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Test Setup, Benchmarks, And Methodology

Micron P420m SSD Review: 1.4 TB Of PCI Express-Attached Storage
By
Test Hardware
ProcessorIntel Core i7-3960X (Sandy Bridge-E), 32 nm, 3.3 GHz, LGA 2011, 15 MB Shared L3, Turbo Boost Enabled
Motherboard
Intel DX79SI, X79 Express
Memory
G.Skill Ripjaws Z-Series (4 x 4 GB) DDR3-1600 @ DDR3-1600, 1.5 V
System Drive
Intel SSD 320 160 GB SATA 3Gb/s
Tested Drives
Micron P420m 1400 GB
Graphics
AMD FirePro V4800 1 GB
Power Supply
OCZ ModXStream Pro 700 W
System Software and Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 7 x64 Ultimate
DirectXDirectX 11
DriverGraphics: ATI 8.883
Benchmark Suite
Iometer v1.1.0
4 Workers, 4 KB Random: LBA=Full, Span Varying Queue Depths 
ATTO
v2.4.7, 2 GB, QD=4
Custom
C++, 8 MB Sequential, QD=4
Enterprise Testing: Iometer Workloads
Read
Write
512 Bytes
1 KB
2 KB
4 KB
8 KB
16 KB
32 KB
64 KB
128 KB
512 KB
Database
67%
100%
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
100%
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
File Server
80%
100%
10%
5%
5%
60%
2%
4%
4%
10%
n/a
n/a
Web Server
100%
100%
22%
15%
8%
23%
15%
2%
6%
7%
1%
1%

The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA), a working group made up of SSD, flash, and controller vendors, has a testing procedure that attempts to control as many of the variables inherent to SSDs as possible. SNIA’s Solid State Storage Performance Test Specification (SSS PTS) is a great resource for enterprise SSD testing. The procedure does not define what tests should be run, but rather the way in which they are run. This workflow is broken down into four parts:

  1. Purge: Purging puts the drive at a known starting point. For SSDs, this normally means Secure Erase.
  2. Workload-Independent Preconditioning: A prescribed workload that is unrelated to the test workload.
  3. Workload-Based Preconditioning: The actual test workload (4 KB random, 128 KB sequential, and so on), which pushes the drive towards a steady state.
  4. Steady State: The point at which the drive’s performance is no longer changing for the variable being tracked.

These steps are critical when testing SSDs. It’s incredibly easy to not fully condition the drive and still observe out-of-box behavior, which may lead one to think that it’s steady-state. These steps are also important when going between random and sequential writes.

For all performance tests in this review, the SSS PTS was followed to ensure accurate and repeatable results.

All tests employ random data, when available. Micron's P420m does not perform any data compression prior to writing, so there is no difference in performance-based data patterns.

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  • 0 Hide
    merikafyeah , September 8, 2013 10:42 PM
    Seems like enterprise non-volatile storage is finally starting to approach the speeds of comsumer ram drives:
    http://www.thessdreview.com/our-reviews/romex-fancycache-review-ssd-performance-at-13gbs-and-765000-iops-in-60-seconds-flat/

    Considering that the cost/GB of RAM is about $7/GB, it may not be such a bad idea to use RAM storage + backup generators instead of traditional non-volatile flash nand.
  • 2 Hide
    BasslineJunkie , September 9, 2013 8:38 AM
    Take my money!
  • 2 Hide
    rezzahd , September 9, 2013 9:46 AM
    Maybe once the price drops I would pick one of these up, but I think we all know it will be a while before that happens.
  • 2 Hide
    BasslineJunkie , September 9, 2013 1:53 PM
    Quote:
    Maybe once the price drops I would pick one of these up, but I think we all know it will be a while before that happens.

    Same here. I love the concept but price/gb isn't where it should be. But i do have some extra pci express slots that need filled!
  • 0 Hide
    utomo , September 9, 2013 3:41 PM
    It is good to see good competition like now. keep comparing like this and hope soon we will get the good mature technology. now the SSD still have many improvement ideas. manufacturer need to work harder to win the market which is big.
  • 0 Hide
    ACTechy , September 9, 2013 8:50 PM
    Awesome. Later down the road, when the price falls, these are going to be the thing to have. Really like PCI based SSD.
  • -1 Hide
    urbanman2004 , September 12, 2013 11:07 PM
    TL;DR. I could benefit from something like this saving space on my system. It must have a hefty price
  • 0 Hide
    hakesterman , September 20, 2013 8:28 PM
    i Don't think paying around 600 Dollars for a storage card is feasible.