.5-inch hard drive form factor. I am looking forward to future technologies like MAMR and HAMR as well to see just how far spinning rust can be pushed. While end users are enjoying the speed of solid state storage, hard drives are still alive and well in the data center thanks to TCO (total cost of ownership) and TB/watt/area metrics and the drive to optimize them being paramount. According to Western Digital, global data storage demands are going to approach 100 zetabytes within the next five years so I am curious how we will end up storing all of that and the kinds of technologies involved!
 

Hyper Savage Exo USB SSD X! Kingston is a wee bit excited about their new external SSD

Subject: Storage | October 22, 2018 - 02:06 PM |
Tagged: kingston, hyperx, HyperX Savage, Savage Exo, external ssd, M.2

The new USB 3.1 Gen2 external SSD from Kingston sports quite a name, which might help it sell with the console crowd as the drive will work on PlayStation 4s and Xbox Ones as well as PCs.  Those devices are limited to USB 3.0 but this drive will still be miles faster than the internal HDD.  Inside is Marvell's 88SS1074 controller and Kingston branded 64-layer Toshiba BiCS flash, however the implementation does not seem up to snuff when compared to other portable SSDs.  Check out the performance as well as The Tech Reports recommendations right here.

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"The latest gaming peripheral from HyperX is... a portable SSD? Parent company Kingston wants to woo the console crowd with a fast USB external drive. Read our review of the HyperX Savage Evo to see whether it delivers."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

 

1TB of Thunderbolt 3 connected flash for less than $500? Patriot's Evlvr

Subject: Storage | October 15, 2018 - 03:28 PM |
Tagged: patriot, evlvr, thunderbolt 3, external ssd, 1TB, phison e8

Patriot's external SSD is available for about $200 less than Samsung's, though it's warranty is a year shorter at two and it doesn't feature hardware encryption acceleration.  On the other hand it also contains the brand new Phison E8 controller and 64-layer BiCS 3D TLC NAND which might make the drive more interesting than it appears at first glance.  The Tech Report put the drive through its paces, comparing it to Samsung's X5 as well as other USB drives; check out the results right here.

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"We were floored by the performance—and price tag—of Samsung's Portable SSD X5. Patriot's Evlvr 1 TB promises some of the same Thunderbolt 3 goodness without asking the buyer to take out a second mortgage. We ran Patriot's TB3 external through our test suite to see whether it captures lightning in a bottle."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

 

Hyper X RGB; if you can't make your flash faster you can make your fast flashier!

Subject: Storage | October 4, 2018 - 06:59 PM |
Tagged: kingston, hyper x fury rgb, rgb ssd, 88SS1074

Team Group may have been first to offer an SDD to the terminal RGB addict but they are by no means the last.  Kingston are the next to display a flare of colour as they've added RGB to the HyperX Fury line of SSDs.  The Marvell 88SS1074 controller and Toshiba 3D TLC keep offer the performance that you would expect and keep the price trending towards $0.20/GB but there is still a premium to be paid to make yourself glow.  Pop by Benchmark Reviews for a closer look.

Kingston-HyperX-Fury-RGB-SSD-Purple-Angle.jpg

"HyperX Fury RGB lights up that dark space in your case with customizable lighting effects, and is fully compatible with all modern RGB controllers. Utilizing the economical Marvell 88SS1074 storage controller with Toshiba 3D TLC NAND flash components, the Kingston HyperX Fury RGB SSD advertises 550 MB/s peak read speeds and 480 MB/s writes."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Gigabyte Launches M.2 PCI-E NVMe x2 SSDs

Subject: Storage | September 27, 2018 - 12:41 AM |
Tagged: gigabyte, M.2, M.2 2280, NVMe, PCI-E 3.0

Gigabyte recently announced a new series of M.2 form factor PCI-E NVMe solid state drives. Following the company’s Ultra Durable technology and testing methodologies, the new Gigabyte M.2 SSDs come in three capacities at 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB in a M.2 2280 package.

Gigabyte M2 PCIe NVMe SSD.png

The new M.2 SSDs feature a PCI-E 3.0 x2 interface and support for NVMe 1.3 as well as Host Memory Buffer technology that allows for system RAM to be used as the drive’s cache in lieu of on-board DRAM. The 128GB and 256GB models are official today, and the 512GB model is reportedly coming soon. Gigabyte has not yet released specifications on the top capacity drive, but performance information on the two lower capacity drives is available on its website. The Gigabyte M.2 128GB SSD is rated at up to 1100 MB/s sequential reads, 500 MB/s sequential writes, 90K random read IOPS, and 100K random write IOPS. The mid-tier 256GB capacity SSD steps things up a bit to 1200 MB/s sequential reads, 800 MB/s sequential writes, 80K random read IOPS, and 150K random write IOPS. It seems to take a hit on the random reads, but the random write performance is much better, at least on paper. I am curious what the 512GB SSD will offer in terms of performance.

