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Conclusion

Mtron SSD 32 GB: Performance with a Catch
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Clearly, Mtron's new 32 GB 2.5" Flash SSD is the perfect hard drive if you want maximum performance. It can deliver up to 100 MB/s (95 MB/s on our reference test system) and at least two to three times better I/O performance than any mechanical hard drive, or sometimes many times more - even and especially including random writes, which is the achilles heel of Flash SSDs. Power consumption is twice as high as with other Flash SSDs, but still it's only a fraction of what a high performance 3.5" drive requires. Data center administrators will be amazed at the performance per Watt ratio of this new product. Anyone who is looking for a high-performance system drive for her or his enthusiast PC or even servers will jump for joy after experiencing the performance.

But there are downsides: We reproduced performance bottlenecks with the latest Intel chipset Southbridges (ICH8 and ICH9), which were already reported by other publications. Expect performance limitations of roughly 15%. Eventually, this doesn't derogate the Mtron SSD's dominance, but it leaves an aftertaste and has us raise an eyebrow considering the hefty $1,500 price tag for the 32 GB version. Although it should not take long for this product to drop below $1,000, we still expect the new 64 GB model to cost $3,000 or even more. Without knowing details about the internal layout of this drive, Mtron is certainly well aware of its product's performance and it seems to demand a premium for it.

I like concluding articles with some distance. Having reset the impressions that the superior performance left, I see a fast 32 GB with a price tag that can trigger a marriage crisis. Everyone who can turn the large investment into business value should not hesitate: time savings for power users working at huge hourly rates, power savings in data centers or server performance increase are good reasons to go for the Mtron SSD drive now. Also, spending a four-digit sum into this product makes more sense and has more impact than purchasing an Extreme Edition processor for most users. But in my personal opinion, the individual value of the Mtron drive isn't large enough to justify the expense, especially as there will be more and even better Flash SSDs within the next months. This is only the beginning.

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