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Published January 19, 2010
Both Atto Disk Benchmark and HD Tune Pro showed strong write performance with 64KB or lesser files, and in most tests read speeds were among the best we've seen. So while our 6GB file copy test results were far from impressive, it'd seem like the Falcon II will actually make for an excellent operating system drive as it is extremely snappy when working with tiny files.
As far as the new firmware goes, we no longer believe it is responsible for any performance losses. We tested another drive, the Crucial M225, with and without TRIM support and more often than not it turned out faster with the latest firmware. Since we tried to simulate used SSD performance by first filling each drive with a single contiguous file before benchmarking, the TRIM feature came in handy and helped deliver better results.
The Falcon II was not designed to set any new speed records but rather approach the market as a more affordable solution without sacrificing too much performance. Although we couldn't find any U.S. retailers offering the drive just yet, it is listed at Australia and Canadian online retailers and already appears to be around 15% - 20% cheaper than the original. How much this will change as availability picks up is anyone's guess.
The G.Skill Falcon II 128GB is about 15% cheaper than the Crucial M225 at the same capacity level, and 10% cheaper than the OCZ Agility 120GB. It is also 42% cheaper than the Intel X25-M G2 160GB and 22% more expensive than the 80GB version, though on a per-gigabyte basis the G.Skill Falcon II comes out as the more affordable option. In fact, as it stands now the Falcon II seems to be the cheapest way to get your hands on an Indilinx-based SSD.
Although you'd be making some compromises here and there, this seems like the perfect product for those looking to get on the SSD bandwagon at an affordable price point. Besides getting a huge performance boost compared to a traditional spinning hard disk drive, the 128GB version of the Falcon II offers enough storage space for users to run their operating system without having to worry about the programs they can or cannot install.
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