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Test Setup, Transfer Diagram

Intel’s X25-E SSD Walks All Over The Competition
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Low Level System Hardware
Processor(s)
2x Intel Xeon Processor (Nocona core), 3.6 GHz, FSB800, 1 MB L2 Cache
Platform
Asus NCL-DS (Socket 604), Intel E7520 Chipset, BIOS 1005
RAM
Corsair CM72DD512AR-400 (DDR2-400 ECC, reg.), 2x 512 MB, CL3-3-3-10 Timings
System Hard Drive
Western Digital Caviar WD1200JB
120 GB, 7,200 RPM, 8 MB Cache, UltraATA/100
Mass Storage Controller(s)
Intel 82801EB UltraATA/100 Controller (ICH5)
Promise SATA 300TX4
Promise FastTrak TX4310
Driver 2.06.1.310
Networking
Broadcom BCM5721 On-Board Gigabit Ethernet NIC
Graphic Subsystem
On-Board Graphics
ATI RageXL, 8 MB
System Hardware
Performance Measurements
c't h2benchw 3.6, PCMark05 V1.01
I/O Performance
IOMeter 2003.05.10, Fileserver-Benchmark, Webserver-Benchmark, Database-Benchmark, Workstation-Benchmark
Performance and Power Measurements
IOMeter 2006.07.27, Workstation-Benchmark, Streaming-Benchmark


System Software and Drivers
OS
Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition, Service Pack 1
Platform Driver
Intel Chipset Installation Utility 7.0.0.1025
Graphics Driver
Default Windows Graphics Driver


Efficiency Test Platform
Notebook
Dell Latitude D630, Mobile Intel GM965 Express Chipset
CPU
Intel Core 2 Duo T9500 (45nm; 2600 MHz, 6 MB L2 Cache)
RAM
Corsair ValueRAM 2x 2048 MB DDR2-667 SDRAM 5-5-5-15
DVD-ROM
8x DVD+/-RW
Wireless
Intel 4965 WLAN (802.11a/g/n) mini Card
Screen
14.1 inch Widescreen WXGA+ LCD (1400x900)
Graphics Card
Intel Integrated Graphics Media Accelerator X3100
Sound Card
Integrated
Power Supply
9-Cell/85WHr Primary Battery
System Software and Drivers
OS
Windows Vista Ultimate 6.0 Build 6000 SP1
DirectX Version
10
Platform Drivers Intel
Version 8.2.0.1014
Graphics Drivers
igdumd32.dll (7.14.00.10.1253)


X25-E Transfer Diagram

The X25-E doesn’t provide throughput that’s as steady and controllable as on a hard drive, especially on writes, but the overall performance is still more than impressive. Bear in mind that this isn’t a drive one would buy for its throughput; modern 15,000 RPM hard drives aren’t too far away from these numbers at only a fraction of the cost. The X25-E was made to dominate in I/O performance, as you’ll see on the following pages.

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  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , February 27, 2009 10:41 AM
    Recently, I've seen an article about performance degradation in the X25-M due to internal fragmentation, have you looked into if this also applies to the X25-E?
  • -1 Hide
    zodiacfml , February 27, 2009 11:17 AM
    hard drive makers will be scratching their heads on this one. i've read some social networking and dating sites that uses around 200 to 600GB only of data.
  • 8 Hide
    WyomingKnott , February 27, 2009 12:10 PM
    Your previous review was of another flash-based product, the ioDrive from Fusion-io. If only you had included it's benchmarks in this article's figures, it would have been a most interesting shootoff. Any chance of updating the charts? Or do I just have to flip back and forth between the two articles?
  • 6 Hide
    dark_lord69 , February 27, 2009 12:54 PM
    WyomingKnottYour previous review was of another flash-based product, the ioDrive from Fusion-io. If only you had included it's benchmarks in this article's figures, it would have been a most interesting shootoff. Any chance of updating the charts? Or do I just have to flip back and forth between the two articles?


