The ASUS Eee PC 900 netbook that I have is one of the more basic netbooks that have come out for consumers to fall in love with. The ASUS Eee PC 900 version that I use has no webcam, a single 4GB Mini PCIe SSD, and an Intel 900MHz Celeron M CPU. Now anyone that has used one of these will say it’s a love/hate relationship. I love the little guy; it is handy, especially when traveling. But, I hate the drive performance. So, my search started for a new SSD with better performance. When looking to upgrade the Mini PCIe SSD inside the ASUS Eee PC 900 you can pick from brands like Patriot, OCZ, RiDATA, Runcore, and Super Talent. Back in May of this year, Super Talent released a new line of SSDs designed to be a drop in replacement for the ASUS Eee PC S101, 900, 900A, and 901 netbook PCs. The SATA Mini 2 PCIe SSDs are Super Talent’s second generation product and are focused on enabling better performance for ASUS Eee PC users. The SATA Mini 2 PCIe SSDs are available in both MLC and SLC flash memory formats. The MLC version delivers sequential read speeds up to 150 MB/s and sequential write speeds up to 100MB/s, and is available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB capacities at very affordable prices. Speaking of prices, let compare the original Super Talent SATA Mini PCIe SSDs to the new faster SATA Mini 2 PCIe SSDs.
As you can see, the new Super Talent SATA Mini 2 PCIe SSDs cost more than the original series, but they offer much better read and write performance. When upgrading a netbook to get better performance be certain to get the GLSE model and not the original GRSE model. Today we will be looking at the 64GB SATA Mini 2 PCIe MLC version to see what it can do for netbook performance.
With a quick look at Super Talent’s website for the specs I found that the new drives were offered in MLC and SLC versions. The MLC drives are available in 16/32/64GB and feature sequential read speeds up to 150 MB/s and sequential write speeds up to 100 MB/s. The SLC drives are available in 16GB and 32GB and feature sequential read speeds up to 170 MB/s and sequential write speeds up to 130 MB/s.
Before I owned my ASUS Eee PC 900 I had never seen a Mini PCIe SSD first hand. With nothing for scale in a lot of images I had seen on the net I was surprised at just how small they really were. In the image above I placed a US quarter next to the drive. The drive’s dimensions are 69.5mm x 32.1mm x 3.5mm (2.5” x 1.2” x 0.14”).
The drive has eight Samsung K9HCG08UIM-PCB0 MLC flash chips, four on each side.
The controller that Super Talent is using on the SATA Mini 2 PCIe is the JMicron 602 with four channels available for data transfer. This controller has a little bit of a tainted history as it is known to stutter on certain applications while multi-tasking, so it will be interesting how the drive performs in my little ASUS Eee PC 900 netbook. Luckily, the ASUS Eee PC 900 netbook with the Intel 900MHz Celeron M processor isn’t designed for power users, so it is likely the stutter will not be encountered. To the left of the controller there are 3 LEDs; two of these are for showing power and drive activity. We are not certain what the activity light is for and when we asked Super Talent what it was they were unsure as well.