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Mushkin Callisto Deluxe 40GB SSD Single & RAID Review

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AkG

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XP Start Up / Adobe CS3 Load Times

XP Start Up

When it comes to hard drive performance there is one area that even the most oblivious user notices: how long it takes to load the Operating System. While all the other tests were run with a streamlined XP image this particular image is the test bed's “day to day” OS and it has accumulated a lot of crud over the months from installs and removals. We chose the Anti-Virus splash screen as our finish line as it is the last program to be loaded on start up.


Mushkin_Callisto_Deluxe_boot.jpg




Adobe CS3 Load Times


Photoshop is a notoriously slow loading program under the best of circumstances, but when you add in a bunch of extra brushes and the such you get a really great torture test which can bring even the best of the best to their knees. Let’s see how our review unit faired in the Adobe crucible.

Mushkin_Callisto_Deluxe_adobe.jpg


The results of our Adobe test really do sum up this drive nicely. For the first time ever a “budget” device is just as fast as the previous generation's FLAGSHIP model. To really put that in perspective merely 14months ago the Vertex 120 was selling for about FOUR times the cost of the Callisto Deluxe.

It seems the RIAD 0 latency "chickens" are coming home to roost. Two of these bad boys may indeed allow the RAID 0 array to cut a full two seconds off its Adobe Photoshop load time, but this is still SLOWER than what a single 120GB model can do. Since both cost and storage capabilities are also not mitigating factors for going RAID 0 over a single 120GB drive, there really is not much reason to opt for two of these versus one 120Gb drive....besides "bragging rights".
 
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AkG

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Oct 24, 2007
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5,270
Real World Data Transfers

Real World Data Transfers


No matter how good a synthetic benchmark like IOMeter or PCMark is, it can not really tell you how your hard drive will perform in “real world” situations. All of us here at Hardware Canucks strive to give you the best, most complete picture of a review item’s true capabilities and to this end we will be running timed data transfers to give you a general idea of how its performance relates to real life use. To help replicate worse case scenarios we will transfer a 4.00GB contiguous RAR file and a folder containing 49 subfolders with a total 2108 files varying in length from 20mb to 1kb (1.00 GB total).

Testing will include transfer to and transferring from the devices, timing each process individually to provide an approximate Read and Write performance. To then stress the dive even more we will then make a copy of the large file to another portion of the same drive and then repeat the process with the small one. This will test the drive to its limits as it will be reading and writing simultaneously. Here is what we found.


Mushkin_Callisto_Deluxe_copy_lg.jpg

Mushkin_Callisto_Deluxe_copy_sm.jpg

Mushkin_Callisto_Deluxe_copy_self.jpg


Well that makes it official! The Callisto Deluxe is the fastest 40GB SSD we have ever looked at. In every single test we threw at it, the Mushkin Callisto Deluxe 40GB was at worse the equal of its competition…yet costs significantly LESS than those other drives. This really is a classic example of how to break into a market! Colour us EXTREMELY impressed and all our fears and concerns of corner cutting are now officially laid to rest.

Sadly we were less than impressed by the RAID 0 results. To be honest, we were not surprised in the least by the mostly poor performance of the RAID 0 array. The increase latency with slightly lowered small file performance just adds up to lowered performance in anything other than sequential performance.
 
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AkG

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Conclusion

Conclusion


Before continuing with this conclusion, we really need to mention that reviewing entry-level and even many higher end SSDs is becoming a bit repetitive. The current market has become a place that is very much dominated by SandForce-branded drives of one capacity or another. This situation does speak volumes about the popularity of the SF1200 / SF1222 design in terms of price and performance but in our opinion we’re due for some much-needed competition.

Mushkin’s Callisto Deluxe line does tend to suffer from some of this “been there, seen that” mentality but mostly because it came a bit late to the SandForce love-in. That however doesn’t stop the 40GB version we reviewed from garnering our praise and absolute respect.

Granted, there isn’t much to distinguish one 40GB SF1200-based product from the next but the Callisto does set itself apart quite well. In terms of performance numbers it is right up there with some of the best this generation has to offer which is par for the course but pricing is what allows Mushkin to pull ahead. While $90 is still more than many are willing to pay for such limited storage capacity, it makes the Callisto a highly affordable boot drive. Kudos must also be given for the strict adherence to quality since Mushkin didn’t skimp on quality like some of their competition has in the past.

Running these drives in RAID brings some seriously performance advantages but a number of pitfalls as well. There is a slight (yet unnoticeable) bump in latency along with no increase over a single drive in the all-important 4k read / write performance category. Price per GB becomes a concern as well when you consider two of these 40GB drives will put you back $180; nearly as much as a 120GB Callisto Deluxe.

All in all, we believe Mushkin has hit a home run with their all new Callisto Deluxe line. While we have found the current SSD market to be quite repetitive of late, releasing a competitive drive at an excellent price point is bound to make people stand up and take notice. Mushkin’s highly regarded warranty support is just the icing on an already appealing cake. As such, the Callisto Deluxe 40GB wins our Dam Good and Dam Good Value awards.


Pros:

- KILLER price
- Great performance for a 40GB SandForce drive
- Full speed firmware
- Good looks


Cons:

- No accessories included (need to step up to the 60GB to get the adapter plate)


dam_good.jpg
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Storage/Callisto/dgv.gif" border="0" alt="" />



http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/foru...gb-ssd-single-raid-review-comment-thread.html
 
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