Six New SSDs: Can Intel Be Dethroned?

Super Talent SATA 2.5” SSD, MasterDrive OX

Super Talent’s 64 GB SATA 2.5” SSD is the last drive in this review. We already looked at the MasterDrive MX; this time the sample is called MasterDrive OX, and both are based on MLC flash memory. The MasterDrive OX is also available as an external version and at up to 256 GB, which we believe might be unaffordable at this time. It provides nice access time and interface throughput of up to 176 MB/s, which is definitely sufficient. The vendor states 150 MB/s read and 100 MB/s write speed, which, again, we could not reproduce. We reached 110 MB/s sequential read throughput and up to 53 MB/s writes on our storage test system.

Insufficient Performance

While the throughput is nice, the other benchmarks show insufficient performance for the MasterDrive OX. The 0.3 ms access time is nice, but it does not translate into quick I/O performance: 30 workstation I/Os per second is a really bad result that any conventional hard drive can beat. The same applies to our fileserver, database and workstation IOmeter test patterns: the drive does not provide convincing performance except in the webserver benchmark, where only a few kilobytes are requested for each I/O operation.

Insufficient Efficiency

The power consumption during DVD playback is average at 1.4 W, but that’s not where we’d expect it. The same applies to the PCMark05 application benchmarks and our efficiency tests, where we check performance per watt for streaming reads and for workstation I/O. The streaming read performance is nice, but efficiency is spoiled by the drive’s high average power consumption of 2.6 W for this workload. It does even worse at the workstation workload, due to slow performance and high power consumption.