• Welcome to Overclockers Forums! Join us to reply in threads, receive reduced ads, and to customize your site experience!

OMG check out this "Hard Drive"

Overclockers is supported by our readers. When you click a link to make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn More.

Rabid Snail

Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2002
Location
New York
Put all your games on that drive, and back up your saves on c:. That eliminate the hard drvie bottleneck while gaming. That is very sweet.

Edit: Price sucks though... Another good thing is that it's silent.
 

Captain Slug

Helpful Senior Member
Joined
May 23, 2001
Location
Asteroid B-612
What is needed to make these devices completely applicable is as follows...

1. Automated back-up to a tertiary hard drive. When you shut the system down the RAMdrive card backs-up all of the information to a hard drive. That way when you uninstall or move the RAM drive it can simply recall that data back onto memory when it's plugged back into a power source. Batteries are NOT an option since one stick of 128mb of RAM eats 4W. This would have to be a regular hard drive since CompactFlash microdrives cost enough to break anyones budget (1gb CF microdrive = $700)

2. Lower RAM prices. Obviously this is a device meant for server and mass rendering applications (such as in digital media editing). BUT, if memory prices came down this could finally be the step forward the market has been needing so badly.

3. Market competition. This is the best way to lower prices and thus make a product ore widely available. Competition also increase product quality.

4. Integrated RAM chip solutions. You can cram more than 4 GB of RAM onto a PCI card that size if you sacrifice the need for expandability (somewhat).

But now that it's here, it's actually living up to all the Hype (which is rare for any kind of product)
 

deathstar13

FSB FRIEK
Joined
Dec 24, 2001
i looked into this 1 year ago. wasnt same company tho i dont think.the one i priced had the ram installed in it and i think was 10gb worth.then it priced out at $10,000.

very nice price reduction compared to then.memory prices were high still then as i believe they both use sdram.


1gb of sdram is little over $110 on pricewatch.so really time all said and done $400-$450 for 1 gb drive.you would need 1GB just to fit wondows on and a few apps.i wouldnt touch one without at least 2gb to start with and add more as i can afford it.

but hdd's days are numbered this is what we will be using soon as it comes down a bit more,and is finally affordable to the public.
 

Tbird man

Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2001
Location
Boone, NC a.k.a THE BOONIES
than there is the option of haveing the RAM built in. using the RAM chip form factor some of the GeForce4s use. a 20gb DDR PCI ramdrive anyone. plugged into a UPS that would rock. also you could use a battery buffer to allow the data to survive short power outages. but i have seen ramdrives that are non-volitle with out using external power sorces. this is just a solution to reduce prices by using existing technoledgy.
 

fuzzba11

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2001
Location
in the garage
Storage really needs to go fully digital, hopefully the hard drive companies will put themselves to work building these, or at least something similar. There's no reason devices like those shouldn't become industry standard in the future.
 

David

Forums Super Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2001
Crazy Jayhawk said:
It's limited by the bandwidth of a PCI slot so DDR probably wouldn't help much.

Yeah, max bandwidth of RAM = 1.6, 2.1, 2.4, 2.7, 3.0, 3.2 or 3.5GB/s.
Max bandwith of 33MHz/32bit PCI = 133MB/s
Max bandwidth of 66/64 PCI = 533MB/s

Even 64 bit/66MHz PCI couldnt provide all the bandwidth that even SDR uses.

David
 

Henry Rollins II

Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2001
Location
The North Pole
32 bit 33 Mhz doesnt seem like a very good idea. Those likely to buy this would propably have access to 64 bit 66 Mhz slots or even PCI-X 64 bit at 100 or 133 Mhz. The theoretical max data transfer speed of the PCI 32/33 interface could actually be beaten by both SCSI ultra160 and ultra320.

Otherwise its a really good idea, especially now when you can buy a brand new stick of 512 Mb PC133 for like 40 bucks. Ten of those and u have 5 Gb RAMdrive for $400! Or why not 10 Gb for $800!
 

