Highpoint has introduced a seriously fast RAID card, called the SSD7540, that runs up to eight M.2 SSDs in RAID 1,0 or 10 at PCIe Gen 4.0 speeds. With all eight M.2 slots active, this daughterboard can hit a whopping 32,000 MB/s of sequential throughput.
The SSD7540 slots into a regular PCIe Gen 4.0 x16 slot, but it can also run on a PCIe Gen 3.0 interface if required. Each M.2 slot gets access to a full four PCIe lanes, but Highpoint doesn't explain how it achieved it. We assume the card uses a PLX chip built into the board, allowing lane duplication so each SSD can get a full fat Gen 4.0 x4 interface.
For cooling, the RAID card features a beefy black finned heatsink along with a dual-fan design, with each fan dedicated to cooling either the left or right bank of SSDs. Unfortunately, HighPoint hasn't shared the card's dimensions, but looking at the pictures, the PCB looks to be the size of a large graphics card – if you plan on buying this RAID controller, make sure your case has adequate room.
This card's real beauty is its compatibility; all the fancy tricks to get eight SSDs working properly are done all on the daughterboard itself, meaning you don't need specific software or some special motherboard to run the SSD7540. All you need is a motherboard that supports PCIe Gen 4.0 (or 3.0, but you won't get 4.0 speeds), and you're good to go. To control the card and its associated SSDs, Highpoint gives you a web-based management interface that allows you to create RAID arrays, check monitoring data, and more.
The SSD7540 is available for purchase right now, you can grab it for $999.00 on Amazon.com
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Aaron Klotz is a freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US, covering news topics related to computer hardware such as CPUs, and graphics cards.