Kool Tools: Sonnet's SATA PCI Express cards
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Kool Tools: Sonnet's SATA PCI Express cards

Sonnet Technologies recently upgraded its Tempo SSD and Tempo SSD Pro 6Gb/sec SATA PCI Express (PCIe) 2.5-inch SSD cards to support booting in Mac Pro computers (early 2008 and newer) -- making a kool product even kooler.

With the update, you can now boot from a Mac Pro even in a RAID 0 configuration with two solid-state drives (SSDs). Booting is also supported for Windows 7 and 8 computers as well as Server 2008 and 2012 (although not from a RAID drive). 

With the Tempo SSD and Tempo SSD Pro, users can purchase one or two SSDs separately and then mount them on PCIe cards. Unlike other PCIe SSD cards, the Tempo SSD Pro and Tempo SSD utilize widely available 2.5-inch SATA SSDs (sold separately).

Instead of relying on proprietary SSD modules, Sonnet chose to support standard 2.5-inch SATA SSDs to allow users access to the most common SSD form factor, which is generally available at better prices than proprietary SSD modules. The Sonnet Tempo 6Gb/sec SATA cards offer twice the bandwidth of the Mac Pro's native 3Gb/sec SATA bus for superior performance.

The Tempo SSD card uses a high-performance 6Gb/sec SATA controller and a PCIe 2.0 interface. It features a unique modular design that supports one SSD with the card at half-length, or two SSDs with an included bracket that extends the card to full length. The Tempo SSD supports sustained read speeds of up to 500 MB/sec from a single SSD or up to 660 MB/sec from two SSDs configured as a RAID 0 set.

The Tempo SSD Pro card can mount two SSDs in a full-length PCIe slot, such as those in the Mac Pro. The Tempo SSD Pro features a higher-performance 6Gb/sec SATA SSD controller that supports sustained read speeds of up to 960 MB/sec from two SSDs configured as a Mac Pro-bootable RAID 0 set. 

The Sonnet Tempo SSD and Tempo SSD Pro cards install into a Mac or Windows computer's PCIe slot, or into a Thunderbolt expansion chassis for PCIe cards such as Sonnet's Echo Express line, or the xMac mini Server PCIe 2.0 expansion system/1U rackmount enclosure. With SSDs attached, both cards are narrow enough to occupy the space of only a single-width card.

Sonnet has posted software on its website that enables users to update their cards to gain the new capability. You'll find the software at www.sonnettech.com/support/ .

Compatible with Mac OS X 10.6.8 and higher, the Tempo SSD is available now at a suggested retail price of US$149.95, and the Tempo SSD Pro is available now at a suggested retail price of $299.95. For more info go to www.sonnettech.com .

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