After acquiring SSD controller designer SandForce, LSI took the quick route towards creating high-performance PCIe SSDs by putting multiple SandForce controllers and an LSI RAID controller on a single expansion card, branding the resulting product as the Nytro. This Nytro product line was transferred to Seagate along with the SandForce division in May 2014, and it's now getting both a refresh and a major expansion.

The new Nytro XP6500 succeeds the Nytro XP6302 and offers improved write latency and improved write endurance. Write throughput suffers slightly, but the XP6302's original performance specifications were inflated by testing at 28% over-provisioning rather than the default of 17% that is implied by the listed capacities. Meanwhile the XP6500 4TB model is listed as optimized for 8kB rather than 4kB random accesses, so its IOPS numbers aren't directly comparable to the others.

Seagate Nytro XP6000 Series
Drive XP6500 4TB XP6500 1.5TB XP6302
Usable capacity 3.4TB 1.3TB 1.3TB, 1.75TB, 3.5TB
Interface PCIe 3.0 x8
Sequential read 4 GB/s
Sequential write 2.2 GB/s 1.5 GB/s 2.3 GB/s
Random read IOPS 275K (8KB) 300K (4KB) 296K (4KB)
Random write IOPS 85K (8KB) 100K (4KB) 148K (4KB)
Write latency 14µs 33µs
Write endurance 20 PB 8 PB 6.6-11.7 PB
Required airflow 550 LFM 300 LFM

Peak power consumption isn't listed but is likely significantly increased over the XP6302's 39W, based on the increase in required airflow from 300LFM to 550LFM for the same operating temperature range. The Nytro XP6500 supports a supercapacitor bank to protect data in its large (2-4GB) DRAM cache. The XP6500 is available either as a full-height expansion card with built-in supercapacitors, or as a half-height card with an optional tethered supercapacitor module. Seagate has announced immediate availability of the Nytro XP6500.

Expanding the Nytro brand into new territory are the XF1440 and XM1440 NVMe drives, in 2.5" U.2 (SFF-8639) and M.2 22110 form factors respectively. They're split in to two tiers: “Endurance Optimized” (3 drive writes per day) and “Capacity Optimized” (0.3 DWPD).

Seagate Nytro XF1440
Drive Endurance Optimized Capacity Optimized
Usable capacity 400 GB, 800 GB, 1600 GB 480 GB, 960 GB, 1800 GB
Interface PCIe 3.0 x4 SFF-8639
Sequential read 2700 MB/s
Sequential write 600-1200 MB/s
Random read IOPS 200K
Random write IOPS 34K 3K–7K
Write endurance 3 DWPD 0.3 DWPD
Warranty 5 years
Peak power 12.5 W
Average read/write power 9 W

Performance specifications for the Nytro XM1440 weren't available, and we aren't assuming that they will be the same as for the Nytro XF1440. The XF is listed as using eMLC (Enterprise MLC) but the XM is using MLC+, a term often used to refer to higher-binned consumer-grade MLC. Maximum power consumption is significantly lower for the XM, and the XM will be released later (early 2016, when the XF1440 will ship at the end of October), which suggests that there may also be controller differences.

Seagate Nytro XM1440
Drive Endurance Optimized Capacity Optimized
Usable capacity 400 GB, 800 GB 480 GB, 960 GB
Interface M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4
Write endurance 3 DWPD 0.3 DWPD
Warranty 5 years
Peak power 8.25 W
Average read/write power 7 W

Source: Seagate

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  • BPB - Tuesday, August 11, 2015 - link

    Price estimate? One can dream, can't one? Reply
  • extide - Tuesday, August 11, 2015 - link

    C'mon SSD makers, where is the flood of CONSUMER PCIE SSD's, and I am talking native ones, none of this PCIe to SATA RAID crap that we have had for ages. Reply
  • Impulses - Tuesday, August 11, 2015 - link

    Are the two new lines here not native? Or not consumer class? Specs wise they seem to be in line with both the Samsung SM951 & Intel 750, only available in even higher capacities... 800/960GB on M.2 probably has some exited since the Samsung tops out at half a gig.

    Outside of enthusiasts, demand is probably not very high still, otherwise Samsung would be all over it. I'm curious whether U.2 will take over or coexist with M.2 on the desktop, seems it's pretty easy to go from the latter to the former, even if the adapter looks awkward.
    Reply
  • extide - Tuesday, August 11, 2015 - link

    These appear to be enterprize oriented, especially because of the endurance ratings. I would guess these will be on the order of $0.65/gb for the 0.3 DWPD drives and $1.00/gb or more for the 3 DWPD drives. Reply
  • Impulses - Tuesday, August 11, 2015 - link

    $0.65GB would make those variants cheaper than the SM951 & 750 tho, seems like there's potential overlap here... Reply
  • extide - Tuesday, August 11, 2015 - link

    That is true ... well I guess we will wait and see. The random write IOPS seems to be pretty much 2009-2010 levels though. I really WANT to love the Intel 750, but the SM951 just seems so elegant, less power, less channels, etc, but still as good or better performance. I am honestly a bit disappointed with the 750 in most workloads .. Although if you were say running a bunch of VM's from one SSD, the 750 would be perfect! Reply
  • Impulses - Tuesday, August 11, 2015 - link

    I just bought an SM951 (so tiny, for some reason I pictured them more like the size of regular DIMMs than SO-DIMMs), I'm disappointed I can't do jack with it until Intel decides to start selling 6700K in NA...

    I'm not entirely sure if M.2 is the answer for desktops in the long run tho, or if it turns into a mix of M.2 plus those M.2 to U.2 adapters or what... I guess eventually someone will decide to do something else with the space taken by worthless SATA Express ports.
    Reply
  • Billy Tallis - Tuesday, August 11, 2015 - link

    Yeah, I want to be writing more about consumer PCIe stuff, but they keep sending me info about enterprise drives. The controller tech will be finding its way into the consumer market now that most new systems are NVMe-capable, but it's the OEMs that provide sufficient demand, not the retail customers. If you want a thriving ecosystem of M.2 NVMe products for consumers, direct your complaints to Dell, Lenovo, et al.

    In the meantime, the enterprise product lines are a lot more diverse so there are a lot more products to write about, especially this week with Flash Memory Summit being the hot venue for showing off products to other businesses. By the end of the month we should be mostly back to the usual routine of more full reviews and fewer announcements and a better balance of consumer vs. enterprise stuff. But this week, I'm barely keeping up with all the announcements, and the timing is all staggered so we haven't had the chance to compile it all in to one big round-up.
    Reply
  • extide - Tuesday, August 11, 2015 - link

    No worries, keep up the good work! I like to hear all news, so definitely post up all you get. Reply
  • BurnItDwn - Tuesday, August 11, 2015 - link

    yah, Prices man, where be the prices? How much for the 4/3.4TB drive ... that sounds like a good size, I could install whatever I want from my steam library and still have space to buy a new game every now and again... Reply

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