This SSD is Faster Than Your RAM

It’s Time to Become Naturally Lean!

 

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The Apex Storage X21 is an absolutely wild AIC that allows you to connect twenty one SSDs to a single PCIe slot… and it is very fast.

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MUSIC CREDIT
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Intro: Laszlo – Supernova
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Outro: Approaching Nirvana – Sugar High
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Intro animation by MBarek Abdelwassaa
Monitor And Keyboard by vadimmihalkevich / CC BY 4.0
Mechanical RGB Keyboard by BigBrotherECE / CC BY 4.0
Mouse Gamer free Model By Oscar Creativo / CC BY 4.0

CHAPTERS
—————————————————
0:00 – It’s cram packed full of M.2 slots!
0:49 – Tello!
1:05 – What is the X21?
4:00 – Popping the heatsink
5:48 – A Single SSD
8:35 – Hot swap?
9:27 – 21 SSDs
16:52 – Linux!
19:51 – Real use cases
21:19 – Tello!
22:27 – Outro

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67 Comments

raistlinmajere1000

Linus holding a 31.000k SSD? This is going to be a wild ride.

    krzychhoo

    At least it’s not as likely to break as a hard drive when he drops it!

    Nayan Punekar

    Just say 31,0000 or 31k bruh.

    Rapid

    Saying it with “31 THOUSAND” has a more ✨Dramatic Flare ✨

    Rhandy

    Casual 31m dollar SSD?

    Jacob Powers

    @Rhandy theyre foreigners and use their commas and decimals backwards and not the way of us in the land of the free

Phil B

I love videos with Alex and Linus. Linus loves to do things the janky way, and Alex has an engineering background, so Linus has a hope that Alec will do things the correct way, but then when Alex does thing the janky way like Linus isn’t happy, but then things work out, and he’s happy again.

    sellinganja

    Fake video Linus didn’t drop it once

    revdarian

    He dropped 21 ssd’s on the desk at the start! Intentionally but it counts, right?

    Timur Tchanychev

    Lllll

    cyrilio

    This comment was a rollercoaster ride. Completely correct though.

    Phil B

    @revdarian Probably empty boxes

Shane NT

“Hot plug” refers only to the switch chip itself, m.2 doesn’t allow for it. The mechanical interface still has to be designed to ground the SSD before applying power and limit the inrush current.

    soundsaber

    You sound like you know what you are talking about. I believe you.

    DDX

    @soundsaber About what most people’s thought process is watching these vids lmfao

    N. Shiina

    i remember Wendell from L1T talks about this on his nvme hot swap bays video. the whole design doesnt seem to be hot swappable in mind also

    tushar

    Apply for job in LTT

    klaik30

    I think Alex did say something like this at 5:36. He didnt fully explain why it doesn’t work tho 😶

Noah Hallman

One of my favorite things in LTT videos is Alex being worried about jank things that other people do even though he is the jank master himself. He will be worried about other people doing things and do something 10 times worse a minute later. And I am here for it.

    Simen K.R.

    Thats because hes an engineer. That makes him able to do jank safely, ive never seen him fail EVER hahah

    THEIsaacPigg27 _

    @Simen K.R. The fail wasn’t in the video itself but in his Intel Extreme Tech Upgrade he mentions how he fried the DIY CPU

    Little Jackalo

    ​@Simen K.R. he’s not an engineer. He took a few undergrad engineering classes. FAR from any engineering degree, and miles from being an engineer.

    Jonathan Wilson

    Alex’s janky ideas are my favorite LTT videos.

    Storm Hawks HD

    do as I say, not as I do.

Dave

its crazy to think just a few years ago Sabrent was the “try it if you want” brand I bought a 240gb drive probably 5 years ago and I was skeptical but damn they are on my list of good brands for M.2s

    Valor_X

    What are your thoughts on TeamGroup?

