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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

Disclaimer: SSD Testing

Benchmark Reviews recently published an article which details Solid State Drive (SSD) Benchmark Performance Testing. The research and discussion that went into producing that article changed the way we now test SSD products. Our previous perceptions of this technology were lost on one particular difference: the wear leveling algorithm that makes data a moving target. Without conclusive linear bandwidth testing or some other method of total-capacity testing, our previous performance results were rough estimates at best.

It's critically important to understand that no software for the Microsoft Windows platform can accurately measure SSD performance in a comparable fashion. Synthetic benchmark tools such as HD Tach and ATTO Disk Benchmark are helpful indicators, but should not be considered the ultimate determining factor. That factor should be measured in actual user experience of real-world applications. Benchmark Reviews includes both bandwidth benchmarks and application speed tests to present a conclusive measurement of product performance.

SSD Testing Methodology

Solid State Drives have traveled a long winding course to finally get where they are today. Up to this point in technology, there have been several key differences separating Solid State Drives from magnetic rotational Hard Disk Drives. While the DRAM-based buffer size on desktop HDD's has recently reached 32 MB and is ever-increasing, there is still a hefty delay in the initial response time. This is one key area in which flash-based Solid State Drives continually dominates because they lack moving parts to "get up to speed".

However the benefits inherent to SSD's have traditionally fallen off once the throughput begins, even though data reads or writes are executed at a high constant rate whereas the HDD tapers off in performance. This makes the average transaction speed of a SSD comparable to the data burst rate mentioned in HDD tests, albeit usually lower than the HDD's speed.

Comparing a Solid State Disk to a standard Hard Disk Drives is always relative; even if you're comparing the fastest rotational spindle speeds. One is going to be many times faster in response (SSD's), while the other is usually going to have higher throughput bandwidth (HDD's). Additionally, there are certain factors which can affect the results of a test which we do our best to avoid.

Test System

  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P (Intel X58/ICH10R Chipset) with version F7e BIOS
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-920 BX80601920 @ 2.667 GHz
  • System Memory: 6GB Tri-Channel DDR3 1600MHz CL6-6-6-18
  • Operating System: Windows XP Professional SP-3 (optimized to 16 processes at idle)

Drive Hardware

Test Tools

  • System Speed Test v4.78 by Vladimir Afanasiev: Accurately measures random access response time
  • ATTO Disk Benchmark v2.34: Spot-tests static file size chunks for basic I/O bandwidth
  • HD Tune Pro v3.5 by EFD Software: Measured random access IOPS and speed
  • Iometer 2006.07.27 by Intel Corporation: Tests IOPS performance and I/O response time
  • EVEREST Ultimate Edition v5.00.1650 by Lavalys: Disk Benchmark component tests linear read and write bandwidth speeds
  • CrystalDiskMark v2.2 by Crystal Dew World: Sequential speed benchmark spot-tests various file size chunks
  • HD Tach RW v3.0.4.0 by Simpli Software: Measures approximate buffered read and write bandwidth speeds



 

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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