Brian

Viking Modular SATADIMM Review

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An aspect of solid state drives that is being explored more recently is the number of form factors into which you can fit them. While mechanical hard disks have a very specific set of dimensions they need to fit into, SSDs have no such problems. The 2.5” SSDs that we get today are really only in that form factor because that's what our machines have largely standardized to, but as Apple's recent MacBook Air refresh has proven, you can fit an SSD pretty much anywhere these days. So it is with Viking Modular's new SATADIMM SSD drive.

Full Review

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I think it's really cool that manufacturers are looking into alternative ways to make good use of SSDs and are exploring new form factors.

An SSD integrated onto a notebook motherboard plus a conventional 2.5" HDD would be nice. And there's still the topic of Flash DIMMs / upgradeable SSDs. Could go onto ATX motherboards as well.

MrS

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Well, agreed that it's cool they're looking at alternate form factors.

But. . .bleh! It takes up a DIMM space and still has a crippling SATA interface on it. To use more than a couple you still need an HBA, so there goes a PCIe slot. Why not just get a PCIe flash card instead?

The reason enterprise mobos have lots of DIMM slots is so you can stuff them full of RAM!

/crankiness

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Hah, never / the crankiness ;)

It's a cool form factor and I view it as a proof of concept. If there's market adoption/demand, I'm sure Viking Modular will work on different iterations to suit the market. I just wish they were available in retail, I see some potential for the enthusiast market to have some fun with these in micro/custom builds.

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Viking Modular's new SATADIMM SSD drive.

Full Review

You didn't even mention the most interesting/important feature of the drive! On the power daughterboard sits a big fat capacitor, a chunk of a farad. Plugging the write hole, saving your data in the event of a power hiccup!

The SF15xx controllers seem to expect this backup cap, and the SF12xx do not, though many of the 12xx boards have pads for one, and I wonder whether a solder-savvy user could add one, and what other tweaks would be needed to enable its use.

Has anyone done write-as-power-fails tests with these drives to see how they cope? A multichannel scope trace, showing Vin, Vcap, Vcc, _RESET, and a few chip-select lines could be spectacular viewing material. Plus, of course, attempting to read the data after powering back up. The trick would be repeatable sequencing of the write request and the power failure across dozens of tests and potentially dozens of victims drives.

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You didn't even mention the most interesting/important feature of the drive! On the power daughterboard sits a big fat capacitor, a chunk of a farad. Plugging the write hole, saving your data in the event of a power hiccup!

The SF15xx controllers seem to expect this backup cap, and the SF12xx do not, though many of the 12xx boards have pads for one, and I wonder whether a solder-savvy user could add one, and what other tweaks would be needed to enable its use.

Has anyone done write-as-power-fails tests with these drives to see how they cope? A multichannel scope trace, showing Vin, Vcap, Vcc, _RESET, and a few chip-select lines could be spectacular viewing material. Plus, of course, attempting to read the data after powering back up. The trick would be repeatable sequencing of the write request and the power failure across dozens of tests and potentially dozens of victims drives.

Yea the cap is pretty interesting, and from its cousin we tested (100GB model in standard form factor) it kept the drive powered for about 2-3 seconds after losing power.

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