|ACARD ANS-9010 DDR2 SATA RAM-Drive|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Thursday, 26 March 2009|
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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.
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...
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.
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.