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Solid State Drive (SSD) Benchmark Performance Testing E-mail
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Written by Olin Coles   
Monday, 22 December 2008
Table of Contents: Page Index
Solid State Drive (SSD) Benchmark Performance Testing
Intel ICH10R SATA Controller
JMicron JMB322 SATA HBC
SSD Testing Methodology
HD Tach: HDD Performance
HD Tach: SSD Performance
Do Memory Amounts Matter?
Proving The Results
PCMark05 Performance
EVEREST Controller Analysis
SSD Testing Final Thoughts
SSD Testing Conclusion

SSD Testing Methodology

Solid State Drives have traveled a long winding course to finally get where they are today. Up to this point in technology, there have been several key differences separating Solid State Drives from magnetic rotational Hard Disk Drives. While the DRAM-based buffer size on desktop HDD's has recently reached 32 MB and is ever-increasing, there is still a hefty delay in the initial response time. This is one key area in which flash-based Solid State Drives continually dominates because they lack moving parts to "get up to speed".

However the benefits inherent to SSD's have traditionally fallen off once the throughput begins, even though data reads or writes are executed at a high constant rate whereas the HDD tapers off in performance. This makes the average transaction speed of a SSD comparable to the data burst rate mentioned in HDD tests, albeit usually lower than the HDD's speed.

Test System

  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EX58-EXTREME (Intel X58 Chipset) with version F4e BIOS
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-920 BX80601920 2.667 GHz
  • System Memory: 3GB and 6GB Corsair Dominator Tri-Channel DDR3 kits
  • Operating System: Windows XP Professional SP-3 (optimized to 16 processes at idle)

Disk Hardware

Test Tools

  • HD Tach RW v3.0.4.0 by Simpli Software
  • ATTO Disk benchmark v2.02 and v2.34
  • CrystalDiskMark v2.2
  • PCMark05 by Futurmark Corporation
  • Lavalys EVEREST Ultimate Edition v4.60.1597 Beta

Comparing a Solid State Disk to a standard Hard Disk Drives is always relative; even if you're comparing the fastest rotational spindle speeds. One is going to be many times faster in response (SSD's), while the other is usually going to have higher throughput bandwidth (HDD's). Additionally, there are certain factors which can effect the results of a test which we do our best to avoid.

Nevertheless there will be some tests which will not be completely representative of the individual product tested, but a combination of the product and supporting system hardware. An excellent example of such a test is the write-to bandwidth benchmarks, which rely on other system components to force data onto the drive along with the bus bandwidth to support it. This dependency on system hardware is why you will see Benchmark Reviews place an emphasis on read bandwidth over write tests.



 

Comments 

 
# Using Intel IHC10 controller or the Marvel 6gb/s 9128 controller?Don 2010-08-10 01:38
Great article,I have connected my SSD to the Marvel 6gb/s port and the rest of my HDDs to the IHC10 3gb/s controller. I always wondered if that was a good move or not as during bios load it sees the Marvel controllr first with my SSD and then the IHC10 sees the rest of my drives. I always wondered if the Marvel controller also took advantage of the AICH driver to run TRIM on the SSD. Do you think I need to move my SSD's port?
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# RE: Using Intel IHC10 controller or the Marvel 6gb/s 9128 controller?Olin Coles 2010-08-10 06:45
This article is a little bit dated, since there wasn't a lot of information available about SSDs in 2008. Still, it proves a few points.

From all of the recent SSD testing I've done, I recommend the Intel ICH for all SATA-3GBps SSDs, and the Marvell SATA 6Gb/s controller only for compliant SSDs (presently only the Crucial C300). SATA 6Gb/s HDDs are somewhat pointless, and work just as fast on the Intel ICH10.

I suggest that you also read my ACHI vs IDE article: benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=505&Itemid=38
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