|OCZ Agility-EX SLC SSD OCZSSD2-1AGTEX60G|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Wednesday, 30 September 2009|
Page 12 of 14
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 hard 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 64GB OCZ Agility-EX OCZSSD2-1AGTEX60G Indilinx-based SLC Solid State Drive, performed at an average 232.1 MBps best sustained average read speed and a best average sustained write bandwidth of 205.0 MBps. For comparison, these results were nearly identical to the Corsair X256 MLC SSD. Using the Secure Erase tool after each test kept our results consistent and reliable, however used 'dirty' SSD will show significant performance degradation.
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 with the Corsair X256, Intel X25-E Extreme, and OCZ Agility EX SSDs all tied second, ahead of the MLC Vertex Turbo and several other Indilinx Barefoot-based SSDs. (Crucial M225, OCZ Vertex, Patriot Torqx, Super Talent UltraDrive, and Agility). A set of Western Digital VelociRaptor hard drives paired into a RAID-0 stripe array come close, but just aren't enough to stave off SSD performance.
The ACARD ANS-9010 RAM-Disk, OCZ Summit SSD, OCZ Agility SSD, OCZ Apex SSD, Intel X25-M, and Kingston SSDNow V+ 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.
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).
Please continue on to the Final Thoughts sections, where the state of SSD testing and Data Storage market sector are put under analysis...