back to article Storage boosters: Six mSATA format SSDs on test

The M.2 format for SSDs seems to be hogging all the headlines of late and the form factor may well be the future for storage for thin and light notebooks, tablets and nano-sized PCs. Yet the market is still gearing up to support it, so devices that can accommodate the format are still pretty thin on the ground, albeit improving …

  1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    What is sustained write performance?

    I have found sustained write in Crucial drives to be very far off.

    Example: two machines, roughly same spec (AMD quad core A4), one with Cruicial drive and one with Kingston, upgrade from Debian Weezy to Jessie. The test writes a couple gigs of data (first downloading packages, then unpacking) in a mixed pattern (random write + a lot of sequential large volume writes).

    The Crucial - upgrade took > 2 hours. The Kingston one - under 15 minutes.

    If you benchmark them, they show up fine. If you start using them for real - not so much, there is a write performance "drop off a cliff" under load. I am definitely not bying them ever again.

    1. Paul

      Re: What is sustained write performance?

      For sustained performance you need to see the Anandtech reviews where their testing runs for sufficiently long that it properly exercises the controller and its ability to recycle (erase and add to free pool) disused blocks

      many SSDs improve their sustained performance if you don't use their full capacity.

    2. ToddR

      Re: What is sustained write performance?

      There is a sequential write drop off a cliff for ALL flash SSDs, it's a matter of when the buffer runs out and you see it.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    yeah its all to do with their(crucial) cache technology and the size of the buffer . Shane that samsung wasnt tested with rapid mode .. gotta say tho some very small drives (capacity-wise) would they be good for normal windows usage?

  3. Richard Lloyd

    Whilst the form factor is nice (good for laptops), the performance is yawnsome beyond belief - showing figures that are the same or worse than 2.5" SSDs from over 3 years ago. This is why I'm never buying any SATA-based SSDs ever again - they have speed-plateaued for years now and PCIe-based SSDs are where it's at (although they're priced where SATA SSDs were 5 years ago, so adoption hasn't ramped up yet).

  4. Paul

    Dear Simon Crisp,

    please can you add a table to the results showing GB/£ so we can see which is the cheapest drive for the storage offered?


  5. paul481


    Your last table showing power consumption does not show units. Just says about '93' for idle - is the scale in milliwatts ?

    I agree, a table of £/GB is a useful metric.

    Good if you can do a review of popular non-SATA M.2 cards - again, the 256GB capacity towards beginning of next year when there are more to choose from.

  6. knarf

    Not £100 for 1TB Yet!

    That's what will convince me to upgrade my laptop. I am prepared to wait.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    mSATA vs M2

    I'm in the market for a new laptop and I've noticed that many are still on sale that use the mSATA port. Will there be problems sourcing compatible SSD drives when it comes to upgrade time in a couple of years (e.g. limited choice and expensive)?

  8. Gigabob

    Who sells a contemporary MBD with mSATA interface? Agree the plethora of M.2 alternatives is low and their availability is scarce - but see this is an issue of ready to ramp. The 500M+ aging desktops over 5 years old are not going to be upgrading older systems when the new systems with integrated M.2 interfaces dominate for just a few dollars more. Just need the drives. As a matter of perspective - why buy an mSATA 850 EVO for $120 when I can get the same 2.5" version for $89?

    1. RNixon


      Because you can't cram the 2.5" 850 Evo in a laptop that only has an mSATA slot.

  9. Myvekk

    The specified lifespan seems to be pesemistic...

    Techreport also had a great article series where they tested some ~250GB SSDs to the death. They were all rated in the 80TB range for longevity and while, from memory, none actually failed to read only mode even though they should have, the first died at ~700TB and the last at 2+PB. Yes, that's 2 PETABYTES!

    They do state that it was not a statistically significant sample size, but regardless, the worst lasted for almost 10 times the manufacturers stated lifespan.



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