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Written by Olin Coles   
Wednesday, 30 September 2009
Table of Contents: Page Index
Features and Specifications
First Look: OCZ Agility EX SSD
Indilinx Internal Components
SSD Testing Methodology
Random Access Time Benchmark
Basic IO Bandwidth
Random Access IOPS Tests
I/O Response Time
Linear Bandwidth Speed
Sequential Performance Tests
Buffered Transaction Speed
Solid State Drive Final Thoughts
OCZ Agility EX Conclusion

HD Tune Pro Benchmarks

In the past, Benchmark Reviews has avoided HD Tune benchmarks because the software was so similar to others already being used in our articles. However, EFD Software has released several versions of this program, which now adds functionality and features not available in previous revisions. The latest edition of HD Tune Pro allows random access read and write testing, a feature not available to other similar software benchmark tools. HD Tune is a low-level test that will not operate on a drive which contains a partition, so Benchmark Reviews uses DISKPART to prepare hardware and remove any partitions before conducting these tests.

Random Access tests are divided into 512b, 4KB, 64KB, 1MB and random size test files sizes. The Random Access test measures the performance of random read or write operations. The amount of data which will be read varies from 512 bytes to 1 MB. Performance is reported in operations per second (IOPS), average access time, and average speed. Because it is our intent to compare one product against another, Benchmark Reviews has focused on random transfer size IOPS performance.


Benchmark Reviews has tested the 64GB OCZ Agility-EX SLC SSD OCZSSD2-1AGTEX60G against a collection of top-performing desktop storage drives for our random IOPS benchmarks. The 4 KB random IOPS performance in HD Tune measured 7482 for read IO, and 9903 for write. In comparison, the 4KB read IOPS was only slightly better than the Corsair X256 SSD which scored 7444, and the Vertex Turbo's 7272. Both the Vertex Turbo (17358 4KB write IOPS) and Corsair X256 (16244) SSDs were well ahead of write performance.


The tight range of IO is an indicator of operational bottlenecks. For example, the WD VelociRaptor WD3000HLFS SATA Hard Disk Drive indicates a read-IOPS range of 10-150 whereas the average SSD might offer 200-1,000. As a direct result, in most cases SSDs will offer a much higher IO over their hard disk counterparts. The random read/write operations per second is charted below:


The OCZ Vertex EX (firmware 1.20) enjoys the benefit of SLC construction that delivers traditionally better IOPS performance than MLC counterparts, and also offers the best measured random IOPS performance of the group with 384 read and 477 write IOPS. The Corsair X256 and OCZ Vertex Turbo (both MLC), along with the SLC Agility EX, all lead the pack of Indilinx-based SSDs which follow behind (Vertex, CT128M225, Torqx, UltraDrive ME, Agility) and performs at near-SLC levels with 327 read and 429 write IOPS. The Intel X25-E Extreme SSD performed well, and produced 337 random read IOPS, and 394 write.

Our test results were obtained after each SSD had been prepared using the DISKPART program, and in the case of products using the Indilinx Barefoot controller they were further prepared with the Sanitary Erase application. In our tests, we discovered that the maximum performance results (charted) would decay as subsequent tests were performed. As a word of caution, applications such as Sanitary Erase (SE) and Wiper offer immediate but temporary restoration of original 'pristine' performance levels.

Drive Hardware

Benchmark Reviews measures I/O Response Time and IOPS performance using the Iometer tool in our next section...


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