Epic Thanksgiving Giveaway: MSI GeForce RTX 3080 GAMING X TRIO!
TRENDING NOW: Here's our Top 10 best handpicked Amazon Black Friday tech deals!

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review

Another flip-flopper hits the market. The Silicon Power S60 first released as a SandForce-based SSD, but now sports a Phison S8, without customer warning.

@ChrisRamseyer
Published Thu, Dec 11 2014 9:08 PM CST   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 6:59 PM CST
Rating: 42%Manufacturer: Silicon Power

Introduction & Specifications, Pricing, and Availability

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 08 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 38 IMAGES

It was bound to happen again; another bait and switch SSD is upon us. In September 2012, Silicon Power released the S60, a 7mm slim version of the V60 product that was released five months prior. When first released, the S60 used a SandForce SF-2281 flash controller, as confirmed by reviews published online at the time. The Silicon Power product page for the S60 also confirms that the S60 uses DuraWrite technology that belongs to SandForce.

This past month, Silicon Power contacted TweakTown, and asked us to review the S60. The product we received is in a S60 retail blister pack, and the outside of the packaging shows all of the signs of a SandForce based product. However, when it comes to SSDs, it's really what is on the inside that counts.

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 02 | TweakTown.com

Silicon Power's website shows two distinct designs for the outside housing and label of the S60 product line. Both products are sold under the same product specifications, and both products are available under the S60 product name at U.S. e-tail stores. The image above shows both products in retail packaging. The images are small, and a bit blurry, but that's the kind of detail Silicon Power gives potential customers, and we have to use what we can get.

Several months back, we raised hell when PNY released two different versions of the Optima SSD. One version shipped with SandForce SF-2281 controllers, and other shipped under the same name and product number with a Silicon Motion controller. After the initial reviews for the Optima SSD with the Silicon Motion controller published, PNY started shipping Optima branded SSDs with SF-2281 controllers from SandForce. Side by side, both controllers perform about the same, but each has specific strong and weak points that some users may consider when purchasing a SSD for a specific workload.

For the most part, reviewers and news editors from other sites supported our findings and thoughts, but there were a few detractors who didn't take issue with what we dubbed a SSD "bait and switch."

What our critics didn't understand is that while the first bait and switch happened with nearly equal controllers, if the practice becomes accepted, there isn't anything stopping companies from starting out with a new part, and then rolling back to cheaper or even older components. Today we have a worst-case scenario - a bait and switch with a wider discrepancy in components.

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 11 | TweakTown.com

We fully expected to find a SandForce SF-2281 controller paired with genuine Intel NAND flash inside of the case of our Silicon Power S60, just like a Silicon Power S60 reviewed on another site last August, but this is what we found instead. The controller is a Phison S8, and the flash is unknown, but we suspect it's Toshiba Toggle, packaged by a third party.

To confirm we weren't misreading "S60" with... well, a different S60, we downloaded the firmware update tool for the S60, and found a SandForce Field Update Toolbox.

Specifications, Pricing, and Availability

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 03 | TweakTown.com

The Silicon Power S60 product page shows the product specifications in the image above. The data isn't exactly accurate, and even states the S60 is "Equipped with DuraWrite, and wear leveling to extend endurance." DuraWrite is trademarked by SandForce, and as far as I know, SandForce hasn't licensed the technology to other controller makers for use in SSDs.

On the bright side, the Silicon Power S60 sells online for as low as $99.99, but we're not sure what version you'll actually receive. The S60 product page states the S60 comes with a three-year warranty.

PRICING: You can find the Silicon Power S60 SSD 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 Silicon Power 240GB SSD retails for $102.99 at Amazon.

Canada: The Silicon Power 240GB SSD retails for CDN$197.68 at Amazon Canada.

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 06 | TweakTown.com

Our Silicon Power S60 arrived in a blister pack.

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 07 | TweakTown.com

On the back of the package, there is an image of a guy with wings made from SSDs.

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 08 | TweakTown.com

Here we get our first look at the Silicon Power S60. The S stands for Slim, and that's in reference to the 7mm z-height case.

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 09 | TweakTown.com
Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 10 | TweakTown.com
Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 11 | TweakTown.com

Inside, we found a tiny PCB that appears to be designed for embedded systems like casino slot machines, or other applications along those lines.

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 12 | TweakTown.com

There are four NAND packages, a controller, and a single DRAM package.

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 13 | TweakTown.com

The controller for this model is a Phison S8; it's about the same age as the SF-2281 from SandForce, but Phison was never able to get SandForce performance levels out of the design.

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 14 | TweakTown.com

There are three codes on the NAND flash packages, and none of the codes appeared in Google search results. We believe this is Toshiba Toggle NAND, given Phison's close relationship with Toshiba, and history of using Toshiba flash, but we can't be sure.

