If you've been to Microcenter recently, you might have noticed SSDs for sale under their Inland house brand. These Inland Professional SSDs come in 120GB and 240GB capacities and are sold for $39.99 and $59.99, respectively, in-store only. I recently had the chance to pick up the 240GB model, which is reviewed here.
|NAND||3D MLC NAND||3D MLC NAND|
|Read Speed||520 MBps||550 MBps|
|Write Speed||450 MBps||490 MBps|
|Random Read 4K||38,000 IOPS||42,000 IOPS|
|Random Write 4K||80,000 IOPS||80,000 IOPS|
|Endurance||181 TBW||262 TBW|
Curiously, random 4K write performance is rated to be higher than random 4K read performance for both drives.
The Inland Professional SSD comes in a small box with some basic information, including read/write speeds and warranty length (3 years). The package itself is pretty barebones - just the SSD itself, no screws included.
The SSD is encased in a black plastic shell, with labels on each side that are similar in style and content to the outer box packaging. One one side you'll find the part number and serial number. The 2.5" screw holes are in the normal locations, as one would expect.
Microcenter doesn't provide any information about the provenance of the chipset and/or NAND used in these drives on the online product listing, and the employees in the DIY PC department at the Westmont, IL Microcenter I visited were also mystified, although one claimed that ADATA was the OEM for the drives.
However, CrystalDiskInfo provides some hints. The "SBFM71.1" drive firmware indicates the use of a Phison PS3111-S11 controller, as confirmed by this Reddit post by someone who actually opened up the drive. The Phison S11 is an entry-level SATA SSD controller that can be configured with a DRAM cache or run DRAM-less. The exact nature of the controller configuration as well as the MLC NAND chips used by these drives remains unclear. Since the Phison S11 is theoretically capable of 95K/85K random read/write IOPS, it can be reasonably inferred that whatever NAND these drives use is not particularly high-end.
All testing was conducted on an Acer Aspire 3 laptop equipped with a Core i5-7200U and 4GB DDR4 RAM running Windows 10 x64 build 1709.
Performance data from AS SSD and CrystalDiskMark is more or less as advertised, including the faster 4K random writes than reads. No stability issues or unexpected behavior was encountered
While the Inland Professional SSD certainly won't shatter any performance records given its use of a Phison controller and mystery meat NAND, it's still a reliable, reasonably fast drive at prices that simply can't be beat in today's SSD market, assuming you live close to a Microcenter.