Mtron’s SSD Pro 7500 is the first 3.5-inch SSD we’ve tested, and it’s a welcome addition to our rig if for no other reason than its size. We don’t have to fuss with adapters to attach this SSD to our PC. It’s a small thing, but it’s a feature we wish more SSD manufacturers would adopt.
Mtron’s Pro 7500 exceeded our performance expectations on sustained transfer read rates, putting up a respectable showing that was mere megabytes-per-second behind the second-place SSD, Imation’s Pro 7000, and 14 percent behind our speed leader, Memoright’s 64GB SSD. The drive delivered write speeds comparable to the other SLC SSDs, capping out at 84.2MB/s. This synthetic performance was reflected in our real-world tests, with the Mtron Pro 7500 plowing through our Premiere Pro test in 8:17—a minute and change behind the Memoright SSD, but second place nonetheless.
Click after the jump to read the rest of the review.
While Memoright’s spec pages attribute this 64GB SSD with a SATA interface, that’s not accurate. This isn’t a SATA drive, per se; rather, the drive uses a SATA bridge connected to an ATA-133 interface. Ultimately, however, this doesn’t impact the drive’s overall speed. Memoright’s SSD shoots past the competition in the majority of our benchmarks.
This device outperforms the next-fastest SSD by 14 percent in our average sequential read rate test and 8.5 percent in its average sequential writes. Its random-access read and write scores are the fastest of all the SSDs we’ve tested. Better still, we were able to write a 40GB uncompressed AVI file to the Memoright SSD in a mere 6:51 (min:sec). That’s 1:26 faster than the second-place finisher in that test, the Mtron 7500, and just 28 seconds slower than a Western Digital Velociraptor drive.
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.
In some alternate world, Fabrik’s SimpleTech Redrive is winning a Kick Ass award from Green PC—Maximum PC’s eco-conscious sister publication. This is the most environmentally friendly external storage device we’ve ever tested. From its packaging, to its construction, to its guts, the Redrive is designed with a single purpose in mind: saving the planet. As a byproduct of this, the drive saves you energy and, consequently, money.
EMC earlier this year acquired storage and network security solutions company Iomega Corporation, who is perhaps best known for its line of Zip and Jaz drives. Today Iomega announces the first co-produced storage drive between the two companies, resulting in the StorCenter ix2. For $300, consumers get a network storage solution the company describes as being "smaller than a large dictionary." The price point works out to $0.30 per gigabyte.
"These are market-based prices," Iomega division president Jonathan Huberman said. "It's ridiculous how cheap these things are, but it is what it is. A great value for the consumer."
Upping the bang for buck factor, a 2TB version is also being made available for $479, or about $0.24 per gigabyte. Of course, the StorCenter ix2 offers more than raw hard drive space. The unit comes with EMC's Retrospect backup software, virus encryption technology, and RAID 1. A bult in media server and Bluetooth, UPnP (Universal Plug and Play), and DLNA (Digital Living Netwrok Alliance) media device capabilities also come part of the package.
SSDs are the hottest trend in storage, but how long will an SSD last? Right now,there's no industry standard for longevity or reliability. However, Cnet reports that Seagate and JEDEC are working together to establish a standards-based method for determining those factors.
Seagate isn't alone in working with JEDEC, the standards body responsible for standards in the solid-state industry. Earlier this year, X-bit Labs reported that JEDEC's JC-64.8 committee, which is responsible for developing SSD standards for embedded and removable storage, is being co-chaired by Micron Technologies and Seagate.
Micron brings its experience in memory technologies, while Seagate brings its experience in drive reliability to the endeavor. As Cnet reports:
Seagate says it can tap into the decades of expertise it has in error correction. "Some of the skills we've picked up along the way, to deal with imperfect media, has applicability to dealing with imperfect media on NAND."
Seagate's own SSDs won't hit the market until 2009, but hopefully its work with JEDEC to set standards for reliability will help make all SSDs more reliable.
So, what do you think? Will Seagate's presence on the JEDEC committee responsible for SSD standards make this latecomer to SSDs the one to trust when product finally hits the street? Or, are you ready to use SSDs right now? Join us after the jump for your chance to sound off.
Noticeably late to the solid state storage (SSD) party is Seagate, who earlier said it would offer its first SSDs sometime in 2008. As the year is quickly coming to an end, the company has now pushed its entry into 2009.
"Our history is based on rotating magnetic media," Seagate's senior manager of market development Rich Vignes told Cnet. "But as solid-state comes online, we're embracing this new media type."
Not everyone would agree that Seagate is "embracing" the increasingly popular storage medium. While several companies have made a push to get SSDs into the mainstream market, Seagate's late entry will focus solely on the enterprise market with consumer drivers to be sold "later." So far the company has not yet announced announced plans to manufacturer NAND flash memory by itself like many of it competitors are doing. Instead, Seagate has kept the focus of its flash business to hybrid (flash/HDD) hard drives.
Despite all the recent buzz surrounding solid state storage (SSD), it's the clear the technology still has a ways to go before challenging mechanical hard drives in performance superiority. The latest issue of Maximum PC (November 2008, pg. 40) pits several different SSDs against Western Digital's Velociraptor and Samsung's 1TB HD103UJ, and for the most part, the represented SSDs showed they're more suitable for notebooks than a desktop environment. And that's exactly the sector Super Talent is targeting with its newest batch of flash media.
Super Talent announced three new mini PCI-E SSDs it says have been designed specifically for the Asus Eee PC. The three drives - 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB - each boast maximum read and write speeds of 40MB/s and 15MB/s.
"It's a natural extension of our SSD product range to offer SSDs for popular netbook brands," said Super Talent director of marketing Joe James in a press release. "Solid state storage is ideal for entry level mobile PCs."
Super Talent says the new lineup will go in mass product next month with expected street pricing for the 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB models at $53, $79, and $149 respectively.
Western Digital, the second largest hard drive maker in the universe, is reportedly in discussions with Fujitsu to purchase its hard drive business. If it goes through, the acquisition would likely propel WD ahead of Seagate, who holds the top spot.
According to reports in Japan, Fujitsu would be willing to sell off its plants for somewhere between 70 billion and 100 billion yen, which equates to roughly $660 million to $944 million in US dollars. Such a move would be unprecedented and would qualify as one of the largest business unit sell-offs for a Japanese electronics company ever.
Fujitsu, who ranks No. 6 in hard drive manufacturing, has been struggling and it could get even worse if SSDs continue their march into the mainstream market. Reportedly the company is already looking to focus solely on its commercial customer business (Lenovo is mulling whether or not to pounce on Fujitsu's consumer section), so it might not be a matter of if, but when and to whom.
Corsair's popular Flash Voyager USB line reaches new heights in storage capacity today as the company announced a 64GB capacity model. According to Corsair, that's large enough to store a library of DVD-length movies and tens of thousands of high-resolution images.
"Corsair is always developing new and exciting flash products, and the 64GB USB Flash Voyager is no exception," said John Beekley, VP of Applications at Corsair. "With more storage space than most laptops, we can offer a full suite of features - whether it be backing up data, building a portable media library, or simply transporting huge amounts of data."
And if you're wondering if you can slap an OS on the new Flash Voyager, the answer is yes, you can. The large density drive is bootable, making it a potentially attractive solution for ITs and hobbyists alike.
The 64GB drive is available now with an MSRP of $250 (streets for much less), which buys the drive, preloaded security software and drivers, a bundled lanyward, USB extension cable, and a 10-year guarantee.