Print 40 comment(s) - last by icanhascpu.. on Apr 13 at 5:28 PM

Not just a paper launch, these drives are already for sale

Super Talent is one of the largest suppliers of Solid State Drives, with a product selection that rivals OCZ Technology's stable. SSDs have grown in popularity by providing much better random access performance than traditional hard disk drives. The primary drawbacks hindering mass adoption of SSDs have been capacity and cost.

However, those barriers are decreasing every year since SSDs use NAND flash memory, which can be scaled down to smaller process geometries. This leads to faster, smaller, and less expensive chips on a continual basis.

Several SSD manufacturers have announced 512GB SSDs based on this trend, but there haven't been any available in the retail channel until now. Super Talent is currently shipping its new MasterDrive RX series of SSDs, with up to 512GB of storage and featuring internal RAID. There are three models using Multi-Level Cell (MLC) chips, and two models using faster and more reliable Single-Level Cell (SLC) flash.

SSDs have a limited number of write-erase cycles. MLC flash typically has around 10,000 write-erase cycles, while SLC flash has around 100,000 write-erase cycles. Wear-leveling algorithms are used to limit the number of writes and manage write-erase cycles. The higher the capacity of the SSD, the more room there is for the algorithms to do their work. Super Talent claims its 128GB MLC MasterDrive RX will last 70.2 years at 50GB worth of write-erase cycles per day, while their 256GB SLC MasterDrive RX will last 1404 years at 50GB worth of write-erase cycles per day. Super Talent offers a three-year warranty on SLC versions of the MasterDrive RX series, but only a two-year warranty on MLC variants.

The maximum sequential read speed for all MasterDrive RX models is 230 MB/s. The maximum sequential write speed is 160 MB/s for the MLC versions, but peaks at 200 MB/s for the SLC versions. Random read and write speeds were not disclosed, but random access speeds are still far superior to the fastest rotary drives.

The MasterDrive RX uses an internal two channel RAID setup in order to increase access speeds and spread the data processing and workload of the ECC (Error Correcting Code).
Super Talent declined to reveal the supplier of its flash controller chip, but it may use two JMicron 602B flash controllers along with a RAID controller. This would make it similar to OCZ's Apex series and G.Skill's Titan series. However, SLC versions of the MasterDrive RX should not encounter any stuttering problems during random writes.

SSDs are extremely rugged since there are no moving parts inside. The RX series can withstand an operating shock of 1500G, and continue operating through vibration of 16G. All models in the series use the 2.5 inch form factor commonly found in laptops.

The 512GB MasterDrive RX is available now for around $1,500 at SuperBiiz. Pricing and shipping information for other models has not yet been announced.

Channel/Retail Part Number

OEM Part Number



Sequential Read Speed/ Sequential Write Speed





230/160 MB/sec





230/160 MB/sec





230/160 MB/sec





230/200 MB/sec





230/200 MB/sec


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Keeps going and going and...
By Wierdo on 4/8/2009 11:23:09 AM , Rating: 5
MasterDrive RX will last 1404 years

In the future, after WWIII and the ensuing nuclear holocaust, only cockroaches and SSD drives will survive.

RE: Keeps going and going and...
By diego10arg on 4/8/2009 11:55:31 AM , Rating: 3
Maybe the next series that we will see from this or other manufacturers are called something like MasterCock RX or SuperRoach GT

Are you a Marketing analyst? LOL

RE: Keeps going and going and...
By DarkElfa on 4/8/2009 12:24:42 PM , Rating: 5
Sorry, I already have the name MasterCock RX patented. :D

RE: Keeps going and going and...
By FingerMeElmo87 on 4/8/2009 1:12:34 PM , Rating: 2
Are you allowing licenses on the patent sir?

RE: Keeps going and going and...
By jthistle on 4/8/2009 5:46:10 PM , Rating: 5
Are you saying you want his MasterCock?

RE: Keeps going and going and...
By FingerMeElmo87 on 4/8/2009 9:27:53 PM , Rating: 2
as long if it comes with RX

By MrPoletski on 4/9/2009 5:59:32 AM , Rating: 2
The Super Talent(ed) MasterCock™, RX model, is available mail order with discrete packaging on delivery.

RE: Keeps going and going and...
By Mr Perfect on 4/8/2009 12:06:10 PM , Rating: 2
Any way to make a Fallout reference here?

RE: Keeps going and going and...
By omglol on 4/8/2009 6:39:43 PM , Rating: 2
Does this mean super mutants will be using the internets?

