Gilbo

New SSD disk from Gigabyte

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Heh, from the "review":

The add-in card currently supports up to 4GB of DDR1 memory, and we understand that it is possible to link two cards together for a RAM Disk with a RAID array. That should prove to be interesting, and we wonder what transfer speeds could be achieved with two of these cards together.

Points to HMTK for calling it first!

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Hmmm, I find this drive interesting in another sense: silent PCs.  Having a 4 to 8 GB boot drive that is noiseless and very fast would appeal to many geeks like me.  I could put my conventional drive in standby so it would spin only when backing up the RAM disk or when accessing large files.

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Mmm. The silence fanatics will definitely be interested.

The big question I have right now is whether it's 16 hours of battery life during a total power outage, and if the card doesn't need battery power if the PC is plugged in but only powered down. "Off" computers do pump a little power to the PCI slots when they're plugged in but powered down, to enable features like Wake-on-LAN or Wake-on-ring. Does this thing draw power from the PCI bus when the computer is powered down? Is there enough power for this to even be possible?

My inclination is that the PCI bus trickle is too low to keep DIMMs refreshed, and that you'll have to reload the memory if the system has been powered down (or in hibernation) for 16 hours or more. Depending on the chemistry of that battery, the actual lifetime of the data may vary a great deal over the course of the cards life. 16 hourse is probably very optimistic.

Edited by Gilbo

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yeah. i want one of these things yesterday to do lots of queries on a database (which i would copy over just prior to doing so), but there's no way i'd use one to actually house data.

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Hmmm, I find this drive interesting in another sense: silent PCs.  Having a 4 to 8 GB boot drive that is noiseless and very fast would appeal to many geeks like me.  I could put my conventional drive in standby so it would spin only when backing up the RAM disk or when accessing large files.

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Mmm. The silence fanatics will definitely be interested.

The big question I have right now is whether it's 16 hours of battery life during a total power outage, and if the card doesn't need battery power if the PC is plugged in but only powered down. "Off" computers do pump a little power to the PCI slots when they're plugged in but powered down, to enable features like Wake-on-LAN or Wake-on-ring. Does this thing draw power from the PCI bus when the computer is powered down? Is there enough power for this to even be possible?

My inclination is that the PCI bus trickle is too low to keep DIMMs refreshed, and that you'll have to reload the memory if the system has been powered down (or in hibernation) for 16 hours or more. Depending on the chemistry of that battery, the actual lifetime of the data may vary a great deal over the course of the cards life. 16 hourse is probably very optimistic.

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One Solution would be a slim external power adapter. PCI Power would be enough if powered on, The External when powered off, and Battery during transportation.

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My inclination is that the PCI bus trickle is too low to keep DIMMs refreshed, and that you'll have to reload the memory if the system has been powered down (or in hibernation) for 16 hours or more.  Depending on the chemistry of that battery, the actual lifetime of the data may vary a great deal over the course of the cards life.  16 hourse is probably very optimistic.

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Intel recomends that 1.5A standby current be availaible from a power supply for

reliable wake up on LAN. Since the battery would supply less than 200ma over

16 hours keeping the drive alive while a system is shut down would not be a problem.

Looking at some power supply data sheets the Vstandby current rating is around 2.5A.

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It seems some people are forgetting these will be Gigabyte exclusives. So while this is all very good, it means little to people like me, who have no plans to purchase Gigabyte boards. I'll start getting excited when they are manufacturer neutral.

In an effort to differentiate themselves from other motherboard manufacturers, Gigabyte has introduced a number of interesting add-ons for their motherboards, the most interesting of which is their $50 RAMDISK PCI card.
Edited by ssnseawolf

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It seems some people are forgetting these will be Gigabyte exclusives. So while this is all very good, it means little to people like me, who have no plans to purchase Gigabyte boards. I'll start getting excited when they are manufacturer neutral.
In an effort to differentiate themselves from other motherboard manufacturers, Gigabyte has introduced a number of interesting add-ons for their motherboards, the most interesting of which is their $50 RAMDISK PCI card.

