Reader overview and details
After testing a few similar ultra-high capacity PEX switched RAID card devices already, we jumped at the chance when OWC offered to send its similarly configured / specified Accelsior 8M2. Based on previous experience, we would expect a card with eight M.2 NVMe SSDs totaling 32TB or 64TB capable of up to 26,000MB / s throughput. After all, OWC calls it the world’s fastest and highest performing PCIe SSD.
Suddenly, we were certainly a little surprised to find a package containing an Accelsior 8M2 of 4 TB. 4 TB? We didn’t know OWC was making its Accelsior 8M2 Gen4 RAID SSD card in capacities ranging from 2TB to 64TB, all with eight M.2 SSDs and all capable of throughput of up to 26,000MB / s. Hey, wait a minute, that’s great news for the average man. This means that 26,000MB / s throughput can be achieved for as little as $ 1,299 thanks to the know-how of OWC. Incredible. You too can play 16 streams of 8K video through the OWC Accelsior 8M2, as this video demonstrates:
The Accelsior 8M2 is built on OWC’s PCIe Gen4 x16 RAID card with an eight-series Broadcom PCIe Gen4 PEX switch supporting eight onboard M.2 slots. The board requires additional power via a 6-pin VGA power cable. The SSDs and PEX switch are cooled by a rugged aluminum and solid copper heat sink with thermal pads and active cooling. This single-slot card is about the length of a high-end graphics card.
The card can be purchased without an SSD for $ 799. With SSDs, prices range from $ 1,299 for 2TB to $ 12,999 for 64TB. The card comes with a key for OWC’s proprietary SoftRAID utility, which allows you to create, monitor and manage arrays. RAID in just a few clicks.
SEE THE GALLERY – 21 IMAGES
Jon’s AMD Test System Specifications
OWC Accelsior 8M2 4TB
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* Last prices scanned on 1/3/2022 2:45 PM CST – prices may not be exact, click on links above for latest price. We can earn an affiliate commission.
OWC has a proprietary RAID utility called SoftRAID to create and manage RAID arrays on its RAID compatible products. This is what we used to create the powerful RAID 0 arrays we used for this review. You can see what SoftRAID can do here.
Note that the Accelsior 8M2 can be configured as bootable if desired, but we do not recommend using it as a boot volume.
The Accelsior 8M2 can be configured in various RAID configurations including RAID 10 for MAC. For this review, we have chosen RAID 0 with a stripe size of 512K to allow optimal performance. Our NTFS formatted RAID 0 volume offers 3.5TB available to the user.
Synthetic benchmarks: CDM, Anvil, ATTO, Blackmagic, AJA
Not quite 26,000MB / s with this test, but rest assured, we’ll get there with another test. Still, mind-blowing throughput, especially given the small-cap Gen3 SSDs that populate the card. The magic of this card is on display because 16 lanes of Gen3 would typically cap at around 14,000MB / s max.
Anvil Storage Utilities
As we’ve seen with previous PEX switched cards, sequential speeds are performed as RAID 0, while random performance is the same as we get from a single drive. For its intended spectrum of use, sequential throughput is all that matters.
There you go, over 26,000 MB / s of throughput. 25.97 GB / s = 26,593 MB / s. It is simply breathtaking that this kind of throughput is possible with a 4 TB bay. As we said, 26 GB / s on the cheap. Incredible.
Blackmagic Disk Speed
OWC markets its Accelsior 8M2 to content creators, and for many of them, Blackmagic is the standard benchmark used to determine storage efficiency. As you can see, this baby can easily handle any video content that might be projected in his direction.
AJA disk test
We like AJA for testing SSDs that are geared towards content creation, as it tests with various video codecs of different file sizes. We chose Canon 4K RAW with a file size of 64 GB. We display the results in both MB / s and FPS. With such results, it’s no wonder that the Accelsior 8M2 is aimed at professional video processing applications.
Real-world testing: TransfersPCM10
These write transfer rates might seem a bit slow, but they’re actually by far the best we’ve gotten from a flash storage device equipped with Gen3 SSDs. Our 100GB data transfer is made up of over 62,000 files of random data types, making it very hard to swallow for any storage device.
Our read transfer file is more to Accelsior’s liking as it is a single Zip file. 6483MB / s to the host is fast as hell, especially for a single thread.
PCMark 10 data reader benchmark
Due to the random nature of the data in this test, it is a bit outside the wheelhouse of what the Accelsior 8M2 is intended for; However, it does give us a glimpse of how it would work as a typical mainstream data reader. How it works ? Remarkable.
So even though we received a 4TB SSD when we expected it to be 32-64TB, we’re glad it turned out that way. We had no idea that an SSD with throughput of up to 26,000MB / s could be had for just $ 1,699. That’s fantastic in our opinion, as OWC has made professional performance of this nature accessible to small startups or even the guy who creates content from a home office PC.
The Accelsior 8M2 does what it’s supposed to do with near perfection. It is plug and play, requiring no driver to operate it. Add OWC’s exclusive SoftRAID utility to the mix, and you have a legitimate professional RAID drive that’s among the best in the world, and as such, it has won our highest award.
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