RunCore offers three products under the Pro V label and that makes sorting the details a bit difficult when shopping. The Pro V Plus that we reviewed a few months ago uses a SandForce SF-1200 controller with 25nm flash. The SF-1200 is a SATA II controller and a generation before the newer SF-2200 Series found on the Pro V SATA III models. When it comes to the SATA III drives with the newer SF-2281 controller, there are two; the 2.5" we looked at today and a mSATA model built for netbooks and notebooks with the mSATA interface.
What we really don't understand is why RunCore would choose to only build a single 2.5" SATA III drive with asynchronous flash and not build a synchronous flash model at all. Several companies built both, one for their high end users and a lower cost asynchronous model for the mainstream market. To be fair, I personally don't like the asynchronous flash drives since they show good performance in early benchmarks, but quickly fade when data is added to the drive. They are kind of like kit cars from yesteryear. The outside might look like a Ferrari, but it's still a Fiero under the skin. Even the companies that did release two products, the price difference between the slower and faster models was close enough that end users should just pay the extra money and get the full performance of the SF-2281 controller.
So where does that leave the 190 Dollar RunCore Pro V 2.5" SATA III 120GB you ask? Well, the OCZ Agility 3, another asynchronous flash drive now sells for 149 Dollars at Newegg for the 120GB model. The Agility 3 is sold just about everywhere SSDs are sold and comes with OCZ's support network that is very good. To make matters worse, several Team SandForce SF-2281 / synchronous flash drives are selling for less than the RunCore offering, so that leaves the RunCore Pro V 2.5" SATA III in a pretty bad position for anyone actually paying for these drives.
You really have to hand it to RunCore when they release products like the Pro V 2.5" SATA III. SandForce made a pretty good blueprint, one that has success written all over it. You really have to do something crazy to screw it up, but that is exactly what happened here. The SandForce plan was to release both a synchronous flash and asynchronous flash product to cover a wider range of users. RunCore had their own idea and went with just the bottom of the barrel product and as a result missed an opportunity to build on their previous successes. Maybe the next product manager will get it right.
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