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SSD Roundup June 2009

SSD Roundup June 2009

Conclusion

Intel X25-M
When we first reviewed the Intel X25-M we were very impressed and since then we have seen Intel release a firmware which ensures that the drives retains its performance more effectively, additionally the new firmware gave the drive a slight bump in maximum speed which was not advertised. Despite its age the X25-M still performs very well when compared to newer drives and is rarely impacted by a lower write speed than most other models.

Added to this the fact that it features a self cleaning feature and wear levelling and we see that Intel have created a very well rounded product which has performed well for 8months even though it has powered every one of our major component reviews in that time. When choosing a fast, reliable drive for every day or critical systems the X25-M remains our number one choice.

Available for £263
Available for $314

G.Skill Falcon
Through the use of Indilinx’s excellent BareFoot controller G.Skill have released a drive which offers excellent performance when compared to other drives in its category. Read and write speeds are good and there are no major concerns with build quality.

Where we do have an issue with this product is in the requirement to use a jumper for flashing, and that data is destroyed during the flash something that no longer affects some other Indilinx based drives. Additionally, the jumper provided with the drive really is not suited to the task which makes the process very fiddly. Support for the drive via user forums is also a little disappointing with threads going unanswered for quite some time and firmware updates not being posted in a timely fashion. Hopefully this will improve and in the mean time provided the drive is priced attractively compared to the OCZ Vertex and Super Talent UltraDrive ME in your region there is no reason on a hardware level not to consider the Falcon.

Available for £154.99
Available for $199

 

Kingston V Series
If looking at the paper specifications of the Kingston drive it would not look particularly appealing, the read and write speeds of the drive when compared to other models are pretty low. Additionally the knowledge that this drive uses the older JMicron controller may cause concern for some people.

When actually using the drive there is little to be concerned about, in almost every test the V-Series outperforms a Western Digital Raptor and does so while using less power and generating less heat and noise. The stuttering which plagued early JMicron based drives is gone in this model and we were impressed by the bundle provided which included equipment and software that make the upgrade process quick and simple. Due to its exceptional price point and great bundle the V-Series wins our Value Award.

Available for £104.99
Available for $148.99

 

OCZ Summit
When looking at the specifications of the OCZ Summit it is hard not to be impressed, a high read specification is backed up by a good write speed. In addition to that the fact that is one of the few drives which lists sustained write tells us that there must be something good going on in that area too. When using the drive it is immediately clear that the Summit is just as impressive as the specifications suggest.

Windows boot times and file copy operations were exceptional on this SSD and throughout the rest of the review it was the best performing device in our other real world tests. We have also been impressed by the level of support offered by OCZ on their forum, the staff there are always quick to respond to customer questions and keep their users up to date on the progress of firmware updates. In addition to this they are incredibly knowledgeable about SSDs, memory and systems in general.

Available for £315.99
Available for $389

 

Super Talent UltraDrive ME
With each generation of their SSDs Super Talent have impressed us with their product range. Drives are always quick to market and reliable, after sales support is also great with updated firmware reaching consumers at regular intervals. With the UltraDrive ME this great level of service continues and using firmware 1571 as an example, Super Talent were the first of the Indilinx users to have this code in the hands of consumers. In terms of performance the UltraDrive ME is very impressive, it looses out to the Samsung based drive in write speed but in the read speed it is more than a match.

It also compares well to the X25-M and in tests such as the 17.4Gb file copy the UltraDrive completed the transfer nearly a minute faster than the Intel. At first glance the price of $369 does seem a little bit on the high side however when we take into account that the capacity is 40 GB larger and the write speed significantly faster than the X25-M the Super Talent UltraDrive ME becomes a very attractive purchase.

Available for £337.13
Available for $369

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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