No, this ain’t a GPU card: Unique SSD storage device crams 8 drives to reach up to 55GB/s

The HighPoint SSD7749E
(Image credit: HighPoint)

HighPoint’s first dual-slot NVMe RAID add-in card (AIC) can fit up to eight SSDs into a single unit to reach maximum speeds of 55GB/s – making it arguably the world’s fastest storage device to date. 

The company – a specialist in making PCIe cards – has built the SSD7749E for mainly industrial and edge server applications. 

The device can fit eight E1.S SSDs with speeds of up to 28GB/s using a PCIe Gen4 x16 interface, although this climbs to 55GB/s using HighPoint’s own Cross-Sync RAID technology, with two partnered up in a RAID-0 configuration.

HighPoint dual slot boost

Priced at $1,499 per unit, and first launched in May 2023, it’s being marketed as a compact and easily-integrated high-density RAID storage solution with enterprise-class reliability. It’s suited to work alongside Intel and AMD CPUs on x86 architectures as well as Arm platforms. 

These devices also come with an unconventional dual-fan cooling system to keep the device running at optimal temperatures.

Duals-slot cards are widespread in the consumer market; while common for graphics cards, they’re almost impossible to find for storage cards. The dual-slot design aims to improve cooling in NVMe storage devices. Drives like this do exist in the consumer but they haven’t yet materialised widely for servers. 

Unfortunately, while PCIe 5 SSDs are now on the market, and could soon be considered among the best SSDs you can buy, the SSD7749E is only compatible with PCIe Gen 4 SSDs.

It’s without doubt that HighPoint has built theoretically one of the fastest devices on the planet right now. Testing last month showed the Apex Storage X21 could be fitted with 21 Samsung 990 Pro SSDs to hit 27.4GB/s 8Krandom reads and 28.7GB/s 8K random writes. 

The Phison PS5026-E26 Max14um Gen5 SSD is also leveling a bid to become the world’s best SSD, boasting speeds of up to 14GB/s. This, similarly, featured a unique cooling system designed to achieve maximum performance levels for longer.

Because HighPoint’s SSD7749E is no larger than modern dual-width PCIe graphics adapters, it can easily be integrated into systems with a free PCIe 4 x16 slot. It’s compatible with Macs and could, for instance, be ideal for usage in Mac Pro workstations

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Keumars Afifi-Sabet
Channel Editor (Technology), Live Science

Keumars Afifi-Sabet is the Technology Editor for Live Science. He has written for a variety of publications including ITPro, The Week Digital and ComputerActive. He has worked as a technology journalist for more than five years, having previously held the role of features editor with ITPro. In his previous role, he oversaw the commissioning and publishing of long form in areas including AI, cyber security, cloud computing and digital transformation.