You've heard that solid-state drives, such as the Intel X-25M, are significantly faster than traditional hard drives. However, they are still nowhere near as fast as the DDRdrive X1 introduced on Monday.
This is the first storage device I've seen that comes in the form of an expansion card. At a glance, it looks very much like a video card or a modem and it is compatible with any PCIe expansion slot.
Unlike other SSDs that use a flash memory called NAND, the X1 uses two types of memory: NAND and DRAM. The latter is commonly used as system memory. DRAM (or RAM in generally) is very fast; however, information stored in RAM is volatile and is destroyed when the computer is powered off. This is where the NAND part of the X1 comes into play by retaining the information when the computer is not in operation.
The drive has the same amount of DRAM as it has of NAND, which is only 4GB. This combination is designed for optimum input/output operations per second and, according to DDRdrive, the X1 indeed offers superfast performance and can be backed up or restored in its entirety in less than a minute.
The fact that you can get thumbdrives with 8GB or more might seem to lessen the appeal of the 4GB X1. The drive, however, is made for special applications such as databases or those that require performance above all else.
Somebody must really need the performance to be willing to buy the X1. With a price of almost $1,500, it has by far the highest dollar-per-gigabyte figure I've seen: more than $370. In the case of the Intel X-25M or most other SSDs currently on the market, you'll pay only about $4 per gigabyte of storage.
To DDRdrive's credit, the X1 does come with a five-year warranty and is compatible with all 32-bit and 64-bit Windows versions.