Being the Consumer Storage Editor here at TweakTown, I am constantly looking for unique products that I think would interest our readers, products that set themselves apart from the others using the highest quality materials with the build quality to compliment. Today I have one such product, coming all the way from Austria in the form of the Angelbird SSD2Go.
Angelbird is a relatively young company; starting out just two years ago, they have released a number of products some of which include the Wings PCIe SSD, along with the Enterprise Class Crest Master Solid State Solution. Angelbird has now joined the external storage market with the SSD2Go, offering their custom drive in 120GB, 240GB and 480GB capacities.
The Angelbird SSD2Go is compatible with recent Microsoft Windows operating systems and Mac OS X 10.4+. The SSD2Go carries a three year warranty.
Our product sample was delivered to us in a simple brown cardboard box. There is no attractive box art for retail shelves, as you will not find this product anywhere near your local retailer. This is a complete custom kit built to your taste.
Upon opening the packaging, we find our SSD2Go packaged securely with the USB 3.0 cable tucked away against the drive.
Removing our drive from the packaging, we get our first look at the drive we designed. Here you can see I chose a nice anodized orange for the front.
In designing our drive for testing, I chose to switch things up a bit and order the back plate in a simple silver.
The USB 3.0 connection for the SSD2Go goes against the traditional mini connector, using a full USB 3.0 connection for each end.
Popping our drive open, we get a glimpse at the custom CNC machining that goes into building each case. Tucked away inside the orange casing we find the SSD PCB mounted to the USB 3.0 PCB.
Above we find the SSD2Go and its SandForce SF2281 FSP.
The USB 3.0 PCB houses two ASMedia ICs. The center mounted ASM1053, which controls all USB 3.0 operations through UASP, and the ASM1456, which acts as a SATA 6 GB/s switch.
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Looking at the SSD, we find that Angelbird has chosen Micron as the NAND flash supplier. Each of these packages carries 32GB of capacity giving us a total of 256GB minus 7% for OP. To the top left you will find the CapX super capacitor, which allows the drive four seconds of power for the SSD to flush all data in transit to the NAND in the event of a host power-loss event.
To test external storage platforms, we utilize three of the most well-known and respected benchmark applications. ATTO Disk Benchmark is the first and is recognized as the industry standard for marketing specifications. The second, CDM or Crystal Disk Mark offers sequential read and write metrics, 512K random read and writes and 4K data with Queue Depths up to 32.
Through Disk Bench, we offer real-world testing as it offers a custom data set that can be controlled by the user. For our testing I use a 10GB directory of mixed data that includes, pictures in both the RAW and JPEG file formats, AVCHD video and documents in both the XLS and DOC formats.
ATTO showed the SSD2Go was quite the performer. As you can see above we reached the theoretical limit of USB 3.0 with the drive hitting 458MB/s write and 442MB/s read.
CrystalDiskMark showed more of the same, with the Angelbird touching 427MB/s sequential read and 319MB/s sequential write. 4k performance was the highest I have seen on an external storage solution with QD32 producing 153MB/s read and 175MB/s write.
Taking a glance at our external drive chart, there was no doubt we would see the Angelbird take the top spot. The SSD2Go was able to transfer our 10GB directory in a matter of seconds at 280MB/s.
The SSD2Go takes external storage to another level in terms of customization and build quality. The amount of detail that goes into the custom CNC machined casing is unreal adding to this the glass beading the enclosure goes through before being anodized all giving the end-user a silky smooth portable storage solution.
Performance of the SSD2Go was exceptional, claiming the top spot on our charts and becoming the first single drive storage solution to claim every bit of performance from our native USB 3.0 test system, reaching 458MB/s. Adding to the impressive storage performance is the CapX super capacitor that allows four seconds of protection, which, in case of power loss, will perform a flush command shutting down the controller and the whole device safely.
Pricing of the SSD2Go in the configuration tested here today is set at $389.99, with the 120GB and 480GB capacities available for $219.99 and $669.99 respectively.