Mushkin previews a $500 4TB SSD at CES

CES – More than a handful of SSD manufacturers have released drives built around Silicon Motion's SM2246EN controller, including Mushkin and its Reactor 1TB SSD. An updated SM2246EN now supports 3D NAND and drive capacities up to 2TB, and Mushkin is using that updated controller to expand the Reactor to 2TB.

Mushkin says it's designed this drive with 3D MLC flash, which should offer a good mix of performance and affordability. Mushkin couldn't tell us where it's sourcing that flash, but it does say to expect a cost of about $0.25 per gigabyte when this drive hits shelves sometime in Q2 this year.

How do you increase drive capacity further when your controller tops out at 2TB? By using JBOD. To construct a 4TB drive, Mushkin is basically putting two Reactor 2TB SSDs on a single PCB. Those drives are then joined into a JBOD with a separate controller. This dual-drive solution will function as a single volume, but spanning drives isn't without its costs. Mushkin tells us to expect random read and write performance of about 10K IOPS. This jumbo-sized Reactor could do well in applications that tend to be heavy on sequential workloads, like video recording or bulk media storage.

This formidably sized drive hasn't been formally named just yet, but we do know that it may be relatively affordable. Mushkin is targeting a $500 price point for this massive SSD when it becomes available after the release of the Reactor 2TB.

In addition to the two new Reactor drives, Mushkin is adding to its higher-end Striker series with a 1.92TB drive built with the Phison PS3110-S10 controller. This high-performance MLC drive is targeted towards the datacenter world, but it could find purchase as an enthusiast-class drive, too.

Comments closed
    • dashbarron
    • 4 years ago

    With Flash getting faster and strong, this spells a lot of trouble for the rest of us when Zoom finds out.

    • DavidC1
    • 4 years ago

    The difference between SSDs and HDDs are incomparable. Nowadays, as long as its an SSD, its fine. The benchmarks they test for SSDs are even less real world than Smartphone ones.

    It’ll especially be good when Optane drives come out and *that* becomes the main drive and the 4TB the data storage one.

      • dragontamer5788
      • 4 years ago

      BX200 has much slower sequential than Hard drives.

      My spinning-platters typically hit 140MB/s now (like a Toshiba 5TB). The 70MB/s on the BX200 is utterly awful. Any video editor (or other person who typically deals with large files) will prefer spinning platters over the low-quality SSDs on the market today.

      The superior random I/O on the BX200 makes it a superior OS drive. But you definitely need a mid-quality SSD (ie: not TLC) if you want video editing performance on your computer.

        • AdamDZ
        • 4 years ago

        Crucial BX200? Your BX200 is defective or there is something else very wrong with your hardware. BX200 reads and writes at around 400MB/s.

        • DavidC1
        • 4 years ago

        70MB/s is perfectly fine.

        SSDs access time is hundreds of times better at worst case. Low access time is why people bought a WD Raptor, not for “MB/s”.

        2009 with Intel X25-M was the pivotal point. Until then you needed outrageously priced SLCs to be any usable. Not anymore.

        There will be a few cases like you said where a certain high performance HDD will be better than low performance SSD. But that’s practically impossible nowadays. They are all at the 200+MB/s access speeds.

        Also, SSDs are FAR more reliable. The problem with HDDs are that the degradation is such that it might not be a problem by itself, because the system works. But like in some cases it’ll be REALLY slow. Like lagging using Windows UI slow. 15 min boot time slow.

    • just brew it!
    • 4 years ago

    [quote<]This jumbo-sized Reactor could do well in applications that tend to be heavy on sequential workloads, like video recording or bulk media storage.[/quote<] Those use cases can still be served quite capably by a HDD, at a fraction of the $/GB. I have to wonder how much of a market there is for very large, but mediocre performing SSDs.

      • Waco
      • 4 years ago

      Agreed. Until the prices are comparable (and I mean, essentially identical), there’s zero reason to go to SSDs for bulk storage of anything that only demands streaming performance. Unless you have many many many users streaming simultaneously at rates beyond what a bigass HDD array can sustain…why?

      • ImSpartacus
      • 4 years ago

      What about for game storage?

      I know a couple folks that are regretting the choice to get such a small boot drive (myself included).

