Random/Sequential Read & Write Performance

To start with, let's look at how the Corsair Force F40 and Intel SSD 311 stack up. Remember that the F40 is based on SandForce's SF-1200 controller, meaning it gains its high performance by using real-time compression and deduplication techniques to reduce what it actually writes to NAND. Data that can easily be compressed is written as quickly as possible, while data that isn't as compressible goes by much slower. As a cache the drive is likely to encounter data from both camps, although Intel's SRT driver does filter out sequential file operations so large incompressible movies and images should be kept out of the cache altogether.

Iometer - 128KB Sequential Write

Peak sequential write performance is nearly double that of Intel's SSD 311. Toss incompressible (fully random) data at the drive however and it's noticeably slower. I'd say in practice the F40 is probably about the speed of the 311, perhaps a bit quicker in sequential writes.

Iometer - 128KB Sequential Read

For only having five NAND devices on board, Intel's SSD 311 boasts extremely high sequential read performance. At best the F40 equals it, but in reality the sequential read performance is likely a bit lower.

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

Random write performance is higher across the board, even with incompressible data. Random read/write performance is incredibly important for a cache, especially if most sequential data is kept off the cache to begin with. Things could be quite good for the F40 drive here.

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

Iometer - 4KB Random Read, QD=3

Random read performance unfortunately doesn't look as good for the F40. Again, Intel's SSD 311 performs a lot like a X25-M G2, which happens to do very well in our random read test. At best the F40 is an equal performer, but at worst it's about 75% of the performance of the SSD 311.

Without a clear victory here, we'll likely see mixed results in our storage benchmark suite.

Introduction AnandTech Storage Bench 2011 - Heavy Workload
POST A COMMENT

81 Comments

View All Comments

  • Hrel - Friday, May 13, 2011 - link

    Does anyone else notice how silly measuring a 4KB write in MB/s? Haha, seriously, anything at even point 5MB/s is more than fast enough to write 4KB and have me not even notice. It's not a fault on the SSD that it doesn't do those quite as well. It's still WAY faster than I need it to be. Reply
  • Hrel - Friday, May 13, 2011 - link

    perspective people Reply
  • cbass64 - Friday, May 13, 2011 - link

    uhhh...hardly anyone ever just writes a single 4KB file...different programs different IO specs. If I recall, Vantage mostly uses 4KB reads/writes, at low queue depths too i think. That doesn't mean it writes a 4KB file and times how long it takes, it writes TONS of 4KB files are measures how long that takes.

    You do make a good point about perspective though...when you see drives boasting that they can achieve ridiculously huge amounts of IOps, it's almost always achieved by running 512byte IO for like 5 seconds (useless metrics)
    Reply
  • ZmaxDP - Friday, May 13, 2011 - link

    Anand,

    I'd really like to see you take one of the highest performing drives (M4, SF2400, Intel500 series) like the Vertex 3 240GB and partition 64GB of it as cache. Theoretically, both the size increase and the significant speed bump would make a big difference and make it more like running with a full SSD.

    For me, the real win in terms of configuration is a 2 or 3 TB drive cached by one of these high performance drives, with the leftover space dedicated to "always fast" programs. You get full SSD speed all the time for particular things, and the best cached performance possible from the storage drive...

    Unless of course this tech works with ramdisks, in which case I'd love to see numbers with a ramdisk as the cache and a Vertex 3 as the main drive just for a sense of total IO overkill...
    Reply
  • araczynski - Friday, May 13, 2011 - link

    looks like i'll be getting an OCZ Vertex 3 in my next rig. Reply
  • mervincm - Friday, May 13, 2011 - link

    Might this be a suitable job for an old JMicron SSD? Some of us have these and are looking for a job. With the last firmware from SuperTalent, they were not AS terrrible, and they were always reasonable at reading. While its poor write IOPS might be a negative at the start, their size (most are 64GB or larger) and (still way better than HDD) read performance might give a decent boost! Besides, we paid good money for them, and need to find something to do with them!

    Comon Anand, take a trip back to 2009,dig out an old G1 SSD, lets see if it helps or hurts :) this 2011 systemboard.
    Reply
  • GTVic - Friday, May 13, 2011 - link

    "I have to admit that Intel's Z68 launch was somewhat anti-climactic for me"

    Of course, the theory that enthusiasts want to utilize the on-chip graphics and overclock at the same time is ridiculous. Anyone that pays big bucks for a higher end motherboard, cooling apparatus, a high end video card, etc. is not going to then complain about not being able to use the built-in GPU. Likewise, anyone with such a setup is not going to blink at the cost of an SSD for their system drive once they see the performance improvement in person. No wonder Intel put this on the back burner.
    Reply
  • fic2 - Monday, May 16, 2011 - link

    I would expect that the use of the built-in GPU would be for the ability of QuickSync.
    Although since I am not a gamer I would rather just use the built-in graphics - I know 'shock' that people other than gamers like fast cpus!.
    Reply
  • Tinface - Friday, May 13, 2011 - link

    I too would like to see some numbers on using a highend SSD like a Vertex 3 240GB for caching. I'm intending to get such an SSD for my next gaming rig. Right now I have a massive Steam folder weighing in at 275GB. Since Steam want all games in a subfolder I have to uninstall a lot to fit it on the SSD. Other games such as World of Warcraft benefits massively from an SSD so that's got 25GB reserved. Am I better off using 64GB for cache or save it for a handful of games more on the SSD instead of the harddrive? Any other options I missed? Reply
  • JNo - Sunday, May 15, 2011 - link

    Yeah there is another much better option that you missed. Google "Steam Mover" - it's a small free app that allows you to move individual steam games to from one drive (eg a mechanial one) to another (eg SSD) and have it all still work because it uses junction pointers to redirect to computer to look in another place for the folders whilst still thinking that they're in the original place.

    Alternatively GameSave Manager (I use) has the same feature built in as well as performing game backups to the cloud. With either you can just keep your most played games on the SSD running full pelt and switch them around occasionally.
    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now