32GB LiteOn Strong-Page MLC SSD LA-32M1S E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage
Written by Olin Coles   
Saturday, 30 January 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
32GB LiteOn Strong-Page MLC SSD LA-32M1S
Features and Specifications
First Look: LiteOn Strong-Page SSD
Marvell 88SS8014 Controller
SSD Testing Methodology
ATTO Disk Benchmark
HD Tune Pro Benchmarks
Iometer IOPS Performance
EVEREST Disk Benchmark
CrystalDiskMark Tests
HD Tach RW Results
SSD vs Hard Disk Drive
LiteOn LA-32M1S SSD Conclusion

LiteOn LA-32M1S SSD Conclusion

Benchmark Reviews begins our conclusion with a short summary for each of the areas that we rate. The first section is performance, which considers how effective the 32GB LiteOn Strong-Page SSD performs in operations against direct competitor products. For reference, PLDS specifies that the model LA-32M1S Solid State Drive should offer a maximum 140 MBps read and 80 MBps write performance. In many of our benchmark tests, the LA-32M1S SSD performed at or above this rated peak speed. The 32GB LiteOn Strong-Page SSD offered up to 145/72MBps read and writes speeds in ATTO Disk Benchmark, trailed by 143/71MBps in Crystal DiskMark; Everest reported a 160/72MBps linear peak bandwidth speed. Input/Output performance was modest in Iometer and HD-Tune, indicating that the LA-32M1S 'Strong-Page' SSD would perform best for performance-orientated consumers... but does not offer the high operational functionality needed for Enterprise server application.

Solid State Drives are low-visibility products: you see them just long enough to install and then they're forgotten. Despite this, LiteOn has taken the added step of upgrading the SSD enclosure from the standard black painted chassis used on nearly all other SSD products, and uses a textured titanium-metal finish. Because Solid State Drives, like their Hard Disk Drive counterparts, are meant to place function before fashion, anything above and beyond a simple metal shell is more than what's expected of the appearance. To this end I still wish manufacturers would return to using sealed plastic enclosures (such as the MOBI 3000) to prevent moisture or electrical shock damage, though the trend doesn't seem likely.Plextor-LiteOn_Solid_State_Drive_Bottom.jpg

Construction is probably the strongest feature credited to the entire SSD product segment, and Plextor/LiteOn Solid State Drive products are certainly no 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 a LiteOn SSD product fails during the 3-year warranty period, end-users should contact the original system manufacturer for support.

Benchmark Reviews has tested the 32GB LiteOn Strong-Page MLC SSD LA-32M1S model, and the performance results were actually on-par with modern high-performance hard drive storage solutions. Based on our benchmark tests of this OEM storage product, the 32GB LiteOn Strong-Page SSD responded with a noteworthy 0.20 ms response time which assures a nearly-instant reactions when called upon, and the LA-32M1S model showed absolutely no sign of data-write stuttering during our tests. Based on the budget-friendly Marvell 88SS8014-BHP2 SSD Controller, the LiteOn Strong-Page MLC SSD delivers native TRIM garbage collection support with good transfer speeds. Although hardware-based data encryption and a mini-USB port would have been a nice touch, the LiteOn/Plextor SSD series is really intended as a step-up option for hard drive users.

At the time of this writing, PLDS was in negotiation with tier-one OEMs to include their 32GB LiteOn Strong-Page LA-32M1S model and other Marvell-based SSDs as an optional upgrade in custom-ordered computer systems. After launching as an OEM product, PLDS will later offer the LA-32M1S to retail customers under the Plextor brand name. There is no specified MSRP for the LiteOn LA-32M1S SSD, which makes judging value impossible without more information.

In summary, there could be a lot of potential for the 32GB LiteOn Strong-Page MLC SSD as an upgrade item for OEM computer builds... so long as the option's price is affordable. Without more information on how much the LA-32M1S model might cost, we're left to compare this storage device based on performance alone. While native TRIM Garbage Collection functionality is a plus, it would have been nice to see better read and write speeds. Even at the rated maximums of 140/80MBps, which are a fair grade above HDD counterparts, there are far faster solutions available on the retail market. Compared in real-world tasks, there is little to no perceivable difference between the LiteOn LA-32M1S and other 'faster' SSD storage solutions. If you're looking for an upgrade option, then our Featured Reviews: Storage section is full of suggestions. However, if PLDS follows-through with their intention to sell the LiteOn LA-32M1S at an entry-level price, the Plextor SSD could soon follow.

Pros:

+ 160/72MBps read and write speeds with EVEREST beat HDDs
+ TRIM/Garbage Collection maintains peak NAND performance
+ Very low 0.20 ms random access time
+ Good enthusiast operational I/O performance
+ Lightweight compact storage solution
+ Resistant to extreme shock impact
+ Produces little to no additional heat
+ 3-Year PLDS product warranty
+ Reduced power consumption over HDD counterparts

Cons:

- Limited to 32GB capacity
- Metal case is heavier and less durable than plastic
- Lacks integrated USB 2.0 Mini-B data connection
- Lacks onboard data encryption

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