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Written by Olin Coles   
Friday, 03 April 2009
Table of Contents: Page Index
OCZ Vertex SSD RAID-0 Performance
Features and Specifications
First Look: OCZ Vertex SSD
Vertex SSD Internal Components
SSD Testing Methodology
Random Access Time Benchmark
Basic IOPS Performance
Linear Bandwidth Speed
I/O Response Time
Buffered Transaction Speed
Windows XP Startup Times
The Truth Behind Heat Output
Solid State Drive Final Thoughts
Vertex RAID-0 Conclusion

SSD Final Thoughts

New technology always has one major hurdle to face: the consumer. I have long maintained my opinion that DDR3 system memory is every bit an excellent replacement to the aging DDR2 standard, but the argument of high price and limited adoption by manufacturers has hushed my position. Of course, everything changes in time, and an economic recession actually helped DDR3 make its way mainstream. Faced with a similar situation, Solid State Drive technology has suffered the same difficult transition towards widespread use. Like most electronics, it wasn't a question of how much of a technology improvement was evident, it was price.

Then at some point, a certain well-respected hardware website published an article that claimed SSDs didn't consume less power after all. Although this report was later recanted on account of testing errors, the foundation was shaken for consumers and led me to wonder what kind of impact my news of higher heat output will cause the adoption process? After all, I like these products, and completely endorse the technology. But the bad publicity, even when it's disproven, still has a lasting affect thanks to the angst a premium price tag creates. This also has me wondering how my SSD Benchmark Testing revelation will affect the market. Of course, time was once again the changing factor, and the latest SSD products make these perspectives obsolete.

OCZ_Vertex_Logo.jpg

So back in May of 2008 when I reviewed the OCZ SATA-II 32GB SSD it seemed like $17 per gigabyte was a relatively good price for SSDs at the time. Consider for a moment that before then, SSD's such the elite-level 32 GB MemoRight GT cost on the level of $33 per gigabyte. Even products like the entry-level 32 GB Mtron MOBI 3000 were still selling for $14 per gigabyte, making the price of admission seem quite high for even the lower-level SKU's. So when OCZ announced a 64GB SSD that would sell for under $259 in July of 2008, I really wasn't sure if the news was believable. It didn't take long to realize these claims were all true, because shortly thereafter NewEgg began listing these SSDs exactly as predicted. This event in itself should have probably started the long-awaited dawn of widespread consumer acceptance for SSD products... but there was a problem.

As it turned out, the first generation (v1) OCZ Core Series SSD I touted in my review was prone to long-term data corruption and occasional delay stuttering. Making matters worse was that the mail-in rebate nullified consumer ability to return the defective product for a refund. Nothing hurts progress more than an angry customer, and this incident created plenty. Later on, OCZ would issue a second version (v2) of the CORE series, and even though most problems were ironed out with firmware updates, a lingering fear of product reliability associated with Solid State Drives remained.

Once again, everything tends to change over time, and Solid State Drive sale prices are much different now. When it comes to computer hardware, generally speaking the newer, faster, and better performing products traditionally cost more than their older predecessors... but this is not the case with SSD's. I recognize that SSD bandwidth speeds range from abysmal to phenomenal and everywhere in-between, but the prices don't seem to correspond to performance. SSD's are filling store shelves, and several Solid State Drive models now sell for as low as $2.07 per gigabyte, which is getting dangerously close to Western Digital's VelociRaptor at $0.76 per gigabyte of storage.

So why are some Solid State Drives so affordable while others sell at 2-7x the cost? That's a very good question that only a particular group of manufacturers can answer. My best estimation is that the OEM's (Original Equipment Manufacturers) like OCZ, Patriot, Super Talent, and G.Skill (to name a few) receive discounts when using a common design under license. The opposite is true for ODM's (Original Design Manufacturers) such as MemoRight, Mtron, and Silicon Power, which must shoulder the burden of R&D and production. DRAM Prices have dropped beyond anyone's expectations, which has certainly helped, and consumers should soon reap the advantages.



