About an hour ago I read a forum post that stated SandForce SSDs come in three flavors - fast, faster and fastest. The poster was talking about asynchronous flash, synchronous flash and Toggle Mode flash. I don't agree with that line of thinking for a couple of reasons. The first is asynchronous flash drops too much performance when data is present, I wouldn't call it fast. The second reason is IMFT synchronous and Toggle Mode are nearly identical in performance on SandForce SF-2281 controllers. Some companies released two drives, synchronous and asynchronous and other companies released three drives. The three drive strategy with all three flash types led to a lot of confusion and in some cases the synchronous flash was configured to deliver better performance than the Toggle Mode configuration.
SuperSSpeed went a different route, with an easy to understand strategy. You have two options with SuperSSpeed - faster and kick ass. We've already looked at the kick ass (S301 SLC) and another review, now with TRIM working is just about ready. Admittedly the S302 MLC isn't as exciting as the S301 SLC, but it is a solid release, with a solid warranty and accessory package. The performance is where we expect it to be and we know drives are coming off the factory floor with working TRIM now.
The SuperSSpeed S302 is available in several APAC countries now. We've found pricing in Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan, but nothing in the US or Europe yet. While writing this article I touched base with a company we work with and reinvigorated their desire to carry SuperSSpeed products. In the morning this reseller is calling SuperSSpeed and placing an order. After hearing what I had to say about the MLC model and of course seeing the extreme performance of the SLC model, SuperSSpeed is without a doubt coming to the US. SuperSSpeed also has an Amazon store that carries their SATA II models. We suspect the company wanted to wait until the TRIM issue was resolved before deploying SATA III models in the US market. Now that we have working TRIM, I'm confident drives will be here very soon.
What we don't know though is the price. In the APAC countries SuperSSpeed SSDs are priced very well. The SLC drive is unbelievable and the MLC drive we reviewed today is low enough to be a competitor with some of the asynchronous flash drives. That type of pricing in the US would go over very well; we just need to have it here to buy it.
After reviewing a lot of LSI SandForce SF-2281 drives with synchronous flash we've moved beyond the benchmarks and spend more time looking over the accessory packages and build quality. SuperSSpeed ships the S302 Hyper Gold with a very nice dual drive desktop adapter bracket, this is a unique add-on. SuperSSpeed also designs drives with beefy power circuits. It's been quite a while since we've seen this many surface mount components on the board and there are capacitors all over the place. That tells me that SuperSSpeed didn't design the S302 to be a low-cost product, but they designed it to be a high quality product that just happens to cost less than many of the competitors because they get some of the other components at a lower price.