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Real World Performance: File Copy And Backup

Intel SSD 520 Review: Taking Back The High-End With SandForce

In this particular test, we're transferring 11 GiB worth of H.264-encoded video clips (which, of course, you can't really smash down any more), along with a slew of smaller files that are compressible.

Because this benchmark is dominated by incompressible data, Intel's Marvell-powered SSD 510, totally optimized for sequential transfers, does realy well. It only trails the 256 GB Samsung 830 by a few seconds. The SSD 520 isn't too far behind though, and it manages to match OCZ's Vertex 3.

Just look at the difference between the slowest solid-state drive, Intel's SSD 320, and Western Digital's Scorpio Blue notebook disk, though. This isn't a battle between high-end SSDs at all. It's a matter of ditching mechanical storage in favor of flash-based devices.

Backing up a game using Steam involves a mix of incompressible and compressible sequential writes, along with a sizable number of random write operations. We also observe high CPU utilization, as as individual files are packed into archives. As a result, you don't end up seeing much difference between SATA 3Gb/s- and 6Gb/s-connected drives, or even between the SSDs and hard disk, since storage surprisingly isn't a big bottleneck.

In order to make this test more demanding, we'd need to add concurrent operations. For example, we can move other files to and from the SSD while the backup operation executes with minimal impact. On the hard drive, the same multi-tasked workload slows both actions to a crawl.

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