Silicon Power Slim S60 240GB Solid State Drive Review

by - 4 years ago

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Introduction


Slim S60

Continuing our reviews of the Silicon Power solid-state drives, we’ve gotten to the Slim S60, a mid-ranged performance drive in the 7mm thin Slim series perfect for notebooks as well as desktop systems.

The  Silicon Power Slim S60 is available in 5 capacity version all the way up to 960GB. The smaller capacities available are 60GB, 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB and I’m taking a closer look at the 240GB model today. The drive is rated for a sequential read performance up to 520MB/s reading and 460MB/s writing, which shouldn’t be any trouble to achieve for the hardware inside.

SP_S60-Photo-angle

The Silicon Power Slim S60 SSD is built with a Phison S10 controller which has proven itself in numerous drives and comes with synchronous NAND flash. The Slim S60 has all the basic features that an SSD needs to have, including S.M.A.R.T., TRIM, Garbage collection, NCQ, and wear leveling. It is also RAID ready for those who want even faster setups with all the features available. Silicon Power also included error correction code to guarantee data transmission reliability.

SP_S60-Photo-side

Making the upgrade from a mechanical hard disk drive to a solid-state drive is something that everyone needs to experience, there simply isn’t any comparison. An SSD isn’t just a lot faster, it also consumes less power which is great for stationary systems as well as mobile ones. There are no moving parts and thereby no noise or vibration and it makes it more shockproof than traditional storage drives. You also eliminate latency delays and seek errors.

The SP Slim S60 is also available as upgrade kits that include a shockproof enclosure, screwdriver, and NTI Echo cloning software for an easy upgrade in three steps. It also allows you to use your old drive as an external portable drive afterward. The included enclosure provides rugged protection against shocks, scratches, and abrasions, and it features a cable wrap-around design for easy portability.

SP_S60-Photo-connector

Inside the two-piece screwless enclosure, we find a 2/3 sized PCB with four NAND chips on each side. The controller is a Phison PS3110-S10 and the NAND should be Toshiba 19nm MLC NAND from the DP58G5LAPA inscription. There is also a Nanya 128MB cache chip on the top.

SP_S60-Photo-pcb top SP_S60-Photo-pcb bottom

Features

  • SATA III 6Gbps backward compatible with SATA II 3Gbps
  • Super-high transfer rate: 520MB/s max. Read speed / 460MB/s max. Write speed
  • Supports TRIM command and Garbage Collection technology
  • Synchronous flash built-in
  • NCQ and RAID ready
  • Equipped with Wear Leveling to extend endurance
  • Implemented with ECC technology to guarantee data transmission reliability
  • Built-in with SMART monitoring system
  • Low power consumption
  • Shockproof & Anti-Vibration
  • Noiseless operation, no latency delay and no seek error
  • 3-year warranty

Packaging

The Silicon Power Slim S60 comes in a simple blister package displaying the included drive itself on the front. At the same time, it also displays the main features, warranty period, and slim drive height.
SP_S60-Photo-package front

The rear of the package has the basic feature list in multiple languages as well as the average performance increase one would gain compared to a mechanical drive.

SP_S60-Photo-package back

The leaflet inside the package opens up for a simple installation guide, feature list, and specification.

SP_S60-Photo-package content

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

Testing & Methodology


Hardware

Software

  • AIDA64 Storage Benchmark
  • Anvil’s Storage Utilities
  • AS SSD Benchmark
  • ATTO Benchmark
  • CrystalDiskMark
  • IOMeter
  • PCMark 8 Storage Benchmark

In a bid to make our testing as thorough and as accurate as possible, we have devised a testing methodology to give us the maximum amount of data. Whilst this means that testing each drive will take considerably longer to test – nearly 36 hours in fact, the picture that we are able to build upon the overall performance of each drive is far clearer, providing a more accurate analysis at how a drive performs under different conditions.

I will be testing the drives performance when it is clean and fresh out of the box and then start to fill it up with data, namely 25%, 50% and 75% of the drives capacity and rerun the tests under each of these scenarios. I’ll be using the same sample files under each test to keep the results as consistent as possible. The files in question are a collection of files from my personal NAS, composed of a mixture of small and big files, media, programs, and archives.

On top of this, I will also take the wear on the NAND into consideration and this process obviously takes a long time to perform – so long under real world conditions that it is simply not practical. In order to accelerate this conditioning process I will use the SSD endurance test that lies within Anvils Storage Utilities and read / write 10TB of data to the drive through a process of filling the drive with thousands of small files of various sizes and compressibility (with randomised duration between each of the writes), then reading each of them back with a randomised time between each file. After this has completed, the data is then erased and the process starts again. This process of conditioning the drive can take anywhere upwards of 12-15 hours on a typical 256GB SATA III SSD, however, the performance and capacity of the drive will influence the time it takes to condition the drive.

