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Benchmark Results: I/O Performance

Crucial m4 And Intel SSD 320: The Other SSD Competitors
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At queue depths above two, OCZ's Vertex 3s top our charts. Crucial's m4, based on a revised Marvell 6 Gb/s controller, outperforms the C300 at lower queue depths, but performance drops at queue depths higher than eight.

The third generation of Intel's mainstream drive, the SSD 320, performs much better than its X25-M (G2) predecessor. Performance characteristics are similar. As queue depths increase, IOPS remains fairly constant. However, as the ten-channel configuration becomes fully populated, we no longer see a performance penalty. At queue depths above 16, the IOPS of the SSD 320 starts to drop dramatically. As we approach an extremely high queue depth, the performance of Intel's X25-M and SSD 320 converge.

Notice that the performance of the (34 nm) Agility 2 is higher than both Vertex 2s. This isn't an anomaly. We started to see this trend after we upgraded to firmware 1.28. We continue to see this trend with firmware 1.32 throughout all of out tests. Unfortunately, we don't know how the newest (25 nm) Agility 2s compare in relation.

Our file server pattern is dominated by the Vertex 3 Pro and Vertex 3. Meanwhile, Intel’s SSD 320 trails Samsung's 470. Crucial's m4 shows similar performance to the C300, but it falls short at queue depths higher than four.

Intel’s X25-M, even after repeated tests, outright fails this test at queue depths above two.

OCZ's newest Vertex 2 suffers in our Web server workload, which reads a ton of small blocks to mimic the behavior of a Web server sending similarly-small files to client machines. Performance is better than the older JMicron-based G.Skill FM-25S2S, but OCZ's move to 25 nm still falls short of the performance seen with the 34 nm-based Agility 2 and Vertex 2. This is consistent with what we must come to expect from the Vertex 2 until OCZ rectifies the ECC-related overhead first discussed in The OCZ Vertex 2 Conspiracy: Lost Space, Lost Speed?

The performance of the SSD 320 comes close to the X25-M (G2), but it still falls slightly short at every queue depths. In comparison, Crucial's m4 looks far less attractive. Its performance falls just shy of OCZ's newest Vertex 2. This pales in comparison to the C300, which holds third place.

These tests are again dominated by OCZ’s Vertex 3s. Like our previous benchmarks, we see the (34 nm) Agility 2 outperform both Vertex 2s. The C300 closely follows the newest Vertex 2 at queue depths higher than eight. In comparison, Crucial's m4 outperforms the C300 at lower queue depths, but falls short when the drive’s maximum number of channels is populated.

The SSD 320 has performance similar to the X25-M, though there is some slight variation at very low and high queue depths.

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  • 0 Hide
    rainwilds , March 28, 2011 2:23 PM
    Oooo, Crucial or Vertex? Decisions, decisions!
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , March 28, 2011 3:28 PM
    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.
  • 0 Hide
    bto , March 28, 2011 3:31 PM
    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.
  • 2 Hide
    poppasmurf , March 28, 2011 3:42 PM
    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 
  • 1 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , March 28, 2011 4:13 PM
    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.
  • 2 Hide
    henryvalz , March 28, 2011 4:49 PM
    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.
  • 1 Hide
    kev_stev , March 28, 2011 5:13 PM
    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 Hide
    iamtheking123 , March 28, 2011 7:35 PM
    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.
  • 0 Hide
    foscooter , March 28, 2011 8:19 PM
    No mention of a release date. When will they be "in stores?" Q2 isn't exact enough.
  • -1 Hide
    zerapio , March 28, 2011 8:20 PM
    Alert! Spelling police is coming and their PISSED

    (yes, it was intentional)
  • 0 Hide
    microking4u , March 28, 2011 8:23 PM
    Why are the I/O's for this drive way off on your review compared to others such as Anand and PCPer?
  • 0 Hide
    groberts101 , March 28, 2011 9:00 PM
    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 Hide
    PraxGTI , March 28, 2011 9:39 PM
    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 Hide
    Anonymous , March 29, 2011 12:27 AM
    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
  • 1 Hide
    acku , March 29, 2011 12:28 AM
    Quote:
    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
  • 0 Hide
    acku , March 29, 2011 12:29 AM
    Quote:
    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 Hide
    acku , March 29, 2011 3:46 AM
    Quote:
    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 Hide
    ww2003 , March 29, 2011 4:35 AM
    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 Hide
    zodiacfml , March 29, 2011 5:13 AM
    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 Hide
    zodiacfml , March 29, 2011 5:16 AM
    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.

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