Before you think you're looking at some obscure and geeky computer part, realize this: You're looking into the future. This Fusion-io ioDrive prototype is a solid-state hard drive that plugs into the PCI bus, that place inside your computer where video cards go, and that means a lot of your computing will go a whole lot faster.
How fast? It reads data at 473 megabytes per second (MB/sec), nearly twice as fast as that Micron solid-state drive we were raving about last month, and blowing away any spinning hard drive with ease. So far, this test unit only works on 64-bit systems, and you can't use it as a boot drive. But when you can, expect startup times to be a lot quicker. Also you'll see applications launch a lot faster, and anything you do that accesses a hard drive to be noticeably accelerated.
However, in comes that fundamental truth: "Good, fast, cheap — pick two." These drives will be really good and enormously fast, but not cheap, starting out at $3,000 for a smallish 80GB unit, up to a jaw-dropping $14,400 for a proper 320GB drive. Those prices will drop a lot, and quickily, because someday soon all hard drives will be made this way.