Random Read/Write Speed

The four corners of SSD performance are as follows: random read, random write, sequential read and sequential write speed. Random accesses are generally small in size, while sequential accesses tend to be larger and thus we have the four Iometer tests we use in all of our reviews.

Our first test writes 4KB in a completely random pattern over an 8GB space of the drive to simulate the sort of random access that you'd see on an OS drive (even this is more stressful than a normal desktop user would see). I perform three concurrent IOs and run the test for 3 minutes. The results reported are in average MB/s over the entire time. We use both standard pseudo randomly generated data for each write as well as fully random data to show you both the maximum and minimum performance offered by SandForce based drives in these tests. The average performance of SF drives will likely be somewhere in between the two values for each drive you see in the graphs. For an understanding of why this matters, read our original SandForce article.

Desktop Iometer - 4KB Random Read (4K Aligned)

Random read performance is staggering - a good 40% higher than anything else we've tested. While the cutoff for usefulness on a client drive is likely much lower than what even the Octane could deliver, this sort of performance bodes very well for OCZ's enterprise ambitions.

Desktop Iometer - 4KB Random Write (4K Aligned) - 8GB LBA Space

Randomly write performance is also just excellent. SandForce's peak numbers come close, but throw in any sort of incompressible data and they quickly take a step back while the Vertex 4 is able to deliver. Again, I'm actually more interested in these numbers from an enterprise workload standpoint but heavy client users will definitely not be disappointed.

Many of you have asked for random write performance at higher queue depths. What I have below is our 4KB random write test performed at a queue depth of 32 instead of 3. While the vast majority of desktop usage models experience queue depths of 0 - 5, higher depths are possible in heavy I/O (and multi-user) workloads:

Desktop Iometer - 4KB Random Write (8GB LBA Space QD=32)

SandForce always scaled well at higher queue depths, but again we're looking at best case performance for the SF-2281. Move towards incompressible data and the Vertex 4 is alone at the top.

Inside the Vertex 4 Sequential Read/Write Speed


View All Comments

  • vol7ron - Wednesday, April 4, 2012 - link

    Exactly, and it's where power consumption matters even more.

    I'd also like to see where the OWC drives fit in.
  • ViviTheMage - Wednesday, April 4, 2012 - link

    There are plenty of lower pwer SSD's that have similiar tasty iops, so you won't be disappointed...the falvouring is a little different, but you will still enjoy it. Reply
  • ckryan - Wednesday, April 4, 2012 - link

    I very much expect the next generation of Marvell drives to look similar in some respects to the V4.

    I applaud OCZ for doing things differently, but they're probably just trying to beat the next wave of Marvell powered drives to market, not making up for SFs immediate deficiencies.
  • ViviTheMage - Wednesday, April 4, 2012 - link

    Do you think Marvell can release a drive with as many delicious iops? Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Wednesday, April 4, 2012 - link

    Not Marvell, because they only make controllers ;-)

    Plextor M3 Pro is already providing up to 75K/69K IOPS (read/write). Marvell released a new controller a couple of weeks ago and at least according to the press release, random speeds should be substantially improved with a great firmware. How fast is still a question but I wouldn't be surprised to see figures similar to Indilinx 2.

    And as a side note, Plextor M3 review should be up later today or tomorrow as well :-)
  • ckryan - Wednesday, April 4, 2012 - link

    The M3P is fantastic. It's like the V4 without the compromise. Plus, I'd take better low QD performance any day of the week over high QD performance. The M3P is a lot more balanced.

    Plus, yeah, the 830 is awesome too, but it doesn't really cater to the super high 4Krw crowd. I feel like OCZ just needed to get this drive out before then next wave of similar drives hit, and will later tweak the FW to better accommodate desktop workloads.

    But it does accomplish one thing -- whatever FW/FTL they strapped on that drive doesn't look like anything else at the moment. It's certainly easy to see in an ocean of charts.

    I think OCZ just mainly wanted to reverse their years of SF marketing practice with the V4 -- Latency is now important. Compressible data is out. They just had to wait until they had a product that could match the paper specs of the 2281. Ironically, I'd take it over a V3 any day of the week, but the 2281 is still better with most workloads.
  • etamin - Wednesday, April 4, 2012 - link

    Perhaps the V4 may turn out to be a more economical choice though because it is entirely developed in house. Reply
  • jwilliams4200 - Thursday, April 5, 2012 - link

    LOL. Except for the rebadged Marvell controller and the flash memory, yeah, entirely in house. Reply
  • rw1986 - Friday, April 6, 2012 - link

    rebadged MRVL controller?? can u elaborate Reply
  • jwilliams4200 - Friday, April 6, 2012 - link

    Did you ever wonder why Indilinx took so long to come out with a 2nd gen controller after their first was so popular?

    Well, they didn't. Not really. OCZ does not want you to know that they have a relationship with Marvell, and their new controller is basically a Marvell 88SS9187. It would be hard to justify the shareholder money OCZ spent on acquiring Indilinx if the truth were known.

    If you have any doubts, look at the press release from Marvell press release bullet points and compare them to the features OCZ is touting in the Vertex 4. They are identical.


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