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back to article KingSpec's 2TB Multicore PCI-E SSD whopper vs the rest

Earlier this year we took a look at SSD caching, an alternative way of getting some SSD performance added to a system without too much strain put on the finances. So how about a gander at the other end of the spectrum – huge capacity and performance and a total disregard for the budget Enter the KingSpec Multicore MC1S81M2T, a …

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Boffin

Am I missing something?

The LSI MegaRaid 9271-4i with four Crucial M4 512GB drives comes in at 1576.23 including delivery, with performance not far outside the KingSpec, having quoted the KingSpec secondary setup as the second best performer based on the ATTO benchmark.

Do the lower capacity KingSpec cards stay in the 8-up formation, or drop to 6-up and 4-up. At which point, for the 1TB is the performance comparative the the above specification?

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Headmaster

Re: Am I missing something?

Personally I'm still trying to work out how 8 x 240GB = 2TB?

There's either some serious rounding error involved, or someone is screwing us out of 100GB or so (even before other losses due to formatting and block sizes etc).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Am I missing something?

Easy: (240GB x 8) = 2061584302080 bytes = 2TB (base 10) = 1.875TB (base 2)

Storage manufacturers use a different measuring stick, as they have always done. This is becoming somewhat more of an issue now that storage is getting so large and the discrepancy is getting so big. Its one of the reasons people have tried to implement the ibi standard (MiB, GiB, etc) for the base 2 values.

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Silver badge

Re: Am I missing something?

Don't forget, I'm sure the 240GB will be "decimal" 1000bytes to the K, 1000K to the M, 1000M to the G too...

So by the time that's factored in the true storage to the IT geek mind is 1.75TB.

But that's not such a good headline grabber is it!

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Bronze badge

Real World Priorities

In the real world, if you're moving small files around, any modern disk will move them "instantly", so the small file performance is of little concern, unless you're moving a huge number of them.

Where this drive excels is when moving/saving the sort of files that normally send you off for a coffee and few games of freecell (like opera recordings, or HD video).

Want one!

PS I didn't see any DATA on boot times. How bad is it?

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FAIL

Re: Real World Priorities

> In the real world, if you're moving small files around, any modern disk will move them "instantly", so the small file performance is of little concern, unless you're moving a huge number of them.

That's not the disk though, that's the cacheing on your OS accelerating your reads by holding recently read data in memory and instantly acknowleging writes before they've actually been commited to disk.

Do the same operation again with synchronous write semantics and a cold read cache and you'll see a massive advantage to the SSD.

> Where this drive excels is when moving/saving the sort of files that normally send you off for a coffee and few games of freecell (like opera recordings, or HD video).

What sort of shit heap have you got on your desk that means you have to get coffee while it copies files?

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Bronze badge

Re: Real World Priorities

Real world example: download a multi-gigabyte recording of one of the recent Wagner operas featured at the Proms. It's in AAC format. Open file in audio editor to edit into separate Acts. Save resulting wav file on HDD before editing. Plenty of time for coffee and freecell.

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Bronze badge

Re: Real World Priorities

A crap corporate network share or Share point. take your pick.

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MCG
Thumb Up

Re: Real World Priorities

>What sort of shit heap have you got on your desk that means you have to get coffee while it copies files?

Probably a recent model Apple desktop.... got a 2013 i5 iMac right here and it is a pisspoor performer in every respect, the very epitome of style over performance :)

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What about databases?

It would have been good to see a database IOPS test. Database reads/writes are like moving small files but databases can be massive in size. So would the KingSpec SSD bomb or win in this scenario? We're always looking for ways to speed up databases from a hardware aspect.

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SandForce

Stopped reading after the word 'SandForce'. Will continue reading if somebody confirms they have managed to create controller that isn't full of bugs.

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Questionable

There are three issues I see with this:

1) In any even remotely realistic use-case, you will run out of another resource (CPU or network) long before you reach the level of sequential I/O performance this device can allegedly deliver.

2) The test graphs only cover sequential I/O, not random I/O. What is the 4KB random-write performance on this device after it has been "primed" with a full fill from /dev/urandom?

3) Being based on mSATA SSDs, this is little more than an 8-port SATA card.

So what is the big deal? You can easily achieve similar performance using a decent 8-port SAS card and 8 similar SATA SSDs (e.g. from Intel or Kingston).

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No Comparison to other PCI-E SSD's?

