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Written by Olin Coles   
Sunday, 04 July 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
G.Skill Phoenix Pro SandForce SSD
Features and Specifications
Closer Look: G.Skill Phoenix Pro
SandForce SF-1200 SSD Controller
SSD Testing Methodology
AS-SSD Benchmark
ATTO Disk Benchmark
CrystalDiskMark 3.0 Tests
Iometer IOPS Performance
EVEREST Disk Benchmark
HDD vs Hybrid Drive vs SSD
G.Skill Phoenix Pro Conclusion

G.Skill Phoenix Pro Conclusion

Although the rating and final score mentioned in this conclusion are made to be as objective as possible, please be advised that every author perceives these factors differently at various points in time. While we each do our best to ensure that all aspects of the product are considered, there are often times unforeseen market conditions and manufacturer changes which occur after publication that could render our rating obsolete. Please do not base any purchase solely on our conclusion, as it represents our product rating for the sample received which may differ from retail versions. Benchmark Reviews begins our conclusion with a short summary for each of the areas that we rate.

Our performance rating considers how effective the G.Skill Phoenix Pro SSD performs in operations against direct competitor SATA storage solutions. For reference, SandForce specifies the SF-1200 at 260 MB/s read and write, while G.Skill increases performance expectations to 285 MB/s read and 275 write. In our benchmark tests, the 60GB G.Skill Phoenix Pro performed at or above this rating. The G.Skill Phoenix Pro SSD delivered 286/273 MBps peak read and writes speeds using ATTO Disk Benchmark SSD speed tests with Everest Disk Benchmark produced 266/257 MB/s, making this one of the fastest SATA-3GBps MLC SSD's Benchmark Reviews has ever tested. Operational performance was very good in Iometer compared to other SSDs, and proved that G.Skill's investment into SandForce's custom firmware has paid off. The retail G.Skill Phoenix Pro SSD sent to us for testing uses SandForce 310A13F0 firmware release, and IOPS performance was higher than most other SF-1222 based SSDs. Enthusiasts can expect high operational speeds and functionality for demanding applications.

GSkill-Phoenix-Pro-SSD-Corner.jpg

Solid State Drives are low-visibility products: you see them just long enough to install and then they're forgotten. Like their Hard Disk Drive counterparts, Solid State Drives are meant to place function before fashion. Anything above and beyond a simple metal shell is already more than what's expected in terms of the appearance G.Skill has created an unique look with the label on their Phoenix series, but the black metal chassis is no different than the rest of the industry. As solid state controllers become faster and more advanced, heat dissipation through the enclosure walls may demand that chassis designs become more beneficial than they previously needed to be.

Construction is probably the strongest feature credited to any solid state product line, and the G.Skill Phoenix Pro series is no exception. Solid State Drives are by nature immune to most abuses because of their architecture and technology, but the hard metal shell adds a superfluous level of protection. The G.Skill Phoenix Pro provides a three-year manufacturer warranty If a G.Skill Phoenix SSD product does fail during the 3-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. US/Canadian users may contact This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it by email for support, or call 1-909-598-6860 for telephone support.

Benchmark Reviews has tested the G.Skill Phoenix Pro SSD against many of its closest competitors, and the performance results were impressive by their own merits. In fact, the G.Skill Phoenix Pro outperformed all other SandForce-based SSDs in bandwidth speed tests with Everest and ATTO. Although IOPS performance was impressive, our tests didn't match the manufacturer's advertised 50K IOPS write specification. High-performance computer enthusiasts will enjoy the a noteworthy 0.16 ms response time, which assures a nearly-instant reactions when called upon. Based on the SATA-3.0 SandForce SF-1222TA3-SBH processor, the G.Skill Phoenix Pro-series delivers native TRIM garbage collection (in Windows 7) and SMART support with impressive transfer speeds. More importantly, SandForce DuraClass technology adds their proprietary RAISE and DuraWrite features not available to other SSDs, and the end result is a product that could last up to five times longer with less wear on NAND flash modules due to 7% over-provisioning.

