UPDATED: Fusion-io Makes First Consumer PCI Express SSD

The start of an exciting new era...?

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!

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