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Super Talent DuraDrive AT7 SSD Review (1TB) – In Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) System SSDs

Every now and then, we are fortunate to have SSDs reach our bench that one might not normally find within every day PC systems or servers.  Our review today of the Super Talent DuraDrive AT7 SSD is just that; a SSD fully intended for the automobile industry, and more specifically In-vehicle Infotainment Systems.  Unlike other examples that we have reviewed though, the DuraDrive AT7 is no more than a SATA 3 notebook size SSD and can easily be flipped inside any PC, as much as it might be used for completely different designs within the auto industry.

SuperTalent 1TB SATA 3 SSD Lying

As this SSD is not available to the consumer, we could not guess at such things as pricing or warranty, but nevertheless, there is an angle we wanted to follow with this drive as it contains the newest Silicon Motion SM2246EN SATA 3 controller.  This controller has steadily gained recognition as being a quality product within recent months and some are starting to even believe this may be a threat to Seagate and its present  SandForce line.  Very least, it sure seems to occupying a space with many manufacturers who might have normally filled that with SandForce’s newest, post the SF1200 series. Silicon Motion is hosting this controller in SSDs manufactured by Corsair, Patriot, AData, Kingspec and Angelbird, to name but a few.

SuperTalent 1TB SATA 3 SSD Front

 DURADRIVE AT7 SPECIFICATIONS

The Super Talent DuraDrive AT7 is available in capacities from 32GB to 1TB, is a 6Gbps SATA 3 notebook form factor SSD, and can be custom-built to the buyers needs using SLC or MLC memory.  It can withstand temperatures of -40°C to 85°, vibration up to 16G, shock to 1500G and is also dust proof.  Performance is listed as being up to 500MB/s read, 400MB/s write and having a disk access time of 0.1ms.

SuperTalent 1TB SATA 3 SSD Exterior Back SuperTalent 1TB SATA 3 SSD Exterior FrontExterior packaging is of a hard board exterior where the top simply lifts up from its magnetic seal on the bottom front.  This is typical Super Talent and I don’t think we have ever seen a different container for any of their products; our reviews tracing back several years.

SuperTalent 1TB SATA 3 SSD Open

Inside the package, we find the SSD, mounting screws and installation instructions.

DURADRIVE AT7 BUILD  AND COMPONENTS

The exterior of the AT7 is of a 2 piece metal construction, secured by four screws on the base.  One of these screws is covered with security tape and any damage to this would void any warranty that might be in place between Super Talent and the auto manufacturer.  Inside is a green printed circuit board (PCB) that contains the SATA 3 controller, two pieces of DRAM cache memory, along with 16 pieces of Micron NAND flash memory, eight on each side.

SuperTalent DuraDrive AT7 1TB SSD PCB Front

The controller in use is Silicon Motions new SM2246EN 6Gbps 4 channel controller and SMI lists performance specs as 540MB/s read and 410MB/s write with up to 80K IOPS for this drive.

SuperTalent 1TB SATA 3 SSD SM2246EN Controller.png

Above the controller are two pieces of Nanya 256MB DDR3-1600 DRAM cache memory, along with 16 pieces of Micron 20nm synchronous MLC NAND flash memory.

SuperTalent DuraDrive AT7 1TB SSD PCB Back

Each piece has a 64GB raw capacity for an unformatted advertised total volume of 1024GB.  Once formatted, there is 994GB of storage available to the system in use.  Here is a closer look at the memory:

SuperTalent 1TB SATA 3 SSD Micron Memory

  • Joseph Kacvinsky

    Sooo is there any real reason for anyone to select this drive over say an 850 Evo or an MX100 when dealing with potentially harsh environments like mobile (automobile) applications? It seems like a reasonably good drive, but I don’t see any clear advantages over others. With specific applications in mind.

    • This is not a consumer SSD.

      • Joseph Kacvinsky

        Yeah, I got that, and I realize that that means that for the vast majority of users that read this article, none of it applies to them. So why write the article unless you are outlining the reasons WHY this drive matters to the automotive industry over something like an off the shelf Samsung, adata, SanDisk, Kingston, etc?
        I’m not criticizing the article, but I don’t understand the point of writing it if not to outline the specific use cases that this drive would be considered over a standard SSD or why Super Talent specifically marketed it toward the automotive industry. I’ve read dozens of articles about decent to great performing drives with very little to differentiate them from a dozen others beyond slight variances in performance in synthetic tests that bare little to no relation to real world applications or human experience.
        Obviously, from a consumer standpoint, that’s fantastic as it means that unlike way back when I bought my first Vertex Turbo, there are now tons of great options out there. What it doesn’t tell me is where we should be searching now for differentiators? How do the admittedly few of us that obsess over the details, look to identify not just a “good enough” SSD, but the perfect one for the task?
        I’ve purchased OCZ drives, SanDisk, Kingston, Samsungs, etc. Always after extensive research with the intent to identify the perfect solution for a given application. It’s interesting to hear about how a drive or controller was designed and what the designer considered as a priority. Some drives shine on synthetic benchmarks, while barely budging the needle in real world applications. Others come in specialized form factors or with special hardware encryption built in. As I work with

      • Kip Hartwell

        I would like to see that modded Lian Li case 🙂

      • Daniel Kreimendahl

        My guess is they wrote the article to inform anyone who look to thessdreview.com first when looking for details that the manufacturers don’t provide. In other words, because articles like these are why TSSDR exists. TSSDR answers the question every time for me when I wonder about the price tag attached to any SSD product, low or high.

        SuperTalent is marketing it toward the automotive market. It isn’t TSSDR’s job to substantiate their marketing claim – it is to provide the critical details about SSD products as they always do so that people like you and me can make fully informed decisions regardless of what our or our customer’s application might be.

      • Wow thank you… As much as we love watching flash storage evolve, it is comments like this that keeps us going. There are a lot of late nights and early mornings in this job. Yesterday was the perfect example where I was up until 4 am trying to get site caching working properly and then got an email from Sean stating he was putting the Crucial SSD he only received two days ago down for the night….err morning. This comment was very well timed and thanks much.

    • Jim

      Joseph Kavinsky-

      From the Super Talent website: “The AT7 has excellent resistance to shock, vibration, dust, temperature extremes and other environmental hazards…geared specifically for applications that require high shock and vibration tolerance.”

      Also, the two other drives you mention are TLC while this AT7 is SLC or MLC.

      This drive is an interesting option. I have a few Super Talent SD cards and they are solid as a rock.

      Jim

      • Yee

        Hello Jim?you metion that you are deploying SD cards?Could I know your application?if you are interested in storage cards(industrial grade),conctact me .

    • selena

      hi,Joseph,as you said,there is not clear concept on the SSD special features,May the below link would help you to make a little clear on SSD application or its outstanding features,any questions,kindly to solve for you via selena@renice.co

      http://www.renice-tech.com

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