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Intel 910 800GB and 400GB PCI Express Solid State Drive Review - Intel 910 SSD

Intel jumps into the server PCIe flash acceleration market and in a big way. With an amazingly low price point compared to competitors, Intel aims to dominate this market segment. (NASDAQ:INTC)

| PCIe SSDs in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Jun 26, 2012 2:29 pm
TweakTown Rating: 96%      Manufacturer: Intel

Intel 910 SSD

 

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The Intel 910 comes in a single slot form factor PCIe 2.0 x8 card that consists of three densely packed PCBs. The top two PCBs are close to each other and contain large banks of NAND. There is a larger gap between the bottom and the top PCBs to facilitate airflow to the processing components on the bottom PCB. The holes on the rear PCIe bracket allow the air to pass through the SSD and out the rear of the case.

 

The device does generate heat that requires some active cooling to dissipate. 200 LFM (Linear Feet per Minute) of airflow is actually not an excessively high standard and most servers already meet this requirement easily. Under the Maximum Performance mode the requirement rises to 300 LFM.

 

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The bottom of the card contains a large chip in the center that holds the firmware for the LSISAS2008 controller. Eight individual Micron DDR2 SDRAM chips, which provide caching for each individual SSD controller, line the bottom of the card. Each chip has a counterpart on the other side of the PCB as well.

 

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Once the card is pulled apart we can get a better look at the components. The top two PCBs contain the banks of NAND and the bottom PCB contains the LSISAS2008 processor and the four individual SSD controllers.

 

The 910 presents itself to the host operating system as four individual 200GB drives. The LSISAS2008 processor under the silver heatsink merely passes these controllers onto the system itself and does not actually perform any RAID calculations. The Intel 910 is not a bootable device, which keeps the driver stack lean, minimizing latency.

 

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This graphic illustrates the architecture that is utilized on the 910 to present the controllers and NAND to the host system.

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