All the hard drives compared in this review, solid state and mechanical, were tested using the following system configuration:
You might have reservations on our choice of an older generation system, but we have done internal testing to ascertain that there are no notable differences even when testing was done on the latest Core i7 based system. Surprising, but it's true from our tests that the latest ICH10R Southbridge wasn't able to outclass the Core 2 system's controller. Take note that the Intel 975X Express chipset uses an ICH7R Southbridge which supports SATA 3Gbps standards and hence has the minimum requirements covered.
The following are the firmware versions used for the various SSDs at the time of testing:
We've updated the scores for almost all the SSD drives we've last compared as new firmware have been launched. Additionally, firmware such as those from Intel that does not erase the entire drive was further erased securely with the HDDErase 4.0 utility.
As a baseline of sorts, we've results for two mechanical hard drives in our comparison. The first is Western Digital's (WD) well-known 10,000RPM drive, the speedy WD VelociRaptor (WD3000GLFS) to represent the high-end enthusiast offering for storage and a 1TB 7200RPM WD Caviar Black (WD1001FALS) with a 32MB cache to stand in for an example of a typical hard drive currently.