|Intel X25-M SATA 80GB MLC SSD|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Miles Cheatham|
|Sunday, 18 January 2009|
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SSD Testing Methodology
Benchmark Reviews recently published an article that detailed SSD Benchmark Performance Testing. The research and discussion that went into this article changed the way we new test SSD products. Our previous perceptions of the technology were lost on one critically important difference: the wear leveling algorithm that makes data a moving target. Without conclusive linear bandwidth testing, our previous performance results were rough estimates at best.
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. It should also be noted that all of our testing for this review was performed using SATA ports controlled by the integrated ICH10R Southbridge chip.
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.
Benchmark Reviews highly recommends reading the Solid State Drive Benchmark Performance Testing article, which articulates the various mistakes made when testing SSD products.