Friday , 19 December 2014
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Acer Aspire S7 Touch Screen Ultrabook Review – World’s Fastest Ultrabook Intros New SSD Form Factor

ACER S7 STORAGE COMPONENTS

The Acer S7 ultrabook contains one of the most interesting introductions into the SSD arena for some time as it is brand new and, to our knowledge, not planned for use in any other release, inside or outside of Acer.  The result of this is the most powerful stock system marketed to date, when considering storage performance, whether it be in any desktop, laptop, notebook or ultrabook. We are certain that nobody, even Acer, realized that they would be marketing the worlds smallest and most powerful ultrabook to date, capable of transfer speeds up to 1GB/s.

LabelM

Prior to this report, the word on the street was that the Acer S7 contains two SSDs that are configured in a RAID configuration.  This is incorrect and there is only one SSD printed circuit board present in the Acer S7 and, to our knowledge, there is no replacement available for this new form factor SSD but through Acer itself. We don’t think the SSD can simply be upgraded with a higher capacity and have sent in note to Acer for confirmation.

The Acer S7 contains a new form factor SSD (not the NGFF version) which is an mSATA SSD containing two separate SSDs on the one PCB board.  Unlike all other SSDs on the market, the interface pins are split and feed into a custom connector that recognizes both SSDs seperately as being 128GB solid state drives.

Two SSDs

From there, both SSDs are configured as an Intel RAID 0 configuration which provides a 256GB capacity and performance of close to 1GB/s as we will later see.  As beneficial as this performance is in such a configuration, loss of either of the SSDs would destroy the RAID configuration, along with all information stored on both SSDs. Let’s take a look at the SSDs:

mSATA Front 4mSATA Back

Both side of the PCB are identical and, for the first time that we are aware of, this PCB contains two SSD controllers.  On each side, we find a Marvell 889175 four channel controller and two modules of Toshiba 24nm Toggle Mode NAND flash memory (TH58TEG9D2HBA89) , each of which contains a capacity of 64GB. We have seen this exact memory previously in our Mushkin Atlas 240GB SSD Review. We can also find a Winbond I/O controller on either side of the PCB and, once RAIDED and formatted, the total available user capacity is 226GB.

PERFORMANCE TESTING AND SOFTWARE

Our performance evaluations of the Acer S7 ultrabook are contained to the storage performance alone.  Many are not aware that in todays system purchases, the most visible performance upgrade one will be able to visibly observe does not come from the CPU, memory or even graphics card chosen, but rather, it comes from the upgrade from a hard drive to an SSD.

The Acer S7 contains a very unique SSD which, like most other systems, cannot simply be removed, attached to an external adapter, reset and formatted, and then tested. It must be tested within the system and, as such, the SSD we are testing  has 0ver 25 hours of use and 569GB NAND writes and performance is definitely not expected to match that of a new system.

CDI

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+
  • http://www.facebook.com/steve.maynard.961 Steve Maynard

    Anyone know where I can find out more about LITEONIT CMT-64L3M 64.0 GB ? That is what appears to be used in my ACER Aspire S5. 128 GB SSD system. Are there 2 mSATA slots or is this one module with 2 Channels ?
    Steve

  • piscesjl

    The laptop was unusable because of a know issue where WiFi connection is unstable; that means every few secons you get disconnects from your WiFi router, interrupting your internet connection.

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

      Thanks….first I have heard of the issue. Will look into tx.

  • uzevla

    YOu probably tested the fan noise in Power save mode on batteries ?
    This thing runs two 10K RPM fans producing 50db under load. not much load needed at all to go up to 50db. All other things are irrelevant. This is crappy laptop

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

      Negative…tested as per normal use and I dont typically use power save mode.

  • vishnu

    Respected Sir,
    I want to buy an ultrabook that has the follwing specifications,
    SSD only,core i5,touch screen,battery backup upto 6 hrs.
    Kindly suggest me the best option.
    i will be greatly thankful to you.

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

      What country will you be purchasing from?

      • Vishnu

        INDIA

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

        I cant offer any direct assistance there but to say just about every ultra fits your criteria.

  • Yambo

    Les,
    Have you experienced any of the wifi issuies with the Acer that have been reported elsewhere?
    Do you think the 128g version will have the same performance (transfer speeds, etc.) as the 256 that you reviewed?

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

      I haven’t got the unit any more, however, the WiFi would not be associated to capacity of the SSD I wouldn’t think. I was looking it over from the piks that I have on hand and maybe its possible that they ran into the same issue that the S9 experienced where the Wifi was losing signal because of the aluminum shell. Samsung fixed that be incorporating two plastic pieces where the WiFi antenna sits.

      • Yambo

        Les,
        Sorry I wasn’t more specific. I was wondering if the 128g version will have the same hard-wired data transfer performance as the 256.

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

        I can’t test this but logically even you RAIDED write transfer speeds will drop somewhat for lower capacity drives when transferring highly incompressible data such as this.

      • Yambo

        Thanks. I ended up getting a 15.6″ Macbook pro with a 256SSD. I’ll be using your SSD optimization guide when it arrives:)

  • Tabish

    Were you able to confirm if the SSD can be upgraded to a higher capacity SSD using a normal msata drive or do the custom connectors/configuration make changing to a normal msata SSD impossible?

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