Performance Over Time & TRIM

SandForce has always exhibited strange behavior when it came to TRIM. Even Intel's custom firmware in the SSD 520 wasn't able to fix SandForce's TRIM problem. The issue happens when the SSD is completely filled with incompressible data (both user LBAs and spare area). Any performance degradation after that point won't be restored with a TRIM pass and instead will require a secure erase to return to new. I didn't expect the 335 to fix this but I still tortured the SSD 335 for 60 minutes, ran AS-SSD, TRIMed and reran AS-SSD:

Intel SSD 335 - Resiliency - AS SSD Sequential Write Speed - 6Gbps
  Clean After Torture (60min) After TRIM
Intel SSD 335 240GB 317.7MB/s 174.2MB/s 176.9MB/s

And the issues persists. This is really a big problem with SandForce drives if you're going to store lots of incompressible data (such as MP3s, H.264 videos and other highly compressed formats) because sequential speeds may suffer even more in the long run. As an OS drive the SSD 335 will do just fine since it won't be full of incompressible data, but I would recommend buying something non-SandForce if the main use will be storage of incompressible data.

AnandTech Storage Bench 2011 - Light Workload Power Consumption


View All Comments

  • MichaelD - Tuesday, October 30, 2012 - link

    I agree! Take Corsair for example; they've got like a hundred (sic) different SKU's. "Force" "Subforce" "Battle" "Skeedaddle" and "Primo" versions of FUD at it's finest. Only the .5% of SSD buyers (like AT readers) will actually look at specs and decide. The other 99.5% will just buy whatever box has the "fastest looking" cover art. Reply
  • zanon - Monday, October 29, 2012 - link

    Now they just get giggle-stomped across the board by Samsung. I hope Intel decides to be competitive again someday, but in the mean time it's hard to see any reason to bother. Reply
  • MadMan007 - Monday, October 29, 2012 - link

    Read past the sythetics to real-world tests. It is at least competitive in most cases, and all these drives are stupid fast anyway. Reply
  • jeffbui - Monday, October 29, 2012 - link

    Why is there such a discrepancy between the power consumption figures given by the manufacturer vs what you're getting from your testing? (Samsung mostly) Other websites are getting completely different power usage figures as well. Reply
  • DanNeely - Monday, October 29, 2012 - link

    Comments on one of AT's other recent SSD articles claimed this is because the power consumption test is being done using an external enclosure that never lets the drive drop into it's lowest power states. I didn't see any official comment on it. Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Monday, October 29, 2012 - link

    Some manufacturers such as Samsung report their power numbers with DIPM/HIPM (Device/Host Initiated Link Power Management) enabled, which can lower the power consumption significantly. DIPM/HIPM are not enabled on desktop by default and I'm not sure if all laptops have them enabled either.

    We have ran tests with DIPM/HIPM enabled and gotten results similar to what manufacturers report, but so far we have kept on publishing numbers with DIPM/HIPM disabled. We will probably add DIPM/HIPM numbers once we redo our SSD testing methodology.
  • DanNeely - Monday, October 29, 2012 - link

    If available, would the feature be called DIPM/HIPM in our bios's; or is it likely to be obfuscated to something else?

    Also, why is it often disabled by default? Is there a penalty related to enabling it?
  • Kristian Vättö - Monday, October 29, 2012 - link

    Here are instructions for enabling DIPM/HIPM:

    In desktops it's not as important because you aren't running off of a battery and the power that SSDs/HDs use is so little anyway that it won't affect your power bill. I'm not sure why it's disabled, though, because I havent heard of any concrete issues caused by it.
  • Per Hansson - Monday, October 29, 2012 - link

    Actually I'm not sure that DIPM/HIPM is the whole reason.
    I mentioned it previously and it for sure can have a dramatic difference.

    But just as important is the measuring equipment used for the power consumption.
    A cheap DMM only measures in very slow intervals, you would get very different results when measuring using a $100 Fluke vs a $1000 Fluke vs a Scope with really high bandwidth.
    It's because the SSD changes power levels many hundred times per second and this is too fast for a regular DMM so you just get some of the data points, not enough to make a reliable averge...
  • MrSpadge - Monday, October 29, 2012 - link

    Wouldn't the slower / cheaper DMM measure over longer intervals (that's why it's slow in the first place) and hence automatically average over some fluctuation? Reply

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