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Super Talent RAM Cache USB 3.0 flash drive prices  (Source: Super Talent)
Ram Cache tech promises up to 300% performance improvement in some uses

With USB 3.0 ports becoming more common on desktop and laptop computers, the number of USB 3.0 storage devices and other gear coming to market is growing. One of the most prevalent areas that USB 3.0 is being embraced is in the storage market.

The new drives are the Super Talent USB 3.0 Express RAM Cache drives. The drives are offered in 32GB and 64GB capacities. The new DRAM caching system that the drives use promise to boost performance by up to 300%. The company claims to be the only firm offering a caching system on its USB 3.0 drives.

Super Talent COO CH Lee said, "We've made the first, fastest, hardware encrypted, and most affordable USB flash 3.0 flash drives, now with the Express RAM Cache, we are offering affordable cache support on USB 3.0."

Super Talent claims that in real world performance tests copying large files and writing large amounts of smaller files the caching system it uses significantly increases performance. The maker claims that adding the caching system speeds up the copy process of 40 MP3 files by 260% compared to a drive without the caching feature. The time savings increases as the file count goes up.

Lee said, "No longer are we talking about a 10x performance increase over USB 2.0, now we are talking about a real world experience that is up to 110x what our customers have experienced before. Adding RAM Cache to our USB 3.0 Express Drive line-up raises the bar we have established with our first three USB 3.0 products and reiterates our commitment and leadership in the USB 3.0 space."

The USB 3.0 Express RAM Cache Drive in 32GB capacity sells for $129, the 64GB version of the same drive is $209, and both versions are shipping. Super Talent also offers the USB 3.0 Express Drive in 16GB for $59 and in 32GB for $99. The 16GB version of this drive was first announced in February of 2010.



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RE: REALLY?
By amanojaku on 9/8/2010 11:14:13 AM , Rating: 2
All you need to know is written above:
quote:
Super Talent claims that in real world performance tests copying large files and writing large amounts of smaller files the caching system it uses significantly increases performance. The maker claims that adding the caching system speeds up the copy process of 40 MP3 files by 260% compared to a drive without the caching feature. The time savings increases as the file count goes up.
I learned this when writing programs and analyzing customer software for performance: you always want to write to the fastest storage, which is DRAM. No matter how small the data is it still takes resources to initiate, complete, and verify the write. Outside of CPU registers, no current storage system is as fast, or expensive, as DRAM. Even NAND flash is slower, as seen in expensive cache modules for enterprise SAN arrays: DRAM stores data in 1ns, while NAND flash does it in 2-4ns. The above numbers are WAY faster than consumer device memory, but I'm using these extreme numbers to make a point: their numbers are closer to each other than the values of consumer memory, and DRAM is STILL 2-4x faster than flash. Compare your desktop RAM at around 20ns and flash at 65us. That's a "mu", not an "en".

What's this got to do with USB sticks? Well, there are thousands, if not millions, of I/O writes per file. File systems may have 4-64KiB clusters, and an MP3 file may be 6MiB or more. That's 12,288 writes at a minimum for a 4KiB FAT32. A 4.7GiB ISO is approximately 1,232,077 writes; that's 80 seconds, ideally. The largest USB flash drive I've seen is 256GiB. We're talking hard drive replacement and/or backup. You need a cache to optimize storage writes as you probably won't write a single 58KiB Word file to a drive like this. You will most likely drag all of My Documents (more specifically My Porn Pics, My Stupid Ass Jokes, and My Stupid Ass Party Photos) to this, as well as ISOs, EXEs, etc...

Your old 4GiB stick doesn't need a cache. You aren't dropping a lot of data in there, anyway, so you can wait 3 (4GiB/4KiB @ 65us = 68 seconds, plus overhead) minutes for the drive to fill up. Maybe even 10 minutes. 256GiB at that rate would take ~3 hours, longer for lots of small files. A cache can speed up those tiny writes, or ensure the disk has enough data in the buffer to write at the optimal speed. You've seen this with CD-R software, where the larger buffer was best. Same for hard drives. Large storage necessitates cache.


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