Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Intel X25-M Mainstream Flash SSD With Firmware Update

The SSD Workload Performance Analysis
By

Throughput Testing

Do you remember read performance crashing to 42 MB/s with the old firmware? Intel’s engineers did a great job in optimizing the firmware, as the read throughput didn’t decrease significantly any more with the new 8820 firmware. The minimum throughput after the first h2benchw/IOMeter cycle was 109 MB/s, but after just the second cycle the X25-M was able to adjust and maintain a minimum sequential read throughput of 200 MB/s.

Although the firmware update cannot prevent minimum write throughput decreasing to only a few megabytes per second, the maximum results stay at a constant 80 MB/s, while the average numbers even keep increasing. Clearly, the firmware adjusts to the workload much more efficiently.

I/O Testing

There still is a little performance drop, but the 8820 firmware manages to buffer the drop significantly. A decrease from 3,300 to 3,100 I/O operations per second for typical database transactions is certainly acceptable.

The extreme performance differences of the 8160 firmware are gone with version 8820, but the fileserver performance keeps increasing.

Web server performance doesn’t suffer from the heavily changing torture testing with the new firmware, as the X25-M reaches 11,400 I/O operations per second in the Web server test at all times.

Workstation performance, which is based on small to medium block sizes, is different now. Although the first run results in less I/O performance than was the case on the old firmware, the following runs actually are much better.

Overall, the new 8820 firmware for the X25-M offers a significant improvement over the old 8160 version, as it manages to maintain performance at a higher level than was possible before. Both throughput and I/O performance are more predictable and closer to the maximum results. Compared to the performance increases caused by driver or firmware updates on graphics cards or for processors and platforms, the improvements here are much more significant.

Display all 23 comments.
This thread is closed for comments
  • 1 Hide
    mrubermonkey , April 27, 2009 7:16 AM
    Props to you guys for this review.
  • 3 Hide
    Tindytim , April 27, 2009 7:47 AM
    I really wish we were able to Thumb up or Thumb down articles. This one would get a large thumbs up from me.
  • 1 Hide
    chookman , April 27, 2009 7:58 AM
    Thumbs up on this one too from me. Although if anyone desires more in depth understanding of the problem i found the PC Perspective articles better in that aspect.

    Intel Firmware change
    http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=691

    OCZ Indilinx Chip
    http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=670
  • -9 Hide
    chookman , April 27, 2009 7:58 AM
    Thumbs up on this one too from me. Although if anyone desires more in depth understanding of the problem i found the PC Perspective articles better in that aspect.

    Intel Firmware change
    http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=691

    OCZ Indilinx Chip
    http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=670
  • -8 Hide
    chookman , April 27, 2009 7:59 AM
    Thumbs up on this one too from me. Although if anyone desires more in depth understanding of the problem i found the PC Perspective articles better in that aspect.

    Intel Firmware change
    http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=691

    OCZ Indilinx Chip
    http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=670
  • 5 Hide
    empstar , April 27, 2009 8:55 AM
    why don't show the HDD read / write data here together with SDD?
  • -4 Hide
    lire210 , April 27, 2009 10:56 AM
    this will not matter at all to servers until the price gooes down. the speed does not make sence in the 4+ bucks a gig. normal hd are safer just in the fact that you can put 7 hd and put it in a raid one fails o well. plus 800 bucks for 64gb o my god
  • 4 Hide
    snotling , April 27, 2009 11:29 AM
    lire210this will not matter at all to servers until the price gooes down. the speed does not make sence in the 4+ bucks a gig. normal hd are safer just in the fact that you can put 7 hd and put it in a raid one fails o well. plus 800 bucks for 64gb o my god

