Solid state drives based on the SandForce SF-2281 controller chip have been out for a while now and there are quite a few to choose from and many questions to ask. Are they all the same? Will they all last the same amount of time? Are they all the same speed? I am going to try and help you figure that one out here.
With all of these SandForce drives there are more or less three different types or classes of SandForce-based drives. Starting at the bottom you have drives that use 25nm asynchronous flash. A step up from that is the 25nm synchronous ONFi 2.2 flash. Finally at the top tier you have 32nm synchronous toggle mode flash from Toshiba. Of course the drive we reviewed today, the Chronos Deluxe from Mushkin uses the toggle mode flash from Toshiba.
There are not that many drives out there that actually use the Toshiba toggle mode flash memory. Out of all the drives we have reviewed only the Patriot Wildfire and OWC Mercury Extreme 6G use it. The Toshiba toggle mode flash is rated for almost double the power / erase cycles as the 25nm flash thus your drive is going to last longer.
Since this is a SandForce-based drive so you do get the added features that the SandForce SF-2200 controller offers. The drive will do real-time loss-less compression. This is why there is no need for a cache chip, but also means less writes to the data cells. RAISE (Redundant Array of Independent Silicon Elements) is a term we have heard a lot with these new drives. So on top of ECC for data protection RAISE adds another level of security. This drive also supports TRIM as almost all solid state drives do these days.
When it comes to price Mushkin has priced this drive very competitively. Currently at my favorite retailer the 240GB version of this drive is selling for $179. In contrast the OWC Mercury Extreme 6G 240GB is $299. Also at $179 the Chronos Deluxe is less expensive than most other 240GB SATA 6GB/s drives. Overall ThinkComputers gives the Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 240GB Solid State Drive a 9 out of 10 score and our Recommended Award.
- Good overall performance
- 3 year warranty
- 7mm height (will fit in Ultrabooks)
- Will last longer than many other SandForce-based drives
- None that I found