Where Did THAT Come From?
The sudden debut of brand-new RAM drive products from Acard Technology, a smallish (at least compared to, say, Gigabyte) company that sells everything from DVRs to RAID controllers, is as obvious as it is surprising. For decades, mechanical hard drives have been the primary form of storage for nearly all PCs, and theories that this would ever change were met with skepticism. But the sudden arrival of stunningly powerful solid state disks has changed many opinions. Within the span of a year, it has become clear that solid state disks, far from being a product that will never meet more than niche approval, are actually the future of PC storage. Since I can't read the mind of Acard's executives, I can't say with certainty that this made the idea of offering a solid RAM disk appealing, but the timing of ACard's product couldn't be better.
So what, exactly, can Acard's new RAM drive do? Well, Acard offers two models, the 9010 and the 9010B, which both sit in a 5.25" drive bay drive bay. Then you can add as much as 64GB or 48GB of memory, respectively. With respective retail prices of $399.99 and $249.99 each, plus the price of the RAM you install, these are extremely spendy storage solutions.
Of the two, the 9010 is the more interesting, because it has two SATA controllers, and this means that the RAM placed on the RAM drive can be split into two separate drives, which then can be tied together in a RAID configuration. The performance of the 9010 is no slouch, either, as it is capable of meeting or exceeding Intel's X-25 solid state hard disk in most situations.
As a result, the 9010 is, in some benchmarks, the fastest long-term storage solution available on the consumer market. And not by a little bit - compared to competent mechanical drives, the 9010 can be up to ten times faster. Expensive? Yea it is. But you get what you pay for.