The first mSATA-based SSDs we reviewed wowed us with diminutive dimensions, but not as much with performance. Today's best efforts are a lot more like their desktop equivalents, though. We round up 10 models between 64 and 256 GB and nail down a winner.
Crucial's m4s deserve special recognition. The 128 and 256 GB versions are almost exactly as fast as each other; that's notable because competing 120 and 128 GB models are a bit slower. And the 64 GB m4 holds its own against larger competing SSDs.
All discussion of other drives is rendered almost needless by the fact that Crucial's 256 GB m4 currently sells for $60 less than its closest competitor. It is worth pointing out, however, that OCZ's Nocti drags along at the bottom of our chart.
That 256 GB m4 gets even more attractive when you take a look at its power consumption under load. It ducks in under 1 W, lower than any other mSATA-based SSD in today's round-up and followed by the other two m4s.
At the other end of the spectrum, higher-capacity drives with SandForce controllers use notably more power under load. The Adata XPG SX300 and Mushkin Enhanced Atlas families don't fare particularly well.
They're all pretty close together at idle, with the exception of OCZ's Nocti, which uses very little power indeed.