    Sean

    @Valor_X  teamgroup is not bad. I think they are similar to silicon power, but still a little early i think.
    May be better.

    passmelers

    my sabrent drives died within a year. WD is better.

    isaac bejjani

    ​@passmelers samsung is the best

    N. Shiina

    @isaac bejjani nah. hynix, micron and intel are the best at least from my opinion. idk about their consumer grade SSDs but some of Samsung’s enterprise SSDs are just.. problematic. early PM863, PM883, PM1733 seems having issues with its firmware

RunningMelon

Sabrent just asking for a shoutout and casually sending that many 8TB SSD over is a big W move! They truly support Linus craziness and we all benefit from it! 😀

Zarrx

If you asked me 15 years ago where storage speeds could be I wouldn’t have guessed this fast… It’s hard for me to be super excited because I feel like the consumer application isn’t really there… but the use case in cloud computing will be huge and we’ll see it’s affects in our services. It’s interesting how obfuscated this technology is for general consumers even though we’ll all see benefits.

    Valor_X

    I remember being impressed when early Sata 2 SSD’s were breaking 200MB/sec read speeds and people would Raid 0 them for 400+MB/sec

    I’m still super impressed at my Gen 3 NVME 3,500MB/sec speeds… how far tech has come

    isaac bejjani

    ​@Valor_X yea, Gen 4 drives are so fast nowadays that there’s really no reason to raid 0 for most people

    John Toto

    Server motherboards already have a fak ton of ssd slots built-in. I built 2 servers like that 7 years ago with 10 Intel sata ssd (consumer grade) for my job. I don’t remember the exact performance (probably 10 x sata speed) but it was insane for the relatively low cost. We put 40GBps network cards and a 40GBps switch between them and built one storage array spanning the two servers. It was a proof of concept for a cheap high availability hyper-v cluster. Good times.

Enclave

I always really love Alex’s solutions, they’re why I always get excited for a new video with him in it.

Loki Scarlet

Nag them for another carrier card, fully load them both, and run ZFS or LVM.
Mirror each SSD to its counterpart on the other card, then stripe them.
Parallel read IOPS will at least double, if the motherboard and OS can handle it, and you’ll be able to lose up to 21 ssds without the array failing, as you’d have to lose an entire mirror (2 sticks on the same stripe) for it to fail.

Jordans Tech Junk

The X21 is more than just a one-trick pony. The M.2 slot supports a number of other devices. For instance, you could use wireless cards with M.e A+E converter boards to set each wireless card to a specific wireless channel for spectrum monitoring. There’s even an AI angle here. A company called Axelera makes an M.2 AI Edge accelerator module that could be used by the Apex card at some point as well.

    Puer Latinophilus

    Or the Coral TPU could also fit on this.

    *Slaps top of card*

    This bad boy can fit so much AI processing

    Tyler the disturber

    I love how we can just mess with funny brain replicas for shits and giggles

    Jordans Tech Junk

    @Puer Latinophilus we have one of the other 2* and are looking at those accelerators in it right now.

    Luminatrix FanFiction

    @Jordans Tech Junk Meanwhile, here I was just thinking of using 21 Asus pce-AC88 wireless cards to pci m.2 adapters and running all 21 wireless cards in parallel for a grand total of a theoretical internet speeds of 44.1 Gb/s upload and download. Do you think that’s too much RF radiation? 😁

    Jerry Andersson

    ​@Luminatrix FanFiction I who know nothing really, could speculate about interference making it not work.
    Not good enough anyway.
    But then again, with the right hardware and software that may not be a thing to worry about, I am simply speculating.

Jacob Bamford

Sabrent really going at it lately first with one of the best options for steam deck now searching out large silly projects to sponsor just to show how much progress they as a company has made is just insane. I swear haven’t even heard of them till last year

    Adam Zey

    From what I can tell (and some of this is speculation), they started out just selling just cheap generic adapters and usb hub type things, not being a player in the storage market at all, and then started selling some minimal effort generic reference design SSDs… Only, they chose the controller/reference design well so they were pretty decent SSDs at good prices, which managed to catapult them into the limelight, giving them the revenue to put some actual in-house design effort into the things, and now they’re a major player.

    Arkayn Gaming

    @Adam Zey Your analysis is spot on: Sabrent entered the SSD market in 2018 and are now a reputable brand.

    Arkayn Gaming

    Sabrent has been around since 1998 so they’re definitely not a new company

ragtop63

Pros of BIOS RAID:
– More “natural” path to installing your OS on a RAID volume.
– Presents the volume to the OS as a single drive (mostly only significant because of the previous point).

