For a couple of years now we've been graced with video cards capable of using every last drop of bandwidth provided by the PCIe 2.0 interface. The problem is that high end GPUs were pretty much the only product on the market to take advantage of all sixteen lanes, 8 GB/s worth of bandwidth. That has just changed.
Actually, making a storage device that is capable of physically plugging into a PCIe 16x was never a problem; we've had 8x lane controllers for several years. The issue was making a controller that actually took advantage of all that bandwidth. As you can imagine, building anything that is able to transfer nearly a dual layer DVDs worth of data every second would be quite an undertaking. Even video cards that do just that are heavily optimized for efficient flow through so many enormous pipes at the same time.
Storage data while being transmitted is anything but efficient and when it comes to flow, well, that is what HighPoint is trying to open up with their new RocketRAID Switching Architecture series of products. At Computex in Taipei I visited the HighPoint booth to learn about this new line of products, but to be honest it was so far out there that I really didn't believe what I was seeing.
Today we are going to take a look at the new HighPoint RocketRAID 2760, the first RAID storage controller that on one end is capable of pushing data to the motherboard at an amazing 8GB/s, while the other end is fed by 24 SATA / SAS connections. To spice things up we have teamed with Crucial, maker of the world's fastest solid state drive, the RealSSD C300 256GB to put the 2760 through its paces and see just how much data we can pass through HPTs new Switching Architecture.