Mushkin 240GB Chronos Go Deluxe Reviewccokeman - December 22, 2013
Category: Storage / Hard Drives
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Mushkin 240GB Chronos Go Deluxe Introduction:
Over the past few years Mushkin has expanded its range of solid-state drives to meet the growing needs of its consumer base. From the DIY computer builder to enterprise applications, Mushkin has all the bases covered in a variety of form factors, from the standard 2.5-inch drives (the Atlas mSATA line, Scorpion PCIe line-up) and now the 1.8-inch form factor Chronos Go. While small in size, much like the Atlas mSATA line, the Chronos Go drive comes in capacities ranging from 120GB to 480GB packed into a 1.8-inch form factor. Originally designed for use in 24/7 enterprise applications, the Chronos Go Deluxe was re-engineered for the consumer market to provide long term reliability, high capacity, and high performance in today's ever shrinking computing systems.
This is the first SATA III 1.8-inch form factor drive we have looked at here at OCC, so it should prove interesting to see how Mushkin delivers enhanced speeds of up to 560MB/sec read and up to 520MB/sec write from this small form factor. Pricing for this particular drive currently sits at around $399 from e-tailers. "Get More" is Mushkin's mantra and has been for years; let's see if this iteration of the Chronos Go Deluxe does indeed deliver "More".
Mushkin 240GB Chronos Go Deluxe Closer Look:
Packaging for this drive is a standard plastic clam shell with the Mushkin logo, drive name, and the form factor listed along the bottom against the traditional Mushkin Green back drop. The back side lists some basic specifications and talks about the benefits of the Mushkin Go line in mobile computing applications. Under the specifications Mushkin has enough room to promote another of its product lines, this time the Venture Pro line of USB 3.0 flash drives.
Even though you can see what you get through the clear plastic of the packaging, we get to show it to you out of the package as well. The Mushkin Chronos Go Deluxe is a 1.8-inch form factor SATA III solid-state drive that is offered in capacities ranging from 120GB to 480GB designed to work in both mobile and desktop computers. The drive I will be looking at, part number MKNSSDCG240GB-DX, is a high performance 240GB drive rated for up to 560MB/sec read and up to 520MB/sec write speeds. There are no provisions for mounting so you will need to be creative when using this drive outside of a computing solution not needing a 1.8-inch form factor drive. Measuring 78.5mm x 54.0mm x 5.0mm the drive is definitely on the slim side. Connectivity is an area of concern if you are using this drive in a desktop environment. You have the SATA data and power connections, but the main difference is that the power connection meets the microSATA standard and will not directly connect to a SATA power source without an adapter. By comparing the standard SATA interface with the microSATA interface you can see the differences. A simple fix if you choose this style drive is to use any of the readily available adapters available online.
Accessing the internals of the drive requires removing the four Phillips head screws, one at each corner, then prying the cover off the drive. Each side has a series of three clips as well as the thermal interface material for the NAND controller holding the cover tightly in place. The NAND controller uses the aluminum chassis as a heat sink to keep the controller thermals under control. Each side of the chassis is lined in plastic to keep the drive components from shorting out against the aluminum shell. Each of the four corners has a plastic insert that helps with shock control even though the drive is rated for impacts of up to 20G Peak, 10-2kHz, and 3 axis.
Stripped out of the 1.8-inch enclosure the NAND and controller configuration is visible. There are a total of eight 32GB NAND Modules on board that make up 256GB of capacity that provides about 16GB of over provisioning for use by the controller. At this point I am unable to nail down the manufacturer of the NAND used on this particular drive, but I have seen configurations of sixteen 16GB Sandisk labeled 24nm toggle mode memory. The NAND controller used on this drive is one familiar to us, it is the LSI Sandforce 2281 B2 revision that supports up to 560MB/sec read and up to 520MB/sec write speed across a SATA III interface, essentially making it a fairly fast drive in this small form factor.
Looking strictly at the performance numbers, the Mushkin Chronos Go Deluxe is a high performance drive that should compete well with just about any product on the market, all the while fitting into hardware that a traditional 2.5-inch drive cannot. Time to put it to the test and see if it does deliver on the promise of performance.