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Results: File Copy Performance With Robocopy

Intel SSD 530 Review: A Revised Controller And 20 nm Flash
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Microsoft's Robocopy, a CLI directory replication command, gradually replaced the older xcopy. It's multi-threaded, has a ton of options, and generally outperforms vanilla Windows copy operations. Best of all, it's built right in to Redmond's operating system. Especially useful for network copy operations and backups, Robocopy doesn't stop to ask you one hundred questions while it copies over your music collection, either.

The reality of benchmarking file copy performance is that you need something fast to move data from and fast hardware to move it to. This is most important with SSDs. It doesn't matter if your drive can write sequentially at 500 MB/s if the source files are hosted on a USB 2.0-attached external hard drive. We're copying our test files from an Intel SSD DC S3700 to the drives in the chart below, taking source speed out of the equation (mostly). Moving to faster storage would increase the faster test disks' ultimate file copy performance. It begs the question though -- what is the point? Most users copying data from one source to another (in this case, a SSD) won't have the benefit of copying from a SSD RAID array or PCIe-based solid state storage, so relying on just one SSD as the source gives us the best case average.

There are 9065 files comprising the 16.2 GB payload. Some of the files are huge (up to 2 GB), while others are best described as tiny. On average, that's around 1.8 MB per file. The files are a mix of music, program, pictures, and random file types.

It's fair to say that this chart would look much different if we were copying from a hard drive to a SSD. Even if the disk drive's sequential throughput wasn't a bottleneck, it'd still choke on the smaller files.

The three 180 GB drives from Intel prove themselves consistent in this real-world measure of performance, all achieving 231 MB/s. SandForce's technology works well in part because it scales effectively from drives with four dies all the way up to devices with 64. Intel's SSD 525s are a perfect example of this. Look at the 30, 60, 120, 180, and 240 GB models. Each die count increase yields a substantial speed bump, particularly when it comes to write performance.

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