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OCZ Agility-EX SLC SSD OCZSSD2-1AGTEX60G E-mail
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Written by Olin Coles   
Wednesday, 30 September 2009
Table of Contents: Page Index
OCZ Agility-EX SLC SSD OCZSSD2-1AGTEX60G
Features and Specifications
First Look: OCZ Agility EX SSD
Indilinx 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
Solid State Drive Final Thoughts
OCZ Agility EX Conclusion

Iometer IOPS Performance

Iometer is an I/O subsystem measurement and characterization tool for single and clustered systems. Iometer does for a computer's I/O subsystem what a dynamometer does for an engine: it measures performance under a controlled load. Iometer was originally developed by the Intel Corporation and formerly known as "Galileo". Intel has discontinued work on Iometer, and has gifted it to the Open Source Development Lab (OSDL).

Iometer is both a workload generator (that is, it performs I/O operations in order to stress the system) and a measurement tool (that is, it examines and records the performance of its I/O operations and their impact on the system). It can be configured to emulate the disk or network I/O load of any program or benchmark, or can be used to generate entirely synthetic I/O loads. It can generate and measure loads on single or multiple (networked) systems.

Benchmark Reviews has resisted publishing Iometer results because there are hundreds of different configuration variables available, making it impossible to reproduce our tests without having our Iometer configuration file. To measure random I/O response time as well as total I/O's per second, Iometer is set to use 4KB file size chunks over a 100% random sequential distribution. The tests are given a 50% read and 50% write distribution. Our charts show the Read and Write IOPS performance as well as I/O response time (measured in ms). Iometer was configured to test for 120 seconds, and after five tests the average is displayed in our benchmark results. The first tests included random read and write IOPS performance, where a higher I/O is preferred.

Iometer_Random_IOPS_ICH10.png

In the Random IOPS performance tests the single layer cell (SLC) OCZ Agility EX (3982/3988), Intel X25-E Extreme (3543/3548), and OCZ Vertex EX (3106/3091) outperformed all other products by a wide margin. The OCZ Vertex Turbo SSD rendered 1774 read/1770 write I/O's, while the Corsair recorded 1769/1773, both of which are just slightly ahead of a single Vertex 1.3 SSD that produced 1702 for read and write IOPS. Sharing the same Indilinx Barefoot controller and NAND architecture, the Crucial CT128M225 SSD (Firmware 1571) reported a read and write I/O of 1695. The mainstream OCZ Agility SSD trails behind with 1625/1618 I/O's while the OCZ Summit MLC SSD completed 730/733 I/O's. Every other product thereafter performs far beneath the above-listed products, and are not suggested for high input/output applications.

The 64GB Kingston SSDNow V+ (which is a rebranded Samsung PB22-J SSD) produced a meager 150 I/O's with Iometer. While offering better IO than any other desktop hard drive (and most first- and second-generation SSDs), the Western Digital VelociRaptor still fell short on IOPS performance compared with several current-generation SSDs and produced only 134/138 IO's. The Mtron MOBI 3000 performed 107 read and write IOPS, while the Western Digital WD5001AALS rendered 86 and the Seagate 7200.11 completing 77. The Seagate Momentus 5400.6, which is a 5400 RPM notebook hard drive, produced 60/59 IO's. The newer Mtron MOBI 3500 rendered 58 IOPS, which was worse than the older 3000 model. The OCZ Apex struggled to complete 9 IOPS, and its identically-designed G.Skill Titan managed only 8 IOPS. Clearly, the twin RAID-0 JMicron controllers are built for speed and not input/output operations. Next comes the average I/O response time tests...

Iometer_Average_Response_Time.png

The Iometer random IOPS average response time test results were nearly an inverse order of the IOPS performance results. It's no surprise that SLC drives perform I/O processes far better than their MLC versions, but that gap is slowly closing as controller technology improves the differences and enhances cache buffer space. The Read/Write IOPS performance for the 64GB OCZ Agility-EX SLC SSD was 0.19/0.06 ms, with the Intel X25-E Extreme SSD measuring 0.22/0.06 ms, while the OCZ Vertex EX (firmware 1.20) achieved 0.26/0.06 ms. Both of these premium MLC products share a dramatic lead ahead of the other SSDs tested.

The Corsair X256 and OCZ Vertex Turbo SSD both scored 0.50/0.06ms, while the Vertex 1.30 and Crucial CT128M225 SSD both offered 0.52/0.06ms. The mainstream Agility SSD produced 0.55/0.06ms, and the OCZ Summit responded to read requests in 0.78ms while write requests were a bit quicker at 0.59ms. Kingston's SSDNow V+ (Intel X25-M) produced 3.50/3.14 ms. The Western Digital VelociRaptor did very well compared against SSD products, producing 6.59/0.82ms. These times were collectively the best available, as each product measured hereafter performed much slower.

The Mtron MOBI 3000 offered a fast 0.42ms read response time, but suffered a slower 8.97ms write response. Both the WD5001AALS and Seagate 7200.11 hard drives performed around 11ms read and 1.2ms write. The Seagate Momentus 5400.6 offered 15.3/1.36ms response times. Mtron's newer MOBI 3500 offered great read response times at 0.19ms, but suffered poor write responses at 17.19ms. The worst was yet to come, as the G.Skill Titan and OCZ Apex offered decent 0.42ms read response times but absolutely unacceptable 127ms write times.

Drive Hardware

In our next section, we test linear read and write bandwidth performance and compare its speed against several other top storage products using EVEREST Disk Benchmark. Benchmark Reviews feels that linear tests are excellent for rating SSDs, however HDDs are put at a disadvantage with these tests whenever capacity is high.



 

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