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 15 | TweakTown.com

The DRAM package is 512MB of DDR3-1600.

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 16 | TweakTown.com

Test System Setup and Initial Performance

Desktop Test System

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 20 | TweakTown.com

Lenovo T440 - Notebook Power Testing with DEVSLP and Windows 8.1 Pro

Nearly all of the performance tests run on the desktop system, but we use a Lenovo T440 to run the power tests. The T440 is the latest addition to our client SSD test lab, and allows us to test the notebook battery life offered by a SSD with advanced features like DEVSLP enabled.

Initial Performance Evaluation - 4-Corner and then Some Tests

Sequential Read

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 25 | TweakTown.com

Sequential Write

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 26 | TweakTown.com

Sequential 80% Read 20% Write

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 27 | TweakTown.com

Random Read

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 28 | TweakTown.com

Random Write

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 29 | TweakTown.com

Random 80% Read 20% Write

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 30 | TweakTown.com

Our new replacement for ATTO shows us 4-corner performance, and some mixed workload results as well. We run the test long enough, and in a particular order to get a reasonable level of consumer preconditioning on the drive. In the tests, we show QD1 (green), QD4 (yellow), and QD10 (red).

Benchmarks - Sequential Performance

HD Tune Pro - Sequential Performance

Version and / or Patch Used: 5.50

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 52 | TweakTown.com

Under light use, the Phison S8 is actually a fast controller, but it suffers from high latency under heavy workload. If the controller isn't using resources for background activity, the sequential performance is quite high.

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 53 | TweakTown.com

Early in our testing, the Silicon Power S60 delivered an average of nearly 375 MB/s sequential write speed with 64KB blocks.

HD Tach - Sequential Write Performance after Random Writes

Version and / or Patch Used: 3.0.4.0

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 54 | TweakTown.com

After a reasonable amount of sequential and random write load on the drive, the S60 still delivered a straight-as-an-arrow sequential write graph with 128KB blocks. It would seem Phison has worked on the firmware quite a bit. The last S8 product we tested suffered from high dips; actually, they were more like dives, plummeting straight down to 20 or so megabytes per second. The S60 didn't have the same issue.

Benchmarks - Anvil Storage Utilities

Anvil Storage Utilities

Version and / or Patch Used: RC6

So, what is Anvil Storage Utilities? Anvil Storage Utilities is a storage benchmark for SSDs and HDDs where you can check and monitor your performance. The Standard Storage Benchmark performs a series of tests; you can run a full test, or just the read or the write test, or you can run a single test, i.e. 4k QD16.

Anvil Storage Utilities is not officially available yet, but we've been playing with the beta for several months now. The author, Anvil, has been updating the software steadily on several international forums, and is adding new features every couple of months.

We can use Anvil several different ways to show different aspects for each drive. We've chosen to use this software to show the performance of a drive with two different data sets. The first is with compressible data, and the second data set is incompressible data. Several users have requested this data in our SSD reviews.

0-Fill Compressible Data

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 55 | TweakTown.com

Incompressible Data

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 56 | TweakTown.com

Phison controllers do perform differently with the data type. Compressible performance is much higher than incompressible performance, but not for the same reasons as SandForce controllers.

Low Queue Depth Read IOPS

*Notes a test with 64% incompressible data.

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 57 | TweakTown.com

Using a mix of compressible and incompressible data to determine consumer workload performance, we see that the Silicon Power S60 240GB has a difficult time processing random read data in comparison to many of the other drives on the chart.

High Queue Depth Read IOPS

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 58 | TweakTown.com

The random read IOPS only reach 43K. Silicon Power didn't rate this metric on their specifications sheet.

Low Queue Depth Write IOPS

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 59 | TweakTown.com

High Queue Depth Write IOPS

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 60 | TweakTown.com

Silicon Power specifies the S60 for up to 85K random write IOPS. As you can see here, the Phison S8 version of the S60 only makes it to 63K IOPS, and that comes at QD4.

Benchmarks - Mixed Read / Write Workloads

Sequential Mixed Read / Write Workloads

In this series of tests, we measure mixed workload performance. We start with 100% read, and then add data writes to the mix in 10% increments until we get to 100% writes. We believe this will be the next major area SSD manufacturers will address, after performance consistency.

Sequential Mixed Workload Bandwidth

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 61 | TweakTown.com

The mixed workload results in a steady state speak for themselves. From here on out, everything goes downhill with the S60.

Sequential 80% Read / 20% Write Bandwidth

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 62 | TweakTown.com

Random Mixed Workload Response Time

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 63 | TweakTown.com

The mixed read / write random performance is nothing short of awful with the Silicon Power S60. The drive is still faster than a hard drive, but this isn't a hard drive review.

