RiData’s 64GB SSD uses an MLC design to pack more data onto its flash memory chips. We like how that makes the drive cheaper than the majority of SSDs on the market. What we don’t like is how the Ultra-S Plus illustrates the performance losses wrought by using this technology instead of a speedier SLC design.
The Ultra-S Plus was able to overtake the fastest hard drive we’ve tested—Western Digital’s Velociraptor—in two of our benchmarks: a random access read measurement and the overall PCMark Vantage score. Neither win came as a surprise. Because hard disk drives suffer lag while the drive arm moves to the proper location on the disk, flash memory consistently outperforms magnetic storage in random access read speeds. This helped in PCMark Vantage because the app’s eight individual benchmark traces favor read performance and random access reads.
The device’s horrible write performance—including an average random access write speed of 248 painful milliseconds—was enough to drag its PCMark Vantage score below that of all the other SSDs in this feature. And the Ultra-S Plus took more than 1.5 times longer to complete our real-world Premiere test than the fastest SSD we tested, Memoright’s GT-Series 64GB.
RiData’s SSD operates over a SATA 3Gb/s interface, although our initial round of interface speed benchmarks made this drive appear to operate over a bridged PATA connection. We believe that the drive’s MLC flash chips threw off our speed tests at first. But the fact that this SSD gave us such poor read speeds over a SATA 3Gb/s interface doesn’t paint a pretty picture for this device. Indeed, you get what you pay for with RiData’s SSD—we’d much rather have a $300 hard disk drive instead of this solid state drive.