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VisionTek mSATA 480GB SSD Review – Trusted LSI SandForce Speeds with a High Capacity

A few weeks ago we received an e-mail asking our opinion on the VisionTek mSATA SSD as the writer had found an amazing deal on that SSD, yet there wasn’t a review in site.  Admittedly, even I wasn’t all that familiar with VisionTek and didn’t even know they were marketing SSDs. In conducting a quick search, I had to laugh at not being familiar with this SSD; after all Dell had it listed among the few in their sales site.  A bit of background, a quick introductory explaining our review policies and we’re happy to report that the VisionTek mSATA 480GB 6Gbps was on our bench a short time later.

Visiontek 480GB mSATA SSD Exterior

VisionTek is an all-inclusive company that manufacturers several different PC components to include graphics cards, memory, power supplies, productivity cards, wireless and USB 3 adapters, as well as…you got it…SSDs.  Surprisingly, their representation in SSD form factors includes PCIe form factors, in addition to common 2.5″ notebook and mSATA SSDs; this placing them amongst the very few that market PCIe SSDs at the moment.  WE are happy to report that, not only do we have the notebook and mSATA SSD in hand, but the VisionTek Data Fusion PCIe SSD is on its way as well.

Visiontek 480GB mSATA SSD Closer

VisionTek mSATA SSDs 6Gbps SSDs and are available in capacities of 60, 120, 240 and 480GB and come with a three-year warranty.  They speak to ‘RAISE’ which means they are ‘LSI SandForce Driven’  SSDs and their performance specifications list speeds of 540MB/s read and 425MB/s write with up to 60K IOPS at low 4K random aligned write disk access.  A quick check of Amazon shows pricing at $80 (60GB), $127 (120GB), $233 (240GB), and $527 (480GB) with mass availability across the board.

SSD COMPONENTS

The most intriguing characteristic of the VisionTek mSATA 480GB SSD is that it is a dual-PCB design, meaning that it has a mother and daughterboard pressed together by three fasteners.  It is so thin that we totally overlooked that it may be two PCB’s until we counted six modules of memory, vice the necessary eight.  That was a clue.

VisionTel mSATA 480GB SSD Dual PCB

For anyone not taking a closer look, this is what you see on the front and back of the SSD:

Visiontek 480GB mSATA SSD PCB Front1

This SSD is controlled by a LSI SandForce flash storage processor and it is the most recent release of SF-2281 VB2 which is intended to speak to lower power consumption.

Visiontek 480GB mSATA SSDPCB Back1

Once disassembled, inside of the two boards are displayed as such:

Visiontek 480GB mSATA SSD Disassembled

There are eight modules of MLC NAND flash memory and each is 64GB in size for a total RAW capacity of 512GB.  As this SSD utilizes 7% overprovisioning and has specific firmware needs, the formatted capacity available to the consumer is actually 447GB, just down from the advertised 480GB.  SSD Database Check

Visiontek 480GB mSATA SSD SandForce Memory

One may have also noticed that the branding of the NAND flash memory does not reflect the manufacturer, or any number that might allow us to more accurately identify it.  We believe it to be asynchronous and will update this review if and when complete information is received from VisionTek.

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