Marketing of PCI Express SSDs has always been somewhat tricky as the fine balance between performance and value wasn’t much of a balance at all; performance being the obvious strongpoint of these cards. The difficulty in manufacturing a consumer directed PCIe SSD, that can promise value, has most likely been the reason all haven’t jumped aboard the ‘PCI Express’.
VisionTek saw this opportunity and have come up with the Data Fusion PCIe SSD, a PCIe card that they believe is the perfect balance of both speed and pricing. A quick look at VisionTek Data Fusion PCIe SSD prices definitely opened our eyes.
DATA FUSION SPECIFICATIONS
The VisionTek Data Fusion PCIe SSD is a half height half length (HHHL) PCIe x2 solution that is ‘SandForce Driven’ and available in capacities of 240, 480 and 960GB. This PCIe card has a 3 year warranty, is widely available and speaks to performance of 825MB/s read and 800MB/s write with up to 100K random write IOPS at low 4K write aligned disk access.
Power consumption is as expected from a PCIe solution with up to 4W idle and 9W active, however, the price of the Data Fusion is anything but typical. A check of Amazon shows the Data Fusion at $423 for the 240GB, $549 for the 480GB and $1099 for the 960GB capacity. This is the lowest price we have seen for a product of this build to date.
DATA FUSION COMPONENTS
As mentioned, the VisionTek Data Fusion is a ‘SandForce Driven’ solution and utilizes 2 x SF-2281 flash controllers, both being the newly released ‘Rev B’ version. Both are in a RAID 0 configuration and controlled by a Marvell 9200 Series RAID controller that, to be quite honest, isn’t really our favorite.
We believe the performance of both drives should hit the 1GB/s mark but is limited by the RAID controller, however, this is a value driven chip and has also been seen in our review of the Mach Xtreme MX Express, as well as the ASUS RAIDR PCIe SSD. Coincidentally, all three drives speak to the same performance.
Pictured above, the RAID controller is covered by a black heat sink and both SSDs are blade style SSDs, each containing the SF-2281 controller and eight pieces of non-branded 19mm Micron asynchronous MLC NAND flash memory.
Considering that this is a 480GB SSD and there are 16 memory modules, each would be 32GB in size for a total RAW capacity of 512GB. As 7% is set aside for over provisioning and other firmware needs, the advertised capacity is 480GB. Once formatted, this size is reduced even further, providing the consumer with 447 of available space to work with.
Another quality of Visiontek that we thought worth mentioning is that of their customer support. Although the product warranty is only three years, Visiontek has gone that extra bit and offers lifetime US-based tech support, which for many others, is only available through a paid premium.