Apex Storage (opens in new tab), a newcomer to the storage recreation, has launched the X21, an AIC (add-in-card) that accommodates as much as 21 PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSDs. With the X21, shoppers can use the greatest SSDs to construct configurations with capacities of as much as 168GB and expertise speeds as much as 31 GBps.
Apex Storage has its headquarters in Utah and focuses on AIC merchandise. Mike Spicer and Henry Hill look like the group behind Apex Storage. You’ll have heard of Spicer as he kickstarted the Storage Scaler (opens in new tab) enlargement card in 2021 that homes as much as 16 M.2 SATA drives. The X21, the one listed product on Apex Storage’s web site, appears to be the jacked-up model of the unique Storage Scaler. However, unusually, Apex Storage opted for PCIe 4.0 on the X21 since PCIe 5.0 SSDs are already accessible on the retail market.
The X21 sticks to a double-width full-height full-length (FHFL) kind issue with a single-slot PCI design. The AIC, which measures 274.2mm lengthy, communicates by means of an ordinary PCIe 4.0 x16 enlargement slot. It is backward appropriate with PCIe 3.0, however efficiency will take a big hit. Apex Storage basically bonded two PCBs in a sandwich with the X21, which is why the AIC can deal with as much as 21 M.2 SSDs placing rival choices just like the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus Destroyer 2 to disgrace. The idea takes us on a visit down reminiscence lane, for certain. When you’re sufficiently old, it is the identical idea Nvidia used for the prehistoric GeForce 7900 GX2.
There are 10 PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots and an enormous heatsink that covers the unspecified controller within the X21’s inside. We suspect a PCIe change is below the heatsink, probably making the X21 tick. The remaining 11 PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots are situated on the outside of the PCBs.
Given the huge variety of SSDs the X21 can help, the AIC cannot get all the facility from the only enlargement slot. Subsequently, Apex Storage carried out two common 6-pin PCIe energy connectors to supply auxiliary energy. This configuration permits for as much as 225W. Though the X21 encompasses a passive cooling design, the producer does suggest a minimal airflow of 400 LFM for optimum operation.
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The X21 pictures present the AIC with Samsung 990 Professional SSDs, so the cardboard solely helps M.2 2280 drives. It additionally accepts Intel’s Optane M.2 SSDs, just like the H20; not like there are loads of Optane drives floating round now that Intel has axed its Optane enterprise. Apex Storage does not reveal the internal particulars of the X21. Nevertheless, the producer confirmed that the X21 provides 100 PCIe lanes, suggesting the presence of a PCIe change.
In a single-card configuration, the X21 delivers sequential learn and write speeds as much as 30.5 GBps and 28.5 GBps, respectively. The random efficiency on the AIC consists of seven.5 million IOPS reads and 6.2 million IOPS writes. The X21 shines much more in a multi-card setup. In keeping with Apex Storage, shoppers can take pleasure in as much as 107 GBps sequential reads and 80 GBps sequential writes. The random efficiency additionally will get a considerable enhance. The X21 flaunts over 20 million IOPS reads and 10 million IOPS writes in a multi-card association. The AIC has a median learn and write entry latency of 79ms and 52ms, respectively.
With 8TB SSDs, such because the Corsair MP400 or the Sabrent Rocket Q, the X21 can provide as much as 168TB on a single card. It additionally helps higher-capacity drives. As soon as future 16TB M.2 SSDs hit the market, shoppers can have as much as 336TB of storage on the X21. Relating to the characteristic set, the X21 helps RAID configurations in Home windows and Linux environments. Nevertheless, Apex Storage did not expose the kind of RAID arrays. The X21 additionally flaunts “enterprise-grade reliability,” NVMe 2.0 help, superior EEC, information safety, and error restoration.
Apex Storage did not reveal the pricing or availability for the X21.