Like Samsung and OCZ, Imation has partnered with Mtron to use the latter’s controller technology in its SSDs. As you might expect, the companies’ 64GB drives perform similarly. Still, a few subtle differences exist between the Mtron and Imation SSDs.
Imation’s Pro 7000 squeaks out 2MB/s extra in its sustained read transfer rates yet is 0.4MB/s slower than the Mtron Pro 7500 SSD in write speeds. The two drives offer identical performance in their random access read measurements and differ by a scant 0.2 milliseconds in their random access write timings.
After seeing the tiny speed gap in the synthetic tests, we expected the real-world benchmark scores of the Pro 7000 and Pro 7500 to be similar. However, Mtron’s Pro 7500 beat out Imation’s Pro 7000 by 17 seconds in our real-world file encoding test. By a lesser percentage, the Mtron SSD also beat Imation’s device in our PCMark Vantage suite.
It appears that, like the Mtron Pro 7500, the Imation Pro 7000 completely fills the pipe of its ATA-133 interface on its sustained read transfer rates. Although the Imation Pro 7000 is one of the faster SSDs we’ve tested, we’d be curious to see if a straight-up SATA 3Gb/s version would be able to push past its 99MB/s speed cap. The drive’s write speeds still fall below its interface measurement, so we doubt we’d see much of an improvement there.
Don’t let the numbers fool you: Although it appears to be an older drive due to its model number, Imation’s Pro 7000 is completely competitive with Mtron’s Pro 7500. In fact, their benchmark numbers are close enough that we wouldn’t be surprised to find a near-identical underlying hardware were we to crack the drives open and check out their insides. That said, when we compare Imation’s Pro 7000 to the SSD market as a whole, we don’t find enough of a performance difference to recommend this SSD over less-expensive models.