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ASUS ROG RAIDR Express 240GB PCIe SSD Review - ASUS ROG RAIDR Express

ASUS ROG RAIDR Express 240GB PCIe SSD Review
PCI Express is the future of performance storage, but native PCIe SSDs are rare. Are these RAID controlled SATA products worthy of their high price? (TPE:2357)
| PCIe in Storage | Posted: Dec 6, 2013 3:04 pm
TweakTown Rating: 90%Manufacturer: ASUS

ASUS ROG RAIDR Express

 

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Here, we get our first look at the ROG RAIDR Express PCIe SSD. The drive has a metal housing that covers both sides of the drive.

 

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Like the retail package, the drive has a lot of visual appeal added to enhance the product.

 

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The RAIDR logo on the side of the drive glows red when inserted in a PCIe slot.

 

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The drive uses a PCIe 2.0 2-lane connection to transfer data to and from the card. The small sticker on the left shows our sample is hardware version A02. The drives have firmware 5.0.7 installed on them; the sticker also shows the firmware version.

 

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Here, we see the drive with the metal shroud off. The large heat sink cools the two LSI SandForce SF-2281 controllers. ASUS used the new B02 stepping controllers that use less power, and produce less heat than the early stepping controller's produce. The heat sink is a bit much, but we never complain about overkill.

 

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The drive has sixteen NAND flash packages; eight per side. Here we see the back of the SSD with the cover off.

 

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Back to the main side again, the heat sink connects to each controller with thermal pads.

 

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Here, we see the drive naked. There are two LSI SandForce SF-2281 controllers, and a small Marvell RAID controller under the SSD controller on the right side.

 

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ASUS used the SF-2281VB2 controller, also known as B02. This is the second gen SF-2281 that uses less power than the first version.

 

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ASUS used Toshiba 19nm Type C flash with 16K page sizes.

 

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As mentioned in the article, the Marvell 88SE9230 RAID controller passes TRIM commands to the individual SSDs.

 

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Broken down into sections, here we see one SSD. Each drive has eight NAND packages, a controller, and power circuits.

 

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With the cover off, we get a good view of the DuoMode Switch. This allows you to change the firmware on the drive from legacy BIOS, to UEFI BIOS support.

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