Mtron Mobi 3000 SSD Review

by Reads (24,959)
  • Pros

    • Excellent packaging
    • Fast despite PATA interface
    • Low heat output
  • Cons

    • Expensive SSD
    • Average power consumption

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

Mtron Mobi 3000 SSD next to iPod Shuffle for size comparison

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.

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.

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.

Mtron Mobi 3000 1.8″ PATA 32GB SSD

80GB Samsung 4200RPM 1.8″HDD

Mtron Mobi 3000 1.8″ PATA 32GB SSD

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

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.


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


  • Expensive compared to full-size SSD options
  • Not much difference in power consumption over a HDD



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