|RunCore Pro-V SandForce SF1200 SSD|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Thursday, 29 April 2010|
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RunCore Pro-V SSD Review
SandForce is the hot ticket in SSD controller technology for 2010, offering outstanding bandwidth speed and operational performance. RunCore utilizes the SandForce SF-1222TA3-SBH (SF-1200) processor in their Pro-V prosumer MLC SSD series, and the SF-1565TA2-SBH (SF-1500) processor equips their business-level RunCore Kylin-II SLC SSD series. SandForce RAISE technology provides redundant protection for single SSD computer systems, while data is automatically secured with AES-128 encryption. The SandForce SF-1200 controller has already found its way into many of the fastest SSDs available: ADATA S599, Corsair Force F100, RunCore Pro-V, PhotoFast G-Monster 2, OCZ Agility-2, and Mach Xtreme. With transfer speeds nearly saturating the SATA-3GB/s interface, and operational IOPS performance reaching SLC-NAND levels, it makes sense for RunCore to use the new industry leader.
The biggest mistake PC hardware enthusiast make with SSDs is grading them by their speed. File transfer speed is important, but only so long as the operational IOPS performance can sustain that bandwidth under load. Benchmark Reviews tests the 200GB RunCore Pro-V SSD, model RCP-V-S2520-MCN, against some of the most popular storage devices available and demonstrates that 4K IOPS performance is more important than speed.
In a very short time span the entire SSD market has created and recreated itself many times over. Counting the generations of SSD processors has become difficult for experienced experts, and keeping-up with controller architecture has come with its own set of challenges. Benchmark Reviews has tested many Solid State Drive products, and we've seen everything from dual-SATA controllers in RAID-0 to extremely large cache buffer modules used inside of them. While the SSD industry grows daily, only a few select manufacturers offer popularly-accepted Flash NAND SSD controllers. As of May 2010 the most popular consumer SSD controllers are designed by: Indilinx, Intel, JMicron, Toshiba, Samsung, SandForce, and Marvell.
For decades, the slowest component in any computer system was the hard drive. Most modern processors operate within approximately 1-ns (nanosecond = one billionth of one second) response time, while system memory responds between 30-90 ns. Traditional Hard Disk Drive (HDD) technology utilizes magnetic spinning media, and even the fastest spinning desktop storage products exhibit a 9,000,000 ns - or 9 ms (millisecond = one thousandth of one second) initial response time. In more relevant terms, The processor receives the command and waits for system memory to fetch related data from the storage drive. This is why any computer system is only as fast as the slowest component in the data chain; which is usually the hard drive.
The theoretical goal for achieving optimal performance is for system memory to operate as quickly as the central processor, and the storage drive to operate as fast as memory. With present technology this is an impossible task, so enthusiasts try to close the speed gaps between components as much as possible. Although system memory is up to 90x (9000%) slower than most processors, just consider that the hard drive is an added 1000x (100,000%) slower than that same memory. Essentially, these three components are as different in speed as walking is to driving and flying.
Solid State Drive technology bridges the largest gap. The difference a SSD makes to operational reaction times and program speeds is dramatic, and takes the storage drive from a slow 'walking' speed to a much faster 'driving' speed. Solid State Drive technology improves initial response times by more than 450x (45,000%) for applications and Operating System software, when compared to their HDD counterparts.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Benchmark Reviews has used this SSD to publish our SandForce SF1200 RAID-0 SSD Performance review.
Bandwidth Speed vs Operational Performance
As we've explained in our SSD Benchmark Tests: SATA IDE vs AHCI Mode guide, Solid State Drive performance revolves around two dynamics: bandwidth speed (MB/s) and operational performance (IOPS). These two metrics work together, but one is more important than the other. Consider this analogy: operational IOPS performance determines how much cargo a ship can transport in one voyage, and the bandwidth speed is to fast the ship moves. By understanding this and applying it to SSD storage, there is a clear importance set on each variable depending on the task at hand.
For casual users, especially those with laptop or desktop computers that have been upgraded to use an SSD, the naturally quick response time is enough to automatically improve the user experience. Bandwidth speed is important, but only to the extent that operational performance meets the minimum needs of the system. If an SSD has a very high bandwidth speed but a low operational performance, it will take longer to load applications and boot the computer into Windows than if the SSD offered a higher IOPS performance.
Hunan RunCore Innovation Technology Co, Ltd.
RunCore, based in the Changsha Hunan province of China, is a global leader in the research, development, production, and distribution of high-end solid-state storage products. RunCore SSD is founded on 10 years of research at the National University of Defense Technology and currently offers three solid-state storage series products aimed at optimizing and harnessing speed, quality, value, simplicity and power for prosumer, industrial and military solid-state drive markets. These products are electronic solid-state hard disk, E-drive speed disk, and the run-storage solid-state storage arrays which are used in military equipment, industrial control, commercial servers, embedded computers, and personal computers.