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Renice K3VLAR ZIF SSD User Review-Notebookreview.com
Update Time£º7/19/2011 3:35:40 AM
Renice K3VLAR ZIF SSD User Review
This is a prelim review based on a briefly tested loaner Mac product. Renice responded to my query on availability and ETA of the PC version: "the Mac product is certified for use on a Mac. It's also been tested on PCs with a single ZIF drive configuration. A boxed PC version will be released in the coming months".
I'm not waiting for the PC version. I'll update this review with full benchmarks once my Mac product arrives.
The Renice K3VLAR ZIF SSD combines a Indilinx Barefoot controller with a Marvell sata-to-pata bridge chip to provide an affordable, high performance storage upgrade for ZIF PATA systems. It is available now for purchase from MyDigitalDiscount. Below is my preliminary performance evaluation of this product.
- Interface: 1.8¡± ZIF ATA7 Standard
- Retail Price: 32GB-US$120 64GB-US$200
- Random 4kb reads | writes: 16MB/s | 6MB/s
(measured 21MB/s | 9MB/s @UDMA5)
- Sequential read/write: 85/70 MB/s
(measured 87/75 Mb/s @UDMA5)
- Average access time: 0.1ms
- Power consumption idle/active: 0.5/2W
Installation was easy. Flicking the stiffener into an upright position as shown here allowed very easy insertion of the ZIF cable. I placed the ZIF HDD into the supplied USB enclosure and used Linux dd to clone the disk. Windows users could use Acronis EasyMigrate trial demo instead.
Performance Comparison: Renice K3VLAR ZIF SSD versus Toshiba ZIF HDD
The Renice K3VLAR ZIF SSD is a very noticable improvement in performance over the HP supplied 1.8" ZIF HDD. Boot times decreased to a third, Firefox doesn't have momentary seek delays when scrolling windows or reading/writing cache, applications just popup instantly and there are no longer any HDD seek noises. Experiencing this sort of quiet speed makes it difficult to go back to using a slow, noisy ZIF HDD.
The OCZ Vertex benchmarks in a sata-to-pata optical bay caddy are included for comparison. We see it performs very similarly to the Renice K3VLAR. It's virtually the same setup but in 2.5" factor and too use a Marvell sata-to-pata chip ensuring a problem-free Windows 7 installation, something that plagued the Jmicron sata-to-pata bridge equipped Runcore ProIV.
The Renice K3VLAR consumes more idle and active power consumption than the 1.8" ZIF HDD, though it's higher performance means more time is spent in idle mode. Battery life will therefore be on par or slightly improved over the 1.8" ZIF HDD.
The installed 1916 firmware delivered internal, transparent garbage collection and Win7 trim support. Meaning there is no manual processes like wiper or Tony Trim required to refresh the SSD to 'as new' write performance levels.
CSEL pin47 workaround to use with additional slave PATA optical drive or caddy
Powering up the 2510P with the Mac Renice K3VLAR SSD resulted in a storage hang at the bios screen. Removing the slave optical drive allowed boot to proceed but is hardly a workable solution. After some tinkering I found the fix: applying a thin piece of cellophane tape on the optical drive's CSEL pin 47 forced it to be slave, allowing bootup with both devices being fully functional as shown. The same solution was successully applied to my newmodeus sata-to-pata caddy with 2.5" sata HDD as shown.
The 2510P is somewhat unique with a 1.8" ZIF HDD and pata optical drive as is the Toshiba R500 with the same configuration. Systems without an optical drive like a HP 2710P would not need this workaround.
- has the fastest 4kb random and sequential I/O performance of all current MLC ZIF SSDs
- uses a Marvell sata-to-pata bridge for high performance, reliability and compatibility
- Win7 trim garbage collection maintains write performance
- internal automated garbage collection maintains write performance on XP installations
- new product with no product history
- requires CSEL pin 47 workaround for concurrent use with internal PATA optical drive
The Renice K3VLAR is the highest performance MLC ZIF SSD at one of the lowest prices making it the premier ZIF SSD upgrade at this time.