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G.Skill Titan 128GB SATA SSD FM-25S2S-128GBT1 E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage
Written by Olin Coles   
Saturday, 14 March 2009
Table of Contents: Page Index
G.Skill Titan 128GB SATA SSD FM-25S2S-128GBT1
Features and Specifications
First Look: G.Skill Titan SSD
Titan SSD Internal Components
SSD Testing Methodology
Random Access Time Benchmark
Basic IOPS Performance
Linear Bandwidth Speed
Buffered Transaction Speed
I/O Response Time
Windows XP Startup Times
The Truth Behind Heat Output
Solid State Drive Final Thoughts
FM-25S2S-128GBT1 Conclusion

FM-25S2S-128GBT1 Conclusion

Benchmark Reviews begins each conclusion with a short summary for each of the areas we rate. The first is presentation, which takes product packaging into consideration to the extent that it provides adequate packing material and consumer information for an informed purchase. Since the American economy in the midst of an economic recession, many manufacturers are having to pull out some very creative ideas to help market their products. Add onto this the fact that SSD technology already carries a premium price tag, and you can understand why product presentation becomes important. G.Skill doesn't really dress-up the Titan's packaging with a stand-out appearance, and at the same time they offer sparse amounts of critical product information and specifications for the untrained consumer. It would be in G.Skill best interest to spend a little more time developing an enticing retail package, since the version I received had me laughing at the rough-English catch phrase "Where Speed Is!!! Extreme Speed Extreme Power". This reminded me of the advertising I suffered through while living in Tokyo.

Solid State Drives are a lot like spark plugs: you see them just long enough to install, and then they're forgotten. G.Skill keeps production costs down with a uniform black painted enclosure for the Titan SSD, and uses an adhesive label for product series and underside specifications. There isn't very much to expect from the appearance of Solid State Drives, because like their Hard Disk Drive counterpart they are meant to place function before fashion. To this end, I still wish manufacturers would begin using sealed plastic enclosures to prevent moisture or electrical shock damage.

G.Skill_Titan_SSD_Top.jpg

Construction is probably the strongest feature credited to the entire SSD product line, and the G.Skill SSD is no exception. Solid State Drives are by nature immune to most abuses, but add to this a hard metal shell and you have to wonder what it would take to make this drive fail. If a G.Skill SSD product does fail during the 2-year warranty period, the end-user must complete an RMA form and wait for a returns authorization number before shipping the item back at their own expense. Unfortunately, there's no toll-free for support or customer service questions.

Based on the collection of benchmark tests we conducted, the G.Skill Titan SSD performs at the topmost portion of our linear bandwidth charts behind only one other product. The MLC Samsung flash modules paired to an internal RAID-0 array used on the Titan series helps yield a 0.21 ms response time. ATTO Disk Benchmark tool reported an impressive 246 MBps maximum read bandwidth in our tests, and 168 MBps maximum write. Overall, our tests indicate the the G.Skill specifications are accurate, and to our surprise the Titan performed perfectly in EVEREST linear write tests despite the failures we previously experienced with it's twin brother from OCZ.

As of July 2009, the G.Skill Titan series of SSDs is available at NewEgg and other popular online retailers. The 128GB (FM-25S2S-128GBT1) version we tested for this article is offered for $299, which is on-par with the OCZ Apex of the same capacity. A jumbo-sized 250GB Titan SSD (FM-25S2S-256GBT1) is also available for $599.99.

In conclusion, the G.Skill Titan MLC Solid State Drive offers an excellent balance of read and write bandwidth speed and an exceptional response time at a modest price. Second to only one other SSD product on the present market (and tied with it's identical clone), the G.Skill Titan offers phenomenal performance at a reasonable cost. Many would claim that MLC SSDs aren't worth the trouble, but for desktop and notebook users the Titan SSD series is perfectly suited for high-performance tasks. The dual JMF602B SSD controllers may not offer the large cache buffer we would like to see, but the internal JMicron JMB390 RAID-0 controller makes all the difference in this Solid State Drive. If you're looking for a high-capacity performance SSD product, then I recommend the 256GB G.Skill Titan SSD, as it delivers highest-order speed with near-instant response time... and all for an excellent value considering the performance it delivers.

Pros:Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award

+ Impressive 246 MBps read and 168 write bandwidth in ATTO
+ Internal RAID-0 architecture brings value MLC near to premium SLC
+ Low power consumption may extend battery life
+ Lightweight compact storage solution
+ Resistant to extreme shock impact
+ Up to 250GB of SSD capacity
+ 2-Year G.Skill product warranty
+ Very low 0.21ms random access time
+ Nearly $2 per gigabyte of SSD storage (for 256GB version)

Cons:

- Metal case is heavier and less durable than plastic
- Lacks integrated USB 2.0 Mini-B data connection
- Small 16KB cache buffer per SSD controller

Ratings:

  • Presentation: 8.25
  • Appearance: 8.75
  • Construction: 9.50
  • Functionality: 9.75
  • Value: 8.75

Final Score: 9.0 out of 10.

Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.

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