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Super Talent UltraDrive ME SSD FTM28GX25H E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage
Written by Olin Coles   
Wednesday, 13 May 2009
Table of Contents: Page Index
Super Talent UltraDrive ME SSD FTM28GX25H
UltraDrive ME Features
FTM28GX25H Specifications
First Look: UltraDrive ME SSD
UltraDrive Internal Components
SSD Testing Methodology
Random Access Time Benchmark
Basic IOPS Performance
Random Access IOPS Tests
Linear Bandwidth Speed
Sequential Performance Tests
Buffered Transaction Speed
Windows XP Startup Times
The Truth Behind Heat Output
Solid State Drive Final Thoughts
UltraDrive SSD Conclusion

UltraDrive SSD Conclusion

EDITORS NOTE 05/15/2009: Benchmark Reviews has re-tested the Super Talent UltraDrive ME with the latest v1370 firmware, which includes TRIM support, and the resulting performance was generally identical to the previous firmware. Please remember that TRIM is a Windows 7 supported feature, and does not improve performance on Windows XP or Vista Operating Systems.

Benchmark Reviews begins each conclusion with a short summary for each of the areas we rate. The first is presentation, which takes product packaging into consideration to the extent that it provides adequate packing material and consumer information for an informed purchase. Since the American economy in the midst of an economic recession, many manufacturers are having to pull out some very creative ideas to help market their products. Add onto this the fact that SSD technology already carries a premium price tag over the alternative, and you can understand why product presentation becomes so important. Super Talent uses a rather dated package design, which appears nearly identical to older models. Despite a lack of flair, the UltraDrive ME retail box still displays critical product information and specifications for the untrained consumer.

Solid State Drives are a lot like spark plugs: you see them just long enough to install, and then they're forgotten. Quite the inverse of their packaging, the Super Talent UltraDrive ME receives a nice chrome and black finish to the enclosure, and uses an adhesive label to list specifics. There isn't very much to expect from the appearance of Solid State Drives, because like their Hard Disk Drive counterpart they are meant to place function before fashion. Although Super Talent goes above and beyond, I still wish manufacturers would begin using sealed plastic enclosures to prevent moisture or electrical shock damage.

Construction is probably the strongest feature credited to the entire SSD product line, and Super Talent products have never been an exception. Solid State Drives are by nature immune to most abuses, but add to this a hard metal shell and you have to wonder what it would take to make this drive fail. If any UltraDrive SSD product does happen to fail during the 2-year warranty period, end-users can contact the support department by e-mailing This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or by filling out an RMA form from their website. Unfortunately, there isn't a toll-free 800 number available for customer support.

Based on the collection of benchmark performance tests we've conducted, the Super Talent UltraDrive ME offers linear bandwidth so far ahead of previous competition that the new Indilinx controller might require calling this a new generation product in order to justify how so many other 'new' products have just been left behind. While the UltraDrive ME usually trailed slightly behind the nearly-identical OCZ Vertex SSD, there were also a few times where the UltraDrive pulled ahead. The MLC Samsung flash modules paired to a 64MB cache buffer on this 120GB model FTM28GX25H SSD help yield a 0.10 ms response time. ATTO Disk Benchmark tool reported an impressive 259 MBps maximum read bandwidth in our tests, and 175 MBps maximum write. HD Tach recorded additional high-performance results, with approximate bandwidth speeds reaching 231 MBps read and 182 MBps write. EVEREST's linear full-sector bandwidth performance was a steady 246 MBps read-from, and an impressive 209 MBps write-to speed.

As of July 2009, the Super Talent UltraDrive ME series of SSDs is available at NewEgg and other popular online retailers. A lower-capacity 32GB UltraDrive ME (model FTM32GX25H) is sold for $119, while the 64GB FTM64GX25H sells for $196 ($25 less than the 60GB OCZ Vertex). The larger 128GB version we tested in this article is offered for $399. A jumbo-sized 256GB Vertex SSD is also available for $620, which is a surprising $160 less than the OCZ Vertex SSD of the same capacity. By all comparisons, the performance is very similar while the pricing is not.

In conclusion, the Super Talent UltraDrive ME Solid State Drive offers tremendous performance in read and write bandwidth speeds and an exceptional 0.10 ms response time at a attainable price. The Indilinx 'Barefoot' controller is second to none, and the UltraDrive series easily outperforms a RAID-0 set of Western Digital VelociRaptor hard drives. The only drawback is price, which keeps the ratio just under $3 per gigabyte or storage space. I can recommend the Super Talent UltraDrive ME 128GB MLC SSD FTM28GX25H to cutting-edge super-users and performance enthusiasts who want unmatched response and speed from their computer system.

Pros:Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award

+ Impressive 246 MBps read and 209 write bandwidth with EVEREST
+ 64MB Cache buffer permanently solves 'stuttering' problem
+ Very low 0.10 ms random access time
+ Lightweight compact storage solution
+ Resistant to extreme shock impact
+ Up to 256GB of SSD capacity
+ 2-Year Super Talent product warranty
+ Low power consumption may extend battery life

Cons:

- Metal case is heavier and less durable than plastic
- Lacks integrated USB 2.0 Mini-B data connection
- Expensive premium-level product

Ratings:

  • Presentation: 8.25
  • Appearance: 9.00
  • Construction: 9.75
  • Functionality: 9.75
  • Value: 8.25

Final Score: 9.0 out of 10.

Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.

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