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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
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

PCMark05 Performance

EDITOR'S NOTE: According to FutureMark's PCMark Vantage White Paper document regarding HDD tests (see page 27), the workload for each subsystem depends heavily on the overall system configuration. Different components can be severe bottlenecks and cause variance in the results of the actual component performance measurement. Fragmented HDDs, old drivers, cluttered OS, 3rd party applications etc. are all factors which will affect the benchmark results. The PCMark HDD test consists of benchmarks using software applications that depend on processor, memory, and graphics hardware. Additionally, NAND wear condition may impact performance results.

PCMark05 (and PCMark Vantage for Windows Vista) are tools intended to test real-world performance for computer hardware. With specific regard to SSD products, Benchmark Reviews configures PCMark to only conduct 'HDD' tests. With a focus on storage media, PCMark05 tests in five different areas and then generates a composite PCMark score.

In the example below, the average of three tests on the G.Skill FM-25S2S-64GB SSD were charted and compared. During our testing the first test was discarded, as were the highest and lowest test. This essentially leaves the most average representation of performance.

Test JMicron JMB322 Intel ICH10 Difference
Windows XP Startup

28.5 MBps

29.8 MBps +1.3 MBps Intel (4.6%)
Application Loading 25.1 MBps 26.7 MBps +1.6 MBps Intel (6.4%)
General Usage 19.8 MBps 20.5 MBps +0.7 MBps Intel (3.5%)
Virus Scan 88.9 MBps 111.2 MBps +22.3 MBps Intel (25.1%)
File Write 73.5 MBps 83.2 MBps +9.7 MBps Intel (13.2%)
PCMark05 Score



+1163 Points Intel

The JMicron SATA controller appeared to run very consistent tests from start to finish, but there were rare occasions where the highest or lowest test was more than 10% out of normal range. To the same extent, and possible more frequent, was the occasional irregularity in a test performed on the Intel ICH10 controller. Despite these test irregularities (which were discarded as noted above), the averages indicated a performance benefit for the Intel ICH10 SATA controller over the JMicron JMB322.

While I would normally not consider the 3.5-6.4% margin to be anything worth mentioning, the 25.1% improvement in Virus Scan results was enough to make me take notice of Intel's ICH10 controller. Additionally, the File Write test showed a 13.2% improvement for the ICH10, even though all of our previous tests with other software have claimed differently.

This is all good for broadening the differences between Intel and JMicron SATA controllers, even though the results are extremely confusing between software tools. But the real interesting news is how PCMark05 compares the performance of one drive to another.

Test Mtron 3000 SSD G.Skill SSD Raptor HDD Seagate 7200.11
Windows XP Startup

47.5 MBps

28.5 MBps

11.8 MBps 9.6 MBps
Application Loading 32.9 MBps 25.1 MBps 10.6 MBps 7.8 MBps
General Usage 29.8 MBps 19.8 MBps 9.1 MBps 7.2 MBps
Virus Scan 80.16 MBps 88.9 MBps 77.2 MBps 76.1 MBps
File Write 61.7 MBps 73.5 MBps 85.8 MBps 90.9 MBps
PCMark05 Score 14119




So if we take PCMark05 at face value, the Mtron MOBI 3000 seems to easily out-perform the G.Skill SSD, and doubles the performance of the best Hard Disk Drive products. Sound believable? Not to me, it doesn't.

Since I personally use all of these products each and every day on several different test systems, I can assure you that PCMark05 is not properly comparing HDD products to SSD counterparts. I suppose the disclaimer must rear its ugly head again, since Futuremark was really quite specific in naming this test 'HDD' and not storage media. Which brings me to my final thoughts and conclusion...



# 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:
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