Mtron Mobi 3000 SSD Review

Discussion in 'Notebook News and Reviews' started by dietcokefiend, May 22, 2009.

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  1. dietcokefiend

    dietcokefiend DietGreenTeaFiend

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    by Kevin O'Brien

    The 1.8" Mtron Mobi 3000 is a PATA SSD targeted towards a specific niche of users: those who own an Apple MacBook Air and certain netbooks. Offering low power consumption, high transfer speeds, and low seek times this drive gives users the ability to upgrade their computer, even with the not-so-common 1.8" form factor. In this review we take a look at the Mtron Mobi 3000 from RocketDisk and see how well it performs compared to other SSD’s and hard drives we have reviewed.

    Mtron Mobi 3000 1.8” PATA SSD Specifications:

    • Interface: 1.8” ZIF IDE, ATA 7 Standard
    • SLC NAND Flash Memory
    • Capacity: 32GB
    • Form Factor: 1.8”
    • 100MB/s Sustained Read
    • 100MB/s Sustained Write
    • 0.1ms Average Access Time
    • Retail Price: $229

    [​IMG]
    Mtron Mobi 3000 SSD next to iPod Shuffle for size comparison

    Packaging
    Normally we don’t bat an eye at the packaging a hard drive is shipped in, but Mtron really impressed us with the box housing the Mobi 3000. It is loaded with foam, protecting the drive with about an inch top and bottom, and probably 2 or 3 inches around the sides. The drive sits in the center inside an anti-static baggie, with another block of foam sitting on top of it to completely encase it within the foam shell. While it is normal to see stickers holding anti-static baggies shut, we think Mtron should use a different sticker for this sleeve. It doesn’t instill confidence in a consumer when the bag you open to take out the drive has “warranty will be void if this seal is broken or removed” sticker keeping it closed.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Performance
    Mtron claims the Mobi 3000 has a sustained read and write speed of 100MB/s, which is right around the max transfer range of a PATA connection. With the SLC NAND flash, the interface is the bottleneck, instead of the internal drive transfer speeds. To test the Mobi 3000, we used one of our desktops and a 1.8” ZIF to 3.5” IDE adapter.

    [​IMG]

    With the drive completely loaded with files, our first run of HDTune showed impressive results. Normally HDTune shows drops in transfer speeds between memory segments or during caching phases on SSDs, but this model stayed between 90 to 93MB/s during the entire test. This clearly shows that the drive had no problem keeping up with the slower PATA interface, where if it was using the faster SATA-150 or SATA-300 it would have had higher speeds. Now when compared to the original 80GB 1.8” Samsung hard drive in our original MacBook Air, the Mobi 3000 is three times faster, and with a much lower access time. The Atto benchmark had similar results, showing transfer speeds between 100MB/s and 90MB/s for read and write respectively.

    [​IMG]
    Mtron Mobi 3000 1.8" PATA 32GB SSD
    [​IMG]
    80GB Samsung 4200RPM 1.8"HDD
    [​IMG]
    Mtron Mobi 3000 1.8" PATA 32GB SSD
    [​IMG]
    OCZ Vertex 30GB 2.5" SATA SSD

    Heat and Noise
    The drive consumes very little power and during our tests only warmed up to 88 degrees Fahrenheit in open air. Compared to some SSD’s we have reviewed in the past that were almost too hot to touch after they had been on for a few hours, this was excellent. Noise levels are not a problem with any SSD, since they have no moving parts. The drive is completely silent, making your processor whine and cooling fan seem louder than before.

    Power Consumption
    Measured power usage was higher in both idle and load than the 2.5” OCZ Vertex SSD, and higher in idle than 5400rpm Hitachi and Seagate hard drives. Compared to the drive that comes standard in the MacBook Air, power consumption differences should be negligible. The main difference might come in where the SSD has less time under load, since it works faster and can process requests quicker and go back to idle quicker.

