The announcement of ASUS' first SSD was one of the big surprises at the CES conference. And it's not just a dime-a-dozen SSD either. The RAIDR Express that ASUS announced in January is a PCI-Express-based SSD and not the typical 2.5-inch SATA kind. At the time ASUS had not released any technical specifications, but now we received the 240 GB model of the ASUS RAIDR. Today we take a closer look at the RAIDR and at how it performs.
One of the things that stand out right-away is the design of the card. ASUS has made the RAIDR Express in its Republic of Gamers line of products, so it fits perfectly with the various RoG motherboards and graphics cards. We never thought an SSD could be called sexy, but ASUS proved the opposite in this case.
Only after removing the metal cover you can see what the RAIDR actually is. It consists of a RAID 0 configuration of two LSI SandForce SF-2281-based SSDs on a single card. A Marvell 88SE9230 RAID controller controls the two SandForce chips and communicates with the rest of the system via PCI-Express 2.0 x2.
ASUS is not the first manufacturer with a "two SSDs in RAID all-in-one" solution, as OCZ for example had the RevoDrove cards. ASUS did develop the concept a bit further. By using a latest generation Marvell controller, RAIDR fully supports Windows 8 and TRIM, neither of which are available in the RevoDrive. ASUS also bundles the RAIDR with smart software for making optimal use of the SSD.