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It seems strange that it should be a Gigabyte only add-on when it only uses the PCI bus for power. Unless they're going to tamper with the SATA controller bios on all of their boards to include support for it.

Best Regards

Theis

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It seems some people are forgetting these will be Gigabyte exclusives. So while this is all very good, it means little to people like me, who have no plans to purchase Gigabyte boards. I'll start getting excited when they are manufacturer neutral.
In an effort to differentiate themselves from other motherboard manufacturers, Gigabyte has introduced a number of interesting add-ons for their motherboards, the most interesting of which is their $50 RAMDISK PCI card.

206719[/snapback]

It seems strange that it should be a Gigabyte only add-on when it only uses the PCI bus for power. Unless they're going to tamper with the SATA controller bios on all of their boards to include support for it.

Best Regards

Theis

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If their intention is to create "Gigabyte only" add on cards, then the obvious way to implement this would seem to be to simply have the card check that the motherboard BIOS is a Gigabyte BIOS. ;)

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If they do anything that makes it only work on gigabyte boards they are crazy. Just offer 50% discount with purchase of a gigabyte board and mark them up 100% ($100) for anyone to buy. They can make money this way, making them only work on gigabyte boards would be like throwing money away, because I'm sure as heck not gonna buy a motherboard just cause I have to have this card, and I'm sure not many others will either. :blink:

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interesting stuff about the hd, udaman. i don't own a camcorder and simply don't want to deal with tape. looked into the jvc everio and it didn't seem that great. maybe somebody will come up with something that can use the fledgling-standard 1.8" hard drives? laptop drives must be using too much juice, which is surprising.

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More info about the card here, confirming that it will indeed be powered by the PCI slot while off. The battery is only for when the power goes out or it is unplugged.

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More info about the card here, confirming that it will indeed be powered by the PCI slot while off. The battery is only for when the power goes out or it is unplugged.

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Huh... the price has gone from $50 to $60 and the battery life has gone from 16 hours to 12 hours...

Wouldn't the battery life be affected by the amount of memory installed? A single 128MB DIMM last longer than 4x1GB DIMMs.

Also says the max is 4GB. Not sure I like that...

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If those 12 or 16 hours is with one small dimm and that time is cut down to just a few hours when fully populated some people will think twice about using one. Here (in Sweden) a power loss is generally either very short (<1h becuase of power loss in the house) or very long (>10h, really large power loss caused by nature) so if the battery backup is at least a few hours it's still an option for many things. Anyway if it should be used for important data any wise person would be likely to use it as a "cache" or fast read buffer rather than as storage.

To expensive to be boot device for me at current memory prices, and when memory is cheaper there is something else like VS 2005 that won't fit anyway.

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It should work on any mainboard.  And we should all write Gigabyte to ask that it use registered memory so it can be bigger than 4GB.

http://www.overclockers.com/tips00788/index02.asp

http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,121105,00.asp

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Requiring registered memory would make it far more expensive and also useless for old memory.

But isn't registered memory 'backwards' compatible with normal memory?

Edited by Olaf van der Spek

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honold, you don't need a camcorder, I'm just pointing out there a various short-to-medium term newer markets developing at a rapid pace (with the $$$ to drive that movement), more so than in the past, which should in theory cause substantial drops in non-volite memory prices, which make these types of storage media better candidates for the longer term than the SSD's running off of battery power or PCI power... I'd not want to rely very much on either of these. However, even the non-volite memory chips are subject to failure now and then, so as always you should have backups. I could be wrong, but this Gigabyte powered SSD solution, will proably not be around for very long... time will tell.

Forgot to mention the low priced leader P2 HD camcorder which fill find most volume in ENG (electronic new gathering... the small handheld SD Sony PD150 was used extensively in the 'embedded' news coverage of the Irag war), but wether it be an updated version if the iPod Shuffle/other MP3 players, newer cellular phones (see FS's link in the B&G on the silly Frog's ringtone thread, to his new Moto he bought via HK which has H.263 Mpeg3 capability, ...next H.264 HD content?), or higher and higher pixel counts on prosumer/pro digicams...the price is coming down fast.

