All-in-One RAID SSDs come and go through our lab several times a year. These products promise high-performance storage in easy-to-install form factors, all while removing complicated RAID configurations from the installation process.
The performance increases come from using RAID 0 to pairing multiple SSDs together to share the workload. RAID 0 has a long history with enthusiast users. The first onboard RAID for client systems appeared when Intel released the Pentium III processor, back when Abit, ASUS, and Epox all released client motherboards with Promise ATA software RAID.
Eventually, Intel added RAID 0 to the chipset, and to this day Intel has the highest performing SATA RAID 0 controller, and it's built a large number of chipsets that most of us already own. It's very likely that you already have a motherboard that supports RAID 0. Next, you will need a matching pair of SSDs. Some work better than others, and you need at least two.
After that, you need to configure the BIOS, then the software, and finally, you need to install the special driver before you install Windows. Not everyone wants to jump through those hoops though, and for those people who do not want to, the All-in-One RAID SSD products are a better option.
Specifications, Pricing, and Availability
I would call the Apacer Thunderbird PT910 an entry-level All-in-One RAID SSD. The drive ships in two capacities, 256GB and 512GB. This drive uses a Marvell 88SS9220 software RAID controller that connects to the host system via PCIe 2.0 x2; on the other end, we found two 128GB client SSDs with SandForce SF-2241 controllers and Intel ONFi NAND flash.
Apacer claims sequential read performance at up to 830 MB/s, and sequential write performance to 790 MB/s. Random performance is rated at up to 100K IOPS for both random reads and writes.
A closer look at Marvell's controller specifications shows us this is the entry-level model that supports both RAID 0 and RAID 1. AES Encryption is supported for those using the security functions. Also, this controller uses a Windows inbox driver, so you don't need to install software or a driver to get it working.
Before writing this article, we searched for a Thunderbird PT910 listed for sale online, and we came up empty-handed. This is Apacer's newest SSD, and it should hit the channel soon.
Right now, Apacer's warranty terms leave us scratching our heads. This is what the warranty page states:
Limited Three-year Warranty **:
Apacer SSD*** are covered by this warranty for a period of two years.
Discontinued products not listed in the warranty are no longer covered as their warranty has expired.
*: Product life has indicated the life cycle of product. When Apacer product is End-Of-Life in the market, Apacer will announce the discontinued product on Apacer website as the termination of product lifetime.
**: All bundled accessories of SSD are under DOA 7 days warranty.
***:Limited two-year Warranty in Europe.
Apacer have direct service center in Thailand. Thailand User can have direct warranty service in Thailand direct service center.
*:CF2 SSD: with its original CF cards, and all bundled accessories of SSD are under DOA 7 days warranty, and must be returned/ repaired with its kits.This warranty covers only repair or replacement of defective Apacer products, as provided above. Apacer is not liable for, and does not cover under warranty, any costs associated with servicing and/or the installation of Apacer products. Apacer will not discontinue support of its products, nor obsolete its products, as long as there are component materials available in the marketplace and reasonable customer demand for the products. In case to have above condition, Customer agrees that Apacer delivers a similar product in return.
It appears you get a two-year warranty in Europe, but you may get a three-year warranty elsewhere.
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
United States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon's website.
United Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon UK's website.
Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon Canada's website.
- Page 1 [Introduction & Specifications, Pricing, and Availability]
- Page 2 [Apacer Thunderbird PT910 PCIe 256GB SSD]
- Page 3 [Test System Setup and ATTO Baseline Performance]
- Page 4 [Benchmarks - Sequential Performance]
- Page 5 [Benchmarks - Anvil Storage Utilities]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - Mixed Read / Write Workloads]
- Page 7 [PCMark 8 Consistency Test]
- Page 8 [PCMark 8 Consistency Test - Continued]
- Page 9 [Final Thoughts]