Hot or Not? New Samsung and Solidata SSDs

Solidata X1-64 (64 GB SLC)

Sent to us by, Solidata’s X1 SSD is a 2.5” SATA/300 drive based on single level cell (SLC) flash memory, which usually guarantees excellent I/O and write performance. The trade-off is a total capacity of only 64 GB. The manufacturer specifies a maximum sequential read throughput of 240 MB/s, and 230 MB/s for sequential writes, but it also lists random read and write numbers: 130 MB/s and 45 MB/s. Our test results were very much in between. The throughput test from our h2benchw suite resulted in constant 167 MB/s read throughput and 21-31 MB/s for sequential writes.

Unbalanced Performance

We were disappointed at the I/O performance of this product, as the SLC flash memory should basically provide more potential than what we’ve seen. The IOmeter performance results are, in fact, not much better than what a high performance mechanical hard drive is able to deliver. The PCMark Vantage benchmark scores were respectable, but still not impressive. Clearly, this product was optimized for throughput, but not for many other disciplines.

Unreasonable Power Consumption

We don't mean this to be a Solidata bashing session, but we cannot help but point to the power consumption results as well. We double-checked our results on various systems (since we originally couldn't believe it), but the X1-64 is a power hog. It requires 4.6 W at idle, which is more than most 3.5” 7,200 RPM hard drives require; this is also more than twice the power requirement of 2.5” notebook drives. Peak power even went to as much as 10.1 W during workstation I/O testing, which is unbelievable.

This product is the opposite of what flash SSDs are supposed to be: it does not outperform its competition in any way, and it is inefficient due to its high power requirements. These don’t matter that much on the desktop, but even so, you can still find much better flash SSD drives around.