What does "PCI Express flash storage" mean?

Retoucher

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 10, 2013
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Apparently it will be in the new Mac Pro. Think it will it be replaceable?

Does anyone have a comparison with SSDs? SSDs have a life expectancy because after a while you can only read, but no longer write on them, what about this new PCI Express flash storage, does it also have this crucial flaw?

Thanks!
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,881
368
Inside
Modern SSDs' write amounts far exceed what you'd be able to do to kill them. You'd have to write at maximum speed non-stop for about 8 years before the cell would start to degrade.
 

Retoucher

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 10, 2013
9
0
Modern SSDs' write amounts far exceed what you'd be able to do to kill them. You'd have to write at maximum speed non-stop for about 8 years before the cell would start to degrade.
I would? Why are HDDs still the standard then? Sorry, my knowledge is a bit limited when it comes to storage technology. To maximize the life of my Mac Mini should I just replace the HDD with an SSD? I want it to last as long as possible and run as safely as possible from failure.
 

kitsunestudios

macrumors regular
Apr 10, 2012
226
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I would? Why are HDDs still the standard then? Sorry, my knowledge is a bit limited when it comes to storage technology. To maximize the life of my Mac Mini should I just replace the HDD with an SSD? I want it to last as long as possible and run as safely as possible from failure.
Cost. HDDs are MUCH cheaper than Flash drives. For $350, you can get either one 512GB SSD, or three 2TB drives.
 

spunkgarLEWII

macrumors regular
Jun 1, 2013
100
0
Assuming Flash memory cards operate like SSD's, after so many sustained writes the drives will fail. At least thats what I read.. But SSHD's are a mixture of mechanical and chip memory which will last longer with sustained writes.



Any disadvantages?
 

Bear

macrumors G3
Jul 23, 2002
8,089
4
Sol III - Terra
Apparently it will be in the new Mac Pro. Think it will it be replaceable?

Does anyone have a comparison with SSDs? SSDs have a life expectancy because after a while you can only read, but no longer write on them, what about this new PCI Express flash storage, does it also have this crucial flaw?

Thanks!
From the picture, it looks like it should be replaceable. All disks will wear out from use over time. Under normal use an SSD should last several years.
 

deconstruct60

macrumors G3
Mar 10, 2009
8,332
1,374
Does anyone have a comparison with SSDs?
There is a decent chance that Apple was really talking about SATA Expresss and not really the more general PCI-e (PCI express). Technically SATA Express is a specialized superset but.....


http://www.anandtech.com/show/6294/breaking-the-sata-barrier-sata-express-and-sff8639-connectors

Even the PCI-e cards that folks put into current Mac Pros have a SATA controller on them. Typically what have is a small RAID (i.e., mutliple SATA lanes ) that talks to one or more bare implementatons of a SSD drive.

SATA Express gets rid of the RAID/SATA controller so that the Flash memory controller talks directly over PCI-e like connection at PCI-e speeds. There are some basic conventions to be able to send SATA metadata.


But with Apple's general use of hyperbole in all dog-and-pony shows.... it could just very well be a custom PCI-e card with a RAID controller on it (e.g., a build in RAID 0 what is two SSDs on the single card.)


what about this new PCI Express flash storage, does it also have this crucial flaw?
Disks wear out. Both HDD and SSD ones. The Flash storage controllers do lots of tap-dancing to make those two very roughly the same amounts of time. If you were freaked out about storing your data on HDDs then you probably should be freaked out about SSDs. If don't bother you on HDDs then probably should bother you on a decently implemented SSD ( older stuff from a several years ago probably should avoided, but there isn't a huge difference now. )
 

subsonix

macrumors 68040
Feb 2, 2008
3,551
79
Apparently it will be in the new Mac Pro. Think it will it be replaceable?

Does anyone have a comparison with SSDs? SSDs have a life expectancy because after a while you can only read, but no longer write on them, what about this new PCI Express flash storage, does it also have this crucial flaw?