By FingerMeElmo87 on 4/8/2009 1:09:13 PM , Rating: 2
the resulting EMP blast from the nuclear holocaust would've fried the drives. only Skynet and roaches would survive.

By MrBungle123 on 4/8/2009 9:18:58 PM , Rating: 2
Does trapper keeper have an SSD drive?

JMicron is not bad in actual use...
By therealnickdanger on 4/8/2009 11:33:46 AM , Rating: 1
I say that as someone who owns a G.Skill FM-25S2S-64GB which utilizes a single 602B controller. Obviously, not everyone has had a similar experience, but please don't bash me just because I don't follow along with the generalization that JMicron controllers are "The Great Satan".

I'm running Vista Ultimate and the drive is over a month old and about 2/3 full and it still feels every bit as quick as day one! Running HDTach still shows speeds and latency nearly identical to when I first bought it. I did all the suggested OS tweaks, but I kinda feel that some of them weren't necessary and some of them I do with new installs regardless of storage device.

From pressing the power button to a fully loaded desktop still takes under 20 seconds, shutdown is under 10 seconds, apps open nearly instant ALL the time. No hanging, no stuttering.

I left my 7200RPM boot HDD in my case (same apps and general configuration) and I tried to emulate Anand's review by seeing "what I was missing". OMG, I will never EVER own a HDD-based computer again! I plugged my 7200RPM drive back in and Vista took forever to load and everything was just a sluggish, bloated experience by comparison. *shudder*

I switched back to my SSD after about 10 minutes of HDD use!

My experience thus far:

2. JMicron doesn't give me problems.
3. Best, most noticeable $130 I have ever spent on my PC. The last Raptor RAID I used (2x36GB) cost me about $500 and was no where near this awesome.

RE: JMicron is not bad in actual use...
By LTG on 4/8/2009 11:53:24 AM , Rating: 2
>>JMicron is not bad in actual use...

Sorry dude - wrong.

That's like saying I drove a Ford Pinto and it never burst into flames - that's doesn't make the car any better.

You are lucky to have not encountered the problem, but your report is what researchers like to call "anecdotal" evidence.

People probably shouldn't risk it even if they offer a 1,404 year warranty.

RE: JMicron is not bad in actual use...
By therealnickdanger on 4/8/2009 12:24:46 PM , Rating: 2
Of course my evidence is anecdotal, but so is the majority of FUD! ;-)

It has been proven that SSDs, HDDs, specific controllers, and combinations of controllers all have quirks, but clearly, as my anecdote points out, such quirks may not be the norm. Go ahead and check out all the 4 and 5 star reviews of JMicron-based drives on (for example) from owners of the drives, you'll see that the majority are not having problems.

I'm not suggesting that everyone rush out to buy a JMicron-based drive, I'm just asking that people be reasonable in their judgement and give it its fair shot and stop spreading FUD, especially with no first-hand experience to draw from.

RE: JMicron is not bad in actual use...
By PlasmaBomb on 4/8/2009 12:30:53 PM , Rating: 2
RE: JMicron is not bad in actual use...
By therealnickdanger on 4/8/2009 3:58:42 PM , Rating: 2
I read AT religiously, I know what his article says and I do NOT contest the benchmarks. It doesn't change the FACT that my G.Skill SSD kicks major arse compared with any HDD I have ever owned and is stutter-free. The only point I disagree with him on is his subjective comments on the performance. If my results are the same as what he describes as "horrendous", then I think most people would be very, very pleased to have "horrendous" performance. But then I haven't encountered the stuttering that he describes, so I dunno what to say.

Even at its best, the Raptor still "suffers" from a slow access time, which is noticeable when you're actually using the drive. I owned 2x36GB Raptors in RAID-0 and 2x150GB Raptors in RAID-0, but I never bought into the Velociraptor RAID, so I can't compare against that. I know there's no way I force you to believe me, but you guys are missing out on cheap SSD action! :D

RE: JMicron is not bad in actual use...
By iamezza on 4/9/2009 6:52:47 AM , Rating: 2
What chipset does your system have?

By therealnickdanger on 4/9/2009 8:44:20 AM , Rating: 2
Intel DG965WH w/ICH8.

By rklaver on 4/8/2009 4:16:24 PM , Rating: 2
That's like saying I drove a Ford Pinto and it never burst into flames - that's doesn't make the car any better.

