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


SSD Testing at TSSDR differs slightly depending on whether we are looking at consumer or enterprise SSDs.  For consumer SSDs, our goal is to test in a system that has been optimized with our SSD Optimization Guide, although CPU C States have not been changed at all.  Benchmarks for consumer testing are also benchmarks with a fresh drive so, not only can we verify that manufacturer specifications are in line but also, so the consumer can replicate our tests to confirm that they have an SSD that is top-notch.  We even provide links to most of the benchmarks used in the report.

Z77 System

Enterprise testing is significantly different as we explore performance in steady state, explore drive latency, and do our best to follow SNIA test protocol.  For the VisionTek mSATA 480GB SSD, it is intended to be marketed as a retail item so we are going to follow our typical consumer SSD testing protocol.  The SSD will be tested through the intel ports by way of our Intel mSATA to SATA 3 adapter.

Visiontek 480GB mSATA SSD Adapter


This new PCIe Test Bench build was the result of some great relationships and purchase; our appreciation goes to the below mentioned manufacturers for their support in our project.  Our choice of components is very narrow, in that, we choose only what we believe to be among the best available and links are provided to each that will assist in hardware pricing and availability, should the reader be interested in purchase.

PC CHASSIS: Corsair Special Edition White Graphite 600T Mid-Towerblank
MOTHERBOARD: Asus P8Z77-V Premium ATX Motherboardblank
CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge 3.5GHz Quad Coreblank
CPU COOLER: Corsair H100 High Performance Liquid
POWER SUPPLY: OCZ 1000W Fatail1ty Seriesblank
SYSTEM COOLING: be quiet Silent Wings 2 PC Fansblank
MEMORY: Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR3-1600Mhz Memoryblank
KEYBOARD: Corsair Vengeance K95 Mechanical Gaming Keyboardblank
MOUSE: Corsair Vengeance M95 MMO/RTS Laser Mouseblank
ROUTER: NetGear R6300 AC1750 Dual Band Gigabit WiFi Routerblank
HBA HighPoint RocketU 1144C 4 x USB 3.0 20Gb/s HBAblank



The software we will be using for today’s analysis is typical of many of our reviews and consists of ATTO Disk Benchmark, Crystal Disk Info, Crystal DiskMark, AS SSD, Anvil Storage Utilities, and PCMark Vantage.  In consumer reports, we prefer to test with easily accessible software that the consumer can obtain, and in many cases, we even provide links. Our selection of software allows each to build on the last and, also, to provide validation to results already obtained.


Crystal Disk Info provides some excellent information about the SSD itself to include its health, product information, ‘power on’ information as well as the characteristics of the SSD. We can see that the SSD is capable of TRIM as it is not grayed out as with AAM.

Visiontek 480GB mSATA SSD CDI


ATTO Disk Benchmark is perhaps one of the oldest benchmarks going and is definitely the main staple for manufacturer performance specifications. ATTO uses RAW or compressible data and, for our benchmarks, we use a set length of 256mb and test both the read and write performance of various transfer sizes ranging from 0.5 to 8192kb. Manufacturers prefer this method of testing as it deals with raw (compressible) data rather than random (includes incompressible data) which, although more realistic, results in lower performance results.

Visiontek 480GB mSATA SSD ATTO

Initial ATTO benchmarks appear to be almost exactly that of specifications; a good start.


  1. blank

    Don`t shout…
    But, is this an SSD that you use by plugging in in just like a Samsung Pro SSD, or do you need anything else? I ask because Linus on youtube said on a review for the Asus Z87 Maximus IV that a mSATA dongle would use the PCI-Express to run the data on an mSATA SSD device….
    ……………….. And I can only assume he means Windows 8.1 etcetera? Implying it would run quicker than a Samsung Pro SSD or Samsung Evo ??
    But who knows, as it all seems to be `inside information`.

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      This SSD is an mSATA and plugs in diferently than the 840 Pro and EVO. There may be motherboards with the proper host connector but one must ensure that the connector is a SATA 3 connector, and not SATA 2. Conversely, adapters can be purchased anywhere to plug this in through PCIe…still via SATA 3.

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        Ok; I am halfway there.

        Thank you for putting some detail there.


        1. I had confirmed the mSATA part.

        2. I confirmed Linus said a `dongle` (connection unit [PCI-e `3` to mSATA]) is included in a Z87 Maximus IV, which would connect to the PCI-e `3` on that Motherboard for an mSATA SSD.

        (A) I still dont know if you can run Windows 8.1 off it or if it is used for swop files or an extension of memory or a place to store games or files or film.

        (B) I still dont know if its any better (more reliable/faster) than a normal SSD.

        (C) I still don`t know why anyone would want it if they were to use it on an older motherboard with `only` a SATA 2 port (requiring connecting it via PCI-e), when a `known standard` SSD would be the preferred available option.

        *Franky it may be too difficult for the public to ever know for sure, and due to that it may not sell well.

        & finally;
        *The price doesn`t seem to be interesting enough to move people from the Samsung SSD Pro or Evo to that product, as things stand.

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    I just bought a 960GB PCIe SSD (which formats down to 894GB available) from VisionTek (it is actually two PCIe SSDs in one package that default to a RAID0 configuration)… net price to my client, including tax, was barely over $1000! I put it in a Dell workstation where the user is doing NGS analysis, which is very I/O performance dependent. No real world experience yet, and after the previous Samsung 840 SSD crashed and burned after less than six months, I’m restricting it to functioning as a secondary drive (Windows 7 system), and telling the user to make sure his data is backed up to the external SSD and server (esp. since it is RAID0, and coming from a relatively unknown vendor). This plugs into the 4x PCIe slot.

    Still… the price… and they claim 100,000 IOPS (which I can believe, given that this is a PCIe SSD, not bottlenecked by the SAS/SATA controller)… my 2013 MBP with a 512GB 2x PCIe internal SSD (10GBps of actual bandwidth) nets out to 700MBps transfer rates per a benchmarking application.

    If this works, I’m seriously thinking about having one of my clients build a screaming VMware cluster using VSA or the equivalent. Think about it: ~2.7TB of 100,000 IOPS class storage performance for under 10k (3 cards each in three servers)… EMC will charge you $10,000 for a single shelf with six SAS disks in it, with total IOPS under 1000.

    I’m also pondering the idea of rolling my own flash based storage server, by sticking 8 of these in a server, and putting OpenFiler or somesuch on it.

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