GSkill Falcon 128GB SATA II SSD

Test Setup

Test Setup
 
The test setup we will be using today for evaluation of theGSkill Falcon drive is fully optimised for compatability and performance for testing SSD drives:
 
Processor: Intel Core i7 920 @ Stock Speed
Motherboard: Gigabyte UD4P X58
Memory: 6GB Corsair XMS2 1600MHz
SATA Controller: On-board ICH10R Southbridge
Chipset Drivers: Intel 9.1.0.1007
Operating System: Windows Vista x64 Ultimate SP1 + most recent Updates
 
Most people who will be considering the upgrade to an SSD drive will likely be making the jump from one of the many 'favourite' mechanical hard drives. With this in mind we will be assessing the GSkill Falcons capabilities in comparison to the following drives:
 
 GSkill FalconOCZ SummitOCZ VertexWD VelociraptorSamsung F1WD Caviar Black
Read Seek Time<0.1ms
 
<0.1ms
<0.1ms
 
4.3ms8.9ms12.2ms
Write Seek Time
<0.1ms
 
<0.1ms
 
<0.1ms
 
4.7ms8.9ms12.2ms
Average Latency
<0.1ms
 
<0.1ms
 
<0.1ms
 
5.5ms4.17ms4.17ms
Read Transfer Rate230MB/s220MB/s250MB/s120MB/s175MB/s106MB/s
Write Transfer Rate190MB/s200MB/s180MB/s120MB/s175MB/s106MB/s
Capacity128GB250GB120GB300GB1TB750GB
Cache64MB128MB64MB16MB32MB32MB
 
Rather than search for and flash the drive to the latest firmware, for our reviews of SSD drives we intend to test the drives as you would recieve them. Obviously flashing and thereby upgrading the drives will have an effect on the scores so this should be taken into consideration when viewing the results. Various Operating system and BIOS tweaks were however performed to obtain the absolute maximum operating conditions for the GSkill Falcon. These tweaks are:
 
  • Superfetch: Off
  • Indexing: Off
  • Search indexing: Off
  • Defrag: Off 
  • SATA Mode in BIOS was set to IDE for all hard disks
  • Drive was formatted with a 4096 cluster size
  • Enable Enhanced Performance was selected in device manager for all hard disks
 
Testing Methodology
 
While synthetic benchmarks such as HDTune offer a good insight into the performance of a mechanical disk drive, these figures do not always translate directly into real world performance, this is especially so for Solid State Drives. For the purposes of comparison to some of our previous reviews though I have included a couple of screenshots of the GSkill Falcons performance here although these should be taken with a pinch of salt due to the sporadic nature of HDTune Pro in testing SSD's:
 
read write
 
HDTune showed some serious performance with the read almost reaching the advertised speed of 230MB/s and the write actually exceeding the advertised write speed, hitting a 207.5MB/s average. As expected, a 0.1ms access time was also recorded.
 
Before we get on-board with the testing, let's also perform a run of HDTach, again not the best utility to use on SSD's but it should give us an idea of the performance to expect and is perhaps the most common utility used to compare hard drives:
 
HDtach 
 
HDTach backed up what HDTune was telling us and recorded some terrific scores. If these readings are seconded by our main table of benchmarks then the GSkill Falcon will certainly be a force to be reckoned with.
 
Along with many other synthetic benchmarks run today, I decided to perform several day-to-day operations (such as file transfer and Windows start up) in addition to the synthetic benchmarks. The full set of tests can be seen below
 
Synthetic Benchmarks
ATTO Disk Benchmark v2.34
PCMark Vantage HDD benchmarks
CrystalDiskMark 2.2.0f

File Write & Manipulation
Random file creation (15GB)
Sequential file creation (100GB)

OS & Gaming
Windows Vista Startup time.
Windows Vista Shutdown time.
Unreal Tournament III map load time.
 
Let's see how the GSkill Falcon performed...  
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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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