STORAGE REPORT 2020

Earlier this year, one of the Seagate ST8000DM004 8TB disks become faulty and it has to be wiped to activate the spare sectors. It has since been returned to service as functional. Some people installed the drive managed shingled disks into a NAS and discovered their performance was dismal. Drive managed disks are best as JBOD is a PC or small server. See the report on media stamina.

The HAF 932 chassis with 5 hard disk bays has been in ways similar to a server for vibration. Hard disk specs sometimes mention vibration tolerance. In a NAS with 60 hard disks, the collection of disks is subject to some collective vibration so the servers are usually rigidly built for a long service life.

The Corsair SPEC-01 chassis with 4 hard disk bays has enough room for even the most demanding media libraries.

Most NAS boxes have slide style disk holders. These space out the disks so that air will flow by to remove heat. 60 hard disks may produce 350W of heat which has to be removed.

This year the Toshiba MG07ACA12TE helium chass disk found its way into the rig. The 12TB capacity is enormous compared to the ST4000DM004 and ST8000DM004 shingled disks. The Toshiba MG07ACA12TE disk also substantially faster being a conventional perpendicular class disk.

With the MG07ACA12TE, a pair of ST8000DM004 and a pair of ST4000DM004 disks, the Cooler Master HAF 932 is far beyond the expectations of the original design.

The older ST2000DM006 is now installed in the SPEC-01 along with the ancient WD15EADS which still works. There are still 2 empty bays which can be used for network attached volumes for backups or general storage.

The AM4 motherboards support M.2 SSD and the MSI X570-A PRO currently has two Intel SSD installed. The SSDPEKNW020T9 is the current system volume and the older SSDPEKNW512G8 now is installed in the secondary M.2 slot. The MSI X470 Gaming has the KingDian NV480 SSD installed. PCIe cards are available to assemble several M.2 NVMe SSD into an array for higher performance systems.

Several additional SSD have been provided by manufacturers. mSATA are fine for some old laptop machine while SATA SSD are fine for most other models. Eventuating the lower cost SSD products show the differences clearly across a range of features. Samsung 980 series is far more expensive due to the faster controller and large DDR cache memory etc.

New blue LED fans for the top and rear position were installed in th HAF-932 which afford some light inside the machine. The front fan and side panel fan are next in line for replacement with more blue LED fans. Large fans keep hard disk temperatures close to ambient temperatures.

The SPEC-01 has numerous red LED fans installed to allow for effective thermal management. 120mm fans with molex connectors are very low cost. 3-pin 120mm fans are also widely available. LED fans provide some ambient light for photography and film.

At present most the entire game collection is placed on the MG07ACA12TE disk. A few games are installed on the SSDPEKNW512G8 for faster loading times. The remaining ST4000DM004 disks are slated for eventual retirement. Older disks are placed in the SPEC-01 drive bay as the machine is used for several purposes. Another chassis is contemplated for the MSI B350M Bazooka which currently available and ready to deploy.

iTunes media library now has a dedicated ST8000DM004 disk. Apple has some 60 million songs which would require some 2PB of storage to handle them all in Apple Lossless format. At present 2PB takes several rows of dense storage servers using the latest 18TB disks.

Power on hours is comparatively low with all of the new hard disks. With frequent capacity increments smaller disks are retired comparatively fast.

Still for several years the studio made so with several comparatively small hard disks. Now with substantially larger disks the pressure on storage is reduced. The old period of 500GB disks were less problematic as games were not as larger as they are now. The Seagate ST3000DM001 was reputed to have a high failure rate but the one disk in the studio has survived. The Toshiba DT01ACA300 has less use on it but the limited capacity has still been viable.

LOTS OF SSD PRODUCTS

The studio received several manufacturer samples of SSD products. A gallery of AS SSD tests is presented to show how they vary. Lower prices are bring higher capacity models to replace smaller unprofitable ones.

SATA SSD

The typical SATA SSD has a single logic board with a SATA based controller. The board is dually double sided to allow for a larger capacity using smaller sized NAND chips. Cases are mass produced and logic boards are also mass produced.

The TeamGroup L5 Lite SSD has been in the studio for several years. The Kingston SA400 came with a machine with Windows preinstalled. The standard SATA format is popular with laptop users galore.

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mSATA SSD

Two of the Lenovo machines, the X220 and X230 can use mSATA products installed in the secondary bay on the motherboard. This slot is also used for a cellular modem which is very expensive in Canada.

The Dogfish mSATA is installed in the Lenovo X220. The Sandy Bridge platform only supports SATA II and PCIe 2.0 so the bandwidth is limited.

The Kingston mSATA is installed in the Lenovo X230. The Ivy Bridge platform supports SATA III and PCIe 3.0. The Lenovo X230 performs much better with the mSATA SSD installed.

mSATA have been available since Windows Vista Business was released. Small capacity models were used for ready boost which was mean to speed up Windows when RAM was inadequate. RAM prices fell and for some for some time the mSATA was ignore.

5 years ago when mSATA at 120GB capacity entered the market the adoption was slow. As larger capacity models came the market, older machines were refurbished with mSATA and the hard disk was retained for general data storage. Booting from the mSATA is the same as a standard SSD but the advantage is that it is mounted to the motherboard.

Often when refurbishing machines, in addition to the mSATA was the WiFi which typically was beside or opposed to the mSATA slot. This allowed for improved WiFi performance which allowed the machine to be more practical worth modern access points. Realtek and Intel are both popular for retrofit applications.

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NVMe M.2 PCI EXPRESS SSD

A BIOS fault set several of the M.2 NVMe SSD products to operate at PCIe x1 which severely hurt performance. This was eventually fixed with a subsequent BIOS update.

The Intel 660p 512GB was used for the system volume while hard disks were used for media and games. The SSD has seen some wear but the wear is negligible compared to the operating hours on the SSD.

The Intel 665p 2TB replaced the 660p SSD with 4x more capacity. The aggregate bandwidth is slow significantly better making the 665p a viable contender.

The KingDian NV480 240GB is a very good contestant at the entry level of the market. It is adequate for system volume for 98% of users. The average desktop with a M.2 NVMe typically has 1 or more hard disks which can be used for media and additional general storage.

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