By Chris Scott Barr

Back at the end of 2007 I introduced you guys to a company called Fusion-IO, which was producing hard drives that ran on your PCI-Express slots. It was a pretty cool idea then, but unfortunately their offering was really salty, and aimed primarily at enterprise customers. Well since one of the co-founders is a hardcore gamer, they decided to branch out and try to bring the same incredible performance to a new crowd.

Enter the ioXtreme. This card holds 80GB of storage (NAND Flash) which is capable of giving you a performance boost that you won’t see by just upgrading your CPU and RAM. Games, large applications like Photoshop and Final Cut will open almost instantaneously. They likened it to bringing up a program that was minimized on your start bar, which is pretty incredible. They even said that it would be possible to boot Windows in just one second. Unfortunately this feature won’t be available at launch, due to them still working out bugs with a few different BIOS, it will however be available via a driver update. The card should be launching later this year for somewhere around $800, though the price is subject to change.


  1. I'm just wondering how this is different from “normal” SLC/MLC Solid State Drives (as far as performance and price are concerned). Any ideas?

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  3. $800 is too much money to shave off a few seconds when starting apps. Especially considering how small it is. If it were a terabyte then I might ponder. I just don't have gadget fever like so many others do. Let the technology mature a little more and come down in price a great deal. Then it will get my attention.

  4. The difference is due to the speeds capable with PCI Express slots. Since they were designed for graphics, a version 3.0 PCIe slot has a 4GHz clock speed and 1GB/s data rate with 8GT/s raw bit rate (per lane). This means that the total bandwidth for a 16 lane card comes out to be around 32GB/s. The latest (draft) specification of SATA (which “normal” SLC/MLC SSD's connect to) runs at 6GB/s. The one that most new computers run with has a 3GB/s transfer rate.

    At least, I think that's the difference.