|MyDigitalSSD BP4 Slim 7 Solid State Drive|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Wednesday, 06 February 2013|
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MyDigitalSSD BP4 Slim 7 Series Review
Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by MyDigitalDiscount.com.
MyDigitalDiscount.com Inc. was founded in 2001 by Matt Dawson out of his passion for the latest gadgets and has since grown into a globally recognized retailer catering to technology users. The MyDigitalSSD BP4 Slim 7 Series SATA Solid State Drive is their latest high-performance storage solution, designed with an ultra-slim 7mm profile to fit all SATA notebooks as well as desktop PCs. Equipped with a Phison PS3108-S8-I SSD controller and Toshiba TH58TEG7DCJTA20 19nm Toggle NAND Flash, the 240GB BP4 Slim 7 model MDS7-BP4-240 sent to Benchmark Reviews for testing is made to produce up to 560 MB/s reads and 530 MB/s writes with 4K Aligned Reads reaching 46,000 IOPS and 4K Aligned Writes as high as 79,000 IOPS.
The last time Benchmark Reviews tested a Phison-based solid state drive, it was the Patriot Torqx 2 SSD back in May 2011. That particular drive utilized the PHISON Electronics Corporation PS3105-S5 controller, good for read and write speeds of only 250/220 MB/s. The new fourth-generation 'Bullet Proof' BP4 SATA SSD by MyDigitalDiscount features the Phison PS3108-S8 controller, with speeds more than doubled over the PS3105-S5 and operational IOPS performance well beyond previous versions. In this article, Benchmark Reviews tests the 240GB MyDigitalSSD BP4 Slim 7-series solid state drive MDS7-BP4-240.
Solid State vs Hard Disk
Despite decades of design improvements, the hard disk drive (HDD) is still the slowest component of any personal computer system. Consider that modern desktop processors have a 1 ns response time (nanosecond = one billionth of one second), while system memory responds between 30-90 ns. Traditional hard drive technology utilizes magnetic spinning media, and even the fastest spinning mechanical storage products still exhibit a 9,000,000 ns / 9 ms initial response time (millisecond = one thousandth of one second). In more relevant terms, the processor receives the command and must then wait for system memory to fetch related data from the storage drive. This is why any computer system is only as fast as the slowest component in the data chain; usually the hard drive.
In a perfect world all of the components operate at the same speed. Until that day comes, the real-world goal for achieving optimal performance is for system memory to operate as quickly as the central processor and then for the storage drive to operate as fast as memory. With present-day technology this is an impossible task, so enthusiasts try to close the speed gaps between components as much as possible. Although system memory is up to 90x (9000%) slower than most processors, consider then that the hard drive is an added 1000x (100,000%) slower than that same memory. Essentially, these three components are as different in speed as walking is to driving and flying.
Solid State Drive technology bridges the largest gap in these response times. The difference a SSD makes to operational response times and program speeds is dramatic, and takes the storage drive from a slow 'walking' speed to a much faster 'driving' speed. Solid State Drive technology improves initial response times by more than 450x (45,000%) for applications and Operating System software, when compared to their mechanical HDD counterparts. The biggest mistake PC hardware enthusiasts make with regard to SSD technology is grading them based on bandwidth speed. File transfer speeds are important, but only so long as the operational I/O performance can sustain that bandwidth under load.
Bandwidth Speed vs Operational Performance
As we've explained in our SSD Benchmark Tests: SATA IDE vs AHCI Mode guide, Solid State Drive performance revolves around two dynamics: bandwidth speed (MB/s) and operational performance I/O per second (IOPS). These two metrics work together, but one is more important than the other. Consider this analogy: bandwidth determines how much cargo a ship can transport in one voyage, and operational IOPS performance is how fast the ship moves. By understanding this and applying it to SSD storage, there is a clear importance set on each variable depending on the task at hand.
For casual users, especially those with laptop or desktop computers that have been upgraded to use an SSD, the naturally quick response time is enough to automatically improve the user experience. Bandwidth speed is important, but only to the extent that operational performance meets the minimum needs of the system. If an SSD has a very high bandwidth speed but a low operational performance, it will take longer to load applications and boot the computer into Windows than if the SSD offered a higher IOPS performance.