(Image credit: HighPoint)
As reported by TechPowerUp, HighPoint has announced two brand new M.2 NVMe RAID controller cards, with support for up to 64TB of storage and speeds of up to 28,000MB/s on the top model. These would make a great pairing with the best SSDs on the market. The two models announced include the SSD7140A with Gen3 x16 support and the SSD7540 with Gen4 x16 support. Pricing starts at $729 for the Gen3 model.
As the name suggests, both cards are designed to handle massive M.2 RAID arrays including RAID 0, 1, and 10. RAID 0 mirrors everything for maximum speed, RAID 1 mirrors each data drive as a backup solution, and RAID 10 does a mix of both. Both controllers also offer JBOD capabilities, which doesn’t boost speed or data integrity but gives you access to a large single drive.
While the controllers offer up to eight M.2 storage slots, only four (fast) drives are necessary to gain the maximum bandwidth output of each card. Each M.2 SSD uses four PCIe lanes, and each card maxes out at 16. The four additional M.2 slots are there for additional capacity, and with slower SSDs you can still reach the maximum theoretical throughput.
The controllers support Windows and Linux boot capabilities, which is great for users who want to use an M.2 RAID array as their primary storage solution.
The two cards are quite massive, with the length and height of a high-end graphics card to accommodate all eight M.2 storage slots. Both cards measure in at 11.22″ x 4.37″ x 0.83″ (285 x 111 x 21 mm). The cards feature a massive black heatsink that spans the entire length of the card, helping keep the M.2 drives cool. The heatsinks are aided by twin “ultra-durable and near-silent” fans of unknown size, but they look to be in the 40mm range.
The SSD7140A is the weaker of the two solutions, with a maximum speed of 14,000MB/s due to its PCIe 3.0 interface. The SSD7540 doubles that with up to 28,000MB/s thanks to PCIe 4.0. However, if you want even more bandwidth, you can pair two cards in a “Cross-Sync” configuration — provided your motherboard supports twin x16 configurations, naturally.
That gives users double the bandwidth of each controller, with the Gen3 variant operating at up to 28,000 MB/s and the Gen4 model maxing out at 55,000 MB/s. (Apparently there’s some rounding so it’s not 56,000 MB/s.)
The SSD7140A with PCIe 3.0 speeds costs $729 and the PCIe 4.0 SSD7540 goes for $1099.00. That’s not cheap, but then we can say the same for the requisite eight SSDs you’d want to put in the cards. Obviously, these are for servers with large data throughput workloads rather than typical home PCs.