Mushkin Io series 128GB SSD Reviewccokeman -
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With Mushkin's products, the one thing you can count on is performance. The Io Solid State Drive lives up to the high standards that Mushkin sets. While testing the drive, I was impressed to see that it held its own against the best drive I had tested up until this point - the Patriot Torqx 128GB drive. In 41 of the 58 tests run, the Mushkin Io out-performed the whole comparison field. When you take into account the testing where the results were similar, this drive leaps up to a comparable 53 out of 58 tests where performance was within a small margin of the other drives tested. In the ATTO testing, the drive performed up to its rated speeds and a little more. Pretty stout results when you get down to it.
When I was looking up the Hynix chip identification, it came up as a 512Mb SDR chip. A 512Mb cache buffer will no doubt go a long way towards eliminating the stuttering and freeze-ups on earlier solid state drives. After testing, I had to try out this drive in my HP Mini 311 netbook to see if the performance benefits carried over to the netbook. I found that the Io drive did fit inside the HP 311 mini with no more hassle than you would have changing out a mechanical drive. Performance can be measured in a couple of ways, both through benchmarks and the actual feel of the system. I have been using this drive for the past week in this capacity, and found that I am getting better battery life and a snappier "feel" to my portable system - a big plus, in my eyes.
This drive from Mushkin was shipped with firmware 1819 and Mushkin has firmware 1916 that will be available within a few days of the article publish date. What I have been told is that this update improves the already great performance of the Io drive. Trim is supported on both firmware revisions and a wiper utility is on the way, along with the firmware update itself. Solid state drive prices have come down, but they are still not what would be considered approachable for many users. As the technology continues to improve, pricing should continue to drop. At $379 on Mushkin's e-store, as well as at Newegg, the Io 128GB drive is priced competitively. So if you are in the market, this is the price range you will be looking at for your next SSD drive.
Capacity is one drawback for an SSD, but as the drives become more affordable, the capacity available to the masses increases. At 128GB, this Io drive should allow you to install most of your programs and leave a bit left over for some file storage. Although, that is best left to a larger mechanical drive, with the Io set up as the primary OS drive, so that you can get the best of both worlds - speed and capacity. The Mushkin 128GB Io drive certainly delivers on the promise of performance.
- Trim support
- 512Mb cache buffer