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Breaking Storage Performance Bottlenecks with HighPoint’s PCIe NVMe Expansion Drives

HighPoint Rocket AIC PCIe expansion storage drives eliminate data transfer bottlenecks and streamline critical workflows.

NVMe media is ideal for high-performance media post production and content creation workflows, breaking traditional storage performance bottlenecks. Not only does it deliver blisteringly fast transfer throughput, NVMe drives are considerably more efficient than conventional SAS/SATA SSD storage, and boast of much lower-latency, a massive queue depth, and superior random I/O performance in addition to the blistering sequential performance. This is largely due to HighPoint’s proven NVMe architecture; RocketAIC NVMe drives have a direct pipeline to the system’s CPU and GPUs, and our field-proven hardware design and robust driver package work to ensure that pipeline remains straight as an arrow and completely free of obstruction.

Direct to CPU Architecture, Massive Queue Depth, and Superior Transfer Bandwidth

Massive Queue Depth and Superior Transfer Bandwidth

Unlike conventional storage media, NVMe drives are designed to interface directly with the system’s PCIe host bus and are always first in line, rather than having to thread their way through the crowd. One could think of it in terms of traffic on an interstate; our NVMe drives have immediate access to the highway’s Express lane, with the added bonus of never having to jostle for position when entering or leaving that lane (instant access and transmission). Other drives simply are simply along for the ride, so to speak.

Travel for this type of media is essentially relegated to the slow lane and plagued with potential bottlenecks; transfer speed is variable as the physical drive media cannot keep pace with the faster traffic (NVMe) and will have to wait their turn. Some specialized PCIe adapter cards can help streamline pathways for SAS/SATA devices, but speeds will still be hampered by the architecture of this type of media; the fastest 12G enterprise SAS drive, at best, is still only 1/3 as fast as your basic client-class Gen3 M.2 SSD.

All of this translates into one seriously streamlined workflow. Unlike SAS/SATA media, NVMe storage’s chief advantages; the ultra-low-latency, minimized access times and superior transfer speed, remain remarkably consistent, end to end (direct from the drive to the application’s doorstep, and back again). It’s no wonder why modern performance-hungry applications such as media post production, 3D animation, rendering and design, and a slew of AI, ML, and AV applications increasingly rely on NVMe storage to get the job done.

HighPoint RocketAIC drives have been engineered to ensure each hosted NVMe SSD is allocated x4 lanes of host bandwidth at all times; up to 3,500MB/s for PCIe Gen3 connections, and 7,000MB/s of bandwidth for Gen4 drives. This bandwidth is not theoretical – it is always on tap.

Future Proof storage Solutions; as PCI-based media, RocketAIC PCIe expansion drives are highly scalable and versatile storage solutions. They can be easily moved between different platforms so long as the target system has a PCIe slot that can physically accept the AIC drive. This is why many PCIe devices, including all HighPoint NVMe solutions, are described as fully upwards/backwards compatible.

A RocketAIC drive with an x16 interface (such as our RocketAIC 7500x and 7700x models), can be installed into any PCIe slot with x16 mechanical lanes.

RA7540HM drive showing PCIe x16 connectivity

The same is true for our x8 models, such as the RocketAIC 6200 series – these can be installed into any slot capable of supporting a mechanical x8 or x16 device.

RA7204HM drive showing PCIe x8 connectivity

For example, customers still working with a PCIe Gen3 Mac Pro 2019 platform can invest in PCIe Gen4 storage solutions, such as the RocketAIC 7540HM, RocketAIC 7505HM and RocketAIC 7502HW; these drives can be easily moved directly to a 2023 platform. The drive will remain intact, fully accessible, and will be able to take full advantage of the superior bandwidth; no reconfiguration is required.

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