Today we are reviewing a 60GB SATA II Velox V20 Solid State Disk(SSD) from Silicon Power, a relatively unknown but upcoming brand in North America, but quite popular in Asia. Not that this matters a lot, but the Taiwan based company claims to be one of the world’s leading manufacturers of flash memory cards, USB flash drives, card readers, DRAM modules, solid state disks, and portable hard drives and available in more than 100 countries across the world.

SP-SSD-1SP-SSD-3

Before we proceed with the review, let us know more about the SSDs.


Why SSD?

Solid State Drives are relatively new to the computer market and hence considered to be pricey as compared to the traditional HDDs. Though the prices of SSDs have dropped down considerably in the past few months, they aren’t affordable for many (as yet). But SSDs are typically less susceptible to physical shock, are silent, have lower access time and latency and typically support a limited number of writes over the life of the device as compared to HDDs. Moreover, SSDs have advantages when it comes to power consumption, as there is no spinning of drives involved and hence improves battery life on laptops.

Most of the SSDs these days use NAND-based flash memory, which retains memory even without power. Those who are looking for more information and comparison of SSDs with HDDs, can go through this Wiki article.

Silicon Power SATA II SSD Velox V20

Solid State Drives are known to cost a fortune, but Silicon Power is aiming to make them much more affordable to general users with a range of SSD products. The Velox V20 SSD comes in an attractive package and looks like a standard 2.5″ HDD for notebooks. However, you will be provided with a 25″ to 3.5″ adapter with mounting brackets, in case you wish to use it with your desktop PC.

It boasts of speeds up to 285 MB/s (Read) and 275 MB/s (Write) and is based on the tried and tested SandForce’s SF-1200 series processor. Using SandForce controller’s patented DuraClass technology, it can extend the SSD lifespan up to 5 years! This vastly reduces the occurrences of bad sectors and thus extending the lifespan.

Benchmark tests

We intentionally ran the benchmarking tests on an aged Lenovo laptop running Windows 7 OS. The idea was to check if we can give a life back to an aging PC. The performance would vary (and be better) on the latest rig. Below is the config of the PC we used for testing.

pc_config

The transfer speeds we noticed for Silicon Power Velox V20 SSD were in the range of 90 to 112 MB/s with an average of 104 MB/s. Please remember that tests were conducted on a PC with just 1.66 GHz processor and 2.5GB of RAM. On the 2010 model of Dell Studio 1555 laptop, the read/write speeds were truly above 200 MB/s.

HDTune_Benchmark_SPCC_Solid_State_Disk130

This was much better in performance as compared to the benchmarks we ran on a desktop PC with Intel i7 processor, 8GB RAM and with the latest Western Digital 1TB HDD, whose transfer rate ranged from 23 MB/s to 123 MB/s with an average speed of 91 MB/s. Look at how stable and consistent the SSD was as compared to the HDD when it comes to data throughput.

HDTune_Benchmark_WDC_WD10EARX-00N0YB0

Some more screenshots of HD Tune benchmarking test carried out on Silicon Power SSD.

HDTune_Health_SPCC_Solid_State_Disk130

HDTune_Info_SPCC_Solid_State_Disk130

Performance

The Silicon Power SATA II Velox V20 SSD greatly enhanced the performance of the aging laptop. The PC which was taking more than a minute to startup from cold boot, now takes less than 45 seconds to startup. Memory intensive applications like Adobe Photoshop CS 5.5 takes just 6 seconds to load completely while the iTunes 10.3 takes less than 5 seconds. Performance of MS Office 2007 was improved as well, with Excel taking 1.3 seconds and Word taking 1.8 seconds to start up.

What more, even the software installation and uninstallation were much faster with the SSD. The HDD slot in laptop did not heat up after prolonged operation and the battery backup of the laptop was increased considerably with the SSD.

After installing SSD, disk drive is no more a limiting factor but the processor and memory is!

windows-experience-index

Pros:

  • SandForce SF-1200
  • 3.5″ adapter with metal enclosure
  • 3 years warranty
  • SATA I/II interface
  • Neat user manual – small and concise
  • TRIM support
  • Decent Read speeds
  • Affordable SSD at the moment

Cons:

  • No SATA III interface
  • Though the Read speeds are good, Write speeds fall short of competition
  • Does not come in antistatic pouch

Verdict

If you are someone who is not ready to invest in a new processor, RAM or motherboard, then investing on a high speed SSD like SP Velox V20 is a great way to improve performance and add a new life to your aging computer. At the time of writing, Amazon was selling Silicon Power Velox V20 60GB at $130 and 120GB at $220. At these prices, Silicon Power SSDs are pretty competitive and affordable as compared to the competition.

Arvind Bhatt contributed a great deal towards this review.

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Raju is the founder-editor of Technology Personalized. A proud geek and an Internet freak, who is also a social networking enthusiast. You can follow him on Facebook and on Twitter. Mail Raju PP. Follow rajupp

 
 
  • nitinostyle

    Might be good to get a SSD, now that the hard drives prices are going off the chart and away from my pockets! $130 is a pretty decent spend considering it’s more reliable, way faster and quieter. About the low power consumption part though, how much power does it actually save? Does it really make much difference?