AnandTech Storage Bench

Note that our 6Gbps controller driver isn't supported by our custom storage bench here, so the C300 results are only offered in 3Gbps mode.

The first in our benchmark suite is a light usage case. The Windows 7 system is loaded with Firefox, Office 2007 and Adobe Reader among other applications. With Firefox we browse web pages like Facebook, AnandTech, Digg and other sites. Outlook is also running and we use it to check emails, create and send a message with a PDF attachment. Adobe Reader is used to view some PDFs. Excel 2007 is used to create a spreadsheet, graphs and save the document. The same goes for Word 2007. We open and step through a presentation in PowerPoint 2007 received as an email attachment before saving it to the desktop. Finally we watch a bit of a Firefly episode in Windows Media Player 11.

There’s some level of multitasking going on here but it’s not unreasonable by any means. Generally the application tasks proceed linearly, with the exception of things like web browsing which may happen in between one of the other tasks.

The recording is played back on all of our drives here today. Remember that we’re isolating disk performance, all we’re doing is playing back every single disk access that happened in that ~5 minute period of usage. The light workload is composed of 37,501 reads and 20,268 writes. Over 30% of the IOs are 4KB, 11% are 16KB, 22% are 32KB and approximately 13% are 64KB in size. Less than 30% of the operations are absolutely sequential in nature. Average queue depth is 6.09 IOs.

The performance results are reported in average I/O Operations per Second (IOPS):

AnandTech Storage Bench - Light Workload

Once again, most users will find the SiliconEdge Blue performing like a low end Indilinx drive - but still much better than any hard drive.

If there’s a light usage case there’s bound to be a heavy one. In this test we have Microsoft Security Essentials running in the background with real time virus scanning enabled. We also perform a quick scan in the middle of the test. Firefox, Outlook, Excel, Word and Powerpoint are all used the same as they were in the light test. We add Photoshop CS4 to the mix, opening a bunch of 12MP images, editing them, then saving them as highly compressed JPGs for web publishing. Windows 7’s picture viewer is used to view a bunch of pictures on the hard drive. We use 7-zip to create and extract .7z archives. Downloading is also prominently featured in our heavy test; we download large files from the Internet during portions of the benchmark, as well as use uTorrent to grab a couple of torrents. Some of the applications in use are installed during the benchmark, Windows updates are also installed. Towards the end of the test we launch World of Warcraft, play for a few minutes, then delete the folder. This test also takes into account all of the disk accesses that happen while the OS is booting.

The benchmark is 22 minutes long and it consists of 128,895 read operations and 72,411 write operations. Roughly 44% of all IOs were sequential. Approximately 30% of all accesses were 4KB in size, 12% were 16KB in size, 14% were 32KB and 20% were 64KB. Average queue depth was 3.59.

AnandTech Storage Bench - Heavy Workload

The SiliconEdge Blue follows in the footsteps of Kingston's SSDNow V+ here and does amazingly well in our heavy workload. I'm beginning to wonder if it's the large 64MB external cache at work or something specific to JMicron/Toshiba controllers that seems to do so well in this mostly write-bound multitasking test. It's definitely the exception in the Blue's performance.

The gaming workload is made up of 75,206 read operations and only 4,592 write operations. Only 20% of the accesses are 4KB in size, nearly 40% are 64KB and 20% are 32KB. A whopping 69% of the IOs are sequential, meaning this is predominantly a sequential read benchmark. The average queue depth is 7.76 IOs.

AnandTech Storage Bench - Gaming Workload

With competitive sequential read speeds, there's no reason that the SiliconEdge Blue shouldn't do well here. Again it's just slightly behind the Indilinx based SSDs.

Overall System Performance using PCMark Vantage Final Words
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  • Frallan - Friday, March 5, 2010 - link

    Performance isn't average its abyssimal. It can only compete with the other brands low-performance offers and is priced hicher then the High performance offers.

    I don't understand why WD turned up at the party at all - this deflates the good will that they still have.

    /F
    Reply
  • capeconsultant - Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - link

    Bigfoot? Nope. Smallfoot :) Reply
  • vol7ron - Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - link

    Anand,

    You're really pumping out the articles lately, you must be swamped!

    I just wanted to comment on your closing remarks: "It just strikes me as odd for hard drive manufacturers with decades of experience in firmware development and data access patterns, to not come out of the gates swinging."

    I'm sure you realize that the two technologies are almost completely different. Sure they have common components and similar storage logistics, but WD made it's way on the quality of the physical aspect and head speeds of hard disks.

    The comparison is almost the same as how floppy disks have been phased out by thumb drives, or film cameras being replaced with digital cameras. We didn't see those companies that excelled in the in the first generation of their technology come out swinging, did we? Verbatim and Kodak are still struggling.

    What's more surprising is not seeing a company with a big wallet to come out aiming for the fences. That's what I'd like to see, just like Intel.

    Cheers for another good article,
    vol7ron
    Reply
  • 7Enigma - Thursday, March 4, 2010 - link

    Unfortunately you must have missed the FIRST sentence of the article. They purchased a large company that had a great deal of experience in the SSD arena.

    That kind of makes your comment moot.
    Reply
  • The0ne - Monday, March 8, 2010 - link

    IF everything stayed the same than yes the point would be moot but sadly when acquisition happens changes are always in effect and mostly for the bad reasons. You can acquire the best SSD house in the world and bring it into your team with little experience in it and have them run it. Give it a few days and that "best" becomes WTF, guarantee. Reply
  • vol7ron - Friday, March 5, 2010 - link

    Haha, you do go me there. :)

    Except, SiliconSystems is really a mock company and I use that term loosely. Even if you say they focused on CF, although it is more similar to SSD NAND, as a storage product it is still significantly different. I would say, though, that the combination of WDs current storage management, combined with some experience with the NAND controllers should have put out something better than this WD SSD.

    Still, WD acquired Silicon Systems in March of last year and (even then) I thought SS was an inexperienced company. They put out Enterprise/OEM products, that didn't really deal with speed, but more with reliability; more specifically, being able to recover from unforeseen power downs, data errors, etc. While that is very important, SSDs are supposed to provide speed and that's not something SS is known for.

    So, yes, I still stand by my statement. Still different technologies and a hard transition.

    vol7ron
    Reply
  • Soltis - Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - link

    lol... these drives are on the lower end of the performance spectrum and the higher end of the price spectrum..

    But who knows? maybe with this new "reliability" WD drives will now survive the trip to your house! ~zing
    Reply
  • CTT - Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - link

    A comprehensive/insightful article, as always. I would have a couple of remarks about the graphs though: the low values are printed over the drive names and the the WD drive is listed as JM618.

    I see the TRIM support is given the due attention, but there are quiet a few users that don't benefit from it (e.g. using Windows XP, TrueCrypt). Would it be too much trouble to ask for some tests with drive full/some percent free and TRIM disabled?

    Did the WD experienced any significant (read abysmal) drop in write performance after some use (such as HD Tune Pro benchmarks at Legit Reviews and StorageReview)?
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - link

    I've been trying to figure out the best way to test performance in non-TRIM aware OSes. I'm playing around with some things and will eventually present my findings :)

    My drive didn't show any significant drop in write performance after use. That appears to be an issue with the HD Tune benchmark itself.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • Iketh - Saturday, March 6, 2010 - link

    Yes it's an issue with HD Tune. It sometimes reports my mechincal drives as reading 1/3 of what they normally do. Reply

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