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GIGABYTE "IRAM": Affordable "solid-state" storage

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Alec§taar, May 22, 2006.

  1. Alec§taar New Member

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    GIGABYTE "IRAM": UPDATED w/ HEXUS.NET 07/27/2006 review (& others)

    [​IMG]

    GIGABYTE GC-RAMDISK i-RAM review @ HEXUS.NET

    http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=6200

    :)

    * Here are more reviews of these Solid-State Drives for your comparison references:

    ================================================================

    Gigabyte iRAM Solid State SATA Storage Review @ techreport.com

    http://techreport.com/reviews/2006q1/gigabyte-iram/index.x?pg=1

    Gigabyte iRAM Solid State SATA Storage Review @ pcper.com

    http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=224&type=expert

    Gigabyte iRAM Solid State SATA Storage Review @ overclockers.com

    http://www.overclockers.com/tips00788/index02.asp

    Gigabyte iRAM Solid State SATA Storage Review @ Tom's Hardware

    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/2005/11/01/holiday_buyers_guide_2005uk/page18.html

    Gigabyte iRAM Solid State SATA Storage Review @ PCWorld

    http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,121105,00.asp

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    OUR OTHER DISCUSSION HERE @ TECHPOWERUP.COM FORUMS REGARDING SSD's (for your reference):

    http://forums.techpowerup.com/showthread.php?t=12904&highlight=IRAM

    ================================================================

    A listing of creative uses of RAMDRIVES is here:

    http://www.avatar.demon.nl/cenatek.html

    [​IMG]

    (That is a review of these units featured on CENATEK's front page in "An independent user's review" linkage there I did back in 2003 of the older/slower PCI 2.2 bus & PC-133 SDRAM based Solid-State Ramdisk drive I have seen in my signature below - that review lists diff. ways these can be used to gain performance, as does my signature for some examples on the quick).

    The CENATEK unit is a PCI slot based one, & PCI 2.2 133mb/sec max transfer rate IDE/EIDE limit (which this IRAM has beaten, in theory @ least, using SATA 150mb/sec rates no less) that costs more than this model does from GIGABYTE!

    APK

    P.S.=> The DDRDrive x1 PCI-e based unit, pictured next below:

    [​IMG]

    Will be even the Gigabyte IRAM GC-Ramdisk's superior once it releases later this year, imo @ least (because of the bustype it uses in PCI-Express & its superior bandwidth, see table below)

    Common bustypes & their bandwidth ceilings:

    PCI 132 MB/s (What the CENATEK "RocketDrive" Uses)
    AGP 8X 2,100 MB/s
    PCI Express 1x 250 [500]* MB/s (What the DDRDrive x1 Uses)
    PCI Express 2x 500 [1000]* MB/s
    PCI Express 4x 1000 [2000]* MB/s
    PCI Express 8x 2000 [4000]* MB/s
    PCI Express 16x 4000 [8000]* MB/s
    PCI Express 32x 8000 [16000]* MB/s
    IDE (ATA100) 100 MB/s
    IDE (ATA133) 133 MB/s
    SATA 1 150 MB/s (What the Gigabyte IRAM GC-RamDisk Uses)
    SATA 2 300 MB/s
    Gigabit Ethernet 125 MB/s
    IEEE1394B [firewire] 100 MB/s

    but for now, this Gigabyte IRAM-GC is the 'ticket to ride' though...

    LASTLY/PLUS:

    You can even BOOT your system/OS from the GIGABYTE one!

    (But not the CENATEK)... apk
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2006
  2. cieje New Member

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    depending on how reliable it is... putting your os on there would be awesome for system performance. and your swap file :-x

    Or... get 2 of them, raid 0 them together.... that might have some interesting performance advantages...
  3. Alec§taar New Member

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    Well, I have a competing & older product, the CENATEK "rocketdrive" & it has a backing power supply, so it maintains state (and I have a UPS here to back that).

    You get THAT part straight (power reliability) & you find that they are as reliable as any storage media really, & FAR faster performers on many levels. For more on that, see those reviews above as to applications & gains possible.

    Above all - for $60 U.S. Dollars (cost of board itself, only), how can you go wrong?

    The cost of the RAM adds more, but who says you need 4gb? I do FINE here on a CENATEK "RocketDrive" w/ 2gb on it...

    As far as going FARTHER/LARGER than 4gb (per board, because spanning them exceeds this)?

