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April 18, 2013

ASUS ROG RAIDR Pictured Some More, Coming This May

First shown to crowds at this year's International CES event in January, ASUS' first enthusiast SSD, the ROG RAIDR, is heading toward a mid-May launch. A few more of its pictures and specs sheets were posted by SweClockers. As detailed earlier, the RAIDR is a compound SSD in the PCI-Express add-on card form-factor, with PCI-Express 2.0 x2 interface (supports x4, x8, and x16 slots). It uses two SandForce SF2281-driven SSD subunits striped in a hardware-abstract RAID 0 configuration. The subunits use Toshiba-made 19 nm MLC NAND flash chips, with 16 KB page size.

The ROG RAIDR supports TRIM command, NCQ and SMART, despite being a RAID 0-based SSD. It is bootable, and supports Windows 8 Secure Boot. Installing an operating system on the drive doesn't require any F6 drivers, as the controller masquerades as a standard AHCI controller and a single disk, with the subunits and their RAID 0 stripe completely abstract. This way, the drive can accept TRIM commands from the OS.
Initially, ASUS plans to launch 120 GB and 240 GB models. The 120 GB model offers sequential transfer rates of up to 765 MB/s reads with 775 MB/s writes; while the 240 GB one offers up to 830 MB/s reads, with up to 810 MB/s writes. Both drives sport a swanky EMI shield, which frankly looks more aesthetic than functional; and a backplate. ASUS will include a license to Kaspersky Antivirus 2013. It will also include software that lets you tweak the SSD to manually increase performance. Pricing information is not at hand, but we expect about $1.30-1.40/GB pricing on the 120 GB variant, and $1.10-1.20/GB on the 240 GB one.