Samsung Flash Solid State Disk review
Silent, robust and with occasional speed benefits, but expensive and slow in real-world use.
Review Date: 17 May 2007
Reviewed By: Clive Webster
Price when reviewed: (£307 inc VAT)
While hybrid hard disks are finally beginning to appear, there's a part of us that feels it's a somewhat interim step. Jamming in what amounts to a large, non-volatile cache is ultimately a rather unsubtle way to overcome the problems of mechanical disks, especially when compared to this wholly flash-based storage device.
Take a look under the plastic casing of this Samsung "disk" and you'll see a simple circuit board with 16 2GB flash chips attached, plus a large I/O controller chip to ferry data to and from the IDE interface. The circuit board itself is plain, unadorned by any fiddly routing and supremely elegant in its simplicity.There's no need to be precious with it either, as there isn't a single moving part inside - a major plus point.
The other key benefits of a solid-state hard disk, in theory, are faster access times - which should lead to greater performance overall - and lower power consumption. The former certainly proved true where boot-up and hibernate times are concerned; our test system booted in 51 seconds, which is 10 seconds faster than with a standard 5,400rpm notebook drive. The system was also quick to hibernate and wake, taking a shade under 6 seconds.
We were hoping application performance would be similarly good, but our HD Tach test (www.simplisoftware.com) showed it to lag behind mechanical disks across the board, and the overall application benchmark score of 1.23 on the same test rig as the Samsung FlashON (which scored 1.56) was similarly disappointing. Samsung is planning a SATA version in the future, which might resolve this problem, as well as the issue that IDE is all but extinct in modern notebooks. Out of the dozens in our Labs, not a single one would accommodate the disk, so we were unable to perform any meaningful battery tests on it.
But the biggest problem for adoption now is simply the cost: about £9 per gigabyte. While you might swallow that for the sake of an ultraportable notebook, we'd be inclined to wait for 64GB SATA versions to appear later in the year. The future of notebook storage could well be solid state, but we're not there yet.
Author: Clive Webster
- BBC admits £100 million IT project was a "waste"
- ISPs offer network-level porn filters to dodge "regulatory threats"
- Intel: PC designs "not compelling enough"
- Microsoft reinstates the Start button – on a mouse
- Facebook tells EE to stall launch of HTC First
- Google considers $1 billion bid for satnav firm Waze
- Hyperoptic extends 1Gbit/sec broadband beyond London
- PC Pro Enhanced: an update
- Samsung racks up ten million Galaxy S4 shipments
- Lenovo defies PC slump to post 90% profit increase
- Is it worth upgrading a media centre to Windows 8?
- Flickr redesign: is it enough to tempt photographers back?
- Hands on with the new Google Maps
- Nokia Lumia 925 review: first look
- Why I won't subscribe to Creative Cloud
- GoPro camera strapped to a remote-control helicopter: the ultimate boy's toy
- Acer Iconia A1 review: first look
- Acer Aspire P3 review: first look
- Acer Aspire R7 review: first look
- How we produce the PC Pro podcast
- 38 best iPad apps
- 35 best web apps
- Software subscriptions return us to a life of servitude
- Dropbox: everything you need to know
- Best smartphones for 2013
- The best broadband speed tests
- iPhone apps for business travel
- How to get a job as a mobile games developer
- 25 best Windows 8 apps
- Introducing Arduino - a simple Raspberry Pi alternative
- The ICO's shame-faced u-turn on cookies
- Start8 and ModernMix: making Windows 8 work on a desktop
- How to boost your mobile reception
- How to fix Facebook: Social Fixer
- Taking the stress out of WordPress updates
- Where to download free web fonts
- Turn your tablet into a Sky+ remote control
- How to measure the success of a new IT system
- Three years on: the state of the tablet market
- Windows 8: what works and what doesn't
There are dozens of exciting prizes up for grabs on PC Pro Competitions. All our competitions are free to enter. Try your luck.ENTER NOW