Mushkin Announces First 480GB mSATA SSDby Jarred Walton on December 6, 2012 1:40 PM EST
We're seeing a true shift in the mobile market to including SSDs in more of the market spectrum. What was once the domain of $1500+ laptops is now being pushed well into sub-$1000 territory, and good 128GB SSDs are generally available for under $100 now. If you need capacity, it's still hard to beat hard drives, but for fast storage SSDs are the way to go and have been for a few years. Along with the transition to faster and better SSDs, we're also seeing smaller mSATA SSDs.
Up until now, the largest mSATA SSDs have topped out at 240GB/256GB, but Mushkin is now announcing their 480GB SF-2281 based Atlas mSATA drive.
What's particularly interesting is that this may be the first 16GB NAND die we've seen; we're trying to confirm that, but it would make sense considering the capacity and form factor. Update: Nope! It looks like Mushkin is using a stacked daughterboard--thanks to PaulJeff for the image link in the comments to TweakTown's review.
Ultrabooks and ultraportables in general are set to benefit from the presence of higher capacity mSATA SSDs. While many users can get by with 128GB or 256GB of storage, another class of users can routinely fill up 256GB SSDs and then some. A quick look at my Users folder on my primary desktop reveals I'm using 150GB just for my normal data (documents, images, videos, music, email, etc.) Add in my Program Files and Windows directories and that's another 80GB. Obviously I'm not a typical user, but if I were to try and go pure SSD while keeping all of my data on one drive, I'd definitely need more 256GB--and as Anand showed earlier this week, having more spare area available will only help improve the consistency of performance.
Specifications for the new Atlas mSATA drive are what you would expect from a modern SandForce 480GB offering. Trim, ECC, SATA 6Gbps, upgradeable firmware, and all the other usual suspects are present. Mushkin is using "high speed MLC NAND", just like virtually every other modern consumer SSD, and the Atlas comes with a 3-year limited warranty. Max read speed is 540MBps, write is 425MBps, with 78K random read IOS and 28K random write IOPS. It uses the MO-300 mSATA form factor (50.80 x 29.85 x 4.85mm). Availability is expected in January with an MSRP of $500. That's higher than 2.5" 480GB SF-2281 drives by $50-$150, but that's the price we pay for smaller form factors.
Source: Mushkin PR