Kevin Knasel SSD upgrade

New hardware!
A couple exciting tidbits over at

  1. We have some cool new hardware upgrades
  2. Thanks to Kevin we will have some nice new SSDs on the way!
Deciding on a SSD
As for the SSDs, the top candidate so far is the Intel 520 Series Solid-State Drive in the 480GB capacity. Intel’s reliability and 5 year warranty are the real clinchers… there a number of other manufacturers that offer nice drives but very few that offer 5 year warranties and the types of reliability that we’re interested in.

The Intel-Micron 25-nanometer (nm) 8 gigabyte (8GB) NAND flash memory device measures 167mm2 and is the smallest, most advanced process technology in the semiconductor industry. Source: Intel Press Kit

If we go with the Intel 520, we’ll have a number of the them in RAID1 or RAID5 configuration. 🙂 More updates to follow and I’ll try to take some nice installation photos and perhaps some benchmarks.
Thanks to Kevin Knasel
Finally, thanks again to Kevin for the kind donation! He has been a pleasure to work with on a variety of projects and I’m excited to get these new SSDs installed soon 🙂
Related resources:

AnandTech - Intel SSD 520 Review: Cherryville Brings Reliability to SandForce

AnandTech – Intel SSD 520 Review: Cherryville Brings Reliability to SandForce was rumored to be working on a SandForce based drive for several months now, but even the rumors couldn’t encapsulate just how long Intel and SF has worked on this…
So far I see zero drawbacks to the 520 series other than cost, therefore 5/5 star rating!
UPDATE: as John Havlik pointed out, there are some other strong SSD contenders coming out soon… I’ll do some more checking on the best SSD and we’ll put Kevin Knasel’s kind contribution to the best use we can 🙂


  • zp

    Wow!That’s great!
    Thanks to Kevin Knasel!

  • A couple things to consider:

    1) What controller do we have available? For SATA 6.0Gbs drives it’d be nice to have a good SAS/SATA 6.0Gbs RAID card (I’ve actually been looking at one for my class project this semester).
    2) This fall Samsung is refreshing with the 840 series (the 840 Pro looks pretty wicked speed wise), and Intel is supposidley refreshing in November or thereabouts (have a flash endurance tradeoff to consider).
    3) Should do some research to see what the assumed load pattern is going to be. LSI/Sandforce drives are great when things can be compressed (text, code, probably most SQL related things). But not as great as others for non-compressable items (images, audio, video). This has me curious enough that I bought a 128GB Kingston HyperX 3K SSD to do some testing on (in comparison to a x-25 G1, Vertex 4, and Velociraptor). Best thing is, this testing works nicely into the project I have to do for my grad school class this semester.

    -John Havlik

    • Howdy John,
      #1 Dell PERC5 or PERC6 should be the controller… depending on which model of PERC6, some of them are SATA 6.0Gbs capable…
      +a PCI-E based solution is also possible, as long as is it supported by the VM software we’re using…
      #2 Yes, that 840 Pro does look pretty sweet! Also, I didn’t realize that it too has a 5 year warranty so it should probably move to the top of the list 🙂
      NOTES: pretty cool that there are three ARM Cortex R4s for the SSD controller… also, Samsung is one of the few companies I’d rank up there with Intel for validation and reliability, as they have been in the SSD game a long time and supply some big name companies with SSDs.
      #3 There should some good super-highly compressible data as there are a lot of WP installs etc. (i.e. straight-uptext PHP)… there will be a moderate amount of JPEGs/PNGs etc that won’t compress, but not many huge vidoes etc.
      #4 some nice endurance data here under the ‘Price and Specs’ section
      I’ll have to try to compile that info for all the candidates…


  • Roary

    That is pretty sweet. Did you decide on which SSD yet? Who is Kevin Knasel again?

  • Neil Kohler

    The new 840 Pro SSD is supposed to be on my doorstep today actually and I am looking forward to seeing how it performs versus my current Crucial SSD that I will be putting in our netbook.

    We are actually looking to purchase a server of our own so it will be interesting to see how you like your SSD raid setup and if it translates well to a solution for us as well.


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