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G.Skill Phoenix 100GB Solid State Drive Review

Author: AkG
Date: June 23, 2010
Product Name: G.Skill Phoenix 100GB Solid State Drive
 
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There is no doubt that SandForce-based drives are the flavour of the month in the SSD market. In a relatively short amount of time, more than a dozen drives sporting the new SandForce SF-1222 controller have been released. To give you an idea of where we stand, both the OCZ Vertex 2 and Corsair Force F100 were run through our benchmark process and (not including the drive in this article) we have additional SandForce products in the pipeline from OWC, Mushkin and Patriot. From a price / performance viewpoint, these drives fit most manufacturers’ bills perfectly but from a consumer perspective, they are all basically the same barring a few custom firmwares here and there.

Today we are going to be looking at yet another SF-1222 drive: the G.Skill Phoenix 100GB. Many will likely roll their eyes at this point and incorrectly think we’ll be seeing more of the same as in past SandForce reviews. However, G.Skill has taken a completely different approach to the SandForce conundrum.

The problem with the SF-1222 is not a lack of power but in regards to firmware. As mentioned in previous reviews, SandForce has decided to hobble the performance of their SF-1200 controller series to make the higher-end SF-1500 series stand out. Only OCZ and their Vertex 2 are exempt from this which tends to put other companies such as G.Skill at a distinct disadvantage. In theory, the Phoenix is a direct competitor to the Agility 2 (basically a Vertex 2 sans custom firmware) but through the use of some clever methods of their own, G.Skill’s engineers have supposedly pushed this drive into Vertex 2 territory.

Even though the Phoenix is a newly release drive it is actually quite widely available at retailers and e-tailers alike for as little as $363. This is nearly $50 less then most of the other SandForce drives out there. Is this price indicative of lower performance or does it just represent a great value? We’re about to find out.


 
 
 

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