|OCZ SATA-II 32GB 2.5-Inch SSD OCZSSD2-1S32G|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 13 May 2008|
Page 4 of 10
OCZ 64GB SSD Closer Look
For a little over a year now Benchmark Reviews has anxiously awaited the fabled Solid State Drive that could replace our current list of preferred Hard Disk Drives. Making this wait seem even longer was the fact that HDD manufacturers were constantly improving there product and adding new enhancements to the technology. First there was perpendicular storage technology, then came fluid bearings, and finally there was the increase in cache buffer DRAM to speed-up the burst data transfer. Performance has always been the hurdle that SSD's have had a tough time clearing, with read and write bandwidth creating the largest obstacles. Response time and reduced power consumption has long become the key arguments for owning an SSD, but without the bandwidth throughput to measure up against HDD's they became an expensive niche item. That time has passed.
A few months ago we tested the lightning-fast MemoRight GT SSD, which finally put the Western Digital Raptor in its place... to the tune of almost $2000. In that round, the Solid State Drive won the speed and bandwidth victory, but it had a long way to go befor surpassing the value of a Hard Disk Drive. This is a new chapter in the history of the Solid State Drives struggle to replace the Hard Disk Drive. Power consumption is still astonishing low, even when compared to the newest series of efficient HDD's available. Access time has only got better with new revisions, as nearly all SSD's register less than .1 ms delay. Bandwidth has dramatically improved as controller components have been refined and redesigned. Even the previous setback of SATA-I controller limitation has been recently overcome with commercially available SATA-II solutions. All that remains on the list of items holding back the widespread use is... cost.
While the solid hue of orange covered the original OCZ SATA Solid State Drive, the palette has made a shift toward blue for this product version. Neither retail package excited me much, further impressing the let-down I felt after testing the OCZSSD64GB months back. But then I discovered a touch of class as I opened the box. At first glance, the new OCZ SATA-II SSD appears to have more protection than the average Hard Drive receives. I was a little stunned, especially since Crucial/Lexar showed me a paint-mixer demonstration of an SDD being shaken while a video game was being played be a CES convention-goer. Nevertheless, OCZ has safely nested the OCZSSD2in a foam enclosure with the care a flight data recorder might receive - and for good reason. Solid State Drives are very popular items in military and aerospace technology, primarily because of their ability to withstand shock in excess of 1500 G's. The OCZSSD2 offers the same rugged longevity, which amounts to safer data even after the worst disasters.
As a professional system builder of higher-end computer systems, I have learned some very important lessons in regards to system performance over the past eight years. While gamers constantly leap for higher frame rates out of their video card, there is something more important than a faster processor, memory, or even front side bus. The real backbone to overall system speed and performance is the primary boot drive. In today's world, that usually means the hard disk drive for nearly all computers. After hundreds of performance computers built and sold, I have seen a 10,000 RPM drive make a 2GHz CPU seemingly perform twice as fast, whereas a 5,400 RPM drive makes that same CPU run like it was only half as fast.
The OCZ OCZSSD2 Solid State Drive is encased in an aluminum half shell, which fastens from the underside with counter-sunk screws. As much as I would have liked to disassemble the OCZSSD2-1S32G 32GB 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive I received for testing, my desire to ruin a perfectly good product sample kept me in check. Based on the information displayed in Windows Device Manager, the Samsung MCBQE32G5MPP-0VA is the internal component SSD used in OCZ's second generation product.
Standard 2.5" drive bay mounting points are pre-drilled and threaded in the OCZ OCZSSD2, which allows for quick upgrade or addition to any existing notebook or desktop system. The mounting positions matched up to the drive bracket on my Dell Inspiron laptop, and without any trouble at all I was quickly loading the operating system on this 32GB SATA SSD Solid State Drive.
The underside of the OCZ SSD reveals standard SATA power and data interface connections. Unlike desktop computers which utilize a SATA cable system to connect drive to motherboard, nearly all notebooks allow the 2.5" drive to simply slide directly into a connection bay within the system. In addition to notebooks and desktop computer usage, this OCZ SATA-II Solid State Drive can be utilized for mission-critical backups or high-abuse data systems.
Solid State Drives are not for everyone. Similar to the evolution towards DDR3 system memory, a gradual replacement of the Hard Disk Drive (HDD) by the Solid State Drive (SDD) is going to move very slow. The cost of purchase for SSD's is the primary cause, since most drives cost more than an purchase price of an entire computer system. But what if the price was within reach? What if the data throughput was comparable? This is where Benchmark Reviews comes in to answer the tough questions, as we test the OCZ SATA-II OCZSSD2-1S32G 32GB 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive.