Silicon Power has been in business since 2003 and is a world-leading producer of flash memory cards, USB drives, card readers, DRAM modules, portable hard drives, and more recently solid-state drives. Back in September of last year, they announced their latest SATA 6Gb/s SSD, the Slim S80 series. Today we have on hand a 240GB version for review.
S80 SPECIFICATIONS, PRICING, AND AVAILABILITY
Silicon Power’s Slim S80 is offered in six capacity points – 32GB, 64GB, 120GB, 240GB, 480GB and 960GB. As of the date of this report, the 960GB is selling on Amazon for $499.99, the 480GB are at $230.99, and the 240GB is being offered for only $89.99. This puts the 240GB at an amazing 0.37/GB!
The Slim S80 measures 100mm long X 69.85mm wide X 7mm thick, and weighs 79g. It offers a feature set that has become a fairly standard offering in consumer SSDs, including support for garbage collection routines and the TRIM command, wear-leveling and S.M.A.R.T. drive performance and health monitoring attributes, ECC error correction for data transmission reliability, and is NCQ and RAID-ready. Silicon Power claims “low power consumption” for the Slim S80, but no specifics are provided on the Slim S80 product page specifications section. Silicon Power is backing the Slim S80 with a three-year warranty.
PACKAGING AND CONTENTS
The motif of the packaging of The Silicon Power Slim S80 is one of white, red and gold. The front of the packaging shows the model and capacity, the maximum read and write performance, as well as several of its features and the Silicon Power slogan of “Memory is Personal.”
The rear of the package lists the features in more detail, as well as a model and serial number label, and a QR code in the upper right corner. The features are listed in three languages, and we also see that the Slim S80 is a product of Taiwan.
Included in the package is the Slim S80, a 3.5” drive bay adapter, a 7mm to 9.5mm spacer, the installation guide, and a small clear plastic bag containing the drive mounting screws.
The Slim S80 is housed in a black metal case with a white, red and gold label on the front specifying it as a 240GB model.
The rear of the case is completely blank, and does not even sport the expected warranty seal across the two halves of the case.
240GB seems nice, but other capacity points just seem too expensive compared to the competition.
I mean, you can get reactor 1TB for 300€ nowdays.
Benjamin Hojnik you seem to know a lot about ssds. I have been reading your posts for a wile now. I have a question for you. You can respond if you like. Ive asked this question on the forums but so far no ones has answered it. Maybe you know? How does a good amount of mushkin ssds have 2,000,000 hours MTBF when they use asynchronous, synchronous and toggle flash? But other manufacturers have 1,500,000 1,200,000 1,000,000 MTBF. Whats there secret?s MTBF when they use Asynchronous, synchronous and toggle flash? But other manufacturers have 1,500,000 1,200,000 1,000,000 MTBF. What’s there secret?
I wouldn’t focus on MTBF, the industry has no standard for measuring MTBF. Different manufacturers use different workloads to specify their MTBF. All you should really care about is what type of NAND they use. SLC, MLC, or TLC. If they use MLC or TLC NAND, make sure they use SLC caching. That’s it in a nutshell for right now. Best thing to do is read up on it on your own, there’s a lot of information out there.
Type of nand really doesn’t determine reliability of an SSD.
Not under typical workloads anyway.
What one should focus about is the controller. Thats the single most important part of the ssd and is also the #1 reason for faulires.
MTBF is really meaningless, ie more MTBF doesnt mean a more reliable drive, especially when comparing different brands.
I agree on all marks but the type of NAND for reliability. The controller is definitely where reliability is the most important, but higher density NAND flash increases bit rate error. To correct those errors ECC needs to either be programmed, or included in the controller. The type of NAND also affects endurance.
Whats the most reliable nand today?
Anything SLC based 🙂
Also, sammy’s 3D MLC comes close too. Apperently they internally tested their 128GB model and went thru 8PB of writes. Pretty mad, if its actually true.
Yeah this is true, but ECC engines in modern controllers are so powerfull and there is lots of spare area invisible to the user and controller (sandisk tlc apperently has 1/5 dedicated just for that), so it doesn’t pose that much a problem.
Crappy nand can be compensated with a proper controller. Crappy controller can’t be compensated with a proper nand.
Besides, most faulires come down to controller failing or trippin on acid, no failed nand. Some controller can actually withstand flash die faulires just fine (sandforce does that for example).
Whats the most reliable controller today?
Intel, marvell, samsung are pretty good choices with excellent track record.
Sandforce, phison, jmicron… Not so much (granted, their latter stuff got better).
I thought Intel controllers were/or made by Sandforce/Lsi?
No, Intel actually makes their own controllers too.
Intel 730 uses their inhouse controller for example.
But yes, their consumer stuff uses sandforce and is no better than other sandforce based stuff (apart from cherry picked nand).
No SLC Cache, disappointing. I’ll avoid Silicon Power SSD’s after their controller bait-and-switch tactics on the S60 and S70’s. It’s even worse than what Kingston and PNY did (and I avoid those drives, too).
Agreed. Who knows if the “chip’s close-up shows a part number of” for anything produced by these guys will be accurate down the road.
Their multiple choices of controllers used in these product lines is most definitely why their power consumption specs were generic.
I wouldn’t be too concerned about a lack of SLC cache in this drive, as it’s not using cheap TLC flash with its inherent latency and longevity concerns vs MLC. SLC hybrid drives often have issues with performance consistency due to firmware design, so sometimes simpler is better when the mfg isn’t cutting corners on flash quality.
Crucial’s MX200 is a prime example of the mixed bag that SLC hybrid design (DWA in their terminology) can be when applied to an MLC-based drive…until its firmware matures. Anandtech’s review traces are a good example of the potential compromises, mainly in latency issues when the firmware stumbles while managing the SLC-MLC combo under heavy loads. Their BX100 uses a lower end controller and is the simpler “budget” product with pure MLC but doesn’t have the glaring issues under certain loads that the MX200 does, which makes the MX200 unworthy to pay any premium for until the firmware is stabilized–especially since the BX100 is more power efficient.
The S80 is now down to $84.99 — .35/GB.
The firmware version tested in this review (7.2 as seen in the benchmark result screen shots) was outdated months before this article was published, and should have been updated to 8.0. I purchased one of these SPCC drives in late 2014 and tested the 8.0 release in January. 8.2 is the current firmware as of earlier this month.
Firmware updates are very easy using SPCC’s tool, and it automatically checks and installs the required updater when the utility is run since SPCC often swaps between Phison and Sandforce controllers in some of these product lines.
Making sure firmware is up to date is pretty important on drive reviews, especially these days as they are likely to be optimizing for PCMark 8’s more intensive testing methods (only available in the non-consumer version) vs generally prioritizing burst / light load performance in the past. I have seen negligible differences in the drive’s light load benchmark performance with the new 8.x firmwares vs the stock 7.2, but the story could be very different in the heavier PCMark 8 test traces. If you still have this drive, updated results would be appreciated.