LSI WarpDrive PCIe SSD Makes Apps Fly – at a Price

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by Jacqueline Emigh

If you’ve long dreamed about turbo charging your PC, and you don’t mind shelling out in the low five digits for the privilege, LSI now sells a PCIe SSD with specs that will put most flash technology drives to shame.

LSI’s new WarpDrive cards is geared mostly to speeding the performance of server-based business apps such as databases, but it can also accelerate other large-file, high performance apps, including HD video.

LSI’s throughput rate of 1,400 MB/s is much higher than the 1,020 MB/s rate achieved by the recently announced AngelBird Wings SSD, for example.

LSI WarpDrive PCI-e SSD

Meanwhile, the WarpDrive does just about as well on 4k operations as the widely applauded existing Fusion-io Duo drive, while offering some advantages over the Duo.

LSI’s WarpDrive performs random operations at speeds of 240,000 IOPs for read and 200,000 IOPs for write. In contrast, on the Fusion-io Duo 320GB SLC drive, the comparable numbers are 261,000 and 262,000 IOPs, respectively. Access latency for the WarpDrive is below 50 milliseconds.

Yet unlike Fusion’s Duo, which consumes a full-height PCI slot, the WarpDrive comes in a half-length, low-profile form factor.

While LSI’s starting price of $11,500 for a 32GB WarpDrive isn’t exactly a trifling expense for most folks, a 32GB ioDrive costs over one-third more at $14,000.

Fusion’s flagship ioDrive is smaller and cheaper than the Duo, but it offers 4k random operation speeds of only about 140,000 IOPs each for read and write.

LSI also touts the space- and energy-saving characteristics of its own flash technology. According to the company, to reach the same performance levels using hard drive drives (HDDs), 400 drives and 36U of rack space would be required, resulting in power consumption 400 times higher than the 25W of a single WarpDrive.

The LSI WarpDrive is outfitted with a 6Gb/s SAS controller, and it’s directly bootable. WarpDrive is expected to start shipping by the end of this month.

 

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