|OCZ Core Series SATA-II SSD OCZSSD2-1C64G|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Monday, 21 July 2008|
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OCZ Core SSD Closer Look
Solid State Drives are an interesting topic. Some sites have yet to see one up close and in person, while Benchmark Reviews rides the edge of technology just a little too close and tests more DDR3 and SSDs than most the web. The bleeding edge is where most enthusiasts like to live, but seldom enjoy the price tag. But because I am in a position where cutting edge technology are within my reach (if only for a few weeks of testing), I enjoy sharing my valuable experience with the small niche of consumers that might actually want these premier products. OCZ promises that the Core series SSD will be different; excellent performance matched with the lowest price in the industry. Kind of difficult to balk at a combination like that, so let's take a look at what we got from our OCZSSD2-1C64G sample...
For almost two years now Benchmark Reviews has anxiously awaited that fabled Solid State Drive which would replace our current list of preferred Hard Disk Drives. Hard Disk Drive (HDD) manufacturers are constantly improving their product and adding new enhancements to the technology, all while the product cost decline. 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 was the long-time hurdle for most SSDs, with read and write bandwidth creating the largest obstacles. Response time and reduced power consumption have long become the key arguments for owning an SSD, but without the bandwidth throughput to measure up against HDDs they became an expensive niche item. Fortunately, OCZ has helped solved this problem with their CORE series.
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 a decisive speed and bandwidth victory, but it had a long way to go before surpassing the low-cost value of a Hard Disk Drive. This is where the next chapter in SSD history is written, because OCZ claims that their OCZSSD2-1C64G can not only beat HDD performance; but it can be nearly as inexpensive.
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 (C:\) 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.
Power consumption is still astonishing low, even when compared to the newest series of efficient HDDs available. Access time has only got better with new product revisions, as nearly all SSDs register 0.1~0.3 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 now on the list of items holding back widespread SSD usage is... cost.
Dressing up an internal drive is almost as difficult as dressing up a cardboard box. There's only so much that can be done to a product that will be hidden away inside a notebook or PC. OCZ manages to keep things looking good, without the frills of chrome or brushed aluminum like I've seen in more expensive SSD products. Each SSD is finished with a flat black metal upper and unpainted lower enclosure package, which creates a contrasting color.
Standard 2.5" drive bay mounting points are pre-drilled and threaded in the Core series, 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 64 GB SATA-II SSD. The entire unit fastens together from the underside with counter-sunk screws, and as much as I would have liked to disassemble the OCZSSD2-1C64G sample unit I received for testing, I knew that OCZ wanted it back. If you're really interested in how it looks inside these SSDs, feel free to visit our Silicon Power 64GB SATA Solid State Drive review.
The underside of the OCZ OCZSSD2-1C64G 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 64 GB Core Series SATA-II Solid State Drive can be utilized for mission-critical backups or high-abuse data systems.
Even with the promise of great performance and reduced prices, Solid State Drives are not going to be for everyone. Similar to the evolution towards DDR3 system memory, a gradual replacement of HDDs by Solid State Drives is going to move very slowly. 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 64 GB Core Series SATA II 2.5-Inch SSD OCZSSD2-1C64G.