Specifications, Pricing and Availability
ASUS ships two models under the RAIDR name, a 120GB model, and a 240GB model. Today we're testing the 240GB model, and it uses two 120GB SSDs in RAID 0 to reach the 240GB capacity mark. Personally, I think ASUS made a mistake by not building a 480GB model, since LSI SandForce SSDs perform best with 256GB of flash.
The glue holding the RAID 0 array together is a Marvell 88SE9230 controller. The 9230 is capable of running RAID 0, RAID 1, and RAID 10, but in this product, you can only run RAID 0, or RAID 1, since you need four drives to run RAID 10. From the factory, the RAIDR is configured in RAID 0.
The ASUS ROG RAIDR Express is more complicated than just a simple SSD. First off, the RAIDR can operate in UEFI mode in motherboards with UEFI BIOS. We've all heard of UEFI, but aside from the graphic interface you can use a mouse and keyboard on, most of us don't know much about it.
One issue UEFI tackles is boot time. To decrease boot time, the UEFI BIOS can talk to peripheral devices at the same time. The process can take a couple of second for each device, so the more devices the host system can talk to at once, the faster your system boots.
The RAIDR can also act as a cache SSD for a traditional HDD. This increases system performance, but still gives a large volume for storing data. At 240GB, the ROG RAIDR could be the largest consumer SSD hybrid cache on the market.
ASUS also includes a nice software library. A secure erase utility allows you to clean your drive, and all of the data on it. The RAMDISK software increases your SSD performance by caching random writes to RAM, and then sends the writes to the drive as sequential data. This also increases the SSDs lifespan. The SSD Tweakit utility configures the operating system to use the SSD instead of the operating systems cache.
Newegg lists the 240GB ROG RAIDR Express we have in for review today, but not the 120GB model. The price at the time of writing is $349.99 for the full retail kit. ASUS covers this model with a three year warranty in the USA.