The first thing which struck us about the P128 is the high quality casing that Corsair use. It is without doubt the most visually appealing SSD we have tested. In addition to this it is the most rigid which ensures that the components inside are well protected from any sort of impact or pressure.
Performance of the drive was excellent throughout this review and while it did not win every benchmark it was always top of the results table in the real world tests. Quite often this is due to the exceptional sustained write speeds which the Samsung controller offers.
When we combined two P128’s in RAID 0 it was great to see that they worked without issue and that the speeds achieved on that setup were well in excess of single SSD setups. Theoretical benchmarks were staggering, hitting speeds of 455MB/s read for two drives. Additionally the write speeds make this technology very desirable for those who write large amounts of high definition video or other high bandwidth content. Even consumers who copy large files see huge benefits from two P128s in RAID 0.
If there is one down side to the P128 it is the lack of information coming from Samsung on their firmware update process. There are now two versions available but no-way for users with the older drives to update and Samsung have not been forthcoming with their plans for future revisions. Even the companies selling the drives have yet to receive a concrete answer on how consumers will update in the future. Thankfully in the case of Corsair they have been proactive in shipping the latest 18C1Q firmware since July 1st so it is possible to track down an up to date drive at the time of writing. Finally, a minor issue is that Corsair’s warranty is now one year less than OCZ’s, hopefully this changes in the near future.
Summary: A hugely impressive SSD which will hopefully receive the support from Samsung that it deserves.
Crucial have taken longer than most companies to release their latest generation of SSDs on to the market but thankfully they have used this time to ensure the product is a high standard. By using a PCB which is different to the Indilinx reference design they have removed any need for a jumper during flashing and power use has been lowered.
Performance of the drive is right where we would expect it to be for an Indilinx Barefoot based model. Although it was not the fastest SSD in our tests it was always competitive with the other drives and far exceeded the performance of older mechanical drives.
Crucial have also taken a very bold step in giving the drive a 5-year warranty which is double that offered by OCZ and three times the length of Corsairs. This adds huge value to a product which is already very competitively priced.
Summary: Crucial’s latest generation of SSDs offers great performance backed by an industry leading warranty and value orientated price.
OCZ Vertex Turbo
With the Vertex Turbo OCZ have created the fastest Indilinx based SSD we have tested. The enhanced specifications of the drive allowed it to outperform the standard Crucial model throughout our review. A particular highlight was the high definition video writing test where the Vertex Turbo achieved results 20mb/s faster than the standard Indilinx drive.
When comparing the Turbo to drives based on other controllers we see that it regularly outperforms the Intel X25-M but on occasion falls behind drives based on the most recent Samsung controller. That said, OCZ do offer their own Samsung based drive, the Summit.
When making the decision on which drive to purchase the decision should not be based purely on performance though. As we noted earlier in the review Samsung based drives cannot currently receive firmware updates. Indilinx based drives such as the Vertex Turbo can, and it is a simple operation which leaves data intact. We have also noted that Indilinx are very proactive about releasing updates and new features. They also offer a manual utility to refresh drive performance where as with Samsung based drives we have to rely on the controller performing this function.
The 3-year warranty offered by OCZ is good and exceeds most other companies but it is their user forum which is the most impressive aspect of the support process. On that forum there are a number of active and knowledgeable OCZ staff members who provide support and assistance to OCZ customers which provides great peace of mind when purchasing their products.
Summary: Without doubt the best Indilinx based SSD available. Now we can only hope for a Summit Turbo!