2007 is the year of Flash memory. And that's not the case because Flash has reached amazingly low price levels, but because the campaign against one of the traditional foundations of the PC has begun: Flash memory is increasingly being used for so-called Solid State Drives, which are intended to replace the hard drive where performance takes priority over capacity. The good old HDD is constrained by mechanical components, which prevent quicker access times or performance gains more significant than the limited advances we've seen to date Compare Prices on Solid State Drives.
We've already seen several difference Flash SSDs, and all of them in fact deliver better performance than their mechanical brothers. But at capacities of 16 and 32 GB as well as with some performance bottlenecks when it comes to write performance, they're aren't always the best choice. And despite the fact that there are 64 and 128 GB Flash SSDs are around (Supertalent has one), capacity and cost per capacity make these drives a distant prospect for most of us.
This won't change until probably the middle of 2008, when 64 GB Flash SSDs will move below the $300 price range. But there is movement at the very high-end: Memory maker Mtron has sent us two of his latest 2.5" 32 GB SSD drives, which Mtron claims to reach 100 MB/s and to dispose of the performance shortcomings at random writes. Let's see what the Mtron drives can do. Once again we benchmarked it by itself and two of them in a RAID 0 array. We also compared it to the same setups using SanDisk's Flash SSD 5000 and added a Western Digital WD1500 Raptor (10,000 RPM SATA) for the sake of comparison.