Zotac might not have as much experience in the storage business as more well known brands, but it sees where the industry is headed. It’s launched its first PCIE SSD with a bang with the Sonix, a PCIE solid state drive (SSD), with high-end performance. The Sonix SSD’s capacity is a reserved 480GB, but it plugs straight into a PCIe 3.0 port, and can deliver reads speeds up to 2,600 megabytes per second.
That is sequential of course, so we can’t expect that to be the default performance level. Likewise with the write speed, which operates at a slower 1,300MBps sequentially. However, that’s not to say that this won’t be a very powerful piece of kit. The performance is comparable to and in some cases, better than the competition — if it comes close to its stated maximum.
Zotac utilizes Toshiba MLC NAND internally, and features 512MB of DDR3 for its cache. Externally, it has a blue PCB, though most of that is hidden by a snazzy aluminium EMI shroud, which also serves to aid ventilation — with some small air vents along its ‘front’ side — and to advertise the manufacturer with a big cut-out Zotac logo.
It seems a shame that Zotac didn’t provide more general usage numbers, like random read/write and access times, but presumably we’ll learn more about those as we get closer to a release, which at the time of writing hasn’t been detailed. We also don’t have any pricing, unfortunately, but expect it to be comparable to contemporary offerings from other manufacturers.
That list of competitors is going to continue to go grow too. The performance offered by PCIE compatible SSDs is undeniable, and though it might mean taking up an extra slot on your motherboard, it’s preferable to trying to link up multiple SATA III connections.