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Buffalo Microstation 128GB Internal SSD Review

The drive arrives in a bright and cheerful red package with information on the cache volume as well as the drive speeds. Buffalo sell this drive in various sizes and they all deliver different speeds. The 32GB version runs at 240/80MB/s (read/write), the 128GB version (reviewed today) 240/155MB/s (read/write) and the 256GB version at 240/190MB/s (read/write). There is also a 64GB version but I can’t find any detailed infor on the drive anywhere.

With the drive, Buffalo supply a USB cable as well as a disc containing the free software and instructions on how to use the unit. Acronis True Image (Full Version) is supplied which is a great addition, it allows the end user the option to clone their current drive, made even easier by the USB 2.0 port on the drive.

Above is the drive from the front and from the back. It is a plainly designed unit and to get access to the internals we simply use a pin to prise the rear chassis open. Many manufacturers use screws with a special sticker over one to stop warranty claims after tampering. Buffalo don’t seem to mind.

The drive from either side. Sata and power connector on the left and the USB connector on the right. There are four holes on the rear of the chassis to mount into a PC with a suitable adapter. One unfortunately is not supplied in the box.

Opening the case we can see the internals. The drive is powered by the JMicron JMF612 controller which supports Trim – this controller is a solid performer but in the past we have seen it lag slightly behind the Indilinx controllers in regards to performance and even further behind the Sandforce controllers recently released. The memory is Samsung K9HCG08U1D – information on which you can read over here. In total there is 128GB of memory on the PCB.

The Elpida 64MB DDR2-800 DRAM cache is present and next to the controller which buffers data during operation in a similar fashion to the cache on a traditional platter based mechanical hard drive.

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