Mushkin 240GB Chronos Go Deluxe Review

ccokeman - 2013-06-05 16:23:19 in Storage / Hard Drives
Category: Storage / Hard Drives
Reviewed by: ccokeman   
Reviewed on: December 22, 2013
Price: $399.95

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.

Mushkin 240GB Chronos Go Deluxe Specifications:

Capacity:
240GB
Dimensions:
78.5 x 54.0 x 5.0mm
Temp. Range:
0-70°C
Read Speed:
up to 560MB/sec
Write Speed:
up to 520MB/sec
Vibration:
20G Peak, 10-2kHz, 3 axis
MTBF:
2 million hours
Controller:
SF-2281
Interface Type:
SATA 3.0 (6Gb/s)
Warranty:
3 years limited
IOPS:
90,000 (4K random write, 4K aligned)

Mushkin 240GB Chronos Go Deluxe Features:


 

All information Courtesy of Mushkin Enhanced @ http://poweredbymushkin.com/catalog/item/35-chronos-go-deluxe/800-chronos-go-deluxe-240gb

Mushkin 240GB Chronos Go Deluxe Testing:

Testing of hard drives can be done in several different ways. One method involves leaving the drive bare and connecting it as a secondary drive in an existing system. By simultaneously cleaning the drive after each benchmark run-through you can see its theoretical peaks in performance. However, these results would only represent a best-case scenario, one that you may never see unless operating a bare drive. The second method, which OverclockersClub employs, involves loading the operating system and benchmarking suite onto the test drive itself. This would give performance results that emulate real-world usage more closely. Testing will be completed with the Z87-based system listed below alongside a fresh install of Windows 7 Professional 64-bit that is updated to SP1 and fully patched as of the date of testing. The latest Intel Rapid Storage technology drivers and software have also been installed. All tests are conducted with the drive connected to a native SATA III 6 Gb/s port on the motherboard in an effort to eliminate any possible bottlenecks with performance.

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Drives:

 

Benchmarks:

  1. HD Tune 5.0
  2. Anvil Storage Utility
  3. SiSoft Sandra 2013
  4. Crystal Disk Mark
  5. ATTO Disk Benchmark
  6. AS SSD
  7. IO Meter
  8. PCMark 8

Mushkin 240GB Chronos Go Deluxe Testing:

HD Tune 5.0 Pro measures disk performance to make comparisons between drives or disk controllers. In the 4.60 Pro version, the user can measure not only drive performance as a whole, but also run more precise file and random access benchmarks as well.

Benchmark:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

File Benchmark:

 

 

 

 

 

SiSoft Sandra 2013: SiSoft Sandra is a diagnostic utility and synthetic benchmarking program. It allows you to view your hardware at a higher level to be more helpful.

 

 

Starting off, the Mushkin Chronos Go Deluxe 240GB drive delivers excellent performance across these two test scenarios with varying margins over the comparison drives.

Mushkin 240GB Chronos Go Deluxe Testing:

Anvil Storage Utility is a fully configurable tool that allows the user to test and validate the performance of the installed Solid State Drives showing both bandwidth and IOPS results. The tool will output a read score and write score along with an aggregate score much like we see with AS SSD. Not only do you get standard test routines, but a myriad of options when you dig into the tools capabilities. For our testing we will run the default tests and report the results in a chart form below for comparison.

Results:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Atto Disk Benchmark v2.47: Atto Disk Benchmark is another aged, but good hard drive benchmark utility designed to test read and write speeds for different file sizes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the Anvil Storage tests the Chronos Go Deluxe is for the most part the lowest performing drive. The ATTO testing shows that in the rated test the drive meets or exceeds its read/write specifications.

Mushkin 240GB Chronos Go Deluxe Testing:

Crystal Disk Mark 3.0: Crystal Disk Mark is a hard drive benchmark designed to measure the read and write speeds of drives by using 4k blocks, 512k blocks, and sequential data. For the test we chose the 1000MB option.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AS SSD v1.1.3466.29641: AS SSD is a benchmark specifically designed to test the speed of solid state drives. However, it also works for traditional hard drives. It is designed to measure the read and write speeds, as well as access times for set block sizes. It also assigns a score to the read, write, and overall performance of the drive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mushkin's Chronos Go Deluxe delivers excellent sequential read performance across these tests along with better 4K performance than the comparison drives. Overall you can see how the performance fluctuates by test scenario showing its strengths and weaknesses.

Mushkin 240GB Chronos Go Deluxe Testing:

PCMark 8 Storage Test. This test is used to measure the performance of SSD's, HDD's, and even hybrid solutions, but running a set of traces through real world applications to determine drive performance. Each of the routines as well as the overall scoring and bandwidth tests are used for a performance comparison with higher results indicating superior performance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

IOMeter is an I/O subsystem measurement and characterization tool for single and clustered systems. It was originally developed by the Intel Corporation and announced at the Intel Developers Forum (IDF) on February 17, 1998. Since then, it has seen widespread use within the industry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mushkin's Chronos Go Deluxe performs right between the two comparison drives in the majority of these tests. Random read and write performance is right on target by comparison to the OCZ and Corsair drives.

Mushkin 240GB Chronos Go Deluxe Conclusion:

Mushkin has been diversifying its solid-state drive product stack over the past few years delving deeper into both the consumer and enterprise markets to grab a bigger piece of the storage pie. From the 2.5-inch form factor Callisto and Chronos, to enterprise products like the Pro Spec and newly introduced Scorpion PCIe drives, all the way down to the mSATA Atlas, Mushkin has all the bases covered. From a form factor standpoint, the 1.8-inch Chronos Go Deluxe is an interesting product, as it opens up a bunch of usage scenarios outside of just mobile computing. For example, one can easily place it in a small chassis for use in an HTPC or even fit one behind many motherboard trays in larger cases.

Installation of the Chronos Go Deluxe drive into a non-micro SATA equipped system, such as a desktop computer, will require a micro SATA to SATA adapter as the power connection is configured differently than we see with traditional SATA data and power connectivity. It is not really that big of a deal when adapters can be had for less than $10 from e-tailers. Pricing, however, is on the steep side at $399 currently for 240GB of capacity, but when you look at comparable products it seems the form factor does come with some unusually steep price points.

Equipped with 256GB of toggle-mode NAND flash managed by an LSI Sandforce 2281 controller, the Chronos Go Deluxe delivers excellent performance across the test spectrum. Rated to deliver read/write speeds of up to 560MB/sec read and 520MB/sec write, the drive meets or exceeds these performance parameters. Performance degradation over time should prove minimal with the drive supporting the TRIM command, if the operating system supports it, and 16GB of over-provisioning that reduces the capacity of the drive to 240GB; a common practice with SandForce controlled drives. Delivered with an MTBF rating of 2 million hours, or just over 228 years, you can reasonably expect the Chronos Go Deluxe to last well past the three-year warranty period. Outside of the pricing, I can say this drive performed up to expectations delivering its rated performance and then some more!

 

Pros:

 

Cons: