|OCZ RevoDrive PCI-Express SandForce SSD|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Wednesday, 22 September 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.
Linear disk benchmarks are superior bandwidth speed 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 high-performance storage products tested with EVEREST Disk Benchmark use a 1MB block size option. Read performance on the 120GB OCZ Revo PCI-E SSD measured an average 510.5 MBps with a similar maximum peak of 511.6 MBps. Linear write-to tests were next...
The waveform chart below illustrates how well the integrated dual-SandForce SF-1200 DuraWrite buffers on the Revo SSD managed file transfers, and made linear write performance appears relatively even. This 120GB PCI-Express SSD recorded an average linear write-to speed of 422.8 MBps, with a maximum performance of 429.6 MBps.
A set of SandForce-driven SSDs in RAID-0 produced 437.7 MBps read speeds, and 470.5 MBps with larger 128KB RAID-0 stripe sizes. The OCZ Revo PCI-Express SSD was much faster at read transactions, and trailed behind in write transactions.
The chart below shows the average linear read and write bandwidth speeds for a cross-section of storage devices tested with EVEREST:
Linear tests are an important tool for comparing bandwidth speed between storage products - although HDD products suffer performance degradation over the span of their areal 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, as well as their new hybrid counterpart, before delivering my conclusion and final product rating.