The very first enthusiast SSDs had their roots in USB drives. Memory vendors that were making USB sticks thought to put a bunch of NAND in parallel behind a rudimentary NAND to SATA controller and you had an SSD. Performance characteristics looked great on paper but of course there were teething problems.

These days the reverse has happened. High end USB sticks now look a lot like small SSDs. USB 3.0 SSDs were either too bulky to carry around or weren't that impressive from a performance standpoint, but SuperTalent just showed me one that is quite tempting.
 
This is the SuperTalent USB 3.0 Express RC8, it's a USB stick that has a SF-1222 controller just like the previous generation of high end SSDs:

With four NAND devices on board, the RC8 actually has 8-channels feeding two die per package. Two channels are routed to each device, hence the use of BGA NAND vs. TSOP. SuperTalent uses 25nm IMFT NAND for the drive. 
 
Performance as a result is quite impressive. Over USB 2.0 you're looking at a maximum of around 40MB/s, but over USB 3.0 you can hit 200MB/s with highly compressible data:

Worst case performance for incompressible sequential writes over USB 3.0 is still only 32MB/s thanks to the one-die-per-channel architecture (as well as inherent SF limitations). Read speed is still excellent however at nearly 180MB/s.

The performance characteristics make this drive less ideal for copying large compressed videos to, but great for general use. In fact, running/installing applications or even running a full OS environment from the drive is likely a pretty good experience.
 
SuperTalent will offer the RC8 in 25GB, 50GB and 100GB capacities (with 32GB, 64GB and 128GB of NAND on board). 
 
Expect availability starting late this month and pricing to be inline with standard SF-1222 based SSDs (~$110 for the 50GB drive).
 
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  • douglaswilliams - Friday, June 03, 2011 - link

    On top of all that, this isn't labeled as a review. It's a technology preview, as with the tons of other snippets anandtech is blasting out of Computex. Reply
  • yyrkoon - Friday, June 03, 2011 - link

    And that it is very unlikely that this device will use 4.5watts anyways. Nearly half of what a platter drive can use when idle . . . Reply
  • yyrkoon - Friday, June 03, 2011 - link

    Do you require the man to hold your hand while you use the little boys room too ?

    I'd say that if you went out and bought this thing without doing some research on your own. Well, that you'd be the irresponsible one.

    You can start by going to the manufactures web page, and finding out how much in amps it is claimed to draw.

    USB2 is 500ma, and I seem to recalll reading that USB3 is 900ma Anything more, do not waste your time.. As a personal preference, I would probably stick closer to the USB2 spec. 500ma.
    Reply
  • name99 - Friday, June 03, 2011 - link

    Gee, thanks guys. Your comments are really helpful.
    For example, yyrkoon:
    Amps is not a measure of power, WATTS is.
    The power that can be delivered by USB2 is 500mA at 5V, ie 2.5 W.
    The power that can be delivered by USB3 is 600mA at 5V, ie 3W.
    And, contrary to what happens in your imaginary world, in the REAL world, the power draw used by SSDs on a long series of writes is HUGE --- often substantially higher than for 2.5" magnetic drives.

    And you geniuses telling me I should go to manufacturers web page to see what they say. WOW --- what a brilliant idea. I'd never in my life have thought of that.
    There is just this tiny little problem --- the manufacturers LIE.

    Go, for example, to OCZ and see what they say about Enyo. They claim it's maximum power draw is 2.4W. So should run fine on USB2 right? WRONG!!!
    I've no idea where they got that 2.4W from because my experience is that you cannot get an Enyo to support SUSTAINED writes of more than about 15GB, even when using a USB split power cable.
    OCZ seems to be operating under some model where the device "works" if you can connect to it well enough for the OS to see it. But long sustained multi-GB writes --- that's too demanding to be counted as just "working".

    Christ, I am SO SICK of morons talking about SSD who have never had a day's fscking experience with them, but are oh so convinced that they are experts on their failure modes, max power draw, etc etc.
    That's kind of my point --- I rely on someone like Anand to cut through the crap and actually supply useful information. But if all he is doing is acting as cheerleader for speed, while not paying attention to real world problems, then he is letting his readers down.
    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Friday, June 03, 2011 - link

    Does everyone else have to do your work for you ? amps times volts. In this case 5 volts. Worse case scenario, get a parts list, read the dahmed datasheets if you're so paranoid. Or, even wait for newegg reviews if you're incapable of doing anything else for yourself.

    Show a bit of initiative.

    After that, assuming you knew what you claim you know now. Why even bother posting. Especially if you *claim* to have all the answers.

    Also, the device is not even for sale yet, nor could I even find any information from the manufacture on their site yet. Did I look hard ? No. Why ? Because I am not the type to bitch, and moan about something I can not even buy yet. Let alone bitch and moan to someone who is simple reporting on a device when he obviously was giving very limited information at a tech show.

    As for what you perceive that I know, I could care less.
    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Friday, June 03, 2011 - link

    CNY computer repair ( dot com ) Has an exact word for word "article" I am assuming copied from anandtech here. Including the exact same pictures.

    Whats up with that ?
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Sunday, June 05, 2011 - link

    It's fairly common for content mills and such to copy our articles (while still hotlinking the images), so that would be nothing new. Reply
  • Dark Legion - Sunday, June 05, 2011 - link

    Is it illegal to not cite you guys on that, or just unethical? Other sites flat out copying your content must get annoying. Reply
  • mrcaffeinex - Saturday, June 04, 2011 - link

    Great preview, by the way! I have been using SuperTalent memory for years in my systems and it has never let me down. I started using their USB drives a little over a year ago and both the 16GB USB2 and 16GB USB3 drives that I have significantly outperform my SanDisk USB2 drives on USB2 ports. With USB3 ports it is even more noticeable, though admittedly, the SuperTalent USB3 drive is the only USB3 drive I have and I have never run any benchmarks on my flash drives. Reply
  • zhongkki - Monday, June 06, 2011 - link


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