|SandForce SF-1200 SSD Processor|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Monday, 05 April 2010|
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SandForce SF-1200 Performance
Alex Schepeljanski of Alex Intelligent Software develops the free AS SSD Benchmark utility for testing storage devices. The AS SSD Benchmark tests sequential read and write speeds, input/output operational performance, and response times. Because this software receives frequent updates, Benchmark Reviews recommends that you compare results only within the same version.
Beginning with sequential read and write performance, the ADATA S599 SandForce SF-1200 Solid State Drive produced a 207.0 MB/s read speed, but only a 130.6 MB/s write. Conversely, 4K IOPS performance swings in the opposite direction, with 16.1 MB/s read and 50.1 MB/s write. ADATA's lab was able to produce 20.7 and 56.9 MB/s read and write IOPS, which is notably higher than our results using the same system hardware.
Access time is one area that draws our attention, as the S599 SSD we received produced 0.24 ms read response times and 0.29 ms write times. AS SSD Benchmark also includes a file-copy tool for measuring transfer time and speed. in ACHI mode, our results produced a high of 94 MB/s and a low of 84.1 MB/s.
ATTO Disk Benchmark program is free, and offers a comprehensive set of test variables to work with. In terms of disk performance, it measures interface transfer rates at various intervals for a user-specified length and then reports read and write speeds for these spot-tests. There are some minor improvements made to the 2.34 version of the program, but the benchmark is still limited to non-linear samples up to 256MB. ATTO Disk Benchmark requires that an active partition be set on the drive being tested. Please consider the results displayed by this benchmark to be basic bandwidth speed performance indicators.
Our basic bandwidth speed tests begin with the ADATA S599 SSD connected to the Intel ICH10 controller, as the ATTO Disk Benchmark tools performs file transfers ranging from 0.5 KB to 8192 KB. The 100GB model we received reveals 286 MBps maximum read speed that plateaus from 512-8192 KB file chunks, and the 277 MBps peak write bandwidth plateaus from 64-8192 KB. These results surpass those suggested by ADATA, who produced nearly identical results in their test lab.
Many enthusiasts are familiar with the Lavalys EVEREST benchmark suite, but very few are aware of the Disk Benchmark tool available inside the program. The EVEREST Disk Benchmark performs linear read and write bandwidth tests on each drive, and can be configured to use file chunk sizes up to 1MB (which speeds up testing and minimizes jitter in the waveform). Because of the full sector-by-sector nature of linear testing, Benchmark Reviews endorses this method for testing SSD products, as detailed in our Solid State Drive Benchmark Performance Testing article. However, Hard Disk Drive products suffer a lower average bandwidth as the capacity draws linear read/write speed down into the inner-portion of the disk platter. EVEREST Disk Benchmark does not require a partition to be present for testing, so all of our benchmarks are completed prior to drive formatting.
The high-performance storage products tested with EVEREST Disk Benchmark are connected to the Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD7 motherboard. Using the 1MB block size, read performance of the 100GB ADATA S599 Solid State Drive measured an average 256.8 MBps with a similar maximum peak of 259.8 MBps. Linear write-to tests were next...
Linear disk benchmarks are superior tools in my opinion, because they scan from the first physical sector to the last. A side affect of many linear write-performance test tools is that the data is erased as it writes to every sector on the drive. Normally this isn't an issue, but it has been shown that partition table alignment will occasionally play a role in overall SSD performance (HDDs don't suffer this problem).
The waveform chart below illustrates how the integrated buffer manages file transfers, and makes linear write performance appear even yet unsteady. The results seen here are still relatively consistent compared to most other SSD products we've tested in the past. The ADATA S599 recorded an average linear write-to speed of 249.3 MBps, with a maximum performance of 254.7 MBps.
For reference, SandForce specifies the SF-1200 at 260 MB/s read and write, yet ADATA suggests 280/270 MB/s performance. In our benchmark tests, the ADATA S599 SSD performed at or above this rating. The ADATA S599 delivered 286/277 MBps peak read and writes speeds using ATTO Disk Benchmark and trailed by 260/255 MBps in Everest, making this the fastest SATA-3GBps MLC SSD we've tested. Operational performance was very good in Iometer, where the S599 outperformed all other MLC SSDs and competed with SLC models. Based on these results, enthusiasts can expect high operational speeds and functionality for demanding applications.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Benchmark Reviews has used this SSD to publish our SandForce SF1200 RAID-0 SSD Performance review.
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