Silicon Power Stream S10 640GB

Madana Prathap 2011-08-23
81 Very Good
Price: Rs 4,400

Full Review

The Silicon Power Stream S10 640GB (model number SP640GBPHDS10S3N) is a 2.5-inch portable hard drive that supports USB 3.0 data transfer. As with every USB 3.0 drive, it is also backwards-compatible with older USB 2.0 ports on desktops/laptops.

The Stream S10 series offers capacities from 320GB to 1TB, in differing colours. We received the green-coloured 640GB drive for review, in its standard packaging. The drive's casing is not quite glossy, which is a good thing since it won't attract fingerprints.

The curved design with a shiny black portion at the front is likened by Silicon Power, to an Italian sports car. The casing has no buttons upon it anywhere, but an LED indicator is present at the front. The case is built well enough as long as you don't drop it on the floor. I could sense a slight vibration from the drive when in use, but nothing to worry about.

Significantly, this drive is not baked into a single unit, so the green upper surface and black base can be dis-assembled to get at the SATA hard disk inside.

Green little sports car?

Silicon Power is primarily a flash memory maker, so the 2.5-inch laptop HDD used internally is of a different brand. The Samsung SpinPoint M7E drive in this case spins at 5400 RPM, has an 8MB buffer and uses two platters. It offers 596.17 GB of formatted storage capacity. Silicon Power offers a three-year warranty on the Stream S10 series.

The product package contained the drive itself, a USB 3.0 cable, a pouch for the drive, user manual and a utility CD. This disc had the SP Widget software (also downloadable from Silicon Power website), and PDF manuals with detailed colour illustrations for each function. This means it offered substantially more than the basic documentation given by most brands.

SP Widget is this drive's backup and security software.
Note the disk-usage indicator at the bottom.

To prevent bottlenecks, we use our top-end test-rig for testing. Seeing as the USB 2.0 interface does not cross 33 MB/s at the most, the speeds mentioned below were as seen over a USB 3.0 port which was much faster as expected.

Shown below are results from a cross-section of the tests we ran. Note that performance recorded by different synthetic benchmark tools can sharply differ and is normal.

Read and Write, HD Tach RW (long) over USB 3.0

Read and Write, Crystal DiskMark.

Read and Write graphs, from HD Tune Pro.

On synthetic benchmarks we measured read and write access times averaging 16.63 ms and 14.09 ms (milli-seconds) respectively, with a CPU usage of 1 per cent on average. The read/write speeds seen in benchmarks can be found above.

Real world tests were carried out when the drive was empty. File read/write speeds for a single large file (6.42 GB) stood at 81.97 MB/s and 75.1 MB/s respectively. File read/write speeds for multiple smaller files (1287 files totalling up to 2.33 GB) stood at 75.9 MB/s and 19.56 MB/s respectively.

These performance numbers are good, and getting any higher speeds would require you to buy a drive priced much higher than this one.

Bottom Line

The Silicon Power Stream S10 640GB is a good-looking drive that performs well over the speedy USB 3.0 interface. The price compares favourably to drives of similar capacity from other brands.

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