    That's PROBABLY due to the OS & device drivers used... 32-bit limit memory addresseability = 4gb, & that's probably the driver holding THAT part down!

    64-bit OS & drivers can probably change that, no problem imo, but, here I could be wrong!

    APK

    P.S.=> RAID'ing these things (speaking from the CENATEK viewpoint @ least)? You can go up to 4 of them, @4gb each, into 1 large 16gb spanned disk...

    Probably SAME on GIGABYTE IRAM (w/ the added bennies of SATA 150gb bus speeds & DDR RAM as well, of which the PCI cenatek unit only uses SDRAM older/slower speed types)...

    Hence, why I am truly considering buying one of these & putting the CENATEK back to my first machine where it came from, replacing it with this GIGABYTE IRAM offering, which would suit my latest system better, imo...

    Thought I'd turn you guys onto a potentially VERY cool part for performance, and cost-effective to invest in as well... apk
    Last edited: May 23, 2006
  4. noneed4me2 New Member

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    I read somewhere that with the saturation of the SATA bus it would cause issues with anything else connected to it, but i definately like the idea but I feel it needs further development, and definately larger than 4gb capacity. Running an operating system would be cool if it was proven to be reliable on a 24/7 basis.
  5. Aevum New Member

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    it is reliable to somepoint, it has a battery on the card that keeps it from erasing for 8 hours i belive if power is gone, the issue is that it takes a max of 1gb modules,

    a normal 1g Kingston value ram /Geil Value/OCZ value (i wouldnt use generic for this purpose, but i wouldnt use muskin redlines either) stick is around 80 bucks,
    80x4=320 bucks for 4gb, now, with 4gb, its good if you do alot of photoshop or maya work, that way you can gain fast access to the files you´re working on,

    if your a fanatic gamer, installing Quake4 or Oblivion on the memory drive will improve loading time, but the frames per second are still GPU and CPU dependent,

    you could even fit windows inside, but are you willing to pay 320 bucks for the ram plus the 60 to 100 the card costs you and run the constant danger that a power outage longer then 8 hours could leave you reinstalling windows just to reduce boottime from 40 secs to 4 ?
  6. KennyT772

    KennyT772 New Member

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    it sould be used as a current files drive. so photoshop files, pagefile, temp files for windows/firefox. maby using it as a secondary install of your favorite game is good but you want to have a backup of everything you have on the iram.
  7. infrared New Member

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    I suppose if you've got a lot of old ddr dimms lying around, you could buy 2 or more of these, and set them up in RAID-0. I'd like to see some benchmarks with that :) Would give a total of 8gb, and roughly 300mb/s. This is some crazy bandwidth we're talking about here tho!!
  8. Alec§taar New Member

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    Pretty much EXACTLY how I use SSD's here myself (CENATEK "RocketDrive" user since 2003 here)...

    1.) Place your pagefile.sys onto these (faster seek/access/read by far vs. HDD's)

    2.) Place your system environment variables of %TMP%/%TEMP% (current user & system-wide) onto SSD's also (for the same reasons as #1)...

    3.) Place your EventLogs, via registry hack to their FILE value (for the same reasons as #1)...

    4.) Place your Web-Browser('s) webpage caches onto it (for the same reasons as #1)...

    5.) Place your logging + temp ops (like WinRar & WinZip can do for instance from their config screens) from other apps onto it (for the same reasons as #1)...

    6.) Placing your %comspec% environment var location & actual command interpreter, e.g.-> cmd.exe (for the same reasons as #1)...

    7.) Lastly, putting your print spooler location onto it (for the same reasons as #1)...

    :)

    I think this GIGABYTE "IRAM", due to the bus type it uses in SATA2, "maxes-out" @ 150gb/sec. rates of SATA (not SATA II = 300gb/sec) though!

    This is SORT of where I was leading above about how a "spanning" of these SSD's into 1 large disk MAY do better than the one I use today in the CENATEK "RocketDrive"!

    (By getting 4 of these boards & using their max-ram capacity of 4gb each into 1 large 16gb solid-state disk drive viewed as a single logical drive by the OS)

    The SSD I use (cenatek rocketdrive) is viewed by the OS as a RAID controller, & is PCI (not PCI-e) & maxes-out @ 133mb/sec. of PCI 2.2... whereas this GIGABYTE IRAM is on SATA 1, & hits 150gb/sec., afaik, plus uses faster RAM than what mine does.

