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Judging by all the SSDs I’ve used and reviewed during the past 5 years or so it's really safe to say that currently in the market we have three types of models, the majority that focus mostly on performance, some that focus in reliability and finally a few ones that try to combine the best of both worlds and offer the best performance/reliability ratio possible. This of course is directly tied to the type of controller used and as many of you know the most popular controllers used by most manufacturers are manufactured by LSI SandForce and Marvell with Indillinx and Samsung ones currently used only in OCZ and Samsung SSD models. Controllers manufactured by these companies are probably used in 99% of all the SSD models out in the market however that doesn't mean that there aren't any other capable controller manufacturers and so today we will be taking a closer look at an SSD model based on a controller by one of the less-known manufacturers the Silicon Power Velox V55 240GB SATA III SSD.
Silicon Power Computer & Communications Inc., founded in 2003 by a group of enthusiastic specialists in International Business, Global Marketing, and Technical Engineering of flash data storage industry. Well dedicated in brand image and product quality, Silicon Power has been recognized and well accepted by millions of end-users in more than 100 countries, becomes the world's leading manufacturer of flash memory cards, USB flash drives, card readers, DRAM modules, solid state disks, and portable hard drives in less than a decade. Headquartered in Taipei, we continuously established various branches throughout the world including Netherlands, Japan, Russia, Mainland China and other emerging market to reach the worldwide market. Silicon Power's overall performance has gradually drawn great attention worldwide. In 2006, we received Taiwan Rising Star Award for our foreign business achievement. In 2008, we won 17th National Outstanding Small & Medium Enterprise Award for our outstanding progress. Moreover, with superior quality and innovative design, our products stood out in several competitions and awarded Taiwan Excellence and COMPUTEX Design & Innovation Award in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Winning trust of global consumers, Silicon Power holds a record of successive double-digit revenue growth for last seven years. According to the Common Wealth Magazine's 2010 Survey of Taiwan Top 1000 Manufacturers, our 2009 revenue growth rate was ranked No.11 among Taiwan's top 1000 manufacturers, and even ranked No.1 in semiconductor industry. Positioned as Passionate, Creative and Hungry for Success, Silicon Power introduces products for users who are seeking individualized, unique and personal digital storage devices. With the mission of creating unprecedented experience for users, Silicon Power will endeavor to deliver a full range of high quality products that have innovative designs, distinctly unique features and comprehensive after sales services to create and fulfill your personal memory.
The Velox V55 240GB SATA III SSD is based on a controller made by PHISON electronics (this is actually our first encounter with one of their controllers) and more specifically their latest PS3108-S8-I SATA-to-Flash micro-controller featuring SATA III support, NCQ (Native Command Queuing), ECC (Error Checking and Correction) technology, S.M.A.R.T. health monitoring, RAID and TRIM-based garbage collection. PHISON seems to focus mostly on reliability rather than raw performance and so according to the specifications sheet of the PS3108-S8-I controller we see that it can achieve R/W speeds of up to 500/300 MB/s numbers which as many of you know are far from the highest ones available. Fortunately as you will see later on in all our tests the Velox V55 managed to surpass these numbers with ease (perhaps due to firmware optimizations) but was that good enough for it to match and/or move ahead from the immediate competition?