Sequential Read/Write Speed

Using the 6-22-2008 build of Iometer I ran a 3 minute long 2MB sequential test over the entire span of the drive. The results reported are in average MB/s over the entire test length.

Iometer - 128KB Sequential Read

Sequential read performance is a virtual tie across the board, the exception being if you have totally random data on a SandForce drive. In that case the Vertex 2 is noticeably behind the competition. Pair the C300 with a 6Gbps controller and it has a clear advantage - you get a 20% increase in sequential read speed from the C300.

Iometer - 128KB Sequential Write

Sequential write speed is strong on the C300, but mostly if you look at the 256GB drive. The 128GB C300 is 30% faster than Intel’s 160GB X25-M G2, but no where near the peak speed of OCZ’s Vertex 2. The random data test has the Vertex 2 and C300 a lot closer, but in reality I’d expect the Vertex 2 to be a bit quicker than the 128GB C300 in sequential write speed. The 256GB C300 should be at least as fast as the Vertex 2 in practice, if not faster. Once again we see the odd situation where our 256GB C300 paired with a 6Gbps controller actually drops performance a bit here. There must be a driver optimization issue with 4K aligned, 128KB sequential writes because the same problem doesn't present itself with unaligned 2MB sequential writes. Unfortunately for Marvell/Crucial, this test is more representative of how modern OSes write sequential data.

Looking at our synthetic tests alone it seems that the C300 is very competitive with SandForce. It boils down to the workload more than anything else. The C300 is clearly in the run for first or second place.

Random Read/Write Speed Overall System Performance using PCMark Vantage
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  • Breit - Wednesday, July 14, 2010 - link

    yes, a sandforce drive should be slower in general when used with third party encryption as all data seems random to the drive then and the compression algorithms have nothing to compress. i'm not sure if the sf1200 controller can, but the sf1500 controller definitely can encrypt the data on the drive by themself storing it in an aes-128 encrypted format.

    quote from the sandforce site:
    "DuraClass technology automatically stores data in a secure, AES-128 encrypted format. This also prevents would-be thieves from extracting data directly from the flash memory should they ever have access to the drive."
    (http://www.sandforce.com/index.php?id=21&paren...

    question is how good or usable their implementation is?! :)
    Reply
  • sparkuss - Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - link

    I asked this question in a previous review and once again you note your "using the Marvell 88SE9128 controller similar to many motherboards".

    Did you only use the WIN7 MSAHCI and INTEL IMSM 8.9 on both the onboard SATA2 and Rocket 620?

    This is of interest to many on the Crucial boards concerning the lack of TRIM support in Marvell drivers for their 9123/9128 controllers.
    Reply
  • mattgmann - Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - link

    last year the ssd market was pretty cut and clear with what was good and what wasn't. There have been a lot of advances recently, and it's getting hard to keep track of what manufacturers with what controllers work well in what configurations. I'd really love to see an SSD buying guide with all of the current drives, possibly separated into workstation, laptop, and server use sections.

    thanks
    Reply
  • willscary - Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - link

    I just sent my first SSD back to Crucial. I called. They RMA'ed me and will send a replacement ASAP. I am impressed. I have 5 year warranties on the M225 series SSDs, and they never even blinked...send it back and they will replace it.

    This was the only M225 that I have installed that does not have 1916 firmware.

    My comment is on the prices. If any of you recall, I was the guy who already had bought, installed and used 5 Crucial M225 128GB SSDs when I decided to try Sandforce in the OWC SSD. After I bought the SSD and ON THE DAY IT SHIPPED, OWC changed their website and said that the controllers were Sandforce 1200 and not the 1500 that I was told when I puurchased. It was still a good deal, but I was upset with the bait and switch, so I refused delivery and had it returned.

    I then purchased a Crucial M225 for myself, this one the 256GB flavor.

    I want to say that I have had no problems. Peak reads reach about 240MB/s and average reads are about 215MB/sec with large files. Writes are less, about 175-180MB/sec for larger files. With small files like Anand uses, my writes are about 125MB/sec and my small file reads are about 145MB/sec.

    Very small files read and write much slower, in the 5-25MB/sec range, but those are files that are very small...in the 4-20KB range.

    What amazes me is the speed. While 5MB/sec may sound slow, it is not, at least when you consider that these are 4KB files. These small files write and read nearly instantly.

    I paid $525 for the drive. I have seen them as low as $509. This is a great price! Now that I have seen the newest article here by Anand, I really understand that my outdated M225 is still a great deal at $525.

    I would like to see this drive, or a comparable one, listed in the lineup with these newer drives. While not as fast, I believe them to be a good value when sale priced. I even saw a Western Digital 128GB SSD a few weeks ago for $219 with free shipping. They were gone very quickly!
    Reply
  • Makaveli - Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - link

    That was a good read thanks. Reply
  • pesos - Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - link

    Hi Anand,

    Thanks for the followup review - I have been using a 256gb C300 on each of my Poweredge T710 servers for the last few months with great results.

    I am curious - does applying the destructive firmware update restore the drive to peak performance, or should it be coupled with some kind of secure erase?

    Thanks,
    Wes
    Reply
  • elimliau - Wednesday, July 14, 2010 - link

    Hi,
    Has anyone made the above work, mine cant?
    Regards,
    elimliau
    Reply
  • sparkuss - Wednesday, July 14, 2010 - link

    elimliau,

    You need to head over to the Crucial SSD forum. I have seen several threads and posts on that specific card/board.

    http://forum.crucial.com/t5/Solid-State-Drives-SSD...
    Reply
  • sparkuss - Wednesday, July 14, 2010 - link

    EDIT: You may have to register to get that link to work, sorry Reply
  • foo-bar - Friday, July 16, 2010 - link

    This is all very interesting, and new SSDs seems to hit the market constantly. But the differences seems to be mostly software related i.e firmware. What are the bottleneck to get full SATA speed? Is it the NAND flash them selves? And if so, what is on the horizon when it comes to this type of memory? Reply

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