Asus unveils 240GB PCIe solid-state drive

You won't guess who's entered the SSD market this time. Yes, it's Asus—and the company hasn't made its entry half-heartedly. Say hello to the RAIDR Express, a 240GB SSD with a PCI Express 2.0 x2 interface, dual SandForce controllers, and a sexy-looking shroud that's stamped with the Asus Republic of Gamers logo.

The drive's two SandForce controllers are each hooked up to a pool of 19-nm Toshiba MLC NAND, and they join forces in RAID0 mode to enable blisteringly fast transfer rates. Asus quotes peak sequential read and write speeds of 830MB/s and 810MB/s, respectively, as well as peak 4K random read and write rates of "up to 100,000" IOps. That's quite a step up from single Serial ATA drives, which usually top out south of the that interface's 600MB/s peak.

The RAIDR Express has other tricks up its sleeve, too. Asus has made sure to implement TRIM support, so performance shouldn't degrade as blocks get written over, and there's a physical DuoMode switch that lets the drive work with either newer, UEFI motherboards or legacy, BIOS-driven ones. The bundled software includes a RAMDisk utility as well as ROG HybriDisk, a tool that can turn the RAIDR Express into a cache for "high-capacity hard drives up to 4TB." Oh, and the drive is apparently "built to last," with a mean-time-between-failures rating of 620,00 hours. (The press release doesn't quote the warranty length, though.)

Best of all, the RAIDR Express is the star of its own cheesy promotional video, which includes superhero music and two disembodied arms each mashing the enter key as a Battlefield 3 level loads. What's not to like?

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