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Data Storage Hardware

Gigabyte Solid-State Storage Reviewed 71

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the looks-like-hardware-homebrew dept.
EconolineCrush writes "The Tech Report has a review of Gigabyte's i-RAM, a relatively affordable solid-state storage device that uses plain old DDR memory modules and plugs into a standard motherboard PCI slot and Serial ATA port. Performance is generally excellent and occasionally jaw-dropping, but the i-RAM's appeal is ultimately curbed by its slower Serial ATA interface and limited capacity. Still, it's an interesting solution for anyone looking for faster I/O, and since it behaves like a normal hard drive without the need for drivers or software, it should work with just about any operating system."
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Gigabyte Solid-State Storage Reviewed

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  • Dupe (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @10:50AM (#14558061)
    Dupe from July 2005 [slashdot.org]
  • only if you actually pull the plug. as long as the standby power feed to the board is on it should be fine.

    10 hours is plenty enough to reset the tripped breaker or start up a generator when the power failure alarm goes off.
  • by b1t r0t (216468) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @11:41AM (#14558707)
    The article apparently only links to Gigabyte's home page, and if they do have a deeper link, I couldn't find it.

    So here is a link to their Other Peripherals page [gigabyte.com.tw], where they list all three (!) versions of the board. But you still can't order directly from them anyhow.

  • by Zeio (325157) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @12:14PM (#14559164)
    SATA is 150MB/sec. Standard PCI is (32 * 33) / 8 = 132 (and generally * 0.8 for overhead if other things are present on the bus so more like just around 100).

    You should say use a single PCI-Express lane, 500MB/sec.

    Seriously, look into things before your post - especially when using snarky expressions such as "pray tell"

    Also, direct connect to the PCI bus would require (most likely) funky drivers.

    IDEALLY, marvell/adaptec/lsi or others should just have a back end to one of the common non-fakeraid controllers they make be RAM instead of disks, piggybacking the existing driver support for the raid cards.

  • by millisa (151093) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @07:53PM (#14563679)
    I read about these a while ago and have bought one.

    Just like every single other review I've read, great things are claimed about this thing that "Its just like a hard drive" "Linux! Wee!" yadda yadda yadda.

    I question whether most these reviewers actually touched one.

    I have version 1.2 of the board.
    I had four 512meg pc2700 dimms laying around (kingston) which I figured I'd try it out with. It seemed to work at first, detected in the bios, has the right size on autodetect.

    I was able to format it once in Windows XP after initializing it. I have never successfully formatted it since. The data corrupted itself shortly thereafter. (I copied an iso back and forth from a standard sata disk and md5'd it.)

    The speed was impressive. Copying to itself from itself did about 500mb in 5-7 seconds.

    Now, the use in windows has some appeal (sql temp db? IIS cache / IIS compression dir?) but I really wanted this for some of my mail servers (spam scanners that need a fairly big glob of temp space) and possibly for some replicated mysql dbs.

    I could not get any of the following linux installs to recognize that there was a disk on the system at sda or hda: fedora (core4), centos (4.2), ubuntu (um, whatever the iso is they have up). However, this was *only* during the installation process . . . I do not know what driver these installs might have needed that would allow it to see this device (they see a maxtor sata drive I have on hand just fine). If I installed onto a regular old sata hard drive, and turned off all PATA ports, I was able to see the I-Ram. I was able to fdisk the I-ram. I was able to mkfs.ext3 the i-ram, sort of... The smaller partitions seemed to go ok, but whenever I made a partition bigger than 200meg, sometimes mkfs would crap out throwing errors about the partition being possibly corrupt.

    I was able to successfully install a 100meg fat partition, with dos on it and it worked quite well...

    Now, because I was getting corruption and not using one of the suggested ram types, I purchased 4 1gig sticks of the exact model and chipset they listed as being tested (kingston kvf400x64c3a/1g).
    This did not change any of the weirdness.

    Now, I firmly believe this product works. I can't see them selling it if it didn't (yeah, I'm an optimist). I called their tech support to make sure there wasn't a firmware update I might need to make. All of my hardware should be supported (ICH6R chipset, right ram, right pci slot, etc) they said. They have not tested it at all in Linux he said (This didn't matter since I could show issues in Win32XP). He was not able to immediately RMA a new card however . . .all they have on hand in support is apparently one of hte prototype cards . ..so I'm having to wait until he gets one of the new ones, one of my chipset boards, and the suggested ram before he can make the call that a replacement would fix the issue.

    I knew ahead of time I'd be dealing with early adopter pain, but there is use even though "SATA is so slow!". Yeah. Well, being able to push all 150mbytes/sec per SATA channel is good enough for me. That'd saturate a gigabit line and is good enough for me and I can put a 4gig ram disk on boards that wont support 4gig of ram total...

    Don't consider this a review. I'm not speaking for or against the thing. This is purely my experience so far with *one* card...

Dennis Ritchie is twice as bright as Steve Jobs, and only half wrong. -- Jim Gettys

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