Some might question what kind of improvement SATA 6 Gbps (SATA III) brings over its predecessor, the older SATA 3 Gbps interface. While ordinary hard drives are hard-pressed to show any noticeable performance increase, with twice the amount of maximum data bandwidth set by previous standard, SATA 6 Gbps provides the necessary headroom needed by Solid State Drives (SSD) to show their true potential.
SATA 6 Gbps SSDs have become ubiquitous today, with a number of brands sporting models armed with the venerable Sandforce 2 controller. In this round up test, we will compare 5 such SSDs in a head-to-head battle of performance and overall value. But first, a brief description of the controller chip that powers these super-fast storage!
The SandForce 2 (SF-2000) represents a significant advancement from the first generation controller chip, with the most noticeable being the increased data transfer speed of 600 MB/s, twice as fast as the 300 MB/s of its predecessor. Progress has also been made to the TRIM department. SandForce 2’s DuraWrite feature works perfectly in restoring the SSD’s performance regardless of the type of files involved. The first SandForce was a bit problematic in this regard, whereas its DuraWrite functionality could not perform well with compressed files (either lossless or lossy). The only way to restore performance in the case of the first SandForce was to use Secure Erase, which also destroys all data contained in the SSD.
In this article, we compare five SandForce SF-2000 SSDs currently on offer from four different brands. As for the capacity, we opted for a 120 GB model from each manufacturer since that would provide a good balance between price, storage space, and performance. 60 GB (or less) SSDs are simply too small for today’s space-hogging applications. Additionally, they are also slower compared to 120 GB alternatives.
The complete list of hardware components used in our test is as follows:
- Motherboard: Gigabyte H67 LGA 1155
- Processor: Intel Core i7 2600 3,4 GHz
- RAM: Kingston DDR3 8 GB
- Main Storage: Kingston SSD V+100 64 GB
- Graphics Card: AMD Radeon HD 5550
- Power Supply: CoolerMaster GX 550 Watt
- Input Device: Genius Keyboard and Mouse
- Monitor: 18,5 inch LCD
- Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 64 bit