|OCZ Apex 120GB SSD OCZSSD2-1APX120G|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Thursday, 29 January 2009|
Page 10 of 14
HD Tach RW Benchmark Results
Although HD Tach (and also HD Tune or Crystal Disk Benchmark) are all excellent tools for measuring Hard Disk Drive products, they fail to offer the same precision with Solid State Drive products. These programs offer only an approximate estimate of bandwidth speed through their quick-result sample-testing mechanisms, as I have proven in the Solid State Drive (SSD) Benchmark Performance Testing article published not long ago. Nevertheless, HD Tach is still useful for offering an alternative perspective at performance, even if it isn't precisely correct when used with SSD architecture.
HD Tach is a software program for Microsoft Windows that tests the sequential read, random access and interface burst speeds of the attached storage device. For the record. every single product tested was brand new and never used. HD Tach allows write-bandwidth tests only if no partition is present. Additionally, each and every product was tested five times with the highest and lowest results removed before having the average result displayed here. The graphical user interface (GUI) of the Windows-based benchmark tool HD Tach is very convenient. and allows the test product to be compared against others collected on your system or those registered into the Simpli Software database.
In the tests below, Benchmark Reviews utilizes the HD TachRW tool to compare the fastest collection of desktop drives and competing SSD's we can get our hands on. Using the JMB322 SATA controller on the Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P, HD Tach was used to benchmark the test SSD five times with the best results displayed below. It's important to note that HD Tach's Burst Speed result should be ignored for Solid State Drives due to the cache methods inherent to each memory controller architecture. There are times where this number will be extremely high, which is a result of the optimized cache used for SSD's.
The important numbers used for comparison are the sustained read and write bandwidth speeds, which indicate an approximate performance level of the product. Our featured test item, the OCZ Apex 120GB SATA SSD OCZSSD2-1APX120G, performed at an average 179.5 MBps sustained read speed and 133.3 MBps sustained write bandwidth. Looking at the peak maximums charted below, the OCZ Apex occasionally reached nearly 210 MBps read speed and 160 MBps write. Compared against OCZ's stated specification of 230/160, our write results appear within range but the read performance falls a little short of the advertised maximum speeds. But keep in mind, HD Tach is only capable of offering approximate estimates for SSD products.
The chart below illustrates the collected averages for benchmark results using HD Tach RW on the Intel ICH10 SATA controller, with the read and write bandwidth results added together to determine rank placement. The first group is a collection of high-performance storage products. Second only to a RAID-0 set of Western Digital VelociRaptor hard drives, the OCZ Apex outperforms the Intel X25-M SSD in overall performance. Nearly every other storage product trails distantly behind these three leaders, which now set the combined bandwidth to over 300 MBps for each.
A single (non RAID-0) VelociRaptor and Seagate 7200.11 hard drive begin the next segment of upper midrange performers, offering nearly 200 MBps of combined bandwidth. Trailed by a closely-packed group consisting of the Patriot Warp v2 SSD, Silicon Power SP032GBSSD750S25, and G.Skill FM-25S2S-64GB, are SSDs generating between 168-172 MBps of combined average bandwidth.
The lower-midrange SSD products begin with the Western Digital Raptor, scoring a combined total bandwidth of 154 MBps delivering half the performance of the leaders. Yesterday's high-performance SSD is today's low-performance drive, and the Mtron MOBI 3500, OCZ OCZSSD2-1S32G SSD, Super Talent MasterDrive MX SSD and Mtron MOBI 3000 all comprise products with less combined performance than Hard Disk Drive alternatives (except in regard to response time).
In our next section, the entire collection of SSD products Benchmark Reviews has tested will be timed for a Windows XP startup benchmark. Please continue to see how SSD's effect startup performance.