Super Talent to launch SSD RAID card

April 2, 2009 // 10:17 a.m.

Tags: #pcie #raid #raid-5 #solid-state #ssd #super-talent

Anyone looking to add serious SSD goodness to an existing system could do worse than peer longingly at the new RAIDDrive devices to come out of Super Talent.

As reported over on Fudzilla yesterday, the new units – which look rather dull thanks to a fully-contained casing – add a serious chunk of storage via a PCIe x8 slot. When we say “serious”, we mean up to 2TB of SSD-based storage, on-board DRAM-based cache memory, and read and write speeds of an eye-blistering 1.2GB/s and 1.3GB/s.

As you've probably guessed from the name, the RAIDDrive units use a selection of solid-state devices – in either multi- or single-level cell design – in a RAID 5 array, which offers both protection from drive failure as well as increased speeds and an extremely large capacity.

The product – which is still in development – will be released in three editions: ES, WS, and GS. The ES model is for enterprise use, with the design optimised for rapid access times such as a database server might need. The RAIDDrive ES will also come with on-board battery backup for the cache RAM, allowing it to dump the contents to disk in the event of power failure so nothing is lost. It will also, unsurprisingly, be the most expensive of the bunch.

The WS model is aimed firmly at workstation use, and priced accordingly. With the company targeting video editing and 3D rendering applications, the RAIDDrive WS will look at increasing the throughput of large, contiguous data streams. The lack of battery backup and a reduced amount of cache RAM will help keep the price down when compared to the enterprise editions.

Finally, there's the GS: a model aimed specifically at gamers. A cut-down version of the WS, it is unlikely to perform as well as the other two models – but will hopefully come in at a price that won't break the bank, while still cutting your load times dramatically.

Sadly, these puppies are a fair way off: a breakdown of the performance and detailed specifications of each model is due in June this year, but no firm launch date has yet been set – much less a suggested retail price. Looking at the information that has been made available so far, I'd advise interested parties to start saving now.

Is this the kind of drop-in upgrade you've been waiting for, or will you need to see real-world performance – plus a definite price tag – before you start to get excited? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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