The Super Talent MasterDrive MX 60GB SSD
Super Talent is offering up a new solid state drive that promises to bring you SSD performance with prices at less than half of previous tested models. Can they possibly live up to that claim or is there something that Super Talent is holding back on?Introduction
Solid state drives are pretty much all the rage right now – besides graphics cards, storage has seen the most exciting innovations in the last year or so as prices on solid state media slowly drift into the affordable range. We recently tested an OCZ SSD drive that was incredibly well received with the lone exception of the price. At the time of publication, the OCZ SSD was going for no less than $1049 but has since dropped to $850 in our pricing engine – still not what we would call “affordable” but that is a considerable move in the right direction.
Enter Super Talent and their MasterDrive MX SATA-II SSDs – considerable cheaper they are, starting under $350 – but can it live up to other SSDs performance?
The Super Talent MasterDrive MX 60GB Solid-state Drive
To the uninitiated, solid state drives in their most basic form are flash memory based hard drives. This is the same technology that is inside the memory cards for your camera and phone but built in a form for use in a laptop or PC. Without spinning parts the reliability of flash-based storage should be better, quieter and will use less power than typical hard drives.
The first piece of information I feel we need to discuss is the drive’s capacity: 60GB. You might be curious why Super Talent would choose a 60GB drive rather than the standard 64GB models we have seen from everyone else. ST’s answer is that the company feels they are being more honest than their competitors in terms of actually usable storage space after formatting the drive. This is true – a quick search in our forum will show you many similar threads asking about actual drive space and available space after formatting. Though I can’t help but feel that if the rest of the industry doesn’t follow suit, Super Talent will just seem like an inferior product to unknowledgeable consumers.
The drive itself is in a very familiar form factor – 2.5″ mobile hard disk with standard SATA and power connection placements. All SSDs are exceptionally light since they of course have very little internally to weigh it down; flash memory and controller chip.
The underside of the drive gives us the serial number, model information as well as the capacity, etc. There are screw locations for mounting via the bottom of the drive as well as locations on the sides of the case for a more standard install.
The Super Talent Master MX 60GB SSD uses a SATA interface connected to an internal SATA-II controller chip and uses the standard SATA power connection as well.
You can see in this side-by-side shot with the OCZ solid-state drive – they are nearly identical and really the only change is in the color. Primary hard drives are important, but not flashy. (With the one-time exception of the windowed WD Raptor X.)