With Intel's 22nm Ivy Bridge micro-architecture launching later this month it won't be long before the next wave of thin and light notebooks start to arrive. Anticipating this, Micron has announced a new mSATA solid state drive that's engineered specifically for such form factors while still providing from 32GB to 256GB of storage capacity, with a SATA III (6Gbps) interface for fast data transfers.
On paper the mSATA RealSSD C400 drive offers identical performance to its popular 2.5" counterpart. The 256GB and 128GB models both have a read rate of 500MB/s while the write speed is rated at 260MB/s and 175MB/s, respectively. The 64GB and 32GB models carry the C400v branding and are more geared for caching duty, with read speeds set at 500MB/s and 440MB/s but write speeds at just 95MB/s and 50MB/s.
Besides performance, another difference between C400v mSATA and C400 mSATA drives is write endurance: The C400v is rated for 36TB of writes over the course of its lifetime compared to 72TB for the C400. Both drives utilize the Marvell 88SS9174 controller, 256MB of 1.5V DDR3 DRAM, and Micron's 25nm MLC NAND flash memory modules. Overall the whole package is only a third the size of a business card.
Micron will sell the C400 to OEMs while Crucial will offer a retail version to consumers under the m4 brand, much like they do with the 2.5-inch version of the C400, which we reviewed here last year. There's no word on pricing or availability for the retail version of the mSATA drive yet, though.
Image via Anandtech
The RealSSD C400 represents a mild performance gain over last year's C300 during light workloads, it's handily dispatched by competing drives from OCZ and Intel when it comes to heavy multitasking, but that's okay if the C400's price reflects its inferior performance and it does -- there's nothing wrong with delivering an entry-level product.
Read expert reviews, pros & cons, and product information about Crucial Micron SSD RealSSD M4 C400 128GB MLC SATA600. There are 9 reviews available so far.
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