Buffalo MicroStation Internal SSD 128GB
2013 is shaping up to be the year that Thunderbolt, a nascent hardware interface, is outfitted to mainstream external-storage and display devices. Providing PCI-Express speeds and a DisplayPort interface, with up to 10W of DC power down one cable, Thunderbolt is designed to offer a one-cable connection for a myriad of peripherals.
We've seen Thunderbolt-equipped motherboards from MSI and Gigabyte, along with expensive external-storage solutions from Western Digital, and now Buffalo is looking to get in on juicy transfers by incorporating a solid-state drive (SSD) inside a Thunderbolt-equipped enclosure. Sounds like a recipe for speedy storage, so let's delve a little deeper into the MiniStation Thunderbolt Portable SSD (MTPS).
But a little background first. Buffalo currently retails nine MiniStation drives and, as the name suggests, each is focussed on providing external storage in small form factors. Most MiniStation solutions incorporate a standard 2.5in SATA hard drive - up to 2TB in capacity - inside an enclosure with support for USB 3.0. This setup strikes a nice balance between capacity, speed, and cost.
Upping the ante in terms of performance, two MiniStations are outfitted with both Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 connectivity. The cheaper of the two, Thunderbolt Portable HDD, houses either a 500GB or 1TB spinner and interfaces with the two external connections via an internal SATA bridge. Step it up to the MTPS and either a 128GB or 256GB SSD is hooked up internally via a SATA 6Gbps bridge chip, providing ultimate performance in a pocketable form factor. We have the 128GB version in review today.
BUFFALO LinkStation Duo 2-Bay 1 TB (2 x 500 GB) RAID Network Attached Storage (NAS) - LS-WX1.0TL/R1