Solid State Drives Guide
All the hard drives compared in this review, solid state and mechanical, were tested using the following system configuration:
- Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 (1.86GHz)
- MSI 975X PowerUp Edition (Intel 975X Express chipset)
- 2GB DDR2-667 RAM
- XpertVision GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB (ForceWare 186.18)
- Windows Vista Home Premium with Service Pack 1
You might have reservations on our choice of an older generation system, but we have done internal testing to ascertain that there are no notable differences even when testing was done on the latest Core i7 based system. Surprising, but it's true from our tests that the latest ICH10R Southbridge wasn't able to outclass the Core 2 system's controller. Take note that the Intel 975X Express chipset uses an ICH7R Southbridge which supports SATA 3Gbp/s standards and hence has the minimum requirements covered.
The following are the firmware versions used for the various SSDs at the time of testing:
- Intel X25-M Gen.2 (160GB) - version 2CV102G9
- Intel X25-M - version 8820
- Kingston SSDNow E Series - version 8850
- Mtron PRO 7500 - version 0.20R1
- OCZ Vertex - version 1.3.0
- Patriot Torqx - version 1571
We've recently updated the scores for almost all the SSD drives we've last compared as new firmware have been launched. Additionally, firmware such as those from Intel that does not erase the entire drive was further erased securely with the HDDErase 4.0 utility.
As a baseline of sorts, we've results for two mechanical hard drives in our comparison. The first is Western Digital's (WD) well-known 10,000RPM drive, the speedy WD VelociRaptor (WD3000GLFS) to represent the high-end enthusiast offering for storage and a 1TB 7200RPM WD Caviar Black (WD1001FALS) with a 32MB cache to stand in for an example of a typical hard drive currently.
- CrystalMark 2004R3
- SiSoft Sandra 2009 SP3c
- PCMark Vantage
- HD Tune Pro 3.5
- Iometer (version 2006.07.27)