But of course it’s also the performance of the solid state drive that makes it a compelling prospect in a mobile device. I compared the Q1 SSD to the HP Compaq nc2400 that I reviewed a few days ago, since it’s a pretty damn good ultra-portable notebook. Starting with the simple things, it took 22 seconds to boot the Q1 SSD compared to 35 seconds on the nc2400. But the really interesting results came when I dug a little deeper into the abilities of the Q1’s disk.
I ran PC Mark 2005 on the Q1 SSD, with my only real interest being the hard disk score, but the result was surprising. Ultra-portable notebooks usually sport hard disks with modest performance and spindle speed in order to ensure minimal heat and maximum battery life, so the HP’s PC Mark HDD score of 2064 is perfectly acceptable. Then consider that the solid state drive in the Q1 SSD will draw less power and produce less heat than any mechanical hard disk, yet it managed to turn in a PC Mark HDD score of 5895!
To put the above result into perspective, the Dell XPS 700 that Benny reviewed last week was equipped with two full size 8MB cache SATA drives spinning at 7200rpm, in a RAID 0 configuration, and the Dell only turned in a marginally faster PC Mark HDD score of 5965. That’s a pretty amazing result, considering that the disk inside the Q1 SSD is having to operate in such a small casing, with minimal cooling, while also being able to run on battery power.
I also threw HD Tach onto the HP nc2400 and the Q1 SSD – the HP turned in a burst read speed of 25.9MB/sec, an average read of 19.5MB/sec and a random access time of 21.1ms, while the Q1 SSD managed 54MB/sec burst, 47.4MB/sec average read and a truly phenomenal 0.3ms random access time!
Don’t think that I’m trying to beat up the HP nc2400 here, because it is a really great notebook and its hard disk performance is pretty much average for its sector. I’m just trying to highlight what the solid state disk in the Q1 SSD is bringing to the party. One final example of how fast the solid state disk is though – I managed to perform a complete system restore on the Q1 SSD in just over four minutes.