Introduction, Specifications and Packaging
It has been just under a year since Intel released their 520 Series SSD, which was their second 6 Gb/sec SATA unit. Sporting a SandForce controller, that release helped bridge a high speed storage gap in their product lineup. One year prior, Intel dabbled in the mSATA form factor, releasing a 310 Series model under that moniker. The 310 showed up here and there, but never really caught on as the physical interface was admittedly before its time. While in hindsight it was a very good way to go towards establishing a fixed standard, the industry had already begun fragmenting on these smaller interfaces. The MacBook Air had already launched with a longer 'GumStick' shaped SSD, and Ultrabook makers were following suit with units that were physically identical yet not pin-compatible with that used in the Apple product.
The Intel 520 Series SSD helped push Intel into 6Gb/sec SATA territory.
It's taken a while for the industry to favor defragmentation (pun intended) enough for mSATA to really start catching on, and that time appears to be nearing with Intel's launch of the SSD 525 Series:
Subject: General Tech | January 31, 2013 - 03:53 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: podcast, Intel, msata, 525, project shield, nvidia, Crysis 3, UP7, haswell
PC Perspective Podcast #236 - 01/31/2013
Join us this week as we discuss new Intel mSATA SSDs, NVIDIA Project Shield, Crysis 3, and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the Store
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath and Allyn Malventano
Program length: 1:15:43
Podcast topics of discussion:
- Week in Reviews:
- 0:26:55 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
News items of interest:
- 0:28:30 I can Haswell Overclock?
- 0:31:10 NVIDIA to start making white-label tablets and phones
- 0:39:30 Crysis 3 MP Beta On-going - Live Stream
- 0:42:45 RIM is going through changes...
- 0:48:20 NVIDIA Project SHIELD Development Detail
- 0:55:15 Details of AMD and Apple Finances
1:00:00 Question from Antonio in Wisconsin
- I have a different kind of question for you. I have an HIS HD6850 that has been damaged. Six surface mounted capacitors and three resistors have been knocked off the back side of the board and were lost forever. With little to lose I removed one cap, measured the voltage, took a dead geforce 7600 and salvaged caps of approximately the same value to put Humpty back together again. To my astonishment the card works... kinda. It cooperates until I install the driver then becomes very unstable and struggles to go any further than the windows loading screen.
- I don't know the capacitance of the original components and cannot find any schematics online for any card ever created. I do not need the card but this has become a bit of a challenge. Any ideas or thoughts on how I might be victorious and declare dominance over this wreckage?
- 1-888-38-PCPER or firstname.lastname@example.org
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
Subject: Storage | August 15, 2012 - 02:21 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: msata, crucial, Crucial m4
mSATA drives are for far more than just Intel's Rapid Storage Technology to give a platter based drive a performance boost. At 256GB the Crucial M4 mSATA drive is large enough to run a system off of, tiny enough that it could fit into any system and at $220 it is affordable as well. If you are looking to build a fast HTPC or simply have a motherboard with an mSATA port you want to fill then you should check out Funky Kit's review.
"We've just published a review on the Crucial M4 mSATA 256GB SSD. We've seen a lot of mSATA SSDs in the past, but sadly they've out of reach to a lot of consumers. But fear not ... Crucial is now making their mSATA SSDs mainstream and widely available. We take a closer look at their M4 mSATA 256GB SSD."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- OCZ Agility 4 Solid State Drives: 128 GB and 256 GB Models @ X-bit Labs
- OCZ Agility 4 256 GB @ techPowerUp
- Crucial 256GB v4 SATA II Solid State Drive @ Pro-Clockers
- Kingston V200 Review - 128GB @ HCW
- ADATA XPG SX300 128GB mSATA @ Kitguru
- Corsair Force GS 240GB @ Tweaktown
- OCZ Technology Agility 4 256GB @ Tweaktown
- MyDigitalSSD BP3 256GB mSATA SSD Revisited - 3.2 Firmware Update @ Tweaktown
- The Intel SSD 910 @ AnandTech
- Micron RealSSD P400E Five Drive JBOD Enterprise Report @ Tweaktown
- Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 2TB @ Hardware.Info
- Western Digital 1TB WD RE4 Enterprise Hard Drive Review @ PCSTATS
- SI 9207-8i Mustang RAID Controller Host Bus Adapter @ Tweaktown
- RAIDON Hybrid Runner iH2420-2S-S2 Review @ NikKTech
- Akitio NT2U3 USB 3.0 Dual Bay RAID Enclosure Review @ NikKTech
- Patriot Gauntlet Node Wireless Enclosure Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- Migrating From One QNAP NAS to Another @ CoD
- StarTech.com InfoSafe SATA HDD Enclosure @ XSReviews
Subject: General Tech | August 3, 2012 - 05:26 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ultrabook, Intel, ssd, msata
Many avenues have been explored in an attempt to reduce the price of Ultrabooks, from lower cost CPUs to changes in the materials used in the construction of the chassis and Intel is now attempting to lower the cost of the SSD required to meet Ultrabook standards. DigiTimes reports that Intel is partnering with Micron, Samsung and other flash memory manufacturers to create a new mSATA specification that they are calling the Next Generation Form Factor. Hopefully with a new unified standard, the production costs of these mSATA SSDs will drop in price over time, as standards do tend to lower manufacturing costs. That is not the only reason that they are looking for a new standard, they are also looking towards the future storage needs of users that want more than 512GB of storage space. The current standard can have a maximum of 5 flash chips, which makes scaling to larger sized SSDs very difficult. Keep your eye out for more discussions on this new standard as they finalize the new specifications.
