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Crucial 32 GB Solid State Drive 2.5”: Reads Fast

14-Way SSD Hard Drive Roundup

We had our first contact with the Crucial 32 GB Solid State Drive in late June, when we put some flash SSDs to the test on a notebook to compare the battery life of popular SSDs versus a conventional hard drive. This is a good example of a MLC-based flash drive that reaches excellent read throughput of up to 125 MB/s, but with write performance limited to less than 60 MB/s. Access times are very quick, too. For average desktop or notebook solutions this still seems like a good product.

However, this particular model doesn’t deliver the great power efficiency that many people associate with flash SSDs, leaving it a bad choice for mobile users. An average power requirement of 2.1 W when playing a low-bandwidth DVD stream is clearly too high. We found that some efficient mechanical hard drives deliver better efficiency under controlled performance requirements. The same applies to idle power, which doesn’t drop below 1.6 W, and the workstation-type I/O performance and efficiency of this drive wasn’t glorious either.

Crucial also has a 64 GB version, which seems to deliver less write throughput, according to the data sheet.

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  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , 18 August 2008 18:44
    Well, nothing new here.
    A comparison of random write access time would have been very nice
    since this a major disadvantage of SSD (as far as I know).

    Some flash drives only reach 100ms access time!
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 18 August 2008 20:58
    In addition to write access times, it would be interesting to know about the effects to Windows swap memory performance. When Windows goes and uses swap memory, performance is usually plunged, due to multiple simultaneous accesses. However, writing to swap file might be continuous access while reading it might be random. But how about if some other program is read-accessing hard drive while Windows is writing to swap file? I do not know about swap memory specs, so I do not really know. (This is where Tom's testers would step in. ;)  ) SSDs might greatly decrease hard drive crunching, but if it requires much random write access (and if it is much slower like nerd999/asdf999 claims), there might not be so much advantage.

    And it raised another thought about the lifespan: how much writing Windows swapping really does generally and how much would profuse everyday swapping eat memory cells (e.g. when photoshopping large images)?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 19 August 2008 16:14
    My understanding of SSD implementation is not to use a swap file, as the access time is so much quicker it negates the need for one.

    I've installed XP on a number of drives and I always remove the swap file, and I've never seen any impact.

    Hope this helps
  • 0 Hide
    bobwya , 20 August 2008 14:38
    asdf999... A comparison of random write access time would have been very nicesince this a major disadvantage of SSD (as far as I know).Some flash drives only reach 100ms access time!

    +1 Yeh would like to see that. Killer SSD test!!

  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 25 August 2008 17:51
    Hey, nice review, thanks. Can you offer the same endorsement for the 32GB version of these samsung/OCZ drives? And can you provide the model numbers as tested?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 27 August 2008 19:43
    How about tests where the OS is installed on the SSD, how much faster would the system feel as a result?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 31 August 2008 16:24
    Anonymous @ 19/08/2008, it seems you quite haven't grasped the concept of swap files. They are not for increasing performance (as in speed) or caching. They are used to extend system memory by moving memory contents temporarily to the hard drive. Using high-speed SSD does not negate need for swap file (using more system memory would), it makes swap file usage more viable one! Removing swap file should not impact system performance negatively, it would usually make system faster (because Windows tends to swap even much before you are low on system memory). But you can remove swap file only if you have enough memory available. When using large applications at the same time (e.g. the whole Adobe Creative Suite), swapping tends to become useful, even if you have 2 gigabytes of memory available. It is usually easier and faster to swap applications on the disk than to close all your work files and close the applications. But low access times would help situations when your hard drive is already in work and Windows starts swapping. Sometimes it may take minutes before your system is really usable again.

    Synchronos (anonymous @ 18/08/2008)