|Zalman N-Series Sandforce SSD SSD0128N1|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Thursday, 10 February 2011|
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Closer Look: Zalman N-Series SSD
SSDs are catching on quickly because they work equally well in PC, Linux, or Apple Mac computers. For this article Benchmark Reviews is testing the Zalman N-Series SSD, which is expected to reach speeds of 280 MB/s for sequential reads and 270 MB/s sequential writes. The SSD0128N1 model we're testing is built using the SandForce SF-1222 controller with 7% over-provisioning, which means that 60GB of 64GB and 120 of 128GB NAND flash contained in this SSD are allocated for data use. The Zalman N-Series comes in 64/128GB capacities.
The Zalman N-Series SSD is best suited for performance-orientated notebook computers, and also works extremely well for enthusiast-level desktop computer systems. If required, the Zalman N-Seriesf could also be utilized for mission-critical backups or high-abuse data server systems. SandForce SF-1200 series SSDs have been designed with a focus on high-performance operational and data transfer speeds, and includes encrypted data protection and improved NAND wear-leveling through their proprietary DuraWrite technology. Although Zalman N-Series SSDs do not offer an integrated USB Mini-B port, which appeared on some early-generation SSDs, the retail market offers several 2.5" SATA enclosures that utilize the SuperSpeed USB-3.0 standard for high-performance portable file transfers.
Knowing that the SSD will be installed and hidden away inside a notebook computer or desktop workstation, Zalman has remained conservative with the looks of their N-Series solid state drive. Both halves of the enclosure are given a black textured finish, which does not show fingerprints or smudges like a gloss surface would.
Standard 2.5" drive bay mounting points are pre-drilled and threaded into the Zalman N-Series SSD chassis, which allows for quick upgrade or addition into any existing notebook and other compact computer system. Unfortunately, Zalman does not include a 3.5" to 2.5" tray adapter with this kit, so the N-Series SSD will require an appropriately sized tray to install into desktop computers. The mounting positions matched up to the drive bracket on my notebook computer, and after only a few minutes I was booting from a restored Windows 7 System Image without a hitch.
Unlike most Hard Disk Drive (HDD) storage products, SSDs are nearly impervious to impact damage and do not require (or benefit from) any kind of special vibration dampening or shock-proof enclosures Zalman utilizes a standard two-piece metal enclosure for their N-Series SSDs, which reveals the internal components after removing four small counter-sunk screws located along the sides of this solid state drive. The seam along the side is covered with a 'Warranty Void' label, which Zalman attaches to across both pieces of the chassis to warn consumers against taking apart their SSDs. By removing the enclosure cover it will also remove your consumer protection with it, but Benchmark Reviews takes the risk for you and reveals the internal components in our next section.
So that's the Zalman N-Series Sandforce SSD. It's not very different in outward appearance to most other solid state drives, which is why functionality and value are so important. Now that you're acquainted with the basic exterior features of this SSD, it's time to peek inside the metal enclosure and inspect the internal components...