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Spring 2010 Solid State Drive Roundup, Part 1

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April 7, 2010 6:24:47 AM

These drives are awesome.

But we need them to be a bit more affordable :) 
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13
Anonymous
April 7, 2010 6:28:52 AM

Why use crappy controller which only works for sequential reads and fails behind Intel controller for everything else???
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April 7, 2010 6:49:05 AM

I don't understand why so much emphasis is placed on power consumption when the diffrences are so little? It's not like there is a 50W difference, we're talking about 0,1 W and 3,0 W. It would have been more interesting if you would have used a laptop and checked if the power consumption hurt battery life, but I highly doubt the diffrence would be very noticeable.

Still a good review for people who are considering a SSD.
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21
April 7, 2010 6:50:45 AM

With the plethora of SSD's out there, you picked 5, including 2 North Americans can't even get, and you called it your "Spring Roundup?"

Come on...
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17
April 7, 2010 6:54:25 AM

Read access time including rotational latency? :-)
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5
April 7, 2010 6:56:26 AM

Quoting the article:
"Finally, we found Corsair's power requirement a bit too high. Drawing 0.4W at idle is four times more than Intel and Toshiba require."
Really????
Oh NO! 0.4 Watts, that's crazy mad power there! I looked back at article titled "Efficiency Explored: Core i7-980X Versus Core i7-975" and found that test system had an idle system power draw of 99 watts and 101 watts. If we split the difference and call it 100 Watts, then 0.4 watts would be roughly 0.4% of total power. When you start with a number that's really small like 0.1 watts and then you quadruple it, YOU STILL HAVE A NUMBER THAT IS REALLY SMALL! More importantly, you're dealing with a number that is trivial in comparison to the overall system power. I found the charts under "Benchmark Results: Power Consumption And Efficiency" equally silly. Charts for performance to cost ratios would be far more useful.
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36
April 7, 2010 7:32:34 AM

I realise that this is "Part 1"... implying that there will be a "Part 2" :-)

Could you add a Kingston V-Series drive and/or an Intel X-25V to "Part 2"? They are one of the cheapest SSDs ($/GB) available in North America, and sound like a good deal "on paper". How do they stack up against these (more expensive) drives?
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14
April 7, 2010 7:39:12 AM

you should put a hardrive as a baseline.
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21
April 7, 2010 7:42:31 AM

Great you did not hold this half of the article until testing the other drives. Still there was a big gap since the previous SSD benchmarks roundups and I have managed to buy an SSD drive in the meantime with little clue whether I was making a good choice. Now, what a relief I went for Intel.

Note: I have got X-25M 80GB as well as 160GB. The performance difference in writing is quite big. Could you add a smaller drives to the round-up as well?
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5
April 7, 2010 8:34:01 AM


Patrick Schmid and Achim Roos
Intel’s X25-M owns read throughput.


Lost in translation or is your definition of 'owned' different from everyone else's? I could swear your graph shows the Intel drive only 2% faster then Indilinx drives.
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10
April 7, 2010 8:45:15 AM

Yeah, I would like to see a middle-of-the-road HDD in there to get some perspective, particularly on how bad bad actually is compared to my rig.

And on the power front, I completely agree. Splitting hairs. I see Flash adverts on this site burning 30W (x 1million viewers).
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5
April 7, 2010 8:56:04 AM

You gave access time values with four significant figures, but it's clear that only the first one or two had been measured.
And you are talking about power efficiency with numbers like 0.something watts.
There are a few things in this article that have no sense.
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6
April 7, 2010 8:56:56 AM

I dont understand the big deal with power consumption. you seem to have a massive emphasis on it. Ok, it plays a small part in laptops, but is completely insignificant on a desktop PC. I mean, who cares if your whole computer system is pulling 271watts or 273watts? Yes, i can understand the point with CPUs as there is a reasonable difference there, but even if you have two SSDs and one uses 300% more power than another, it only boils down to a couple of watts.

Still, good article. looking forward to the next part. I'm still in the market for my first SSD, and they are still a bit more than i would like to pay at the moment. Hopefully it will become a regular feature on Toms, like the regular graphics card line-up.

Maybe you could do a seperate article about making full use of the "budget" line of SSDs. you know, the 30-60gb drives, how they handle in a gaming machine and the best way to set up with part of the system stored on a bigger HDD. after all you cant get a full windows install and a couple of games into 30gb without a squeeze.
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3
April 7, 2010 9:26:11 AM

I've got three Intel X25-M G2 80 GB drives in RAID 0 on an Adaptec 5408 raid card, and I get NOWHERE NEAR these numbers. My partition is aligned, etc etc. I really wonder about these numbers reported here.
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April 7, 2010 9:48:22 AM

I would have very much liked to see the Crucial C300 128GB/256GB, the OCZ Vertex LE 100GB/200GB, and the OWC Mercury 50GB/100GB in this comparison.

