G.Skill Falcon II 128GB SSD review -
G.Skill Falcon II Series SATA II 2.5" SSD - 128GB
G.Skill Falcon II Series SATA II 2.5" SSD - 128GB
Roughly three maybe four weeks ago G.Skill added a new product in its Falcon performance Series SSD family: the Falcon II high-performance solid-state drive, three Falcon II models are available.
The performance of the 64GB SSD is rated at 220/110MB/Sec (Read/Write), while the 128GB and 256GB SSDs are rated at an impressive 220/150MB/sec.
Check out the features
- Available in 64GB,128GB and 256GB capacities
- 64MB Onboard Cache
- MLC NAND
- Seek Time: <.1ms
- Slim 2.5" Design
- 99.8 x 69.63 x 9.3mm
- Lightweight 77g
- Operating Temp: 0C ~ 70C
- Storage Temp: -45C ~ +85C
- Low Power Consumption: 2W operation, 0.5W standby
- Shock Resistant 1500G
- RAID Support
- MTBF 1.5 million hours
- 3-Year Warranty
Let's focus on some of the more important aspects and features of the drive, as there definitely are some things you guys needs to be aware of.
The Falcon II uses Indilinxs latest version of the Barefoot controller which is labeled under the ECO series. The ECO is a slightly revised and tweaked controller that adds support for newew NAND memory types, namely new 34nm memory. For this specific SSD the memory comes from Micron and not Samsung.
The new 34nm NAND Flash memory is apparently cheaper to manufacture, thus cheaper for companies to implement, and for you as a consumer cheaper to purchase.
The read and write speed for the tested 128GB model are advertised at 220 MB/sec read and 150MB/sec write performance, which makes the product position itself in the mainstream SSD segment. Good performance at a better price.
The Indilinx Barefoot ECO controller is paired with 64MB of Elpida cache memory. Why is that so important you ask -- that 'cache memory?'. Well, we have seen that most budget SSDs have a JMicron controller with very little cache (8KB / 16KB), and the issue there is that if they need to write a lot of really small files simultaneously these drives started to choke up every now and then, your a-typical data bottleneck within a storage unit. Large data-caches solve that issue very well.
So a big help totally bypassing the small files issue for SSD drives is using a nice big mamma SDRAM buffer. For the Falcon II, 64MB cache to be precise. Have a look at the innards of the SSD.
In the above photo we see the SSD. To the right we spot MLC flash NAND memory chips, the Falcon II is paired with Micron 29F64G08CAMD1 (MLC) flash memory chips. Included a count on the backside we spot 16 chips, each with a 8GB capacity for a total drive size of 128GB.
To the upper left the Indilinx Barefoot controller chip and just below it 64MB cache memory from Elpida. All combined they form the heart and soul of the SSD.
64MB Elpida cache memory Indilinx Barefoot ECO controller
We stated it many times and explained this a lot. But the seek time on SSD drives are insane, short from amazing; at less than 1ms -- 0.1ms as we actually can measure. The average seek time for a traditional HDD is roughly 9ms. Do the math, hey, no more moving and spinning mechanical components are key here.
The traditional HDD is a limiting factor on the overall PC experience you guys. Also, storage performance like this would, for example, greatly enhance load times of Photoshop, Generic applications, Office, games and even simply stuff like browsing the web will become a much faster experience.
G.Skill designed another 8GB low voltage DDR3 kit (2x 4GB) that can be set at 1600 MHz yet still run a CAS latency of 7. And that is truly interesting because the denser the ICs get, the higher latency typically gets.
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