Faster than the Vertex 3 Pro?

SandForce’s specs put the SF-2281 at up to 500MB/s reads and writes, just like the SF-2582/2682. OCZ’s specs for the Vertex 3 however put it slightly above the performance of the Vertex 3 Pro:

I asked SandForce to explain the discrepancy. It turns out that SandForce doesn’t really enforce its specs on its partners. It’s up to the partner to test and advertise whatever it would like as long as it can back those claims up. In this case, the Micron 25nm NAND appears to perform a bit better than the 32nm Toshiba NAND that was used on the Vertex 3 Pro. As a result, sequential write speeds are slightly higher.

OCZ also rates the Vertex 3 as having slightly lower random write performance than the Vertex 3 Pro, but the difference is not that great in practice.

For desktop performance this does mean that the Vertex 3 will likely be a bit faster than the Vertex 3 Pro we previewed a week ago. You trade off enterprise level features for price, but you don't sacrifice performance.

The Test

I'll point out once more that this is beta hardware running beta firmware. I've only had the Vertex 3 for a matter of days before publishing this and that's honestly not enough time to put it through anything more than a handful of performance tests. Real reliability and bug testing will take weeks if not months. Keep that in mind if you decide to be an early adopter on one of these drives.

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
Introduction Random Read/Write Speed
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  • seapeople - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    I think the answer you are searching for is a bit more mundane than you desire. For example, when you load a map you are storage limited whether you have an SSD or not, and when you are fighting bad guys you are CPU limited whether you have a slow HD or not. Reply
  • vol7ron - Saturday, February 26, 2011 - link

    While that's true, I'm not sure that's what he's referring to.

    If you're ever CPU limited, it's probably not just because of an SSD, it's just the fact that you need a better CPU. Generally, CPU limitations are apparent from memory access, not due to SSDs.

    I can understand what he's saying though as I'm still running a C2D and it gets to 100% during games. Not to mention, there does seems to be hang ups on Win7 64b startup, due to all the applications, widgets, and services that load; but that's less to do with the SSD and more to do with the CPU. The load time would be just as long w/o the SSD, it's just that there wouldn't be as much of a hang-up as the sluggishness would be constant.

    Having more cores in this instance would certainly help.
    Reply
  • Nentor - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    First paragraph:
    "What wasn’t impressive however was the price."

    There is not a word about price in the article about the V3Pro. Not even a slight indication implying a high price which made it seem affordable.

    Also this:

    ---I asked OCZ if this meant the drive I was testing wasn’t representative of final, shipping performance. OCZ stated very clearly that performance will not change between the drive I have today and the drive that goes on sale in the next 2 months.

    SandForce wouldn’t comment on any existing agreements and OCZ said it couldn’t get SandForce to confirm that the V3’s performance wouldn’t change between now and its eventual release.---

    What exactly does that mean? It comes down to not meaning anything at all to me.
    Reply
  • ClagMaster - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    I went half-way through this article and was frustrated with the complexity of the SandForce Controller capabilities and firmware games.

    It would seem SandForce is very Intel-like in its conduct. Why cannot they have 2-3 stinking controllers setup for maximum performance without these firmware games ? The hardware is willing but the businessmen are not.

    Last night I was about ready to purchase a 120GB SSD but decided this was an extravagance for my desktop for $220. I would rather have a good Western Digital Black 1.0 TB harddrive than this SSD. I get much more for my money. I still use Windows XP Home because of its efficiency and minimalist memory foot print. Are there any garbage collection utilities I can use for this still excellent OS? This is not clear from the vendor sights.

    Can anyone enlighten me as to what is available for Windows XP so these SSD's continue to operate in prime form ?

    I cannot believe consumers are willing to pay this kind of money so they shave off 15 to 20 seconds off boottimes.
    Reply
  • 86waterpumper - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    I agree whole-heartedly with you about the frimware games...that is def. lameness.
    With that being said, I don't think that ocz drives are really more expensive than other brands so I guess the solution for now is just to buy their drives instead of the competitions which is exactly what they want right? haha.
    I disagree though with you about ssd not being worth it. I know they are high, but shaving 15 to 20 seconds off boot time is huge in my book. I mean that is half the time in alot of cases. That has a coolness factor to it, but the main benefit I see is being
    able to multitask better, and having programs and games load faster. The boot time is just a side benefit really. Quietness and low heat and power draw are other nice features. Anyway I remember people were happy to pay the price for raptors not long ago, and they were this expensive and much less capacity than regular drives. They did not represent nearly the performance gap either.
    Reply
  • Barbaniko - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Anand,
    How about Garbage collection on the Vertex 3?
    How would it hold up over time without access to winnows 7 trim command?
    I am interested in putting two of these in a Raid 0 configuration.
    Thank you.
    Reply
  • arm3n - Monday, February 28, 2011 - link

    I second this request. Would love to get your take on these bad boys striped.

    Thanks!
    Armen
    Reply
  • gstrickler - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    Anand,
    I've been searching for reliable information about the AES encryption on SF based SSDs. From the information I've been able to get from the manufacturers, this is NOT TCG "OPAL" compatible FDE, it's passive encryption that does not require any BIOS support, TCM, or boot time password. If that's accurate, then it's almost useless. It doesn't protect your data if your SSD is stolen. Therefore, it is of limited value.

    What that does do is protect the data from being recovered from the NAND Flash chips on a failed SSD, and executing a "erase" ATA command will change the password and make all your data, including bad blocks and reserved overallocation areas, inaccessible after the erase. Clearly, that has value to those reallocating a used drive, but that's about the extent of it's value.

    There is certainly some value in that, as securely erasing the data from an SSD can be challenging because of the LBA->Flash block remapping that SSDs perform. However, if it doesn't support "OPAL" FDE, then you must fall back to software FDE and the performance penalty for software FDE on an SSD is far more significant than it is for a HDD, and effectively eliminates much of the performance benefit of an SSD.

    Please check with SandForce and/or the SSD vendors and report if any of them support TCG compatible "OPAL" FDE. That information is vital to users who need to use FDE.
    Reply
  • ac2 - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    +1

    The AES encryption bit sounds like one of those meaningless marketing bullet points...
    Reply
  • iwod - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    The Anand SSD benchmarks 2010 and 2011 are the closest we get to real life measurements.

    And if those results are correct. Then our previous estimation of Seq Read Write become not important as we move faster will be incorrect. It turns out most of our time we are doing Seq Read Write. Therefore it is the Random Read Write has reach its tipping point and not providing any more Real World Improvement to users.
    Reply

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