Crucial m4 And Intel SSD 320: The Other SSD Competitors

Benchmark Results: Iometer Streaming

While the second-gen SandForce controllers at the heart of OCZ’s Vertex 3 drives enable superior streaming read performance, Crucial's m4 unseats the SSD 510 for third place. Sequential performance, enabled over a 6 Gb/s interface, is where these four drives put their best feet forward. It's the only way we can push a sequential read in excess of 500 MB/s.

Intel's SSD 320 falls just shy of the X25-M, but the difference is minor. The Vertex 2s, Agility 2, X25-M, and SSD 320 all get lumped together at the low-end of the SSD spectrum. Between these drives, there is only a 3% margin of difference. Notice that G.Skill's older JMicron-based drive ranks the slowest. This is how far we have come from the first generation of SSDs.

We see the same situation transpire in the streaming writes benchmark pattern. However, this time, Crucial's m4 falls behind the SSD 510, and the Vertex 3s pull far ahead.

Writes are where we see an improvement for Intel's SSD 320. While it uses the same controller as the X25-M, we suspect the larger cache helps here. Performance approaches Crucial's C300, but relative to other drives, the SSD 320 falls behind. Even the older first-generation SandForce drives from OCZ outperform Intel's newest drive.

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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