|ACARD ANS-9010 DDR2 SATA RAM-Drive|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Thursday, 26 March 2009|
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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 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.
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 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.
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...