Ivy Bridge-E and SSD Overclocking Features Incoming Next Month
August 27, 2013 12:32 PM
comment(s) - last by
Unlockable ability will boost flash controller speed for faster reads and writes
Overclocking your DRAM memory remains one of the most popular aftermarket tweaks of enthusiasts. The imperfect art of adjusting voltage and timings has long been able to offer snappier performance depending on your system's bottlenecks and the quality of memory sticks in the box.
While on the surface NAND flash storage resembles DRAM, it has thus far remained
unavailable for overclocking
ever since SSDs began to creep into the market in volume around 2003.
: Better Late Than Never
But that could soon change.
Intel Corp. (
) quietly posted about a Sept. 10 technical presentation "
AIOS001 - Overclocking Unlocked Intel® Core™ Processors for High Performance Gaming and Content Creation
" at the
2013 Intel Developer Forum
(IDF) in San Francisco, Calif. At the presentation, it's expected to unveil the tardy 22 nm
Core i7-4000 and X79 platform, and with it SSD overclocking. The presentation was
first noted by
, a Chinese language hardware site. A list of presentation topics comments:
Overclocking architecture of the Intel® Core™ i7-4xxx series processors on Intel® X79 Express Chipset based platforms
Overclocking architecture of the desktop and mobile 4
Generation Intel® Core processors
Live demonstrations and expert tips from an industry partner on how to push the limits of Intel® unlocked processors using software and hardware tools from the enthusiast ecosystem
One of the first public demonstrations of overclocking the Intel® Core™ i7 4xxx Extreme Edition processor
Demonstrating overclocking SSD technology
First public demonstration of AppTune beta based on Intel® Extreme Tuning Utility (Intel® XTU)
It's unclear whether the SSD overclock will be reserved for only the 22 nm
-E series chips, or will be open to
as well. Intel typically uses its "E" series to introduce Xeon multicore editions of its architecture, and higher clocked desktop consume Core i7/Core i7 Extreme branded chips.
platform is expected to be introduced at IDF, next month.
launch is a bit late -- Intel launched
in Nov. 2011, nearly eight months after the
's initial launch. By contrast, the 22 nm
launched in April 2012
, but has seen no "extreme" update in nearly a year and a half (17 months). At the head of the new consumer "Extreme" chips is rumored to be the Core i7 Extreme 4960X, a monster that packs 15 MB of L3 cache and is turbo-clocked to 4.0 GHz.
II. SSD Overclocking -- SATA on Steroids or Hype?
When it comes to the SSD overclocking, the upcoming platform is expected to allow you to apply more voltage to your SSD controller to bump your read, write, and IOPS speed. Performance will be capped at 4.8 Gbps (614 MB/s), though, due to the fundamental ceiling of the current SATA 3 standard implementation supported in Intel chipsets (The raw performance of SATA 3 is 6 Gbps).
Indilinx Barefoot 3 SSD Controllers [Image Source: OCZ]
That still would seemingly suggest that overclocking SSDs could offer some impressive gains.
Currently the fastest SSD in terms of read speeds is
from OCZ Technology Group Inc. (
), who boasts (under light load) a gaudy 547.3 MB/s (4.28 Gbps) read and 657.9 MB/s (5.14 Gbps) write; but there's a catch -- this pricey (~$2,800 USD) OCZ drive
uses PCI Express
. High end SATA 3 drives
and Samsung Electronics
Comp., Ltd. (
) score a more sluggish 290-320 MB/s (2.27-2.50 Gbps) read speed and 370-400 MB/s (2.89-3.13 Gbps) write speed, according to
the latest numbers
's benchmarking (again, light load).
While it's clear that the current real world performance numbers are far from the theoretical 4.8 Gbps spec limit, skepticism is warranted. It remains unclear whether simply how far current drives can be pushed with higher voltage and faster clock speeds to the controller. Regardless of the real gains, this does mean we will see upcoming enthusiast SSD packaging with a focus on controller cooling with flashy finned heat spreaders,
like we've seen in the enthusiast RAM market
(case constraints may limit creativity for now, though).
Intel is working on a new chipset, which is rumored to be dubbed the 9 Series (
Z97 and H97), which will support the fresh SATA Express standard, bumping transfer speeds to 8 or even 16 Gbps (819.2 MB/s or even 1.55 GB/s), perhaps. The bus improvement is expected to drop ahead of
Intel's planned 14 nm die shrink
With more breathing room on the bus and fresh overclocking abilities, enthusiasts and industry performance tuners may finally have the freedom to achieve something they long wished for -- overclocking their SSD.
will be reporting live from the Intel Developer Forum in two weeks, so hopefully we'll have more details for you shortly.
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RE: Sounds like a bad idea
8/27/2013 3:54:11 PM
I believe you're treating it like a mechanical drive, ie. if it fails at all it's total data loss.
The reality is the opposite and one of the prime reasons to use SSDs - the parralellism offers inherent data security. If you lose a few blocks or even a whole NAND array, you still have access to the rest of the data.
Yes critical OS files might get corrupted, but you wont lose your pron or music videos.
Even if the controller dies, it should be easier and safer to replace then opening a mechanical drive to replace a motor, head, or circuit board.
RE: Sounds like a bad idea
8/27/2013 5:08:38 PM
I would be more worried about the few odd bits here and there that got corrupted and you weren't aware of it... 6 months later after you may have gone through your backups cycle and overwritten older data, now you find some files that are corrupt and your backup is also corrupt.
Overclocking SSD just seems dumb to me. They are fast as hell already. If yours isnt, its either old, or cheap. Anything mainstream today is crazy fast.
RE: Sounds like a bad idea
8/27/2013 7:50:43 PM
What you are referring to is bit-rot. It is insidious and really hard to find until it bites you in the ass. Most of the time the CRC functions of the disk controller fixes any bit-rot that slips in, but if you are overclocking the controller, you have no idea if you are borking the CRC checksum handling.
Agreed that overclocking mass storage is dumbass as hell. If you need fast go wit raid 0. If you need fast and safe there is raid 5 (sorry but the safety net is gonna cost you 25% of your space).
"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher
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