Few things can breathe new life into a laptop faster than swapping out a hard disk drive for a solid state drive, but ADATA's hedging its bets with a pair of new mSATA-compatible notebook SSDs announced today. While SSDs are fast, HDDs traditionally offer larger storage capacities, and some users may not want to exchange space for speed.
One possible solution: using an SSD as a caching drive that handles the most commonly used files as a supplement to an HDD. Everyday tasks get an SSD-powered boost in speed while rarely used files get stored in a spacious HDD repository. Wah-lah! Problem solved.
ADATA's new XPG SX300 and Premier Pro SP300 SSDs feature Intel's Smart Response Technology to automatically manage which files become cached on the SSD and which files get stashed on the hard drive.
The XPG SX300 could fit the bill as a full-fledged SSD, however; it sports a 6Gbps SATA 3.0 interface, 550 and 505 MBps sequential read/write times, and 85k random 4K IOPS performance. The drive comes with plenty of storage space of its own, too: there are 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB versions available for $89.99, $149.99 and $299.99 respectively.
The Premier Pro SP300 SSDs, on the other hand, boasts specs that are more standard for a cache drive. These SSDs range in size from 24GB to 64GB and top out at $79.99, with a 3Gbps SATA 2.0 interface, 280 and 260 MBps read/write times and up to 46k random 4K IOPS.
Both series support the space-saving TRIM function, and ADATA claims that firmware optimizations in the new drives increase storage capacity by seven percent compared to other drives that use SandForce controllers.
There's no word on an availability date, however. The full press release is embedded below.
Taipei, Taiwan - June 19, 2012 - ADATA™ Technology today announces the launch of the XPG SX300 and Premier Pro SP300 mSATA solid state drives. Both products are geared towards consumers who wish to get the most out of recently released motherboards that have built-in mSATA sockets. By using an mSATA SSD as a cache drive instead of main storage, systems can reach speed boosts comparable to systems with SSDs as primary drive.
The XPG SX300 has a SATA 6Gbit/sec interface, and is targeted towards power users who demand the utmost in speed and capacity. Read and write speeds reach an impressive 550 and 505 MB/sec respectively, with maximum 4K random write of 85,000 IOPs. With capacities of 64, 128, and 256GB in such a small form factor, the SX300 brings the full power of solid state technology to the mSATA field.
The Premier Pro SP300 has a SATA 3 Gbit/sec interface, and is an economical upgrade option. Read and write speeds reach 280 and 260 MB/sec respectively, with maximum 4K random write of 46,000 IOPs. Capacities of 24, 32, and 64GB allow for use in conjunction with a larger but slower mechanical drive, making the SP300 an extremely cost-effective route for increasing system speed.
The implementation of optimized firmware in the SX300 and the SP300 results in full utilization of the NAND Flash components, which translates to maximized storage capacity: a 7% increase over other solid state drives that use a SandForce controller. This zero percent over-provisioning is implemented with no loss to performance or supported features, and can be realized only by 100% screening and sorting of the NAND Flash. Both the SX300 and the SP300 are applicable to Intel® Smart Response Technology, and comply with ATA/ATAP1-7 standard. Supported features include S.M.A.R.T and NCQ command sets, and TRIM command. A 3-year warranty and a MTBF (mean time between failures) of 1,200,000 hours ensure long term usage free of worries.
Both the SX300 and SP300 will be available through selected distributors and resellers in the USA and Canada.
ADATA XPG SX300 SSD
ADATA Premier Pro SP300 SSD