Review: Buffalo Technology MicroStation Internal SSD 128 GB

Our score: 2/5
Reviewed: July 12, 2010 11:00 PM
 
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Published: July 12, 2010 11:00 PM
By Vincent Lheur
Despite being better known for its external storage solutions, Buffalo is also committed to SSD technology, and that means internal hard drives.  This new 128 GB MicroStation Internal SSD is just one example.

It comes in four different versions (32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB and 256 GB) and the 128 GB one that we're reviewing today is affordable but still has enough room to house your operating system and some essential software-everything you need really!

Buffalo doesn't specify which controller it uses either on its website or in the press release for this product, and we couldn't get it open to check either.  Rumour has it that it's made by JMicron-I can see you getting jealous already.  A JMF612 to be precise, which should calm you down a little.  It shouldn't have any of the JMF602's problems!

The controller is helped along by 64 MB of cache memory, and it's all connected to the PC via a 3 Gbps SATA-2 connection.  We're also glad to see a USB 2.0 port (see inset).

Pure performance


Although they're not exceptional by any means, we can't deny that the pure performance figures on offer here aren't at all bad:
  

The MicroStation Internal SSD 128 GB is fast with large and medium-sized files, but it struggles more when randomly accessing smaller files and handling NCQ commands.  The figures we found using AS-SSD back up what we found elsewhere:

At 0.32 ms and 0.31 ms, the access times are a little long, especially because we're used to seeking these figures under 0.2 ms on SSD hardware.
 

That said, our first series of benchmarks places the MicroStation Internal SSD 128 GB at the same level as the OCZ Agility 120 GB-which isn't bad at all!  That means it can't compete with the latest big names, but it can certainly keep up with the best entry-level SSDs.

Practical performance

Our practical tests didn't do anything to change our impressions, and its PCMark Vantage of 21012 confirms that this is an excellent product.
  

An excellent product in practice, too, because it's only a few seconds behind the very best of them:
 
2/5 Buffalo Technology MicroStation Internal SSD 128 GB DigitalVersus 2010-07-13 00:00:00

Pros

  • USB 2.0 interface makes cloning your old hard drive easy before you replace it
  • Great performance with larger files

Cons

  • USB interface is 2.0, not 3.0
  • Results for random reading and writing are a long way behind those for sequential access

Conclusion

The perfect average: this SSD Is a lot better than the cheapest alternatives, but less powerful than high-end models.

OUR SCORE 2/5
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