VisionTek recently released a new storage product dubbed the mSATA mini USB 3.0 Bus-Powered SSD Enclosure (900696). Despite the name, VisionTek has an interesting product on its hands as it not only enables speedy portable storage (assuming you have hardware with USB 3.0 ports of course), but allows users to put any mSATA SSDs that would otherwise be gathering dust in a drawer to good use! Essentially, it is a small metal enclosure that accepts a mSATA SSD and interfaces it with a PC over USB 3.0.
The mSATA USB 3.0 enclosure measures 2.88" x 1.63" x 0.51" and is constructed of aluminum with a textured titanium color (for aesthetics) and rounded edges. Users can install any mSATA SSD up to 50mm in length. A third generation ASMedia ASM1153E controller then performs the conversion from the drive's SATA I, II, or III interface to USB 3.0. Naturally, you are going to take a performance hit due to the added latency and interface conversion introduced by the ASMedia controller versus directly attaching the drive to a motherboard's mSATA slot. Fortunately, the hit to performance is fairly minimal when dealing with large file transfers and sequential read and write performance.
According to Legit Reviews, their Kingston 120GB (SATA 3 6 Gbps) mSATA solid state drive saw sequential read and write speeds of 271 MB/s and 160 MB/s respectively when connected to a motherboard slot. When installed in the USB 3.0 enclosure, speeds dropped to 250 MB/s sequential reads and 158 MB/s sequential writes. Further, a large 71GB 4K video file transfer averaged out to 151 MB/s. The exact speeds will vary with the specific drive users install, but the thing to note is that the performance hit should be minimal (at least the performance relating to dealing with file copies, random access will take a larger hit) despite adding the USB 3.0 interface to the equation.
The VisionTek drive is available now with a three year warranty for $30.72 from Amazon, which is a tempting price for fast portable storage especially if you already have a mSATA drive laying around! Notably, it seems that VisionTek is not the only manufacturer sourcing these boards, as MyDigitalSSD has a simlar drive with an MSRP of $24.99.
If you are interested in putting together your own SSD-powered portable drive, check out the full review linked above.
Now, if I can only encourage Allyn to recycle some of his mSATA drives...
Subject: Storage | April 22, 2014 - 02:24 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: kingston, msata, ssdnow, SandForce SF-2241, SandForce SF-2281, ssd
Fountain Valley, CA – April 21, 2014 – Kingston Digital, Inc., the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, today announced the addition of 240GB and 480GB capacities to the existing SSDNow mS200 mSATA SSD line. Kingston’s SSDNow mS200 mSATA solid-state drive allows system builders and enthusiasts a cost-effective performance boost with quicker boot time and application loads while requiring less power than HDDs.
The mS200’s small-form factor is perfect for notebook, tablet and Ultrabook PCs, as well as a variety of embedded systems. It can also be used as a caching device with motherboards that support Intel Smart Response Technology (SRT) to improve system performance. mS200 has read speeds up to 550MB/s and write speeds up to 520MB/s.
The 30GB, 60GB, 120GB, 240GB and 480GB mS200 mSATA SSDs have a caseless, PCB-only design with no moving parts and are backed by a two- or three-year warranty, free technical support and legendary Kingston reliability. For more information visit www.kingston.com.
Features & Specifications:
- LSI SandForce 2241 (30GB, 60GB, 120GB) and 2281 (240GB, 480GB) controller with SATA Rev. 3.0 (6Gb/s) interface: twice as fast as the previous generation, yet more cost-efficient
- mSATA interface: fully compliant with industry standard, easy to fit, guaranteed to work
- NAND Flash memory based: shock-resistant with low power consumption
- Supports Intel’s SRT: combines capacity advantage of HDD with performance improvements of SSD in dual-storage configuration
- Supports S.M.A.R.T.: monitors the status of your drive
- Supports TRIM: maintains maximum performance on compatible operating systems
- Interface: SATA Rev. 3.0 (6Gb/s), SATA Rev. 2.0 (3Gb/s), SATA Rev. 1.0 (1.5Gb/s) ·
- Capacities1: 30GB, 60GB, 120GB, 240GB, 480GB
- Automatic Encryption (AES 128-bit):Password at the drive level ensures secure data protection
- Sequential Read/Write2:
- 30GB – 550 MB/s / 510MB/s
- 60GB – 550 MB/s / 520MB/s
- 120GB – 550MB/s / 520MB/s
- 240GB – 540MB/s / 530MB/s
- 480GB – 530MB/s / 340MB/s ·
- Maximum 4k Read/Write2:
- 30GB – up to 86,000/ up to 77,000 IOPS
