Photofast makes a Monster 1.5GBps SSD

Four Sandforce SSDs plus an LSI SAS chip

Photofast logoPHOTOFAST IS ABOUT to release a high capacity and hugely fast PCIe based SSD called the GM-PowerDrive-LSI. If you are thinking it sounds like four RAIDed high speed SSDs coupled to an industrial strength RAID controller, you are on the right track.

Photofast GM-Powerdrive-LSI

Red = fast in cars and computers

The first thing you notice about the GM-PowerDrive is that it is shiny, very shiny. Then you pick it up, and realize it is also quite heavy, the case is made from CNC milled aluminum. This is one of the few PC products out there where the feel matches the looks, the last being the HP/Voodoo Blackbird.

There are two connectors on the GMPD, the PCIe 8x card edge and a 4-pin Molex connector. That is about it, not that there needs to be more. Inside you will find 4 SSDs of varying capacity, all connected through a hardware RAID chip.

The SSDs themselves are MLC flash based with a Sandforce controller, basically the current speed champs. An LSI SAS2108 6GBps SAS RAID chip powers the interface to the system, backed by a 512MB cache. This is a very high end chip for a very high end card.

Photfast benchmarks 

The numbers from Photofast

How does it perform? We don’t have one to test, but the numbers supplied by Photofast show that it is, well, pretty astonishingly fast. Sandforce claims 500MBps for sequential read and write, so four drives RAIDed should be able to hit 2000MBps in a perfect world. This card hits about 75% of that, a more than respectable number.

The GM-PowerDrive-LSI should be available soon in three versions, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB for $1670, $2360, and $4300 respectively. If that isn’t fast enough, you can always buy four and RAID them……S|A

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also available through Guidepoint and Mosaic. FullyAccurate