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Samsung’s gigantic 15TB solid state drive proves hard disks have one foot in the grave

samsung 15tb business ssd sasssd
If you have a decent gaming PC, you probably have a solid state drive (SSD) as a boot/gaming drive and a second hard drive as a storage solution. Part of that is a cost-savings measure, as SSDs are still more expensive than hard drives (HDD), despite all the cost cutting in recent years; but it’s also to do with storage capacity.

That may not be the case for much longer however, as Samsung has now made its PW1633a 15TB SSD available for anyone to buy and though it isn’t cheap, it offers monstrous storage in a very small form factor.

A drive like this is only possible today thanks to the growth of 3D V-NAND, which Samsung uses to stack 32 x 512GB flash modules together into a drive. Unlike other high-capacity SSDs with one or two terabytes, this drive doesn’t use PCIE or SATA interfaces to transfer data, but instead utilizes a 12Gbps Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) interface (as per TechReport).

Related: Don’t have a solid state drive? These five SSDs will help you get with the times, on any budget

While most consumer PCs won’t have that sort of connection, that won’t matter as this drive is being marketed to businesses instead, where that is much more common. It still enables high speeds, though, with Samsung stating that the PW1633A can handle sequential read and writes up to 1,200MBps, with random reads at 200K IOPS. Writes are a little less impressive at 32K, but still hardly slow.

On board caching is handled by a whopping 16GB of RAM, though Samsung didn’t confirm from which generation. It did however announce that the drive was incredibly reliable, with the ability to do an entire drive write (15.36 terabytes) per day, without failure.

Although we don’t know anything about pricing as of yet, Samsung has said there will be smaller and cheaper variants made available later this year. As it stands the 15TB version is all that’s up for grabs, but Samsung will debut 7.68TB, 3.84TB, 1.92TB, 0.96TB and 0.48TB models in the near future.

All will support the same SAS interface, though performance may differ slightly.

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Jon Martindale
Jon Martindale is the Evergreen Coordinator for Computing, overseeing a team of writers addressing all the latest how to…
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