Crucial m4 And Intel SSD 320: The Other SSD Competitors

Benchmark Results: 4 KB And 512 KB Random Writes

Remember that our benchmark tends to give more weight to burst performance. By default, the Vertex 3s push IOPS above 50 000 thanks to its compression technology. In comparison, the m4 performs slightly above 60 000 IOPS, a marked improvement from the C300.

Interestingly, the X25-M again chokes at queue depths in excess of eight. Intel corrects this problem in the SSD 320. We no longer see a performance penalty at higher queue depths.

Low queue depths are not necessarily ideal for SSDs, which depend on many pending requests in order to saturate their parallelized architectures. In this scenario, the m4 starts off more competitive. At a queue depth of one, it already outperforms the earlier C300. Once we reach a queue depth of 32, Crucial's newest drive even outperforms OCZ's Vertex 3 Pro. 

Intel's SSD 320 performs close to the X25-M at lower queue depths. As we scale up to 32, we see close to a 10% improvement in throughput.

This is a major turnaround for the SSD 510. Intel's only SATA 6Gb/s drive is clearly optimized for moving larger files. Though it struggles with 4 KB transfers, 512 KB transfers excel, and the SSD 510 turns a last-place finish into a first-place finish, even trumping the Vertex 3 drives.

Crucial's m4 takes a more even-handed approach. It performs well in 4 KB and 512 KB transfers. More impressive, it consistently outperforms the beta sample of OCZ's Vertex 3 Pro. The SSD 320 also turns in much better performance. This time, it shows a 50% improvement over the X25-M.

If you own an older SSD, notice how far behind the first-generation of OCZ's SandForce drives fall.

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33 comments
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  • rainwilds
    Oooo, Crucial or Vertex? Decisions, decisions!
    0
  • Anonymous
    Could you expand on the Full Disk Encryption capabilities of the Intel 320?
    If you can actually use hardware FDE on that drive (rather than just secure erase), that's a winner for me.
    2
  • bto
    Why does the Intel 510 250GB appear to have two scores in crystalmark? (469.4 and 259.7) on the top benchmark on page: "Benchmark Results: CrystalDiskMark Streaming Performance" the specs are identical for both.
    0
  • poppasmurf
    Great lil tidbit, wonder what the difference will be between other SSD's with different interface connections other than physical appearance and the interface connection. More on the lines of pro's and con's between the SSD interface connections I'm referring to the OCZ PCI-e drives vs. SATA 6GB just a thought to stir up the hoop la of ssd's :P
    2
  • JohnnyLucky
    I am beginning to wonder if we haven't reached the point where the human eye and brain are finding it harder to differentiate performance among ssd's. Some mainstream benchmarks seem to suggest that. Some of the benchmarks in this review seem to indicate the same. There are some very tight groupings.
    1
  • henryvalz
    At the speed points that SSDs are functioning, I'm beginning to think that durability and reliability might be the best basis for decision. I would also really like to see some boot times from Windows 7, or loading time for games.
    2
  • kev_stev
    Does anyone know when the vertex 3 and M4 are going to actually be available? I have heard rumors that the vertex 3 will be released "any day now" since mid march...
    1
  • iamtheking123
    I'll go SSD in my next build, probably in a year and a half. Right now I'm satisfied with Raid 0-ed 1TB Caviar Blacks.
    -1
  • foscooter
    No mention of a release date. When will they be "in stores?" Q2 isn't exact enough.
    0
  • zerapio
    Alert! Spelling police is coming and their PISSED

    (yes, it was intentional)
    -1
  • microking4u
    Why are the I/O's for this drive way off on your review compared to others such as Anand and PCPer?
    0
  • groberts101
    Would have been interesting to see those Vantage marks on a Vertex 3 that hadn't already been hammered into a throttled state by all the previous tests. While it obviously shows the stamina and expected performance of the V3 after extremely heavy usage, the test doesn't take into consideration what many will see on newly installed drives that are used moderately. From that standpoint, the testing protocol is flawed, IMO.

    IOW, the testing protocol in reverse would have been more interesting to see typical Vantage scores from an unthrottled controller. I know for fact through personal beta-testing of the V3 that they would have been much higher.

    Or even better yet would be too take into account the special Durawrite throttling which the Sandforce drives STILL have built into the firmware(though not nearly as aggressive as the V2). Would surely give a nice little boost to SF through secure erase cleansing. If done at the 50% point it would show the potential in certain portions of the test suite that most WOULD see when not hitting thier drives with benchmark after benchmark in some sort of "hammer em' till the dust settles" protocol.

    Decent enough writeup though and all the review sites will eventually get it figured out, I guess.
    0
  • PraxGTI
    Our SQL server has done more than 5*10^25 I/O Write Bytes in its 3 years lifespan. I really doubt the reliability of SSDs in a corporate server, although the IOs would be nice since our server can be crippled to 500% disk usage with disk queue sizes up to 8 at times.
    0
  • Anonymous
    praxgtiOur SQL server has done more than 5*10^25 I/O Write Bytes in its 3 years lifespan. I really doubt the reliability of SSDs in a corporate server, although the IOs would be nice since our server can be crippled to 500% disk usage with disk queue sizes up to 8 at times.


    How did you work that one out,

    10^24 bytes is a 1 yobibyte = 2^80 bytes = 1208925819614629174706176 bytes = 1,024 zebibytes

    1 zebibyte = 270 bytes = 1180591620717411303424 bytes = 1,024 exbibytes

    1 exbibyte = 260 bytes = 1152921504606846976 bytes = 1,024 pebibytes

    All of the data in the world on every hard drive is estimated at around 500 exbibytes.

    even in bits you are in order of several magnitude off
    0
  • acku
    Anonymous said:
    Would have been interesting to see those Vantage marks on a Vertex 3 that hadn't already been hammered into a throttled state by all the previous tests. While it obviously shows the stamina and expected performance of the V3 after extremely heavy usage, the test doesn't take into consideration what many will see on newly installed drives that are used moderately. From that standpoint, the testing protocol is flawed, IMO.

    IOW, the testing protocol in reverse would have been more interesting to see typical Vantage scores from an unthrottled controller. I know for fact through personal beta-testing of the V3 that they would have been much higher.

    Or even better yet would be too take into account the special Durawrite throttling which the Sandforce drives STILL have built into the firmware(though not nearly as aggressive as the V2). Would surely give a nice little boost to SF through secure erase cleansing. If done at the 50% point it would show the potential in certain portions of the test suite that most WOULD see when not hitting thier drives with benchmark after benchmark in some sort of "hammer em' till the dust settles" protocol.

    Decent enough writeup though and all the review sites will eventually get it figured out, I guess.


    Hi groberts101,

    The test are actually run backwards. We just have help in a different order in the review. :)

    Cheers,
    Andrew
    TomsHardware
    1
  • acku
    Anonymous said:
    Why does the Intel 510 250GB appear to have two scores in crystalmark? (469.4 and 259.7) on the top benchmark on page: "Benchmark Results: CrystalDiskMark Streaming Performance" the specs are identical for both.


    I think there is a legend in the lower right hand corner. One is using the 6Gb/s port and one is using the 3Gb/s port.
    0
  • acku
    Anonymous said:
    Why are the I/O's for this drive way off on your review compared to others such as Anand and PCPer?

    Which ones are you referencing?
    0
  • ww2003
    From what i have been hearing the new vortec 3 is going to be the best SSD on the market with faster speeds the any other one has right now.
    0
  • zodiacfml
    I like the part in the conclusion that one not need the fastest SSDs out there especially for desktop uses.
    In my opinion, Intel has a point with their new products and pricing, enable bigger capacities at lower capacities.
    0
  • zodiacfml
    I meant prices. :p

    zodiacfmlI like the part in the conclusion that one not need the fastest SSDs out there especially for desktop uses. In my opinion, Intel has a point with their new products and pricing, enable bigger capacities at lower capacities.
    0