|Super Talent UltraDrive ME SSD FTM28GX25H|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Wednesday, 13 May 2009|
Page 12 of 16
HD Tach RW Results
EDITORS NOTE 05/15/2009: Benchmark Reviews has re-tested the Super Talent UltraDrive ME with the latest v1370 firmware, which includes TRIM support, and the resulting performance was generally identical to the previous firmware. Please remember that TRIM is a Windows 7 supported feature, and does not improve performance on Windows XP or Vista Operating Systems.
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. HD Tach will not test write performance if a partition is present, so all of our benchmarks are completed prior to drive formatting.
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 Intel ICH10R 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 Super Talent UltraDrive ME 128GB MLC SSD FTM28GX25H, performed at an average 230.9 MBps best sustained read speed and a best average of 181.5 MBps sustained write bandwidth. I use the term 'best' because HD Tach changed it's results on the very next test, and several more thereafter...
Looking at the peak maximum's charted in these illustrations, the UltraDrive ME had a very consistent read speed nearing 232 MBps while the write-to performance occasionally reached 220 MBps. Unfortunately though, HD Tach doesn't offer very consistent test results for the write-to performance on SSD products.
Compared against the stated specification of 260/195, our read results appear slightly below the maximum speed Super Talent defines, but the write performance is actually much closer to the advertised maximum speed. Keep in mind that HD Tach is only capable of offering approximate estimates for SSD products, as evidenced by the very different write-to performance results received for tests taken only minutes apart. The range of 186 to 220 MBps is a much wider than I would like for a test tool, but I've already warned that HD Tach is meant for Hard Drive products, hence the name.
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. With an improved write performance, the SLC Vertex EX finds itself positioned in first place and well ahead of the UltraDrive and MLC Vertex in single or RAID-0, and a set of Western Digital VelociRaptor hard drives paired into a RAID-0 stripe array.
The ACARD ANS-9010 RAM-Disk, OCZ Apex SSD, and Intel X25-M SSD both trail behind in overall performance and finish out the top five positions. Nearly every other storage product trails distantly behind these leaders, which all recorded a combined HD Tach 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.