Angelbird unveils PCIe SSD

October 19, 2010 // 5:48 p.m.

Tags: #angelbird #angelbird-wings #pcie #pcie-ssd #sandforce #solid-state #solid-state-storage #ssd #upgradable-ssd #wings

UK-based hardware vendor Angelbird reckons it has the right stuff to innovate in the increasingly crowded SSD market, although it's putting its ideas into practice in the US at first.

The somewhat oddly-named Angelbird Wings package is a PCIe SSD that offers users an upgradable framework to add more storage to the system easily and without the fuss associated with enterprise-level hardware.

The Angelbird Wings card has been designed to host single drives, dual drives, or a quad-SSD configuration depending on budget and storage requirements. The 'drives' take the form of the company's Crest SSD 'transformable expansion cartridges,' 120GB SSDs based on SandForce controllers.

Unlike traditional enterprise-grade PCIe SSD devices, the Angelbird Wings promises full boot compatibility with Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X systems, and comes with the option of a dedicated partition to store an OS disc image plus drivers to make re-installation easier should something go wrong.

Davide Rutigliano, founder of Angelbird, claimed that 'the bootable Wings card changes the game yet again, by booting on Windows, Linux, and OS X, or allowing peaceful coexistence and integration of all of the above on the same system, whether it is a PC or a Mac Pro.'

The fully-populated four-module Wings card has been measured at 1.02GB/s for reads and 900MB/s for writes - a performance level Angelbird claims 'never previously seen on a bootable PCIe SSD card.'

Sadly, all this performance is going to set you back. Despite being a UK company, Angelbird is launching the Wings cards in the US, with a single-module card costing $540 (around £340), a dual-module card $840 (around £530), and a quad-module card $1400 (around £885).

Do you think that PCIe is the way to go for solid-state storage, or does SATA still hold the edge at the consumer level? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

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