If your rinky dink NVME M.2 PCIe SSD isn’t cutting the mustard with its laughable 7GB/s transfer rates and middling capacity, OWC has a solution that is sure to clear up any storage and capacity bottlenecks you might be dealing with. Its new ACCELSIOR 8M2 PCIe SSD “solution” holds up to eight M.2 SSDs, and when connected to a next-gen platform with PCIe Gen 4 abilities, can rip through any workload with a staggering 26GB/s throughput. If you’re still on a platform with PCIe Gen 3, it’s capable of a still-decent 12GB/s, which is still faster than any single SSD you can buy today.
Of course, the ACCELSIOR isn’t exactly a single SSD itself, but rather an add-in card that squeezes into a PCIe x16 slot and holds up to eight individual drives, which are then joined together using software RAID. Dubbed SoftRAID XT, OWC says the software allows you to create multiple types of RAID arrays, including 0/1/4/5/1+0 (10) volumes, and no drivers are needed. Only M.2 SSDs with PCI Gen 3 or Gen 4 specs are compatible, so for maximum speed you would also need an AMD-based Zen 2 or 3 platform, or Intel’s brand-new Alder Lake.
As far as the benefits of this type of storage array go, OWC claims it allows the following:
- 16 streams of 8K ProRes444 in Final Cut Pro X
- 8 streams of 12K ProRes444 in Final Cut Pro X
- 9 streams of 4K 16bit EXR in DaVinci Resolve
We’re not exactly content creation professionals, but that sounds like a lot of data pumping through the system, which makes us a tiny bit giddy. There is one big caveat though, as OWC notes in the fine print: “Up to 26,926MB/s sequential read/write (max) performance based on testing a 16TB (8 x 2.0TB) OWC Aura Pro series SSD equipped Accelsior 8M2 installed in a Windows 10 PC equipped with a Gigabyte Technology x570 motherboard with an AMD Ryzen 9 3900 3.8GHz processor and 16GB RAM, running Crystal Disk Mark 7.0.0 (sequential 1Mbyte block size, 16 queues, 6 threads). Performance will vary depending on SSDs used, CPU speed, RAID setting, and PCIe version.” In other words, your mileage may vary.
However, you can just buy the exact configuration OWC used to arrive at this crazy level of performance, for just $4,300. If you recently came into an inheritance or invested in Tesla stock last year, the 64TB version is a measley $13k. It makes us wish we could stripe two of them together for a total of 16 SSDs, with something like an SLI adapter between them. Maybe OWC is saving that for a future iteration.