 

Comments 

 
# MRAnthony 2010-03-18 04:56
I'm always wary of Mbps(bits) and MB(bytes), too many people use them interchangably. The Ads on the same page for this product say "250MB" not bits, so what is the Atto 249 MBps maximum read bandwidth??? bizarre?
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# El Presidente'Marko 2010-11-27 01:09
Anthony, typically Mbps (Megabits) refers to a transfer speed whereas MBs refer to a capacity. Whether ignorant people use them interchangeably or not, using this guideline you should always be able to figure out which it is. :)
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# RE: El Presidente'Olin Coles 2010-11-27 07:51
I'm not exactly clear which side of the argument you're on here, Marko. Read up on the specifications for any SSD product, and you'll see their bandwidth speed represented as MB/s.
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# DKSGDKSG 2012-04-18 00:41
MB when used in advertised capacity is not Megabytes, it's Million Bytes. Bytes or Bits will be denoted by B or b respectively. When the vendor advertise 250MB, it means 250 Million Bytes which is approx to 244.14 Mega Bytes. This 244.14 is RAW Megabytes and have not included partitioning and other possible overhead used in the system which may yield lower capacity than 244.14 Megabytes.

When used on the bandwidth, make sure you fully understand what the bandwidth measures. In different network or cable setup, the bandwidth could be shared and a single device do not usually get that kind of bandwidth on average. On network, typically vendors means Megabytes when they denote MB unless otherwise denoted using fineprints, but the usual price is using Megabits which looks a lot better on paper.
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# RAID-0 Setuptypoknig 2010-05-10 09:52
How exactly did you have your RAID-0 setup during this test? For instance, were you using the Intel Matrix Storage Manager or some other method?
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# Intel ICH10Olin Coles 2010-05-10 15:11
RAID-0 was built using the motherboard's Intel ICH10 controller.
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# Stripe sizeJ Walsh 2010-05-12 08:46
What stripe size was used in the RAID 0 setup and why?
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# 128KB Stripe SizeOlin Coles 2010-05-12 08:49
This articles used a 128KB stripe size, which is the largest the Intel ICH10 controller allows for RAID-0 sets.
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# Benchmarking A Bigger RAID 0 Arraytypoknig 2010-06-08 22:06
Hi, I have been running the same benchmarks you ran on my RAID 0 array which has 3 120GB OCZ Vertex drives compared to the 2 used in this benchmark. My results have not even been close to what I thought I would be getting after reading this review. I have posted some info about my results here:

##overclock.net/benchmarking-software-discussion/750979-benchmarking-3-120gb-ocz-vertex-ssds.html

Maybe you can take a look at my stuff and tell me why my linear read in Everest does not produce a flat line like yours (I realize I used 512MB block size, but the 1MB block size produced identical results), and why my numbers are so much lower when they should be higher. I have also ran the benchmarks without an OS (or any data) on the array at all, and the results are very similar. Any thoughts?
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# Partition alignmentOlin Coles 2010-06-14 19:43
I'm betting that our results are higher because of drive conditioning: partition alignment, diskpart clean all, secure erase, etc. Since TRIM doesn't always pass through to RAID arrays, used drives will produce lower performance results.
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# sanitary erasetypoknig 2010-11-27 21:23
I have had this problem fixed for quite some time now. If you go to the link I provided in my last comment you will see that using sanitary erase did trick for me... so as you said, "drive conditioning" was my problem. To keep my drives as clean as possible I use the "Wipe Free Space" feature of CCleaner. Does the same thing as wiper.exe but it works when drives are in RAID (unlike wiper.exe).
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# flash, not dramscott 2010-12-02 15:43
Samsung K9HCG08U1M-PCB00 is flash memory, not DRAM... this is why we call it an SSD
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# 4-drive RAID 0Remo 2010-12-23 08:42
Mr Coles, do you have any idea how would a 4 SSD in RAID-0 perform? Would you use it as the boot drive in a windows 7 system?
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# RE: 4-drive RAID 0Olin Coles 2010-12-23 08:44
You should look into the OCZ RevoDrive 2 PCI-Express SSDs, which fit four SSDs into RAID-0 on one board. Our review is here:

benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=635
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# RE: RE: 4-drive RAID 0Remo 2010-12-23 08:57
I definitely will look for it. But, how much gain in performance would you expect when upgrading from a 2-drive raid-0 to a 4-drive raid-0?
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