      Those people aren’t going to throw out their boot drive – it generally still works. But they might get another ssd for game storage.

      And if you do go that route, then you start to only care about sequential performance and a modern sata3 ssd is going to consistently saturate the sata3 bandwidth without issue.

        • just brew it!
        • 4 years ago

        Yeah, I suppose game storage might be one case where it makes sense.

        • Den
        • 4 years ago

        Even saturating SATA3 is still only a little more than twice as fast as an HDD. And RAID0 with HDDs can surpass SATA3 for cheaper even at that price point if you have enough SATA3 ports. And given the IOPS of the thing, it may be more comparable to somewhat older SSDs.

          • ImSpartacus
          • 4 years ago

          I haven’t looked into raiding hard drives in many years. Can you beat sata3 with two drives or does it take more?

          If it takes like four drives, then I start to get scared with respect to reliability, as well as noise, heat and space (as you mentioned).

          But that’s an excellent point, either way.

      • Krogoth
      • 4 years ago

      A surprisingly large market.

      They still have more than enough performance for 99% of non-professional needs while have more than capacity for non-bulk data storage needs. You don’t have to worry about moving parts and it is completely silent.

      • AdamDZ
      • 4 years ago

      No heat and no noise. I would totally replace my two 2x2TB Time Machine backups with two small, cool quiet SSDs. But yeah, at $500 is a bit too much for backup drives.

    • christos_thski
    • 4 years ago

    What are the traditional mechanical HDD makers doing? Ever since the Taiwan floods in 2011 they seem to have been just sitting there, waiting to become irrelevant by ever decreasing SSD prices (and ever increasing speeds).

      • BIF
      • 4 years ago

      This is an excellent question. They did come out with a few 6+ TB drives, but I haven’t been hearing about very many other new innovations in the years since the floods.

      • meerkt
      • 4 years ago

      [url<]http://www.anandtech.com/show/9866/hard-disk-drives-with-hamr-technology-set-to-arrive-in-2018[/url<]

      • dragontamer5788
      • 4 years ago

      SMR Drives have shipped, and are quite cheap and good for bulk storage. SMR have incrementally gone up from 6TB to 10TB, with 20TB expected soon. But due to the slow sustained speeds (after the cache has been filled up), I’m not sure if these are a good general-purpose drive.

      Still, SMR is the big advancement that has already shipped since 2011, even if it doesn’t apply to the typical consumer.

      HAMR, the next advancement (and unlike SMR, doesn’t seem to have any performance issues) is expected to start shipping in a year or two.

        • Xyriin
        • 4 years ago

        The ‘problem’ that HDD manufacturers are facing is physics. Even technologies like HAMR are to the point where it’s using loopholes to stretch the normal physics limits. As for HAMR, it was supposed to be out in 2015, now it’s maybe 2018.

        Plus let’s talk about reliability. HDDs are already horrible for reliability compared to SSDs. With Helium drives you’re now adding another point of failure by requiring the drive to be airtight. With HAMR tech you’re adding a laser which was a high failure rate component in optical drives, which were even less reliable than HDDs. By 2020 you’re going to have Helium drives with lasers and they’ll still have worse density than SSDs, even worse reliability than current HDDs, and the cost per GB will actually go up not down.

        As for SMR it’s junk. Good only for write once archive situations. SMR by design will always be horrible for a normal use drive.

      • eofpi
      • 4 years ago

      The Thailand floods coincided with the finalizing of the buyouts of Samsung’s hard drive division by Seagate and of HGST by Western Digital. Toshiba wound up with the 3.5″ division of one of those, though, making it 3 competitors, not 2.

    • End User
    • 4 years ago

    That 2TB Reactor sounds very tempting.

    • jihadjoe
    • 4 years ago

    See, Samsung? This is how you TLC/3D NAND. Cost savings on capacity, not priced the same as traditional MLC drives.

      • ImSpartacus
      • 4 years ago

      Samsung has a relatively strong brand name for SSDs, so you can’t blame them for milking it.

        • Den
        • 4 years ago

        And they developed the tech and were the first to release it. Not surprising they want to recoup their R&D costs by charging a premium to first adopters.

          • jihadjoe
          • 4 years ago

          I don’t blame them at all for milking their name or trying to recoup their R&D, but that stuff has to be balanced against what the consumer gets for his money, otherwise it’s pointless.

