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OCZ Vertex SSD RAID-0 Performance E-mail
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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

HD Tach RW Benchmark Results

EDITORS NOTE 05/10/2009: Benchmark Reviews has re-tested the OCZ Vertex with the latest v1.10 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 Systesm.

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 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 OCZ Vertex 120GB SATA SSD OCZSSD2-1VTX120G, performed at an average 236.6 MBps best sustained read speed and a best of 162.6 MBps sustained write bandwidth.

HD-Tach_OCZSSD2-1VTX120G_Test1.png

Looking at the peak maximum's charted in these illustrations, the OCZ Vertex had a very consistent read speed nearing 240 MBps while the write-to performance occasionally reached 225 MBps. Unfortunately though, HD Tach doesn't offer very consistent test results for the write-to performance on the Vertex SSD.

HD-Tach_OCZSSD2-1VTX120G_Test3.png

HD-Tach_OCZSSD2-1VTX120G_Test2.png

Compared against the stated specification of 200/160, our read results appear way beyond the conservative range OCZ set, but the write performance falls a little short of the advertised maximum speed. Keep in mind that HD Tach is only capable of offering approximate estimates for SSD products, as evidenced by the three very different write-to performances for the Vertex tests taken only minutes apart. The range of 131.3 to 162.6 MBps is a little 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. Now let's see how badly HD Tach reacts to a RAID-0 set of Vertex SSDs:

OCZ_Vertex_RAID0_HD-Tach.png

I've said it before, and I'm about to say it again: HD Tach is not a reliable tool for testing SSD performance. Taking a look at the single-Vertex versus RAID-0 Vertex SSD performance, you can see exactly what I mean. Judging from the HD Tach results, you might think that read-from performance in RAID-0 is worse than a single SSD, but it's not. I'll agree that the write-to bandwidth is better real world applications, just as it is in HD Tach, but otherwise the software isn't accurate and should be disregarded.

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 and well above the RAID-0 performance a set of Western Digital VelociRaptor hard drives can offer, the OCZ Vertex outperforms every single storage drive product by a significant margin.

The OCZ Apex and Intel X25-M SSD both trail behind in overall performance and finish out the top four 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.

HD_Tach_Bandwidth_Vertex_RAID0.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 

 
# 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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