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Written by Olin Coles   
Wednesday, 22 July 2009
Table of Contents: Page Index
OCZ Agility MLC SSD OCZSSD2-1AGT120G
Features and Specifications
First Look: Agility SSD
Agility Internal Components
SSD Testing Methodology
Random Access Time Benchmark
Basic IO Bandwidth
Random Access IOPS Tests
I/O Response Time
Linear Bandwidth Speed
Sequential Performance Tests
Buffered Transaction Speed
Windows XP Startup Times
The Truth Behind Heat Output
Solid State Drive Final Thoughts
OCZ Agility Conclusion

HD Tach RW 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. 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 OCZ Agility Solid State Drive OCZSSD2-1AGT120G, performed at an average 218.8 MBps best sustained read speed and a best average of 95.7 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...

HD_Tach_Bandwidth_OCZ_Agility_SSD.png

Looking at the peak maximum's charted in these illustrations, the OCZ Agility SSD had a extremely consistent 210-220 MBps read speed while the write-to performance occasionally peaked 190 MBps. In fact, the first 10GB of write-to sequential testing averaged 160 MBps. Unfortunately though, HD Tach doesn't offer very consistent test results for both read-from and write-to performance on SSD products, and flat-line SSD read's are very uncommon with this test tool.

Compared against the stated specification of 230/135, our read results appear slightly below the maximum speed OCZ defines, but at times the write performance is actually much higher than 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 average final results is 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 MLC Patriot Torqx, UltraDrive, and Vertex in single or RAID-0, as well as a set of Western Digital VelociRaptor hard drives paired into a RAID-0 stripe array.

The ACARD ANS-9010 RAM-Disk, OCZ Summit SSD, OCZ Agility SSD, OCZ Apex SSD, and Intel X25-M SSD all 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.

HD_Tach_Bandwidth.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 affect startup performance.



 

Comments 

 
# Dell Inspiron 6400+SSDEgor Ukraintsev 2011-11-02 14:37
Hello Olin Coles. I tried to install a Win XP, Vista and Win 7 systems on Dell inspiron 6400 notebook with 60 Gz OCZ SataIII harddrive. Each time I had different problem: blue dead screen, error "bootmgr is missing", can not load a file to harddrive and so on. Did you have such problems? How can i solve such problems and install win on this notebook? Thank you. Egor Ukraintsev
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# RE: Dell Inspiron 6400+SSDOlin Coles 2011-11-02 14:39
Hello Egor:
Although I did not have problems with the SSD sent to me for testing, it sounds like your SSD might have a problem with it. I suggest that you update the SSDs firmware to the latest available on the OCZ website, and contact their technicians if you need additional assistance. Good luck!
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