We ran our PC Build feature for a few weeks running over the summer, but in the last few weeks we gave it a rest and focused on games for a while. We will now be transitioning back towards having both types of content on the site simultaneously. Today, we have the Silicon Power Velox V70 SSD for review. Read on to see how it fared on our test bench…

You may remember we reviewed the Velox V55 drive by Silicon Power and awarded it a silver award. The V70 is a drive marketed towards the high-end consumers, and provides improved transfer speeds and more reliable storage than the V55, but, of course, at a higher price tag. The drive uses the SATA III interface and features an LSI SandForce SF-2281 controller, like many other drives in the market.

The packaging itself is great, showing the performance, capacity, features and a large size image of the drive on the front, with the back being populated with an SSD/HDD comparison graph, your drive’s serial number and some other logos and general drive information. Overall, the packaging provides a lot of useful information, but still retains the high-quality appearance. A three year warranty is offered with the drive, and a 3.5″ mounting bracket is provided in the box. Silicon Power really are stepping up their game to complete with the big SSD manufacturers, and, in my opinion, are going about it the right way with the V70 and V55.

Within the drive, we see sixteen 16GB Intel synchronous 25nm MLC NAND packages, a high quality type of NAND seen in many other high performing, reliable SSDs currently on the market. Eight of these modules sit on the front of the PCB, alongside the Sandforce controller; with the remaining eight sitting on the back. As we know, Sandforce drives keep one 16GB module as provision, so, we end with a rated capacity of 240GB.

The exterior of the SSD features a very stylish brushed aluminum casing, which is finished with a gold colour. The Silicon Power logo is embossed in the top left corner, with “SATA III SSD – V70″ being written below it. The 240GB capacity size is printed in the bottom right corner of the drive. The drive looks very attractive, especially in comparison to the lower-end V55, and this definitely does appear to be a high performance, high quality offering.

The back of the casing is pretty bare; the black plastic features a variety of logos, and a ‘warranty void if broken’ sticker. Interestingly, there is no serial number printed on the casing of the SSD (or another other number [model, date of manufacture etc] for that matter). The casing is secured with 4 screws, two located on each long side of the SSD. One of the screws is covered by the warranty seal, so, it would be very difficult to open the drive without voiding your warranty. The drive, of course, is fitted with SATA power and SATA data ports.

Now, as we mentioned, we are reviewing the 240GB variety of the drive, however, it is also available in 60GB, 120GB and 480GB varieties. Lets take a look at pricing before we get into the benchmarking side of the drive. The 240GB variety has an RRP of around $200, or $0.83 per GB, which is quite high, however, it is in-line with other SSDs in the high end market. This would equate to approximately £0.68-£0.70 per GB, which isn’t too expensive for a high end SSD. The drive has a rated sequential read speed of 557MB/s and a rated sequential write speed of 500MB/s.

It’s time for some benchmarks. Again, please note, all comparisons with other drives will be carried out at the end of the feature in our SSD comparison article.

ATTO Disk Benchmarking Tool
ATTO is one of the most trusted and reliable disk benchmarking utilities available. The figures given by ATTO are the most accurate way of identifying the drives maximum capability if it were pushed beyond real-use limits and brought to theoretical maximum performance. The V70 achieved excellent results, beating its rated write speed by a large margin.

8192KB Read – 556.13MB/s
8192KB Write – 529.98MB/s

32KB Read – 429.78MB/s
32KB Write – 401.55MB/s

CrystalDiskMark
CrystalDiskMark is one of my personal favourites in regards to drive benchmarking, as it often gives a very accurate figure as to how your drive will perform if it is pushed to its limit, whereas you usually will not be able to reach the figures provided in ATTO manually. CrystalDiskMark tests sequential speed, as well as a number of random read/write tests for 512K and 4K. As usual, CrystalDiskMark rates the drive a bit lower than its rated speeds, and closer to normal use speeds. It still performs excellently, especially in random tests.

Sequential Read – 514.3MB/s
Sequential Write – 501.9MB/s

512K Read – 467.1MB/s
512K Write – 482.3MB/s

4K Read – 39.4MB/s
4K Write – 100.0MB/s

4K QD32 Read – 226.4MB/s
4K QD32 Write – 299.7MB/s

SiSoftware Sandra
SiSoftware Sandra is another tool used by many benchmarkers to see if the drive is consistent across multiple tests in different benchmarking tools. Sandra gives a very good indication of the real-life performance of the V70, and, again, it comes out performing very well!

Sequential Read – 522.3MB/s
Sequential Write – 502.6MB/s

The Velox V70 performs extremely well, especially considering it is a year-old drive. The random performance is particularly impressive, however, it is difficult to find on the market, and often goes a bit higher than its original selling price from retailers. This drive still merits our silver award.