Gaming laptops are traditionally full of compromises.
Apacer A7 Turbo (A7202) 64GB solid-state drive
A good value SSD with fast read speeds
- 128MB cache, fast read speeds, frugal power consumption, inexpensive
- Write and simultaneous speeds are poor compared to other solid-state drives
Apacer's affordable 64GB solid-state drive isn't the fastest on the market, but it can match the big boys when it comes to reading data. Frugal power consumption and good read speeds mean this SSD is better suited for overnight backups or as a secondary drive than for tasks involving disk-intensive operations or lots of simultaneous reading and writing of data.
Price$ 309.00 (AUD)
Apacer's A7 Turbo is a reasonably priced 64GB solid-state drive. It has a Serial ATA II interface and a 2.5in form factor, so it's a good value option for a notebook. It can also be used in a desktop PC if you have an appropriate mounting kit.
With a retail price of $309 and a formatted capacity of 59.5GB, the A7 Turbo has a cost per formatted gigabyte of $5.19. That's over $2 cheaper per GB than Kingston's 64GB SSDNow V+, and $1.49 less than Solidata's 32GB K6-32 SSD ($6.68). This makes the A7 Turbo one of the cheapest solid-state drives that we have reviewed to date.
The A7 Turbo uses multi-level cell (MLC) technology instead of single-level cell (SLC) technology, so it isn’t built for constant input/output operations. You won't want to use it in a server environment, but it can be used in laptops and desktop PCs for less intensive tasks. It has 128MB of drive cache; this provides a significant performance advantage when working with large files compared to the 32MB or 64MB of cache in traditional (spinning) hard drives.
Our favourite part of the drive's design is the aluminium backing, which should provide some protection from minor knocks and bumps should you choose to use the drive externally.
In our tests, the A7 Turbo recorded an average access time of around 0.2 milliseconds, which allows for snappy file browsing and quick load times. We tested the drive's performance by transferring files between it and a 300GB Western Digital Velociraptor 3.5in hard drive. We conducted a large file transfer test using 20GB worth of 3-4GB files, as well as a small file transfer test using 3GB worth of 1MB files.
|Large File (20GB) Transfer Test Results|
|Apacer A7 Turbo SSD||$309||64GB||MLC||77.9||64.7||68.3|
|Kingston SSDNow V+ SSD||$445||64GB||MLC||76.6||77.29||75.2|
|Intel X25-M SSD||N/A||80GB||MLC||76.1||74||87.8|
|Kingston SSDNow M Series||$855||80GB||MLC||73.09||71.04||52.49|
|Solidata K6-32 SSD||$199||32GB||MLC||35.9||71.1||24.8|
|Solidata K5-32 SSD||$359||32GB||SLC||76.9||42.4||37.1|
|Seagate Momentus 7200.4 HDD||$217||500GB||Hard drive||85.99||77.2||25.63|
|Small File (3GB) Transfer Test Results|
|Apacer A7 Turbo SSD||$309||64GB||MLC||50||36.1||37.5|
|Kingston SSDNow V+ SSD||$445||64GB||MLC||49.2||50||56.6|
|Intel X25-M SSD||N/A||80GB||MLC||49.2||49.2||66.7|
|Solidata K6-32 SSD||$199||32GB||MLC||46.9||38.9||25.4|
|Solidata K5-32 SSD||$359||32GB||SLC||50.6||34.1||26.8|
As can be seen from the test results, the A7 Turbo SSD is certainly able to read data quickly, producing speeds comparable to much more expensive solid-state drives like the Kingston SSDNow V+ and Intel X-25M. However, in both the 20GB and 3GB file transfer tests, the A7 Turbo performed write and simultaneous read/write tasks much slower than these drives. While this SSD is a capable performer, there are much better (albeit more expensive) alternatives if you need to perform write and simultaneous read/write tasks with large files. This will certainly be noticeable in a system drive or if it's being used as a shared network drive.
The Apacer A7 Turbo 64GB solid-state drive is quite power-efficient. During file transfer testing, the drive consumed as little as 0.24 Watts when idle (Kingston's SSDNow V+ 64GB SSD consumed 0.22W), and a maximum of 1.46W when performing a simultaneous read/write test. Power consumption averaged 0.92W when writing data and 0.54W during read tasks. Overall power consumption is slightly less than the MLC-based Kingston drive, and significantly less than both the K5 and K6 from Solidata.
Since most users are likely to read data from a drive more frequently than writing or performing multiple tasks, the A7 Turbo's slightly slower performance in these areas shouldn’t necessarily dissuade you from purchasing it. This drive is a viable option for overnight backups or for basic data storage, though it won’t fare as well in a 2.5in NAS device.
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