Strontium Hawk 120GB SSD Review – Exclusive Testing of SK Hynix First SSD Release

REPORT ANALYSIS AND FINAL THOUGHTS

We knew coming into this report that SK Hynix NAND memory did not have the performance that we were used to seeing in SSDs using that of more popular manufacturers such as IMFT or Toshiba and, well I have to admit, it was a bit of an unfair approach.  We were one of the few sites to tackle evaluating SSDs with Hynix memory in the past and believed that we would see the same result with respect to testing with incompressible data that we had with the Silicon Power Velox V20, albeit that was a SATA 2 SSD.

We were pleased to see pricing for this new release at $170 for the 240GB and $100 for the 120GB and worldwide availability is in place with the SSD available at the time of this report.  The downside of this, of course, is that we have become so reliant on e-tailers such as Amazon and Newegg that the success of such an SSD can be made or broken with availability as such.  Strontium is not, by any means, a new company and purchase can be made directly from their website in more countries than several other SSD manufacturers have yet to venture, North American sales included of course.

Performance was definitely NOT what we expected.  It was far better.  We were prepared to see lower performance with respect to the transfer of incompressible data, however, we definitely were not prepared for how well the Hawk would do when testing in highly compressible data, or that in which 90% of consumer sales is based.  Not only did the Strontium Hawk achieve the best Vantage results we have had yet for all 120GB capacity SSDs and then some, but also, it then went one further and surpassed that of many of the 240GB SSDs tested to date.

Not relying on Vantage testing alone, the Hawk gave us great File Copy results in AS SSD where one would not have expected as this test is reflective of incompressible data transfer and then displayed a great high score of over 4000 points in Anvil Storage Utilities while testing in highly compressible data.

FINAL THOUGHTS

As much as an enthusiast might knock the Strontium Hawk for being a bit low in transferring incompressible data, this is such a small part of the picture in this case.  This SSD has performance that one might expect to be well outside it’s league and the price to match.  It is available now and, quite frankly, might just be the absolute best 120GB SSD money can buy.  We sure wish we had the 240GB big brother in our hands for testing right now!  Editors Choice!

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pcuser
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pcuser

SK Hynix has been selling their 910 series with SF2281 in South Korea since June.
So far only 128GB is available for 119,000 KW($105US) incl VAT.The 256GB is listed but not priced.
http://blog.danawa.com/prod/?section_m=PC&prod_c=1715676&cate_c1=861&cate_c2=32617&cate_c3=32623&cate_c4=0

pcuser
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Les@TheSSDReview
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Nice Find and very interesting. Although we have hummed and hawed and elected NOT to alter CPU settings as a trade off for better performance, we are actually considering following this model where it might accompany regular testing with a valid explanation.

This seems to follow what we have done in our SSD Optimization Guide where the explanation and instruction is provided and the consumer is left to the final decision as to whether they would want to perform this Optimization.

Eric
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Eric

So does this mean that disabling power optimizations in BIOS can help boost SSD performance?

Les@TheSSDReview
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Significantly yes…but at the trade off of no power efficiency and, for overclockers, a few other temperature concerns which dont apply at all to the common user.

Andries Kuipers
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Andries Kuipers

I couldn’t help laughing when I heard that brand name Strontium, which means something like ‘Shitty’ in Dutch…