As the world awaits the new LSI SandForce SF3700 controller, their nemesis Marvell has strong ideas in the PCIe M.2 world as well, and just may rival (or beat) that of the SF3700 when both stand side by side down the road. Yes, this is a bold statement but follow along as we detail the new Altaplus controller, along with an interesting statement by the Marvell engineering team, and our thoughts on this controller.
This first shot of the Marvell 9293 is enough to start things rolling right off. It is situated in a brand new Sony Ultra and, as we all know, the retail units presently rely completely on the Samsung XP941, an SSD that would be in direct competition with this SSD. We have tested the XP941 in the new Sony and the performance results can be seen here. Actually, this SSD might push the Samsung XP941 down a bit considering these benchmarks which are very early pre-production tests:
Now, these are very early results in the game but you have to take note of that 1.45GB/s read transfer speed, along with the 1GB/s write transfer speed, both of which rival anything we have seen from the Samsung XP941 PCIe M.2 SSD and we have tested that SSD extensively. In speaking to Marvell, they did state that this SSD can perform at higher levels, those of which would be determined through the firmware expertise of their partners. This makes for a very interesting thought, considering we haven’t even seen write performance of the SF3700 as of yet.
Reminding our selves once again that this is a very early engineering sample at work, we have to wonder just what speeds could be reached once in the hands of SSD greats like Crucial/Micron, SanDisk, Memoright and Plextor. If they could pull incompressible performance of 1.4GB/s out of the 88SS9293, we just might have a direct competitor for that LSI SandForce SF3700 we have heard so much about, yet seen so little from just yet.