Gigabyte has introduced its fastest and highest-performing SSD to date. The Aorus Xtreme Gen 4 AIC drive is aimed at enthusiast-grade workstations, but with up to 32TB of capacity and 28GB/s of sequential read speed, it is actually faster than many server-grade SSDs. Naturally, you'll need an ultra-high-end processor to take advantage of this drive.
The Gigabyte Aorus Xtreme Gen 4 AIC is a full-length full-height (FLFH) card with a PCIe 4.0 x16 interface that can carry up to eight Aorus Gen4 7000s M.2-2280 drives that can be configured to run in various RAID modes. In addition, the board has 10 temperature sensors to monitor the temperatures of the drives, which are cooled down using a relatively large aluminum heatsink equipped with two fans to guarantee they don't throttle.
Gigabyte's Aorus Gen4 7000s SSDs are already very fast. These drives are based on Phison's latest PS5018-E18 controller (three Arm Cortex-R5 cores, NVMe 1.4, eight NAND channels) paired with 96-layer 3D TLC NAND memory featuring a 1200 MT/s data transfer rate as well as DDR4 SDRAM cache.
Stacking multiple drives in RAID 0 mode (enabled with a single click in Gigabyte's SSD Tool Box), they provide up to 28GB/s of sequential write speed and up to 26.6GB/s of sequential read speed. RAID 0 naturally does not really improve IOPS, but since this is a client SSD, it is unlikely that its real-world performance will ever be constrained by random read/write speeds.
This is not the first high-end SSD by Gigabyte that uses multiple M.2 drives to offer unbeatable capacity and performance. Still, previously the company's SSDs couldn't hit the limits of the PCIe 4.0 x16 interface.
Meanwhile, it goes without saying that Gigabyte's Aorus Xtreme Gen 4 AIC is aimed at high-end desktops that have plenty of spare PCIe 4.0 lanes and PCIe 4.0 x16 slots. In fact, to take full advantage of this drive, you'll need to install it into a machine equipped with AMD's Epyc or Ryzen Threadripper, or Intel's Xeon Scalable 'Ice Lake-SP.' This is because regular high-performance desktops usually have only one PCIe 4.0 x16 slot for graphics cards, and there aren't many systems that need a high-performance SSD but not a high-performance graphics card.
It is noteworthy that Gigabyte's Aorus Gen4 7000s family only includes drives featuring 1TB and 2TB capacities (and two different versions of heatsinks). Still, the company will offer 4TB drives with its Aorus Xtreme Gen 4 AIC to hit capacities of up to 32TB.
Gigabyte has not announced the pricing of its Aorus Xtreme Gen 4 AIC, but a fully populated card with 32TB of flash will obviously cost thousands of dollars.
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Anton Shilov is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.