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Written by Olin Coles   
Tuesday, 30 March 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
ADATA S599 SSD AS599S-128GM-C
Features and Specifications
First Look: ADATA S599
SandForce SF-1200 SSD Controller
SSD Testing Methodology
AS-SSD Benchmark
ATTO Disk Benchmark
Iometer IOPS Performance
EVEREST Disk Benchmark
CrystalDiskMark Tests
SSD vs Hard Disk Drive
ADATA AS599S-128GM-C 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 System

  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD7 (Intel X58-Express)
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-920 BX80601920 @ 2.667 GHz
  • System Memory: 6GB Triple-Channel DDR3 1600MHz CL6-6-6-18
  • SATA 3Gb/s Storage HBA: Integrated Intel ICH10R Controller
    • AHCI mode - Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver 9.6.0.1014
  • SATA 6Gb/s Storage HBA: Integrated Marvell SE9128 Controller
    • AHCI mode - Marvell Magni Driver Marvell Magni Driver 1.0.0.1036
  • 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

  • AS SSD Benchmark v1.4.3704.27281: Multi-purpose speed and operational performance test
  • 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
  • Lavalys EVEREST Ultimate Edition v5.30.1900: 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

Test Results Disclaimer

This article utilizes software tools to produce operational IOPS performance and bandwidth speed results. Each test was conducted in a specific fashion, and repeated for all products. These test results are not comparable to any other benchmark application, neither on this website or another, regardless of similar IOPS or MB/s terminology in the scores. The test results in this project are only intended to be compared to the other test results conducted in identical fashion for this article.



 

Comments 

 
# I fail to see the subject under test in most of the chartsGreg 2010-03-30 16:21
Maybe the wrong charts were published.
Out of the 13 SSDs in the charts, none is the ADATA S599.
What gives?
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# The ADATA S599 is in the charts.Olin Coles 2010-03-30 17:07
I don't know what you're referring to, but the charts include the ADATA S599 SSD test results.
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# RE: The ADATA S599 is in the charts.Stas 2010-03-30 23:24
In CrystalDiskMark Tests too?
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# Read the article...Olin Coles 2010-03-31 06:46
If you actually READ THE ARTICLE, you'll notice the lengthy explanations for these two tests.
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# Updated Test ResultsOlin Coles 2010-04-21 16:01
The AS-SSD Benchmark and CrystalDiskMark 3.0 results have been updated, and comparison charts are now included. The new data reflects test results with 4K IOPS performance in mind. I have also removed HD-Tune entirely, since we've discovered that the random IOPS portion of this tool is not useful for SSDs.
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# RE: ADATA S599 SandForce SF-1200 SSDJustin 2010-03-31 04:54
The Crystal DiskMark and the HDTune Random IOPS charts are missing the ADATA S599.
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# re: ADATA S599 SSDLogan 2010-03-31 11:22
Oi Olin!

You ARE missing the ADATA S599 from the DiskMark AND the HDTune IOPS charts.

I read your article and it was ok but you really have to make sure that all tested items are on the charts if you expect consumers to make informed choices... I'm sure that ADATA would appreciate that most of all because at least on paper, they seem to have a smoking fast product.

Cheers..
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# RE: re: ADATA S599 SSDOlin Coles 2010-03-31 11:28
If you had read the article, you'd know that these two tests produced abnormal results. I explain this in full detail, and also reveal all of my results.
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# Intel ...Christopher27 2010-04-01 03:52
Intel has TRIM (and I suppose X-25E serie has GC also).
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# Sector alignment issuesAllan Stirling 2010-04-01 07:12
HDDs can suffer from sector misalignment as well. ##g-loaded.eu/2010/03/29/partition-misalignment-slows-4096-byte-sector-hard-drives/
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# RE: ADATA S599 SandForce SF-1200 SSDBen 2010-04-06 04:56
Although the details are listed, the missing chart information is misleading to people who just scan through the article. I suggest you publish all of your data in the chart with a footnote stating "abnormal results". Thanks for including it in the written review, but it would be eye-opening to see it compared instead of just referred to.
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# Which storage controller was used?gaspard leon 2010-06-21 07:25
In the "Test System" section it says: "Storage HBA: Integrated Marvell SE9128 3rd-Generation SATA-6.0Gbps Controller"

But in the tests it says the ICH10 was used... which is it?

This makes quite a difference... Also if you want to get the least lag, you need an H55 or P55 based board, the storage controller on those is really quick
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# RE: Which storage controller was used?Olin Coles 2010-06-21 07:29
ICH10 is used on SATA-3GB SSDs, and the Marvell SE9128 is used on SATA-6GB SSDs (currently only Crucial C300).

As for the H/P55 platform having less 'lag' than X58, you are basing this on what evidence? I'm disregarding this remark, since I've tested on both.
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# thanks for the quick replygaspard leon 2010-06-21 18:56
Yeah that makes sense, so only the Crucial was on the Marvell.

Re H/P55 I have not done a lot of checks but I noticed a little bit faster access times, and slightly higher scores under AS SSD Benchmark, which I attribute to the H/P55 design being newer, and not a "Separate" chip, since the north and south bridge are both in the one chip, so the latency is a litttle lower...

Overall the difference between ICH10R and 55 series is fairly slight, just thought you should know that it's probably the best platform I've seen so far for SSD latency.

You can disregard this if you like, just trying to keep up awareness of different platforms
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# iometer resultsChristian 2011-01-24 02:17
guys, i'm not able to reproduce your scores, can you send me your iometer's config. file? this will be very appreciated ... :)
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# RE: iometer resultsOlin Coles 2011-01-24 09:40
Sure thing! I've emailed you our Iometer configuration file. Make sure that you use the same version as we did in our article for best results.
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# Thanks!!!Christian 2011-01-24 09:55
Thanks mate! i'll try it soon ...
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# RE: ADATA S599 SSD AS599S-128GM-CAMOCO 2011-07-05 22:30
So I sent Adata an email about firmware updates:
Me;So,When is the new updated firmware for this drive coming out?I've and others
have been waiting months for it.As the 3.4.6 firmware has heat issues.

Adata;The firmware updates are released by Sandforce and we have not gotten any update on new firmware. However, if you are experiencing issues please let us know we can replace for a new S599, or exchange for S596 Turbo.

So what gives?Is there an update for this drive other than 3.4.6?
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