(note, this was written in January 2010. If you’re looking for cheap SSDs, just go directly to a store like PCHub and get a 128GB drive for around ~3.5k.)
It’s a 64GB solid-state drive for only PhP 5,800.
Now you might ask, “Why should I fork over 5.8k for a CD-R King branded drive with a measly 64GB of space when I could buy a 1TB WD Caviar Black for less?”
Well, there’s a couple of reasons why this can be a good deal.
First is the price. 64GB SSDs run from 8K – 15k in the gray market. Putting it in this context, shelling out 5.8K to experiment with SSDs doesn’t sound that crazy anymore.
Another reason is that it’s a rebranded OCZ Core SSD. (Actually it’s a double-rebranded drive; the OCZ Core was rebranded by Verico to Verico SSD-01-64 Phantom then rebranded to CD-R King.) This means that it’s not a no-name product.
As for my reason for going out and buying a couple of these babies to replace my primary hard drive, it’s all about the speed benefit. My rig’s pretty well rounded even for a 3 year old one: Quad Core, ATI HD4850, 4GB low latency RAM. The only bottleneck for performance is the hard drive; even at RAID-0, it still takes about a minute to load all programs at startup. With SSDs, I thought I could at least halve that time.
And so I went out and went through about a dozen CD-R King branches before finding 2 final stocks of the drive at SM Cubao. They came in these little yellow boxes that disguised their value.
Almost all of the clerks couldn’t believe that someone is willing to spend (tumataginting na) 11.6K for such small items. There was one jaded clerk who confirmed that the price wasn’t a typo.. I guess she’s the one who got to sell the other stocks.
The first thing I did with the drives was to update the firmware via USB. This was an early version of OCZs SSDs so it still had some issues. Thanks to this TipidPC thread and a bit of searching, I was able to find a firmware update for the drives. I’ve uploaded a copy here (ver 090508S) in case some of you might need it.
Next was to reinstall Windows 7 RC1. I used Windows Easy Transfer to backup my settings then proceeded to re-shuffle my RAID setup. I set my old RAID-0 drive to RAID-1 (for another layer of backup) and set the two SSDs to RAID-0.
I also did some suggested tweaks to the settings, but I don’t feel like looking them up right now so I’ll leave the Google-ing to you.
Here’s the end result:
Compare this with a typical Western Digital 10K RPM Raptor hard drive benchmark result:
258.9 MB/sec vs 72.8 MB/sec and 0.2 ms access time vs 8.8 ms: what do these numbers mean?
It means that in less than 5 seconds after logging in, all of my startup items have already finished loading. After enduring years of 30 second – 1 minute post-login load times (and years of 2-3 minute load times in my office PCs back when I was still working) this was practically instantaneous. For the first time in years, my PC finishes starting up even before I could finish changing my clothes!
Conclusion: The drives are a good buy so far.
Still, I would only suggest this drive to computer enthusiasts. Finding one can be a hassle (though you could try contacting CD-R King’s sales directly) and the risk involved is only suited for those people.
To end this post, here’s a pic of my ghetto “drive stand”. There was a cable conflict so I couldn’t put them in the floppy drive bay of my case.