RunCore Pro V Max review: RunCore Pro V Max

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MSRP: $999.00

The Good The RunCore Pro V Max SSD provides fast boot times and great application performance. The drive supports SATA 3 (6Gbps) and comes in a sturdy aluminum casing.

The Bad The RunCore Pro V Max's current price is above average for its copy speed, which could use some improvement.

The Bottom Line While the RunCore Pro V Max SSD will greatly improve a computer's overall performance, its for now unreasonably high price tag will steer you to the alternatives.

6.9 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 6
  • Performance 7
  • Support 7

Review Sections

I ran into RunCore the first time during CES 2012 and the Pro V Max SSD, introduced at the show, is one of the company's first standard solid-state drives for the U.S. market.

If the first step is always the hardest, the biggest challenge of a drive is its pricing. At around $2 per gigabyte, the Pro V Max is one of the most expensive SSDs on the market, while offering similar performance to many others I have reviewed.

To slightly make up for this, the drive comes in very sleek aluminum casing and offers top boot times and very fast application performance. It supports SATA 3 and will work in all applications where a regular 2.5-inch standard SATA drive is used.

To be fair, the new drive isn't the most expensive on the market and RunCore said that consumers will find its street price to be noticeably lower than the current suggested retail pricing, which is about $450 for the 240GB version, for example. Until then, you might also want to check out other SATA 3-based SSDs that offer similar performance, if not better, for lower cost, such as the Samsung 830 series, or any of the others on this list.

Design and features

Drive type Internal drive
Connector options SATA 3 (6Gbps), SATA 2, SATA
Available capacities 60GB,120GB, 240GB, 480GB
Product dimensions 9-mm thick, 2.5-inch standard
Capacity of test unit 240GB
OSes supported Windows, Mac, Linux

Apart from the sturdy aluminum casing, the RunCore Pro V Max is very much a regular SATA 3 SSD, powered by the almost year-old SandForce SF-2281 controller and using asynchronous flash memory for its data storage. The drive comes in the 2.5-inch, 9mm-thick SATA standard and will work with SATA (1.5 Gpbs), SATA 2 (3Gbps), and SATA 3 (6Gbps). To get its top performance, you should use it with a computer that supports SATA 3, however.

According to RunCore, the drive supports RAID and TRIM and has an MTBF rating of 2 million hours, longer than many other SSDs. The drive's static and dynamic wear-leveling algorithms help increase its life span. Wear leveling is a technology that makes sure all flash cells share the same amount of program/erase cycles to fight against the finite writing attribute of flash memory by spreading out the wear evenly.

Like all SSDs, the Pro V Max can handle shocks and uses much less energy than a traditional hard drive. It worked with all operating systems I tried it with, including Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.

Cost per gigabyte
On average, all capacities of the Pro V Max cost around $2 per gigabyte--except for the $159, 60GB version, which is about $2.65 per gig--making it one of the more expensive SSDs on the market. The OCZ Octane, for example, costs around $1.5 per gigabyte and even the top-of-the-line Samsung 830 series costs just around $1.7 per gigabyte. To be fair, that's comparing the suggested retail price of the Pro V Max with the street prices of other drives. RunCore insists that the Pro V Max's street price will soon be lowered, which should bring it in line with other drives. It's my guess that since RunCore is also an OEM provider of SSDs, it doesn't want to compete with its partners, for now.

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