How To Create An 8TB SSD As Fast As DDR4 Memory!

The highlight of the WD Black NVMe SSD showcase at Computex 2018 was the massive 8TB SSD RAID array that is as fast as DDR4-2400 memory! Wonder how they accomplished this? Read on and find out!

Updated at 2018-06-22 : Our sincere apologies. We mixed up the system specifications for this SSD RAID Array. It’s actually an AMD Ryzen Threadripper system. We have since corrected the article to reflect this.


This 8TB SSD Is As Fast As DDR4 Memory!

As you can see here, Western Digital hit a throughput of 19 GB/s with the Western Digital Black NVMe SSDs (Price Check)! That is as fast as single-channel DDR4-2400 memory!


How To Create This Super-Fast 8TB SSD

The secret? Andrew Vo explains how they created this super-fast 8TB SSD RAID array using the Western Digital Black NVMe SSDs (Price Check) in this video.

This is what you will need, if you plan to replicate their project :

Each WD Black NVMe SSD is capable of a peak transfer rate of 2.8 GB/s (write) to 3.4 GB/s (read), so eight of them would have a theoretical throughput limit of 22.4 to 27.2 GB/s!

To hit 19 GB/s, you need to create a RAID 0 array of those eight 1 TB WD Black NVMe SSDs (Price Check), but you can’t use the motherboard’s RAID feature because you would be limited by the 32 Gbps / 4 GB/s DMI bottleneck.

Intel VROC

The ASUS Hyper M.2 X16 Card (Price Check) supports Intel Virtual RAID on CPU (VROC), which reassigns unused PCIe lanes of an Intel Skylake or Coffee Lake processor to boost transfer rates up to 128 Gbps or 16 GB/s.

Of course, those are the theoretical limits, and the actual throughput will be considerably lower than 16 GB/s. To go beyond that, you will need two ASUS Hyper M.2 X16 Cards (Price Check).

AMD Ryzen Threadripper

However, Western Digital used an AMD Ryzen Threadripper system instead. The Threadripper processor has 64 PCIe lanes – plenty for two Hyper M.2 X16 Card (Price Check).

In the end, Western Digital only hit 19 GB/s with two of these cards. This is 30% lower than the theoretical capability of a perfect RAID 0 array of eight 1 TB WD Black NVMe SSDs (Price Check), and 40% lower than the theoretical capability of two ASUS Hyper M.2 X16 Cards (Price Check).

However, without resorting to this method, a motherboard-based RAID 0 array of eight 1 TB WD Black NVMe SSDs (Price Check) would only deliver a maximum transfer rate of just 4 GB/s. Even that’s in a perfect world.


How Much Does This Super-Fast SSD RAID Array Cost?

Each 1 TB WD Black NVMe SSDs (Price Check) currently costs $399.99. So the eight SSDs alone cost a princely US$ 3,192 / € 2,765 / RM 12,779.

The ASUS Hyper M.2 X16 Card (Price Check) is much cheaper at just $59 each. That’s an additional US$ 118 / € 102 / RM 472.

All in, this 8 TB SSD RAID array will set you back US$ 3,247 / € 2,812 / RM 12,999. And that does not include the AMD Ryzen Threadripper system=.

No doubt, this is a very expensive project. But think about it – you now have a massive 8 TB SSD RAID 0 array that is as fast as DDR4-2400 memory!


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