Following the conditioning process, the benchmarking process described above is repeated again with the volume filled with the same sample data to each percentage between test runs. Furthermore between each benchmark, the drive will get a TRIM command sent and further left alone for a while to make sure the TRIM command has done its job. TRIM can heavily impact a drives performance as it takes place, so allowing a period of time between tests will eliminate this factor and any subsequent false performance figures.

On each page that follows with the benchmark results, I have inserted the screenshots from the benchmark results, created a drive analysis chart for fill-level as well as a drive comparison chart for each software used, where possible.

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

AIDA64


AIDA64 is a streamlined Windows diagnostic and benchmarking software for home users. It provides a wide range of features to assist in overclocking, hardware error diagnosis, stress testing, and sensor monitoring.

It has unique capabilities to assess the performance of the processor, system memory, and disk drives and is compatible with most Microsoft Windows operating systems. It also has a disk benchmark tool, and that is the one I’ll be using.

Fresh Drive

SP_S60-BenchFresh-aida suite

The Linear Read and Write tests measure the sequential performance by reading or writing all sectors without skipping any. It gives, as the name says, a linear view on the drives overall performance from start to end.

SP_S60-BenchFresh-aida read linear

SP_S60-BenchFresh-aida write linear

The Random Read and Write tests measure the random performance by reading or writing variable-sized data blocks at random locations on the surface of the drive. The Random tests are actually a combination of both speed and access times as it moves the position before each new operation.

SP_S60-BenchFresh-aida read random

SP_S60-BenchFresh-aida write random

The Access time tests are designed to measure the data access performance by reading or writing small 0.5KB data blocks at random locations on the drive surface.

SP_S60-BenchFresh-aida read access

SP_S60-BenchFresh-aida write access

Conditioned Drive

SP_S60-BenchCondi-aida suite

The Linear Read and Write tests measure the sequential performance by reading or writing all sectors without skipping any. It gives, as the name says, a linear view on the drives overall performance from start to end.

SP_S60-BenchCondi-aida read linear

SP_S60-BenchCondi-aida write linear

The Random Read and Write tests measure the random performance by reading or writing variable-sized data blocks at random locations on the surface of the drive. The Random tests are actually a combination of both speed and access times as it moves the position before each new operation.

SP_S60-BenchCondi-aida read random

SP_S60-BenchCondi-aida write random

The Access time tests are designed to measure the data access performance by reading or writing small 0.5KB data blocks at random locations on the drive surface.

SP_S60-BenchCondi-aida read access

SP_S60-BenchCondi-aida write access

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

Anvil’s Storage Utilities


Anvil’s Storage Utilities is a new benchmarking utility that we have started using here at eTeknix, it’s completely free to download and has the ability to test mainly hard drives and solid state drives, but also any other form of storage medium that you can throw at it.

As well as testing the drive in a variety of benchmarking tests, it also has a drive endurance test that consistently reads and writes data to the selected medium to give days, months and potentially even years of use in a shorter period of time to see how the drive copes in the longer term.

Fresh Drive

SP_S60-BenchFresh-anvils compr 75

SP_S60-BenchFresh-anvils incompr 75

Conditioned Drive

SP_S60-BenchCondi-anvils comp 75

SP_S60-BenchCondi-anvils incomp 75

Drive Performance

SP_S60--Chart-Anvils_compr

SP_S60--Chart-Anvils_incompr

Drive Comparison

For the purpose of drive comparison, I will be using the performance figures from both unconditioned and conditioned tests with 0% data-fill.

SP_S60-ChartComparison-Anvils

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

AS SSD


The AS SSD software determines the performance of Solid State Drives (SSD). The tool contains five synthetic and three practice tests. The synthetic tests determine the sequential and random read and write performance of the SSD. These tests are performed without using the operating system caches. In Sequential tests, the program measures the time it takes to read and write a 1 GB file respectively. To give a clearer picture of the drives tested, I’ve chosen to include all tests. Special the copy test is one that I think is relevant on the consumer level as it gives the user a view into one of the operations he’s going to do many times.

Fresh Drive

SP_S60-BenchFresh-asssd combined

SP_S60-BenchFresh-asssd compr

Conditioned

SP_S60-BenchCondi-asssd combined

SP_S60-BenchCondi-asssd compr

Drive Performance

SP_S60--Chart-ASSSD

SP_S60--Chart-ASSSD_IOPS

Drive Comparison

For the purpose of drive comparison, I will be using the performance figures from both unconditioned and conditioned tests with 0% data-fill.

SP_S60-ChartComparison-ASSSD_sequential

SP_S60-ChartComparison-ASSSD_random

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

ATTO


The ATTO Disk Benchmark performance measurement tool is compatible with Microsoft Windows. Measure your storage systems performance with various transfer sizes and test lengths for reads and writes. Several options are available to customize your performance measurement including queue depth, overlapped I/O and even a comparison mode with the option to run continuously. Use ATTO Disk Benchmark to test any manufacturers RAID controllers, storage controllers, host adapters, hard drives and SSD drives and notice that ATTO products will consistently provide the highest level of performance to your storage.

