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Review Renice K3 E 1.8 ZIF SSD by Notebookreview.com
Update Time£º7/19/2011 3:35:19 AM
Renice K3VLAR-E (K3 E) ZIF SSD User Review
Reviewed using the 60GB product whose write speed is 66% that of the 120GB or 240GB product.
The Renice K3VLAR-E ZIF SSD uses a native PATA EastWho EWS720 SSD controller providing hardware garbage collection (GC), low power consumption and fast 15MB/s 4kb random reads all at a budget price. A feature set which makes it one of the best storage upgrades for ZIF PATA ultraportable notebooks. It is available now for purchase from MyDigitalDiscount. Below is my user review of this product.
Renice K3VLAR-E 1.8¡± ZIF PATA SSD Specifications summary
|60GB K3VLAR-E ZIF internals, top and bottom
EWS720 plus Intel 34nm MLC NAND Flash
|K3VLAR-E ZIF SSD|
installed in a HP 2510P
- Interface: 1.8¡± ZIF ATA7 Standard
- Retail Price: 30GB-US$??? 60GB-US$170
- Random 4kb reads: 16MB/s
(measured 15MB/s @UDMA5)
- Sequential read/write: 120/90 MB/s for 120/240GB size
120/60 MB/s for 30/60GB size
(measured 91/52 Mb/s @UDMA5 for 60GB model)
- Average access time: 0.1ms
- Power consumption idle/active: 0.5/1.3W
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 TrueImage 15-day trial demo instead.
Once installed, the K3VLAR-E worked flawless together with the PATA slave optical drive work as shown or with my newmodeus sata-to-pata caddy with 2.5" sata HDD jumpered as slave, as shown. Many other ultraportables are factory delivered with the simpler single ZIF HDD or SSD setup, configured as the master PATA device.
Performance Comparison: Renice K3VLAR-E ZIF SSD versus Toshiba ZIF HDD
Test platform: XP.SP3 HP 2510P U7600-1.2 2GB ICH8M UDMA5. WEI from Win7/64.
The Renice K3VLAR-E 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.
I've included the Indilinx+Marvell sata-to-pata bridged K3VLAR for comparison. The synthetic benchmarks suggest the K3VLAR is faster but in real life use I can't tell the difference them. Boot times look identical. My web surfing and admin work has them both perform equally well, far better than the ZIF HDD they replaced. Even when cloning my partitions from my 2.5" HDD both gave the same ~35MB/s average write performance. Only place I could envisage the K3VLAR really outclassing the K3VLAR-E would be in very heavy drive multitasking or if you could deliver fast streamed network data to your system requiring very fast writes. Both hypotheticals in my case.
Power Consumption and Running Temperature
This is where the K3VLAR-E's native PATA controller shines. I see my idle power consumption as low as 5.6W. When using the ZIF HDD I'd only ever seen it go as low as 5.9W. This means battery life improvements. The SSD chassis always remains cool to luke warm to the touch even after heavy reading and writing.
In contrast, the K3VLAR has higher power consumption which reduced my battery life compared to the ZIF HDD it replaced. It runs warm-hot which I could feel on the 2510P underside as a hotspot when used on my lap. This was something I noticed on another Indilinx bridged SSD, the Runcore ProIV, so quite likely affects all Indilinx ZIF SSDs.
There is no Win7 TRIM support so the user is dependant on the hardware garbage collection to maintain 'as new' write performance levels. A Tony Trim or sdelete can be scheduled or manually started to quicken the process. In my case, I'll just run 'sdelete -c c: & sdelete -c d:' during a extended coffee break if I see reduced write performance.
- lowest power consumption in class ensures low operating temperature and great battery life
- respectable 4kb random and sequential I/O performance
- hardware garbage collection maintains write performance on XP installations
- require pricier 120GB product to see the fastest write performance levels
- no Win7 TRIM support so users rely on GC to maintain write performance
- new product with no product history
The Renice K3VLAR-E ZIF SSD offers a well balanced performance and power consumption profile at a suprisingly affordable price. I highly recommended it to anyone who has a ZIF-equipped ultraportable. It is easily my favorite ZIF SSD for value and features from all the ones tested so far in my HP 2510P.