NEWS: HP launches high-performance PCIe SSD

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HP Z turbo Drive Quad Pro add in board can host up to four M.2 NVMe modules for read speeds up to 9.0GB/sec

HP has launched a high-performance Solid State Drive (SSD) PCIe x 16 add-in board that can be used with its HP Z440, Z640 and Z840 workstations.

The HP Z Turbo Drive Quad Pro boasts read speeds of up to 9.0GB/s, 16x faster than standard SATA-based SSDs.

Such high-end storage is likely to bring most benefit to I/O bottlenecked workflows where large datasets are prevalent, such as in point cloud processing, engineering simulation and video editing.

As the name suggests the HP Z Turbo Drive Quad Pro gets its performance by combining up to four NVMe HP Z Turbo Drive G2 modules on its full length PCIe x 16 board. The modules, which use Samsung NVMe technology, are available in capacities of 256GB or 512GB, leading to a maximum overall size of up to 2TB. It is likely we will see 1TB modules introduced next year.

Modules can be configured in RAID 0 (striped, for performance) or RAID 1 (mirrored, for redundancy), however it is not possible to boot from a RAID array. The card does have the flexibility to use one module as a boot device and the remaining drives for data, with or without a RAID array.

HP Z Turbo Drive Quad Pro open, heat sync removed showing Samsung SSD NVMe m.2 SSD modules
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Maximum performance comes when four modules are configured in RAID 0, which takes the sequential read performance up to 9.0GB/s.

Per module, read performance is 2,150MB/sec, while write performance is 1,260MB/sec and 1,550MB/sec respectively for the 256GB and 512GB versions. Random read performance is 300K IOPS and random write performance 100K IOPS.

Configuration is flexible. The card ships with two modules as standard but it is easy to add modules, by opening a flap and detaching the heatsink. HP says the bespoke cooling solution, which has a built in fan, means users don’t have to worry about the performance throttling down under heavy workloads.

Multiple HP Z Turbo Drive Quad Pro cards can be added, providing there are available PCIe x16 slots in the HP Z Workstation.

HP Z Turbo Drive Quad Pro

The HP Z Turbo Drive Quad Pro is also configured to protect against data loss in the event of a power failure by employing a bank of super caps to provide the power to ‘fully finish’ data storage operations.

Prices start at $779 for 512GB and rising to $1,376 for a 1TB card loaded with four 256GB modules. HP has said it will no longer be offering Fusion I/O high performance drives as an option in its HP Z Workstations.

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