At the start of this year, we published an article looking at the performance of four Patriot Warp 2 SSDs in RAID 0 and saw remarkable results. In fact, our best maximum read speed topped out at an amazing 660MB/s. It was kind of a technology demonstration to show just what was possible on the storage front at that time.
Fast forward some eight months to the present day, solid state disk and associated storage technology has continued to mature and gain momentum in the market, as a truly viable alternative to traditional spinning platter based hard disk drives. Based on the performance of those four (and now old) Patriot Warp 2 SSDs in RAID 0, we didn't think things could get much better at the time. However, companies such as Fusion-io, PhotoFast and OCZ continue to push the envelope of what it physically possible with today's extreme flash storage technology and we like it. Some of their products claim to hit maximum read speeds of a mind-blowing 1000MB/s.
What little may know is that this type of technology is not that advanced when you break it all down into parts - the aforementioned companies tend to combine multiple SSD drives into a single unit and attach them in RAID 0 with a small onboard RAID controller chipset from the likes of Jmicron or Indilinx for ultra fast performance.
Today we are providing yet another one of those technology demonstration articles for the ultra high-end crowd. Kingston was kind enough to send over four of their SSDNow E Series 64GB drives and if you didn't know, they are actually relabeled high-end Intel X25-E drives. Even though these drives are not new on the market, they do continue to provide some of the fastest benchmarks in most tests published. In what was impeccable timing, Areca also sent us over its latest ARC-1680-I 8-port PCIe SAS RAID controller, which uses the latest and fastest Intel IOP348 1200MHz chip.
So read on as we see what near on $4000 USD worth of storage equipment can do for us in RAID 0 with the final OEM RTM build of Windows 7 x64 Ultimate. This type of setup is of course out of the reach for the average consumer, but it sure will be interesting to see just what type of performance we get from this setup and what the more average Joe can look forward to in the years ahead.