|ADATA S511 Solid State Drive AS511S3|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 28 June 2011|
Page 10 of 12
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 are connected to the Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s controller and use a 1MB block size option. Read performance on the ADATA S511 Solid State Drive measured an average 468.8 MBps bandwidth with a relatively close maximum peak speed of 480.8 MBps. Everest linear write-to tests were next...
The waveform chart below illustrates how the integrated buffer manages file transfers, and makes linear write performance appears relatively even. The results seen here are still relatively consistent compared to most other SSD products we've tested in the past. The ADATA S511-series solid state drive recorded an average linear write-to speed of 456.9 MBps, with a maximum performance of 480.8 MBps. Now for some observations...
During our testing on the ADATA S511, I began to notice erratic performance behaviors during benchmark runs. While CrystalDiskMark results seemed a bit suspect, cleaning the NAND flash to a new state retesting several times didn't offer much difference. The results seemed to change for us again with EVEREST.
The test results illustrated above and below are from our first benchmark run after a NAND flash cleaning to restore performance. These results are all quite consistent, yet still very low in comparison. In another set of tests the performance was actually much worse, and actually looked like the ADATA S511 SSD was flat until about 30% at which point it climbed steadily at a perfect 45° angle until it reached to around 200 MB/s.
The same is true for the linear write benchmark, which hovers near the maximum performance but very performs very low. It seems that there's something amiss in this SandForce-driven SSD, and it appears to be a byproduct of throttling.
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 we use PCMark Vantage to test real-world performance...