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ASUS Hyper Express SATA Express enclosure previewed

by Mark Tyson on 28 April 2014, 10:56

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qacdqj

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ASUS has shown off an early sample of a new external SATA Express enclosure it plant to produce. The ASUS Hyper Express drive connects to your new shiny motherboard, with SATA Express support, and contains a RAID 0 array of SSDs, a host agnostic controller and, of course, a SATA Express interface. The guys over at Legit Reviews were lucky enough to get the chance to have a preview performance test with an ASUS Hyper Express drive just before the weekend.

The drives are made in partnership with Kingston Technology, which is already a major player in SSDs for PCs and lots of other memory products. The 'Hyper' in its name is probably a tip of the hat in recognition of Kingston's HyperX devices. When launched the ASUS Hyper Express will be made available in three sizes which are designed to take a variety of drives as follows:

  • A 2.5-inch SATA Express external enclosure which contains two mSATA SSDs
  • A 2.5-inch SATA Express external enclosure which contains two m.2 SSDs
  • A 3.5-inch SATA Express external enclosure which contains two 2.5-inch notebook style SATA SSDs

All three of the above contain a RAID 0 controller, as mentioned in the intro, which interfaces between the pair of drives installed and the SATA Express port on your system. Legit Reviews has pictures of the inside and out of a pre-production example of the ASUS Hyper Express and you can clearly see in its example Kingston mSATA drives and an ASMedia ASM1062R controller. ASUS SRIS timing tuning will help speed this drive along, we hear.

So how does it perform? You can see the Legit Reviews test run screenshot of CrystalDiskMark 3.0.3 64-bit embedded below. While ASUS has performance claims of sequential read/write speeds of up to 745/809MB/s the test drive achieved 704MB/s sequential read and 747MB/s sequential write speeds. The Legit-assembled enclosure employed two SanDisk X110 mSATA drives and the reviewer thought early drivers might also be playing a part in the performance undershoot.

The Hyper Express external drives are expected to hit retailers within the next two months. US customers will be offered the enclosures unpopulated, reports Legit Reviews.



HEXUS Forums :: 5 Comments

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If these things are running a raid 0 stripped array I'm guessing the price will be extortionate with them basically containing 2 ssd's and a raid controller ! There is enthusiast level then there is insanity.
really don't see the point in this particular product.... if I wanted a raid 0 array of 'current gen' ssd's I'd just plug it straight into the motherboard, using the m.2/msata would make it even more expensive.
LSG501
really don't see the point in this particular product.... if I wanted a raid 0 array of 'current gen' ssd's I'd just plug it straight into the motherboard, using the m.2/msata would make it even more expensive.
Biggest plus I can see with this is that it gives someone who's got a nice new Asus motherboard with the SATA Express connectivity something to use with that new connection - rather than having to wait for Samsung, Micron, Sandisk, etc to come out with their SATA-Express products.

Plus are there many mobo's out there with multiple mSATA/m2 connections that can also RAID them? Ones I've seen (not that I've looked particularly hard) that have the plug-in connections can't RAID them.

Then again, I'm content with the speed of current SATA drives - would much prefer to see more focus on capacity than headline speed.
crossy
Biggest plus I can see with this is that it gives someone who's got a nice new Asus motherboard with the SATA Express connectivity something to use with that new connection - rather than having to wait for Samsung, Micron, Sandisk, etc to come out with their SATA-Express products.


Bit pointless though given that 2x SATA-III drives connected to any motherboard could achieve that kind of performance if in RAID-0. The only thing this will do is condense it a little into 1x 2.5" slot rather than 2, so maybe useful for tiny cases.
kingpotnoodle
Bit pointless though given that 2x SATA-III drives connected to any motherboard could achieve that kind of performance if in RAID-0. The only thing this will do is condense it a little into 1x 2.5" slot rather than 2, so maybe useful for tiny cases.
Agreed - I wasn't trying to claim this was a highly desirable product - merely trying to point out that it's not a pointless one (at least in the short term). Although when "proper" SATA Express high speed drives are available then the desirability of the Hyper Express is going to be a bit more questionable.

By the time I get a SATA Express-supporting board I'm pretty sure that those "proper" drives will be available. ;)

EDIT: your "tiny cases" comment just struck a cord. Wonder if this'd be a way to use "legacy" drives in a future SATA Express supporting NAS box. Then you'd be able to get larger capacity, although not sure why you'd want SATA-Express on a NAS. Idle musing...