    Servers are actually where these drives makes the most sense, and you can RAID SSDs just like you RAID HDs... and about being "safe" well I would put my money on the technology with no moving parts!
  • 6 Hide
    xsamitt , April 27, 2009 12:27 PM
    I keep waiting for a reviews of new monitors.it seems we keep getting almost the same kind of topic every week lately.
  • 0 Hide
    rubix_1011 , April 27, 2009 1:37 PM
    I have to agree with most people on this one...a flashback to the really good reviews Tom's did in the past. A very relevant review for most people with some good data and testing steps.
  • 0 Hide
    arkadi , April 27, 2009 1:39 PM
    Well it like it was written specially for me. Grate job! One of the best articles i encounter in long time.
    I posted a question on storage configuration just few day ago, with no reply btw, with exactly the same thing on my mind. Hope we can go deeper with that, and talk how we can take an advantage of what we learned here in different situations with diffident storage/system configuration's, combining SSD with regular drives, raid configurations, moving tmp/swap some programs etc.. to different drives etc...
  • -4 Hide
    arkadi , April 27, 2009 1:40 PM
    Well it like it was written specially for me. Grate job! One of the best articles i encounter in long time.
    I posted a question on storage configuration just few day ago, with no reply btw, with exactly the same thing on my mind. Hope we can go deeper with that, and talk how we can take an advantage of what we learned here in different situations with diffident storage/system configuration's, combining SSD with regular drives, raid configurations, moving tmp/swap some programs etc.. to different drives etc...
  • 1 Hide
    tipoo , April 27, 2009 1:45 PM
    Nice review. So will you guys be reviewing the 1TB PCI-Express OCZ SSD? :-)
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 27, 2009 2:50 PM
    So if your SSD starts to slow down, does a reformat get rid of that issue?
  • 0 Hide
    yourhighness , April 27, 2009 4:22 PM
    You guys had any problems with that Power Supply?

    I bought an OCZ Elite Extreme 800W PSU last year an dhad 3 of them die in 6 months....The RMA process was long and slow, but they eventually made it right by upgrading me to a PC Power and cooling PSU.
  • 2 Hide
    Area51 , April 27, 2009 4:49 PM
    lire210this will not matter at all to servers until the price gooes down. the speed does not make sence in the 4+ bucks a gig. normal hd are safer just in the fact that you can put 7 hd and put it in a raid one fails o well. plus 800 bucks for 64gb o my god

    You need to have a better understanding of the problem before you make statements like this...

    1. The number of HD required to get the same IOPS will put the total price to be higher than SSD's
    2. The power requirement is much higher for the number of HD that you need to get the same performance as a single Intel SLC SSD. This can drop the power consumption of a server significantly down from regular HD, and increase it’s performance.
    3. Remember that in many servers it’s not the capacity that matters, It’s the performance that is more important.
    4. Since SSD's can do a very nice job of simultaneous read, and write running multiple jobs is not derogated by the SSD's as it is with regular HD's.
    5. SMART command in SSD’s can give you a predictive failure analysis, something that you cannot do with HD’s, HD’s can only show you if the Drive is good or bad. This is very important since data can be copied before the drive goes bad.
    6. MTBF of SSD’s (at lease Intel’s) are much higher than HD’s. 2M hrs. vs 1.2M hrs on HD’s


  • 2 Hide
    krazyderek , April 27, 2009 11:06 PM
    wheres the OCZ vertex ?????
  • 0 Hide
    krazyderek , April 27, 2009 11:08 PM
    lire210this will not matter at all to servers until the price gooes down. the speed does not make sence in the 4+ bucks a gig. normal hd are safer just in the fact that you can put 7 hd and put it in a raid one fails o well. plus 800 bucks for 64gb o my god

    have you seen how much SAS drives are??
  • 0 Hide
    hustler539 , April 28, 2009 11:07 AM
    Good to see more review sites doing articles on these performance degradations, helps us make a better informed decision when purchasing new hardware.

    Here's another great article which gives you a good in depth look at it
    http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=3531&p=4
    a must read if you are thinking of upgrading to some of those new shiny ssds
  • -1 Hide
    hustler539 , April 28, 2009 11:08 AM
    krazyderekwheres the OCZ vertex ?????



    ^ a review of that is in the article as well
Display more comments