SSD Types and Form Factors – An SSD Primer


The mSATA SSD measures about 50mm long x 30mm wide x 4.85mm thick, or 1/3 the size of a business card.  The size of this SSD is key to its present surge into the ultrabook market and we have reviewed just about every mSATA SSD available in one fashion or another.  Most recently, we completed a review on NVELO Dataplex software which compared seven mSATA SSDs side by side.

mSATA SSDs are now being found in ultrabooks such as the Samsung Series 9 and Toshiba Z830 that we have reviewed as well as some larger notebooks manufactured by Dell.  They use a modified mPCIe (mini PCI express) interface and are typically SATA 2 although we are now seeing SATA 3 entries by Runcore, Samsung and AData.  The only limitation to mSATA SSDs is that they are limited to 128GB in capacity presently, although we should be reviewing the newest Samsung 256GB mSATA just after CES.

Being somewhat rare shots, the following pictures depict show the Toshiba Z830 on the left and the Samsung Series 9 on the right.  Lets see if you can find the mSATA SSD installed within each.

Yes… We helped you a bit on the Samsung mSATA SSD search. Lets go a step further and take a close look inside a Lenovo x220 notebook.

From a personal view, I absolutely love mSATA SSDs and the doors that open for storage technology with their presence.  To think that we can now get incredible speeds of 500MB/s from a storage device that is only as thick as a 25 cent piece and the size of 1/3 of a business card.  Here is the Runcore T50 on the back of my business card with two SD cards to highlight the size.

In closing off the mSATA portion of our report, I can’t resist but to introduce you to Diesel.  Diesel acts as guardian to our business and is a plus 200 lb English Mastiff.  This was NOT an easy shot to take!