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Solidata K8 1920E 2TB SSD Review – Highest Capacity 2.5″ Form Factor SSD To Date

UNDERSTANDING TRIM AND GARBAGE COLLECTION

This is the first 2TB SSD ever reviewed that we are aware of and, as a result, more than a simple ‘we like it or not’ is necessary to tackle some of the interesting characteristics we discovered along the way.  TRIM does not function but then again, do we need it with this SSD?  Performance is remarkably low at times but then again, are we expecting capacity and a storage medium or a high performing SSD?

TRIM DOES NOT FUNCTION

TRIM does not function on the Solidata K8-1920E SSD and this isn’t a surprise as most SSDs that use RAID Controllers are in the same boat.  For those that aren’t too clear on TRIM, it is simply the operating system letting the SSD know that data has been deleted so it can ignore that data during garbage collection.  This is necessary in a SSD as, unlike a hard drive, we cannot simply just write new information over old information without first wiping the old information from the block to be written to.  Surprisingly, many RAID enthusiasts have reported no drop in performance in their system configuration without TRIM and this is the result of great garbage collection.  In these cases, there is also an added benefit to the use of LSI SandForce based SSDs, as with the one in use here.

GARBAGE COLLECTION

Garbage collection is the process of cleaning or wiping a block of data to prepare for new data.  Unlike TRIM, which may trigger the wiping of data within 10-15 seconds, background garbage collection, for the most part, occurs during idle time, hence the name Idle Time Garbage Collection or ITGC.

Diagram-1

As seen here, the trick of garbage collection is that a block cannot be wiped until any valid data is moved from that block to another, increasing write amplification and the necessity for over provisioning.  The Solidata K8-1920E has allotted 128GB of its memory for over provisioning.  Without over provisioning and garbage collection, your SSD would slow significantly once all of the memory blocks have been filled with data, even data that had technically been deleted as it had not been wiped.

HOW THE SOLIDATA K8-1920e SSD ACCOMODATES

Data entropy can be described as the randomness of data itself and not how it is written (ie sequential vs random). High entropy data is also highly incompressible. Very rarely will we ever see a system work in 100% entropic data and, if this were the case, such an SSD certainly would not be sought for such.  This is where the LSI SandForce flash storage processor (or processors in this case) actually provide an advantage to this SSD.  The Solidata K8-1920E SSD has four SF-1222 FSPs behind the JMicron RAID controller.  As long as the data stored is less than 100% entropic, you will gain free space from that so your OP will be higher than a non-DuraWrite SSD, therefore the performance will go up as the entropy goes down.  This will ensure consistent performance over the duration and reasoning why this Solidata/LSI SandForce partnership is key for this SSD.

A more detailed explanation of TRIM can be seen in one our Beginner SSD Primer Series articles, entitled ‘Garbage Collection and TRIM In SSDs Expained – An SSD Primer‘.

Solidata K8-1920E 2TB SSD

  • asdf-togo

    way too expensive, getting 4 480gb sandforce async for same performance is around 1200-1400, this is 4x that cost lol. may as well grab two of those crucial 960gb at 1200, better solution and much faster performance, right?

    • Charles

      >4x the footprint though, when you count in the RAID controller.
      This product is most certainly very niche, but oh well.

    • ZZD

      That’s the notion, you could line them up in raid zero and couple it with a high end graphics card and turbo cloaked CPU then it’s like rocketing performance through the stratosphere. Amazing stuff, can’t wait to build a system based on these specs like described in http://ssd480.com

  • Cape Dave

    I’ll take two 🙂 Actually, it does not a thing for me. An 840 Pro is likely next for me. And maybe not as I am liking my Vector pretty good. Dave

  • son

    oh?my?good

  • Don’t forget that this is a niche product and not to be compared to consumer SSD such as a Samsung 840 – nobody needs 2TB of SSD storage for storing videos and games etc – this is for use where only 1 disk slot is available – or to give maximum storage for the physical size – high end video recording cameras, SAN appliances where physical space is key – it’s not really for the desktop user – Great pro review from Les!

    • chiefdre

      the Samsung is way better with controller and speed, especially in RAID.

      this is just a product to get fast money out of rich suckers.
      you only pay for the size ,

      but i don’t mind ,cause i’m not a sucker.
      and it will make the other drives cheaper

    • chiefdre

      and 2 TB is nothing special.

      nowdays everyone wants a few TB for video’s , a High quality blue ray movie can easy be 10GB or more.
      and i got games that are 30 Gb and more.

      so maybe you got a shitty desktop and don’t need it .
      but dont speak for my desktop and what i need.

  • DInu

    Is this 2TB drive already available in the market? I could not find this specification in solidata website. How can I validate this information?

  • John Smith (The none American)

    Too Expensive and Short Life , ill stick to my HyperX Force.

    • Pharo

      Warranty length =/= How long it will function before breaking.

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