A few days ago we looked at the MyDigitalSSD SMART SSD which gave us a peak of what has become an ever growing mSATA SSD market. That SSD, based on the ADATA XPG SX300 architecture, is the fastest and highest capacity mSATA SSD available to date.
The MyDigitalSSD Bullet Proof 3 256GB SSD is the little brother of the SMART and, although it is not ‘SandForce Driven’ and is a bit lower in performance, it’s capacity and price point make it a definite contender in the mSATA market.
YEAR OF THE SSD
2012 was supposed to be the year of the consumers introduction to laptop and ultrabook caching. Through use of cheap and small capacity SSDs, combined with caching software and a hard drive, computers could now appreciate a level of performance and capacity not seen with the hard drive alone.
That was until memory prices hit an all time low only to be followed by the best prices we have seen in SSDs to date. As an example, we reviewed the Renice X3 mSATA SSD only two months ago and detailed their MSRP of $759 whereas the Bullet Proof 3 Is available for well under half that price and the Bullet proof 3 is higher performing as a SATA 3 SSD and also of a higher capacity.
As a review site, we have several tools at our disposal to assist in doing what we do. One such tool just happens to be access to sales figures related to SSDs and, through these, we can state that high capacity mSATA sales are not only good, but, retailer stock simply can’t match consumer demand. Considering high capacity SSDs aren’t an ideal choice for caching and caching software alone isn’t even available to the consumer as of yet, this makes a bold statement with respect to the positioning of solid state drives in the storage landscape. 2012 appears that it may just be the year that SSDs show their place as the primary storage solution of the portable industry.
The MyDigitalSSD Bullet Proof 3 mSATA SSD is available in capacities of 64, 128 and 256GB and all are available at Amazon with prices of $79, $159 and $279, although right now we are again seeing a lack of availability for both the 128 and 256GB capacities. Performance varies depending on capacity and the 256GB version we are testing lists performance of 520MB/s read and 320MB/s write with a three year warranty. This is a bit shy of the performance we saw in the MyDigitalSSD SMART 256GB mSATA SSD but the price is about $40 bucks cheaper as well.
BULLET PROOF 3 COMPONENTS
The BP3 is driven by the Phison S8 SATA 3 controller with a 128MB Nanya DRAM Cache Buffer. Previous to the MyDigitalSSD releases, mSATA drives had always seen use of the less expensive asynchronous NAND flash memory, however, this value driven mSATA SSD has done one better.
Four modules of premium Toshiba Toggle Mode 24nm NAND flash memory (TH58TEG9D2HBA89) provide the advertized capacity of 256GB, each being 64GB in size. Formatting reduces end user capacity slightly to 238GB as will become evident in our benchmark testing.