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Written by Olin Coles   
Monday, 08 March 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
WD SiliconEdge-Blue SSD SSC-D0256SC-2100
Features and Specifications
First Look: WD SiliconEdge-Blue
JMicron JMF612 SSD Controller
SSD Testing Methodology
ATTO Disk Benchmark
HD Tune Pro Benchmarks
Iometer IOPS Performance
EVEREST Disk Benchmark
CrystalDiskMark Tests
SSD vs Hard Disk Drive
WD SiliconEdge-Blue SSD Conclusion

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 HDDs 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 SSDs 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 (SSDs), while the other is usually going to have higher throughput bandwidth (HDDs). Additionally, there are certain factors which can affect the results of a test which we do our best to avoid.

SSD Testing Disclaimer

Early on in our SSD coverage, Benchmark Reviews published an article which detailed Solid State Drive 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.

Our test results were obtained after each SSD had been prepared using DISKPART or Sanitary Erase tools. As a word of caution, applications such as these offer immediate but temporary restoration of original 'pristine' performance levels. In our tests, we discovered that the maximum performance results (charted) would decay as subsequent tests were performed. SSDs attached to TRIM enabled Operating Systems will benefit from continuously refreshed performance, whereas older O/S's will require a garbage collection (GC) tool to avoid 'dirty NAND' performance degradation.

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 PCMark 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.

Test SystemWD-SiliconEdge-Blue_SSC-D0256SC-2100_Angle.jpg

  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD7 with version F6 BIOS
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-920 BX80601920 @ 2.667 GHz
  • System Memory: 6GB Tri-Channel DDR3 1600MHz CL6-6-6-18
  • Storage HBA: Integrated Marvell SE9128 3rd-Generation SATA-6.0Gbps Controller
  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Edition 64-Bit

Drive Hardware Tested

The following storage hardware has been used in our benchmark performance testing, and may be included in portions of this article:

Test Tools

  • 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 2008.06.28 by Intel Corporation: Tests IOPS performance and I/O response time
  • EVEREST Ultimate Edition v5.30.1900 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



 

Comments 

 
# WD SSC-D0256SC-2100Kruis 2010-03-13 03:06
Amazing! No MLC or SLC mentioned, neither by WD.
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# MLC - It's in the review.Olin Coles 2010-03-13 08:02
This SSD uses MLC technology... it's mentioned in the review on two different pages.
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# In the end, they all come to OCZ support forumJenya 2010-06-14 11:04
IMHO every brand owned by ssd pioneers is mentioned there and supported by OCZ team and fans.
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# Nice Review!Zsolt 2010-07-23 00:54
Nice Review!

I buy into a WD 128 SSD, in spite I don´t like the MLC memory technology that much. This is why I choose WD, because I assume it will be still reliable in 2015. For this I am ready to overlook some performance drops (-10-40% to top performers), because I don´t want to spend 1-2 days on reinstalling all my stuff.
I hope I can put the drive into my Dell Studio 17 without any additonal parts needed.
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# Good driveAndre 2010-11-10 02:35
I replaced my 7200 rpm hdd with one of these bad boys from WD in 128 GB capacity. The computer is much much faster, with peak transfer of 350 MB/s and common numbers over 120 MB/s. I plan on getting more when prices drop.
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