Thursday, July 21st 2016

Super Talent Intros the Nova Series SATA-Express SSD

Super Talent introduced the Nova line of SSDs in the 9.5 mm-thick 2.5-inch form-factor, which take advantage of the PCI-Express bus, over the SFF8639 connector, which either wires out as U.2 or SATA-Express. It provides the drive with 32 Gb/s of bandwidth on machines with PCI-Express gen 3.0, which the drive pays forward with sequential read speeds of up to 3,000 MB/s, and sequential write speeds of up to 2,000 MB/s. The drive comes in capacities ranging between 120 GB to 1920 GB.
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14 Comments on Super Talent Intros the Nova Series SATA-Express SSD

#1
SAL9000
SATA Express and PCIe based SSD's are separate protocols, cabling and connectors. The title is wrong and needs to be corrected along with the technical details of this post.

SATA Express is based on the SATA protocol and uses a MB connector that can be used as multiple SATA ports/drives or used with a single SATA express drive. SATA Express shouldn't even be mentioned here because the drive mentioned in this article is a NVME based 2.5" SSD.

SATA express is a complete waste of MB space and has never lived up to its promises. Can you even buy a SATA express drive at all?
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#2
Ubersonic
SAL9000, post: 3492418, member: 165050"
SATA Express is based on the SATA protocol and uses a MB connector that can be used as multiple SATA ports/drives or used with a single SATA express drive. SATA Express shouldn't even be mentioned here because the drive mentioned in this article is a NVME based 2.5" SSD.
NVMe 2.5" SSDs use an evolution of the SATA Express connector (SFF8639) hence the reference. It's like mentioning SATA connectors when explaining SAS drives.


SAL9000, post: 3492418, member: 165050"
SATA express is a complete waste of MB space and has never lived up to its promises. Can you even buy a SATA express drive at all?
The backwards compatibility with SATA (can connect two SATA drives to it) means it didn't waste any MB space. It was good for a transitional period and helped break the limitations of SATA3.
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#4
RejZoR
Heh, I wish Samsung made their 850 Pro in SATA Express flavor. But it is what it is now that I already own it in SATA3 flavor...
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#5
Ubersonic
It would be cool if somebody brought out a PCI-E card with a couple of U.2 ports on it, that way multiple 2.5" SSDs like this could be used on older boards (i.e X79). It gets quite busy if you want to use more than one PCI-E NVMe SSD.
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#6
Parn
This drive is U.2, not SATA Express. Although the two standards share the same SFF-8639 connector, the wiring and pins are different.

SATA Express are simply a waste of PCIe lanes on modern motherboards. It is better to leave the SATA ports alone and wire those PCIe lanes to U.2.
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#7
R-T-B
Parn, post: 3492554, member: 155086"
This drive is U.2, not SATA Express. Although the two standards share the same SFF-8639 connector, the wiring and pins are different.
Super Talent introduced the Nova line of SSDs in the 9.5 mm-thick 2.5-inch form-factor, which take advantage of the PCI-Express bus, over the SFF8639 connector, which either wires out as U.2 or SATA-Express
Note that bolded bit. It sounds like they offer both wiring configurations. Someone correct me if I am wrong.
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#8
Ubersonic
R-T-B, post: 3492559, member: 41983"
Note that bolded bit. It sounds like they offer both wiring configurations. Someone correct me if I am wrong.
The SFF8639 connector (also known as the U.2 connector) can also be wired as a SATA-Express connector because it is the same connector with a different pinout. It's similar to how a SAS connector could be used on a SATA drive (but not the reverse as the wouldn't be enough pins for DP). However AFAIK that doesn't mean you can connect this drive to a SATA Express port as it uses a different protocol to SATA Express drives.
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#9
Hood
The bold type above refers to the motherboard's implementation of the SFF-8639 connector - "they" do offer both configurations, if by "they" you mean motherboard designers. As for the Super Talent SSD, obviously it uses the 32 Gb/s U.2 standard. When SFF-8639 is used for SATA Express, it's only 10 Gb/s, wired thru the chipset, not the PCIe lanes. So yes, the title of the post is misleading/inaccurate, possibly click-bait to entice those who only have the useless SATA Express 10 Gb/s port. Even if someone started selling SATA Express drives, nobody would buy them, as M.2 and PCIe drives available now are much faster, and at decent prices, both of which can be used in any board with an empty PCIe 3.0 slot (with adapter card for M.2).
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#10
Zeki
This is the first time I read about Sata-Express SSD and my last two motherboards had that ugly port, also I taught M.2 was faster now 3000MB/S does sound impressive however.
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#11
Xajel
All these SATA Express, U2 & that encrypted alien name are confused as hell...

