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Imation 64GB M-Class Solid State Drive
Author: Jason Kohrs
Manufacturer: Imation
Source: Imation
Purchase: Newegg.com
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December 11, 2009

Imation is a company that has been around longer than perhaps most of the readers at Bigbruin.com. While their heritage dates back to the 1950s, it is in the past few years that the company's identity has transformed to include products of interest to a computer enthusiast website. With flash storage, Blu-ray/DVD media, hard drives, and now solid state drives, they have obviously positioned themselves to be a part of the "Digital Age".

This review is going to take a look at a product from their solid state drive line. Their M-Class series of SSDs features drives with capacities of 64GB and 128GB that utilize multi-level cell (MLC) technology. Keeping track of their products is made easy, as their M-Class series drives are all MLC SSDs, and as the name may imply, their S-Class series of drives are all SLC (single-level cell) SSDs.

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Scouring the web for information on this product isn't a very rewarding task. Despite having this drive in my hands for over three weeks, details regarding it seem to be a well kept secret. In lieu of posting official data from the manufacturer's website, here is a compilation of features and specifications taken from around the web, the packaging, and other websites...

Features and Specifications:

Brand: Imation
Series: M-Class
Form factor: 2.5"
Interface Type: SATA II - 3.0 Gbps
Sequential read speed: 230MB/s
Sequential write speed: 170MB/s
Controller: Phison PS3016-S3
Storage memory: Toshiba 8x 8GB MLC NAND (TH58NVG6D2ELA48)
Cache memory: Hynix 1x 64MB (HY5DU1216220TP-D43)
Upgrade kit:
    USB case
    Bootable Acronis disk
    USB power cable
    USB data cable
    Mounting screws
Warranty: 5-year limited

What we have is a sample of a second generation of M-Class SSD from Imation. Stock available at most stores, and as detailed on the Imation website are all from a previous generation. This is made clear when comparing specifications. For example, a listing for what looks like the same drive at Newegg.com details a read speed of 150MB/s and a write speed of 90MB/s. Testing revealed much higher speeds were possible, but despite having the product in my hand, I can not confirm the performance specifications. Some sites are detailing that the new generation is capable of 230MB/s read and 170MB/s write, but nothing on the Imation site can help clear things up.

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