Wintec Industries SolidGO 60GB 2.5" Silver Series SSD w/Mini USB 2.0 Review
Eight months ago I was given my first opportunity to review a Solid State Drive from Wintec Industries. They were kind enough to allow me to review the laptop-oriented 24GB SolidGO ExpressCard SSD, which I reviewed and found to be very impressive for something so small in size. Not only was it fast because of its SSD technology, it also was flexible including a USB2.0 port for easy access.
Today I will be reviewing another SolidGO product from Wintec Industries. This time I review the Silver Series 60GB SSD that is capable of reaching a read speed of 160MB/s and write speed of 90MB/s and being 2.5" in size allows it to be installed in either notebook or desktop applications along with having the flexibility of having a USB2.0 connector to be used as a removable device, makes it a very attractive data storage solution. Read on to see whether it actually performs as good as it sounds.
About Wintec Industries
“Wintec is a leading independent designer, manufacturer and supplier of value added memory modules to original equipment manufacturers. Our manufactured products include Memory storage, Communications, and Video devices which we offer to customers worldwide. Along with manufacturing, Wintec provides highly integrated supply chain management services which allow customers to gain better control of their global supply chain through complex IT systems and optimized planning tools. Wintec also carries partners with its distribution suppliers to provide IT systems, peripherals, system components, software and networking products for thousands of independent resellers across the globe.”
Wintec Industries SolidGO 60GB Silver Series SSD Product Overview
The FileMate SolidGO 2.5” SATA SSD with Mini USB 2.0 drive delivers the performance of Solid State technology with embedded bad-block management and wear-leveling. These features, plus the lower power consumption, make the SolidGO drive an ideal solution for applications requiring durability. For ultimate flexibility, the SolidGO drive includes a mini USB 2.0 connector, so it can double as a portable external hard drive.
Wintec Industries SolidGO 60GB Silver Series SSD Product Features/Specification
Don't judge a book by its cover is a saying that is true in the case of the Wintec Industries 60GB Silver Series SSD because it comes in a plain brown corrugated box. Inside the box is what counts and purchasing the Wintec Industries SolidGO 60GB Silver Series SSD contains the following items in the box...
The silicone sleeve that is included in this bundle is a very good protective cover for the SolidGO SSD. It is used for when you are utilizing the SSD as a removable device, like a flash drive. It has an opening for the USB port and covers everything else except for the top portion. SSD's have excellent shock protection and this silicone sleeve only adds to this great attribute of SSD.
There is a quick installation guide which is just a single sheet that guides you through twelve steps in order to swap out your current notebook hard drive and replace it with the SolidGo SSD. Furthermore, you can also install the SSD in a desktop as the SATA connector is the same. The bad thing is that there is no 2.5" to 3.5" mounting bracket included with the bundle which is a shame since it can be found for a couple of dollars.
Feast your eyes on the Wintec Industries SolidGO 60GB Silver Series SSD. It's exterior is matte black in color and constructed out of aluminum that is super strong and will stand up to any abuse thrown at it. The exterior looks very nice with the silver series sticker curved edges and gold colored FILEMATE lettering. The 'I' in FILEMATE is actually a nice bright LED activity light.
Looking at the rear of the SolidGO 60GB SSD, you see the standardized SATA data and power connector and also the mini-USB 2.0 port.
Unlike the Patriot Memory Torqx SSD that was recently reviewed, there are no extra pins on the SolidGO 60GB Silver Series SSD that would allow the firmware to be upgraded, and with issues related to SSD such as TRIM, garbage collection, or finding extra performance through updated algorithms, this is definitely a negative because you never know what could be improved in the future, or what possible problems could be solved through a firmware update. Hopefully Wintec Industries has tested their SSD's long enough that they are confident of the longevity and performance. I've been testing this SolidGO 60GB Silver Series SSD for approximately seven-months now and I will let you know of my reliability findings later on in the review.
Being the curious person that I am and not finding further technical information regarding the innards of the SolidGO 60GB Silver Series SSD, I popped open the cover and did some investigative work to inform you, my readers. So let's go over what was found inside the SolidGO 60GB Silver Series SSD...
Looking down from the top of the SolidGO 60GB Silver Series SSD we find a NAND flash memory configuration of 2 rows of 4 columns that read 'i' for INTEL and model 29F32G08AAMD2. The same layout is on the underside of the PCB, thus resulting in sixteen total flash memory chips. Each chip is 4GB in size, are MLC NAND Flash memory, 34nm and 12-bit ECC.
The remaining chip of importance is labeled JMF602 and that is the JMicron SSD controller. I didn't notice a memory cache bank like I did with the Patriot Memory Torqx SSD and that is because the JMicron JMF602 contains its own memory buffer, which I found out was a measly 16KB!, which means the data is being written to the flash almost immediately on the fly having no cushion (buffer). It's been reported that people have been having issues with the JMF602 controller hanging during hard drive loads...We'll see if that problem exists with this unit.
Taken from JMicron's website about the JMF602 SSD controller...
"JMF602 is a single chip with Serial ATA Gen II and USB 2.0 combo to NAND flash interface. It is an innovative design to provide high bandwidth for flash memory access. JMF602 can support the maximum read and write speed to drive the limit of flash memory. It supports up to 256 NAND Flash chips. JMF602 is available in 211 pin TFBGA (12mm x 12 mm) package. JMF602 supports a variety of popular NAND flash memory, including Toshiba, Samung, Hynix/ST and Intel/Micron Flash. With the embedded hardware error correction engines and the robust bad block management technology, JMF602 is suitable for PC and industrial solid state drive applications. In addition, dynamic and whole drive static wear leveling are used in JMF602 to provide the best extension of drive life time. JMicron also provides reference designs in different drive form factors, mass production tool and firmware update tool to help customers go on mass product quickly."
Performance and Results Testing
For the AS SSD benchmark, I could not finish the 4K and 4K threaded sections of the benchmark because the results were too slow; I mean very slow. AS SSD shows that the SSD has weak 4K and 4K threaded write and read speed being similar to the conventional hard drive actually (around 0.5). This weak performance is attributed to the JMF602 SSD controller and its lack of buffer size. CrystalDiskMark 4K results were still slow but actually completed.
Other than that, when you look at the overall picture, the SolidGO 60GB Silver Series SSD is actually is a good performer providing fast read speeds that will definitely help with decreasing load times of every application you run, making programs load in an instant and also provide good write speeds to transfer files. There were no abnormal hangs experienced during my testing. Wintec rates the read and write speed at 160MB/s and 90MB/s respectively and tests show that the read speed is actually spot on at around 157MB/s and while the 90MB/s write speed is a little generous for most circumstances, it reaches a respectable 79.58MB/s sequential write speed which isn't too far off from 90MB/s.
The Wintec Industries SolidGO 60GB Silver Series SSD is a good performer and while it may not be the fastest or have the largest amount of buffer (it actually has little to no cache), it performs well and I could see it as a good fit for a notebook usage. And if you ever need to transfer files, you can easily do so by using the integrated USB 2.0 connector which makes it the fastest removable USB2.0 device you'll ever use.
However it did have a few flaws. The possibility of upgrading the firmware looks to be slim to none as there are no extra pins provided on the SSD and that is never a good thing when you're dealing with a new generation product. The website mentions nothing about supporting TRIM or snazzy features like that so that should come into consideration.
Next flaw is that there is no mounting bracket provided for using the SSD on a desktop. Although you could spend a few more dollars and purchase one, I would have expected Wintec to include one.
Lastly, we have a lack of cache buffer so 4K and 4K threaded performance suffers and this is due to the JMicron controller which needs much improving.
Pros and Cons