in: Features | April 26, 2010 | by: Patrick

SSD: A Closer Look

Performance Comparison

An SSD’s performance depends on the quality of its controller. We have done several tests to find out if SSDs are truly able to stand up against ordinary hard disks. Our testbed system is as follows.

Processor : Intel Core i7 920

Motherboard : Intel X58

Memory: 1066 MHz triple-channel DDR3, 3 GB

Graphics card : NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250, 512 MB

Power Supply : 1100 watt

These are the SSDs we used in the test:

  • OCZ Vertex
  • Intel G2
  • ADATA S592
  • Kingston SSDNow V-Series

PCMark 2005

Futuremark’s PC Mark 2005 is synthetic benchmark program. Instead of using real-world applications in its measurements, PC Mark 2005 carries out the tests using simulations which resemble our most common computational tasks. We ran the HDD Test Suite in this program to test the SSDs.

So why not using the latest version of this installment, PC Mark Vantage? PC Mark Vantage runs only in Windows Vista and Windows 7, while PC Mark 2005 also runs on Windows XP. Given the numerous amount of users in Indonesia who are still using Windows XP, we decided to use this version instead.

The PC Mark 2005 result below is measured through data throughput, in MB/second, as is any other result diagram in this article.

When you use an SSD as a boot drive, you will get a nice gain of performance. SDDs in this XP Startup test fared much better than the conventional WD Blue hard disk we brought along for comparison.

In application loading test, the SSDs were also quite far ahead. Two of them though, experienced a rather strange drop in performance when configured in RAID mode. Another two had an increase in performance, but it was nothing significant. We have no clue as to what was actually going on, but this might have been caused by PC Mark 2005’s outdated programming which could have had a negative impact on SSD measurements.

This particular test simulates daily computation tasks such as opening documents, playing MP3 and video files, etc. Again, the SSDs managed to take a far lead over the conventional hard disk.

In this test’s simulation, PC Mark measures hard disk usage during anti-virus scans. It requires superior read performance from the corresponding storage to come up with a high enough score. A scan towards 680 MB worth of files consume 99,5% of total disk reading operations.

Quite the opposite from the previous test, this time PC Mark wrote 680MB of files into the storage device. There is no reading activity involved in this test.

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