PCMark 8 Consistency Test

Futuremark PCMark 8 Extended - Consistency Test

Version and / or Patch Used: 2.0.228

Heavy Usage Model:

Futuremark's PCMark 8 allows us to wear the test drive down to a reasonable consumer steady state, and then watch the drive recover on its own through garbage collection. To do that, the drive gets pushed down to steady state with random writes, and then idle time between a number of tests allows the drive to recover.

Precondition Phase:

1. Write to the drive sequentially through up to the reported capacity with random data.

2. Write the drive through a second time (to take care of overprovisioning).

Degradation Phase:

1. Run writes of random size between 8*512 and 2048*512 bytes on random offsets for ten minutes.

2. Run performance test (one pass only).

3. Repeat one and two, eight times, and on each pass, increase the duration of random writes by five minutes.

Steady state Phase:

1. Run writes of random size between 8*512 and 2048*512 bytes on random offsets for 50 minutes.

2. Run performance test (one pass only).

3. Repeat one and two, five times.

Recovery Phase:

1. Idle for five minutes.

2. Run performance test (one pass only).

3. Repeat one and two, five times.

PCMark 8's Consistency test provides a ton of data output that we use to judge a drive's performance. Here we see the three states of performance for the select SSDs, light use, consumer steady state, and worst case.

Storage Bandwidth - All Tests

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 64 | TweakTown.com

In many of the phases, the Silicon Power S60 is the slowest drive on the chart.

Storage Bandwidth - Heavy Load

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 65 | TweakTown.com

The S60 240GB is a very poor performer under heavy workloads.

Storage Bandwidth - Typical Consumer Load

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 66 | TweakTown.com

Things look much better under typical consumer workloads with idle time for recovery, and so on. This drive is still outperformed by several other products on the market that cost the same amount, or just a few dollars more.

PCMark 8 Consistency Test - Continued

Total Access Time - All Tests

The access time test measures the total latency across all 18 tests. This is one of, if not the most important of all tests we run at this time for consumer SSDs. When your latency is low, your computer feels fast; it's just that simple.

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 67 | TweakTown.com

The latency chart tells the full story.

Total Access Time - Heavy Load

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 68 | TweakTown.com

The Silicon Power S60 240GB is just awful under heavy workloads. To put it into perspective, the best drive in this test, the SanDisk Extreme PRO, passes the test with around 190 seconds of latency (total time). The Silicon Power S60 240GB peaks at over 6500 seconds in the worst result. Even when the S60 does well in the heavy workload test, the latency is around 3000.

Total Access Time - Typical Consumer Load

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 69 | TweakTown.com

Again, the latency is much better in the typical consumer workloads, but the S60 still has more latency than nearly every other drive on the chart.

Final Thoughts

Silicon Power S60 240GB SSD Review 11 | TweakTown.com

I'm really not surprised to see another bait and switch tactic pop up in the SSD market. As flash prices drop and NAND flash manufacturers continue to drive prices down, third party builders without guaranteed flash or in-house controller technology will continue to struggle. SanDisk, Crucial / Micron, Toshiba, and Samsung will continue to push SSD prices down, and still deliver superior products with 'handpicked' flash, keeping the best flash for their own products.

When times get tough, corners are cut. When is a Silicon Power S60 not a S60? Well, you never really know. Silicon Power sent our sample to us, so it's not like we received a Chinese swap meet knock off; this is what the company is currently shipping after showing off parts made with other components.

At the time of writing, the Silicon Power S60 240GB costs around $100 in the U.S.; that's a really good price for a 240GB SSD, but other products in the same capacity are priced similarly, so there are better choices out there. The Crucial MX100 256GB SSD features low cost paired with high capacity. The SanDisk Ultra II also costs about the same price, as does any number of SandForce SF-2281 products. I can't see any reason to take a chance on the Silicon Power S60.

If you want a SandForce SF-2281 drive, there are plenty of other options available, and the same is true if you want a drive with a Phison S8 controller. There is no reason to roll the dice with the Silicon Power S60 to see what actually shows up.

PRICING: You can find the Silicon Power S60 SSD 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 Silicon Power 240GB SSD retails for $102.99 at Amazon.

Canada: The Silicon Power 240GB SSD retails for CDN$197.68 at Amazon Canada.

Performance46%
Quality including Design and Build20%
General Features60%
Bundle and Packaging25%
Value for Money61%
Overall42%

The Bottom Line: Unknown components, questionable flash sold at the same price as other good SSDs. I think we'll pass on this one.

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

USUnited States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com

UKUnited Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk

AUAustralia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au

CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

Newsletter Subscription
We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

Related Tags

Newsletter Subscription
Latest News
View More News
Latest Reviews
View More Reviews
Latest Articles
View More Articles