Strontium Hawk Series 120GB SSD Review

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Inside The Hawk Series

Opening the Hawk series is as easy as removing four diminutive screws.

Strontium Hawk 120GB Open

The PCB itself is held in place while the case is screwed shut so it needs no extra encumbrance to keep the guts in check.

Strontium Hawk 120GB PCB

Having a look at the first side of the board, we see eight NAND flash modules neatly stacked to one side.

Strontium Hawk 120GB NAND

A closer inspection reveals the MLC NAND Flash to be of the SK Hynix variety labeled with part number H27QDG8VEBIR. The ONFI synchronous 26nm architecture chips are a relatively rare brand to be found in a SandForce drive configuration (it’s new to us) which is typically dominated by Intel and Micron. Each are 16GB in density, equating to 128GB total on board. Thanks to our friends at Tweaktown for the assist!

Strontium Hawk 120GB PCB

On the flip side, the PCB is rather austere with only the lonely controller being the prominent feature. The empty traced areas would be filled on the 240GB model.

Strontium Hawk 120GB Controller

Here we are again, face to face with the ever popular SandForce (LSI) SF-2281 controller that we’ve sized up countless times. What more can we say about it that we haven’t spouted a number of times already? It’s a proven, capable, and fast controller that does a splendid job with wear-leveling, maintaining relatively low write amplification that’s deftly handled via real-time compression of data during write operation. This effectively boosts performance (where compression is available) yet puts up more pedestrian-like numbers when the data is incompressible. It currently resides in a least one drive from just about every SSD manufacturer on the planet which should illustrate what the industry thinks of it.

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