OCZ to begin producing upgradable, bootable PCIe SSD

We've already seen a handful of high-end solid state drives that slip into PCI Express slots instead of hooking up via Serial ATA. Now, though, OCZ promises to tread some new ground in that field with its Z-Drive R2 SSDs—purportedly the first such product to be bootable and to feature removable NAND flash modules.

The company only says it's announcing a "plan to enter mass production" of Z-Drive R2 SSDs, and it doesn't discuss when the drives will actually become available. Still, OCZ has put up detailed product pages for all three sub-families in the Z-Drive R2 line, allowing us to find out a little more about specifications and claimed performance.

The R2 p88 looks to be the flagship series, with an eight-way onboard RAID configuration, transfer rates of up to 1.4GB/s while both reading and writing, a sustained write speed of 950MB/s, and capacities of 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB. As with most SSDs, performance goes hand in hand with capacity, so the 512GB model only reads at up to 1.3GB/s with a top sustained write speed of 550MB/s.

Meanwhile, the m84 R2 and p84 R2 series have four-way RAID controllers, top read speeds in the 800-850MB/s range, sustained write speeds of 500MB/s, and capacities of 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB. These offerings will presumably be easier on your wallet, although OCZ has yet to announce pricing.

According to OCZ, Z-Drive R2 offerings will do well in tasks that involve virtualization, caching, and high-end storage. The firm also offers "customization options for OEM clients that may require tailored hardware or firmware solutions for their business." In any case, OCZ specifically intends for the removable modules to make Z-Drive R2 SSDs "field-serviceable and field-upgradeable," which should already leave room for some tweaking.

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