The new M.2 drives come with three-year warranties and 1.5 million hours MTBF ratings. The 128GB is limited (under warranty) to 100 TBW and the 256GB drive rated at 200 TBW. The drives will reportedly be available soon though I was not able to find online listings or pricing at the time of writing.

Source: Gigabyte

ADATA's HD830 External HDD would be a lot of fun to test

Subject: Storage | September 17, 2018 - 04:51 PM |
Tagged: ruggedized, adata, HD830, 5TB

Able to withstand 3000kg of downwards pressure?

Check!

Able to survive being submerged completely in sand or water?

Check!

Able to live through a drop of 1.22m?

Check!

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Testing out ADATA's ruggedized 5TB HD830 sounds like a lot of fun.  Stick it under a hydraulic press and as long as it isn't set to over 3000kg spread over the body of the drive, though it would be educational to up the pressure a bit.

With an IP68 rating, or as the PR implies better than IP68, you can store your data under up to 2m of water for two hours or bury it in the dirt for even longer.  As long as that USB cover is closed your data will survive.  What if you wanted to bury it in the bottom of a 3m lake?  We will never know until we can test it.

As for drop-kicking the enclosure, as long as you keep it under 1.22m of height you should be good.  ADATA claims a MIL-STD-810G 516.6 rating, which means it went through a specific series of tests but they do not specify the results.  That shouldn't worry though, most devices now claim MIL-SPEC without considering how the militaries of the world judge contracts nor specifying the actual results.

Still, with this in our hands we could certainly find out ... eventually, or pick it up to use yourself.

Check out the full PR below the glamour shot.

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Taipei, Taiwan – September 13, 2018– ADATA today announces the launch of the HD830, its most rugged external hard disk drive (HDD) to date. It features an ultra-sturdy aluminum exterior, triple-layer construction, and IP68 rating for the ultimate protection of data. What’s more, the HD830 is MIL-STD-810G 516.6 compliant and can withstand up to 3000kg of downward pressure. The HDD is also equipped with shock sensors that prevent errors and bad sectors due to accidental impact and shaking.

Virtually Indestructible
The HD830’s tough aluminum exterior is not just capable of surviving nasty drops and blunt force, but can also handle 3000kg of downward pressure, roughly equivalent to the combined weight of fifty average-sized people. The HD830 also meets the U.S. Military’s MIL-STD-810G 516.6 standard and can survive falls from up to 1.22 meters. A three-layer construction provides complete protection inside and outside, including a tough outer silicone casing that comes in red or blue, shock-absorbing buffer, and cushioned mounting that firmly holds the drive in place.

Shock Sensor Protection
Lesser external drives continue to operate when dropped, potentially resulting in errors and bad sectors. The HD830 features shock sensors that stop drive activity when an impact is detected, such as when accidentally dropped. Users will know the sensors are activated when the LED indicator blinks in red. When the threat has passed the LED indicator will light up in blue and resume normal operation.

Stylishly Armored, Plenty of Storage Capacity The HD830’s robust aluminum exterior is crafted with a boldly grooved surface texture with a sandblasted finish and two sturdy side columns that give the HD830 the look of a true warrior. In an era of 4K Ultra HD videos and other high-resolution content, users can never have too much storage capacity. The HD830 has them covered with 2TB, 4TB and 5TB of storage capacity.
As with all ADATA external hard drives, the HD830 is backed by a 3-year warranty.

MSRP
ADATA HD830 External HDD

  • 2TB/$109.99
  • 4TB/$149.99
  • 5TB/$209.99

 

Source: ADATA

How does that 14TB BarraCuda Pro perform?

Subject: Storage | September 14, 2018 - 03:52 PM |
Tagged: Seagate, hdd, BarraCuda Pro, 14tb

Inside the Barracuda Pro are eight platters each 1.75 TB in size and comes with a nice addition to the warranty, if the drive dies before two years have expired you can ship the drive to Seagate and they will attempt to recover your data for free.  The Guru of 3D's testing showed the accuracy of the 250MB/sec rating, as expected from a modern SATA HDD. The total warranty is five years and the drive is rated for 24/7 use with a 300TB/yr rating so there are certainly plenty of usages for the drive.

