Perhaps one of the largest motivating factors for administrators looking to deploy SSD's into datacenter applications is the huge savings in power, space and cooling. The KingFast F3 Series SSD sips power at a much lower rate than many of the top-notch SSD's available today. With its excellent speed and low power consumption, the F3 Plus delivers a great IOPS-to-Watt ratio across the board.
There was a tremendous difference in the power consumption of the KingFast F3 Plus Series SSD in comparison to the very similar SuperSSpeed S301 Hyper Gold SSD. For two SSD's that share so many similarities, with the exact same NAND and controller, it was interesting to see the huge difference in power consumption and efficiency.
The KingFast F3 Plus Series SSD performed admirably in our testing with the superb write performance expected of an SSD with SLC NAND. There are areas where the KingFast F3 Plus can improve though, and perhaps the most pressing need would be the three year warranty. Comparable MLC products offer warranties of five years, so the three year warranty is a bit on the low side for enterprise applications. With the extreme endurance and durability offered by the SLC NAND, it should be a relatively safe bet to guarantee the SSD for five years even in write intensive environments.
The other concern is capacity. The F3 Plus only comes in two capacities of 60GB and 120GB. This limits the number of applications that can benefit from such small storage devices. These SSD's will provide great performance in RAID arrays, due to their higher write endurance, which would allow for an aggregation of available capacity. Some will require more capacity and will be forced to look at other products.
One of the misguided views we hear frequently is that there is no differentiation from one LSI SandForce product to another. Our testing today shows that this is simply not true. While LSI SandForce provides turnkey firmware's and reference PCB designs, many manufacturers use different methods, components, and at times completely proprietary PCB's.
This provides the manufacturer with a flexible platform for deployment, but the quality of the components used and different PCB designs can affect the performance of the solution in other ways. As out testing today highlights, there is a very big difference between two very similar LSI SandForce SSD's in power consumption metrics.
Why is efficiency so important? Over the life of the device, it can cost more to power and cool the storage solution than the initial acquisition cost. When deployed en masse into datacenters, small differences in power from one drive can become huge differences when multiplied by hundreds or thousands. The largest ongoing expense in any size deployment is the cost of power, and when making a decision between two devices, power consumption is always a concern. Many enterprise product evaluations do not provide any insight into power and efficiency metrics, ignoring one of the most important facets of any storage device.
RunCore recently secured $10 million in Series B funding for investment into research and development programs. The merger with KingFast also brings more experience and engineers into the picture, and with the latest infusion of cash, we expect to see KingFast continue to perform well in the long term. The KingFast F3 Plus Series SSD proves to be an efficient SSD with great performance and at a lower price point.