I guess this was just a budget round-up?
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3
April 7, 2010 11:07:40 AM

You list "power consumption" as one of the 3 things that matter most? You were kidding about that weren't you? Is this an April 1st article?
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9
Anonymous
April 7, 2010 11:52:22 AM

milosz... I seem to remember smaller intel drives having way less throughput (half the chips to "distribute" the data onto...)
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April 7, 2010 12:22:11 PM

shubham1401These drives are awesome.But we need them to be a bit more affordable


%100 agreed, i still don't understand why they are priced so high..., if they were actually affordable, they would actually sell more than double of what they're selling now... I want one, but not that bad where i have to shell out mad $$$, ALL of my friends & co-workers feel the same way.
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April 7, 2010 12:58:13 PM

Quote:
Access Time [t in ms]


WTB proofreading unless those SSDs have a 80ms access time.
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-2
April 7, 2010 1:11:46 PM

Part 2 needs to have some drives with the Sandforce controller.
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3
April 7, 2010 1:25:11 PM

Anyone else find it fishy that in the Vantage tests the Intel drive scored much higher in the "used" tests that the "fresh" tests???
Any explanation other than Intel somehow cheating?
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2
Anonymous
April 7, 2010 1:37:12 PM

Where are the Patriot Drives (Torqx)?
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April 7, 2010 1:40:13 PM

Can you include 1.8" SSD's? I have a 160GB Intel X18 G2 in my Envy laptop and I have never been happier. I am just curious to the performance and power difference.
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0
April 7, 2010 1:47:55 PM

WOW, I bought 2 80GB Intel X-25M G2 when they first came out for $300 a piece. Worth every penny. The read speed has gone up since the last firmware upgrade. It's still get 260mb/s burst speeds and average around the mid 200s after 6 months of heavy use. I've had no problems with my SSDs. I even had the firmware that trashed everyone's Windows 7 install on it for a while and had no problems with it.

I have 6 computers at home and would love to migrate them all to SSDs. I was waiting to see if anything else out there would beat the Intel X-25M in that price range, but looks like there isn't. I don't care too much for write speed, I want fast read speeds. They're are just being used as the boot drive. I have raid samsung F3s and VRaptors for fast write speed.
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April 7, 2010 2:19:43 PM

It would be really interesting to see products from the lesser tested brand drives included in the next round with the top brands such as the A-DATA AS596B-128GM vs. the Corsair Reactor Series CSSD-R120GB2-BRKT and if the built in USB connector on these two drives were tested for speed comparison for people that might want the convenience of nativity supported USB built in.

How about adding a I7 laptop that can support 2 drives, an OS drive with the second drive just for testing raw SSD for a mobile vs. desktop performance comparison?

It would also be interesting in seeing Trim (W7) vs. No Trim (vista) on the same system for people that have either or both, or considering upgrading.

Finally, I agree with all the comments about power consumption being way over hyped with too much focus in recent articles on THG recently Either focus on green or performance, but don't bash performance product for not saving power and don't bash a green product for not performing as fast as the top performing product in the category.
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April 7, 2010 2:57:00 PM

We need to see some emphasis on drives of 40-80 gigs, given the current prices. These make practical boot drives.
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5
April 7, 2010 2:57:26 PM

Quote:
The Indilinx drives are certainly attractive if you’re looking for the best bang for the buck


Is that so?
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2
April 7, 2010 3:43:37 PM

Why do the charts say "Including rotational latency"??? :) 
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Anonymous
April 7, 2010 4:31:27 PM

PCI-express 2.0 x1 is 'only' capable of 500MB/s(twice that of PCE-express 1.0's 250MB/s) I thought. How can the Highpoint card be claimed to offer 600MB/s throughput? Am I missing something here? Sure the chipset of the card might support SATA 6.0gb/s but that doesn't mean it will transfer to the motherboard at that speed.

Maybe I'm just being way too picky here, sorry in advance if that is the case.
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4
April 7, 2010 4:39:25 PM

better than 2 year warranties please, 5 years min and more is better.
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2
Anonymous
April 7, 2010 5:11:47 PM

What the heck are they talking about, to paraphrase half the darn article: 'oh! the power consumption isnt that good, its 0.5 Watts, and thats 0.00001 Watts higher than the other one! Watch out!!'

Power consumption?? These drives consume what, one tenth of the juice an average hard disk drive requires.. so transitioning to any of these SSDs is a massive power savings, in any case. With substantial power savings compared to a HDD, who cares which one is most power efficient? So dumb.
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3
Anonymous
April 7, 2010 5:16:54 PM

I would have liked to see Kingston V+Series in this comparison
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1
April 7, 2010 5:31:15 PM

TridecI don't understand why so much emphasis is placed on power consumption when the diffrences are so little? It's not like there is a 50W difference, we're talking about 0,1 W and 3,0 W. It would have been more interesting if you would have used a laptop and checked if the power consumption hurt battery life, but I highly doubt the diffrence would be very noticeable.Still a good review for people who are considering a SSD.


