PCIe-based solid state drives. Just the mere mention of that phrase is almost enough to make us drool, and while the options are still few and far between, more and more companies are finally coming around and realizing that there's a prosumer demand for these things. Angelbird is an Austrian-based company that is joining OCZ
, Fusion-io and the smattering of other high-end flash storage solution companies, and the new "Wings" PCIe SSD card is a rather impressive beast on paper, not to mention the Crest SSDs.
Wings is a PCIe x4 card equally at home in a Windows or Mac OS X environment. Although not officially supported, Wings also works out of the box with Linux and FreeBSD. It can boot and group RAID arrays of SATA2 drives with I/O rates in the range of 3GB/s or more when using multiple cards, the only limit being the motherboard's available slots. RAID arrays can be spread across multiple Wings cards, hosting up to four drives each, that can be linked to obtain outstanding performance with the added bonus of having the possibility to distribute such performance over an increasable storage space by adding more drives. Each Wings card can host the Angelbird's own Crest SSD Expansion Cartridges, or just any commercial 2.5" SSD or HDD.
As for Crest? Those cartridges and SSD
units are equipped with SF-1222 SSD Processors from SandForce, which will ship in capacities of 60GB, 115GB, and 240GB. Starting with Wings Lite at $249 for a basic four slot PCIe card, higher end models include a handy extra onboard 16GB or 32GB drive that can be used for graphical boot loaders to manage multiple operating systems, or to store an entire operating system image separately from the data volumes. They're shipping worldwide, if you've got the cash.