SSDs that utilize ‘Async’ NAND flash memory seem to be all the rage these days. Despite the initial concerns with ‘async’ SSDs, we stated our belief that the price versus performance difference would appeal to the consumer, a tradeoff that seems to be paying off in dividends.
Our report today is on the Super Talent TeraDrive CT3 120GB SATA 3 SSD. The CT 3 is yet another of the growing number of ‘SandForce Driven’ SSDs offering value through ‘async’ memory over performance.
Lets get a very important point taken care of right away. In typical every day computer use, even the best of us couldn’t tell the difference between performance of the best and worst SSD, regardless of the type of NAND flash memory or controller in use. With respect to whether one should consider the premium SSD that utilizes synchronous or toggle mode memory or the more value oriented SSD such as the ST Teradrive that we are looking at today with ‘async’ memory, one need to understand the trade off.
We have examined and compared more new gen SSDs than pretty much any technology site out there. In all of our testing, two facts became very prevalent when comparing the more expensive ‘sync’ SSD to the value oriented ‘async’ SSD which are:
- In typical every day computer use, SSDs containing asynchronous NAND flash memory work equal to and have even shown superior performance to some SSDs using premium synchronous or toggle mode memory; and
- Unless you have specific need in the continuous movement of incompressible files to include movies, photographs and music, or you have a high performing server that can take advantage of these premium SSDs, you will never appreciate the difference between the two.
The question then becomes, ” Why spend that extra money?” If you answered, “Because I am an enthusiast.”, I am right there with you and this answer creates a divide between consumers. Whether we are a ‘prosumer’ or PC enthusiast or just someone wanting faster computer access, companies such as Super Talent are now giving us the option to choose. Kudos to that don’t you think?
If you click on this title, it will take you directly to the Super Talent SSD product page. There, you will find their original CT2 SSD with the original SandForce SF-1200 controller beside their new offerings of the PT3 which uses synchronous NAND flash memory and the CT3 that we are going to tear apart today. Both the PT3 and CT3 use the world renowned SandForce SF-2281 SATA 3 processor. Specifications list the performance of the TeraDrive 120GB CT3 as 545MB/s read and 510MB/s write at high sequential disk access and something else that isn’t often mentioned is that there really is no performance difference in standard testing between sync/async SSDs The Super Talent Data Sheet lists capacities of 60, 120, 240 and 480GB and a warranty of two years for their SSDs.
The exterior case of the CT3 is typical of all Super Talent memory products and, quite frankly, we like it. It is a very solid cardboard case and the front cover lifts up where the bottom portion is simply held in place by magnet. It is very compact at 6″ x 5″ x 3/4″ and can easily withstand my weight. Don’t ask.
The exterior case is of a design that is becoming more common these days as we are sure it is simpler to manufacture and more cost efficient. It contains a one piece metal housing which protects the printed circuit board (PCB) and a simple plate that secures the bottom with four screws. DO NOT attempt to remove the two security stickers as any warranty will then become null and void.