          Samsung’s TLC, and the 840/840Evo had all sorts of compromises and disadvantages, while offering nothing over the competition. Even the brand name was compromised. I’d have expected a big company like Samsung to offer better validation and QA, sort of like [url=https://techreport.com/review/26269/behind-the-scenes-with-intel-ssd-division/2<]what Intel does[/url<], but the 840 mess showed that was hardly the case at all.

    • Chrispy_
    • 4 years ago

    SSD RAID:
    Just say no.

    As for the 3D MLC NAND at $0.25 per gigabyte?
    Where do I sign up?!

    • PixelArmy
    • 4 years ago

    Am I reading this correctly? 2TB @ $0.25/GB is ~$500. Not sure how they’re gonna double the capacity at the same price point that quickly. Or if true, why anyone would bother with the 2TB if the 4TB is released close enough?

    Not, that I’m complaining, just skeptical.

      • Den
      • 4 years ago

      The 4TB drive is going to have awful performance, so that would scare people away I think. $0.25/GB is almost normal now, so that’s reasonable that some will start releasing at that point (and then get sales to go below that).

      The 4TB at $0.125/GB at release has me a bit skeptical unless its release is a long way away as well. It seems performance is awful for an SSD (even compared to the BX200 and Trion100) it seems, so I think I’d avoid it just because of that but just because it performs bad doesn’t mean it shouldn’t cost them more unless SSDs are sold at more than double their manufacturing cost and they’re cutting their profits with this because it would not sell otherwise.

        • Sargent Duck
        • 4 years ago

        Still better performance than anything a hdd can throw at it.

          • ImSpartacus
          • 4 years ago

          Yeah, as long as it’s reliable and it’s a ton better than an HDD, then I’m chill with it.

          I just want a big cheap SATA3 drive that can provide SSD-tier random read/write for general usage and then SATA3-saturating sequential read for loading games.

          • BIF
          • 4 years ago

          Your argument may have been a valid comparison 3 months ago, but today, the comparison for many like me is no longer “SSD vs HDD”.

          I already deploy HDDs now only for mass-storage backup drives. I still have two HDDs (and one SSD) in my laptop, but if the HDDs go bad, I won’t replace them with like.

          I have 1 HDD left in my desktop workstation, but that is only there because my downloads folder has grown to nearly a terabyte and I don’t want to spend $700 to replace it with a larger SSD at this time.

          As more and more motherboards arrive with M.2 slots and/or more users buy M.2 drives or PCIe drives, the comparison will less between hard drives and more like “this SSD vs that SSD”, or “SATA vs M.2”, etcetera.

          So for me, the upshot is that Mushkin’s 4TB solution is great, but if performance is allowed to suffer “too much”, then I may not consider it. If performance is not awful, then maybe it would be the second drive in a system, with system and application data being served by a faster 1TB or 2TB SSD in the pole position.

          I would LOVE to have 6TB in my 17″ travel laptop.

        • w76
        • 4 years ago

        Pretty soon, we’ll stop talking about pennies per GB, but like HDDs, dollars per TB, which in itself will be a nice change.

        • albundy
        • 4 years ago

        compared to what? 4TB 5900rpm green drives? i highly doubt it. when huge ssd capacities come into play and knock on HDD territory, then many will look at them as storage mediums and not OS drives. The only thing that worries me is long term storage reliability, especially during long periods of non-use.

          • Den
          • 4 years ago

          Bad compared to drives like the bx200 (as I mentioned in the post you are replying to). Still likely much better than any single HDD.

          Some of us already use only SSDs for our computers and see them as such. My storage needs are tiny. As are most people’s. SSD-only budget computers should already be a common IMO (as should HDD only budget computers).

          This does give ms some hope for the bx100 drives… If they could go down to the $0.15/GB
          or lower price range I’d consider them.

        • Waco
        • 4 years ago

        Awful performance? 10K IOPs is still fast as hell compared to *any* HDD. Even awesome HDD arrays have trouble sustaining those rates in random IO.

        Remember, this is 10K IOPs bounded by the striping controller, not the underlying drives. It’ll likely sustain that rate forever even with shitty workloads. Top end SSDs from a few years ago dream of such performance.

