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Written by Olin Coles   
Thursday, 26 March 2009
Table of Contents: Page Index
ACARD ANS-9010 DDR2 SATA RAM-Drive
Features and Specifications
First Look: ACARD ANS-9010
ACARD ANS-9010 Details
SSD Testing Methodology
Random Access Time Benchmark
Basic IOPS Performance
Linear Bandwidth Speed
Buffered Transaction Speed
Windows XP Startup Times
Solid State Drive Final Thoughts
ACARD ANS-9010 Conclusion

SSD Final Thoughts

New technology always has one major hurdle to face: the consumer. I have long maintained my opinion that DDR3 system memory is every bit an excellent replacement to the aging DDR2 standard, but the argument of high price and limited adoption by manufacturers has hushed my position. Faced with a similar situation, Solid State Drive technology has suffered the same difficult transition towards widespread use. Like most electronics, it wasn't a question of how much of a technology improvement was evident, it was price.

Then at some point, a certain well-respected hardware website published an article that claimed SSDs didn't consume less power after all. Although this report was later recanted on account of testing errors, the foundation was shaken for consumers and led me to wonder what kind of impact my news of higher heat output will cause the adoption process? After all, I like these products, and completely endorse the technology. But the bad publicity, even when it's disproven, still has a lasting affect thanks to the angst a premium price tag creates. This also has me wondering how my SSD Benchmark Testing revelation will affect the market.

OCZ_DDR2_RAM_Kits.jpg

So back in May (2008) when I reviewed the OCZ SATA-II 32GB SSD it seemed like $17 per gigabyte was a relatively good price for SSDs at the time. Consider for a moment that before then, SSD's such the elite-level 32 GB MemoRight GT cost on the level of $33 per gigabyte. Even products like the entry-level 32 GB Mtron MOBI 3000 were still selling for $14 per gigabyte, making the price of admission seem quite high for even the lower-level SKU's. So when OCZ announced a 64GB SSD that would sell for under $259 in July of 2008, I really wasn't sure if the news was believable. It didn't take long to realize these claims were all true, because shortly thereafter NewEgg began listing these SSDs exactly as predicted. This event in itself should have probably started the long-awaited dawn of widespread consumer acceptance for SSD products... but there was a problem.

As it turned out, the first generation OCZ Core Series SSD I touted in my review was prone to data corruption. Making matters worse was that the mail-in rebate nullified consumer ability to return the defective product for a refund. Nothing hurts progress more than an angry customer, and this incident created plenty. Later on, OCZ would issue a version 2 of the CORE series, and even though NewEgg offered this SSD for $199 ($169 after rebate), there will always be the fear of product reliability associated with Solid State Drives.

Of course, everything tends to change over time, and Solid State Drive sale prices are much different now. When it comes to computer hardware, generally speaking the newer, faster, and better performing products traditionally cost more than their older predecessors... but this is not the case with SSD's. I recognize that SSD speeds range from abysmal to phenomenal and everywhere in-between, but the prices don't seem to correspond to performance. With the Holiday's right around the corner and SSD's filling store shelves, it could be a fluke occurrence that SSD's now sell for as little as $2.17 per gigabyte, which is getting dangerously close to Western Digital's VelociRaptor at $1.13 per gigabyte of storage.

So why are some Solid State Drives so affordable while others sell at 2-7x the cost? That's a very good question that only a particular group of manufacturers can answer. The MLC vs SLC debate could ensue, but DRAM Prices have dropped beyond anyone's expectations and made the cost-point null. The timing is right, and consumers are at an advantage in 2009.



 

Comments 

 
# RE: ACARD ANS-9010 DDR2 SATA RAM-DriveJeddo 2010-03-12 16:11
Why bother with a hardware device that uses RAM modules at such low speeds? I mean, 500 MB/s may be fast for anything plugged into a SATA socket, but with modern consumer motherboards accomodating 16 GB RAM, take half of that for a RAMdrive and you'll be far better off in terms of raw performance. I measured approx. 2 GB/s on a 1 GB RAMdrive; system: Athlon 64 x2 6000+, 2 GB DDR2, XP SP3. And if 4 RAM sockets are not enough, I'm sure Tyan can meet your needs.
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# RE: RE: ACARD ANS-9010 DDR2 SATA RAM-DriveDennis 2010-06-12 19:18
There is a definite niche market for this product. If you have a 32-bit OS like WinXP (and are forced to use this), and run a memory hungry app like PhotoShop, you will need something to help you through the 4GB memory barrier. This handy drive will take care of all you paging file, virtual memory, and temporary drive storage needs. It will provide a strong boost in performance. I'm planning on getting one shortly for use in a corporate environment currently locked to Windows XP 32-bit.
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# Access speed is more important for SSDs.donjoe 2011-01-21 05:31
"the average linear read and write bandwidth [...] I personally consider this the single most important comparison of storage drive products"

You personally have no idea what you're talking about - SSDs are way too expensive per GB to be used mainly for long-term storage, so it makes no sense to talk about them as being anything other than active, system-and-applications or server drives, where the ACCESS SPEED is the key factor, not the linear I/O speed.
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# RE: Access speed is more important for SSDs.Olin Coles 2011-01-21 08:27
How do you take that quote to mean that I endorse SSDs for primary storage? Considering how many SSDs I've personally tested (over fifty), and how many more I've personally deployed on servers and workstations (thirty), I think you might want to reconsider your baseless claim.

What I'm saying here is that linear I/O is more important than the other factors, since SSDs will already inherently deliver faster access speed and transfer bandwidth. In my opinion, measuring input/output operations is more important than measuring speed or response time on an SSD.
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# RE: ACARD ANS-9010 DDR2 SATA RAM-Drivethrakkor 2011-12-28 11:15
I suspect that the main limitation here is the bridge chip. The RAM, even DDR2, has huge speed headroom (proven by mainboard chipsets); the SATA interface may or may not stand in the way of really high transfer speeds, but given that many modern days Flash based SSDs have competitive speeds, the remaining factor is the bridge chip, along with the design of the board. I really expect this kind of device, the RAM based SSD to offer over 300 megabytes / second read and write, easily, no RAID required.
Conclusion: SODIMM DDR3 for improved RAM density (16 slots would be really top), SATA3 interfacing (there aren't even may SATA3 HDDs) and an improved bridging design (even a small dedicated computer of its own would be necessary to handle the huge bandwidth). Since there are many 300 to 400 USD graphic monsters that are used just for games - what a stupid purpose - I don't even blink at spending, say, 500 USD on such a future DDR3 based SSD, and that's before any SODIMM would make its way into the slots. I don't even blink at that price. But, please, 150 MB/s ? Hah... More like 300 - 400, SATA3 or even SAS...
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# RAMhirnaxi karelia 2012-06-12 14:27
hi i want to know about how can i find ram; speed, pins, title, and eles.
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