Growing up my parent had 2 Ford Pinto's that never bursted into flames, guess we were lucky :-D

By AlmostExAMD on 4/9/2009 9:24:37 PM , Rating: 2
Ohh I hear ya, I think most people out there are yet to experience an SSD for themselves!
May not appear worth it on paper but in this fast pace age and impatience,Every second counts and is a godsend.
There is no way in hell you can go back to a normal Hdd after using an SSD,Even if it requires you missing out on those cheeseburgers for a while to save for one it's worth it.
Only gripe I have is not with actual SSD but more of a windows issue,No need to defrag an SSD but there isn't an easy option to turn defrag off if you have onecare installed and set to auto tuneup. Hopefully Windows 7 will be tuned for SSD usesage,And a new onecare released thats SSD friendly.

By TheFace on 4/8/2009 10:31:48 AM , Rating: 5
Super Talent declined to reveal the supplier of its flash controller chip, but it may use two JMicron 602B flash controllers along with a RAID controller.

This fact just precludes it from being in many people's systems. You can read in the Newegg comments about OCZ Apex still having stuttering issues. If you look on their 120GB version there are a few reviews stating this issue, seemingly coming during multitasking task loads. To me, this is where I would want the SSD to shine and not hang up.

RE: Jmicron
By PAPutzback on 4/8/2009 10:52:01 AM , Rating: 3
Well Anandtech has a recent review
and they even mention the 512 coming out. If these companines can't use the Intel controller then they need to jump on the Indilinx controller bus to get volume up and prices down.

Nice Try
By really on 4/8/2009 12:14:42 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't have stuttering but the performance was really nothing to write home about, ended up returning it to Newegg while they'd still let me. (And yes, I did optimize my OS for use with the SSD's, even using the latest Windows-7 build at the time for test.)

I thought your comment was well put together and the information good until I got to this part of your comment. Using a Beta version of an OS is not a good way to test new hardware. It needs to be done on a proven released platform. Windows 7 has issues with SSD drives which is why the next bug patch they will provide for it is including patches and bugfixes for SSD drives.

I do think switching to SSD drives for primary use is still too early. New versions will be coming out with better performance. If I had money to burn though I would also jump on the SSD bandwagon, especially for laptop use. Can't beat an HD without moving parts for a mobile device.

RE: Nice Try
By luceri on 4/8/2009 12:26:35 PM , Rating: 3
My primary OS was Windows Vista x64 (dual boot), my bad for failing to correlate this into my post properly. Honestly though, the drive got better benchmarks in Windows 7 across the board after optimization in both OS's. I wonder if Vista has the same issues of what you're speaking about.

RE: Nice Try
By shin0bi272 on 4/8/2009 3:21:11 PM , Rating: 2
no you mentioned that you were running vista ultimate... he just didnt read or is picking on the fact you tested it with win7 too.

Bandwidth Numbers YAY!!!
By bhieb on 4/8/2009 12:58:54 PM , Rating: 2
Being that DT has a close relationship with Anandtech, can we set a good media example and not just spew marketing FUD numbers that don't paint the whole picture? As pointed out in the latest article SSD's are much more concerned with average latencies than bandwidth. Sure it is important, but as a respected tech site let us not cave to the marketing guys by putting a big table up highlighting a secondary spec. Change will only come if we no longer make a big deal over that MB/s number. Just like Intel wanted every sales pitch to push CPU's based on Ghz back in the P4 days when an AMD would do more with less Ghz, don't cave to this marketing ploy in your stories it does not tell the whole story, and does a disservice to the consumer.

RE: Bandwidth Numbers YAY!!!
By Pakman333 on 4/8/2009 2:23:58 PM , Rating: 2
If they did reviews like that, won't they just become Anandtech? I come here to read news, but Anandtech is where I go for reviews.

I think the product just came out today, based on the reporting.

RE: Bandwidth Numbers YAY!!!
By bhieb on 4/8/2009 4:32:26 PM , Rating: 2
Not a review per se, just a little less emphasis on the MB/s stat. Throw it in the article fine, but you only encourage bad behavior by continuing to reference it as "the" spec (I'm sorry but a big chart with it as the only real stat treats it like it is the most important thing).

As of now there is no other real way of "labeling" these so I don't know the answer. I do know that as long as the sheep cling to false assumptions the marketing guys will exploit them. DT has the knowledge and user base that they can pull those empty stats out and still report the news, which in this case is SLC and higher capacity.

Main points are SLC and 512GB!!!
By Pakman333 on 4/8/2009 2:34:34 PM , Rating: 3
I'm surprised that no one is excited that we are actually seeing a 512 gig SSD, where all the ones before were just paper launched. It is actually available for sale, and means price will go down with time.