The handheld Panasonic $6k ($10k with 2 incl. 4GB raid chips) records at far less compression than the new HDV camcorders, and so it will be very popular with indie-film producers, which gets you decent quality HD that can work in film or digital theatres... of course my standards are higher than most... ulta-def 8-16k is the way of the future :). Panasonic's 1080p recording using it's well established recording format of DVCproHD, needs 100Mbits/sec sustained, which most any hard drive can do today, but for instantaneous news editing[i/], solid-state is the way to go. With real-time backup to larger capacity laptop drives, maybe even an iPod-mini with 1in hard-drive.

http://blog.videosystems.com/the_cut/index...0-dvcpro-hd-p2/

http://www.cinematography.com/forum2004/lo....php?t6444.html

Raycom and other news orgs are all ready making the switch to solid-state capture.

http://www.digitaltelevision.com/articles/printer_928.shtml

However, there are different 'flavors's of HD content, ABC and FOX are still using 720p, which is slightly better than DVD quality, but soon 1080p will be the standard. But for true professional HD acquisition 2k (StarWars III) and higher-bandwidth uncompressed HD and at the source editing; fast RAID hard-drives with Terabytes of capacity are currently the only players around. Heh, Longhorn, given M$ past performances will probably fill an entire 128GB memory setup :), need several Blu-Ray DVD's to fit the compressed install archives onto ;-)

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This is definatly going to be my next boot disk in my workstation. Likely I will use 2 in RAID-0 simply for the increased capacity. Considering the volitile nature of the medium, frequent backups will be mandatory anyway. Replacing the battery with a link to the standby power connection from the motherboard will be quite simple, and having the system then connected to a decent UPS will work quite well. As a worst-case scenario, boot to a CD and restore the latest image of your OS via the network.

Come to think of it, even 4GB is enough for a pretty large XP Pro build and an iSCSI driver; then just install everything else on the server in the closet where the RAID-5 array of 15k.4s live connected via dedicated GbE.

Muahaha!

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Replacing the battery with a link to the standby power connection from the motherboard will be quite simple...

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No need for that.

From the Infoworld article

Unlike DRAM-based main memory, the iRam card doesn't lose data when the PC is switched off, said Thomas Chang, a product manager at Giga-byte. As long as the PC is plugged into a socket, a very small amount of current continues to run through some parts of the system, including the PCI slots. This provides enough power to make sure that no data is lost, he said.

Best Regards

Theis

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no you don't get it... it will still be powered by the computer when it's turned off. The battery is just for when you need to UNPLUG the computer for extended periods of time.

edit: stinker someone beat me to the punch... :D

Edited by nail000

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I do have one concern, anybody who remembers the Anandtech power supply roundup and interference test from 2003 ?

How it works:

We started off by modifying MemTest86.  We bumped the delay between tests up to several hours, rather than seconds.  MemTests86 works by writing various patterns into the memory.  After our programmed delay of six hours, the program goes back over the memory and analyzes how many of those bits were flipped out of the original pattern.  Both the memory and motherboard used passed the unmodified MemTest86 without any problems.

Won't there be the same interference problem with this card ?

Best Regards

Theis

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edit: stinker someone beat me to the punch... :D

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Hey... not someone - I did B)

Best Regards

Theis

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If the cards merely need to be plugged into a PCI socket with power why would you plug them into your own system? Get a cheap second hand board with plenty of PCI sockets and plug these cards in to your hearts content. Put the board into an enclosure with a decent PSU, before wiring the SATA out of the enclosure and into your system to the RAID ports.

If you wanted to be really nuts you could get one of those 16 port Tekram cards and have multiple enclosures, 16 way RAM disk in RAID 0 ;)

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Another good use for this sort of device is to use it for the Windows paging file.

I built a couple of Terminal Servers for a customer a few years ago with a similar card in them that acted as a SCSI HDD.

We maxed out the RAM in the servers (1GB from memory, this was a while ago) and then put 2 x 4GB Cards in and used them as paging files, allowed us to get MASSIVE amounts of users onto the boxes at the time.

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