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.

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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
Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Intel
Tagged: U.2, ssd, Optane, Intel, HHHL, AIC, 905P

Review

Intel just sent over a note that they have officially launched the 1.5TB capacity for the Optane SSD 905P (for both HHHL and U.2 form factors). We'd been expecting this for a while now, considering we had tested a full system incorporating the U.2 version of this very capacity two months ago. That system has now been given away, but I borrowed the SSD while Ken was tearing down the system for his review. With the product now officially launched, I thought it appropriate to take a quick look at this higher capacity part, both inside and out.

Outside

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Inside

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7 packages on one side of a single PCB. This is unexpected for a U.2 SSD since there is usually some sort of folded-over PCB sandwich, which doubles the available area for packages. Odd finding a single PCB here given the large 1.5TB capacity combined with XPoint dies only holding 16GB each.

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7 more packages along with the now standard XPoint controller. No DRAM necessary because, well, XPoint can easily pull double duty in that respect. Alright, so we have 1.5TB spread across only 14 packages. Throughout every Intel SSD we have ever laid our hands on for review, we've never seen *any* product (NAND or 3D XPoint) stack more than 4 dies per package. Had Intel stuck with that limit here, we would only have a maximum raw media capacity of 896GB. This is a 1.5TB SSD, so the only possible answer here is that we apparently have the first 8-die-per-package SSD to come out of Intel.

Read on for the test results!

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
Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Toshiba

Today we take a quick look at an update to Toshiba's line of OEM SSDs. The first product to employ 96-layer 3D TLC NAND, the XG6:

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I'm going to keep this one brief since this is to be an OEM-only product that is not expected to be available in retail channels. It's good to have some results out there since it will appear in many laptops and may result in the creation of a parallel retail product at some point in the future.

Specs:

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Internals (sorta):

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XG6 at the top. XG5 at the bottom. Pretty much identical with the labels removed, the major exception being the flash memory, which is now 96-layer BiCS.

Read on for the results and conclusion!

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
Author:
Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Synology

Synology DS1618+ Review

Synology's 2018 product lineup includes a new network-attached storage device that merges a prosumer price point with an enterprise-level (albeit entry-level enterprise) feature set. The Synology DS1618+ is a six-bay NAS sporting a quad-core Intel processor, up to 32GB of DDR4 memory, and, most importantly, a PCIe expansion slot.

It's that last key feature -- a PCIe 3.0 x8 (x4 link) slot -- that really makes the DS1618+ interesting, as it lets users optionally expand the capabilities of the device with add-ons like NVMe flash adapters or 10GbE ports. Synology has long offered PCIe expansion capabilities in their products, but they've generally been limited to the much costlier enterprise models. With the costs of 10-gigabit networking continuing to fall, however, the DS1618+ is perfectly timed to bring ultra-fast networked storage to home power users.

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Synology loaned us a DS1618+ for review, and we've spent the last few weeks testing it with our existing 10GBase-T network.

Read on to find out how this new NAS performs, and take a look at some new software-based features that Synology is bringing to the home.

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
Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Samsung

Introduction, Specifications, and Packaging

Samsung has been in the portable SSD business for a good while now. They released their T1 back in 2015, with the T3 and T5 coming in at a yearly cadence. Keeping with tradition, today we see the release of a new model on a new interface - Samsung's new Portable SSD X5:

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(970 EVO included for scale)

While the 'T' branded predecessors were USB 3.0 and 3.1 (Gen1 - limited to 5Gbps), Samsung has now jumped onto the Thunderbolt 3 bandwagon, taking a firmware-tweaked (for encryption) 970 EVO and placing it behind an Intel Alpine Ridge DSL6340 Thunderbolt 3 controller.

Specifications

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Specs of note are the nearly 3GB/s sequential read speed. 2.3GB/s writes are nothing to sneeze at, either. No random performance noted here, but we will fix that with our test suite later on in the article.

Packaging

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Nice packaging and presentation.

Read on for our review of the Samsung Portable SSD X5!