Actually, in a CULV or Atom laptop with a good battery, a 1W difference in power consumption makes the difference between 10 and 11.5-12 hrs of battery life at light loads, so yes, it does matter!

Thanks a lot for including power figures, Tom's! In part 2, can you also add a typical 5400RPM 2.5" HDD to contrast the power figures? Don't mechanical drives at that size use ~1W or less at idle? If so, they might be trading blows with the less efficient SSDs in your roundup.
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April 7, 2010 5:31:27 PM

Yea, Crucial C300 128GB/256GB may have crushed the competition. Are they not the only SataIII drives out there right now? I just ordered the C300 drive and am curious to see some comparisons to the old standard drives out there.... It's not a "round up" unless you compare all the latest drives available this spring. I know you only compare what is sent to you, but still....
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April 7, 2010 6:19:04 PM

I know I'm a noob. But what is I/O performance? Interface?
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0
April 7, 2010 6:19:11 PM

i'd like a hard drive in there too, still sitting on the fence.
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Anonymous
April 7, 2010 6:40:34 PM

I wonder how the other (more budget oriented) SSD drives found on newegg will perform.
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April 7, 2010 6:50:26 PM

I would like to see them go back to the ICH10R controller, most reviews have shown it to be faster than the marvel 6Gbps controllers and maybe even this highpoint controller. You should have switched only when you had SATA III drives in the round up.

Also you should mention the reliability of the drives aswell, how many reports have there been of OCZ drives dying, and even the new SATA 3 drives haven't been on the market long enough for this to be known. This is the reason I picked up an intel drive I trust there QA. And the slower write means really doesn't mean jack for an OS drive. I've very rarely writing to the SSD. That is what I have a storage drive for since most people go SSD + HD with their cuttent setups.
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April 7, 2010 6:59:49 PM

Everyone stop bitching about power consumption.
Sore, 1-2 watts in nothing in your desktop rig, hut what about putting a 2.5" SDD in a laptop? Then 1-2 watts is much more important.
Can't wait for the Gen3 Intel drives.
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April 7, 2010 7:01:57 PM

Too few products here with too few technical variations, ie, all of these products are based on the same controller technology. There should either be a part three tacked on, with more variety in SSDs with different technological bases.
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April 7, 2010 7:09:14 PM

I miss the days when THG constantly tested new hardware! I would love to see a test chart that includes most of the available SSD drives (available at NewEgg) that includes SLC drives, drives of various capacities, and the VelociRaptor and a RAID0 of some WD Black edition drives for comparison.

How does the Intel 80G drive compare to the 40G and 160G versions?

The Crucial C300 128G and 256G drives differ in performance. How much?

How do A-data's and Mushkin's drives compare to the others that use the same controller?
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3
April 7, 2010 7:39:04 PM

Corsair SSDs please...
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0
April 7, 2010 7:43:37 PM

I'd like to see some benchs comparing the Intel drives with the latest raptors...
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0
April 7, 2010 7:44:45 PM

I'd like to see some benchmarks comparing the Intel drive to the new Raptors that came out yesterday.. :) 
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April 7, 2010 8:00:51 PM

You can find plenty of reviews showing the New raptor against the intel drives elsewhere.
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April 7, 2010 8:21:10 PM

Is it me or are the thumb buttons badly located above each comment?
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1
Anonymous
April 7, 2010 8:42:42 PM

@shubham1401 and jonpaul37:

The drives are priced where they are because there is a large demand for Nand flash memory right now. Things like Ipads and Iphones are sucking up a lot of the Nand market, driving up prices.

You can see that the latest prices for a 4GB (6 die (what is used on the X-25M) reduce down to a price of on average $1.88 / GB.
http://www.dramexchange.com/
So for a 160GB drive, if Intel dropped the price below $300, you could actually make money de-soldering the Nand off the board and selling it.

You can expect for these prices to remain strong until some new capacity becomes avilable in 2011.
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/03/23/toshibas_new_fl...
http://www.eetimes.com/rss/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=...
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April 7, 2010 9:22:54 PM

MakaveliYou can find plenty of reviews showing the New raptor against the intel drives elsewhere.


Don't see why I would, being that Tom's has been the main place I go after hardware info for the past 13 years.

Also, since I am in the market for a new, fast drive, and I respect Tom's reviews to the point of basing most of my purchase decisions on whatever info I find here, I figured I'd ask..
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April 7, 2010 10:11:23 PM

Should have also had a high end 7200 RPM drive, 10k RPM drive, and one of the newer Crucial C300(Sata III) SSD's. With those three on the graph it would make this a much more relevant article.

When I see these kind of tests I very much like a reference point which would have been the 7k and 10k hard drives. If anyone is doing a SSD review today they should most certainly include a SATA III drive since they are out now and most of us want to know more about them. i.e. How much faster is the new SATA III drive over my crappy hard drive or the current SATA II SSD's.
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