|G.Skill Phoenix Pro SandForce SSD|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Sunday, 04 July 2010|
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G.Skill Phoenix Pro 60G SSD Review
Solid State Drive storage devices have become the hot ticket for high-performance computer enthusiasts. Impartial towards either PC, Linux, or Apple platforms, SSDs have the power to transform slow computers into blazing-fast speed machines The SandForce SF-1200 has quickly become the de facto SSD controller for companies seeking recognition, and for good reason. The G.Skill Phoenix Pro embraces the SF-1222TA3-SBH processor to produce up to 50,000 IOPS with only 7% over-provisioning to generate maximum performance with optimal capacity. In this article, Benchmark Reviews tests the 60GB G.Skill Phoenix Pro SSD FM-25S2S-60GBP2 against some of the fastest storage solutions on the market.
SandForce is now the driving force in SSD controller technology for 2010, offering outstanding bandwidth speed and operational performance Patriot utilizes the SandForce SF-1222TA3-SBH (SF-1200) processor in their Inferno enthusiast MLC SSD series, which features hand-picked high-performance NAND flash memory modules. SandForce RAISE technology provides redundant protection for single SSD computer systems, while data is automatically secured with AES-128 encryption With transfer speeds nearly saturating the SATA-3GB/s interface, and operational IOPS performance reaching SLC-NAND levels, it makes sense for Patriot to use the new industry leader.
As of June 2010, the SandForce SF-1200 SSD controller has already found its way into many of the fastest SSDs available: ADATA S599, Corsair Force, RunCore Pro-V, Patriot Inferno, OWC Mercury Extreme Pro-RE, OCZ Vertex-2, PhotoFast G-Monster 2, OCZ Agility-2, Mach Xtreme, and now the G.Skill Phoenix Pro series. As we've discovered with our previous SandForce reviews, operational performance and SSD bandwidth speed is very similar across the spectrum. Selling virtually identical products has forced manufacturers to offer other consumer incentives, such as an extended warranty periods or custom SandForce firmware.
The biggest mistake PC hardware enthusiast make with SSDs is grading them by their speed. File transfer speed is important, but only so long as the operational IOPS performance can sustain that bandwidth under load. Benchmark Reviews tests the 60GB G.Skill Phoenix Pro SSD against some of the most popular storage devices available and demonstrates that 4K IOPS performance is more important than bandwidth speed. Additionally, Benchmark Reviews has used two similar SSDs to publish our SandForce SF1200 RAID-0 SSD Performance review.
For decades, the slowest component in any computer system was the hard drive. Most modern processors operate within approximately 1-ns (nanosecond = one billionth of one second) response time, while system memory responds between 30-90 ns. Traditional Hard Disk Drive (HDD) technology utilizes magnetic spinning media, and even the fastest spinning desktop storage products exhibit a 9,000,000 ns - or 9 ms (millisecond = one thousandth of one second) initial response time. In more relevant terms, The processor receives the command and waits for system memory to fetch related data from the storage drive. This is why any computer system is only as fast as the slowest component in the data chain; which is usually the hard drive.
The theoretical goal for achieving optimal performance is for system memory to operate as quickly as the central processor, and the storage drive to operate as fast as memory. With present technology this is an impossible task, so enthusiasts try to close the speed gaps between components as much as possible. Although system memory is up to 90x (9000%) slower than most processors, just consider that the hard drive is an added 1000x (100,000%) slower than that same memory. Essentially, these three components are as different in speed as walking is to driving and flying.
Solid State Drive technology bridges the largest gap. The difference a SSD makes to operational reaction times and program speeds is dramatic, and takes the storage drive from a slow 'walking' speed to a much faster 'driving' speed. Solid State Drive technology improves initial response times by more than 450x (45,000%) for applications and Operating System software, when compared to their HDD counterparts.
Bandwidth Speed vs Operational Performance
As we've explained in our SSD Benchmark Tests: SATA IDE vs AHCI Mode guide, Solid State Drive performance revolves around two dynamics: bandwidth speed (MB/s) and operational performance (IOPS). These two metrics work together, but one is more important than the other. Consider this analogy: operational IOPS performance determines how much cargo a ship can transport in one voyage, and the bandwidth speed is to fast the ship moves. By understanding this and applying it to SSD storage, there is a clear importance set on each variable depending on the task at hand.
For casual users, especially those with laptop or desktop computers that have been upgraded to use an SSD, the naturally quick response time is enough to automatically improve the user experience. Bandwidth speed is important, but only to the extent that operational performance meets the minimum needs of the system. If an SSD has a very high bandwidth speed but a low operational performance, it will take longer to load applications and boot the computer into Windows than if the SSD offered a higher IOPS performance.
About G.Skill International Enterprise
Established in 1989 by enthusiasts, is a leading memory manufacturer based in Taipei, Taiwan. The company's top priority is Quality and all of our products go through a series of the most rigorous tests and strict quality control processes. In addition to a committed, qualified IC testing house to examine its products, all G.Skill products are 100% tested to ensure the highest yield, reliability and quality.