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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  • The0ne - Monday, March 8, 2010 - link

    Just wanted to say I love those firmware guys at SanDisk! :) Great job guys and keep up the good work. Reply
  • BelardA - Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - link

    "SSD will become commoditized (but it won't ever going to be as cheap as mechanical drives!)"

    Yes they will... in a sense. The same way a Quad Core intel will never become as cheap as a $30 Celeron... or a X1900XTX a $500 card turning into a $100 card - as a $75 ATI 5570 is easily faster... something else will come out that is cheaper and faster.

    The HD are hitting the limits of technology. Anything above 1TB are not as reliable as the smaller drives. The densities are too tight and eventually even the smaller drives will be using the same tech.. :( When 4GB drives come out... we'll be seeing even more failures and problems.

    But with SSDs, everything is a matter of price today. Its not impossible to make a 2GB or 4GB SSD drive... but just cost.

    When memory gets around 10ns and mass-production is up to much higher standards... then we'll see SDDs replace HDs. The benefits are very good, its still baby tech. Compare a 1986 HD to a 1990 HD, the 80s drives where every bad in reliability & speed. The 1990 drives don't even compare to the 1995 or 2000 drive.

    The HDs will eventually go away to be replaced by cheaper and faster SSDs... it won't be next year... but I'd project that in 4~5 years, SSDs will make up 50% of the market... Most people just don't need 2~4TB drives. What is needed is a $75 120GB drive, $100~120 256GB and a $150~175 500GB drive. We're not even close to that today.

    And in 1-2 years from now, I expect reliability to be much better.

    WD new drives are not impressive. I'll stick with the intels.
    Reply
  • Voo - Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - link

    "What is/will be important is the interface and the optimization of the SSD drives"
    The interface? Well that would be SATA, so that's a moot point. And optimization? That's exactly what they didn't do here. Also just because they know how to build a HDD that won't help them a bit for flash drives.. completely different technology.


    The only thing they could have going for them would be more reliabilty and that's to be seen. At the moment these drives are too expensive and do not offer exceeding performance..

    Also just because you're big doesn't mean you can't fail - wouldn't be a first in the industry..
    Reply
  • Frallan - Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - link


    Sinca Anand was way to kind to WD I will summarize the testing he has done:

    WD want us to pay through the nose for a drive with mediocre performance because they say that it is "more" compatible then other drives however they will not guarantee this!

    Since WD is trying to butt-feck us I suggest the put this drive where the sun do not shine and usr Dijon mustard as a lube.

    Just my $0.02
    Reply
  • Pessimism - Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - link

    only if its grey poupon. Reply
  • BCarr - Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - link

    I see newegg is selling the 256gb for $799, better but not quite there, since other brands are selling for $600-$750. Reply
  • c4v3man - Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - link

    I agree with the other poster. Samsung SLC SSD's that are the standard of the OEM industry are slower, more expensive, but more reliable than what an enthusiast would purchase. Pretty much the exact same description that these drives have. I'm betting this is primarily targeted at OEM's, and they are simply releasing them into the retail market to start a buzz before they release a WD Black SSD sometime in the future. If anything, this will double capacity of most OEM offerings for little to no increase in cost. With the crazy markup they're offering, they're also justifying their partners charging you an exorbitant amount of money to upgrade to SSD when configuring your system. Reply
  • 7Enigma - Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - link

    I think WD's marketing/pricing department fell asleep back in 2008. What are they thinking? My only guess is they are banking on pre-built systems where companies such as Dell/HP/etc. already have agreements with them. They want the ram upgrade pricing for their SSD's. Otherwise, what a joke.

    It's always nice to see another player enter the fray, but I'd hate to see these drives selling at MSRP as your only option when buying a system due to the weight WD has in the storage market.
    Reply
  • Pessimism - Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - link

    I'll pass. They are the new VIA, delivering one unstable, standards uncompliant product after another. Reply
  • Mr Alpha - Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - link

    What if I've read through the SSD Relapse five times already and am interested in learning even more about how SSDs work? Reply

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