As you know, Seagate's 600 series is one of TweakTown's all-time favorite SSDs. TweakTown and Seagate have teamed up to show you what kind of performance you will get if you choose to RAID 0 all six of Haswell's mighty SATA III ports into a RAID 0 array. To make this report even more exciting, Seagate and TweakTown are going to give away five of the drives utilized in this review to five lucky winners.
Seagate went all out for TweakTown's readers and sent the very best SSDs they have in their stables: the Seagate 600 Pro series. Seagate's 600 Pro is not your typical SSD. This SSD features light enterprise quality components, and tantalum capacitors for power loss protection. The 600 Pro 200GB actually has 256GB of flash onboard. Seagate reserves (over-provisions) a large chunk (27%) of the 600 Pro's flash array for internal drive maintenance. Overprovisioning means the drive is never really filled to capacity, which allows for superior on-the-fly drive maintenance; this keeps write amplification to a minimum, performance to a maximum, and extends flash endurance exponentially.
Like Seagate's 600 series, the 600 Pro features Link_A_Media's venerable Amber controller. The Amber is an eight channel controller known for its incredibly consistent write performance. The 600 Pro's flash array is composed of premium Toshiba 19nm toggle mode flash in BGA packages. Combining premium flash with a LAMD Amber controller and 27% overprovisioning produces a drive that has incredible endurance. The addition of high quality tantalum capacitors for data protection in the event of power loss puts the 600 Pro into category we call "light enterprise". Light enterprise has two requirements that are non-negotiable: write endurance and data protection. Seagate's 600 Pro 200GB is rated for 520 terabytes written during its five-year warranty period. To put that into perspective, a Samsung 840 Pro is rated for a mere 73 terabytes written during the same five-year warranty period.
Several readers have requested that we do some six drive RAID reports to explore what kind of native storage performance we can squeeze from Haswell's 6 SATA III PCH ports. Today also marks the debut of our secondary test system featuring ASRock's new flagship Haswell based motherboard: the ASRock Extreme 11 a/c. This motherboard features six native SATA III ports, 16 SAS/SATA LSI powered ports, and two mSATA III ports running off its Z87 Lynx Point chipset.
Needless to say, Seagate's 600 Pro is the kind of SSD that gets our juices flowing, so let's dive into this RAID report shall we?