MemoRight MS-701 240GB mSATA Solid State Drive Review

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Today we are looking at the MemoRight MS-701 240GB Solid State Drive – built around the mSATA form factor. Is it particularly interesting because this is one of the few 240GB capacity SATA 3 SandForce powered mSATA drives available on the market today.

There is no doubt that mSATA is growing in popularity. It is included as an option now on many of the latest full sized motherboards and available on some high end laptops, such as the Dell Precision M6600. It is ideal when used a boot drive option, leaving many laptops with two additional SATA slots free for larger, mechanical drives.

Memoright have been promoting their MS-700 and MS-701 series now for some time. The MS-700 family is SATA 2 capable, available in capacities of 30GB and 60GB. The MS-701 is SATA 3 capable and the ‘performance’ oriented family available in 30GB, 60GB, 120GB and 240GB capacities.

We are looking at the largest member of the family today, rated at 550 MB/s read and 500 MB/s write. The company rate the drive at 25,000 IOPS when dealing with a 4k random aligned write test.

701 MemoRight MS 701 240GB mSATA Solid State Drive Review

MS 701 (mSATA / SATA III)
  • Product Description:
MS 701 delivers high-performance in compact mSATA enables dual-drive storage for traditional embedded platforms, and single drive option for innovative, low-power handheld devices.

  • High-performance with small form factor
  • SATA III, 6Gbps (PCIe 52Pin)

.

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The MemoRight MS-701 240GB mSATA ships in a small blister pack with the product on full show. The company list both MS-700 and MS-701 capacities and speeds on the front of the packaging.

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The 240GB MS-701 has two stickers on both front and rear of the drive, these aren’t big, but they cover most of the PCB. We removed these to take a closer look at the components.

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The MS-701 uses the LSI SandForce SF-2281 SATA 3 controller. There are four modules of Micron 25nm MLC asynchronous NAND flash memory, each module is 64GB. The total capacity is 256GB, however 16GB of this is used for provisioning which reduces it to 240GB. When formatted in Windows 7, the capacity is reduced to around 224GB.

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To give an indication of just how small this drive is, we have included a couple of pictures against a small screwdriver and Nikon camera lens cap.

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To test today we are using an Aleratec MiniPCIe mSATA to SATA SSD Adapter – this means we can use our main test rig for direct comparisons against 2.5 inch SATA drives. Many of the mSATA laptops we have at hand are limited to SATA 2 speeds, so it wouldn’t be a viable indication of the ultimate drive performance.

For those interested, this Aleratec adapter can be picked up from Amazon for only £16.

On this page we present some super high resolution images of the product taken with the 24.5MP Nikon D3X camera and 24-70mm ED lens. These will take much longer to open due to the dimensions, especially on slower connections. If you use these pictures on another site or publication, please credit Kitguru.net as the owner/source.

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For testing, the drives are all wiped and reset to factory settings by HDDerase V4. We try to use free or easily available programs and some real world testing so you can compare our findings against your own system.

This is a good way to measure potential upgrade benefits.

Main system:

CPU: Intel Core i7 2700k
Cooler: Thermaltake Frio OCK
Motherboard: Asus P8P67 Deluxe
Memory: ADATA DDR3 2000mhz 9-11-9-24
PSU: ADATA 1200W
Graphics: Sapphire HD6950 Flex Edition
Chassis: Thermaltake Level 10 GT
Operating System: Windows 7 64 bit Enterprise
Monitor: Dell U2410

Other Drives (used in Core i7 2700k system above):
Visiontek Racer Series 120GB
Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 120GB
Mushkin Chronos 240GB
Kingston HyperX 3k 120GB
OCZ Vertex 4 512GB
OCZ Vertex 4 128GB SSD Review (firmware 1.4 update)
Transcend SSD720 128GB
Kingston SSDNow V+200 90GB
OCZ Octane 512GB (V1.13 fw)
Mach Xtreme MX-DS Turbo 120GB
Corsair Performance Pro 256GB
Samsung 830 Series 512GB
Patriot Pyro SE 240GB
Patriot Wildfire 240GB
MemoRight FTM Plus 240GB SSD
Patriot Pyro 120GB SSD
OCZ RevoDrive 3 x2 480GB
Patriot Wildfire 120GB SSD OCZ Agility 3 240GB
OCZ Vertex 3 240GB
OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS 240GB
ADATA S511 240GB
Intel 510 120GB
Corsair F100 100GB
OCZ Vertex 2 120GB
Crucial Real SSD C300 64GB
MemoRight FTM.25 115GB SSD
Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB

PCIe drives test system:

OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid 1TB HDD/SSD &
OCZ RevoDrive 3 x2 480GB

Test System:
CPU: Intel Core i7 990x @ 4.8ghz
Cooler: Corsair H100 Performance Liquid Cooler
Motherboard: Asus Rampage III Black Edition
Memory: 12GB Kingston DDR3 @ 1600mhz 9-9-9-24
PSU: ADATA 1200W
Graphics: Nvidia GTX580
Chassis: Lian Li X2000F
Operating System: Windows 7 64 bit Enterprise
Monitor: Dell U2410

Software:
Atto Disk Benchmark
CrystalMark
AS SSD
PCMark 7
IOMeter
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call Of Pripyat

All our results were achieved by running each test five times with every configuration this ensures that any glitches are removed from the results. Trim is confirmed as running by typing fsutil behavior query disabledeletenotify into the command line. A response of disabledeletenotify =0 confirms TRIM is active.

Crystalmark is a useful benchmark to measure theoretical performance levels of hard drives and SSD’s. We are using V3.0.1 x64.

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We can see that the sequential read performance is excellent, scoring over 507 MB/s. 512k read performance is also excellent, scoring over 446MB/s. The write performance is weaker, however this is a trait with Sandforce controlled drives when dealing with incompressible data.

