G.Skill 64GB SATA II SSD Review

by AkG     |     June 26, 2008

G.Skill 64GB SATAII SSD Review

Manufacturer Product Page: SATA
Product ID: FS-25S2-64GB
Price: Click here to compare prices
Warranty: 1 year

If there is one area of computers which has lagged behind all the others it has to be the realm of storage devices. The very first hard drive was released way back in 1956 by IBM and since then not much has changed. Yes, the size has increased incrementally and so has the speed; but when compared to the rest of the computer sub components, hard drive technology has not changed all that much. Even the fastest 15000rpm SCSI hard drive on the market today still measures its speed in MB/s and random access time in milliseconds, just like they always have. Heck, if CPU’s advanced at the same glacial pace as the hard drive we would all be using 286’s and hoping the rumors of 386’s in 3 years time would be true.

When you get right down to it, a hard drive is a hard drive. You have little mechanical heads which read and write 0s and 1s unto pieces of iron impregnated unto a spinning platter. While the speed and size of the platters has changed this is about all which has. We don’t have 3 million rpm hard drives with 100GB/s burst rates and we never will. This is because the technology (no matter how refined it is) is by nature very limited and history will probably judge it as a dead end which shouldn’t have gone as far as it did.

At this point your probably wondering: “If spinning platter based hard drives are the past then what is the future?”; and this cuts to the heart of the matter. Hard drive manufacturers have known for quite some time that spinning platters could only go so far and that brick wall / technology barrier is fast approaching. Yes they have been able to hold of the inevitable with tricks like perpendicular recording but the big boys like Seagate and Western Digital (etc.) know they are nothing more than stop gaps. While these stop gaps bought them time, massive amounts of R&D have been thrown at the problem and a clear winner has started to emerge.

This winner which we are talking about is none other than Solid State Disk Drive technology (SSD for short). In a nut shell SSDs are nothing but special RAM chips which don’t forget their state (0 or 1) when the power is removed. By getting away from spinning platters and moving into the memory arena, the “hard drives" of the future are going to get fast, small and cheap in a pretty big hurry. A few years ago a 64GB SSD would cost you (if you could buy one of them) a cool 10k and today they go for about 800 to 900 dollars. More importantly than price or speed is the fact just about any company can now produce a kick ass hard drive without spending the big bucks in R&D.

One of these companies which is getting into the SSD market is G. Skill. G. Skill is well known is the enthusiast community for producing very good DDR2/3 RAM at a very affordable price; and now they have expanded their business model to include Solid State Drives. Today we will looking at their brand new 2.5 inch 64GB SSD which is one of three models they are releasing within the next little while. While it may only have a form factor of 2.5” vs. the normal 3.5” we usually use in PCs this drive is more than powerful enough to compete in this market as well as the usual laptop market.

In our opinion, comparing this drive against other 2.5” hard drives is counter intuitive as it literally crushes any true 2.5” drive out there (remember the new Velociraptor, while being 2.5” is too big to fit in a normal 2.5” laptop bay), so we are going to see how well this bad boy fares against some real competition in the form of a brand new Western Digital SE16 640GB hard drive, a new single platter Western Digital SE16 320GB, a Western Digital Velociraptor and even a pair of Seagate 7200.10 320’s in RAID 0. I don’t know about you but I recommend breaking out the pop corn and cola as its going be a bonny good fight!


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