    APK

    P.S.=> I have begun to start taking advantage of this myself, & will fully in time, but not with solid-state disks!

    (ONLY partially so far, the WD 'raptor x' disks cost TOO much to go out & nail 2 more of them to test this theory out here):

    E.G. -> I "raid'd" 2 WD 10k rpm 16mb buffered (each) "Raptor X"'s via a Promise EX8350 128mb ECC RAM Caching Controller here, which is on a PCI-e x4 slot!

    (It also has an Intel Super I/O cpu-chip on it to offload processing from your system CPU, to it instead, a benny of it ontop of the onboard RAM cache)

    Because it is PCI-e x4 slot-type/bus based, it actually CAN get a higher bandwidth top-end than PCI 2.2 slot-based RAID 0 setups (or, even SATA 1/2, afaik)... so, if each SATA 2 WD "Raptor X" hits 300mb/sec. rates, it can keep scaling up to the PCI-e x4 slot bandwidth max of 10gb/sec. (theoretical limit) with MANY disks in RAID 0.

    ALL simply because it uses PCI-e (x4 slot type) which has far more available bandwidth to it, than PCI 2.2 can manage!

    I.E.-> PCI-e supports x1, x2, x4, x8, x12, x16, and x32 link bandwidths.

    PCIe's bandwidth gains over PCI 2.2 (std.) are noticeable!

    A single x1 lane can transmit 2.5Gbps in each direction, concurrently (compare & constrast that with PCI 2.2 133mb/sec).

    Thus, when you "add" two lanes together to do the x2 slot type linkage, you have 5 Gbps available to that slot (each link bandwidth increases according/linearly in this manner, afaik).

    That means the x4 PCI-e bus my caching controller has equates to 10Gbps!

    Common Buses and their Max Bandwidth

    PCI 132 MB/s
    AGP 8X 2,100 MB/s
    PCI Express 1x 250 [500]* MB/s
    PCI Express 2x 500 [1000]* MB/s
    PCI Express 4x 1000 [2000]* MB/s
    PCI Express 8x 2000 [4000]* MB/s
    PCI Express 16x 4000 [8000]* MB/s
    PCI Express 32x 8000 [16000]* MB/s
    IDE (ATA100) 100 MB/s
    IDE (ATA133) 133 MB/s
    SATA 1 150 MB/s
    SATA 2 300 MB/s
    Gigabit Ethernet 125 MB/s
    IEEE1394B [firewire] 100 MB/s

    PCI Express is a serial based technology (transmitting data in packets over the first four layers of the OSI model in fact afaik & even does packet retranmission retries if any are dropped - couple that with SATA 1/2 crc32 checks (iirc, it does that) & you get better reliability as well & even packet reprioritization (QoS) so that streaming media like video get priority over other data types for smoother/faster processing).

    Thus, data can be sent over the bus in two directions at once.

    Normal PCI is Parallel, and as such all data goes in one direction around the loop.

    A 1x lane in PCI Express transmits in both directions at once serially, simultaneously.

    In the table above, the first number is the bandwidth in one direction and the second number is the combined bandwidth in both directions.

    Note that in PCI Express bandwidth is not shared the same way as in PCI, so there is less congestion on the bus.

    (Theoretically @ least, that means I can exceed the typical RAID 0 "3 disks limit" before no more performance increases occur (due to PCI 2.2 bus saturation which most tests showed as 127mb/sec transferral rates on PCI 2.2 bus types via 3 drives in RAID)... this is simply because PCI-e x4 slots have a much higher bandwidth rate than PCI 2.2 does!)

    Afaik? The slot type & bus matter, & SATA 1 has a top-end bandwidth spec of 150mb/sec in theory, practice is another matter (as we all know)...

    If I am "off" here on ANY accounts? Please, do correct me, because I learn new things everyday that way & it helps... TIA! apk
    Last edited: May 23, 2006
  9. infrared New Member

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    so even running two in raid, you'd still be limited by 150mb/s? It wouldn't add up?

    Nice explanations :D Thanks
  10. Alec§taar New Member

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    Well, my Promise SATA 2 caching controller IS x4 PCI-e & runs SATA 2 disks (300mb/sec, throughput on burst iirc)... but, see the chart above on PCI-e transferral rates:

    WAY over 300mb/sec... way over!

