Why you need an SSD
The bottleneck problem
If we step temporarily into a time machine and travel back ten years, the best computers of the day were powered by Pentium IV chips running at 1.8GHz. In CPU Passmark; a benchmark that tests various facets of CPU performance, this chip earns a score of 220; very respectable at the time. Set the flux capacitor back to the present day the king of the hill is the Core i7 990X.
In the same benchmark it manages a score of 10,880; a result 50x faster than its antique predecessor. If we now look at conventional hard disks from the same period the IBM Deskstar series ruled the roost. They achieved read speeds of around 45MB/s and access times of approximately 12ms as measured in HDTach. The current 500GB Seagate 7200.12 has read speeds of 106MB/s whilst access times have stayed about the same. We therefore have an improvement of just 2.3x in ten years; what was the biggest roadblock to computer performance in the year 2000 is now a colossal bottleneck.
With read speeds five times that of the quickest hard disk and access times two orders of magnitude faster, modern SSDs make huge strides towards alleviating the problem. An SSD really is the most noticable upgrade you can make to your desktop or laptop computer today.
Today we are comparing seven competitiors covering a range of models. Some are the latest available, others are slightly older so you have an idea of how drives from today compare to those from last year. Each of our drives was put through its paces in four benchmarks – PC Mark Vantage, CrystalDiskMark, AS SSD and Atto. Each of the tests provide a slightly different workload and allow us to fully evaluate the performance trends of each drive. Without futher ado, let's start with the G.Skill Phoenix Evo!