Cavalry Pelican 2.5 in 32GB Solid State Drive Reviewccokeman - January 4, 2009
Category: Storage / Hard Drives
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Solid state hard drives are the next big thing when it comes to hard drive technology. Without moving parts these drives are the perfect candidates for installation into laptops, as well as being used for portable storage. There is also the benefit in increased battery life since there are no parts to power up and move. While 32 gigabytes does not seem like much space in this world of one terabyte and larger drives, the Cavalry Pelican should offer up plenty of space for the business user that is storing documents and Power Point presentations. So what exactly is an SSD (Solid State Drive)? It is a flash memory based hard drive that can be made up using one of two designs. MLC, or multi level cell, or SLC, single level cell. The difference is that the MLC contains two bits per memory cell versus a single bit in the SLC design. Since flash memory wears out over time, the life cycle of the cells is dependent on the drive controller to evenly distribute the write cycles to the individual cells. The MLC design is the less expensive design and should last from 1000 to 10,000 write cycles, where the SLC design using only one bit per cell may be as high as 100,000 cycles. The MLC design has made the transition to consumer level products happen quicker because of the lower cost of entry and large capacities. Making drives such as this one available at a price point that is more attractive and in the less than $100 range.
The Cavalry Pelican 2.5 in SATA II/USB 2.0 32GB SSD is available in both a 32GB and 64GB sizes, as well as both the MLC and SLC designs. This drive is the 32GB MLC design that uses a SATA II or USB 2.0 interface. The drive features a seek time of .1ms, 0db on the noise front and a Mean Time Before Failure of 1,350,000 hours, sequential reads of 80MB/s, sequential writes of 60MB/s and resistant to 20G's worth of vibration. Lets see just how close this drive comes to meeting its specifications.
The Cavalry Pelican drive comes in a standard retail clamshell. Contents include the Pelican drive and marketing materials. The front view shows the drive, the connectivity options, that the drive can be used in both a Mac and a PC, and carries a one year warranty. Kind of strange when the listed MTBF is closer to 150 years. The rear view gives the specifications in detail.
The Pelican drive is a small 2.5 in form factor and can be used in both notebooks and desktops alike. The top view shows the drive with the decal showing the size of the drive prominently (32GB), as well as the model number and the operating systems it can be used with. The back side shows no useful information. The bottom has four mounting holes. The sides contain mounting holes and screws that can be removed to open the drive if you so choose. The end of the drive features the connectivity options. To run this drive as a USB drive all you need to do is connect your USB cable and start transferring data. To use it as a hard drive in a computer, be it laptop or desktop, you will need to connect to the SATA interface and supply power to the drive via the SATA power connection.
Now lets see what the Cavalry Pelican SSD offers in the way of performance in our desktop test system.