|WD VelociRaptor 300GB SATA HDD WD3000HLFS|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 28 July 2009|
Page 6 of 14
System Speed Test
I doubt that when DOS was put to rest, Vladimir Afanasiev ever thought he would see his System Speed Test software used again in professional reviews. This program offers comprehensive system information, but it also has a powerful benchmarking tool for memory, processor, and disks. In terms of disk performance, it measures interface and physical transfer rates, seek and access times at the hardware level, and it does so without delay or interference from Operating System software or running processes. This is why Benchmark Reviews will continue to use this test: it polls its results directly from the hardware without the need for Windows!
System Speed Test does not require a partition to be present for testing, so all of our Random Access Time benchmarks are completed prior to drive formatting. To detect the Random Access Time, each device runs the full test routine a total of five times. The highest and lowest scores were ignored, and the remainder was averaged. This would be prove pointless however, because the access time benchmark for every single SSD recorded identical test results between runs.
Using the System Speed Test software, the top Random Access Time benchmarks places the OCZ Vertex EX, Mtron Pro 7500, and ACARD ANS-9010 at the very top of our results. With a lightning-fast 0.08 ms access time, every other SSD is forced to live in the shadow that these products have just created. The 0.9 ms performers include: MemoRight GT, Mtron Pro 7000, Mtron MOBI 3500, Intel 80GB X25-M. with the OCZ Vertex, Patriot Torqx, Super Talent UltraDrive ME, Mtron MOBI 3000, and lastly the OCZ Summit completing the remainder of sub-0.1 ms SSD products.
The DRAM cache buffer is common link between request and response time. Solid State Drive devices have the advantage of a nearly instantaneous NAND storage bank reponding to an even faster DRAM buffer. Conversely, Hard Disk Drive products depend on a fast spindle speed to reduce the delay before the buffer transmits data.
Although the SSDs at the slower end of our Response Time chart may seem less impressive, in reality you couldn't begin to perceive these subtle differences in real-world applications. Still, the slowest SSD product (0.51ms) is 14x more responsive than the fastest desktop hard drive. Hard Disk Drive alternatives are much slower to react, regardless of spindle speed and cache buffer size.
Even the very best of the desktop hard drive products, such as Western Digital's VelociRaptor, only produced a best response time of 7.15 ms. The older Western Digital Raptor took 8.53ms to respond, followed by 12.99ms for the Seagate 7200.11, and 15.39ms for the 7200 RPM Hitachi Travelstar 7K100 notebook drive. The worst performer was the standard 5400 RPM notebook drive (Hitachi Travelstar 5K160 HTS541640J9SA00), which recorded a painfully slow 17.41ms Random Access Time.