Taking off the aluminum back plate requires the removal of four small screws and will also void the warranty so mind the stickers and leave it on.
One one side of the PCB resides eight of the 16 total NAND flash chips that occupy one side.
The Intel MLC NAND is of the 34nm variety with each being 16 GB in density. That amounts to 256 GB in total physically on board. This is the same NAND found on Intel’s 510 Series drive.
Flipping the PCB over, we see the same setup of NAND modules but offset is the SandForce controller. Absent is any external SDRAM cache as the controller does not need one.
The all too familiar SF-1200 controller is still doing well on the market although the next generation of SF-2xxx controllers are now in the hands of consumers. As we’ve discussed ad nauseum across many reviews, it uses proprietary DuraClass technology for drive maintenance and on the fly error correction. It performs best on compressible data due to its real-time data compression which boosts performance as we’ll demonstrate later. First, we’ll have a look at the test system.