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One-terabyte desktop SSD benchmarked, 4TB model on the way

OCZ has shown off a 1TB solid-state disk drive for desktop computers called the Z Drive. It sits in a PCI-E slot, just like a graphics card, it's wicked fast, and a 4TB drive is apparently around the corner

Over at CeBIT, component manufacturer OCZ has shown off a 1TB (one terabyte!) solid-state disk drive for desktop computers known as the Z Drive. It's not a standard 3.5-inch disk, however -- it sits in a PCI-E slot, just like a desktop graphics card.

The secret lies on the inside of the beefy disk's enclosure: it actually comprises four separate 256GB SSDs, coupled together in a RAID 0 array, with 256MB of DDR2 RAM to serve as a cache.

The reason for this is speed and performance. Far more data can be passed along the PCI-E bus than over SATA, as used by desktop hard disks. And with a maximum read speed of 600MBps, a maximum write speed of 500MBps and an access time of 0.1ms, according to Softpedia's benchmarks, the Z Drive would be choked by an enormous bottleneck if used over SATA.

As if this wasn't exciting enough, Engadget reports that a 4TB version is expected later this year, with the 1TB model going on sale in the US in the next couple of months for about $2,000 (£1,400). Blimey!

This is one for the kind of people who build bleeding-edge gaming rigs purely to prove they own a machine capable of running games such as Crysis when they're first released. For most people though, this is going to be one to watch, but seldom to invest in.