Pros: blazing fast
Cons: price - at $1/mb, SSDs are still pricey
The Plextor PX-120M3 is a Sata III 6.0gbps Solid Sate drive. It uses a Marvell controller and Toshiba flash memory. The drive supports TRIM, SMART, NCQ, ATA/ATAPI-8 and comes with a 5 year Manufacturer Warranty. It's specifications from newegg are below:
- Max Sequential Read Up to 510 MB/s
- Max Sequential Write Up to 210 MB/s
- 4KB Random Read Up to 70,000 IOPS
- 4KB Random Write Up to 50,000 IOPS
- MTBF 1,500,000 hours
The benefits of AHCI over IDE
This is my first experience with a SSD and when I installed windows, I accidentally installed in the default IDE mode rather than the suggested AHCI. For those who are new to solid state drives, AHCI stands for Advanced Host Controller interface. SSDs in gain significant benefits from AHCI.
Luckily, there is a simple solution if you, like me, made this error:
1. open the Start Menu and type Regedit
2. navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\msahci
3. right-click Start in the Name column, and then click Modify
4. there should be a value here, 3 stands for IDE, 0 for AHCI, change this value to 0 to enable AHCI
5. restart the computer and open the bios, switch storage devices from IDE to AHCI
6. log into Windows, you will be prompted to restart, you can now enjoy faster SSD speeds!
My SSD in IDE mode:
My SSD in AHCI mode:
As you can see, enabling AHCI allows your SSD to reach its full potential.
The benefits of Sata III 6.0gbps
Here is a Crystalmark of a Vertex 2 with Sandforce drivers for comparison (source: http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1299/10/). As you can see, my Sata 6.0 drive shows significant improvement over the Vertex 2, which is a Sata II drive. Improvements are noticeable in the Sequential, 512KB, and 4KQDE read/writes. 4K read/write does NOT show a dramatic improvement.
Installation was easy and fast. Response times on my computer are noticeably faster. The biggest bonus that I have experienced, however, is the noise reduction going from a WD Black 7200rpm to a Solid Sate drive. All in all, I would say that this was an excellent purchase and would highly recommend this drive to anyone looking to try out SSD technology.