This data is pretty useless then in terms of comparing to what else is out there on the market. Why not compare it to the read/write speeds of a floppy disk drive whilst you are at it?

Sorry to be a bit down about this post but i was expecting more, a quick google search of PCI-E SSD on shopping will show a load of other PCI-E Drives available yes, you maybe looking at 2TB's of storage but why compare speeds if its all about size...

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Coat

"huge capacity and performance and a total disregard for the budget"

So it's the IT version of Top Gear then?

and on that bombshell.....

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Thumb Up

But I want one!!!

Ok... yes its expensive and I'm sure that within a couple of years it will be smaller and more efficient.

But if I had unlimited funds... I'd build out a small hadoop cluster using low powered Intel chips, 1 or 2 of these cards in Streacom FC10 chassis with a small SSD for OS and stuff.

While it will be very expensive and wouldn't be as fast or as powerful as other options... it would be one beautiful looking box (remember those Crays?) and could sit in your office conference room for demos.

Yes, its not for everyone... but it would be very cool.

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Happy

Hourses for courses?

Large files served up fast?

Lots of scope for the "adult entertainment" market perhaps?

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Linux

Re: Hourses for courses?

> Large files served up fast?

>

> Lots of scope for the "adult entertainment" market perhaps?

The problem with that is you have to be copying to another copy of the relevant hardware or you are going to bottleneck immediately on whatever that other thing is (network,storage).

It's like getting excited that your new spinny disk can do reads at 160MB/s when everything reading from it will be bottlenecked by GigE and limited to a mere 100MB/s at best.

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Silver badge

Re: Hourses for courses?

"It's like getting excited that your new spinny disk can do reads at 160MB/s when everything reading from it will be bottlenecked by GigE and limited to a mere 100MB/s at best."

Of course that 160Mb/s falls off rapidly when the reads are random, which is where SSDs exel.

The first use I can think of for a 2Tb card is as cache for a large ZFS array, coupled with a decent PCIe write cache of 8Gb or so (they're a LOT cheaper than the 1600 quid you'll fork out for a STEC ZeusRAM drive and hellaciously faster on latencies because they're not constrained by 6Gb SAS/DATA interfaces.)

The real question for such a card is "How does it stack up against FusionIO's offering?", not "how does it stack up against a bunch of drives on a bandwidth-limited bus?"

As someone else stated: "sandforce" is a warning label for performance equipment.

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Silver badge

Slots.

There is something fiddley to be aware of.

If cardlanes == slotlanes, they fit together easily.

If cardlanes < slotlanes, the card fits in and works, though the slot will have a few lanes wasted.

if cardlanes > slotlands, then *electronically* they work - though the card won't run at full speed. Mechanically, it won't actually fit into the slot. Not until you do some delicate work with a dremel. Once the appropriate (literal) hacking has been done, then you can use it.

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Sandforce.

That'll be a £3.5k brick within 6 months then.

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I've heard of KingSpec

Years ago I found out that they did a decent capacity, OK-ish price 1.8" PATA SSD that would fit in a Rio Karma, so I got one via eBay. It never worked properly. Sent it back for repair, at my cost; almost 1/3 the amount of the overall drive. Came back four weeks later, still didn't work properly in any PATA device. Basically just flash errors everywhere. Just had to write it off. I won't touch KingSpec kit again after that. A dud device is one thing, but acknowledging a fault, "repairing" it at the owner's cost and sending back a still broken device? No thanks.

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Silver badge

Horseless carriage?

Idle wonder: currently we are using Flash to emulate disk drives. It reminds me of how early disk drives could be used as emulated tape drives. What would a greenfield system architecture designed around Flash storage look like?

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waiting for the right time..

..to tell my boss that without one of these we can't get the job done.

so not anytime soon then ..sigh..

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Anonymous Coward

It's cheaper than 1TB of savvis SAN shared storage which would lose a race with a 2 legged dog. Well, cheaper after 3 months anyway.

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what goes around

comes around,

I seem to remeber,

the original disc drives, all 10 M of them,

plugged into the Apple II bus directly,

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Silver badge

SATA Bottleneck

I've an idea - we could have several of these serial ports working together to transfer data simultaneously. I even have a name for such a data bus where several serial ata lines work in parallel: I call it the trouser press!

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Would have been more interesting if the Reviewer had asked ¤why¤ he wasn't getting quoted speeds?

Was the manufacturer lying perhaps?

Or did he not want to upset them and stop getting new toys to play with?

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