REPORT ANALYSIS AND FINAL THOUGHTS
Performance is the biggest benefit of flash technology and it seems to be the first characteristic we look for in solid state drives. Granted capacity and value are right up there but, let’s face it, we all get stuck in the track that speeds are the be all and end all. Millions of SSDs have been sold based on performance specifications that most would never realize in their own use. As much as we do see enhanced performance as a definite plus with native PCIe SSDs, size becomes an important factor as it enables SSDs to become viable in business uses to include surveillance systems, drones and aeronautics, medical equipment as well as navigational systems.
At only 22.0 x 80.0 x 3.5 mm and around 10g in size, the STT DX1 shows us that size does matter and it demonstrates yet again that M.2 SSDs will be a huge step forward as one of the smallest storage mediums today. Performance is mediocre for reasoning such as SSD capacity and the fact that the JMicron controller is only a mid-tier controller, however, Super Talent is building this device for a specific segment of business and enterprise. Let’s compound this with the fact that this PCIe DX1 sample is the first of its kind out of Super Talent hands and their will undoubtedly be performance and firmware revisions that increase the feature set.
What this SSD does do is it pushes our imagination forward just a bit further by demonstrating first hand how a SATA 3 SSD can be created to function within PCIe while not using your systems SATA ports whatsoever. It does this by utilizing an ASMedia ASM1061 PCIe to SATA Controller right on the SSD and, while we have seen this previously on motherboards, it is the first time we have seen it on a SSD. The STT PCIe DX1 SSD also contains its own boot files and this is only the second time we have ever seen this from an SSD alone. This speaks volumes to compatibility and perhaps demonstrates a common feature we may see in newer M.2 SSDs as they make their entrance and struggle to find compatibility within older systems.
We might suggest that the PCIe DX1 is intended for more business/enterprise suitability and such things as pricing and availability have yet to be set at such an early point in time. This is the first DX1 out of Super Talent’s hands and it is a custom solution where either SLC or MLC NAND flash memory can be utilized. Without a doubt, the Super Talent PCIe DX1 SSD merits our Innovation Award.