KingSpec may not be one of the most recognisable brands in consumer SSDs - since their founding in 2005, the Chinese flash memory firm has largely worked in the enterprise sector - but if you want the fastest in solid state storage then they're definitely a company to keep your eye on. The catchy-titled 1TB MC1S81M1T is just about the fastest drive I've ever laid eyes on.
With current performance SSDs bashing their heads against the ceiling of the SATA 6Gbps interface companies are looking towards the extra bandwidth on offer from the PCI-Express interface.
Asus have already announced the
Republic of Gamers RAIDR
, which is set to launch around April this year, and OCZ have the RevoDrive range out there, but KingSpec have hit the ground with a blisteringly fast 1TB right now.
It's a board running eight 120GB mSATA SSDs connected together via a dedicated RAID chip on the PCB itself. The mSATA drives are each running one of the finest SandForce memory controllers, with speedy 25nm MLC NAND Flash on board to boot.
Slap all that into a spare PCIe slot on your motherboard and it appears as just a normal storage drive, allowing you to install your operating system directly onto it as standard.
In terms of raw sequential read/write performance you're looking at a worst-case scenario of hitting 2GB/s reads and around 1GB/s write speeds. Yes, you read that right, 1 gigabyte every second. That's freakishly fast. Even the fastest SATA-based SSD can't breach the 600MB/s barrier, and never will on the current interface.
Those are fantastic numbers in the synthetic benchmarks, but what about in terms of real world performance?
Well, my 1TB KingSpec card is capable of shifting around a 100GB folder of mixed files sizes and types in just under three and a half minutes. A top-end 480GB SSD will take nearly three times that long.
So where can you get one? Well, despite essentially being enterprise-class drives made for the server market you can pick them up - in 500GB and 2TB trim too - from QuietPC in the UK.
But be prepared to pay.
This 1TB card costs around £1,700. Just think of the gaming rig you could build for that much...