Thanks!
There are already card based PCIe SSD options like Fusion-io or intel 910, it's basically getting rid of the current SATA limitation in terms of throughput. It's the same thing, but with a different (faster) interface.
 

Tesselator

macrumors 601
Jan 9, 2008
4,601
4
Japan
SATA Express is a protocol interface.
What they showed in their images is either an mSATA or an NGFF drive. I think they're about the same. One is a little wider and used card edge while NGFF is pretty new using a BGA instead. NGFF is also known as embedded micro SSD, µSSD, or uSSD.
 
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Tesselator

macrumors 601
Jan 9, 2008
4,601
4
Japan
It's a PCI-Express Flash controller based Flash storage.
OK, I see. Yeah, from Wiki:

mSATA

Mini-SATA, which is distinct from the micro connector, was announced by the Serial ATA International Organization on September 21, 2009. Applications include netbooks and other devices that require a smaller solid-state drive. The connector is similar in appearance to a PCI Express Mini Card interface, and is electrically compatible; however, the data signals (TX±/RX± SATA, PETn0 PETp0 PERn0 PERp0 PCI-express) need connection to the SATA host controller instead of the PCI-express host controller.
 

crjackson2134

macrumors 601
Mar 6, 2013
4,600
1,713
Charlotte, NC
That sounds really great. If they can offer a 1TB option for reasonable cost (Reasonable considering the technology), that would be a major plus in my book. I can't wait to play with one.
 

Jedi Master

macrumors regular
Fusion's ioDrive dramatically improves application response times with a persistent,

http://www.fusionio.com/products/iodrive/


It's been used in severs for a few years now.



Unparalleled Performance Density
Fusion's ioDrive dramatically improves application response times with a persistent, high-performance, high-capacity ioMemory tier. It enables data decentralized architectures that move terabytes of process-critical data into servers. This minimizes application latency to deliver groundbreaking improvements to computing performance, while greatly reducing hardware infrastructure, maintenance, floor space, and energy costs. Minimizes latency and eliminates I/O bottlenecks by integrating with host servers as a memory tier extension.

Accelerating Your Data
Easily outperforms dozens of SSDs on a single server
Accelerates applications, improves response times, and boosts efficiency
Delivers the performance of thousands of disk drives in a single server
From 160GB - 640GB of enterprise solid-state flash
Easy installation and comprehensive data center management supported by the ioSphere™ Management Solution
Approved for enterprise use by Fusion-io partners, including HP, IBM, Dell, and Supermicro
 

Jedi Master

macrumors regular
https://www.google.com/search?q=SSDs+have+a+life+expectancy&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&client=safari#client=safari&hl=en&q=ssd+life+expectancy+vs+hdd&revid=14899730&sa=X&ei=TNe2UfTdMIi08QSuu4GwDQ&ved=0CFoQ1QIoAw&bav=on.2,or.&bvm=bv.47534661,d.eWU&fp=d50b67752972a2a8&biw=1024&bih=672


I'm willing to bet you you like in the country vs Austin or LA, your break will last much longer.

Dude HDD break ask Drive Savers, guess what so do SSD mtf is closing.

Really does not matter much was one day buying a drive with platters, will require going to the Goodwill. Just a matter of time and my vote is sooner tham later.
 

comatory

macrumors 6502a
Apr 10, 2012
736
0
im using SECOND HAND 128GB SSD in my Mac Pro, its still going strong. i wouldn't worry about failure. hdd are just as prone to fail, servers get platter HDDs replaced every 4 years as a precaution in most enterprises.
 

theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
6,963
83
Poole, England
From Anandtech.com:

On the storage front, Apple officially leads the charge with the move to PCIe based SSDs.

The upcoming Mac Pro, as well as the new MacBook Airs both use PCIe based SSDs instead of SATA drives. A quick look at OS X's system profiler reveals a PCIe 2.0 x2 interface, capable of 1GB/s in each direction.
Regarding M.2

I'm still awaiting official confirmation as to whether or not this is an M.2 based solution or a proprietary connector. Since there's no PCIe routed off of the CPU in Haswell ULT, these 2 lanes come from the on-package PCH