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Monitoring Transfers With hIOmon's Disk I/O Ranger

Plextor M5 Pro 256 GB Review: 19 nm NAND And Marvell's Latest

With ASU behind us, we dive into hIOmon, which helps rate the performance of file transfers and application installations using a “Data Transferred/Time Index (DXTI).” This gives us a high-level means for comparing I/O performance. A higher index corresponds to better performance (more data transferred and/or lower response time).

The hIOmon DXTI is calculated by taking the observed amount of data transferred, using the I/O operations converted to megabytes for scaling, and dividing by the combined sum of the actual response times of those same I/O operations. What you end up with is a lot like a car's fuel economy index insofar as it conveys performance efficiency. It is comparable to more miles driven (more data transferred) for fuel used (response time taken to transfer this data). Or, it could represent the same number of miles driven (data transferred) using less fuel (lower response time).

This software can be configured to monitor at the physical volume level, located between the file system and the volume manager. This gives us an indication of I/O performance below the file system and closer to the storage device within the constraints of the operating system.

The procedure we run through goes as follows:

  1. Copy MP3 files: 47 695 MiB written (6663 files in 353 folders).
  2. Copy Windows image backup: 14 875 MiB written (16 files in four folders).
  3. Copy Windows 7 SP1 ISO file: 1953 MiB written
  4. Install Crysis: 2103 MiB written
  5. Install Office: 1174 MiB written
  6. Back-up Steam game: 14 246 MiB written
  7. Run antivirus scan: 365 MiB read
  8. Play Crysis single-player: 813 MiB read

The tasks we chose are all write-intensive, with the exception of the Crysis single-player campaign. Therefore, we are primarily looking at write performance in a real-world environment. The combined activity results in just over 80 GiB of capacity written to on each drive. The reason this matters during our benchmark analysis will be explained further in the results from our HD Tune Benchmark tests.

The Vertex 4 dominates all of the tasks, aside from the only read-intensive workload, where it finishes in last place.

Plextor's M5 Pro does significantly better than the M5S, and simultaneously beats Samsumg's 830 and Crucial's m4 in everything except the read-intensive task, where Crucial's m4 comes out on top.

The Crysis single-player campaign consists of random and sequential read operations, roughly split down the middle, with 80% of the data transferred by sequential operations.

Frankly, we're a little surprised that Crucial's drive does so well here, since the synthetic read performance results indicate that Plextor's M5 Pro should be superior.

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