Captain Slug

Helpful Senior Member
Joined
May 23, 2001
Location
Asteroid B-612
Or heck, just build a card to interface the ram through a cable and you could fit 15 to 20 sticks of 1GB into a modular 5.25" bay-box.
 

macklin01

Computational Oncologist / Biomathematician / Mode
Joined
Apr 3, 2002
Location
Bloomington, IN
I traded emails with cenatek for awhile a couple of months ago. (I may get to be a beta tester for them at some point.) They do have academic pricing, (I believe 25% off), so that could be helpful for the product. Was almost tempted to try it myself for my scientific computations, but it's more effienct to adapt my code to the local supercomputers.

Part of the expense is due to the fact that it requires ECC RAM.

The purpose of this thing isn't for putting all of windows on it, etc. It's more like for speeding database access for servers. It's also good for putting your pagefile on, and basically could be used to add more RAM if you're at the point where your RAM is limited. (For example, on an intel PIII board, the limit is .5 GB, and many computations require much more than that.) But I have to admit, windows would fly on something like this. (Except for the fact, AFAIK, that they aren't bootable. You need to load windows first, then the drive.)

These things back up their data to the hdd at shutdown, and they have their own battery power and AC power. (So, I guess that would be tripple-redundancy w.r.t data protection.)

Earlier comments about SDRAM are spot on. The typical PCI bus is at 33 MHz, so limited to 133 MHz speed on things like drives. (This is why ATA133 adapter cards are possible.) And the data transfer rates of SDRAM will eclipse any RAID array of SCSI drives ... :) I believe I read of 80-100 MB/s sustained rates ...

Just a few comments. Cool stuff, isn't it? -- Paul
 

macklin01

Computational Oncologist / Biomathematician / Mode
Joined
Apr 3, 2002
Location
Bloomington, IN
life by UPS. :) (and an onboard battery backup, if my memory serves me correctly.) But you're certainly right there. This is best used as a supplement to traditional hdd's.

Now, what's interesting is that there is active development of RAM that retains its data even when unpowered. Such RAM would allow a true "instant-on" PC, and would work well in this sort of application. Until then, certainly too risky for the masses.

Thanks again for the good point. (and nicely stated, too!) -- Paul
 

Maxvla

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2002
Location
OKC
if you were to use this as a spot for windows to run booting would still be the same speed as the information would hafta be loaded onto the ramdrive from the harddrive since memory is volatile it couldn't store anything while its off.
 

Maxvla

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2002
Location
OKC
macklin01 said:
Now, what's interesting is that there is active development of RAM that retains its data even when unpowered. Such RAM would allow a true "instant-on" PC, and would work well in this sort of application. Until then, certainly too risky for the masses.
I WANT ONE OF THOSE! :D :beer:

30,000 3dmarks :D
 

DaddyB

Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2002
Location
Toronto, Canada
You know windows will let you set up part of your system RAM as a RAMdrive (ie if you have 1 gig of RAM you can assign half of it (or any size) as a RAMdrive. That would probably be a cheaper alternative but this way everytime you reboot windows the RAMdrive will be cleared. It would still be cool to copy your UT2K3 install to the RAMdrive and play it from there but then everytime you boot you have to copy the install to the RAMdrive again.

These PCI RAMdrives are cool because they have the external power supply so they do keep their data even when the computer is shut off. They are not as fast as the RAMdrive I described above though, my hard drive does 90MB/s burst data transfer and that pci ramdrive does 133MB/s.

Oh I almost forgot a link to how to make your own RAMdrive out of system RAM if anyone wants to try it... here ya go. That is for win98, it might well be different for winxp.
 

macklin01

Computational Oncologist / Biomathematician / Mode
Joined
Apr 3, 2002
Location
Bloomington, IN
Good points. I just noticed on their site that you can install more than one, so long as you have enough PCI slots. Apparently, you could potentiall RAID stripe them ... :)

-- Paul