GSkill Falcon 128GB SATA II SSD

Packaging & Appearance

Packaging & Appearance
 
The Falcon arrived on my desk in a glossy box, not too disimilar to the boxes graphics cards and motherboards re packaged in these days only this was much smaller. The tribal design Falcon is quite attractive as is the red/black fade printwork on the box. Interestingly, GSkill use the slogan 'Where speed is!!' - something we will endevaour to confirm or denounce later in the review. Flipping the box over we see the specifications of the solid state drive along with the product code and a brief run down of the features.
 
box front box rear
 
Removing the SSD from the outer packaging we find the familiar black box most solid state drives appear to be packed in. This box is reinforced with a luxurious foam inner which inturn holds the sealed drive in place. A small instruction leaflet is also included which gives a very basic guide on how to instal the drive. Interestingly, GSkill have also included a jumper which is used for the purposes of flashing the driver to later firmware but for the purposes of this review we will be testing the drive as it arrived. It is however good to know GSkill have provided this feature with the forsight for possible upgrades in the future.
 
box inner contents
 
The Falcon drive is the standard SSD size being 2.5" across. Sadly, as with most SSD's on the market today, no 3.5"-2.5" adaptor is included in the package which is a dissappointment as most cases are not yet fit to house an SSD as standard. Rather than the plastic shell that other manufacturers have adopted, GSkill have used a metal one which is slightly heavier than other models. Personally I prefer this as other SSD's feel flimsy in comparison. As you can see from the pics below, the drive takes standard SATA data and power cables with the jumper header to the edge of the data port.
 
SSD front SSD
 
Voiding the warranty by unscrewing four screws to get to the guts of the SSD you will see from the pictures below that the metal backplate holding the drive together has some discoloration. While this is not visable on the exterior it is slightly worring that moisture may have intruded at some point and caused this slight discoloration of the metal. Needless to say though that the drive was perfectly dry when opened so this was probably the result of the steel being 'unfinished' as it would not normally be visible to the end user. 
 
Plate inner SSD inner
 
The drives internals are laid out pretty much the same as the Falcons biggest competitor, the OCZ Vertex. Perhaps more to the point is the fact this drive uses exactly the same Memory controller by Indilinx, the same 64MB of Cache by Elpida and the same Samsung PCB0 NAND flash chips. It is interesting then that the GSkill is advertised at a slower read speed but higher write than the Vertex. This is again, something we will shortly be putting to the test.
 
ssd back Cache
 
The version we have for review today features 16x8GB NAND chips (MLC) by Samsung giving the end user 128GB of storage space to play with (reduced when partitioned). The Falcon is also available in 64GB and 256GB versions too with the 64GB version being slightly slower than the 128GB.
 
Indilinx Samsung
 
All in all a very nice looking product. I would  have liked to have seen a matching red PCB rather than the contrasting blue but this is a null point really as nobody will be mad enough to take their SSD apart to see this colour (except us here at OC3D). Like the other drives we have tested thus far though, GSkill too have missed the opportunity of providng some simple bracket convertors to ease installation worries. Hopefully this is somthing that will be rectified in future revisions but for now I am thus far pleased with the GSkill Falcon.
 
Let's take a look at the test setup we will be using for todays review... 
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Most Recent Comments

13-07-2009, 04:35:26

JN
"To be the best you have to beat the best. Does the GSkill Falcon have wait it takes to outpace the other SSD's on test? Find out in our latest review..." - by W3bbo

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...192511315s.jpg

GSkill Falcon 128GB SATA II SSD

16-07-2009, 17:40:51

Bungral
Maaaaaaaaaate!

How did this go un replied to?

I have an excuse... I had 800 posts to catch up on and then I save the reviews for last.. This is my last one so I'm now officially caught up.

Aaaanyway back to this review.. What a product really.. It actually beats the competition by a clear margin (mostly) which makes a change these days.

Don't ya get to keep this one Jimbo?

17-07-2009, 13:35:21

w3bbo
No! Jim certainly doesn't get to keep this one lol.

Gotta say this is one sweet product!

17-07-2009, 14:30:57

VonBlade
Hmmm. Well Jim doesn't keep it because W3bbo reviewed it

Great review as always, I just find it hard to get excited about SSD because they're so freaking expensive. I'm sure they are quicker, but I come from the tape then floppy days so HDs still feel fast to me. But no matter how fast they are, 128GB of SSD vs 4TB of Spinpoint is a no brainer.

Maybe if you have a spare one W3bbo you can lend it to me so I can become enthused

VB

17-07-2009, 15:01:54

Rastalovich
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Bungral'
Maaaaaaaaaate!

How did this go un replied to?
I have another theory behind this, and b4 u all yawn with excitement

I do wonder if any1 else agrees with me on this - I would appreciate if they replied in agreement or not.. BUT..

I saw this review posted.. and I have tbh, skipped it. And as I thought about skipping it, I thought others will skip it too, from a reply pov, and here's my rationale atlest:

I can sum up the review without a read, 1x SSD, blazing speeds, low relative capacities, nice package with little content, extremely high price (2+ a gig). To be fair this is all I/we need to know. The values can fluctuate a bit, but aslong as that last, almost the most important figure remains at around 2+ and the relative capacities are low - the interest stops there.

This is no reflection on the reviewer, as always I know the review will be outstanding. The reviews are always at a high level on OC3D.

However, until the manufacturers take their mindset away from corporations wanting these for their drive bays in their lovely raid setups, not minding paying 10k for the privilege, ur average enthusiast isn't going to be interested without some exception.

U know they're intended for these markets as they're content to stick with the lower capacities that almost mirror SCSI drives in similar raid setups (which are faster according to HDTach presets).

..

Now we've seen 320g drives emerging, so 250g will very soon be the distant maximum. No doubt 640g drives will follow eventually - but I can guarantee u that they won't come out until they've milked the higher prices of the lower capacities.

Soon as we atleast see 1.5 a gig. The masses will take more interest.

It's very basic for an enthusiast. They can't buy 2x GTX285 gpus - why spend the same budget on a small harddrive.

2 - cents !

18-07-2009, 09:47:28

w3bbo
I see your point rasta and I do agree about the cost per gig which is terrible however, SSD's represent the best upgrade most consumers can buy. The general feel of the OS is so much snappier, it loads up quicker, as do games. I bought 2x1tb samsung F1 drives a couple of months back and after testing this drive I am regretting that decision. Sure it's nice to have oodles of storage (of which I now have 2TB!) but nothing can match the speed of SSD for desktops imo.

18-07-2009, 12:12:08

rapidman17
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='w3bbo'
I see your point rasta and I do agree about the cost per gig which is terrible however, SSD's represent the best upgrade most consumers can buy. The general feel of the OS is so much snappier, it loads up quicker, as do games. I bought 2x1tb samsung F1 drives a couple of months back and after testing this drive I am regretting that decision. Sure it's nice to have oodles of storage (of which I now have 2TB!) but nothing can match the speed of SSD for desktops imo.
Fair point.... at the end of the day it depends on the users balance between speed and storage.... those not needing masses of space may well decide to get a product like this, whereas if space is a concern then you may indeed skip this product altogether.

21-07-2009, 00:31:27

mobbe
Hope the price on SSD's will drop soon
Reply
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