        Your filesystem will do its best to avoid these type of workloads ever hitting the disk anyway…so care, you should not.

      • albundy
      • 4 years ago

      the more capacities the merrier.

    • Shinare
    • 4 years ago

    4tb version in sas for $500 please and thank you.

      • Vinceant
      • 4 years ago

      ^ This. But it’ll never happen. As someone who is starting to find clients who will be using SAS I’m finding the drives are the big problem because they are like 2.5x the price in some brackets. It’s ludicrous. They have not much better MTBF of SATA drives. In many cases they ARE SATA drives with SAS controllers.

      Heck man, SAS SSDs in general are pretty prohibitively expensive. Most people just put SATA SSDs in (which is a bad idea for lots of reasons, but meh).

        • Shinare
        • 4 years ago

        A guy can dream, can’t he. 🙂

    • Welch
    • 4 years ago

    This is great, but the last thing I’m worried about is longevity like some people are posting. NAND memory in SSDs I think we have proven are pretty great so long as they have power and are read/writing, just don’t use them for long term archival purposes.

    I’d be more concerned with what happens if the JBOD “RAID” controller flakes out and how certain systems see the drive. Also if the JBOD is all handled from factory, is there any way to address the two “drives” seperately for any reason? Not likely but. It does have me wonder what odd issues a person may run into when attempting to use this drive in certain applications and whether data recovery would be a problem too if using speciality tools, even something like TestDisk.

    Otherwise, $500 for 4TB… great to see SSDs getting closer. It seems like yesterday that 1TB droves were over or right under $500.

      • meerkt
      • 4 years ago

      The most logical thing would be for it to appear to the outside world as a single drive, so I wouldn’t expect anything unsual there.

      Why would the RAID part flake out any more than any SSD’s controller chip?

        • ImSpartacus
        • 4 years ago

        One extra chip that can fail?

        I’m speculating that there has to be some additional equipment to “link” the two controllers.

          • Welch
          • 4 years ago

          Yeah that is my concern… increasing points of failure is never a good thing.

          • meerkt
          • 4 years ago

          The RAIDing might also be handled by the same chip, but there are still two controllers, each to handle 2TB.

          I don’t know if it’s such a big deal. How often do you see controller chips fail? E.g., do motherboards with external USB/storage/whatever controllers fail more often than all-integrated ones? I’m guessing failure in this case would be mostly likely in the flash chips, or firmware bugs.

            • ImSpartacus
            • 4 years ago

            I don’t just mean a hardware failure, though I may have worded it that way.

            I’m talking about any and all reliability issues. We’ve seen a steady stream of SSD issues every year or so. Some are minor, some are a bigger deal.

            The more complexity in the design, the more likely we’ll see issues. Internal RAID-esque designs feel like they would add a certain amount of complexity that isn’t present in most SSDs.

          • BIF
          • 4 years ago

          What are you complaining about? Your whole life has thousands of potential points of failure, from the chips in your cars to the circuitry in your computing devices. One more chip in a hard drive isn’t going to make a significant increase in risk for you.

          You should be backing up your data, by the way.

      • BIF
      • 4 years ago

      I like your idea of allowing the consumer to break a 4TB SSD into two 2TB drives, but I doubt that would happen with just one data connection interface.

      But still, I could make it work because in spite of being scolded for being old school and partition-happy, I continue to keep discrete partitions for my stuff based on file type or purpose. While I do have need for higher capacity hard drive units, that’s only due to current limits on number of SATA ports or number of available laptop bays. So because I’m old school, I could still make it work even if there was a 2TB limit on partition size in an SSD.

      The only reason it wouldn’t work is if I had to use an SSD for backups, where I would need a 4TB, 6TB, or bigger partition size. But I don’t see myself using an SSD for backups due to current capacity limits and high prices, so it’s a moot point at this time.

    • Krogoth
    • 4 years ago

    I would rather wait until we get a better idea on life expectancy of the new flash cell tech.

    It looks like HDD days are numbered on small form factor and portable platforms.

      • trparky
      • 4 years ago

      Traditional HDDs will always be around for long-term mass storage, they will essentially become secondary storage with SSDs being the storage device you use for every day use.

        • eofpi
        • 4 years ago

        They said the same thing about tape vs. hard drives.

