Tech content trusted by users in North America and around the world
7,221 Reviews & Articles | 52,168 News Posts

Apacer Thunderbird PT910 256GB PCIe SSD Review

By: Chris Ramseyer | PCIe in Storage | Posted: Mar 18, 2015 1:06 pm
TweakTown Rating: 76%Manufacturer: Apacer

Apacer Thunderbird PT910 PCIe 256GB SSD

 

apacer-thunderbird-pt910-256gb-pcie-ssd-review_06

 

Apacer put together an attractive package for the Thunderbird PT910 PCIe SSD.

 

apacer-thunderbird-pt910-256gb-pcie-ssd-review_07

 

The back of the package gives us some performance and feature information.

 

apacer-thunderbird-pt910-256gb-pcie-ssd-review_08

 

Inside of the package, we found the drive secured well with dense foam surrounding the SSD.

 

apacer-thunderbird-pt910-256gb-pcie-ssd-review_09

 

Users receive an installation guide as well as a half-height bracket.

 

apacer-thunderbird-pt910-256gb-pcie-ssd-review_10

 

The card looks nice, and it is fully surrounded by aluminum plates on each side that covers the PCBs.

 

apacer-thunderbird-pt910-256gb-pcie-ssd-review_11

 

apacer-thunderbird-pt910-256gb-pcie-ssd-review_12

 

The back plate is perforated, so air can pass over the Thunderbird SSD and exit from the rear of the system.

 

apacer-thunderbird-pt910-256gb-pcie-ssd-review_13

 

The PCIe 2.0 x2 bus is good to around 1000 MB/s. Apacer claims the Thunderbird series can deliver up to 830 MB/s, but doesn't specify the performance differences between the 256GB model that we're testing today and the 512GB mode that is also available.

 

Here we can see the three-layer PCB stack that starts with the base card that holds two SATA SSDs. The SSDs look a little longer than the units we find in 2.5" enclosures.

 

apacer-thunderbird-pt910-256gb-pcie-ssd-review_14

 

Each of the two drives uses a SandForce SF-2241 controller and four Intel NAND flash packages. The PCBs can hold as many as 16 packages, but Apacer choose to use higher density flash rather than spread the die across several packages.

 

apacer-thunderbird-pt910-256gb-pcie-ssd-review_15

 

ASAN Tron Technologies made the main PCN. This company makes several All-in-One RAID type products, as well as DDR3 form factor SSDs that fit in RAM slots but use a SATA cable to transfer data.

 

apacer-thunderbird-pt910-256gb-pcie-ssd-review_16

 

The main PCB holds the Marvell 88SS9220 RAID controller.

 

apacer-thunderbird-pt910-256gb-pcie-ssd-review_17

 

Here we get a closer look at the actual SSD that uses regular SATA power and data connectors. We often see these products with SandForce SF-2281 eight-channel controllers, but this product uses SandForce's four-channel controller, the SF-2241.

 

apacer-thunderbird-pt910-256gb-pcie-ssd-review_18

 

Each SSD also has onboard power circuits. On the back of the PCB, we also found tabs that could be used for USB 3.0 on other products. That explains the extra length of this card over what we normally see in 2.5" enclosures. After looking on the ASAN Tron Technologies website, we found a few USB 3.0 SSDs that also use this form factor, but with the USB 3.0 header installed.

 

apacer-thunderbird-pt910-256gb-pcie-ssd-review_19

 

While the drive was apart, we found an undocumented switch on the back side of the Apacer Thunderbird PT910. Apacer's documentation doesn't list the switch, but we later learned from the ASAN website that this is to move the card to UEFI mode for faster boot times.

    PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.


    United States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon's website.

    United Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon UK's website.

    Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon Canada's website.

    We at TweakTown openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion of our content. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here.

Related Tags

Got an opinion on this content? Post a comment below!
loading