|ACARD ANS-9010 DDR2 SATA RAM-Drive|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Thursday, 26 March 2009|
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ACARD ANS-9010 Details
ACARD ships the ANS-9010 DDR2 SATA RAM-Drive with no memory modules installed. Since the DDR2 market is at an all-time low, it seems like now would be the ideal time for ACARD to purchase a large bulk quantity of high-density DDR2 RAM and begin selling these RAM-Disks as complete kits. Alas, this is not the case, and you'll need to shop for your own memory modules.
For our testing, we used four kits of OCZ Gold Series PC2-6400 DDR2 800MHz CL5-5-5. Each module offers 2GB of storage density, and although OCZ suggests 1.9V experienced no problems during our performance testing. Additionally, ACARD offer ongoing firmware updates. These updates are available for free from the ACARD website, and the unit we received was updated by several versions from 3133_101 to 3142_109.
There were a few issues with the DIMM sockets on the ANS-9010; primarily relating to insertion force. The DIMM sockets used require greater than customary insertion force to install each module, and anything less will cause strange behavior from the RAM-Disk. During the initialization process, the drive was visible to Windows but for some reason the RAM-Disk needed to have each memory module reseated before it would finally initialize and format as a disk should.
Based on the image below, the eight DIMM sockets appear to offer dual-channel functionality. The manufacturer material doesn't offer much insight or detail, but the color coding is an obvious clue. During our performance tests, Benchmark Reviews used configurations with the inner-two DIMM sockets (yellow) populated with DDR2, and then tested with four- and eight-module configurations.
The only source of heat on the ANS-9010 was the controller chip located beneath a small black heatsink. While it doesn't make since to actively cool the chip with such lower electrical current drawn from the SATA power connection, the temperatures I discovered were enough to warrant a heatsink more than twice the size.
Because the ACARD ANS-9010 uses DRAM to store data, this DDR2 SATA RAM-Drive is also technically a Solid State Drive. Although it ran just like you would expect a storage drive to do, the differences between the ANS-9010 and some of the other SSD products we've tested come down to performance and price. Read on to find out if that turns out to be a good thing or not.