If you take the two sets of synthetic benchmarks together, the Patriot and Crucial SSDs have the same level of performance. However, the variations in write speeds are noteworthy.
ATTO Test Results
In our real-world file transfer tests, we copy folders that contain 2GB of files. We started, as usual, by transferring files within the drive and saw that the time taken for the test was pretty much identical for the Patriot and the Crucial. When you consider that the two drives are very similar, apart from their capacity, this is what we expected to see.
Transferring files from one drive to another revealed a more complex situation. When we used a second-generation Intel X25-M drive as the other half of the pair we saw that the Crucial SSD was marginally slower than the Patriot when reading files from the Intel drive. That’s marginal as in a fraction of a second out of 16 seconds, which equates to around six per cent. By contrast, when we read files from the test drive and wrote them to the Intel X25-M, we found that the Crucial drive was significantly faster than the Patriot to the tune of five seconds with big movie files and ten seconds with smaller music files. That’s a huge margin of 25 per cent in favour of the Crucial.
As a final test we switched the paired SSD from the 160GB X25-M to the older, first-gen 80GB X25-M and this threw up some more oddities.
ATTO Test Results
Intel X-25M 2G
When we transferred files between the original X25-M and the Patriot all of the transfer speeds slowed by a significant amount. In the case of the Crucial drive, the read times were unaffected but the write times took a similar clobbering to those that we saw on the Patriot.
Very nice, but still early days
I have one, also at 1571 firmware in a Macbook Pro; silent and fast. It sometimes has problems on Macbook Pros, the later firmware has even more problems, and there will certainly be upgrades to the firmware needed. I need to run with hibernate mode disabled (never did like it anyway). Check Crucial and Apple support forums before you take the plunge. I suspect Indilinx will iron out the problems eventually.
Note also the potential problem of flash drives slowing down with use.
Just bought one
I've just bought one of these based on this recommendation and others. I have a lot of programs installed and vast numbers of photographs (or which I've got many 10's of thousands), I got it, simply because I'm fed up of the lengthy boot time and lack of responsiveness when things like virus scanners (and heaven knows what else) kick in.
Programs like Lightroom maintain highly dynamic databases and generates vast numbers of small files for previews (on my setup, Lightroom has generated over 26,000 preview photos). Such things are poisonous to performance on hard drives. There are lots of others like this too, not least of which is what happens on the system disk and what browsers do with cookie files and the like. Random performance is the king, and a drive that can (realistically) do a few thousand random IOPs rather than, maybe, 140 on a 7200 RPM disk make a massive difference.
The solid state disk has absolutely transformed the usability of the machine. It is not, of course, cost-effective for the bulk of photographic and video needs, but even under the heaviest system load, the (4 core) machine remains highly usable.
The way it is configured is with the SSD partitioned into a system partition (80GB) and a data partition (where I keep use account space). As there is no requirement to re-drag an SSD, I could have probably reduced the system partion to 60GB. Bulk storage is provided by mounting hard drive partitions into the appropriate part of the MyDocs file structure (so there are archive partitions in MyPictures, MyVideos, MyDocs etc.). The SSD makes an excellent place to hold things like the Lightroom DB and thumbnails and for working space - once that is done, a simple matter to drag the relevant files and directories across to the archive area.
On reflection, I could have probably (with more work) have managed with a 128GB SSD and the same system, but as my old system disk was 256GB this made the move easier.
Some programs that you might not expect to also gain - Outlook steams along with small emails coming down in one tenth of the time. That's probably a reflection on the fact a .pst file is, in effect, a small database all on its own.
I don't quite get the 200MBps of the benchmarks - more like 120-150MBps, but that is sutained pretty well what the access pattern.
So anybody building a new PC - consider putting at least a 128GB SSD in place for the system and the top level of your data. If you have a complex setup, then you really won't regret it. What's needed is a laptop manufacturer to provide for both a 1.8" SSD and a 2.5" "bulk" storage device with an appropriate configuration.
(nb. a filing system that could work transparently across both using caching or data profiling would be a wonderful innovation),
Can I get something to mount this interface and form factor in my 3.5" 80pin SCSI bays?
Some of us use equipment on a long life cycle....
"""A destructive reformat is something I would consider tolerable for a beta product, but not for a commercial product I have paid money for. If that`s the best a manufacturer can do, then they'll not be getting any of my money."""
Since the changes the firmware brings generally affect the way data is stored in the flash memory, you can't get speed benefits without a reformat. And officially you're not supposed to be flashing the things at all - on some brands that use the same controller flashing will void your warranty.
Where are the cheaper ones?
"SSDs are not used as storage drives"
It does seem that SSDs are competing against HDDs for storage capacity.
But I want to run my OS from a SSD and store my data on my home server. I don't want 256GB. I don't even want to pay for 64GB (the smallest new Crucial). I would love a couple of fast (SLC) 8GB drives to run my OS in RAID0 but can't seem to find any.