Super Talent 128 GB UltraDrive GX Solid State Drive Review

Discussion in 'Reviews & Articles' started by Adrian Wong, Sep 12, 2009.

  1. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Super Talent offers a wide variety of solid state drives. In fact, you can choose from six different categories :

    • UltraDrive
    • MasterDrive
    • Netbook SSDs
    • DuraDrive
    • FDM (Flash Disk Modules)
    • eSATA External SSDs

    For most consumers, only two categories are of particular interest - the UltraDrive and MasterDrive family of SSDs which can be used to directly replace current 2.5" mobile hard disk drives. The MasterDrive family of mainstream SSDs are designed to offer affordable solid state drives with capacities of 16 GB to 512 GB, while the UltraDrive SSDs are designed to offer cutting-edge performance - just the right stuff for the discerning hardware enthusiast!

    The Super Talent UltraDrive family of performance-grade SSDs are further divided into two different lines, based on the type of NAND flash used - SLC or MLC. Solid state drives based on single-level cell (SLC) technology are faster and more reliable but they are also more expensive. Solid state drives based on multi-level cell (MLC) technology, on the other hand, offer higher storage capacities at a lower price.

    Today, we will be looking at the 128 GB UltraDrive GX SSD of the MLC type. Even though it's based on MLC NAND flash, Super Talent promised us that the drive will deliver super-high read and write speeds of 260 MB/s and 195 MB/s respectively, thanks to the inclusion of a fast 64 MB cache. Let's find out if the UltraDrive GX lives up to those claims!


    Link : Super Talent 128 GB UltraDrive GX Solid State Drive Review
  2. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    The price is still about 2x more expensive than Velociraptor, which is already pretty expensive. Until it falls below US300, I doubt many will consider it yet.
  3. karhoe

    karhoe Newbie

    I guess it should take few more years for R&D cost to be fully recovered, then the size and price will go the opposite direction, size go up, price come down.

    SSD is really needed to complement those i7 and i9 that's out there.
  4. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    But the prices of SSD has not changed for the past year.
  5. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    True, no matter what, HDDs have much lower cost per GB.

    It is much faster than the VelociRaptor though, and virtually impervious to shock and vibration. Oh, it fits notebooks too which VelociRaptors cannot. :mrgreen:

    If only the prices would drop...
  6. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    I think it's hard to determine the price of SSDs for certain because of the numerous models, and worse still, the total lack of standards or defining specs.

    I mean, marking SSDs by whether they use MLC and SLC chips is one thing but the performance of these chips vary a lot. Two SSDs may use MLC chips but their performance can be as different as heaven and hell. It's quite unlike HDDs where you know that if two HDDs run at 7200 RPM and both have 500GB on 2 platters, then they should both run at about the same speed. Roughly at least.

    So, it's hard to gauge whether prices in general for SSDs is dropping unless we take a particular model and track its price changes. However, I do think that it's harder for SSDs to drop in price, if only because of the much smaller market at this point in time.
  7. Trinity

    Trinity Little Kiki Staff Member

    But do these ssd's make/let windows load faster?

    trinity takes about one minute to become useable.:)
  8. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    That depends on the speed. My Acer Aspire One netbook uses a really crappy Intel SSD - super slow start up. It feels slower than a 4200 RPM hard disk!

    But if you have a fast one like the Super Talent UltraDrive GX, man, Windows will load up in seconds! I love the WD VelociRaptor for its super fast startup of Windows too, and this SSD is even faster.
  9. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    Well, I don't have the chance to test one. I'm only using it on my desktop, so whether it can be used on notebook or not is not really relevant to me, although it is one advantage for notebooks.
  10. Trinity

    Trinity Little Kiki Staff Member

    "Windows will load up in seconds"

    Wow! That's nice!!!:drool:
  11. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    LOL! I was just screwing with you. The form factor isn't an issue unless you only intend to use it with a notebook / netbook. :)

    But honestly, SSDs are currently targeted at notebooks and netbooks. There seems to be very little interest in using them for desktops. Even hybrid HDDs didn't take off as expected.

    I suppose the SSDs' invulnerability to shock and vibration is a bigger advantage than its performance.
  12. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    You don't have to wait for SSDs. You can also try to WD VelociRaptor! :twisted:
  13. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    That is valid for those cheaper SSDs, not this high-end SSD in this review.
  14. karhoe

    karhoe Newbie

    Still absorbing R&D price I believe, how much can these SOLID thing cost in terms of raw material price.
  15. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    Maybe the yield is very low?

    Look at GT300, 1.7% yield rate!!!
  16. karhoe

    karhoe Newbie

    Oh well, SSD has been in the market for few years already, but with the current adoption rate, it won't be in the near future for SSD price to drop, existing consumer sees no reason to move to SSD, hard disk still works, reasonably fast.

    It's unlike when flash drive was unveiled, 16MB for RM200 back then when it was first launched was a bargain! Paying for the premium of having everything squeezed in a small size, fast speed, no risk of fungus, magnets around, etc
  17. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    These SSD drives use the same NAND flash chips as regular thumb drives (USB flash drives). The only difference is that they have a SATA controller instead of a USB controller, and maybe some SDRAM as write cache.

    The performance difference (and price) depends greatly on the type, speed and capacity of NAND flash chips used. That's why there is a large disparity in performance, somewhat like what we see in USB flash drives.

    Both SSD and USB flash drives have super-fast and super-expensive models and super-cheap but super-slow models. Plus, the development of the MLC type of NAND flash chip has reduced the cost per GB.

    I think while the high-end SSDs have to recover some R&D cost, the bulk of the cost is probably due to limited production of fast NAND chips. Probably the big money is in slower, but much cheaper NAND chips used in millions of USB flash drives.

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