Subject: Storage | April 19, 2013 - 10:10 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: trim, ssd, sandforce 2281, sandforce, ROG, raidr, raid, PCIe SSD, asus
ASUS is reportedly adding two new PCI-E Solid State Drives (SSD) to its Republic Of Gamers lineup. Dubbed RAIDR, the new PCI-E SSDs use 19nm Toshiba MLC NAND flash driven by two SandForce 2281 controllers. In turn, the two SandForce drives are put into a hardware RAID 0 configuration for maximum speed. The RAIDR SSD internals are encased in a stylized EMI shield along with a ROG-branded back-plate. In all, ASUS’ RAIDR SSDs measure 157 x 120 x 20mm.
The ASUS RAIDR drives show up as a single disk driven by a standard AHCI controller, which allows the two RAID 0 SSDs connected via the PCI-E bus to be boot-able and support the TRIM command. Both RAIDR solid state drives also support Native Command Queuing (NCQ), SMART, Secure Erase, Windows 8 Secure Boot.
According to specifications provided by Sweclockers, ASUS is launching 120GB and 240GB versions of the PCI-E SSDs. Both capacities feature 100,000 IOPS, 128-bit AES encryption, and 620,000 MTBF ratings.
The 120GB RAIDR SSD supports up to 765MB/s sequential reads and 775MB/s sequential write speeds. On the other hand, the 240GB RAIDR drive supports up to 830MB/s sequential reads and 810MB/s sequential writes.
Additionally, ASUS is bundling its RAIDR drives with Kaspersky Antivirus 2013 and a number of ASUS utilities (including SSD TweakIt). The drives should be available sometime next month, but pricing is still unknown. Adding PCI-E SSDs is an interesting move by ASUS that should help the company diversify and expand its ROG branding. Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing how the drives stack up when they are released (and hopefully a PC Perspective review)!
Intel recently updated it's SSD Toolbox software to version 3.0. The new version has a few under the hood changes; however, the most obvious change is an overhauled interface. If you're not familiar with the Intel SSD Toolbox, it is a small application provided by Intel to manage and diagnose the company's solid state drive lineup. The software includes tools to optimize the SSD using TRIM functionality, estimate drive health, and provide diagnostic scans to verify data integrity. According to the changelog, version 3 builds upon the previous version by adding:
- A new graphical interface
- An integrated help and support system
- Support for additional languages
- The ability to update firmware on supported Intel SSDs (SSDs in IDE mode and older 50nm drives need not apply). Users of older SSDs and those running their solid state drives in IDE mode can update their drive firmware by using this Intel Firmware Update tool.
- Viewing drive health
- Displaying estimated remaining drive life
- Viewing and exporting system information
As mentioned above, the first thing you are likely to notice upon starting the software is the new interface. Intel has kept the blue and white color scheme of the older versions; however, that is where the similarities end. Fortunately, Intel has not downsized the tools and you are able to do the same actions as the previous iterations; they are just easier to access. The interface is now made of two panes split horizontally. On the left are tabs that users click on to navigate to the various tools while the right side of the window is where the action takes place with the selected tool's output being displayed therein.
The new Intel SSD Toolbox's home page
For a full breakdown of the new interface in the SSD Toolbox including screenshots and a video, follow this link to the full story!!