Gigabyte certainly created a stir earlier this year when it debuted its i-RAM solid state hard drive composed of DRAM modules. Inside, the i-RAM offers a PCI-type add-in card that hosts four DDR memory modules and hooks up to a mass storage controller via Serial ATA. A battery unit backs up the data stored in the memory when the PC is powered down. The main feature of the i-RAM and RAM-based drives in general is their amazingly short access times and data transfer rates that easily exceed the bandwidth of common hard drive interfaces such as UltraATA or Serial ATA.
Shortly after we published our i-RAM review, British vendor HyperOs Systems offered that we test drive its HyperDrive III solid state disk product. The vendor claims the HyperDrive III is superior in many ways, as it offers more memory capacity and comes in a nifty 5.25" form factor.
Given their novelty, all solid state disk products have one major drawback: their prices compared to traditional hard drives are out of reach for most budgets. The devices remain far more expensive as measured by price per bits of capacity. However, products such as Gigabyte's i-RAM or the HyperDrive III by HyperOs Systems are priced more competitively since they contain standard components and their memory capacities are limited.