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Published April 21, 2009
The new UltraDrive comes in two different series, there is the UltraDrive ME (MLC) and UltraDrive LE (SLC). The SLC drives are obviously going to be much more expensive than the MLC alternative and therefore we are going to focus on the latter today.
The ME drives offer read and write speeds of 200 MB/s and 150 MB/s, while the LE series bumps performance up a notch, with read and write speeds of 230MB/s and 170 MB/s. When compared to SuperTalent's older MasterDrive series, these new UltraDrives certainly have an advantage in performance. The UltraDrive ME series has a 17% boost in read speed and a 23% jump in write speeds when compared to MasterDrive PX SSDs.
This got us wondering just how they achieve this SLC-like performance without breaking the bank. The UltraDrive ME 128GB costs $330, making it roughly the same price as the OCZ Vertex 120GB SSD. There seemed to be quite a few other similarities in the specifications, so we cracked it open for a closer look.
Upon closer inspection we found a controller that looked suspiciously like the Indilinx (IDX110) Barefoot, though it was labeled Super Talent STT-C-BF-GX. Unless Super Talent started making controllers overnight, we believe this is the same Indilinx chip found on the OCZ Vertex drives. The same 64MB Elpida S51321CBH-7BTT-F memory chip can also be found adjacent to the controller.
It will be interesting to see how the Super Talent UltraDrive ME and OCZ Vertex SSD compare in terms of performance. Although they both feature the same controller, cache, and memory chips, the firmware can have a large impact on performance as we will show you in a second.
Finally, all of the UltraDrive's come in the 2.5-inch form factor supporting the SATA II interface. The ME series comes in 32, 64, 128 and 256GB capacities and are backed by a two year warranty. The more premium LE drives come in 32, 64 and 128GB sizes, and carry an extended three year warranty.
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