The first thing you notice when you open the case are the empty spaces on the PCB normally reserved for MLC NAND chips on the larger capacity drives. Obviously there are some cost savings in the manufacturing process by utilizing the same PCB across all capacities which ends up costing the consumer less.
Four more screws hold the PCB in place within the shell and are easily removed so we can have a look at the back side of the board.
While the front holds five flash chips, the back sports seven, giving us 12 in total – three chips per channel with this being a four channel drive.
The Intel branded MLC 34nm, 29F32G08AAMDB NAND chips are 4GB in density giving an overall physical capacity of 48GB. NAND that are more dense (larger capacity) tend to be faster so expect to see diminished performance on the 40GB drives versus the larger drives.
We find the SandForce SF-1200 (SF-1222 to be exact) controller in its usual spot, pretty much smack in the middle of the PCB and flanked by the NAND chips.
We’ve looked at the SF-1200 controller on many drives now and it continues to be impressive in both performance and self-maintenance with its DuraClass technology. While being the same controller, this looks to be a slightly different revision than what we had on the Force Series 120GB drive.