Buffalo DriveStation DDR uses RAM as gigantic buffer

Storage and networking specialist Buffalo Technology recently unveiled a new product called the DriveStation DDR which is presented as a “high performance external USB 3.0 hard drive”.

What sets it apart from the rest of the competition is that it uses 1GB of DDR3 RAM to provide performance enhancements that can go up to 350 per cent. Note that it is advisable that you wait till there’s no hard disk activity before unplugging the DriveStation DDR because of the volatile nature of RAM.

While it is not the RAM disk that we have often mentioned on ITProPortal, it is indeed the first time in years that we’ve seen volatile memory being used as a storage medium (albeit a transient one).

The first DriveStation DDR products are expected to appear soon and will carry an estimated SRP of £75 for the 1TB model, £90 for the 2TB one and £115 for the 3TB version.

Early reports suggest that the drive is OS-agnostic which means that it doesn’t need any specific drivers to work out of the box and the smart RAM feature – which essentially acts as a replacement for the onboard buffer – will be totally transparent to the host computer.

We’ve recently seen 1GB laptop SO-DIMMs on sale in the UK for around £3 and although it is unlikely that Buffalo has used standard memory modules in its own DriveStation DDR products, we wonder whether adding even more RAM would help performance significantly.

The company hasn’t mentioned what kind of hard disk drives is used in its DriveSattion DDR range but we suspect that the gains will be more important for slow-spinning hard drives. So, should we expect the inclusion of DDR memory to become commonplace in the industry, hitting all segments from consumer to enterprise? And what about solid-state drives?

Hopefully, other rivals like Seagate or WD will come up with a similar feature for their external (and internal) hard disk drives.