If we were to look back at the tech events of the past few years, we might suggest that some of the best finds were not on display on the show floor, but rather, hidden away in the pockets of the company representative, anxious to show a new SSD prototype to a select few. Much is the same with tech reviewers who have the opportunity to get their hands on some absolutely amazing gear, favorites that always seem to be with them throughout their travel to tech events.
As a bit of a personal example, we reviewed the Angelbird SSD2Go USB 3.0 External SSD last June and that SSD has since been around the world and back, and then some. Wherever my camera equipment goes, it goes. The first gen Angelbird SSD2Go wreaks of performance, great capacity, an amazing look and a build that is matched by very few products in the world today, as can be seen by the above shots. Having the newest Angelbird Pro SSD 2 Go in hand, we have to wonder if Angelbird can match their release of the SSD2Go. By specs alone, their seems to be enough change to make a step in that direction in any case.
The Angelbird SSD2Go Pro is available in capacities of 320 and 640GB and is definitely a premium product with pricing at $649 and $1099. It is a USB 3.0 device which complies with UASP for higher speeds, but also, it has an eSATA port as well for external SSD performance above the 500MB/s data transfer mark. It is available in black or grey, or a combination of both, has a warranty of three years, and is PC, Mac and Linux compatible. Performance is higher when used in a pure eSATA environment with 540MB/s read and 460MB/s write, while USB speaks to highs somewhere in the 460MB/s mark. Angelbird also has IOPS listed at 55000 – 70000, along with additional features to include Overload protection, TCG Opal, AES 128/256, TRIM, ECC, EMS protection, and SMART.
PRODUCT BUILD AND COMPONENTS
The Angelbird SSD2Go Pro Mobile SSD is hand machined from a single block of aluminum and has a very comfortable and solid feel to it. The inside PCB sits inside the casing with a base plate that is secured by four torx security screws.
Inside the casing lies the PCB SSD which contains the NovaChips Bugatti 10 channel SSD controller which helps to clear up the odd capacities this SSD is offered in. Typical 4/8 channel controllers have always offered SSDs in 256/512GB capacities, unless of course they include 7% over provisioning that reduces the advertised capacity to 240/480GB.
In the SSD2Go Pro, there are 10 modules of Micron’s premium synchronous 25nm mlc NAND flash memory (29F256G08CJAAB) on each side of the board, each with a capacity of 32GB, as our sample SSD is of a 640GB capacity.
We also get our first look at the NovaChips Bugatti SATA 3 10 channel controller and Micron DRAM cache on the front of the PCB.
On the bottom of the PCB, there are also 10 packages of NAND flash memory for a SSD high of 20 in total, the most we have ever seen on a SSD.
Their website shows an ‘In-drive UPS’ feature for these drives. Is that marketing-speak for supercaps? Would be almost required for an external drive where accidental disconnects may occur.
Sounds very impressive! However how does it stack up against Samsung in terms of reliability?