Crucial 32GB 2.5in Solid State Drive - Testing Continued and Final Thoughts

Article Index
Crucial 32GB 2.5in Solid State Drive
Crucial External Storage Kit and HDTach
Testing Continued and Final Thoughts

Synthetic Tests (continued):

We carry on with the synthetic tests with a run through PCMark Vantage then ATTO.  PCMark Vantage can only be ran under Windows Vista and we directly compared the performance of the Scorpio and the Crucial drive when used as non-system disks.  Vista was installed and loaded from a 3.5" SATA drive and we ran the benchmark on the attached 2.5" drives.  For some reason, the Crucial SSD scored very poorly in this benchmark consistently and I have no idea why.  I tried using a different SATA connector on the board as well as a different cable and the results were consistently poor.  Regardless, we have posted the scores below showing that win, lose or draw we try and be fair.  This also shows why you cannot trust a synthetic benchmark 100%.

PCMark Vantage
PCMark Vantage

 

Moving on to ATTO we will simply show the performance of the Crucial drive without comparing the performance of the Western Digital Scorpio.  Suffice to say the SSD destroyed the other drive.

ATTO
ATTO Performance

 


Here in the Real World:

Synthetic benchmark performance is always interesting for bragging rights and comparison, but what matters in any hardware performance test is how it performs in the "real world".  The following tests were done with the WD Scorpio and the Crucial SSD as the boot drive in a Windows Vista SP1 system.  This was a fresh install on both drives and we had "Dream Scene" and the Vista Sidebar enabled.  A stopwatch was used to record boot times as well as load times on Adobe PhotoShop CS2.  After each run, the system was rebooted and we recorded the times once again to prevent caching of the program.  Please keep in mind that the "Boot Test" starts when the system is powered on and the time runs until My Computer is opened and available.  In the times shows below, the system is 100% ready to go and in fact has one program already opened.

 Real Apps

In terms of raw seconds, the SSD boots into Vista Ultimate 64-bit 16 seconds faster than the Scorpio and loads PhotoShop CS2 3.8 seconds faster.  When it comes to performance percentage we see an impressive 34% reduction in boot time and program loading.  The difference is very noticeable and the SSD makes the entire system seem much more "snappy".

 

Final Thoughts:

While there are many years left in traditional hard drives, the truth is that SSDs are here to stay and with the performance advantages they show they are something that hardcore enthusiasts will want to put in their machines.  SSDs offer better performance, lower power consumption and are much more durable that physical moving media.  In the real world we've seen an impressive 34% reduction in boot time and have experienced a much faster system.  My Uncle would say that these are almost as good as SCSI drives (he's a hardcore SCSI guy) and are definitely worth a look.  There are two downsides though - price and capacity.  This 32GB drive will set you back almost $800 and holds only 10% of a drive that costs less than $150.  Prices will continue to fall as capacities will increase making these drives more mainstream.  As for now, they give the average user something to drool over and covet.

 

Pros:

  • Excellent performance
  • Low power requirement
  • Silent operation
  • 5 year warranty
 

Cons:

  • Price (as compared to traditional storage)
  • Capacity (again, as compared to traditional storage)

 

Although we've listed a couple of negative factors, the truth is that you cannot compare an SSD to a traditional HDD.  The market is entirely different and the SSD product is still evolving and these two factors don't affect our score much.  As for cost, the Crucial 32GB SSD is priced quite competitively with other 32GB SSD products from MTRON, OCZ and others.

BCCRating

 Top Pick

 

I'd like to thank Crucial for sending over the 32GB SSD and the External Storage kit for us to use and review.  If you have any comments or questions, please head on over and post in the forum at the "Comments" link below.