gt70 3 MSI shows off its Super RAID in the GT70 gaming notebook

Notebooks with an SSD are hardly newsworthy these days, but MSI has managed to pull a fast one and made things interesting once again. The company has put what it calls a Super RAID inside its GT70 gaming notebook and it's unlike anything we've seen to date.

Notebooks with an SSD are hardly newsworthy these days, but MSI has managed to pull a fast one and made things interesting once again. The company has put what it calls a Super RAID inside its GT70 gaming notebook and it's unlike anything we've seen to date.

gt70 1 MSI shows off its Super RAID in the GT70 gaming notebookThe MSI GT70 at CeBIT

The GT70 is what you'd call a serious gaming notebook, as it sports a keyboard designed by SteelSeries, a Killer NIC, Dynaudio speakers and of course a full HD 1080p 17.3-inch display. Then there's of course a mobile Ivy Bridge CPU and some kind of 600-series mobile GPU from Nvidia hiding in there somewhere. As with many 17-inch notebooks, MSI has made room for two hard drives, but it appears that MSI went on tinkering a bit and figured that running RAID with a pair of hard drives just wasn't good enough.

gt70 2 MSI shows off its Super RAID in the GT70 gaming notebook

What the company came up with is an insane solution which MSI named Super RAID. If you look closely at the picture above, you'll see a hard drive at the bottom, the various bits you'd expect to find inside a notebook and then at the top left where the second hard drive should, is the Super RAID card. If you're familiar with components you'll notice that there is a pair of mSATA SSDs fitted to a small PCB of some kind that takes up just over half of the space a regular hard drive or SSD would use.

gt70 3 MSI shows off its Super RAID in the GT70 gaming notebook

The SSD's in question are a pair of OEM models from SanDisk and judging by the performance figures quoted by MSI, what we're looking at is a pair of U100 drives. In this particular notebook MSI has fitted a pair of 64GB drives. The PCB below the two mSATA drives appear to only be a simple holder for the cards with a pair of SATA re-drivers fitted to it to make sure that the signal integrity doesn't drop. As such, the actual RAID element of this setup is handled by the Intel chipset. Interestingly the SSDs from SanDisk sport SanDisk branded SSD controllers, although we don't actually know if they're made by SanDisk or just a rebranded controller from another manufacturer.

gt70 4 MSI shows off its Super RAID in the GT70 gaming notebook

Now the U100 series from SanDisk isn't the fastest mSATA SSD out there and the 64GB models in use here have a rated sequential read speed of up to 450MB/s and a write speed of up to 220MB/s. Even so, in RAID 0 the two drives perform remarkably well in HD Tune Pro 5.00 hitting an average read speed of 928.6MB/s with a burst rated of 1,997.2MB/s. The latter suggests that with a couple of faster mSATA SSDs installed, MSI's Super RAID could in fact offer even better performance. There's no doubt that this is an interesting solution from MSI and it's something we'd like to see in more high-end notebooks, as mSATA drives take up very little space and there's no reason why this shouldn't be a much more commonplace feature. Sure, cost is an issue, but we don't expect this is every notebook out there. Either which way, well played MSI, you made notebooks with SSDs interesting again.

gt70 5 MSI shows off its Super RAID in the GT70 gaming notebook

Source: MSI Europe's Facebook page