As of July 2010 the 60GB G.Skill Phoenix Pro (model FM-25S2S-60GBP2) sells at NewEgg for $199.99 ($3.33/GB), making it the most expensive SandForce SSD at this capacity. This price adds a small premium over the $189 ($3.15/GB) G.Skill Phoenix, which offers the exact same capacity and speed but is not advertised for 50,000 IOPS. The larger-capacity 120GB G.Skill Phoenix Pro (model FM-25S2S-120GBP2) sells for $359 ($2.99/GB), and is also the most expensive 120GB SandForce SSD.

SandForce SSDs are taking the storage market by storm, which could help the G.Skill Phoenix Pro dominate the high-performance PC hardware segment. Not only are SandForce-based Solid State Drives extremely fast, but more importantly they're capable of SLC-level operational performance I/O and durability. The G.Skill Phoenix Pro series builds from the powerful SandForce SF-1222 solid state processor, which brings innovation to the SSD industry by prolonging MLC NAND flash module lifetime and delivering RAID-like data redundancy. When one SandForce product is physically identical to another, the overall value depends on price, warranty, and customer support. If you're price shopping, a quick stroll through our other recent SandForce SF-1200 product reviews will reveal other SSD options.

While the G.Skill Phoenix Pro proved to be the fastest SSD in terms of bandwidth speed, its 310A13F0 firmware also helped dominate several other SF1200 SSDs with high operational IOPS performance. At 60GB, this is likely to become someone's O/S boot drive, which means that the 4K IOPS performance is a lot more important than transfer speed bandwidth. Unfortunately, this is one of the more expensive 60GB SF1200 SSDs on the market. Although newer SSDs coming to market are expected to be compliant with 3rd-generation SATA 6Gb/s standards, G.Skill's Phoenix Pro produced 286/273 MBps read and write speeds fast enough push the envelope of second-generation SATA-3Gb/s performance. Like other brands, G.Skill has made a wise decision to partner with SandForce, but the three-year G.Skill product warranty is less than others in the industry.

In summary, the G.Skill Phoenix Pro has proven itself to be the fastest SandForce-based SSD we've tested up to this point, with IOPS performance leading the pack. The G.Skill Phoenix Pro easily outperforms all other previous Multi-Layer Cell (MLC) SSDs, and competes head-on with Enterprise-level MLC storage solutions, but all of this comes at a premium. G.Skill offers the Phoenix Pro in 60/120/240GB capacities, and all kits come with a 2.5" into 3.5" converter tray. For high-performance PC hardware enthusiasts and hardcore gamers, the G.Skill Phoenix Pro offers great speed and performance, but the market is filled with identical products with more attractive pricing and longer product warranty period.

Pros:Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award

+ Outstanding 286/273 MBps read/write speed with ATTO
+ SandForce SF-1200 processor supports TRIM, SMART, and RAISE
+ DuraWrite technology extends NAND lifetime
+ Top-level enthusiast operational I/O performance
+ 3-Year G.Skill limited product warranty
+ 60/120/240GB high-speed SSD storage capacity
+ AES-128 Automatic encryption and password data protection
+ Lightweight compact storage solution
+ Resistant to extreme shock impact
+ Low power consumption may extend battery life

Cons:

- More expensive than other similar products
- Lacks integrated USB Mini-B data connection
- Not 3rd-Generation SATA-6.0 compliant

Ratings:

  • Performance: 9.75
  • Appearance: 9.00
  • Construction: 9.50
  • Functionality: 9.50
  • Value: 7.00

Final Score: 8.95 out of 10.

Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award.

Benchmark Reviews invites you to leave constructive feedback below, or ask questions in our Discussion Forum.


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Comments 

 
# RE: G.Skill Phoenix Pro SandForce SSDtuleggi 2010-07-06 23:17
Hello, I have noticed that in the "Iometer IOPS Performance" you already have the performance of the Vertex 2 in the graphics, I guess this is a preview? ;-)

Also if it is not asking too much could you also test in parallel the Vertex LE (Limited Edition)?
This because there are many confusion around the web and although they seems to perform similar (Vertex 2 and Vertex LE), it would be nice for the customer to understand which one of these two is the fastest!
I trust Benchmarkreviews!!
thanks!
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# RE: RE: G.Skill Phoenix Pro SandForce SSDOlin Coles 2010-07-07 05:46
The Vertex-2 review is coming in the next few days; I just happened to be making charts and already had the results for this test. The Vertex LE will not be tested at this time because we do not have a sample. I assure you though, nobody could ever tell the difference in performance without a synthetic benchmark.
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