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Fusion-io Makes First Consumer PCI Express SSD

Gordon Kelly by

UPDATED: Fusion-io Makes First Consumer PCI Express SSD

Fusion-io builds the fastest SSD drives on the planet. Problem is they were only ever available to enterprise, until now...

Following on from the mind blowing ioDrive Duo (1,500MB per second read; 1,400MBps write) we now have the 'ioXtreme' - an 80GB ultra high end PCI Express based SSD made in conjunction with brand happy gamer Johnathan 'Fatal1ty' Wendel.

"The ioXtreme supercharges high-end PCs and workstations. I predict this technology will fundamentally change the way software is designed, allowing developers to create a new class of applications that seamlessly handle massive amounts of data," said Wendel. "Imagine playing the most intense game, working on complex 3D graphics, manipulating massive files, ripping multiple DVDs and installing a new application -- all simultaneously. The technology is crazy."

Sadly Fusion-io hasn't revealed just how fast the ioXtreme is, but given the use of PCI Express over SATA II (which tops out at 3Gbps/300MBps) it seems fairly safe to say the SSD is hitting heights only seen previously by the PCI Express based 1TB OCZ Z-Drive (600MBps read; 500MBps write). Unlike the £2,700+ Z-Drive however the ioXtreme's smaller capacity results in an RRP of $895 (£559). This is still hugely premium, but vastly more appealing - especially considering a drive like this will likely only be used for the OS and core apps/games.

What's more, the ioXtreme will soon be here with Fusion-io declaring July availability. My one frustration? That a $450 (£280) 40GB version isn't on the cards. That really would sell like hot cakes...

Update: We have performance specs. Fusion-io quoting an HD Tach burst speed for the ioXtreme of up to 617MBps and 520MBps average. By comparison, the Intel X-25M it rates at 194MBps burst and 246MBps average.

I am also awaiting confirmation about Fusion-io about whether the consumer centric nature of the ioXtreme means it can be used as a boot device - certainly a major factor for many.

UPDATE 21.06.09: Well that took some time for answer but the reply was well worth it: "Currently, the ioXtreme cannot be used as a boot device. This functionality is scheduled for release in Q3, and is simply a driver update," explained Fusion-io international sales director Mathew Fleming. Roll on Q3!


Press Release

Go to comments


June 8, 2009, 5:07 am

Can you boot from this drive? As far as I know you still can't boot from their ioDrive, so that makes is pretty useless for the average consumer.


June 8, 2009, 5:16 am

Looks cool, shame about fatility branding. But are you sure it can used as an os drive, I heard they are not be used as bootable


June 8, 2009, 5:42 am

A fair point guys - I've dropped an enquiry in with Fusion-io.

Eric Kolotyluk

June 8, 2009, 7:33 am

The first time I talked to the people at FusionID they said they would have a bootable drive in May 2009. I talked to them a month ago and now they're saying closer to the August or September.


June 8, 2009, 2:51 pm

Does it matter if you can boot from it? Just point GRUB to it...


June 8, 2009, 7:28 pm

I would be surprised if you couldn't boot to this, for the £560 asking price they can surely afford to include a basic boot ROM that you might find on a £30 SATA card.

The Duo is a different kettle of fish, that's aimed squarely at database servers and SAN machines where the SSD would never be the boot drive.


June 8, 2009, 11:46 pm

"Imagine playing the most intense game, working on complex 3D graphics, manipulating massive files, ripping multiple DVDs and installing a new application -- all simultaneously. The technology is crazy."

As must be the technology that gave Johnathan the extra arms required to do all of the above simultaneously.

Eric Kolotyluk

June 10, 2009, 6:41 am

From my understanding of the ioDrives, the device driver is similar to a RAID driver. The device is not a disk, and does not even try to emulate a disk. Basically it's a block-IO device like a RAID driver. I would imagine that when they have a bootable version of the device you will have to install it like a third-party RAID driver for Windows.

I'm really looking forward to using one of these drives primarily for boot/reboot performance because Microsoft still have not figured out how to build and operating system that does not need constant rebooting.


June 22, 2009, 12:09 am

Article updated regarding boot functionality. It is coming :)

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