Also there is a 256gb SLC SSD, before it was only Intel with 64GB drive. Now we have larger SLC drive for better longevity!!!

By shin0bi272 on 4/8/2009 3:22:13 PM , Rating: 3
I'm excited about it man. Just cant afford it.

Far superior
By Sivar on 4/9/2009 11:58:33 AM , Rating: 2
Random read and write speeds were not disclosed, but random access speeds are still far superior to the fastest rotary drives.

Isn't that a fairly lofty statement to make, at least for the MLC drives, considering how blatantly horrible the random write speeds are in almost every MLC SSD out there?

RE: Far superior
By Pakman333 on 4/9/2009 1:44:21 PM , Rating: 2
Most SSD random access is 0.1 ms, versus 4.16ms for raptors.

RE: Far superior
By Sivar on 4/10/2009 7:57:49 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps you should read Anandtech's SSD roundup. There are few SSDs whose random write performance is much better than a floppy disk drive, let alone a WD Raptor.

Raid Raptors vs the MLC
By luceri on 4/8/2009 11:02:06 AM , Rating: 3
I'm not quite sure I'd go with the MLC-based SSD's vs. a pair of WD Raptors in raid 0. The JMicron chips are just bad news -- if they used anything else they'd of mentioned it. Most people will be happier with the Raptors than a pair of these MLC w/ JMicrons. Don't expect the MLC's to get near the spec'd read/writes, they never do. I bought an apex when it first came out which is basically identical to what these drives are with internal JMicron raid controller handling MLC, it was great if I was just reading or writing. Terrible if trying to read while writing simultaneously. I didn't have stuttering but the performance was really nothing to write home about, ended up returning it to Newegg while they'd still let me. (And yes, I did optimize my OS for use with the SSD's, even using the latest Windows-7 build at the time for test.)

The SLC-based drives are a different story though; should be much much better... but that doesn't really matter unless your pockets are relatively deep.

SSD's are progressing rapidly, we're in a cross-roads with the technology right now where new ideas are being implemented with internal raid controllers, etc etc. These are just the first iterations. Personally I'm waiting for the next generation once the kinks have been worked out which should be released in 6 months or so. Should be well worth the wait if the progression in the past 6 months continues. Recent shows have drives with reads and writes upwards of 600MB/s due out.

Keep that in mind if you're looking for SSD's right now -- remember the price. These drives are an investment, and that investment is going to be half as fast as the newer drives at same price will be in 6 months. Yes, technology always eventually becomes obsolete, but this stuff is in a completely different league as opposed to other PC components at the time being when it comes to how quickly they're advancing. If your pockets can afford it then go for the SLC's then replace them with new ones in a few months, but for most people that's unrealistic.

RE: Raid Raptors vs the MLC
By icanhascpu on 4/13/2009 5:28:36 PM , Rating: 2
Whats with that sort of odd mentality?

Don't buy it becuse its expencive and there will be better and cheaper in 6 months? Thats the same as anything else in this industry. Its not a whole new league, its just a new technology on the steeper end of its advancement curve.

If you can afford it, and want it, dont feel bad becuse there will be better in 6 months, becuse for those 6 months, youll have something way better than you did before the upgrade. No need to replace them againlater unless you want to.

If so...
By nah on 4/8/2009 11:28:40 AM , Rating: 3
Super Talent claims its 128GB MLC MasterDrive RX will last 70.2 years at 50GB worth of write-erase cycles per day, while their 256GB SLC MasterDrive RX will last 1404 years at 50GB worth of write-erase cycles per day.

--why only a three year warranty ?

In any event, does anyone know how much GB/day of data can be written on a mechanical HDD ? Slightly curious.

RE: If so...
By luceri on 4/8/2009 12:42:41 PM , Rating: 2
They probably just test the NAND and that'll last xx# of years, so they market it at that ignoring the longevity of the controller/connectors/PCB/substrates. Seagate used to have 5 year standard warranty on all their old HDD's even with all the moving parts. There's bound to be something that's going to limit the longevity of these drives' lifespans or you're right, they would have a longer warranty and market it.

Capacity leader?
By SublimeSimplicity on 4/8/2009 2:15:44 PM , Rating: 3
I think everyone expected SSDs to make head way via their promise of insane bandwidth and access times, but this points to the fact that they will also be leading the curve in capacity (in notebook form factor).

This is an angle I didn't see.

RE: Capacity leader?
By highlandsun on 4/9/2009 2:38:41 PM , Rating: 2
SuperTalent already had a 256GB SLC model. But the price was pretty ridiculous

I hope this new generation is a little more reasonable.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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