|Super Talent UltraDrive ME SSD FTM28GX25H|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Thursday, 14 May 2009|
Page 5 of 16
Intermittent and delayed response cycles (stuttering) from Solid State Drive products is not entirely wide-spread among all MLC SSDs, but it has become a big-enough issue among most affordable SSD products that many are well-aware of the phenomenon. Consumers first experienced the bitter taste of stuttering SSD performance with several popular brands of products, some of which have been the OCZ Core Series, G.Skill MLC SSD, and Patriot Warp v2. The phenomenon occurs when the drives buffer is filled faster than it can read or write data, and was prevalent among first-generation JMicron JMF602 SSD controllers.
But stuttering is a MLC-specific problem, and RAID-0 controllers or high-performance SSD chips are simply work-arounds. So how well can the Super Talent UltraDrive produce read-from and write-to bandwidth using the new architecture matched to Multi-Layer Cell construction without suffering from response stuttering? The answer lies within a larger buffer, and an Indilinx ARM7 micro-controller.
To the untrained eye, the Super Talent UltraDrive SSD looks like every other Solid State Drive you've probably seen when the internal components have been exposed. There's a collective bank of DRAM, usually with Samsung markings, followed by the SATA controller chip. Super Talents OEM manufacturer, Samsung, decided to use Indilinx to deliver the SATA controller interface since their 'Barefoot' chip was production-ready to be paired with a large cache months ago, while JMicron is still a few months away with their successor to the JMF602B chip.
The internal DRAM is comprised of Samsung K9HCG08U1M-PCB00 IC parts, which bare the branding mark K9HCG08U1M PCB0. These lead-free RoHS-compliant 48-pin ICs are multi-layer, with one IC directly atop another. Each IC has an operating voltage of 2.7-3.6V, with a 25ns speed rating. The K9HCG08U1M parts offer 64GB in 8x organization.
Indilinx claims that their IDX110M00-FC 'Barefoot' chip offer a maximum read speed 230 MBps and supports the capacity up to 512GB with multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash. The Indilinx (IDX110) Barefoot SSD controller chip is touted as delivering bandwidth over 200 MBps and random input-output (IO) of 20,000/s into various servers such as on-line transaction processing (OLTP) and streaming server units.
A single Elpida 64MB SDRAM module is marked with S51321CBH-7BTT-F, but the actual Elpida part number is EDS51321CBH, which is a 133MHz (CL3-3-3) mobile RAM component. This 64MB cache buffer helps improve small write-to performance and removes the 'stuttering' effect from the UltraDrive SSD.
The test sample Benchmark Reviews received for our benchmarks came with version 03-20-09 (FTM28GX25H-AIX) firmware. Future firmware updates can be found on the Super Talent website under the driver download section for SSD products.
In the next section, Benchmark Reviews begins performance testing the UltraDrive ME Solid State Drive, and we determine just how well the new Indilinx Barefoot-based SSD compares to the previous best-performing competition.