Mushkin 480G mSATA drive

Solid-state drive doubles capacity for laptops, ultrabooks

To date, solid-state drives for desktop and laptop computers haven’t had much storage capacity. Although agencies would enjoy having high-capacity SSDs for the speed and performance they offer -- not to mention the reliability of not having any moving parts -- large-capacity SSDs are almost unheard of because of their price. As such, few companies actually manufacture anything bigger than about 256G, and that’s on the high end.

Mushkin, a company known for producing some of the best internal memory for computers, is bucking that trend with the announcement of a huge 480G mSATA SSD designed for laptops and ultrabooks.

The Atlas 480G mSATA drive features a SATA III interface that can transfer 6G per second reading or writing data. It supports ATA power management so that users can administer the power settings on the drive. It also has Native Command Queuing, so that the drive can automatically decide how to order and process command requests, resulting in a much more efficient operation overall. It also supports MLC NAND, which uses multiple levels per cell to allow more bits to be stored using the same number of transistors.

Despite its name, the Atlas is tiny, coming in at only 50 by 29 millimeters and 4.85mm tall. It connects to a computer using a Mini PCIe Interface and supports user-upgradeable firmware.

Mushkin's 480G Atlas mSATA is initially available in the United States at, with worldwide availability scheduled for the end of January. It has a suggested price of $499, which reflects an overall trend toward lower prices for SSDs.

Between 2010 and late 2012, prices for SSDs overall dropped from about $3 per gigabyte to about $1 per gigabyte, Computerworld has reported.  That kind of price drop not only opens the door for larger-capacity drives like Mushkin’s, but could also remove what has been the primary obstacle to wider use of SSDs in agency enterprises.

About the Author

John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.


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