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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

Proving The Results

EDITOR'S NOTE: CrystalDiskMark is not suggested for testing SSDs with versions prior to 3.0, as the software had not been written for or optimized to SSDs. therefore NAND wear conditions on segments tested may impact performance results.

That last section was a bit of a bomb, dropped dead-center on the belief system that many testers have had for years. So can I prove the results? Sure, of course we can. Let's go over the points we need to cover:

  • HD Tach shows different results for the same SSD using different SATA controllers. Is the problem HD Tach, or the controllers?
  • ATTO Disk Benchmark proves that performance for the same SSD is exactly identical between memory capacities and latency, and nearly identical between controllers.
  • HD Tach later illustrates that memory capacity can make a big difference on performance. But is that an HD Tach problem?

Alright, now that we're all on the same train of thought, it's time to leave the station. Using the free CrystalDiskMark software (version 2.2), we tested that same Mtron MOBI 3500 and analyzed our results after three test loops.

In the first set, the JMicron controller was used. The sequential read performance was 98.38 MBps, while write speed was 109.2 MBps. Dropping down to 512 KB chunks, the read speed is 96.31 MBps while write performance is 26.08. Finally, with the use of only 4 KB chunks, we see read performance at 23.17 MBps and write bandwidth at 0.326.

CrystalDiskMark_Mtron-3500_JMB323.png

Now let's see how the Intel ICH10 controller reacts. The ICH10 controller yields a nearly identical 97.07 MBps sequential read performance, and slightly lower 105.1 write bandwidth. The results are slightly lower, but a 1.3% read performance reduction and 3.9% drop in write performance will probably not raise any concerns. Or are these results just the beginning?

CrystalDiskMark_Mtron-3500_ICH10R.png

Upon closer examination the 512 KB chunk tests perform essentially the same, and a 1.6% read speed decline is widened by the nearly 6% decline in write performance over the JMicron controller. This is beginning to get confusing again, and the 4 KB chunk test only makes matters worse. The Intel ICH10 actually records a 46.9% improvement over the JMicron JMB322 controller, recording 34.03 MBps over 23.17. The opposite is true of the ICH10 SATA controller when we look at 4 KB writes', which drop to 0.26 MBps for a 25.4% difference in favor of the JMicron.

So what does this all mean? How does this effect performance testing for reviewers, and results for consumers? Read on for my final conclusion on the topic.



 

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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