Intel SSD 910 PCI Express Solid State Drive Performance Review

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News Posted: Fri, May 4 2012 11:39 AM
A few years back we attended an Intel IDF event in San Francisco and among other disclosures, behind closed doors, the company was showing off a PCI Express-based SSD with current generation Intel NAND Flash and based on an array of SandForce controllers.  As it turns out, that product never saw the light of day and was more of a demonstration and proof of concept vehicle for Intel than anything else.  We've heard rumblings of Intel PCI Express SSD devices since then but nothing materialized much until very recently when Intel stepped out with a full-fledged product announcement of their SSD 910 family of Solid State Drives.  To be honest, it was out of the blue, though we like surprises.

With an MSRP of $1929 for 400GiB of capacity and $3859 for an 800GiB card, even mainstream performance enthusiasts would have a hard time justifying its cost, though at about $4.82 per GB you could see a high-end workstation professional, with large datasets to crunch, making the justification perhaps.

That said, as you'll see in the pages ahead, where the new Intel SSD 910 really excels is in datacenter applications with literally thousands of concurrent IO requests that would otherwise play havoc with lower bandwidth solutions.
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ajm531 replied on Fri, May 4 2012 11:57 PM

Wow all i can is wow. But yeah for that price i would see no reason even for a hardcore tech enthusiast to purchase one but if you had one man the things you could do(run a data center i guess).

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Like the article ends with, can't wait for this to work down to the prosumer level. With the advances in CPU, GPU computing and SSD the future looks bright.

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on tha refrence pcb these daughter boards are on could you put their i/o on tha reverse side as well dont see pics of other side ..if so couldnt you do a double sided one ..and for these $$ it would have to be a 3.0pci lane otherwise i just dont see tha point although a cachedrive off one of these would be great @14pt lifetime

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Dave_HH replied on Sun, May 6 2012 9:23 PM

You hit the nail on the head there, MSpitler. At some point you reach the limits of a PCIe X8 Gen 2 slot's bandwidth, though this cards doesn't quite hit that. Heck, go to a X16 card and you'd have plenty, though a bit cumbersome maybe.

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Though I would never buy this because I personally have no use of it, I can see where these come in handy. It's also nice to see where our technology in storage space will end up.

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Finally, Intel is jumping into the fray. This should create some much needed competition in this space. Will only benefit those of us prosumers.

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