SATA Express Performance on ASUS Hyper Express Drive


Final Thoughts & Conclusions


Where do we begin? We would like to start off by thanking ASUS for the chance to try out the Hyper Express drive this early! ASUS is the first company to show off a functional SATA Express drive and get drives out for sites to check out. ASUS is constantly pushing the performance boundaries for computing and they are fully behind PCIe storage devices with devices like the RAIDR and now the Hyper Express External Enclosure.

The ASUS Hyper Express was found to be faster than your average high-end SATA III 6Gbps SSD, but we ran into some quirks while testing and we sincerely hope that they can be worked out by ASUS and ASMedia in the days and weeks ahead. All this testing was done on pre-production hardware, so we’ll have to wait and see what the retail ready product looks like.If this was the final product we’d be a bit dissapointed as you’d be better off buying two SanDisk X110 2.5″ SSDs and running them in RAID 0 through the Intel chipset with Intel RST drivers. Doing that will yield better performance across the board, offer TRIM support and you can use the two SATA slots that SATA Express would be using anyways.

SATA Express right now doesn’t look that impressive because right now all the implementations take two SSDs and connects them to a RAID controller that then connects to the PCIe bus. Down the road there will be controllers that don’t need to be run in RAID to get higher than SATA III transfer rates and those will really show the true potential of SATA Express. As with any new technology you have to start some place and this is it. It will only getter better than this.


We have not been told what the ASUS Hyper Express will be priced, but we have been told that it will be coming in Q2 2014. We also aren’t sure if ASUS will be selling it populated with mSATA or m.2 SSDs or not. It would be nice if they didn’t as you can use whatever you like, but if they sold it populated they could better optimize the firmware of the RAID controller for the SSD controller being used. One last thing that we should point out is that the 2.5″ drive enclosure that we haven’t doesn’t look like it is every going to be coming to the retail market. ASUS plans on bringing out a larger 3.5″ form factor device to market for this product. We really like the 2.5″ form factor design, but it looks like it won’t make it to market. Our performance numbers in this review will be meaningless in the future since there will be PCB changes along with firmware changes, but at least you know where SATA Express performance started.