Intel Core i7 920 @ Stock Speed
Motherboard: Gigabyte UD4P X58
Memory: 6GB Corsair XMS2 1600MHz
SATA Controller: On-board ICH10R Southbridge
Chipset Drivers: Intel 126.96.36.1997
Operating System: Windows Vista x64 Ultimate SP1 + most recent Updates
Most people who will be considering the upgrade to an SSD drive will likely be making the jump from one of the many 'favourite' mechanical hard drives. With this in mind we will be assessing the GSkill Falcons capabilities in comparison to the following drives:
| ||OCZ Vertex Turbo||GSkill Falcon ||OCZ Summit ||OCZ Vertex ||WD Velociraptor ||Samsung F1 ||WD Caviar Black |
|Read Seek Time ||270||<0.1ms ||<0.1ms || |
|4.3ms ||8.9ms ||12.2ms |
|Write Seek Time ||<0.1ms|| |
|4.7ms ||8.9ms ||12.2ms |
|Average Latency ||<0.1ms|| |
|5.5ms ||4.17ms ||4.17ms |
|Read Transfer Rate ||270MB/s||230MB/s ||220MB/s ||250MB/s ||120MB/s ||175MB/s ||106MB/s |
|Write Transfer Rate ||200MB/s||190MB/s ||200MB/s ||180MB/s ||120MB/s ||175MB/s ||106MB/s |
|Capacity ||128GB||128GB ||250GB ||120GB ||300GB ||1TB ||750GB |
|Cache ||64MB||64MB ||128MB ||64MB ||16MB ||32MB ||32MB |
Rather than search for and flash the drive to the latest firmware, for our reviews of SSD drives we intend to test the drives as you would recieve them. Obviously flashing and thereby upgrading the drives will have an effect on the scores so this should be taken into consideration when viewing the results. Various Operating system and BIOS tweaks were however performed to obtain the absolute maximum operating conditions for the OCZ Vertex Turbo. These tweaks are:
- Superfetch: Off
- Indexing: Off
- Search indexing: Off
- Defrag: Off
- SATA Mode in BIOS was set to IDE for all hard disks
- Drive was formatted with a 4096 cluster size
- Enable Enhanced Performance was selected in device manager for all hard disks
While synthetic benchmarks such as HDTune offer a good insight into the performance of a mechanical disk drive, these figures do not always translate directly into real world performance, this is especially so for Solid State Drives. For the purposes of comparison to some of our previous reviews though I have included a couple of screenshots of the GSkill Falcons performance here although these should be taken with a pinch of salt due to the sporadic nature of HDTune Pro in testing SSD's:
HDTune showed some excellent read and write speeds almost hiiting 200MB/s. However when you consider that the read speed of the Vertex Turbo is advertised at 270MB/s, some may feel a little short changed by this result.
Before we get on-board with the testing, let's also perform a run of HDTach, again not the best utility to use on SSD's but it should give us an idea of the performance to expect and it's perhaps the most common utility used to compare hard drives:
HDTach backed up what HDTune was telling us and recorded speeds well below that what was advertised. This was on a clean, pre-formated drive. I decided to format the drive again using the 'default' cluster size but alas the results were the same. While these results are hardly what you could call slow, if they are to be believed then they are well below the advertised 270MBs which is not good at all as this drive is barely faster than a standard Vertex according to these results. However, as previously stated, HDtune and HDTach are not the best methods to test the true speed of an SSD so we have our own suite of benchmarks to try the OCZ vertex Turbo out on.
Along with many other synthetic benchmarks run today, I decided to perform several day-to-day operations (such as file transfer and Windows start up) in addition to the synthetic benchmarks. The full set of tests can be seen below
ATTO Disk Benchmark v2.34
PCMark Vantage HDD benchmarks
File Write & Manipulation
Random file creation (15GB)
Sequential file creation (100GB)
OS & Gaming
Windows Vista Startup time.
Windows Vista Shutdown time.
Unreal Tournament III map load time.