Cons of BIOS RAID:
– In almost every case, you need drivers to use the volume in your OS. This is a common pain point during OS install.
– For consumer boards, it’s still just a software RAID (see impact in the next 2 points).
– There are almost no performance benefits in regards to CPU usage (tested this many times).
– Data throughput isn’t any faster than using an OS software RAID (tested this many times).
– If you ever move your drive(s) to a different system (especially a different brand) that doesn’t use the same BIOS RAID, you can’t access the data. OS level RAIDs will always be recognized by the OS (unless you toasted your drives somehow).

Do not confuse this for a list comparing hardware vs software RAID because consumer grade BIOS RAID is not hardware RAID.

    Tim Ramich

    Hardware RAID is dead anyway…

    William K

    yeah, i’d rather use zfs raidz1. easy to use, easy to replace broken drive.

    Fity Bux

    That last one can really screw you. “If you ever upgrade your hardware…” 😆 Almost all hardware like this will always get upgraded or break in some way. Doing BIOS RAID is very not smart. Also, if the RAID algorithm is ever slightly bug fixed or improved, you won’t get those improvements, because BIOS upgrades stop being released after a few years.

    N. Shiina

    @Tim Ramich for a general consumer, yes it’s dead. for enterprise use, it could be beneficial since hardware RAID with write cache usually have battery backup

    Emir K

    We run enterprise database without hardware raid. Unless 50% of drives out of -100 in all nodes go Kaput immediately, we wouldn’t even lose data, and we can always bring up from backup and re-ingest the missing data during the downtime to get back up and running.

David Sanchez

I remember seeing something similar to this way back in the 80’s. They were essentially the first SSDs. It was a board that you’d install a bunch of RAM on. Back then RAM didn’t come on DIMMs. It was a bunch of socketed IC chips that looked like EPROM. Then the board would be installed in an ISA slot (it was probably EISA, don’t remember). There were also no drivers. The board would present itself to the BIOS as a native storage device, kinda like how ST-506 and ATA did. The BIOS would facilitate communication between the OS and the “drive”. It was a lot like MFM and RLL drives that had their own expansion cards. This was all pre-Windows and GUI OSes.

    Edgar Friendly

    There was a similar card in the 00s that too ddr dims

    Joseph Karl

    ​@Edgar Friendly I’ve just ordered one of those to finish off my insane Windows XP build. I don’t know how practical it’s going to be, but I just had to get one 😂

    Z C

    @Joseph Karl I used a 4GB Ram disk way back when. The only impractical thing was copying the program over to the ram disk before running and then remembering to copy back when done. I had it down to a script.

    These days I’d consider some sort of filesync program (syncthing maybe?) that handles your files to copy back/forth in more real time so you dont even have to remember the second step.

    Joseph Karl

    @Z C  The plan for the card is to have XP installed on it so Windows will run faster. The Ramdisk is on a PCI card, and even though I’ve been into computers for a long time now, I never knew the PCI slot will still get power even after shut-down. It does have a backup battery, but we don’t get too many power cuts where I am, so I should be good. I’m looking forward to seeing what a difference it makes.

    Valor_X

    @Z C I almost bought one of those. I remember it used a battery to keep the storage alive when shut down.
    It could basically fit Windows XP and a few programs lol

Lance Bryant

That is insane. As a database engineer I want one of these things.

jeff meneses

Linus is doing this for more than a decade, you would think his enthusiasm will be gone by now but no, it increased by a ton. This is why LTT is so cool!

    Sarcasshole

    To be fair this is a rapidly changing industry. It’s kinda hard to get bored of it

Nick Northcutt

Just imagine how insane the amount of storage you’d have with multiples of these! Its crazy that with only a couple of these and you’re already at a petabyte, and in such a tiny amount of space. Crazy.

Dan Henton

Great video, would love to see more affordable non-Bifurcation options like the highpoint for comparison.

Also thanks for the linux testing as well! Some of us don’t use windows 🤣

playeronthebeat

I’m in love with this thing because of NAS storage stuff. Sure, this card is really expensive and might be overkill but having 21 SSDs gives you a lot in terms of fault tolerance (RAID5 or RAID6) while also consuming less space.

I’m excited to see where this is going!

Mikko Rantalainen

Having two of those cards, each RAID-0 running as a RAID-1 would be pretty much perfect setup for a big database server. Combine those cards with say 1 TB of RAM and you can execute huge queries very rapidly against a 100 TB database.

Andy Wallis

i absolutely love this ‘we shouldnt be doing this’ dynamic that these two have

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