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【Performance Test】G.Skill Falcon 128 GB SSD (Solid-state Drive) Evaluation

Published Sep.29 2009,19:38 PM (GMT+8)


Since launching the SSD report series earlier this year, we have been testing the SSD products on the market from different vendors. This time, the Falcon 128GB SSD from the well-known electronics supplier G.Skill has captured our attention. 

According to G.Skill, the Falcon series SSD boasts high efficiency disk storage feature and provides a better storage preference for desktop PCs and Notebooks. The product also adopts MLC NAND Flash, and comes in 128GB and 64GB, with the 128GB tested for the evaluation.  

The Falcon 128 GB SSD also features 64MB DRAM Cache Memory. According to results of our previous testing, models with DRAM Cache Memory typically present better performance in testing data. Then, let’s find out if it lives up to its claim of 230MB/s read speed, 190MB/s write speed and 100MB/s for continuous writing.  

Considering the spec of SATA transmission which is generally adopted by SSDs, we chose the mother board with Intel chipsets as the testing platform and here are the details of the spec: 


SSD testing report  

Results of the testing are as follows: 

System Boost Performance in Windows System

The most generally-used operating systems for ordinary PCs are Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows7 which is to be launched in the 2nd half of 2009, with Vista and Windows 7 both featuring the function of waking and reading buffer data which supports Flash storage, and both systems support SSD. 

The startup process of the operating system is an important testing item for hard disk and SSDs, for complicated startup file reading is a good parameter of integrity reading and can reflect the direct speed experience of users. 

We installed Windows XP SP3 and observed the startup file transfer speed via the PCMark 05 disk testing, tracked and analyzed the startup process of PC. The core program loading time can be seen in the analysis data sheet.  

The system boost performance of G.Skill Falcon 128GB SSD Windows is 49.60MB/s, rather satisfactory compared to SSDs that are without DRAM Cache Memory or with slower SSD controllers. 


System Boost Performance in Linux System

We also installed Ubuntu 9.04, the latest version of Linux operating system, to test the startup speed of SSD based upon the Linux platform combining with EXT4 filing system. In the Bootchart test, the G.Skill Falcon 128GB SSD reached a transmission rate of 171MB/s. 

ATTO Disk Benchmark v2.4.3

By testing read and write speed with ATTO Disk Benchmark, we figured out that the SSD’s fastest write speed is 152.11MB/s while the fastest read speed is 244.42MB/s, considering the file is 512KB. The smaller the size of the testing software, the less efficient the read and write. Taking 1KB with lots of transmission as an example, the average write speed is 17.45MB/s while the average read speed is down to 19.10MB/s.  


CrystalDiskMark v2.2

CrystalDiskMark is a small-sized software for testing write/read speed of big/small files. For consistent write and read, the speed comes to 109.7MB/s, and 218.2MB/s respectively. When the file is down to 512KB, read speed is lower a little bit to 156.8MB/s. When it comes to the little file testing, the performance of this SSD is pretty much like the previous one by using ATTO. 


h2benchw v3.6

This test makes us know clearly the performance of the SSD under diversified applications. As to item of hard disk swap file, the speed is 58.22MB/s. The efficiency of implementing word is 181.49MB/s and it is 170.83MB/s by combination copy file testing. The overall performance is rather excellent, much like the recommended OCZ 128GB SSD. 


HDTach v3.0.4.0

To be noted in the HDTach test is the access time of only 0.1ms. It is a strong suit of SSD comparing with traditional hard disks, making it more preferable in index and fast search. And the Burst Speed test reflects the maximum output of SSD under maximum interface frequency width. As Falcon 128GB SSD features 64MB DRAM Cache Memory, a 196.7MB/s has been reached in the test. 


HDTune Pro v3.50

We tested the average read speed in the HDTune Pro. The read speed is rather stable after the gradual increase in the beginning, showing the high efficiency and reliability of the SSD controller chip. In terms of write speed, the highest is 192.6MB/s, and the average is 127.3MB/s.







Considering the scanning virus performance in PCMARK 05, the rate is 212.193MB/s, doubly faster than those without Cache Memory. As for write, this SSD comes to 123.444MB/s which is much better than traditional HD and SSD. 

As to the boosting time of XP star up, this SSD is great on reading with high efficiency. This is because that the searching time of SSD is almost 0 and it is different from HD which works through a motor. Therefore, the input/output per second (IOPS) in SSD is high, so as to provide better random-read performance. 

The overall performance of G.Skill Falcon 128GB SSD is rather excellent, and should be listed among the recommended high efficiency SSD products.  



Great for NB in business sector and desktop PC users

People may consider the longevity of SSD for the write frequency of NAND Flash chips is limited between several hundred thousand to millions times. To take a thought of this factor, some SSD manufacturers adopt the mathematical calculation to look after both saves and endurance of chips. On top of that, manufacturers are also writing to build up balance character in case of over-write situation in some particular area. Besides, this kind of SSD also has a character of keeping data even if power is suddenly off. And the Wear Leveling technology gives users more ease on data security.  

What’s more, because SSDs give off less heat, fans are not needed any more, which makes the application occasions of DT or NB quieter and avoids the over-heat in the disk positioning area. The elimination of fans also reduces the noise in the application occasions of SSDs, beneficial for both the environment and the product itself. 

The explicit maximum read and write speeds of 230MB/s and 190MB/s respectively and the 100MB/s speed for consistent writing have been reached in our testing, proving the creditability of the company in the specifications. It should be a model for vendors to be honest in the specifications of their products. 

Based on the testing result, we think the G.Skill Falcon 128 GB SSD is suitable to be recommended to users of NB in business sector as well as desktop PC users who pursue high efficiency.