It was merely a matter of time before Verbatim joined the SandForce saga and present their own product based on the hyper-popular SF-2281 controller. We’ve already met about a dozen SSDs based on this platform, so no need to repeat ourselves. Verbatim sent us a model with a capacity of 120 GB, and the high-quality metal casing typical of their first generation of SSDs has been carried over, which is great news.
The capacity of 120 GB makes it clear that the SSD is using one of the second-gen controllers, with 8 MB reserved for the internal buffer and data compression (the so-called overprovisioning). Lest we forget, SF-2281 is the most popular controller in this generation and is housed inside most upper-class SSDs presented within the last year. Besides performance that goes up to 550 MB/s for sequential read and somewhat less for write, this controller handles compressible data exceptionally well. In fact, its main advantage is the internal compression algorithm that allows for very fast data manipulation. Unfortunately, when it comes across less compressible data, performance tends to degrade significantly, which is one of the greatest drawbacks of the second generation of SandForce controllers in general, and one of the reasons why this controller is being abandoned at the moment. For instance, OCZ has based their entire next generation of SSDs on the Indilinx platform, completely rejecting SandForce as a concept that’s proven to be troublesome on several locations.
The metal casing with a ground texture will protect the SSD from falls, quakes or other mechanical damage. The PCB on the inside contains eight 25 nm NAND flash chips of 16 GB each, as well as the largish SF-2281 controller. This is a standard-setup SSD, with a structure all too familiar from other models, so we weren’t expecting surprises in terms of performance either.
The box-declared speeds were attained in synthetic benchmarks too, while real-world speeds can be compared to results yielded by AS-SSD and CrystalDiskMark tests. The real showcase of what SF-2281 does is particularly visible in the latter test, both for compressible and uncompressible data. And while compressible data fares fantastically, low-compression file performance remains in line with the first SSD generation, rarely going over 200 MB/s for sequential read/write. The reality lies somewhere between these extremities, as any SSD is most likely going to work with various sorts of data.
|ATTO Bench 2.41|
|Read QD4 0,5 / 4 / 8 / 265 / 8192 KB [KB/s]||14.592 / 109.092 / 180.419 / 483.339 / 538.066|
|Read QD10 0,5 / 4 / 8 / 256 / 8192 KB [KB/s]||34.984 / 274.916 / 370.360 / 529.998 / 479.349|
|Write QD4 0,5 / 4 / 8 / 256 / 8192 KB [KB/s]||14.356 / 251.896 / 332.309 / 517.196 / 522.502|
|Write QD10 0,5 / 4 / 8 / 256 / 8192 KB [KB/s]||28.800 / 342.712 / 420.035 / 515.949 / 423.960|
|AS SSD Benchmark 1.6|
|Read Seq / 4K / 4K-64 Thrd [MB/s]||204,1 / 18,2 / 95,5|
|Write Seq / 4K / 4K-64 Thrd [MB/s]||83,5 / 61,7 / 47,1|
|Read 16 MB / 4K / 4K-64 Thrd / 512 B [IOPS]||12,75 / 4.646 / 24.454 / 6.335|
|Write 16 MB / 4K / 4K-64 Thrd / 512 B [IOPS]||5,22 / 15.800 / 12.062 / 3.679|
|Copy Benchmark ISO / Program / Game [MB/s]||107,2 / 53,9 / 86,2|
|CrystalDiskMark 3.01 x64|
|Read Seq / 512K / 4K / 4K QD 32 [MB/s]||208,2 / 199,2 / 28,3 / 94,8|
|Write Seq / 512K / 4K / 4K QD 32 [MB/s]||147,5 / 147,8 / 78,3 / 143,9|
|Compressable data (All 0x00, 0Fill)|
|Read Seq / 512K / 4K / 4K QD 32 [MB/s]||472,2 / 442 / 33,71 / 117,8|
|Write Seq / 512K / 4K / 4K QD 32 [MB/s]||490,4 / 482,6 / 81,25 / 354,5|
|SiSoftware Sandra Pro Business 2011.SP5a|
|Read / Write [MB/s]||540,15 / 81|
|Random Access Time [ms]||24|
|Test platform: Intel Core i7 3960X, Sapphire Pure Black X79N (Intel SATA 6 Gb/s), 4x 4 GB Kingston HyperX DDR3 1600 MHz, AMD Radeon HD7850, CM 900W, Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit|
|Controller||Sand Force SF-2281|
|Interface||SATA 6 Gb/s|
It’s simple enough to deduce that price is going to be the number one factor when opting for this SSD; it gravitates around 150€ in the EU. This comes dangerously close to the magical ratio of 1 GB/€, something that we’ve been eager to get for more than a year already. With this sort of scenario, you get a high-quality, spacious SSD with a tried-and-true platform and performance that will eclipse any conventional HDD in existence.