GSkill Falcon 128GB SATA II SSD

Heralding from Tapei, Taiwan, GSkill are leaders in extreme performance memory and storage solutions so it should come as no surprise that they are hoping to be number 1 in the area which combines both specialities, the Solid State Drive. These storage solutions are now arriving to the market in droves and while the price is still high in comparison with their mechanical counterparts, advances in speed and technology have increased dramatically, inevitably keeping the cost of this new technology high.
Innitially, SSD’s came with little or no cache memory and while write speeds were amazing, the drives suffered terribly with writing small chinks of data. Manufacturers have now countered this with super quick cache memory which prevents the stuttering encountered previously. The GSkill Falcon is one such drive which carries 64MB of cache. The drive runs with a combination of an Indilinx controller and high speed Samsung memory chips with advertised speeds of upto 230MB/s read and 190 MB/s write (100MB/s sustained).
Those Samsung chips are Multi Level Cell varients and while traditionally, MLC is slower than SLC, the advances in the cheaper MLC chips have now surpassed SLC chips. No doubt SLC will once again reign supreme but I am never one to complain about technology on the cheap. Not only that but as the Falcon is built with the same memory and controller as the fantastic OCZ Vertex yet it weighs in at a lower price it seems we may have a new champ on the cards.
Let’s take a look at the specification of GSkills latest SSD:
Model Name: FM-25S2S-128GBF1
Form Factor: 2.5″
Capacity: 128GB**
DRAM Cache: 64MB
Interface Type: SATA II
Read Rate: 230MB/sec(Max)
Write Rate: 190MB/sec(Max)
Sustained Write: Up to 100MB/s
Access Time: Shock (operating): 1500G
Vibration (operating): 20G
Altitude (operating): 60000ft
Operating Temp: 0oC ~ +70oC
MTBF: +1,500,000 Hours
Data Reliability: Built-in EDC/ECC function
Certifications: RoHS FCC and CE Compliant
Warranty: 2 year
As you can see from the specification above, 230MB/s read and 190MB/s write is certainly a recipe for one swift SSD. While the write speed is a little lower than the 250MB/s OCZ Vertex, the write speed of the Falcon is 10MB/s above the 180MB/s the OCZ drive can offer. How this translates to read world performance we will find out later in the review but for now let’s take a look at the packaging and appearance of the GSkill 128GB Falcon SSD…