SSDs nowadays are really becoming more and more affordable, not to mention competition is getting tougher as well. Of course there are still the high-end ones with top of the line performance. But for those who are on a budget and are willing to settle for lower speeds, there are options. One option is the Silicon Power S60 SSD Series, which is the topic of our review for today, particularly the 240GB capacity. The Silicon Power S60 (SP240GBSS3S60S25) features SandForce SF-2281 controller and Intel NAND Flash chips. It offers read/write speeds of up to 500MB/s, and several features like TRIM command and Garbage Collection technology. Check out the rest of the S60’s features, specifications, performance benchmarks, prices and available in my review below.
Silicon Power S60 Features and Specifications
The Silicon Power S60 SSD series features a SATA III 6Gbps interface and is basically backwards compatible with the older SATA II 3Gbps interface. It’s only 7mm thin, making it compatible to some laptops or notebooks that can only accommodate a 7mm storage drive. Silicon Power says that it is capable of reaching up to 550MB/s read and 500MB/s write. But we will know the exact figures later in our benchmarks.
The S60 SSD series supports TRIM command and Garbage Collection technology, as well as NCQ and it’s RAID ready. It is also equipped with Wear Leveling to extend endurance and the company has implemented the S60 SSD with ECC (Error Checking & Correction) technology to guarantee data transmission reliability. Other features present in the S60 series are SMART monitoring system, noiseless operation, shockproof and anti-vibration. It also consumes less power, as expected from an SSD, but the company did not indicate or disclose how much its rated power consumption is. Silicon power is offering a limited 3 year warranty, but you can get 2 more years when you complete the product registration at their official website.
There’s actually not much to say about this SSD, because it’s really a straight forward SSD and there is no software or application included as well. So let’s take a closer look and see how this SSD performs.
Silicon Power S60 Specifications
Controller: SandForce SF-2281
Dimensions: 100mm x 69.85mm x 9.4mm
Weight: 64 – 77g
Vibration Resistance Test: 20G
Shock Resistance Test: 1500G Max
Packaging and Closer Look
The Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD comes in a nice simple box. Its features are written mostly at the back of the box. The package didn’t include anything, except for the SSD itself and an installation guide.
The SP S60 SSD features a black aluminum enclosure. No fancy design or whatsoever, just a clean plain black coating with the company’s logo and the capacity on the lower right corner.
It was pretty much easy to open the SSD, since they used standard screws. Inside you will see eight Intel 29F32B08JCME2 25nm synchronous NAND, in 32GB capacity each for a total of 256GB. Why only 240GB? The difference is used for overprovisioning and for the SandForce SF-2281. The controller isn’t really the latest in the market, in fact it has been around for quite some time and has been used by other SSD manufacturers as well. The SandForce controller is known to perform well with compressible data, but not very well when it’s dealing with incompressible data.
In testing the Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD I used my Gigabyte Z97x Gaming G1 WiFi BK powered with an Intel Core i7-4770K CPU. Below are the rest of the specifications of the test system.
Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z97X Gaming G1 WiFi BK
Processor: Intel Core i7-4770K @ 3.9GHz – 4.4GHz
CPU Cooler: Thermalright Archon IB-E X2
Memory: Kingston HyperX Savage DDR3 2400MHz 16GB
Graphics card: Club 3D Radeon R9 285 royalQueen
Hard Drive: Samsung 850 Pro 256GB (OS)
Power Supply: Seasonic 1050W Platinum
Just a note: The benchmark results below are the results I got during my tests and benchmarking. You may or may not get the same results from the benchmarks below. During my tests, each result does not remain at a constant or fix read/write speed. The results below are not cherry picked as well, but rather close to the constant result I got while running the same benchmark several times each.
Silicon Power S60 240GB Benchmarks
HD Tune Pro doesn’t usually return the highest possible read/write speeds. I got a maximum of 391MB/s read and 397MB/s write.
ATTO Disk Benchmark
As expected, ATTO Disk Benchmark returned the highest read/write speed. That’s why many companies use this to benchmark their SSD. But it doesn’t necessarily reflect real world performance. I got 553MB/s read speed and 516MB/s write speed, both are above what the company has advertised.
Above you see the 32-bit and 64-bit benchmark tests for the Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD. Both results returned around 490MB/s read and 310MB/s write.
The AS SSD benchmark somehow returned the same result with CrystalDiskMark, but a tad lower. Write speed is down to 296MB/s and read speed is down to 485MB/s. Nevertheless, the result is still somewhat close.
In my test with Anvil’s Storage Utilities, I ran 100% compressible test, 46% mixed and 100% incompressible test. As you can see from the result above, the Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD performed very well with compressible files. Write speed is almost the same with read speed, 475MB/s and 497MB/s respectively.
However the write speed started to decline with 46% compressible and 54% incompressible test. While read speed remained at a similar speed, write speed went down to around 320MB/s. The write speed further went down with the 100% incompressible test. This is primarily due to the nature of the SandForce SF-2281 controller. There’s no problem when it comes to reading files regardless of its type. But when it comes to writing files, it doesn’t perform very well with incompressible file types.
Price and Availability
The Silicon Power S60 SSD series is now available. Currently the 120GB and 240GB are available for $62.99 and $89.99 respectively. It comes with a 3 year warranty plus an additional 2 years when you register the SSD via Silicon Power’s site.
Silicon Power S60 240GB Review: Conclusion
The Silicon Power S60 is another SandForce driven SSD geared towards consumers who are on a budget. It offers great read performance, however due to the nature of its controller, its write performance doesn’t perform well when it’s dealing with incompressible files. This is also evident with other SandForce driven SSDs I have reviewed before, like the Kingston HyperX 3K SSD, HyperX Fury 240GB SSD and ADATA XPG SX900. However, I am seeing two advantages of the Silicon Power S60 over the SSDs I mentioned: it’s cheaper (only $89.99 for the 240GB), and it’s also (tad) faster.
Depending on the type of file you usually work with, you might want to look for other SSDs that handle both compressible and incompressible files very well. An example would be the Samsung 850 Pro and Plextor M6 Pro. But these two are on the high end level and are not really geared towards consumers on a budget. The SandForce SF-2281 is an old controller, probably dates back 2 (or more) years ago. However, it’s cheaper and it still gets the job done. No wonder many companies are still using this type of controller. Also I wouldn’t say that the lower 60GB and 120GB would perform similarly with the higher capacities. Lower capacities doesn’t perform well compared to higher capacities.
Bottom line is, the Silicon Power S60 240GB with SandForce SF-2281 controller and Intel 29F32B08JCME2 NAND chips offers a good read/write speed and significant boost over a hard disk drive storage, even vs a 7200RPM hard drive. This would be a good start specially if you are planning to upgrade from a hard drive to an SSD, whether for your desktop or laptop/notebook. If you are looking for an affordable 240GB SSD, this will surely make your “list of options” shorter.