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Written by Olin Coles   
Thursday, 26 March 2009
Table of Contents: Page Index
ACARD ANS-9010 DDR2 SATA RAM-Drive
Features and Specifications
First Look: ACARD ANS-9010
ACARD ANS-9010 Details
SSD Testing Methodology
Random Access Time Benchmark
Basic IOPS Performance
Linear Bandwidth Speed
Buffered Transaction Speed
Windows XP Startup Times
Solid State Drive Final Thoughts
ACARD ANS-9010 Conclusion

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 Tach RW 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 ACARD ANS-9010 DDR2 SATA RAM-Drive, performed at an average 174 MBps best sustained read speed and a best of 144 MBps sustained write bandwidth. To my surprise, these rusults were within 5% of the others, and appear a close approximation of bandwidth speed performance.

ACARD_ANS-9010_HD-Tach_2-4x-DIMM.png

Comparing 4GB of DDR2 (2 DIMM) against 8GB (4 DIMM), there was nearly no difference in performance. Although not displayed, 6-DIMM and 8-DIMM standard configurations offered the same end result. Next came the RAID-0 performance tests...

ACARD_ANS-9010_HD-Tach_2-4x-DIMM_RAID-0.png

With a slightly different twist is results, RAID-0 performance was much better than standard single mode. The real surprise here was the difference between 2-DIMM and 4-DIMM configuration, which equaled over 100 MBps more with the extra DDR2 modules. The first time I read these results I thought that there might have been a flawed test, but re-testing for three more benchmark runs proved that HD-Tach and the ACARD ANS-9010 are at odds like every other SSD.

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. Positioned in first place is the OCZ Vertex, which offers the best performance we've measured on HD-Tach. Next is the RAID-0 performance offered by a set of Western Digital VelociRaptor hard drives, and followed by the ACARD ANS-9010 RAM-Disk. The OCZ Apex and G.Skill Titan are nearly tied for second place in terms of best SSD performance. In third place (for SSDs) is the Intel X25-M SSD, which offers great read speed but miserable write performance.

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.

HD_Tach_Bandwidth_ICH10.png

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).

Drive Hardware

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.



 

Comments 

 
# RE: ACARD ANS-9010 DDR2 SATA RAM-DriveJeddo 2010-03-12 16:11
Why bother with a hardware device that uses RAM modules at such low speeds? I mean, 500 MB/s may be fast for anything plugged into a SATA socket, but with modern consumer motherboards accomodating 16 GB RAM, take half of that for a RAMdrive and you'll be far better off in terms of raw performance. I measured approx. 2 GB/s on a 1 GB RAMdrive; system: Athlon 64 x2 6000+, 2 GB DDR2, XP SP3. And if 4 RAM sockets are not enough, I'm sure Tyan can meet your needs.
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# RE: RE: ACARD ANS-9010 DDR2 SATA RAM-DriveDennis 2010-06-12 19:18
There is a definite niche market for this product. If you have a 32-bit OS like WinXP (and are forced to use this), and run a memory hungry app like PhotoShop, you will need something to help you through the 4GB memory barrier. This handy drive will take care of all you paging file, virtual memory, and temporary drive storage needs. It will provide a strong boost in performance. I'm planning on getting one shortly for use in a corporate environment currently locked to Windows XP 32-bit.
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# Access speed is more important for SSDs.donjoe 2011-01-21 05:31
"the average linear read and write bandwidth [...] I personally consider this the single most important comparison of storage drive products"

You personally have no idea what you're talking about - SSDs are way too expensive per GB to be used mainly for long-term storage, so it makes no sense to talk about them as being anything other than active, system-and-applications or server drives, where the ACCESS SPEED is the key factor, not the linear I/O speed.
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# RE: Access speed is more important for SSDs.Olin Coles 2011-01-21 08:27
How do you take that quote to mean that I endorse SSDs for primary storage? Considering how many SSDs I've personally tested (over fifty), and how many more I've personally deployed on servers and workstations (thirty), I think you might want to reconsider your baseless claim.

What I'm saying here is that linear I/O is more important than the other factors, since SSDs will already inherently deliver faster access speed and transfer bandwidth. In my opinion, measuring input/output operations is more important than measuring speed or response time on an SSD.
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# RE: ACARD ANS-9010 DDR2 SATA RAM-Drivethrakkor 2011-12-28 11:15
I suspect that the main limitation here is the bridge chip. The RAM, even DDR2, has huge speed headroom (proven by mainboard chipsets); the SATA interface may or may not stand in the way of really high transfer speeds, but given that many modern days Flash based SSDs have competitive speeds, the remaining factor is the bridge chip, along with the design of the board. I really expect this kind of device, the RAM based SSD to offer over 300 megabytes / second read and write, easily, no RAID required.
Conclusion: SODIMM DDR3 for improved RAM density (16 slots would be really top), SATA3 interfacing (there aren't even may SATA3 HDDs) and an improved bridging design (even a small dedicated computer of its own would be necessary to handle the huge bandwidth). Since there are many 300 to 400 USD graphic monsters that are used just for games - what a stupid purpose - I don't even blink at spending, say, 500 USD on such a future DDR3 based SSD, and that's before any SODIMM would make its way into the slots. I don't even blink at that price. But, please, 150 MB/s ? Hah... More like 300 - 400, SATA3 or even SAS...
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# RAMhirnaxi karelia 2012-06-12 14:27
hi i want to know about how can i find ram; speed, pins, title, and eles.
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