ASRock's Optane 905P M.2 RAID Defies Limits

ASRock inadvertently tipped off  Reddit when hidden images of Intel's 905P M.2 SSD were uncovered by eagle-eyed enthusiasts. The company, like Optane technology, reduced the latency required to bring important data to shoppers. ASRock is a strong supporter of all things Optane and has one of the best quad M.2 VROC HBAs on the market today that cools the drives and gives users the option to deliver extra power via a 6-pin VGA plug.

Combining ASRock's Fatal1ty X299 Professional Gaming i9 XE's VROC array feature and Intel's new Optane SSD905P M.2 is a guaranteed recipe for excitement here at Computex 2018.

The display is the first to show what four 380GB 905P SSDs in RAID 0 can achieve when paired with a great motherboard and an 18-core Extreme Edition to process all the data. The system chews through 10,000MB of sequential data in a single second, a 4x improvement over a single 900P 480GB Optane SSD. The drives scale well in RAID 0 with this workload, but users have to give up low queue depth random performance. ASRock's solution is to use a 480GB Optane 900P for the system's boot drive and then utilize the VROC array feature for heavy sequential workloads like intense video editing.

Intel hasn't disclosed when the 905P M.2 SSDs will hit e-tailers, but we expect to see the components before the end of 2018. Using a single drive, or an array built with several drives, is the best way to accelerate any complicated workload, but there are advantages of building the Optane storage for specific tasks in the workflow. We hope to see Intel make improvements to VROC in the future so one path delivers the best of both worlds. The feature allows us to break past the PCH limits by going around the chipset to send data directly to the CPU. Maybe Intel's upcoming 5GHz 28-core processor can get us around the low random performance of VROC.

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