Zalman N Series 128GB SandForce SF-1222 SSD Review

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Zalman N Series – The Internals

Breaking open the case required the usual four screw removal, although the back plate nestled into the front section making it a little more tricky to remove.

ZALMAN N SERIES OPENED

Only 2 screws hold the PCB to the case on one end and padding is affixed to each side of the casing on the other end to keep things snug and safe. This is a little different than other drives we have seen.

ZALMAN N SERIES PCB REAR

The back side of the PCB is where we’ll find half of the total 128GB of flash, numbering in eight total.

ZALMAN N SERIES

The Intel branded 34nm MLC NAND carries part number 29F64G08CAMDB and 8GB in density. With 16 total on board, the total drive capacity caps out at 128GB but not all of that will be available to the user as we’ll detail on the final page of the article.

ZALMAN N SERIES PCB FRONT

Flipping the board over reveals a similar layout with the exception of the SandForce SF-1222 controller taking up residence in the center. If you’ve seen any of our other reviews of SandForce based drives, this should look very familiar. Absent is any sign of Zalman branding on the PCB.

ZALMAN N SERIES CONTROLLER

The controller, more often generically referred to as just ‘SF-1200′, has largely been heralded as the best SSD controller so far this year which is principally due to the DuraClass technology it employs for drive maintenance and on the fly error correction. It requires no use of external cache for buffering and relies on real-time data compression to boost performance.

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