|OWC Mercury Extreme Pro-RE SSD SSDMXRE100|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 01 June 2010|
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EVEREST Disk Benchmark
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 Intel ICH10 controller on the Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD7 motherboard. Using the 1MB block size, read performance of the 100GB Mercury Extreme Pro-RE Solid State Drive measured an average 256.3 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 OWC Mercury Extreme Pro-RE SSD recorded an average linear write-to speed of 251.2 MBps, with a maximum performance of 253.2 MBps.
The chart below shows the average linear read and write bandwidth speeds for a cross-section of SATA storage devices tested with EVEREST:
I personally consider linear tests to be the single most important comparison of storage drive products, although HDD products suffer performance degradation over the span of their storage capacity. Linear bandwidth certainly benefits the Solid State Drive, since there's very little fluctuation in transfer speed. This is because Hard Disk Drive products decline in performance as the spindle reaches the inner-most sectors on the magnetic platter, away from the fast outer edge.
In the next section, I share my final thoughts on the struggle between SSD and HDD technology before delivering my conclusion and final product rating.