|Silicon Power 32GB SLC SATA-II SSD|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Sunday, 09 November 2008|
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Silicon Power SSD Closer Look
For the entire 2007 year and part of 2008, Benchmark Reviews had 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 come to pass, and our collection of SSD reviews is proof. Back in March (2008) 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 before 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 astonishingly low, even when compared to the newest series of efficient HDD's available. So now all that remains on the list of items holding back the widespread use is... cost.
Red on black certainly demand your attention, and it's no surprise that Silicon Power has joined the two colors to add a level of interest to their SSD product line. Keeping in mind that these products are solid state, and therefore offer no amount of noticeable physical activity, it takes some special attention to presentation to help the consumer feel comfortable with their premium purchase.
Like everything else with a price tag, perception is reality. So it was a little surprising when I discovered how well the Silicon Power SSD came packaged with an unnecessary amount of protection. Back at the start of 2008 I witnessed a Crucial/Lexar demonstration of a SSD fastened to a paint-mixer and being shaken while a video game was being played be a CES convention-goer. Unlike the Hard Disk Drive (HDD), SSD's are practically impervious to impact damage and do not require extra-special packing precautions.
Nevertheless, Silicon Power has safely nested the SP032GBSSD750S25 in a foam enclosure with the care a flight data recorder might receive - and perhaps that is the reason for all of the extra attention. 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 Silicon Power SSD offers the same rugged longevity, which amounts to safer data even after the worst disasters.
Standard 2.5" drive bay mounting points are pre-drilled and threaded in the SATA-II SSD, 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 Windows XP SP-3 Operating System image on this 32GB SATA SSD Solid State Drive.
The underside of the Silicon Power 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 Silicon Power SATA Solid State Drive can be utilized for mission-critical backups or high-abuse data systems.
The Silicon Power 32GB SATA SSD (SKU: SP032GBSSD750S25) is encased in an metal half shell, which fastens from the underside with counter-sunk screws. In the next section I take a close look at what's on the inside of the SSD. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I invite you to read the rest of the story as we continue on...