Realising that most punters looking to join the solid state society can't afford the megabucks needed for 250GB drives, memory maker G.Skill has followed Corsair's lead and added a 40GB unit to its Phoenix range of SSDs.
The new drive pairs up a Sandforce SD-1200 controller with the usual multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory. However, the use of a Sandforce controller means you shouldn't lose any performance by opting for a lower-capacity drive.
Conversely, some SSD ranges based on other controllers, such as Corsair's Nova line-up, have slower write speeds as the capacity goes down, as the smaller chip-count results in less interleaving.
Interestingly, G.Skill has also put a pair of the drives through their paces in a RAID 0 setup. Benchmarking with CrystalDiskMark 3 (below), the pair of drives apparently clocked up a very impressive sequential read speed of 328.5MB/sec. That's 112MB/sec quicker than the usual figure of around 216MB/sec recorded by single Sandforce-based drives in the same benchmark.
G.Skill also claims the new drive is capable of performing random 4KB writes at up to 50,000 IOPS (input/output operations per second), and boasts that it's "the perfect boot drive for desktop and PC gaming enthusiasts." However, you're not going to get many games on a 40GB drive once you've installed Windows 7. After all, StarCraft II alone takes up over 12GB.
In addition to the 40GB budget drive, G.Skill is also adding 80GB and 160GB models to the Sandforce-based Phoenix line-up.
There's no word on UK pricing or availability yet, but the 40GB drive will need to cost well under £100 in order to compete with Corsair's equivalent F40 drive. All of the new drives will come with a three-year warranty, G.Skill said.