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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

First Look: ACARD ANS-9010

Benchmark Reviews has tested just about every Solid State Drive available to the retail market. Yet, for some reason, the niche industry of RAM-Drives has eluded us. ACARD is a manufacturer steeped in these products, and may be one of the few remaining companies to produce such products.

Since RAM-Disks aren't something you go down to Best Buy and pull of the shelf, it makes sense that the ACARD ANS-9010 comes in the enterprise-friendly brown box. The ANS-9010 is very little more than a simple enclosure for RAM modules, so there's no particular worry about damaging shock-sensitive components.

ACARD_ANS-9010_RAM-Drive_Package.jpg

ACARD offers everything you'll need to assemble a functional SATA-II RAM-Disk, short of the actual RAM modules. The ANS-9010 includes a Lithium Ion battery to preserve flash-memory data retention, and a Compact Flash (CF) card slot is available for data backup. The 'Battery Capacity' meter shows how close you are to losing everything, which is exactly what will happen when the battery loses charge or is disconnected.

ACARD_ANS-9010_RAM-Drive_Front.jpg

Once everything is assembled inside the ANS-9010 unit, you can secure the cover and install this DDR2 SATA RAM-Drive like you would any other 5.25" drive. Even when populated with eight memory modules, the unit itself weighs less than most optical drives.

ACARD_ANS-9010_RAM-Drive_Covered.jpg

ACARD can made it possible to use the ANS-9010 in a RAID-0 striped array. Since there isn't a HBC RAID unit built into the SATA RAM-Drive, you'll need to ensure your motherboard support RAID functionality to use this feature. In our testing, Benchmark Reviews has used both P0 single SATA connection mode, and P0+P1 dual SATA mode in RAID-0 array.

ACARD_ANS-9010_RAM-Drive_Back.jpg

At first look, there really isn't too much behind the ACARD ANS-9010 RAM-Drive. It's essentially a DDR2 enclosure with a PCB to support basic controller logic and DIMM sockets. You'll treat it just like a hard drive or SSD, and connect a SATA cable (or two) and power to the unit.

Let's go in a little closer for the finer details...



 

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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