          • BIF
          • 4 years ago

          But the fundamental difference here is that tapes are sequential only in nature and can be lost/damaged much more easily by shock, elements, and aging. I’ve had a couple of hard drives take a tumble and still keep working fine afterward.

          The hard drive makers SHOULD have come out (at least a couple years ago) with a 4TB capacity drive with 7200 RPM speed, high amounts of cache, and make the damned thing in 2.5″ notebook form factor, but I haven’t heard boo.

          It is my opinion that hard drive makers have been spending too much time and money DECREASING performance. You know, the “Green” drive market. If that’s not true, then just how and why have we come to this point in time where consumers’ political correctness makes it okay with hard drive makers [i<]not[/i<] publishing their spindle speeds and other key performance details on the retail box whenever the word "green" was there? Edit: I wasn't aware of HAMR being worked on. That's good news, but 2018 is a long way off.

            • eofpi
            • 4 years ago

            Data per platter scales with the square of diameter. It was only last September that [url=http://www.seagate.com/about-seagate/news/seagate-develops-world-highest-density-mobile-hard-drive-technology-master-pr/<]Seagate announced 1TB 2.5" platters[/url<]. That same density would make 2TB 3.5" platters, higher than anything on the market right now. And yet, the drives Seagate announced still haven't shown up at Newegg, 4 months later, at any speed, let alone the 7200rpm you want. I'm genuinely curious why you want 7200rpm spinning rust. For anything remotely performance-sensitive, flash is an order of magnitude faster.

          • ImSpartacus
          • 4 years ago

          Tapes ARE still around for cold storage… because – wait for it – their superior storage/cost ratio.

            • Waco
            • 4 years ago

            That, and lightning can’t take out tapes in a silo. It doesn’t matter how cheap HDDs get, tapes will always win the cost argument *and* the “oh shit, the building just got hit by lightning 37 times” argument.

            Signed, someone with lots of tapes and many petabytes of HDDs.

            • eofpi
            • 4 years ago

            Sounds like HDDs will get squeezed from both sides on cost, then, as SSD prices continue to drop.

        • Xyriin
        • 4 years ago

        Why would you stick with HDDs for mass storage when SSDs already have better density.

        The only reason HDDs are still around is cost. That advantage shrinks every day.

    • chµck
    • 4 years ago

    Flash is getting very cheap.
    Good for consumers.
    Bad for flash companies.

      • Pwnstar
      • 4 years ago

      No, they sell more to make up for it in volume.

    • UnfriendlyFire
    • 4 years ago

    Just 4 years ago, this was one of ways of getting 4TB of SSD capacity: [url<]http://www.anandtech.com/show/5322/oczs-4tb-35-chiron-ssd[/url<] Notice the difference in the packaging sizes.

    • f0d
    • 4 years ago

    seagate/wd better get their ass into gear making bigger drives because soon enough** ssd’s will be cheap enough and large enough to replace hdd’s

    i can also see controllers eventually coming out that can access more channels just so they can make bigger drives without having to wait for flash density to go up

    **soon enough = within 5 years

      • south side sammy
      • 4 years ago

      i wonder what happened to their ssd’s. they were there and then they just disappeared…..

    • Duct Tape Dude
    • 4 years ago

    So basically this is a fantastic Steam drive? I’d definitely consider one.

    • RdVi
    • 4 years ago

    As someone who just bought a 500GB SSD as a games drive a few months back I did not expect this. If 4TB SSD’s that don’t completely suck are $500 at any point this year I’ll be impressed.

      • End User
      • 4 years ago

      1TB SSDs have been with us for ages (the Crucial M500 960GB was launched 3 years ago). Why are you surprised?

        • RdVi
        • 4 years ago

        That’s not what I meant. 1TB SSD’s start at $250 or so, 2TB ones are almost $700. I didn’t expect there to be doubling in capacity at a price drop so soon. That is all.

        For a games drive 500GB is all I should need for the next few years, but obviously if I though could have got a 1TB one for the same price less than a year later I may have waited. Still glad I bought it as the game install/backup juggling was getting too much.

          • BIF
          • 4 years ago

          Well, only the Muskin 1TB is $250 while also actually being available for purchase. Mushkin seems to be the low-price solution.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This