    Hard Drive Power Idle/Active
    OCZ Vertex 30GB 0.41/0.76W
    Mtron Mobi 3000 1.8" PATA 32GB SSD 0.90/2.00W
    Hitachi 5k500.B 500GB 0.66/2.31W
    Seagate 5400.5 250GB
    0.85/2.31W
    WD Scorpio Blue 500GB
    1.00/2.68W
    Hitachi 7k320 160GB 0.85/2.71W
    Seagate 7200.3 320GB 0.95/3.03W
    Seagate 7200.2 120GB 1.00/3.51W
    WD Scorpio Black 320GB 1.00/3.51W


    Conclusion
    Bottom line is compared to the stock 1.8” standard hard drive inside the MacBook Air, this drive is significantly faster in every way. Transfer speeds and access times are much higher than the stock MacBook Air hard drive, which translates into faster boot times, less time needed to open applications, and less time needed to move around files. The only negative points of this drive are its price and capacity compared to a standard hard disk drive, but most of us would be willing to accept that for the higher speeds. To pick one of these SSD’s up today, head on over to the RocketDisk website, where they are currently listed as in stock and ready to ship.

    Pros:

    • Excellent packaging, soccer proof
    • Fast transfer speeds, only the PATA interface is holding it back
    • Low heat output

    Cons:

    • Expensive compared to full-size SSD options
    • Not much difference in power consumption over a HDD
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2015
  2. User Retired 2

    User Retired 2 Notebook Nobel Laureate NBR Reviewer

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    1.8" ZIF SSDs Compared Moved to http://forum.notebookreview.com/har...-1-8-zif-pata-ssds-available.html#post6861746.

    [​IMG]
    Mobi 3000 on a ATA100/UDMA5 system as from here.

    Thank you for the informative review. I am curious which mode the MTRON was running in to get > 90MB/s transfer rate? Intel ICHxM chipsets PATA interface is limited to ATA100/UDMA5 maxing out at 87MB/ shown here here. A Dell D430 user got 71.5MB/s here. Note: 0.9W/2W idle/active power consumption is *higher* than Toshiba 1.8" ZIF HDD's 0.4W/1W shown here, as supplied with HP Mini 100x, Dell Mini 12, Dell D420, HP 2510P + more. So the mobi SSD will reduced battery life.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2015
  3. dietcokefiend

    dietcokefiend DietGreenTeaFiend

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  4. illmatic88

    illmatic88 Notebook Enthusiast

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    I just purchased an HP Mini 1035NR and plan to upgrade to an SSD sometime down the line. Would this be compatible?

    Can I expect the price of a 64GB to drop significantly in the next year?

    Thanks
     
  5. suland

    suland Notebook Evangelist

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    This SSD will be 100% compatible with your 1035NR. I have used the same in my NR1035 and it has made such a jump in overall performance over stock HDD. I have sold my NR to a friend though and now selling my SSD. It's a great SSD drive and I can assure you - i was the best upgrade I have made to my netbook.
     
  6. dalamchops

    dalamchops Notebook Evangelist

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    i ordered a kingspec 64gb myself. Much more for the money, it seems to have slower read/write, but i'm just into the access time myself to make the system snappier.
     
  7. allfiredup

    allfiredup Notebook Virtuoso

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    I'm thinking that this could be useful for the Dell Inspiron Mini 12, right? The Mini 12 has 40GB, 60GB or 80GB 4200rpm hard drives using the PATA interface.
     
  8. Angelic

    Angelic Kickin' back :3

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    Still seemed like it consumed a lot of power for being so small in capacity and size.
     
  9. suland

    suland Notebook Evangelist

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    I am not sure if power consumption of this drive bigger than of 1.8" HDD's. I have had HDD and SSD in my VAIO TZ, but with SSD battery lasted LONGER. And for sure TZ became a fast machine.
     
  10. davepermen

    davepermen Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    I got one of those to replace the 4200rpm disk in my 2710p. it sure was an awesome difference. suddenly, my tiny 12" tablet was faster in usage than my quadcore. from 5min boots to 40sec or so. firefox with all addons from 1min to 2-3sec.

    even while the size is small, it was worth every cent.

    nowadays, i wouldn't buy any notebook without sata, but if i would, i'd put that drive in everywhere.

    and i won't ever use, without being forced to, a system without an ssd anymore. anyone having a 1.8" zif 4200rpm drive (there aren't pata 5400 1.8" contrary to the tipp of one of the posters above, or are there now?) should really get such a drive, and experience the difference. it's amazing.

    and yes, i had vista on it + visual studio + dj software + music software + office + other software + all my music + all my other data except for movies and most photos and still had 5gb left. so it works. not perfect, but it works.
     
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