Today, Thunderbolt 3 peripheral specialist Akitio announced a new partnership with Intel that has resulted in a special edition version of the Akitio Node PCIe box. The collaboration sees Intel contributing its just-released Optane 905P, a 960GB PCIe SSD — the current king of SSDs from a speed perspective — to the fire engine red Thunderbolt 3 enclosure.

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The end result is an extremely speedy external PCIe drive that’s capable of up to 2200MB/s in both read and write, plenty fast enough for high quality, high-resolution video workflows on apps like Final Cut Pro X, DaVinci Resolve, and Adobe Premiere Pro.

By connecting the Intel Optane drive inside the Akitio Node Lite via Thunderbolt 3, we are able to fully utilize the Thunderbolt 3 bandwidth to achieve incredibly fast performance of up to 2200MB/s in both read and write. Unlike NAND flash based SSD’s that provide fast performance in only large sized random read/write operations, the Optane drive provides the same phenomenal speeds in both large and small file transfers.

Intel’s just-released 905P has earned the title of fastest SSD ever, at least for the time being. That makes it a particularly potent SSD to combine with the available bandwidth provided by Thunderbolt 3.

We’ve reviewed numerous Akitio Products over the last couple of years, but to my knowledge this is the first time the Brea, California-based company has collaborated with Intel in such a noteworthy way. Considering how prolific Akitio is when it comes to creating new Thunderbolt 3-based products for Mac and PC users, a splashy collaboration with Intel – the developer of Thunderbolt 3 – seems like a perfect match.

The special edition Akitio Node Lite is scheduled to be available for pre-order next month. The price is currently undisclosed, but Intel’s Optane 905P 960GB features a $1,299 retail price. Considering the standalone Node Lite’s selling price, a price range of at least $1,500 would not be out of the question.

We’ll be sure to have a hands-on walkthrough of the Optane 905P-powered Akitio Node Lite special edition once it launches next month. What do you think about the collaboration?


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