14-Way SSD Hard Drive Roundup

Hama Solid State Flash Drives: 2.5” SLC & MLC 32 GB

Hama also offers two 2.5” flash SSDs, which fit very well into the line of drives we already tested. There is one high-speed version based on SLC flash memory, and a lower-cost mainstream model based on multi-level cell flash. The differences are tremendous, as we mentioned earlier.

Hama Highspeed Solid State Disk Flash 32 GB 2.5” SATA

The faster of the two 2.5” Hama flash SSDs reaches more than 100 MB/s read throughput and 83 MB/s writes. This is backed up by our streaming throughput test, where this drive delivers great performance and still good performance per watt, although the flash SSDs by OCZ and Samsung are the clear winners in this category. Hama’s high-speed 2.5” drive does well with 0.8 W idle and 1.8 W peak power, but this isn’t enough to outperform the best of the class in terms of performance per watt.

We also found the I/O performance of this drive to be exceptionally quick: Hama’s Highspeed Solid State Disk Flash 32 GB 2.5” SATA was one of the fastest flash SSDs in our workstation I/O test. It delivered hundreds of input/output operations per seconds in the database and fileserver tests and was even the second fastest after Mtron’s 7500 Pro drive when it comes to web server I/O performance, where no writes are involved.

Hama Solid State Disk Flash 32 GB 2.5” SATA

The second option is much cheaper, but it does not get near the 103/83 MB/s read/write throughput. Instead, it’s limited to 62/29 MB/s. This can be found both when looking at the interface throughput as well as the read and write transfer performance results. The other performance numbers aren’t very impressive either, as the high-speed version can be many times faster. We also found the average access time to be five times longer on this drive than on the high-speed model. Although 0.5 ms to 0.1 ms is minimal compared to 5-20 ms for conventional drives, the difference is significant.

One might believe that the slower drive would at least be more efficient, but that’s not the case either. The regular Hama Solid State Disk Flash 32 GB 2.5” drive requires 1.9 W of idle power and up to 2.7 W peak power. Compared to 0.3 W idle and 0.8 W peak power of the much faster OCZ and Samsung flash SSDs, or many others at 0.8 to 1.2 W idle and 1.8 to 2.2 W peak, the results are almost embarrassing for this product. The only serious reason for getting one of these “regular” Hama drives would be mechanical robustness or a great bargain, and we doubt the latter will happen any time soon.