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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

Do Memory Amounts Matter?

EDITOR'S NOTE: ATTO Disk Benchmark offers basic bandwidth speed results at a low queue depth, and more recent versions now offers broader test settings. ATTO Disk Benchmark uses buffered spot samples, therefore NAND wear conditions on segments tested may impact performance results.

I've seen several reliable sources mention in their analysis of Solid State Drive testing that system memory amounts will impact the test results. Whenever I hear or read something that doesn't seem logical to me, I don't just question it, I question and answer it. This has been the driving force behind the information below, which details the differences between testing with a 3 GB triple-channel CL6 system memory kit, and a 6 GB triple-channel CL8 kit.

Beginning with the Mtron MOBI 3500 on the Intel ICH10 SATA controller, the results indicate that there is no perceivable difference between memory sizes. The results are practically identical, even despite the difference in memory timings and module sizes.

ATTO_2.34_Mtron-3500_ICH10R_3GB.png

ATTO_2.34_Mtron-3500_ICH10R_6GB.png

Continuing on with our test of the MSD-SATA3535 SSD while attached the JMicron JMB322 SATA controller, we again see that performance is identical between latencies and amounts.

ATTO_2.34_Mtron-3500_JMB323_3GB.png

ATTO_2.34_Mtron-3500_JMB323_6GB.png

One surprising by-product of this test is the difference between controller chips. The Mtron 3500 performed at 107.2 MBps write and 99.0 read on the ICH10, while recording an identical 107.2 MBps write and 98.0 on the read performance. So in ATTO Disk Benchmark v2.34 it appears that there is very little disparity in SSD performance between controllers and RAM. Does this mean that HD Tach was broken all along? Let's do a comparison on it to be sure...

HDTach_Mtron-3500_JMB322-3GB_vs_JMB322-6GB.png

Well, there you go. All these years I've been testing SSD products with HD Tach, and now I'm beginning to see that maybe I should have paid closer attention to the name of the software. It appears that HD Tach is prone to reporting test anomalies, and SSD performance is not only affected by the controller, but also the internal cache of the SSD while the amount of system memory impacts the storage driver's buffer. Lesson learned. Hopefully other technical writers and editors will not be too proud to read my article, or discover this for themselves.



 

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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