PCMark 7

PCMark 7's secondary storage benchmark does little to show us differences between modern, high-performance SSDs as everything here scores within 5% of one another - but that's the point. For most mainstream client uses you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between two good 6Gbps SSDs. Worry more about cost and reliability than outright performance if you're considering an SSD for a normal machine. Anything you see here will be much faster than a mechanical drive.

PCMark 7 Secondary Storage Score

Performance Over Time & TRIM

SandForce's controllers have always behaved poorly if you pushed them into their worst case scenario. Should you fill a SF-2281 based drive completely with incompressible data then continue to write to the drive with more incompressible data (overwriting some of what you've already written) to fill up the spare area you'll back the controller into a corner that it can't get out of, even with TRIM. It's not a terribly realistic situation since anyone using an SF-2281 SSD as a boot drive will at least have Windows (or some other easily compressible OS) installed, and it's fairly likely that you'll have other things stored on your SSD in addition to large movies/photos. Regardless, it's a corner case that we do have to pay attention to.

As we found out in our 520 review, Intel's firmware isn't immune to this corner case. I filled a 120GB SSD 330 with incompressible data. I then ran a 60 minute 4KB random write torture test (QD32), once again, with incompressible data. Normally I'd use HDTach to chart performance over time however HDTach measures performance with highly compressible data so we wouldn't get a good representation of performance here. Instead I ran AS-SSD to get a good idea for incompressible sequential performance in this worst case state. Afterwards, I TRIMed the drives and ran AS-SSD again to see if TRIM could recover the drive's performance.

Intel SSD 330 - Resiliency - AS SSD Sequential Write Speed - 6Gbps
  Clean After Torture After TRIM
Intel SSD 330 120GB 148.9 MB/s 96.3 MB/s 94.4 MB/s

This is really the biggest problem with SandForce drives. If you're primarily storing large amounts of incompressible data, sequential write speeds suffer even further over the long haul.

AnandTech Storage Bench 2011 - Light Workload Power Consumption
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  • STL - Wednesday, August 1, 2012 - link

    After sending a link to this article to my friend and quoting a sentence (we both follow Intel SSDs, and I bought a 710 300GB based on AnandTech's excellent review), I noticed that AnandTech has begun using the JavaScript thing that infects copied text with "read more at". (As explained at http://daringfireball.net/2010/05/tynt_copy_paste_... , although the "service" provider may be different here.)

    I am *extremely* disappointed to see AnandTech tarnishing its image with this nonsense.
  • Bull Dog - Wednesday, August 1, 2012 - link

    yea, this is a pretty annoying "feature"
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Wednesday, August 1, 2012 - link

    Hmm this isn't intentional, let me see what's going on.

    Take care,
  • iEagle - Wednesday, August 1, 2012 - link

    Here's the culprit:

    <script src='http://i.po.st/share/script/post-widget.js#publish... type='text/javascript'></script>

    i.po.st just got'd
  • Zoomer - Wednesday, August 1, 2012 - link

    Good thing it doesn't work on my browser. :)
  • Flying Goat - Wednesday, August 1, 2012 - link

    While it uses compiled Javascript, and I'm too lazy to reformat it, http://i.po.st/static/script/post-copypaste.js is presumably the issue (And blocking that domain gets rid of the problem).

    This is included directly in the source of the article page ("script src='http://i.po.st/share/script/post-widget.js#publish... type='text/javascript'").
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Wednesday, August 1, 2012 - link

    Fixed, our content sharing partner (po.st) enabled this by default in their latest update. We've stripped it out.

    Take care,
  • Zarf42 - Wednesday, August 1, 2012 - link

    And this is why I continue reading Anandtech. You guys are really in tune with your audience and you don't like to annoy us. Thanks for staying awesome!
  • ImSpartacus - Wednesday, August 1, 2012 - link

    I know. I'm such a fanboy. I don't think I'll ever find a site as awesome as Anandtech.
  • STL - Wednesday, August 1, 2012 - link

    Wow, thanks!

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