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


Crystal Disk Benchmark is used to measure read and write performance through sampling of highly compressible data (oFill/1Fill), or random data which is, for the most part, incompressible. We have provided the results of testing in highly compressible data on the left and that of highly incompressible data on the right.

VisionTek mSATA Crystal DiskMark combined

A quick comparison between tests conducted with compressible data and that of incompressible data shows us that compressible data is handled much faster.  Although incompressible data represents that of music, photos and video, this won’t affect performance whatsoever and one might only notice the difference in transfer speeds if they were to move large amounts of media from one place to another.  This is typical of the LSI SandForce SSD, as is the characteristically low 4K random write performance seen in both tests.


Up until recently, AS SSD was the only benchmark created specifically for SSD testing and it uses incompressible data.  AS SSD, for the most part, gives us the ‘worst case scenario’ in SSD transfer speeds because of its use of incompressible data and many enthusiasts like to AS SSD for their needs. Transfer speeds are displayed on the left with IOPS results on the right.

Visiontek 480GB mSATA SSD AS SSD BenchVisiontek 480GB mSATA SSD AS SSD IOPSWe were a bit surprised to see sequential write performance drop a bit further, but this is indicative of asycnchronous memory which we believe this is.  This is alo our first glimpse at IOPS and the high of 56K is close to the specificatyions of 60K. In contrast, we felt the AS SSD Copy Benchmark was particularly strong, pulling in three SATA 3 results and very quick transfer times:

Visiontek 480GB mSATA SSD AS SSD Copy Bench


You may not see this for long (and it’s definitely not common) but you get a freebee simply for reading!  Over the last little while, we have been assisting with beta testing new benchmark software called Anvil Storage Utilities which is an absolutely amazing SSD benchmarking utility.  Not only does it have a preset SSD benchmark, but also, it has included such things as endurance testing and threaded I/O read, write and mixed tests, all of which are very simple to understand and use in our benchmark testing.


Visiontek 480GB mSATA SSD Anvil Comp


Visiontek 480GB mSATA SSD Anvil Incomp

ASU is fairly reflective of the performance we have seen thus far and provides us with an excellent description of both system and SSD identification in its lower panel.


The SSD Review uses benchmark software called PCMark Vantage x64 HDD Suite to create testing scenarios that might be used in the typical user experience. There are eight tests in all and the tests performed record the speed of data movement in MB/s to which they are then given a numerical score after all of the tests are complete. The simulations are as follows:

  • Windows Defender In Use
  • Streaming Data from storage in games such as Alan Wake which allows for massive worlds and riveting non-stop action
  • Importing digital photos into Windows Photo Gallery
  • Starting the Vista Operating System
  • Home Video editing with Movie Maker which can be very time consuming
  • Media Center which can handle video recording, time shifting and streaming from Windows media center to an extender such as XBox
  • Cataloging a music library
  • Starting applications


The VisionTek 480GB mSATA SSD is only one of three that we have had in our hands at that capacity, the other two being the Mushkin Atlas 480GB mSATA SSD and the Samsung PM841 512GB mSATA SSD.  The VisionTek mSATA pulled through Vantage testing JUST behind the Samsung (and well ahead of the Mushkin) with 68252 points and a high transfer speed of 401MB/s while testing in Windows Media Center.

Visiontek 480GB mSATA SSD Vantage


  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`.

    • blank

      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.

      • blank

        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.

  2. blank

    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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