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Results: 4 KB Random Performance

Intel SSD 525 Review: Five mSATA Drives, From 30 To 240 GB
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Random Read Performance

Random 4 KB read performance is mixed among Intel's new drives. There are lot of newer SSDs out there able to trounce even the 240 GB SSD 525. Not even compressible data helps put the SandForce-based mSATA drives in a special place. Fortunately for Intel, the reality of most client-oriented storage solutions is that they won't see a lot of constant high-queue depth random I/O.

Between the capacities, results at a queue depth of one are constant at around 24 MB/s. Why are they all going that fast? Performance at those settings is governed almost exclusively by the flash, and even drives with different controllers perform the same when they utilize the same NAND. As more requests stack up, the controller, memory, firmware, and flash translation layer all come into play.

Not much changes when we switch to random data. The advantage attributable to moving compressible information isn't as pronounced when the access pattern is random, so the consequences aren't as severe when that advantage is lost. As the queue depth depth increases, larger SSDs do benefit, though. The 60 and 30 GB models are once again left in an unenviable position: slow and slower.

Random Write Performance

The smallest SSD 525 can even reach 300 MB/s with 4 KB random writes using repeating data. The other four models bunch up under 350 MB/s, hitting an overhead-induced bottleneck.

Testing with random 4 KB data looks a lot like the sequential workload on the previous page. Aside from the two smallest capacities, the 120, 180, and 240 SSD 525s continue punching above their weight.

The 180 and 240 GB models are neck and neck, just over and below 250 MB/s. The 30 GB drive still can't get over the 50 MB/s hurdle, while the 60 GB versions stalls at the 100 MB/s mark.

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