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"It's here! We review the Megalodon among the HDDs, the Barracuda Pro 14TB from Seagate is unleashed today, that's a 14.000GB HDD folks! This, by far, is the biggest single consumer unit storage device to date. It might not offer SSD performance, but it certainly isn't slow. It's the year 2018, it's big but with these massive HDD platters, will it be fast enough?"

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

 

Source: Guru of 3D

14TB for anyone! Seagate's new HDD lines

Subject: Storage | September 10, 2018 - 04:45 PM |
Tagged: skyhawk, Seagate, ironwolf, exos x14, BarraCuda Pro, 14tb

No matter what you need it for, Seagate can provide supersized storage for your needs.  To lead with the most important information, the IronWolf and IronWolf Pro 14TB will run you $529.99 and $599.99 respectively, a 14TB BarraCuda Pro sits at $579.99, a SkyHawk14TB a mere $509.99 and the Exos X14 at $614.99.   These prices might sound expensive until you think how much 14TB of NVMe storage will cost you.

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The IronWolf and IronWolf Pro as designed to be used in a NAS, with firmware designed to provide reliability in a variety of arrays along with health management and recovery tools baked right in.  The drives are rated at 300TB/year, with a 5 year warranty on the Pro and 3 years on the other.

The Barracuda Pro is one you are more likely to grab, the 7200 RPM HDD has 256MB Of cache which allows up to 250mb/s data transfer rates depending on the task you require of it.  You will get a 5 year warranty to ensure you get your moneys worth out of the drive.

The Skyhawk is great for surveillance systems, the 14TB allows you to capture over 9000 hours of H.264 video with 1M pixels, medium quality, at 15FPS; with support for up to 64 attached cameras.  It would also make a great drive for a DVR if you intended to record every single moment of TV you missed while on vacation.  The 3 year warranty in part reflects the expectation you will be writing to this drive 24/7/

Last is the Exos X14, which you can order already installed into the chassis you see above, with up to a 1.4PB of storage.  The helium-based design is not only for longevity, Seagate claims a 10% reduction in weight versus other drives.

Full PR below the fold.

Source: Seagate

Samsung Unveils Plans for Data Center SSDs You Can Actually Buy!

Subject: Storage | September 5, 2018 - 10:54 PM |
Tagged: Z-NAND, V-NAND, ssd, sata, Samsung, NVMe, 983 ZET, 983 DCT, 883 DCT, 860 DCT

Samsung was strangely absent from FMS this year, but they had us out to NYC yesterday for a briefing we've been waiting a looong time for:

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Above is a spec layout for Data Center SSDs that are to be in the retail channel, meaning they will be available for purchase on the open market, not locked behind exclusivity contracts with a select few corporations, as was the case previously. Here's the abbreviated rundown:

  • 860 DCT
    • SATA
    • Low write workloads
    • 960GB, 2TB, 4TB
    • Low cost (~0.25/GB)
  • 883 DCT
    • SATA
    • Mixed workloads
    • Power Loss Protection
    • 240/480/960GB, 2TB, 4TB
    • $0.30/GB
  • 983 DCT
    • NVMe (M.2 / U.2)
    • Mixed workloads / higher performance
    • Power Loss Protection
    • 960GB, 2TB
    • $0.34/GB

The prices above are MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) as MSRP doesn't carry over to enterprise products quite the same. Performance details are above and below in the full press release, but the gist of them is that they are comparable to current Samsung SATA and NVMe products with the exception of random writes being rated at steady state sustained values (client SSDs are typically rated for reduced span random writes of shorter durations).

There was another thing to check out as well:

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That's Samsung's elusive Z-SSD, now with the model name 983 ZET. It contains slightly modified V-NAND operating in straight SLC mode and with some additional tweaks to help reduce latencies - referred to by Samsung as Z-NAND. Here are the specs:

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We did note that some of what drives those super-fast latencies is the use of a DRAM cache. We won't know how this impacts larger span random performance until we can test this product first-hand. Samsung also showed where they expect these new products to fall relative to other competing offerings:

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I'm thrilled to see Samsung finally opening up their Data Center parts to the rest of the masses. We'll be testing and reviewing these as samples arrive. I personally can't wait, because Samsung's data center parts are known for having amazing QoS performance, and I can't wait to throw our enterprise test suite at them!

