As interesting as the MX Express storage unit really is from an engineering and hardware point of view, it was both peaking and a little lacklustre on several levels. The product, make no mistake, is very fast. But we think the MX Express storage unit will need a whole lot of more Firmware lovin to get performance up-to snuff alright. I'd be happy to give Mach Xtreme the benefit of my doubts though and hope that a thing or two will be improved.
Basically the product does as advertised, it can reach near 800 MB/sec reads and 650 Mb/sec writes. Unfortunately that only goes for very selected benchmarks with bigger sequential writes as the MX Express has an issue with writing small files up-to say 32KB in size. After roughly 64KB files sizes the performance jumps up hard and fast easily passing 600 MB/sec. So the MX Express storage unit shines at large sequential writes. However it won't set any records in IOPs performance. Truth be told, I estimate that if you put two SSDs in RAID Stripe mode yourself, you'd be looking at the same or even better performance.
Our trace tests we think is by far the best test in our entire benchmark suite is PCMark Vantage 64-bit. This is a trace test and can emulate what you guys do on your PC but then multiplied with factor 100. Trace testing resulted into an average score. Even a 100 USD - 120 GB Samsung 840 EVO outperformed this MX Express storage unit. So that is going to make this a tough sell we think.
Overall SSD Usage
As stated we very much enjoy the grand overall performance of this SSD series, so when you copy a fast amount of compressed data, then the SSD will perform seriously fast in performance. Make no mistake, replacing a HDD with an SSD in your desktop PC or laptop eliminates the random access lag of the HDD head, it is no longer mechanical. That combined with the performance SATA3 offers these days is simply a massive difference and probably the best upgrade you can make for your computer anno 2013.
Price, HDD VS SSD
First a generic rule that I always apply; you should probably stop looking at the Solid State Disk technology as if it were a traditional HDD. We all will be old and grey before the two reach the same prices or top the multiple TB volume storage the HDD offers for less money. Comparing an SSD with an HDD is making a comparison in-between an integrated IGP or a dedicated graphics card, that last one will cost you a heck of a lot more yet you gain incredible overall performance. It is the very same with an SSD, use it as boot drive on Windows and applications and you instantly have removed a huge bottleneck, namely load and access times. It is a difference in-between night and day (in a proper system). For massive storage like movies, MP3 files and bulky data you do not access on a regular basis, sure that's where the HDD remains the winner as a cheaper storage solution. Guru3D's rule of thumb; the magic simply is finding a good combination in-between the two and balance things out. Use a nice 240GB SSD for your operating system and applications, and park these movies and MP3 files onto a separate TB HDD. That's where the magic happens. I kid you not, all my test systems and work systems run on SSDs, not once have I considered going back to HDDs. The benefits of a good SSD are simply grand. But that doesn't mean I do not understand the budget and cost dilemma that many of you are facing though.
As mentioned on page two of this review, we looked up the numbers, you may expect the following prices:
128GB @ 299 EUR
256GB @ 389 EUR
512GB @ 699 EUR
1TB @ 1399 EUR
These are rough MSRP prices and as you can see they are reasonable. You'll receive a two year carry-in warranty with this drive.
As lovely as the hardware is without the need to install any drivers etc, I have a hard time recommending the MX Express storage unit as tested with the current firmware. Honestly I am a bit clueless. Though advertised speeds will be reached (roughly), but that mostly only really applies to sequential writes. Overall any modern SSD on SATA3 6 Gbps will score as fast and in certain conditions even faster then this storage unit. So unless you are going to use the MX Express storage unit to write 10GB+ movies or ISOs all day long we really don't see how this unit is going to benefit you due to the Achilles heel being relatively slow small files read/write performance that we have measured. My hope is that Mach Xtreme can pull off a firmware fix that addresses these issues, as really the hardware should be capable of very fast performance across the board.
Until then I'll reserve my judgment, we hope to update this article with a firmware that will obliterate all my concerns. Until that moment arrives, a regular performance SATA3 SSD will make just as much sense. That said, we love innovation and for a company like Mach Xtreme to release a product like the MX Express is a ballsy thing to do. We respect and applaud that very much. Anyway, hopefully we can update this article soon.
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Mach Xtreme DS Turbo 120GB SSD review Today we look at an offering from Mach Technology (MX technology), they added no less than four new SATA 3 (SATA 3 6Gs) SSDs in their MX DS Turbo lineup, in 120GB, 180, 240GB and even 480MB capacities, all SATA 3 of course. The SSD drives come with that already prominent SandForce SF-2281 controller to deliver up to 555 MBps read and 510 MBps write speeds (when peaking).