Saturday , 22 November 2014
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Monster Digital 400GB Le Mans SSD Review – Monster Enters The SSD Arena With Style

Today we will be reviewing the Monster Digital 400GB Le Mans SSD. This SSD brings with it a hefty amount of overprovisioning with Toshiba Toggle NAND and an SF-2281 under the hood.

Monster certainly isn’t the first name that pops into mind when one thinks of SSDs. Branching out into the new market of high performance SSDs is breaking new ground for this long standing company, so we intend to see how the newly formed Monster Digital division fares with their first release.

INTRODUCTION

Racing into the SSD market doesn’t just entail slapping some NAND and a controller on a PCB and shipping it out the door. The SSD market is becoming increasingly competitive and to stand a chance of establishing a good foothold into this area one must have a team with great experience and leadership.

This is the approach that Monster took when forming the new Monster Digital division. SDJ technologies was a long standing storage company with 15 years in the OEM market, and Monster purchased this company and brought them under the umbrella of the Monster corporation as Monster Digital. This is an important part of the story here, as deep experience and knowledge of storage technology is key for R&D of an entirely new line of SSDs. The OEM market is geared towards reliability, and that background fits perfectly in the quest for ‘Monster Quality’.

PACKAGING

It all starts with the approach of an entire kit to upgrade a users’ computer to an SSD. The packaging itself sets it apart right away. Very large, and with quite a bit of heft, as soon as we seen this big box, we new there were goodies inside!

Opening the box reveals the whole kit, with the requisite SSD, a CD with cloning software, and a 2.5in to 3.5in drive bay adapter. This will allow the user to slip the SSD into an existing HDD bay. There is also an included screwdriver that has several different types of bits included in the handle. This is really one tool that comes in very handy, and it will definitely see tons of use in our test lab!

Perhaps one of the neatest aspects of this SSD is the included silver USB 3.0 to SATA 3.0 adapter that is below the SSD in the picture. This allows users to transfer data on and off of the SSD via a USB 3.0 connection. This really comes in handy in conjunction with the included data migration software. Using the adapter and the software together makes transferring an operating system off of the HDD and onto the SSD a breeze. We will be conducting a few tests of this device on the next page.

INTERNALS

The case of the SSD itself is very shiny and attractive. It is also very hard to photograph because it is so reflective! It has a brushed aluminum exterior casing with the name and relative information on the top of the case. On the bottom of the case we can see the Made In The U.S.A. logo that lets us know that the quality components were assembled here in the US.

The PCB holds 16 32GB NAND packages of Toshiba Toggle NAND. The LSI SandForce SF-2281 controller is a proven performer with a long track record. The speeds gained with compressible data make it amongst the highest performing consumer SSD controllers available.

The total formatted capacity of the SSD is 400GB, with a large portion of the NAND dedicated to overprovisioning. This gives this SSD a great advantage when it comes to rock steady long term performance.

About Paul Alcorn

  • Zaxx

    It’s crazy how the 480 SFs 4k writes totally go tits-up vs the 240 and 120. I’d muuuch rather have 2x240s for almost the same price. That sata3 to usb3 adapter is nice…they’d be crazy not to sell it on the side.

  • Zaxx

    Looks like it comes in at about $680 – $700! I’d much rather have a pair of 240gb V3s for $460 or even 3 240’s for ~$700.

  • Jon Coulter

    565 seq atto reads is really impressive

  • Jon Coulter

    scsi = no TRIM with win. 7 need to use 10 series driver

  • Imminent

    First and foremost, Kingston’s HyperX SSD Upgrade Kits are still the best comprehensive retail box. It includes the tools, adapters, screws, cables, external enclosure (because having an SSD sitting out in plain site isn’t ideal), and Acronis software. In fact, that plate looks just like Patriot Memory’s. That said, just about every SATAIII synchronous and asynchronous SSD offers better 4K write. I would opt to buy any other brand SATAIII for a better price, bundle, and/or desktop experience. Nice try, but the name isn’t enough.

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