    I agree right after I clicked on this article the first thing I thought is I wonder how this compairs to the IODrive form IOFusion.
  • 0 Hide
    chovav , February 27, 2009 12:58 PM
    .... and a costs/performance chart with maybe total yearly costs with drive price, watt etc.. maybe even say something about the raid hardware you'll be able to save.

    nice article though, good to see that for (rich) consumers the X25-M is the right choice.
  • 5 Hide
    deiceman , February 27, 2009 1:53 PM
    So when can we expect Tom's to upgrade their servers with Intel X-25E's so that we can truly experience this amazing drive in real time???
  • -1 Hide
    reddozen , February 27, 2009 2:20 PM
    I have one of these going into my new server I'm building actually. We'll eventually raid 4 of them. Should be a nice addition to the 4x Quad-core Shanghai's.
  • 6 Hide
    cangelini , February 27, 2009 3:12 PM
    WyomingKnottYour previous review was of another flash-based product, the ioDrive from Fusion-io. If only you had included it's benchmarks in this article's figures, it would have been a most interesting shootoff. Any chance of updating the charts? Or do I just have to flip back and forth between the two articles?


    That's coming, probably next week, in a head-to-head between the two!
  • 2 Hide
    royaldutchtweaker , February 27, 2009 4:09 PM
    omg walks over the competition?
    fusion-IO has over 100000 IO operations in the same benchmark as where this intel reaches ~6000...
    don't believe me? read the IOdrive review. it utterly crushes the intel, the Mtron and all other SSD's, not to mention normal hard drives
  • 1 Hide
    Area51 , February 27, 2009 4:45 PM
    I think you may have another bottleneck in your configuration. I have been able to get 250MB sustain read from both my MLC and SLC drives.
  • 1 Hide
    Area51 , February 27, 2009 4:59 PM
    Could it be that the Nocona platform's chipset is limited on bandwith with its SATA connections? By the way I was refering to the Intel MLC and SLC.
  • 1 Hide
    Area51 , February 27, 2009 5:09 PM
    cangeliniThat's coming, probably next week, in a head-to-head between the two!


    Can you please include cost compassion? I am trying to figure out that for the same $$ which gives me a better value. So if I had $10,000 which would be a better buy.
  • 1 Hide
    dwwolfe , February 27, 2009 5:41 PM
    Besides theoretical numbers, I haven't read anything about the real-world life-expectancy of these drives in workstations and/or high-volumn servers.
  • 2 Hide
    cangelini , February 27, 2009 8:30 PM
    Area51Can you please include cost compassion? I am trying to figure out that for the same $$ which gives me a better value. So if I had $10,000 which would be a better buy.


    Area, the piece is already written, but I'll check to see if there's a discussion on cost.
  • 0 Hide
    coopchennick , February 27, 2009 8:51 PM
    Usually I'd say who cares about power consumption, but it actually makes sense in this article! An extra couple watts for a desktop becomes much much more in a server full of drives.

    One thing I'd like to see is some sort of mainstream desktop hard drive in there purely for sake of comparison. Throw a Caviar blue in the mix or something - with just these benchmarks, I find it difficult to get a sense of the performance gap between these drives and the one in my desktop.

    But good article guys, lots of data.
  • 1 Hide
    apache_lives , February 27, 2009 10:14 PM
    TEST THE PERFORMANCE OF THE DRIVES AT CERTAIN % POINTS - EMPTY, 20% 50% 70% AND 99% - the performance changes from what i hear - would love to know the results :D 

    Intel SSD's - making your porn load quicker!
  • 0 Hide
    eyal , February 27, 2009 11:41 PM
    When looking at power efficiency one should compare equal setups and I see power usage of storage of 32GB compared against up to 450GB here. One will need 14 of the smaller SSDs to hold the same data as one HD. Where does this comparo account for this?
  • -6 Hide
    eyal , February 28, 2009 12:07 AM
    When looking at power efficiency one should compare equal setups and I see power usage of storage of 32GB compared against up to 450GB here. One will need 14 of the smaller SSDs to hold the same data as one HD. Where does this comparo account for this?
  • -7 Hide
    eyal , February 28, 2009 12:08 AM
    When looking at power efficiency one should compare equal setups and I see power usage of storage of 32GB compared against up to 450GB here. One will need 14 of the smaller SSDs to hold the same data as one HD. Where does this comparo account for this?
  • 0 Hide
    borune , February 28, 2009 8:48 AM
    The article looses a lot when the OCZ Vertex is not taken into account!
    or, is it only available in EU?
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