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Samsung 850 Pro 256GB Three-Drive SSD RAID Report

Samsung 850 Pro 256GB Three-Drive SSD RAID Report
Samsung is first to market with a consumer based 3D NAND SSD. Promising better performance and increased capacity, Samsung's V-NAND tech leads the way.
By: Jon Coulter | RAID in Storage | Posted: Jan 9, 2015 3:14 pm

Introduction

 

samsung-850-pro-256gb-three-drive-ssd-raid-report_01

 

3D NAND technology was invented by Toshiba, and is being adopted by all flash manufacturers. Samsung is first to the market with a consumer-based 3D NAND based product. That product is what you see here today, the Samsung 850 Pro. Planar, or 2D NAND, is rapidly closing in on the limits of lithography shrinkage, necessitating a new path to increasing capacity while lowering production costs by increasing yield. 3D NAND technology is that path.

 

Samsung calls their 3D NAND technology V-NAND, or Vertical NAND. By stacking cells vertically, Samsung is able to increase capacity 100x in only one-tenth the same area. This vertical stacking allows density on die increases without shrinking lithography. The main problem with shrinking lithography below 30nm is cell-to-cell interference. Cell-to-cell interference causes data corruption, and increases the need for a powerful error correction engine, and the overhead that comes with it.

 

Samsung's V-NAND technology is based on 30nm lithography with 32 layers stacked vertically. Because Samsung is able to utilize a 30nm process and get more density than planar NAND at much smaller lithography's, cell-to-cell interference is greatly reduced, while the die's density increases simultaneously. A 30nm process means the V-NAND inherently has about 10x the endurance of planar NAND at a 16nm process, and less errors to correct means greatly reduced power consumption.

 

In the near future, all NAND will be 3D based, but if you want a 3D NAND based SSD right now, Samsung is the only game in town. The 850 Pro has been out for a while, so it's not news to most of you that it is considered one of the fastest SSD's available on the market today - we already know this. However, we are left with a burning question: What about RAID? As we have repeatedly seen, the fastest single drive does not always make for the fastest array; in fact, it has never even happened.

 

As we look around the net, we have seen more and more futile attempts by other review sites to run RAID 0. Apparently, no one but TweakTown even has a clue how to properly run RAID 0. We know what driver to use, and how to properly configure our arrays - two critical elements that continue to elude the competition. Fortunately, TweakTown has a step-by-step guide available (by clicking HERE) that will show you how to properly configure your array.

 

The only reason I mentioned this is because we are seeing other review sites posting pitiful RAID 0 results that are very misleading. I have even seen some reviewers say that PCIe Drives like G.Skill's Phoenix Blade are faster than any Intel RST SATA based array, which could not be further from the truth, provided your array is properly configured. Remember, a properly configured array has up to 10x lower QD1 write latency when IRST write-back caching is enabled.

 

Today we are going to see if our three-drive 850 Pro array has what it takes to become our new RAID 0 champion.

 

 

PRICING: You can find Samsung's 850 Pro (256GB) SSD for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.

 

United States: The Samsung's 850 Pro (256GB) retails for $180.40 at Amazon USA.

 

Canada: The Samsung's 850 Pro (256GB) retails for $199.00 at Amazon Canada.

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