As evidenced by the current trend in Cellular plans, we are a data centric society. Our need for large, fast data storage is constantly on the rise and our voracious appetite and be satiated for a while. Technology has a way of quelling our apparent need all the while increasing our desire for more, more speed and more space. This desire has taken NAND based storage typically in the form of a Solid State Drive or SSD, from an elite product down to the consumer level. Using a mechanical hard drive, as opposed to a SSD, is like taking a Yugo for a lap around Talladega. SSDs just cannot be beat when it comes to speed. However, mechanical hard drives still have their place. SSDs lack the capacity of mechanical hard drives and the SSD price/gigabyte is considerably more. However, that gap is quickly closing as SSDs have a price of about .50 cents per gigabyte where as a mechanical hard drive can be had for between .10 and .15 cents per gigabyte. SSDs have a few form factors, the most common is a 2.5″ hard drive with SATA connectors, mSATA eliminates the case and the need for separate SATA and power cables, but the motherboard must have a mSATA slot on board. PCI-E and M.2 SSDs are making a rise in the market as well. ADATA is one of the market leaders in memory and SSD drives. Their current solution for the mSATA market is the XPG SX300 mSATA drive. The ADATA XPG SX300 is a MLC mSATA drive that features an LSI controller.
SSD＋ HDD Hybrid
With a SSD ＋ HDD hybrid setup, the mSATA SSD acts as a cache drive instead of main storage. Using this configuration, systems can reach speed boosts comparable to systems with SSDs as primary drive, while still enjoying the larger storage capacities of a mechanical hard drive.
Excellent Cost Performance Value
The SX300 utilizes a SandForce controller with 25nm (MLC) NAND Flash chips. For the 256Gb model, transfer speeds are as high as 550MB/sec (read) and 505MB/sec (write). Random read/write speeds reach 25,000/85,000 IOPS. For energy saving and environmental protection, the low power consumption of the mSATA SSD greatly reduces electricity costs. When the SX300 and hard drive are used together in a hybrid configuration (SSD Caching), costs can be greatly reduced, with still reaching nearly the speed performance of an SSD as primary drive. Compared to a sole mechanical drive, performance is improved by up to 64%.
* Data is based on internal testing, actual results will vary according to different platforms or software.
The SX300 is small and light, measuring only 50.95 x 30 x 4mm. It is applicable to many motherboards on the market that have an mSATA slot, including Acer TM8481G and MSI GT70. For more detailed information on compatible hardware, refer to the website of the relevant notebook manufacturer.
Tom is a network and computer hardware enthusiast. He has been reviewing hardware products around for various sites around the net since 1999. He has modded a few cases back in the day, such as cutting a side window or two.