Saturday , 25 October 2014
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Acer Unexpectedly Introduces New SSD Form Factor In S7 Ultrabook

I live for days like today.  In less than 24 hours, I will be sitting back on some white sand Honduran beach in front of my villa yet my excitement is still right here in the SSD storage world; and so it should be.  As it stands, we just ripped open a brand new Acer S7 because we had to see the very first ultra in the world with two SATA 3 mSATA connections.  After all, this has to be as the S7 can easily spit out performance of just under 1GB/s…doesn’t it?

Label

What would you say if we told you that SOMEHOW this is being done with only a single SSD, the SSD being a Lite-On mSATA 256GB SSD that we believe houses two separate SSDs, these each having 128GB in capacity and their own controller.  The difficulty we are encountering is the fact that it plugs in just as every other SSD and appears to be a SATA 3 mSATA connection. Then how is 940MB/s even possible?  Let’s take a closer look.

mSATA FrontmSATA BackAs we can see, both sides of the SSD appear to be exact.  Each side contains the Marvell 88S9175 SATA 3 controller, two modules of Toshiba 24nm 64GB Toggle Mode NAND Flash Memory, Nanya DRAM cache and what we believe to be a Winbond I/O controller.  The dilemma occurs when we examine the mSATA interface as it appears to be the same as all others.  Here’s a look at the bios:

BIOS

Is it possible that this is a custom design where the pins on each side are separate and proprietary to the SSD of that particular side?  We hope to return from the Honduras with some answers but for now, check out these benchmarks.

ATTO 2

Taking a look at ATTO, we would never have thought it possible to push 942MB/s read and 683MB/s write performance from an ultraportable.  It gets better yet as this SSD has weeks of use on it and over 750GB in total writes.  This is the performance of a system that has been under the guns of many reviewers already.

CDM

Crystal DiskMark might be just a bit lower and those are definitely the lowest 4K-QD32 reads we have seen in a while but, the low 4K random writes are the highest we have ever seen from testing here at The SSD Review; once again from one of the worlds smallest ultrabooks in the world.

Heading off to the Hondura’s now and the son is pretending not to prepare for one heck of a party while we are gone.  Stay tuned as we get you an update on return and also throw in a complete review on the Acer S7 Ultrabook.

About Les Tokar

is a technology nut and Founder of The SSD Review. His early work includes the first consumer SSD review along with MS Vista, Win 7 and SSD Optimization Guides. Les is fortunate to, not only evaluate and provide opinion on consumer and enterprise solid state storage but also, travel the world in search of new technologies and great friendships. Google+
  • LJE

    nice perf

  • HisoKa

    do you knnow the exact model number for the S7 unit that comes with this SSD..? i can only find 128G equipped models in my region

    • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      Will get that to ya on return from Vaca if thats ok.

  • netman

    Nice timing Les! I was just about ordering the Acer S7 11.6″ version from Amazon. I thought there are two regular mSATA SSDs inside the laptop so I can upgrade to faster mSATA parts. Not only this is not possible, it appears the proprietary socket may also make it impossible to upgrade to to a higher capacity SSD.

  • Cape Dave

    Hey Les, have a great vacation! Sounds like a very nice spot.

  • netman

    Les, Enjoy your vacation in Honduras When you come back to tackle this machine can you please check the following:
    a) Trim Support of the single Lite-on RAIDed mSATA SSD.
    b) mSATA3 socket compatibility with a standard mSATA3 SSD such as Intel or Samsung.

    Thanks

  • Dromo

    I went to the party and I stole your beatles albums

  • nish1021

    Click on the first picture of this article. Look near the connector and is says something like “mSata RAID SSD” or “mSata RAI0 SSD”. So most likely it is somehow set up as a RAID0 stripe with the two 128GB SSDs on this single unit.

    • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      Both SSDs are recognized in the BIOS and then the Intel RAID is created. Nice pickup though!

  • http://www.webideations.com Yogesh Nahar

    Hi Les, could you please let me know if I can upgrade the SSD on the Acer Aspire S7 – 392 model? My ssd has crashed and it’s out of warranty. I am thinking of getting a Samsung 840 Evo mSATA SSD, do you think it will be compatible? I read on an acer forum that the MyDigitalSSD BP4 model is compatible and I assume the Samsung Evo 840 mSATA is the same specifications. Please advice.

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