    (Probably could take a STACK of SATA2 disks in RAID 0, not only up to 3 like SATA1 & PCI 2.2 (normal PCI) had limits on of 127mb of 133mb possible in theory doing RAID 0).

    HOWEVER - the GIGABYTE IRAM, @ 300mb/sec SATA2? Would hit that wall in spanning them possibly... it rides in a std. PCI 2.2 slot (133mb/sec upwards limit).

    You're welcome!

    :)

    Hey, I am learning more as I write them after study online, & discuss hardware issues with folks here...

    I need to "catch up" nowadays (only buy & research once every 3-5 years or so, & that's a CENTURY in PC-time, imo & experience - tons changes in that time, especially performance-wise!).

    APK

    P.S.=> I'll tell you 1 thing that PCI-Express reminds me of: PCI vs. VLB (Vesa Local Bus)!

    The VLB was MORE of a "True" local bus than PCI was imo... & PCI-e seems to have caught up on that end of it now, making it VERY LIKE what I recall VLB being! apk
    Last edited: May 23, 2006
  11. Alec§taar New Member

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    Bringing it "back from the dead" w/ a review by HEXUS.NET 07/27/2006

    See my subject-line/title above, & this latest review URL below next:

    [​IMG]

    GIGABYTE GC-RAMDISK i-RAM review @ HEXUS.NET

    http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=6200

    :)

    * Here are more reviews of these Solid-State Drives for your comparison references:

    ================================================================

    Gigabyte iRAM Solid State SATA Storage Review @ techreport.com

    http://techreport.com/reviews/2006q1/gigabyte-iram/index.x?pg=1

    Gigabyte iRAM Solid State SATA Storage Review @ pcper.com

    http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=224&type=expert

    Gigabyte iRAM Solid State SATA Storage Review @ overclockers.com

    http://www.overclockers.com/tips00788/index02.asp

    Gigabyte iRAM Solid State SATA Storage Review @ Tom's Hardware

    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/2005/11/01/holiday_buyers_guide_2005uk/page18.html

    Gigabyte iRAM Solid State SATA Storage Review @ PCWorld

    http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,121105,00.asp

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    OUR OTHER DISCUSSION HERE @ TECHPOWERUP.COM FORUMS REGARDING SSD's (for your reference):

    http://forums.techpowerup.com/showthread.php?t=12904&highlight=IRAM

    ================================================================

    A listing of creative uses of RAMDRIVES is here:

    http://www.avatar.demon.nl/cenatek.html

    [​IMG]

    (That is a review of these units featured on CENATEK's front page in "An independent user's review" linkage there I did back in 2003 of the older/slower PCI 2.2 bus & PC-133 SDRAM based Solid-State Ramdisk drive I have seen in my signature below - that review lists diff. ways these can be used to gain performance, as does my signature for some examples on the quick).

    APK

    P.S.=> The DDRDrive x1 PCI-e based unit, pictured next below:

    [​IMG]

    Will be even the Gigabyte IRAM GC-Ramdisk's superior once it releases later this year, imo @ least (because of the bustype it uses in PCI-Express & its superior bandwidth, see table below)

    Common bustypes & their bandwidth ceilings:

    PCI 132 MB/s (What the CENATEK "RocketDrive" Uses)
    AGP 8X 2,100 MB/s
    PCI Express 1x 250 [500]* MB/s (What the DDRDrive x1 Uses)
    PCI Express 2x 500 [1000]* MB/s
    PCI Express 4x 1000 [2000]* MB/s
    PCI Express 8x 2000 [4000]* MB/s
    PCI Express 16x 4000 [8000]* MB/s
    PCI Express 32x 8000 [16000]* MB/s
    IDE (ATA100) 100 MB/s
    IDE (ATA133) 133 MB/s
    SATA 1 150 MB/s (What the Gigabyte IRAM GC-RamDisk Uses)
    SATA 2 300 MB/s
    Gigabit Ethernet 125 MB/s
    IEEE1394B [firewire] 100 MB/s

    but for now, this Gigabyte IRAM-GC is the 'ticket to ride' though... apk
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2006
  12. warhammer New Member

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    It is only SATS 1 shame its not SATA2
  13. driver66

    driver66 New Member

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    lol zombie thread ,,,,,look at the date :roll:
  14. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I haven't seen Kenny for a while!:(
  15. intel igent

    intel igent New Member

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    OMG! tehy killed KENNY!




























    BASTARDS!
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2008

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