Walram 120GB SATA SSD Review
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Walram is a brand of Shenzhen Meixin Electronic Company Limited, based in Shenzhen, China, founded in 2014. They offer a variety of products such as 2.5in SSDs, m.2 SATA SSDs, NVMe SSDs, as well as desktop and laptop memory. You may not have heard of this brand yet but it is now sold to Europe, North America, East and Southeast Asia.
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We will be looking at one of their best sellers, the Walram 120 GB 2.5in SSD, sold at $10.
The specifications are slightly confusing as the specs from an online store are a little different from the official website. Some key specs from the official website or in online stores are either missing or just absurd. 2400 TB of terabytes written (TBW) is way off, this might be the most durable SSD available in the market. Read and write speeds also don’t match between the official website and online stores. We will see which one of these has accurate specifications based on our testing.
The packaging is what you would expect from a cheap product. The box has some of the specifications and a QR code that points to the official website of the product. Inside the box is the SSD itself and a plastic that holds the SSD. No SATA cable is included. The SSD has a plastic body that has a sticker on it with its capacity, serial number, and part number.
The SSD board is less than half of the size of its plastic case, and it is not even screwed. It has Yeestor YS9082HC as its controller and two NAND chips with part number HG21081615T1. Yeestor Microelectronics Co., Ltd. is based in Shenzhen, China, and supplies SSD controllers to other Chinese-brand SSD like Goldenfir, Netac, and XrayDisk.
It has no DRAM controller, as expected from a cheap SSD.
We used CrystalDiskMark, Anvil’s Storage Utilities, and AS SSD Benchmark for our tests. Each test was only run once with default settings.
Sequential read performance with the Walram reaches the upper limits of the SATA interface in CrystalDiskMark, making it slightly faster than the Kingston A400 120GB at default settings. It is behind in other areas, however, such as random 4K writes.
Anvil’s Storage Utilities
In Anvil’s Storage Utilities, the Walram 120GB performs roughly on par with similar entry-level SATA SSDs such as the Kingston A400. By comparison, a higher-end (and higher capacity) SATA drive like the Samsung 850 EVO scores above 5,000 although sequential read performance is about the same.
AS SSD Benchmark
Compared to CrystalDiskMark, AS SSD has a different way of measuring 4K performance but seems to confirm the same pattern as the other benchmarks with high read and modest sequential write throughput.
We played DOTA 2 and Resident Evil 4 Remake Demo for loading times and compared it to a Western Digital Blue 2TB hard drive. We only get the time for the first launch of each game and replays.
Compared to a hard drive, installing the games to an SSD significantly improved the loading time, especially in DOTA 2. If you want your games to load faster, installing your games to an SSD is a no-brainer, but you need a larger capacity if you have more games.
There are now plenty of low-capacity SATA SSD models on the market and most of them are used (and intended) for the same main purpose: to be used as an affordable boot drive replacement for an old mechanical hard drive, with a little capacity to spare for a few apps and/or games.
Almost any SSD including this Walram SSD will perform this task remarkably well. Swapping any hard drive for a SATA SSD yields a much more noticeable performance gain than replacing an old SATA SSD with, for example, a budget NVMe SSD or even a Samsung 990 PRO, which is theoretically more than 10 times as fast.
It’s quite incredible that you can get this type of performance boost for just $10 today, and something that we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to anyone who is still using an HDD boot drive.
A very affordable SSD that still offers solid overall performance
- Good sequential read performance
- No DRAM
- Modest write performance