"Intel is looking to unify specifications for mSATA SSDs targeted at ultrabook applications, and is seeking cooperation with PC vendors and NAND flash companies. Details regarding the new SSD specs for ultrabooks will likely be finalized in September, according to sources at memory makers.
The new SSD specification is expected to be fully adopted into ultrabooks in 2013, but whether it will become a standard specification for traditional notebooks will depend on PC brand vendors' attitudes."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Nvidia lands orders for at least 3 million Tegra 3 chips for Nexus 7 @ DigiTimes
- Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 Review @ TechReviewSource
- Microsoft unleashes Windows attack tool @ The Register
- Physicists Demonstrate Quantum Router @ Slashdot
- Outlook.com launch a gold rush for jokers, spammers @ The Register
- TRENDnet TPL-402E2K 500Mbps Powerline AV Adapter Kit Review @ NikKTech
- Mountain Lion enters the MacHole @ The Tech Report
Subject: Storage | June 21, 2012 - 09:06 AM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: ssd, msata, drobo
I have a warm spot in my heart for Drobo products ever since I spent months trying to break one (unsuccessfully). With that I am now pleased to report on their announcement of two new products.
First is the Drobo 5D, which is basically a 5-bay Drobo S on steroids. It updates the interface to USB 3.0 + Thunderbolt and speeds up IOPS and multi-stream performance by way of an mSATA SSD. The SSD does not take up a drive bay as it is installed beneath a trap door un the bottom of the 5D:
Next up is the Drobo Mini. This little guy carries the same connectivity as the 5D, but is *much* smaller:
The drop in size comes from a change in the form factor of installed storage. It takes up to 4 2.5" form factor drives. Performance should be similar to that of the 5D, primarily based on it also sporting that integrated mSATA port. I suspect the mini will go over very well with the mobile / MacBook / Ultrabook crowd, as being able to carry a small box with large redundant storage is a great idea for mobile workstations.
More to follow as availability will be announced in July. Pricing is expected to be below $650 (thunderbolt cable *included*). Press blast after the break.
Subject: General Tech, Motherboards | April 27, 2012 - 02:48 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Z77, msata, Ivy Bridge, asus
ASUS announces their upcoming P8Z77-V Premium flagship motherboard for Intel processors. Many features have been included such as 4-way SLi and onboard MSATA support with a 32GB MSATA SSD.
Does anyone know where I can get 4 GTX 680s?
In case you missed it, JJ from ASUS was recently at the PC Perspective offices to announce their Z77 lineup of motherboards. Lots of stuff was given away to live viewers. JJ stuck around after the live stream to record a couple of videos about overclocking Ivy Bridge and WiDi support which were released publicly earlier this week.
Now they reached out to us to announce their flagship P8Z77-V Premium Z77-based motherboard.
Two antennas, why-fi not?
The main features of the motherboard are as follows:
- USB3 Boost support
- USB Bios Flashback
- Dual Intel Gigabit Nics featuring iNetwork Control Packet Priority
- 4 way SLI and 4 way Crossfire support via a new PLX Gen 3 switch
- Dual Band Wifi with BT 4.0 featuring WiFi Go! Software Suite ( for DLNA Streaming/Serving, Easy file transfer to android/iOS devices and remote desktop functionality )
- Onboard MSATA support with 32GB MSATA SSD
- Digi+ VRM with 3 way Digital power design ( CPU/VRM – DRAM – iGPU )
- 9 SATA Ports
- 6 4 Pin PWM Fan Headers featuring Fan Xpert 2 Fan Technology ( for advanced control in UEFI and OS as well as automatic fan calibration )
The feature which sticks out to me the most is the 32 GB mSATA SSD allegedly packaged with the motherboard. That would certainly be nothing to sneer at. Judging by the photos provided by Asus the flash cells appear to be produced by Toshiba.
Want to see half of a pegasus flashing?
Also visible on the MSATA drive is a chip produced by Nanya which is commonly known for producing RAM. I am, however, not Al and as such will not speculate further about the SSD -- except that my guess is the chip is probably cache. So unfortunately, I do not know which controller it will utilize.
The other feature which catches my eye is the support for 4-way SLi or Crossfire. Not much else to say about that except that knowing somewhere out there someone will be gaming with four GTX 680s and there better be more than a single 60hz 1080p monitor.