TRIM Performance

In our Vertex 3 preview I mentioned a bug/performance condition/funnythingthathappens with SF-1200 based drives. If you write incompressible data to all LBAs on the drive (e.g. fill the drive up with H.264 videos) and fill the spare area with incompressible data (do it again without TRIMing the drive) you'll actually put your SF-1200 based SSD into a performance condition that it can't TRIM its way out of. Completely TRIM the drive and you'll notice that while compressible writes are nice and speedy, incompressible writes happen at a max of 70 - 80MB/s. In our Vertex 3 Pro preview I mentioned that it seemed as if SandForce had nearly fixed the issue. The worst I ever recorded performance on the 240GB drive after my aforementioned fill procedure was 198MB/s - a pretty healthy level.

The 120GB drive doesn't mask the drop nearly as well. The same process I described above drops performance to the 100 - 130MB/s range. This is better than what we saw with the Vertex 2, but still a valid concern if you plan on storing/manipulating a lot of highly compressed data (e.g. H.264 video) on your SSD.

The other major change since the preview? The 120GB drive can definitely get into a pretty fragmented state (again only if you pepper it with incompressible data). I filled the drive with incompressible data, ran a 4KB (100% LBA space, QD32) random write test with incompressible data for 20 minutes, and then ran AS-SSD (another incompressible data test) to see how low performance could get:

OCZ Vertex 3 120GB - Resiliency - AS SSD Sequential Write Speed - 6Gbps
  Clean After Torture After TRIM
OCZ Vertex 3 120GB 162.1 MB/s 38.3 MB/s 101.5 MB/s

Note that the Vertex 3 does recover pretty well after you write to it sequentially. A second AS-SSD pass shot performance up to 132MB/s. As I mentioned above, after TRIMing the whole drive I saw performance in the 100 - 130MB/s range.

This is truly the worst case scenario for any SF based drive. Unless you deal in a lot of truly random data or plan on storing/manipulating a lot of highly compressed files (e.g. compressed JPEGs, H.264 videos, etc...), I wouldn't be too concerned about this worst-case scenario performance. What does bother me however is how much lower the 120GB drive's worst case is vs. the 240GB.

Power Consumption

Unusually high idle power consumption was a bug in the early Vertex 3 firmware - that seems to have been fixed with the latest firmware revision. Overall power consumption seems pretty good for the 120GB drive, it's in line with other current generation SSDs we've seen although we admittedly haven't tested many similar capacity drives this year yet.

Idle Power - Idle at Desktop

Load Power - 128KB Sequential Write

Load Power - 4KB Random Write, QD=32

AnandTech Storage Bench 2010 Final Words


View All Comments

  • daidaloss - Thursday, April 14, 2011 - link

    I second your petition to Anand to put the Revo2 on the charts, so us, real power user, would have an idea how do SSDs compare with PCI raid cards.

    Also, sure would be interesting to see how do SSD compare to ram drives like the HyperDrive5. Supposedly this thing boots up in 4 seconds. Should be interesting to compare such a system with a modern SSD.
  • soltys - Thursday, April 14, 2011 - link

    Looking at past few articles, I was wondering - what exactly do SSDs do, that random writes are significantly faster than random reads (and looking at the tables above, 2x - 3x faster) ?

    Even considering magic firmware + spare space + caching - sooner or later R-E-M-W will have to be performed. And random patterns, with random data should emphasize that.

    Any insights or pointers ?
  • Norrin - Friday, April 15, 2011 - link

    Hi Anand,

    I have the vertex 3 installed in a 2011 macbook pro.
    I'm having a horrible problem where the OS locks up for about 10 seconds every 30 minutes or so.

    What was the problem that cause OCZ to delay their March 3rd launch day??

    What changes were made (firmware version numbers)? How can the firmware on a vertex 3 be checked and where can the latest version be downloaded and installed?

    I suspect the problem I'm seeing is the same which delayed their launch. Maybe they have a firmware update available now which can be installed in the disk I currently have....

    Thanks so much!
  • jammmet - Tuesday, April 19, 2011 - link

    I am experiencing exactly the same issue - did you find a workaround? Also, do you also have a spinning HD in your machine too? Reply
  • typofonic - Monday, April 18, 2011 - link

    Wouldn't a Vertex 3 120 GB be a really bad choice for a boot drive when it has such a low random read performance, compared to the older Force F120/Vertex, even if I have a new SATA3 MacBook Pro?

    I can imagine that launching applications, booting the system etc. would be much slower with this compared to a Vertex 2/Corsair Force F120. Yes, the sequential performance is much better, but wouldn't the older drives seem snappier in normal everyday use?

    Even if the Vertex 3 120GB cost the same as a Vertex 2/Force F120, wouldn't the older drives still be a much better choice for normal use, because of their high random read/write? Can't decide if I should go for the Vertex 3 or the Force F120/Vertex 2.

    Anybody who knows more about this?
  • rgbxyz - Wednesday, April 20, 2011 - link

    I own a 120 GB Vertex. I've been thinking about adding another one. However, it will not be an OCZ. With the word coming, that it seems. and I stress, seems, that OCZ can not once again be trusted. And this time around it's an even bigger issue.

    From the just released report: "OCZ has parlayed investor and market excitement for solid state drives (SSDs) into an amazing story. From a low of $1.79 last summer, OCZ's stock has steadily climbed more than 350% on a feel good tale told by its CEO. But there is a much darker and sinister side that has been well hidden. It is our opinion that OCZ has misrepresented its SSD growth and has financial irregularities that are nearly impossible to reconcile. We believe that some form of a restatement may be required and that the auditors tick and tie review has some substantial inconsistencies. As such, we have sent our findings to the Securities and Exchange Commission asking for clarification on the multiple sets of numbers that we have uncovered. We believe OCZ's Board has the fiduciary responsibility to form a special committee to examine these discrepancies." The bottom line for those curious where this short-seller sees the stock: "If OCZ trades in-line with the comp group, a generous assumption given OCZ's limited asset value, differentiation, and minimal profitability, a reasonable price target would be between $2.58 and $4.98 per share."
  • la taupe - Friday, April 22, 2011 - link Reply
  • geroj - Saturday, April 23, 2011 - link

    it would be interesting to see if 2 120gb ssd-s in raid0 would be better choice over a 240gb vertex3 or intel 510 (performance and costwise).

    im thinking of putting 2x120gb crucial c300 in raid0, it would cost 2/3rd of a 240gb vertex3 but a thorough test would be nice before deciding.

    2x64gb in raid0 is also enough for me (and as i see for a lot of us) but what about the performance?
  • ekerazha - Wednesday, April 27, 2011 - link

    New "Vertex 3 Max IOPS" series released.

    120 GB
    Read IOPS: 20.000 -> 35.000
    Write IOPS: 60.000 -> 75.000

    240 GB
    Read IOPS: 40.000 -> 55.000
    Write IOPS: 60.000 -> 65.000
    Max Write: 520 MB/s -> 500 MB/s (decrease)
  • sor - Friday, April 29, 2011 - link

    Yeah, what the hell is this all about? Anand mentioned in his review that there was supposed to be some sort of firmware cap on iops according to sandforce, but that his test vertex3 didn't have it, and that OCZ promised that performance of the shipping drive would be identical. Turns out apparently that they had TWO versions they were going to ship, and everyone was apparently led to believe that the test review one was the same performer that everyone has been jumping on as fast as they can ship. I think we've been duped. Reply

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