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SSD Caching: Application Performance

OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid: Solid-State Speed With Hard Drive Capacity
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Our Photoshop benchmark slightly mirrors the results from PCMark's Memories Suite, but the small performance difference requires some explanation. What we're really doing here is measuring the time it takes to apply four filters to a 14 MB TIFF image using an automated script. As a result, a large part of this benchmark is CPU-bound, and doesn't show a speed-up due to caching.

However, this doesn't tell the complete story because the time it takes to load Photoshop does improve by roughly one second. The problem is that, on average, there's a one-second variance in executing the full batch file, so it's hard to discern any advantage.

Due to the lack of granular information in our Photoshop benchmark, I went ahead and programmed a new WinRAR test to measure time in milliseconds. Here, the performance benefit from caching is more obvious, and OCZ's RevoDrive Hybrid takes the lead once we move out to the fourth trial. However, we're still looking at time in fractions of a second, so any performance boost in this test, which isn't I/O-bound, is marginal at best.

There's a love/hate relationship with anti-virus software. Yes, it helps keep us safe. But it can also affect system responsive due to the highly-random read nature of the workload.

As such, it's no surprise to see a full drive scan take nearly 15 minutes when we use our hard drive alone. With caching enabled, performance surges nearly to the point of using an SSD. The RevoDrive Hybrid does remarkably well in this regard. While it's hard to make out in the graph, the Hybrid outperforms the Z68 with write-back caching by roughly 20%.

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