STEC s840 Enterprise SSD Review Discussion
Posted 12 November 2012 - 10:50 PM
The STEC s840 is a 6Gb/s SAS SSD targeted toward the high performance enterprise market segment. The s840 features a completely designed and developed in-house controller and firmware stack paired with MLC NAND in a 15mm, 2.5" form factor. It comes in 200GB, 400GB and 800GB capacities and offers sustained read throughput of up to 529MB/s, write throughput of 453MB/s and maximum read IOPS of 118,000. As with most enterprise SSDs, STEC is about more than just raw performance though; STEC has a robust portfolio of intellectual property that gives them certain advantages in SSD design, along with a heritage that goes back to 1994.
STEC s840 Enterprise SSD Review
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Posted 13 November 2012 - 05:14 PM
You won't find any non-paid review of it. Seagate withdrew all review samples of it shortly after its release. Afterwards they took the path of a paid third party review.
Couldn't any site just buy a drive, test it, and post the results? I have a harder time believing a paid review would be unbiased.
As for the SSD in this review, what is the price? How does it compare price-wise to the other drives in the performance charts? The choice of MLC memory in the place of SLC was clearly made for a cost reasons so I think prices are critical for a reader who wants the best bang for his business's buck and is trying to decide if the reduced price of a MLC drive is worth the tradeoff.
Posted 13 November 2012 - 05:33 PM
Its very difficult to talk price with enterprise products, since so much of it depends on volume and other behind the scenes deals.
Using my patented price tracking method (just googling part numbers right now for the 400GB models)
STEC s840 400GB ~$2300
Hitachi SSD400S.B 400GB ~$5800
Toshiba eSSD 400GB ~$5400
So basically its undercutting the SLC drives by almost half at least by those quick glance searches.
Now to the paid-review comment... this is exactly the reason we would never charge for a public review since there would be an inherent bias from square one. The reason you won't find review otherwise is sites like ours don't have massive budgets to purchase review units. We instead take products on loan during the review which are then returned or kept in the lab for future testing. If the manufacturer isn't willing to send out samples for an unbiased third party take, customers won't see much of any testing data on it floating out in the wild.
Posted 13 November 2012 - 08:18 PM
Thanks for the reply.
I think I might borrow your patented price tracking technique.
The MLC drives do have a huge price advantage although the price difference between consumer and enterprise is a little over the top in this case. I work in the IT field for a small/medium sized business and normally the extra cost of enterprise equipment is money well spent. With those prices however it seems like a business could just use consumer drives (which work in SAS chassis) and just replace them as they fail or wear out. Even if a business has to replace all of their consumer SSDs every year compared to every four years for a enterprise drive, it would still save quite a bit of money. This huge price difference doesn't exist between SATA and SAS HDDs....
I see your point on why review sites can't review as much enterprise equipment as they would want. Buying a $5k SSD, reviewing it, and then selling it on ebay for a large loss would just end up costing way to much. That is just another good reminder to be cautious of things you can't find third party reviews for.
Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:25 AM
I agree that there is a huge price difference, although when it comes to man of the SAS solutions, there are some aspects you won't get from a consumer SSD no matter how hard you try. Consistent max latency and standard deviation, the high availability and end-to-end data path protection from SAS.
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