Mushkin Atlas 240GB mSATA SSD Review – Top Performance at an Unbeatable Price

It seems that the LSI SandForce Flash Storage Processor (FSP) combined with Toshiba Toggle Mode NAND is the perfect mix for solid state drives if we follow recent trends. Some manufacturers are even re-releasing SSDs with premium Toggle Mode NAND as the upgrade for that IOPS boost.

The Mushkin Atlas 240GB mSATA SSD contains both ingredients and our analysis will put the theory to the test.

INTRODUCTION

The Mushkin Atlas mSATA SSD is available in capacities of 60, 120 and 240GB and is presently available at retailers for $84.99, $129.99 and $239.99.  It is a SATA 3 mSATA SSD measuring 50.80 x 29.85 x 4.35mm and weighing about 7 grams. This form factor is the smallest and most powerful storage medium available for today’s computer and the Atlas comes with a three year standard warranty.  Performance is listed at 560MB/s read and 530MB/s write with 80,000 IOPS at 4k aligned random right disk access.

Packaging for the Atlas is as we should see all mSATA SSDs and consists of a plastic casing that is clicked open or closed from the top. Marketing for the SSD is very simple and appealing, as it should be, considering those looking for an mSATA SSD already know exactly what they want.

ATLAS COMPONENTS

The Mushkin ATlas is driven by a LSI SandForce SF-2281 FSP and contains four modules of Toshiba 24nm Toggle Mode NAND Flash Memory (TH58TEG9D2HBA89), identical to the memory used in the MyDigitalSSD BP3 256GB SSD we recently reviewed.  We also believe that this is the same memory of our recent MyDigitalSSD SMART 256GB SSD Review (aka AData SX300), however, this cannot be confirmed as the memory of that device cannot be identified by its external branding.

Each module is 64GB in size for a RAW total of 256GB, however, SandForce over provisioning, firmware needs and formatting leave the end user with 224GB of available storage space.

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pcuser
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pcuser

Any reason that Anvil RC2 and Intel RST 11.2.0.1006 are not being used in the benchmarking?

Les@TheSSDReview
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No reason… we change our systems quite often and test with a number of different versions. There is no appreciable difference.

JC
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JC

What’s your opinion on the differences between this Mushkin Atlas 240GB and the Crucial/Micron M4 256GB mSATA especially with the current price difference?

Les@TheSSDReview
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What differences would you speak? Crucial has had a great show with thr Marvell controller and, for the typical user experience, there is no difference at all. The visible difference will only be see with specific tasks that need the speed for incompressible file transfers.

alan
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alan

which one do you recommend on mSATA lenovo Y480, for a reliable OS drive?

Mushkin Atlas 240GB vs Crucial m4 256GB mSATA

Les@TheSSDReview
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Both of these drives are stellar and I would be hard pressed to choose between the two. There is something worth watching closely however and that is the fact that SandForce has JUST announced their release of enhancements to the SF-2281 processor that will significantly improve battery life of laptops up to as much as an hour. Now, if that were to filter into product already on the market which we don’t know about at all, that might be a key factor in my choice.

alan
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alan

Indeed, i remember seeing something like Mushkin Enhanced Atlas Series on newegg, does the enhanced atlas refer to the enhancements of the SF-2281 processor ?

Les@TheSSDReview
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The Atlas, nor any other SF SSD, has the newly announced enhancements as of yet.

jason701802
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jason701802

Any idea when those enhancements will be hitting the shelves?

Mathieu
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Mathieu

Hello there,
First thank’s for those great reviews!! actually reading this from Paris, the matter is there is not a lot of choice here yet for a 256gb msata. The only one we can get on a french website is the Crucial M4. My Question is do you think the M4 is compatible with a toshiba portege Z930 ?
Thank’s in advance!

Les@TheSSDReview
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That SSD will work perfectly in that system! I have the Z830 in use nd m very familiar with Toshiba Ultras.

dv1556
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dv1556

Anyone know if this is compatible with the Samsung S9’s? Specifically the 13.3…??

Les@TheSSDReview
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Of course it is.

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