- 60GB – up to 86,000/ up to 79,000 IOPS
- 120GB – up to 86,000/ up to 48,000 IOPS
- 240GB – up to 72,000/up to 40,000 IOPS
- 480GB – up to 72,000/up to 18,000 IOPS ·
- Random 4k Read/Write2:
- 30GB – up to 7,500/71,000 IOPS
- 60GB – up to 14,000/77,000 IOPS
- 120GB – up to 17,000/45,000 IOPS
- 240GB – up to 21,000/41,000 IOPS
- 480GB – up to 21,000/13,000 IOPS
- PCMARK® Vantage HDD Suite Score: 60,000
- Power Consumption: 0.4W Idle / 1.2 (TYP) Read / 1.8W (TYP) Write
- Storage temperature: -40°C ~ 85°C
- Operating temperature: 0°C ~ 70°C
- Dimensions: 50.88mm x 30mm
- Weight: 6.86g
- TRIM Supported
- Vibration operating: 2.17G
- Vibration non-operating: 20G
- MTTF: 1,000,000 Hrs
- 30GB – two-year warranty with free technical support
- 60GB, 120GB, 240GB, 480GB – three-year warranty with free technical support
- Total Bytes Written (TBW)3:
- 30GB: 121TB 3 DWPD4
- 60GB: 218TB 3 DWPD4
- 120GB: 337TBW 2 DWPD4
- 240GB: 585TBW 2 DWPD4
- 480GB: 1562TBW 2 DWPD4
1 Some of the listed capacity on a Flash storage device is used for formatting and other functions and thus is not available for data storage. As such, the actual available capacity for data storage is less than what is listed on the products. For more information, go to Kingston's Flash Memory Guide.
2 Based on “out-of-box performance.” Speed may vary due to host hardware, software and usage.
3 Total Bytes Written (TBW) is derived from the JEDEC Workload (JESD219A).
4 Drive Writes Per Day (DWPD)
Subject: General Tech | December 31, 2013 - 07:00 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ssd, msata, Samsung 840, 1TB
The new Samsung 840 EVO mSATA SSD has arrived with 1TB of storage at a price comparable to the existing 2.5" form. This different way to connect an SSD will not be with us long as M.2 starts to be adopted but currently offers the same benefits as the full sized connection you are more familiar with. From the tests conducted at SSD Review you can see that this would be a great update to a laptop which possesses an mSATA slot and will greatly improve performance. While endurance is possibly a concern the fact that Samsung offers a 3 year warranty should assuage your worries somewhat.
"There is no doubt in anyones mind that 2014 will be the year of the M.2/NGFF SSD, however, Samsung is about to release an SSD that is guaranteed to rock the SSD community like few others have. This SSD is the Samsung 840 EVO 1TB mSATA SSD and it, not only is the one and only mSATA SSD capable of 1TB storage available in the world, but also, Samsung has priced this SSD at only $10 higher than it’s sister 1TB notebook form factor SSD. To say that there are more than a few mSATA SSD storage based notebook owners that have been waiting for some time for exactly this type of capacity is an understatement; Lenovo Thinkpad sales surpassed the 60 million mark some time ago."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Samsung 840 EVO 250GB mSATA SSD @ Custom PC Review
- Seagate 600 480 GB vs. Kingston HyperX 3K 480 GB SSD Review @ Hardware Secrets
- VANTEC USB 3.0 Multi-Memory Internal Card Reader w/ USB 3.0, eSATA and Audio Ports Review @HiTech Legion
- Icy Dock MB290SPB EZ-FIT Lite and MB343SP EZ-Fit Trio Hard drive & SSD Bracket Review @HiTech Legion
- ADATA DashDrive HV620 2.5″ 1TB External Hard Drive @ eTeknix
- Silicon Power Armor Series A30 USB 3.0 Portable HDD Review @ Madshrimps
- WD Black² Dual-Drive 120GB SSD + 1TB HDD Hybrid Review @ Legit Reviews
- ADATA Premier Pro 32GB UHS-1 microSDHC Memory Card @ eTeknix
- Vantec SATA/IDE to USB 3.0 Adapter Review @ Legit Reviews
Subject: General Tech | October 14, 2013 - 12:37 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: tablet, msata, Intel, haswell, fujitsu, Bay Trail-T
Fujitsu recently launched several new mobile devices for business users running Intel's latest Haswell and Atom chips. The "All New In Touch" portfolio includes three new Lifebook notebooks and two Stylistic slate-style tablets. All of the new devices are 14" or smaller, have long battery life (according to Fujitsu), and will be available later this month.
Specifically, the lineup includes the following devices:
- Lifebook T734
- Lifebook T904
- Lifebook U904
- Stylistic Q584
- Stylistic Q704
The Lifebook T734, T904, and U904 are notebooks powered by Intel's Haswell processors. They come with Windows 8.1, DDR3 memory (up to 12GB on some models), several storage options, backlit keyboards, and high resolution displays. The 734 can be fitted with an optical drive or second battery pack. The 13.3" T904 has a 2560x1440 IGZO rotatable/convertible display with touch and pen support while the 14" U904 has a 3200x1800 IGZO display.
