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Fujitsu Quadro-M Series PCIe SSD Preview

By: Chris Ramseyer | PCIe in Storage | Posted: Nov 7, 2014 2:07 pm

Final Thoughts




Today's article was more of a performance preview, and not an actual review of a retail product. Fujitsu plans to release the Quadro-M in all three capacities before the end of the year. Final pricing has yet to be set, but we're told the 480GB model we tested today will cost less than $500 MSRP. Given the fact there are four SSDs on board with a combined total of 512GB of NAND flash, the Fujitsu Quadro-M will be the first All-in-One RAID product to launch at less than $1 per GB. That's a really nice achievement given the additional cost associated with designing and developing the extra hardware needed to support the SSDs.


We've spoken with Fujitsu on a number of occasions in the past, and feel we know the company well. We also have a number of their products on hand for early testing, and can say the company's number one focus is on design and build quality. This shows in every product we've handled, and also carries over into other aspects of the products. Fujitsu only uses genuine Intel NAND flash. IMFT manufactures the flash, and it is directly packaged by Intel; it is not purchased in wafers and shipped to a processing company that may or may not make a quality package.


Over the years, we've seen a lot of blacktop NAND pass through our test labs. Most of the time, the flash is good, but you can never tell if it will survive long term. With MLC flash floating around with less than 3K P/E cycles, and profit margins shrinking on consumer products, it is difficult to tell who is using the sub-par flash, and who is still using quality flash. When you only use Intel flash that is rated at 3K or 5K P/E cycles, you know what you are buying, and that's important when your data is on the line. Inside, the Fujitsu Quadro-M is an Intel mSATA drive, not just the flash that was added to a third-party board. Intel makes the flash, and gets first dibs on the parts. It's well known that Intel cherry picks only the best flash for their own products.


Aside from the flash, Fujitsu also took extra steps to insure a quality product. The Marvell controller used has a heat sink on it. We've seen this controller used a number of times without a heat sink, but Fujitsu put in the effort to make sure the customer wouldn't have any issues down the road. The design and quality of the rest of the PCB and components was well thought out. Even the aluminum cover plays a role in protecting the components inside, and adds a bit of bling to the Quadro-M.


This is the second product we've published on TweakTown from Fujitsu. Expect more to come over the next few months, including the FSX Extreme Series that uses single-level cell flash in a SATA drive priced below $1 per GB.

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