Solid state storage is the most important performance component found in a modern system today; without it, you do not even have a performance system.
If you want to have the fastest storage solution in an operating system environment, you need to be running a properly configured RAID 0 SATA based array.
All in all, the Optima performed as we expected it would. The Optima is exactly what it is advertised as: an entry-level SSD that makes it very affordable to get into Solid-State Storage. Now, let's talk for a moment about what we liked and disliked about the Optima.
First, let's discuss the bad. We mainly dislike that you don't really know exactly what you will get when you purchase an Optima SSD. Will you get a Silicon Motion controlled drive? Or, will it be SandForce driven? Who really knows? As I stated earlier, in the 240GB capacity, it really doesn't matter either way, but if you want a 120GB or 480GB drive, then this is it something to take into consideration. We are a bit concerned with PNY listing TLC NAND as a possible BOM for the Optima as well. They would not really use TLC, would they? Again, who knows? Additionally, the Optima's performance with a heavy workload is really lacking.
Now, let's discuss what we liked about the Optima. First, the pricing; the Optima is retailing for about 35 cents per gigabyte when you factor overprovisioning into the equation (the 240GB drive has 256GB of actual flash onboard), making the Optima currently about the cheapest path for someone who wants to experience life in the fast lane first-hand. We also liked the way the Optima was able to compete with the more expensive arrays, even managing to sneak in past some of them throughout most of our testing regimen. For the light workload usage it was designed for, the Optima will serve you well. We also liked seeing our Optima array outperforming Comay's PCIe based Blade Drive in an operating system environment, proving yet again that for your OS, there are not many consumer based PCIe drives that can outperform a cheap SATA III array.
I can go ahead and recommend the Optima as an entry-level SSD with one caveat: I can only recommend it in the 240GB capacity where its BOM isn't much of a factor that you need to take into consideration.
RAIDing two or more drives together provides you with storage that takes performance to the next level, and is something I recommend you try. Think of it as the SLI of storage. Once you go RAID, there's no going back!
PRICING: You can find PNY's Optima (240GB) for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The PNY Optima 240GB retails for $89.99 USD at Amazon USA.
- Page 1 [Introduction, Drive Specifications, Pricing, and Availability]
- Page 2 [Drive Details, Test System Setup, Array Properties]
- Page 3 [Synthetic Benchmarks - ATTO, Anvil Storage Utilities, CrystalDiskMark, & AS SSD]
- Page 4 [Benchmarks (Trace Based OS Volume) - PCMark Vantage, PCMark 7 & PCMark 8]
- Page 5 [Benchmarks (Secondary Volume) - Disk Response & Transfer Rates]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks (Secondary Volume) - PCMark 8 Extended]
- Page 7 [Final Thoughts]
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