hope some tech website comes with an article that describe all these and also the known ones like M.2... which we can know and compares...
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#12
cadaveca
My name is Dave
Hood, post: 3492647, member: 110365"
Even if someone started selling SATA Express drives, nobody would buy them, as M.2 and PCIe drives available now are much faster, and at decent prices, both of which can be used in any board with an empty PCIe 3.0 slot (with adapter card for M.2).
If that was truly the case, nobody would be buying standard SATA drives either.:confused:
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#13
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
SAL9000, post: 3492418, member: 165050"
SATA Express and PCIe based SSD's are separate protocols, cabling and connectors. The title is wrong and needs to be corrected along with the technical details of this post.

SATA Express is based on the SATA protocol and uses a MB connector that can be used as multiple SATA ports/drives or used with a single SATA express drive. SATA Express shouldn't even be mentioned here because the drive mentioned in this article is a NVME based 2.5" SSD.

SATA express is a complete waste of MB space and has never lived up to its promises. Can you even buy a SATA express drive at all?
I feel like I really need to address this mess of a post.

1.) SATA-Express and PCIe are not separate protocols. They both use the NVMe protocol. And connection standard wise, SATA-Express is exactly the same as a PCI-E x2 link, but in a different form factor.

2.) SATA-Express is NOT based on the SATA protocol and doesn't just use multiple SATA ports for a single SATA-Express drive. SATA uses the ACHI protocol(primarily). SATA-Express uses the much improved NVMe.

3.) SATA-Express is only called that because it incorporates two SATA connector plugs(even though they aren't used as SATA ports when in SATA-Express mode, they are used to transmit PCI-E data), and because the term SATA was associated in the consumer space with storage drives and they wanted people to easily know SATA-Express was a storage connector. This was done specifically to not waste board space, so that people without SATA-Express drives wouldn't have a completely unused port just sitting there. They could still use it with standard SATA drives if they wanted.

Hood, post: 3492647, member: 110365"
As for the Super Talent SSD, obviously it uses the 32 Gb/s U.2 standard. When SFF-8639 is used for SATA Express, it's only 10 Gb/s, wired thru the chipset, not the PCIe lanes.
It is still using PCI-E lanes. The speeds achievable depend on how they are wired. SATA-Express is theoretically capable of 16Gb/s, as it provided up to 2 PCI-E 3.0 lanes. U.2 provides up to 4 PCI-E 3.0 lanes, so 32Gb/s. However, the U.2 standard doesn't actually specify that the lanes must be PCI-E 3.0. So it is possible to have a U.2 slot that only provides 16Gb/s using PCI-E 2.0 lanes. And in fact, if you use one of those M.2 to U.2 adapters on most M.2 slots, you are only going to get a PCI-E 2.0 x2 link, so your at the 10Gb/s anyway. But really, that raw bandwidth is not where the speed of these drives comes from anyway. So you are unlikely to notice the difference between a 10Gb/s SATA-Express and a 32Gb/s U.2 drive. The HVMe standard is what really makes these drives feel so fast, it drastically improves the random read numbers.
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#14
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
Thank you @newtekie1 people still don't realize how little that theoretical bandwidth matters in comparison to the swap to NVMe
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