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VisionTek 240GB Go Drive Review, Tough On The Go

VisionTek 240 GB Go Drive (900512)

Driven by a LSI SandForce SF2200 controller and designed for the Sata 3 6Gb/s interface the VIsionTek GO Drive can reach speeds of 550 MB/s Read and 520MB/s write. Solid State Hard Drives have become the go to hardware solution to speed up computers and help overcome a decades long hard drive bottleneck situation. You can enjoy a much faster storage solution for a fairly modest price as SSD prices drop, the VIsionTek Go Drive runs about $138 which is inline with good quality SSD’s but VisionTek has gone to some serious lengths to ensure good drive longevity.

  • SandForce SF-2200 series SSD processor paired with qualified MLC NAND flash for best performance, value and reliability
  • SATA 6 Gb/s, 3 Gb/s and 1.5 Gb/s
  • TRIM support (O/S dependent)
  • DuraClass technology
  • DuraWrite extends the endurance of SSDs
  • Intelligent Block Management and Wear Leveling
  • Intelligent Read Disturb Management
  • Intelligent “Recycling” for advance free space management (Garbage Collection)
  • RAISE (Redundant Array of Independent Silicon Elements)
  • Intelligent Data Retention optimization
  • Best-in-class ECC protection for longest data retention and drive life
  • Power/Performance Balancing
  • Thermal Threshold Management
  • Native Command Queuing (NCQ) – Up to 32 commands
  • ECC Recovery: Up to 55 bits correctable per 512-byte sector (BCH)Picture 1
  • Sequential Read & Write Transfer: 550MB/s read | 520MB/s Write
  • Max Random Write IOPS: Up to 85,000 (4K aligned)
  • O/S Support: Windows® XP / Vista / 7 / Mac® OS / Linux
  • 2.5″ SATA SSD Drive
  • CE / FCC / RoHS
  • 3 year warranty

SandForce isn’t the newest controller on the market but with the real limitation on SSD’s being the aging Sata 6Gb/s controller is what is holding Sata SSD’s back. Sata 6Gb/s SSD’s can easily saturate the bandwidth provided by their motherboard Sata port. Sata 6Gb/s theoretical bandwidth is in the 600 MB/s range with realistic sustained transfers of between 550 and 560 MB/s depending on compress-ability of data. We’ll be taking a look at compress-able and in-compressible data a little later.

The SandForce controller on the VisionTek Go Drive is fully capable of hitting 550MB/s given compressible data and that’s the standard all SSD manufacturers give you on rated speed. However what makes the VisionTek Go Drives shine in the current pack of SSD’s is the hidden technology. Trim appeared shortly after the first SSD’s hit the market and is in a nutshell a utility that lets the SSD know which 4k blocks of Nand flash are no longer in use. In order for an SSD to write to a single block without having to do more than a simple write the entire page has to be empty. Otherwise the block has to be copied to the cache, the blocks in the page that need deleted are deleted the page is modified then written back to the SSD in it’s modified form.

The Trim command marks blocks that are deleted by the OS or user as no longer containing Valid Data and can therefore be overwritten without the copy to cache delete, insert the new data and rewrite the entire page.

SandForce gave the name DuraClass Technology to the overall technology used in its controllers. SandForce bypasses Dram caching reducing complexity and cost when compared to other SSD controllers. SandForce controllers use a proprietary compression system to minimize the actual amount of data being written to the Nand flash cells. It’s this proprietary compression system that limits the amount of data being written to the NandFlash that helps with the longevity of the drive and that portion of the technology is known as DuraWrite. Reduce the use of the Nand Flash by compression you extend the life of the Flash.

Intelligent Block Management and Wear Leveling is a fancy way of saying that the SandForce Controller distributes data evenly across the Nand flash so that each cell is used as much as any other Nand Flash Page. Since Each page is used uniformly no particular set of cells gets more use so the lifetime of the drive is extended by using all the cells equally. Pretty simple concept but it took a while for SSD manufacturers to incorporate it into the designs.

Garbage Collection is nothing more than the SSD going through the data and stacking good valid data neatly in pages marking the swiss cheesed pages for deletion when the system is idle. Since the block is pre-erased it can be written to directly and incurs no slow down by shifting data to cache blanking the page then writing the data to the freshly blanked page.

Redundant Array of Independent Silicon Elements (R.A.I.S.E) is a complementary technology to the Error Correcting Code (ECC) capabilities of the Flash Storage Processor (FSP) found in the LSI SandForce DuraClass™ technology component. What raise does is provide error correction for naturally occurring errors during Nand Flash operation. Redundant information is stored in multiple cells and re-assembled in the unlikely case of an unrecoverable data error and provides the best in class ECC rate.

Power/Performance balancing is just technology that allows the VisionTek Go Drive to use the power it needs without wasting power making the drives more attractive to mobile implementations.

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So you see it’s not just another pretty drive the technology incorporated in the VisionTek Go Drive is designed for a balance of performance, reliability, longevity and affordability. Take a look at the Warranty on your dream SSD and read through and understand the embedded technologies and you can avoid expensive Buyers remorse.

Lets get the pre-requisite specifications table out-of-the-way and move onto some testing.

VisionTek Go Drive 240 GB (900512)
General Information
Product Name 240GB Godrive SSD SATA III 2.5 inch 6 GB/S High Performance
Product Line GoDrive
Product Type Solid State Drive
Technical Information
Storage Capacity 240 GB
Interfaces/Ports
Drive Interface SATA
Drive Interface Standard SATA/600
Drive Performance
Maximum Read Transfer Rate 550 MBps
Maximum Write Transfer Rate 520 MBps
Physical Characteristics
Drive Type Internal
Drive Width 2.5″
Height 0.4″
Width 2.7″
Depth 4″
Warranty
Limited Warranty 3 Year
Miscellaneous
Green Compliant Yes
Green Compliance Certificate/Authority RoHS
Country of Origin Taiwan
Other Information
Product Family GoDrive
Certifications & Standards
  • CE
  • FCC
Features TRIM CommandRAISEDuraWriteDuraClassIntelligent Read DisturbManagementIntelligent RecyclingWear LevelingGarbage Collection
System Requirements Operating System(s):

  • Windows XP
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows 7
  • Mac OS
  • Linux
Platform Supported MacPC

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