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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


Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

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.

"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer

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