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We switch to 0×00 mode, which deals with compressible data. We can see the write performance increases significantly, along with the 4k and 4kQD32 read and write tests.

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Above, some included compares from other leading solid state drives which we have reviewed in recent months.

The ATTO Disk Benchmark performance measurement tool is compatible with Microsoft Windows. Measure your storage systems performance with various transfer sizes and test lengths for reads and writes. Several options are available to customize your performance measurement including queue depth, overlapped I/O and even a comparison mode with the option to run continuously. Use ATTO Disk Benchmark to test any manufacturers RAID controllers, storage controllers, host adapters, hard drives and SSD drives and notice that ATTO products will consistently provide the highest level of performance to your storage.

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Performance is very strong in the ATTO test, peaking at around 560 MB/s in the read test and 520 MB/s in the write test. Just as good as the fastest 2.5 inch Sandforce drives.

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Some comparison results from other leading products available on the market today.

AS SSD is a great free tool designed just for benching Solid State Drives. It performs an array of sequential read and write tests, as well as random read and write tests with sequential access times over a portion of the drive. AS SSD includes a sub suite of benchmarks with various file pattern algorithms but this is difficult in trying to judge accurate performance figures.

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AS SSD only deals with incompressible data and as such this benchmark isn’t ideally suited to the Sandforce controller on the MS-701. These results are similar when compared to the standard CrystalDiskMark test. The drive manages to push through almost 510MB/s read on the sequential read test, which is impressive.

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Some other comparisons from leading manufacturer drives, which we have tested in recent months.

PCMark 7 includes 7 PC tests for Windows 7, combining more than 25 individual workloads covering storage, computation, image and video manipulation, web browsing and gaming. Specifically designed to cover the full range of PC hardware from netbooks and tablets to notebooks and desktops, PCMark 7 offers complete PC performance testing for Windows 7 for home and business use.

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A very good set of results from the MemoRight MS-701 240GB mSATA drive, scoring 5,316 points.

IOMeter is another open source synthetic benchmarking tool which is able to simulate the various loads placed on hard drive and solid state drive technology.

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We use a custom Kitguru configuration for 4k random write to measure performance. We use the same test, but for random read performance also.

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IOPS performance is actually very good, scoring over 43,000 in our 4k random write test. This drops to 24,661 in the 4k random read test.

It doesn’t matter how good any of the synthetic suites are, the real meat of the testing has to be under absolute real world conditions. This proves difficult as to record results we have to narrow down fluctuation. Therefore while we would say these are the most useful results to get from this review, there is always going to be a slight margin for error – its not absolutely scientific.

Firstly we installed a fresh copy of Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit Edition onto each of the drives and performed a clean update from Microsoft with all patches and security fixes. We then install a basic suite of software, such as Office, Firefox and Adobe Design, then we install AVG free antivirus. We used a digital watch for this startup and repeated the test five times for each drive – once we had these five results we averaged the results and took that for the final figure.

windows 7 boot time MemoRight MS 701 240GB mSATA Solid State Drive Review

The drive scores the same as the 2.5 inch performance oriented Sandforce powered 2281 drives – 22 seconds.

stalker1 MemoRight MS 701 240GB mSATA Solid State Drive Review

Solid performance, taking 18 seconds to complete the level load. This is identical to the Patriot Wildfire 240GB drive for instance.

There is no doubt that the MemoRight MS-701 240GB mSATA Solid State Drive is a staggeringly capable product targeted at the latest raft of motherboards released to market.

The popularity of mSATA drives has been rising and laptops such as the IBM Thinkpad and Dell Precision M6600 have an accessible slot on the motherboard for an mSATA drive. This is ideal for boot duties, while leaving several other positions free for large 2.5 inch mechanical storage drives.

It is worth pointing out that the inclusion of an mSATA slot is not an exclusive feature to the laptop audience. Leading manufacturers such as Gigabyte, Asus and MSI have been including the slot on many of their latest desktop enthusiast boards.

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Last week for instance, we reviewed the budget Gigabyte GA-Z77 D3H motherboard, available in the UK for only £80. It had an mSATA slot close to the processor, seen in the image above. Having a boot drive connected directly to the motherboard, without the need for cabling or external space is very useful for specific environments.

The Memoright MS-701 240GB drive doesn’t suffer a performance penalty due to the diminutive physical design. It is just as quick as the leading 2.5 inch Sandforce 2281 powered drives and in our testing delivered over 560 MB/s sequential read and 520 MB/s sequential write when dealing with compressible data.

As with all Sandforce powered products, it doesn’t fare quite so well with incompressible data demands.

The 2.5inch Solid State sector is literally flooded with Sandforce 2281 powered drives, although they have been recently forced into second place thanks to OCZ’s Vertex 4 product, which is powered by the stunning Indilinx Everest 2. This particular controller doesn’t suffer any incompressible performance degradation and would be my first choice.

Sadly OCZ haven’t released an mSATA Indilinx Everest 2 product, so the Memoright MS-701 240GB we reviewed today is clearly the mSATA market leader. As such it deserves our highest award.

We have no pricing information yet for the MS-701 240GB. We would expect to pay a premium, due to the fledgling mSATA market, high capacity and class leading performance characteristics.

Pros:

  • mSATA is now firmly on the map.
  • ideal for a boot drive in either a laptop or desktop environment.
  • large capacity.
  • compressible performance.
  • decent IOPS results.

Cons:

  • incompressible data suffers a performance penalty.
  • Likely to be expensive.

Kitguru says: If you need a high capacity, lightning quick mSATA drive, this is the number one choice right now.

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VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
MemoRight MS-701 240GB mSATA Solid State Drive Review, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
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