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Silicon Power 64GB SATA Solid State Drive E-mail
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Written by Olin Coles   
Monday, 07 July 2008
Table of Contents: Page Index
Silicon Power 64GB SATA Solid State Drive
Features and Specifications
Silicon Power SSD Closer Look
SP064GBSSD25SV10 Internals
SSD Testing Methodology
System Speed Test Benchmarks
HD Tach RW Benchmarks
ATTO Disk Benchmarks
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Silicon Power SSD Final Thoughts

For the past year, or at least since Reno Hosted the SuperComputing Conference SC07, I have been on the prowl to test every SSD I could get my hands onto. It seemed that every time I requested a sample, I was given the run-around. Some manufacturers like to issue press release statements announcing their latest SSD product and specification ratings, and then give the excuse that they are in development even after a full six months after product announcement (shame on you, Transcend). It's nice to see that some companies still deliver what they promise... and can do so on the same day they release a statement. Silicon Power may not have released the fastest product on the market, but this SSD was available in retail form the day it was announced at the end of April.

As a product analyst, I often get to have my hands on product that I would otherwise never spend my own money to purchase. Certainly without argument, Solid State Drives might fall into this category. There are many products which I feel are so new that it's better to let them ripen on the vine, so to say. This is one of them unfortunately. However early adopters never follow the pack, and scoff at the notion of waiting out the next technologies maturity. So when Benchmark Reviews began testing SSD's last year en mass, it seemed like we were doing very little more than toying with the untouchable.

The nice thing about competition between hardware manufacturers is that it forces product improvements. I don't have to please anyone with my test results, since they are what they are. There's no doubt that the manufacturer would like a positive review, but if I make one manufacturer angry because I don't give their product a glowing review and they decide to ignore future product requests (Antec, XFX, Scythe, Transcend, and Thermalright) I can just simply move on to their competition. But if they're serious about producing excellent products worthy of praise, they'll be back with a bigger and better design the next time around. I mention this, because only four months after their SATA-I SSD launch, Silicon-Power has announced a series of SATA-II SSD products. Perhaps the best is yet to come.

SP064GBSSD25SV10 ConclusionSilicon-Power-64GB-SATA-SSD-SP064GBSSD25SV10-Splash.jpg

As I first mentioned at the beginning of the article, Silicon Power has injected a fresh and powerful look into their product decals. Of course, 2.5" drives are generally used for notebook computer, and therefore never really see the light of day. But still, if only for a few moments during installation, you'll appreciate the exciting look of their SP064GBSSD25SV10 SATA SSD.

Construction is probably the strongest feature credited to the Silicon Power SSD. Solid State Drives are by nature immune to most abuses, but add to this a hard shell and you have to wonder what it would take to make this drive fail. Keep wondering, because I'm not in a position to wreck one of these just yet. Suffice it to say, Silicon Power may offer a 2-year warranty but don't really hope to handle many RMA's because of shock failure; and if your notebook or UMPC suffered enough abuse to cause the SSD to fail, then you've got much bigger problems.

Based off the collection of tests we performed, Silicon Power's 64GB SATA SSD isn't as exciting when it comes to performance. Thus far, the only other Solid State Drive to perform worse was a first-generation product launched almost a year ago. It seems that updating the interface controller up to SATA-II standards a mere four months after this product was launched didn't happen by mistake. All negative results aside, 60 MBps sustained read and 46 MBps sustained write speeds aren't horrible if you're in need of immediate response time.

Value is a relative term, especially when you discuss bleeding edge technology. People ridicule the thought of making the high-dollar purchase of an SSD over a standard hard drive, but then they get into their Hummer's and Porsche's and drive to Starbucks for a five-dollar coffee. At the ends of every emerging technology are two sides: one which will buy the technology and one that will not. Silicon Power doesn't have a North American distributor just yet so pricing isn't available, but based on the recommended retail price of $900 USD this is may be an overpriced storage solution and more costly than others superior products.

In conclusion, while Silicon Power makes a good Solid State Drive there just isn't enough value and performance for me to recommend it. If looks alone held weight, this would be an excellent product. But the reality is that the 64 GB SATA SSD will improve overall system performance by a noticeable margin; just not as noticeable as the cost. Perhaps I expect too much from a company's first SSD product offering, but after testing ten different Solid State Drive products over the past year it becomes difficult to accept such poor performance this late in the game.

Pros:

+ Spatter-painted casing adds to appearance and appeal
+ Low power consumption may extend battery life
+ Lightweight compact storage solution
+ Resistant to extreme shock impact
+ Up to 64GB of SSD capacity
+ 2-Year Silicon Power full warranty
+ Very low random access time

Cons:

- Very low performance for a Q1 2008 SSD product
- Metal case is heavier and less durable than plastic
- Suggested retail price is very expensive
- No stated bandwidth performance specifications

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