Read on for Samsung's full press release, with specs!

Source: Samsung

Mushkin's new Source SATA SSDs come with an attractive price tag

Subject: Storage | September 4, 2018 - 02:58 PM |
Tagged: Mushkin, source, SM2285, sata 6Gps, Ryan's Law, ssd

The release of a new line of 2.5" SATA SSDs isn't breaking news anymore, unless they offer something new, which the Mushkin Source line does.  The MSRP of these new drives are 120 GB for $36, 250 GB for $49, 500 GB for $81 and 1 TB for $158; which puts an SSD within reach of just about any budget; though it falls short of complying with Ryan's Law.  Part of the reason for this pricing is the lack of a DRAM cache which slows random writes and creates read latency but overall you can't argue with the value of these drives. 

You can see them in action over at TechPowerUp.

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"With just 16 cents per GB, or $81 for the tested 500 GB version, the Mushkin Source is among the most affordable SSDs on the market. It is a DRAM-less design, which means some compromises have to be expected in terms of performance. Our review of the Mushkin Source 500 GB looks exactly into that."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

 

Source: TechPowerUp

SanDisk goes to the Extreme with their new portable SSD

Subject: Storage | August 24, 2018 - 01:37 PM |
Tagged: sandisk, extreme portable, 1TB, USB 3.1 gen 2

The SanDisk Extreme Portable 1 TB USB drive has a IP55 rating, which means it can resist large dirt and a bit of sprayed liquid but don't submerse it or use it in an area with fine particulates floating around, such as the entirety of Western Canada at the moment.  Thanks to the transfer speed of the Type-C USB 3.1 Gen 2 connection, 1TB is a reasonable size for a portable SSD, The Tech Report saw transfer speeds in line with what you would expect from this connection.  The casing and design does cost you however, expect to pay upwards of $0.30/GB when picking up this portable SSD.

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"SanDisk's Extreme Portable SSD pairs USB 3.1 Gen 2 transfer rates with a durable, stylish exterior shell. We put the 1-TB Extreme Portable through our testing gauntlet to see whether it's as speedy as it is strong."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

64 layers of EVOlutionary growth from Samsung

Subject: Storage | August 2, 2018 - 04:24 PM |
Tagged: 860 evo, Samsung, sata, ssd, 64-layer TLC

Samsung have updated their popular SATA SSD series with 64-layer TLC and The Tech Report takes a look at it here.   As you may remember from Al's review back in January, the drive did not show real improvements over the 850 EVO and was occasionally slower at certain tasks.  It has been a while, so has the performance changed over time?  Find out in the full review.

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"Samsung has replaced the longtime reigning champion of the mainstream SSD market. We test out the 860 EVO to see whether doubling V-NAND layers doubles the fun."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

 

Bring your own cache to Toshiba's RC100 Host Memory Buffet

Subject: Storage | July 13, 2018 - 03:57 PM |
Tagged: toshiba, RC100, NVMe, M.2, M.2 2242

The wee M.2 2242 form factor of the RC100 means there is no space for a DRAM buffer, which led Toshiba to utilize the Host Memory Buffer feature included in NVMe revision 1.2.  In order to use this feature you must be running Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (or 1709) or the at least the 4.14 Linux kernel.  It commandeers a portion of your system RAM to act as the cache, somewhat less effective than having it on board as The Tech Report's testing shows.  As well it is hampered its PCIe 2x interface, which ensures it falls behind 4x NVMe drives. 

The testing reveal the weaknesses of this design, but it is an interesting implementation of an NVMe featuer not often seen, which is in itself worth taking a look at.

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"Toshiba's RC100 NVMe SSD takes a bold stab at life without DRAM or a full four lanes of PCIe connectivity. Unlike many DRAM-less SSDs, however, the RC100 has a trick up its sleeve with the NVMe protocol's Host Memory Buffer caching feature. Join us to find out whether NVMe and HMB can bolster this entry-level SSD's performance."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

 

That didn't take long, RGB SSDs from Team Group

Subject: Storage | July 5, 2018 - 02:18 PM |
Tagged: ssd, sata, RGB, team group, delta rgb

Team Group have hit peak RGB with their new Delta SSDs which does not only have a full blown case of RGBs but is compatible with ASUS Aura Sync, MSI Mystic Light, Gigabyte RGB Fusion and other fancy software to control your blinken lighten.  In theory it should also offer performance that saturates SATA 6Gbps bandwidth, but who cares about that when you can get even more lumens shoved into your PC!  For about $80 you can pick one up, but with this drive you should be going with at least a RAID 5 setup.

Join TechPowerUp and bask in the glow.

rgb3.jpg

"Team Group's Delta RGB SSD is a unique solid-state drive, due to its amazing RGB support. It connects to your motherboard's RGB header, which then gives you full control over the LEDs, for mixed colors, patterns and custom lighting effects. Performance is good too, so is pricing, with just $80 for the 250 GB version."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

 

Source: TechPowerUp

Biostar Announces Budget M500 NVMe SSDs

Subject: Storage | June 29, 2018 - 06:14 PM |
Tagged: tlc, ssd, NVMe, biostar, 3d nand

Motherboard manufacturer Biostar is expanding its solid state drive lineup with the launch of the M500 M.2 2280 SSD which appears to be the company’s first PCI-E NVMe SSD (it is not the first M.2 but those drives used SATA). The new Biostar M500 SSD uses 3D TLC NAND flash and supports NVMe 1.2 protocol and the PCI-E x2 interface. The exact controller and flash chips used have not yet been revealed, however.

Biostar M500 PCI-E NVMe SSD.jpg

Biostar continues its gamer / racing aesthetics with the new drive featuring a black heatsink with two LEDs that serve a utilitarian purpose. One LED shows the temperature of thebdrive at a glance (red/yellow/green) while the other LED shows data transmit activity and also shows which PCi-E mode (2.0 / 3.0) the drive is in.

The M500 SSD uses up to 1.7W while reading. it comes in four SKUs including 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1TB capacities with either 256 MB. 512 MB, or 1 GB of DDR3L cache respectively.

As far as performance is concerned, Biostar claims up to 1,700 MB/s sequential reads and 1,100 MB/s sequential writes. Further, the drives offer up to 200K random read IOPS and 180K random write IOPS. Of course, these numbers are for the top end 512 GB and 1 TB drives and the lower capacity models will have less performance as they have less cache and flash channels to spread reads and writes from/to.

SSD Capacity Max Sequential Read Max Sequential Write Read IOPS Write IOPS Price
128 GB 1,500 MB/s 550 MB/s 200K 180K $59
256 GB 1,600 MB/s 900 MB/s 200K 180K $99
512 GB 1,700 MB/s 1,100 MB/s 200K 180K $149
1 TB 1,700 MB/s 1,100 MB/s 200K 180K $269

According to Guru3D, Biostar’s M500 M.2 drives will be available soon with MSRP prices of $59 for the 128 GB model, $99 for the 256 GB model, $149 for the 512 GB drive, and $269 for the 1 TB SKU. The pricing does not seem terrible though the x2 interface does limit its potential / usefulness. They are squarely budget SSDs aimed at computing with SATA SSDs and enticing upgrades from mechanical drives. They may be useful for upgrading older laptops where a x4 M.2 slot would not be wasted like on a desktop machine.

What do you think about Biostar’s foray into NVMe solid state drives?

Source: Guru3D

Deathwish RAID racing; hit single channel DDR4 transfer rates with WD Black NVMe drives

Subject: Storage | June 19, 2018 - 04:13 PM |
Tagged: wd black nvme, RAID-0, raid, kingston, Hyper M.2 X16 Card, deathwish, ddr4-2400, asus

This will cost you a bit to set up but will provide you with almost unbelievable transfer rates.  Simply combine eight 1 TB WD Black NVMe SSDs at roughly $400 a pop with a pair of ASUS' Hyper M.2 expansion cards at $60 each and build up a deathwish RAID of doom!  TechARP just posted a look at how Andrew Vo managed to pull this off. 

As pointed out by several readers who ... well, actually watched the video instead of just reading the article ... this was done on Threadripper, which makes far more sense than a PCIe lane starved Intel system.   Ignore me and make your Threadripper roar.

Unfortunately this trick will not work the same on AMD platforms, it is limited to Intel Skylake or Coffee Lake with VROC support.  It will be interesting to see how a properly configured Threadripper system would compare.

WD-Black-NVMe-SSD-benchmark-results-02.jpg

"To hit 19 GB/s, you need to create a RAID 0 array of those eight 1 TB WD Black NVMe SSDs, but you can’t use the motherboard’s RAID feature because you would be limited by the 32 Gbps/4GB/s DMI bottleneck."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

 

Source: TechARP