PQI S525, 128GB
Like Apacer, PQI is a well-known maker of external flash storage products. At two times the capacity as its opponent, the PQI S525 also features a USB 2.0 connector besides a SATA one. The additional interface is not PQI’s innovation, though. All SSDs based on the JMicron controller may be equipped with a USB connector as the controller itself supports that interface. Some makers just don’t think it necessary to install it.
Transcend V, TS64GSSD25S-M, 64GB
Transcend is a well-known name in the flash memory industry, too. As opposed to the previous MLC-based products, this SSD is based on the more expensive SLC variety of flash memory. This ensures a much longer specified service life and a higher speed of writing.
We did not change the Intel SSD’s firmware with the newer version that supports the Trim command in Windows 7 and provides a certain performance boost. Alas, Intel had failed twice in the same way: the firmware they had made available for download at the time of our tests caused a data loss under certain conditions. Therefore we decided that we would check it out and the efficiency of the extension to the data transfer protocol later on. Perhaps the Trim command itself will gain broader support. Right now, it is supported by only a few products (by Intel’s second-generation SSDs after firmware update and products with the Indilinx controller that can be updated to firmware version 1.4) and only by those Intel chipset drivers that are bundled with Windows 7. We are still running Windows XP but considering switching to the new OS.