Pros: Low power draw, rapid boot and webpage browsing is much faster, silent and no heat
Cons: Limited storage space must be considered when operating
Recently, I was given an older Acer Aspire netbook that had a bad 5400RPM SATA hard drive. I took a gamble and purchased an OCZ 60Gb SATA SSD SLD3-25SAT3-60G 2.5” hard drive for the Acer netbook to see how fast it would be. In this review, we will examine the Pros and Cons of these solid state hard drives while at the same time evaluating whether it is worth the price.
A SSD (Solid State Drive) is composed of multiple memory chips that are connected to a data controller inside a plastic or metal casing. The reason SSD drives are preferred is because traditionally, memory chips can retrieve data faster than the average spinning hard drive. Faster data access means you can bring up files faster on your computer. Often, using a SSD will give you the impression that the wireless network or computer processor has been upgraded as well. However, the increased speed is only because your old hard drive was holding back the other parts of the computer from doing their job rapidly. All the parts of a computer work together, if part is slow it will bottleneck or restrict everything else.
What Comes In The OCZ SLD3-25SAT3-60G Box?
For a hard drive, the box is very ornate in appearance. The outside of the box is printed with the words OCZ in flashy fashion. Inside, a plastic tray holds the new OCZ 60Gb SOLID 3 SATA SSD. The SSD is wrapped in a clear plastic bag to offer an extra measure of protection.
Installing The SSD In An Acer Aspire ONE D150
Replacing the hard drive of a netbook computer is not a simple task. With the Acer Aspire ONE netbook series, you must remove several bolts along the bottom plastic paneling. Then, unclip the keyboard and fold it out while at the same time disconnecting its ribbon cable. Now, remove the four labeled retaining Phillips screws and carefully pry the cover off. Finally, the hard drive will be exposed and you can replace it. Reverse these steps to reassemble your netbook.
The old 5400RPM hard drive in the Acer netbook was broken so I could not access the recovery partition. Instead, I had to reinstall the operating system manually. I choose Microsoft Windows XP Professional 32Bit and used the Targus ADV01US USB External DVD Drive to load the operating system onto the SSD. The whole process move quite rapidly thanks to the speedy SATA SSD and about 30 minutes later, I was using Microsoft Windows again.
Benchmark Results For The OCZ SLD3-25SAT3-60G SATA 60Gb SSD
The following benchmarks were performed using the Thermaltake BlacX 5G USB 3.0 drive station. To give a complete comparison, I compared the SSD against a Seagate Momentus 7200.2 200Gb 2.5” SATA hard drive and even a Hitachi Deskstar 7200RPM 40Gb hard drive. The computer these drives were tested on was a Asus KGPE-D16 Dual Socket G34 motherboard with dual AMD Opteron 6128, 2 GHz (OS6128WKT8EGO) processors and a StarTech PEXUSB3S2 PCI-e USB 3.0 controller card. I choose USB 3.0 because it has consistently shown better or similar results when compared to a SATA 2.0 connection on a motherboard.
Bulk MP3 File Transfer
To compare how long it actually takes to transfer MP3 files to this device, I used a Samsung HD502HJ 7200RPM SATA hard drive on a channel in the Asus KGPE-D16 Dual Socket G34 motherboard and timed the length of the file transfer for 133 MP3 files which have a total size of 714Mb:
#1 10 seconds
#2 9 seconds
#3 10 seconds
16 seconds for the Seagate Momentus 7200.2 200Gb 2.5” SATA hard drive in USB 3.0 docking station
27 seconds for the Hitachi Deskstar 7200RPM 40Gb SATA hard drive in USB 3.0 docking station
HD Tach figures
Next, I used HD Tach 126.96.36.199 in Long Bench (32Mb zones) mode to get a few baseline performance figures for this OCZ hard drive.
Here is the benchmark result for the OCZ SLD3-25SAT3-60G SATA 60Gb SSD drive:
Burst speed: 190.2 Mb/s, Average read: 192.9 MB/s, Random Access: 0.1 Ms
Here are some other HD Tach 3.0.04.0 results for the other SATA hard drives in the USB 3.0 docking station:
Seagate Momentus 7200.2 200Gb 2.5” SATA; Burst Speed: 170.6 Mb/s, Average Read: 55.9 Mb/s, Random Access: 14.9 ms
Hitachi Deskstar 7200RPM 40Gb SATA; Burst Speed: 102.6 Mb/s, Average Read: 48.4 Mb/s, Random Access: 17.0 ms
As you can see from these two benchmarks, the OCZ SOLID 3 2.5” SSD is far superior to both the laptop and desktop computer hard drive. However, the advertised transfer rates of 500Mb/s for Max Read are misleading because most netbooks and laptop computers today cannot achieve these high rates. Still the performance improvement has been verified through these benchmarks and translates directly to real-world situations.
SSD Offers Low Power Draw When Compared To Spinning Hard Drives
Since a solid state drive has no spinning disc inside, there is less power required to conduct regular file operations. As a result, your netbook computer or laptop will draw less power. Of course less power will allow you to use your portable computer longer before having to recharge the Lithium Ion battery.
Is The OCZ 60Gb SATA SSD Worth The Cost?
I paid $99 in December 2011 for the OCZ SLD3-25SAT3-60G SSD and feel that it was worth the cost. The netbook I repaired gained a vast improvement in boot up times. The ACER ASPIRE can now also run for a little over 7 hours on its internal battery because of the reduced power draw of this solid state hard drive.
Long-Term Problems With 2.5” Solid State Drives
This SSD only has 60Gb of capacity which can limit your file storage options greatly in this age of digital media. You will only be able to store approximately 20 movies on this laptop hard drive. The biggest problem I have with SSD’s is their tendency to corrupt once filled to maximum capacity in Microsoft Windows Vista or Microsoft Windows XP Professional. In that past, I lost a Transcend 32Gb SATA SSD because it lost its MBR after being filled to capacity.
For portable computers that are used mostly for websurfing or online children games, the OCZ 60Gb SSD is a great choice to increase speed and at the same time protecting the system from damage during future drops or falls. The price to performance of this particular SSD is very good. Just do not buy this is you install a lot of programs or video games on your personal computer or laptop.
Here are some other hard drive reviews you may want to consider before buying the OCZ 60Gb SSD:
Seagate Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 8 Slim, 40GB, ATA/133 Model 6E040L0 Hard Drive
Kingston SNV425-S2 128 GB SATA II Solid State Drive (SSD)
Seagate Barracuda LP (ST32000542AS) 2 TB SATA II hard drive
Samsung SpinPoint T HD501LJ 500 GB SATA II Hard Drives
Patriot Warp 32Gb SSD drive