The Test

Note that I've pulled out our older results for the Kingston V+100. There were a couple of tests that had unusually high performance which I now believe was due the drive being run with a newer OS/software image than the rest of the older drives. I will be rerunning those benchmarks in the coming week.

I should also note that this is beta hardware running beta firmware. While the beta nature of the drive isn't really visible in any of our tests, I did attempt to use the Vertex 3 Pro as the primary drive in my 15-inch MacBook Pro on my trip to MWC. I did so with hopes of exposing any errors and bugs quicker than normal, and indeed I did. Under OS X on the MBP with a full image of tons of data/apps, the drive is basically unusable. I get super long read and write latency. I've already informed OCZ of the problem and I'd expect a solution before we get to final firmware. Often times actually using these drives is the only way to unmask issues like this.

CPU

Intel Core i7 965 running at 3.2GHz (Turbo & EIST Disabled)

Intel Core i7 2600K running at 3.4GHz (Turbo & EIST Disabled) - for AT SB 2011

Motherboard:

Intel DX58SO (Intel X58)

Intel H67 Motherboard

Chipset:

Intel X58 + Marvell SATA 6Gbps PCIe

Intel H67
Chipset Drivers:

Intel 9.1.1.1015 + Intel IMSM 8.9

Intel 9.1.1.1015 + Intel RST 10.2

Memory: Qimonda DDR3-1333 4 x 1GB (7-7-7-20)
Video Card: eVGA GeForce GTX 285
Video Drivers: NVIDIA ForceWare 190.38 64-bit
Desktop Resolution: 1920 x 1200
OS: Windows 7 x64

Random Read/Write Speed

The four corners of SSD performance are as follows: random read, random write, sequential read and sequential write speed. Random accesses are generally small in size, while sequential accesses tend to be larger and thus we have the four Iometer tests we use in all of our reviews.

Our first test writes 4KB in a completely random pattern over an 8GB space of the drive to simulate the sort of random access that you'd see on an OS drive (even this is more stressful than a normal desktop user would see). I perform three concurrent IOs and run the test for 3 minutes. The results reported are in average MB/s over the entire time. We use both standard pseudo randomly generated data for each write as well as fully random data to show you both the maximum and minimum performance offered by SandForce based drives in these tests. The average performance of SF drives will likely be somewhere in between the two values for each drive you see in the graphs. For an understanding of why this matters, read our original SandForce article.

Iometer - 4KB Random Write, 8GB LBA Space, QD=3

Random write performance is much better on the SF-2500, not that it was bad to begin with on the SF-1200. In fact, the closest competitor is the SF-1200, the rest don't stand a chance.

Many of you have asked for random write performance at higher queue depths. What I have below is our 4KB random write test performed at a queue depth of 32 instead of 3. While the vast majority of desktop usage models experience queue depths of 0 - 5, higher depths are possible in heavy I/O (and multi-user) workloads:

Iometer - 4KB Random Write, 8GB LBA Space, QD=32

Ramp up the queue depth and there's still tons of performance on the table. At 3Gbps the performance of the Vertex 3 Pro is actually no different than the SF-1200 based Corsair Force, the SF-2500 is made for 6Gbps controllers.

Iometer - 4KB Random Read, QD=3

 

Today: Toshiba 32nm Toggle NAND, Tomorrow: IMFT 25nm Sequential Read/Write Speed
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  • eva2000 - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Thanks for the review, curious why the 256GB Crucial RealSSD C300 only included in some benchmarks and not others ? Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    That's simply a data entry issue, I'll get it fixed :)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • therealnickdanger - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Also, I'm curious as to why none of the REVO benchmarks are included? On the one hand, I understand how niche PCIe drives may be, but on the other, they can offer significant performance over both SATA 3Gbps and 6Gbps drives. It would be nice to see the new Heavy and Light benchmarks applied to those as well. Reply
  • ludikraut - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    +1 on including REVO drive results in the drive comparisons. Reply
  • markjx1 - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    because REVO drives are garbage. they're nothing more than a bunch of vertex2's slapped onto a board with a cheap Silicone Image controller that has a PCI-X to PCIe bridge. Resale value on REVO is crap and if one of the drives dies, you have a nice paperweight. Reply
  • bji - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Your own personal opinion on the drives are not a reason to disclude them from the review. Reply
  • therealnickdanger - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Garbage that can pull down 800MB/s...? Go away, troll. For users without SATA 6Gbps, it's a very practical solution to achieve huge speed. In fact, even people WITH SATA 6Gbps would get a boost. The cost/GB is even under $2 for some of the REVOs, making them a reasonable alternative. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    All graphs should now have the 256GB C300 in them :) Reply
  • Breogan - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Is the data in the Incompressible Write Speed Test mixed for the SF2500 drive or does it perform actually worse after trim?. It seems weird to me that a dirty drive performs as if it was stock and the trim actually worsens its perfomance. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    It's not TRIM that is making the drive slower, it's the next write pass that's actually pushing the drive into a lower performance state as there's more garbage collection/cleaning that's going on. If I hadn't TRIMed and just ran another pass of the AS-SSD test you'd see the same number.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply

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