The Fujitsu Lifebook U904.
All of the notebooks come with Windows 8.1, touchscreens, and enterprise-friendly security features.
Beyond the touchscreen-enabled notebooks, Fujitsu is launching two new tablets under its STYLISTIC brand: the Q584 and Q704. The Q584 is a 10.1" tablet with 2560x1600 display, smart card shell, and dockable keyboard. It is semi-ruggedized and is dust and water proof. It is powered by an Intel Bay Trail-T (quad core) processor clocked at 2.4GHz and either a 64GB or 128GB mSATA SSD. Other features include a 2MP front and 8MP rear camera and Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, and LTE radios.
The Fujitsu Stylistic Q584
The Stylistic Q704 steps the specifications up a bit to a 12.5" semi-ruggedized tablet powered by up to an Intel Haswell i7 vPro CPU, 8GB of LPDDR3 memory, and 256GB mSATA SSD. It has a 1920x1080 resolution display, 2MP front and 5MP rear cameras, and a smart card shell or dockable keyboard. Radios include Wi-Fi (dual band 802.11n), LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, and GPS.
The Stylistic tablets will come pre-loaded with Windows 8.1.
The entire Fujitsu lineup should be available later this month at various (not yet specified) price points. For business users, the new devices are worth a look (pending reviews that verify the battery life claims).
Subject: Storage | September 4, 2013 - 02:37 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: ssd, PCIe SSD, msata, LSI, kingspec, jmicron
KingSpec recently started shipping a new PCI-E based SSD that achieves more than 2.5GB/s sequential read performance from multiple mSATA SSDs behind a 6Gbps LSI RAID controller. The KingSpec MC2J677M1T is a full height expansion card with a PCI-E 2.0 x8 interface.
The new KingSpec solid state drive is bootable and uses a 6Gbps LSI RAID controller that connects to eight 6Gbps mSATA slots. The drive comes in 1TB and 2TB total capacities and the eight 6Gbps mSATA slots are occupied by eight 128GB or 256GB mSATA SSDs. Each mSATA SSD is powered by a Jmircon SSD controller, NANYA-manufactured DRAM cache, and Intel MLC NAND flash. Further, the LSI RAID controller is actively cooled by a small fan.
As far as performance goes, the 1TB model is rated at 84,000 IOPS and approximately 2GB/s sequential read and write transfer speeds. The SSD Review received a sample of the new drive and provided some preliminary benchmark results in the form of an ATTO benchmark run. At a queue depth of 4, the KingSpec MC2J677M1T achieved 4K reads of 2567 MB/s and 4K writes of 1613 MB/s.
The 1TB KingSpec PCI-E SSD will be available later this year for between $2,000 and $3,000 USD.
When asked for his thoughts, PC Perspective storage editor Allyn Malventano noted that the eight JMicron-driven mSATA SSDs in RAID is just asking for trouble, and the 4K random IO offered by the drive is actually less than some single drive SATA SSDs on the market. Unfortunately, the LSI RAID controller is “a major bottleneck for SSD-level random access.”
Subject: General Tech | June 27, 2013 - 02:07 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: H87, zotac, haswell, mini-itx, mini ITX, 802.11n, msata
Zotac has announced a new H87ITX-A-E motherboard, which is a mini-ITX form factor board for Intel's latest generation "Haswell" 4th Generation Core processors. The board is designed for small form factor systems and should enable some low power PCs for HTPC, DVR, home server and desktop tasks.
The board has a unique layout. Zotac has placed four SATA III 6Gbps ports, a single Mini-PCI-E slot, one mSATA (6Gbps) connector, and hte PCH at the top of the board where the CPU socket would traditionally be. The LGA 1150 CPU socket sits just above the single PCI-E x 16 slot and between the VRMs and two DDR3 DIMM slots (maximum of 16GB RAM). There are also headers for four additional USB 2.0 ports and two additional USB 3.0 ports. Zotac is bundling a pre-installed 802.11n Wi-Fi card in the Mini-PCI-E slot.
The Zotac H87 Mini ITX Wi-Fi series board has robust IO that includes:
- 4 x USB 3.0
- 2 x USB 2.0
- 2 x Gigabit Ethernet
- 5 x Analog audio jacks
- 1 x Optical S/PDIF
- 2 x Wi-Fi antennas
- 1 x HDMI
- 1 x DisplayPort
- 1 x DVI
The Mini-ITX motherboard appears to be available in Japan via Amazon's Japanese site, but US pricing and availability are still unkown. From the specifications though, it looks like a capable motherboard that is worth keeping an eye on. If the price translation is accurate, the board may be around $150 when it hits US shores, though that is not the official MSRP (which could change).
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 email@example.com
- 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