Fresh Drive

SP_S60-BenchFresh-atto 75

Conditioned

SP_S60-BenchCondi-atto 75

Drive Performance

SP_S60--Chart-ATTO

Drive Comparison

For the purpose of drive comparison, I will be using the performance figures from both unconditioned and conditioned tests with 0% data-fill.

SP_S60-ChartComparison-ATTO

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

CrystalDiskMark


CrystalDiskMark is a small HDD benchmark utility for your hard drive that enables you to rapidly measure sequential and random 4KB/512KB read/write speeds.

Fresh Drive

SP_S60-BenchFresh-cdm 75

Conditioned

SP_S60-BenchCondi-cdm 75

Drive Performance

SP_S60--Chart-CDM

SP_S60--Chart-ASSSD_IOPS

Drive Comparison

For the purpose of drive comparison, I will be using the performance figures from both unconditioned and conditioned tests with 0% data-fill.

SP_S60-ChartComparison-CDM_sequental

SP_S60-ChartComparison-CDM_random

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

IOmeter & PCMark 8


IOmeter

OMeter is an I/O subsystem measurement and characterization tool for single and clustered systems. It is used as a benchmark and troubleshooting tool and is easily configured to replicate the behavior of many popular applications. One commonly quoted measurement provided by the tool is IOPS.

IOMeter allows the configuration of disk parameters such as the ‘Maximum Disk Size’, ‘Starting Disk Sector’ and ‘# of Outstanding I/Os’. This allows a user to configure a test file upon which the ‘Access Specifications’ configure the I/O types to the file. Configurable items within the Access Specifications are Transfer Request Size, Percent Random/Sequential distribution, Percent Read/Write Distribution, Aligned I/O’s, Reply Size, and TCP/IP status among others.

Sequential Performance

SP_S60-Chart-IOmeter sequential

Random 4K Performance

SP_S60-Chart-IOmeter random

Drive Comparison

For the purpose of drive comparison, I will be using the performance figures from both unconditioned and conditioned tests with 0% data-fill.

SP_S60-ChartComparison-Iometer sequential

SP_S60-ChartComparison-Iometer random

PCMark 8

PCMark 8 Storage benchmark is used test the performance of SSDs, HDDs and hybrid drives with traces recorded from Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office and a selection of popular games. You can test any recognized storage device, including local external drives. Unlike synthetic storage tests, the PCMark 8 Storage benchmark highlights real-world performance differences between storage devices.

Fresh Drive

SP_S60-BenchFresh-pcmark

Conditioned Drive

SP_S60-BenchCondi-pcmark

Drive Comparison

For the purpose of drive comparison, I will be using the performance figures from both unconditioned and conditioned tests with 0% data-fill.

SP_S60-ChartComparison-PCmark score

SP_S60-ChartComparison-PCmark bandwidth

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

Final Thoughts


Pricing

At the time of writing, the Silicon Power Slim S60 240GB SSD can be had at NewEgg for $67.99Amazon UK for £59.30, or Geizhals from €74.89.

SP_S60-Chart-PricePerGB

Conclusion

The Silicon Power Slim S60 performed very good in our tests and easily reached the 550MB/s reading and 500MB/s writing in all the standard benchmarks such as ATTO, IOmeter, and CrystalDiskMark. It performed equally well with random 4K data where it scored up to 98K reading and 88K writing. A pretty good result considering the costs of the drive.

The drive in itself is built with a snap-together 2-piece enclosure without the need for screws. The 2/3rd length PCB is well-built and features quality controller and NAND. So it is no surprise that it did so well in the benchmarks. There aren’t many special features in this drive, but it does have all the basics such as Garbage Collection, TRIM, S.M.A.R.T., NCQ, and it’s also RAID ready. It also features error correction code to guarantee data transmission reliability.

The optional upgrade bundle with external drive enclosure for easy upgrading and to use later as a portable drive with the old drive you’re replacing is very convenient. It comes with included Echo3 cloning software for a minor extra fee.

Pros

  • Phison S10 controller
  • 19nm MLC NAND
  • Great performance
  • Fair pricing
  • Basic feature set

Cons

  • Slim form factor, but no DevSleep

“Silicon Power S60 performed remarkably great thanks to the use of a quality controller and NAND. It would be a great drive for both your operating system as well as a data drive.”

Thank You Silicon Power for providing us with this sample.

Article Index

  1. Introduction
  2. Testing & Methodology
  3. Aida64
  4. Anvil's Storage Utilities
  5. AS SSD
  6. ATTO
  7. CrystalDiskMark
  8. IOmeter
  9. Final Thoughts
  10. View All

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