In real life, maximum throughput rarely matters. Minimum throughput can matter in some applications, such as video streaming, so it’s important to keep one eye on those numbers. The most important number is average sustained throughput, because this gives the best indication of how quickly your transfers will move over a prolonged period.
In these graphs, you can see the traditional declining curve of the hard drive compared to the relative flat line of the SSD. You also get some sense for how jittery read performance is across the media. Smoother is better. You don’t want to see the drive spend much time in throughput valleys.
Here’s our composite look at the results:
Again, it’s the red line, the sustained average, that matters most here. Intel beats the field once more, and the VelociRaptor comes in last, albeit still breaking the 100 MB/s mark. Considering that the Transcend is a prior-generation drive behind the Intel, it puts in a surprisingly strong showing here. This leaves Kingston and WD to duke it out. With the Kingston approaching half of the VelociRaptor’s price, low-end SSD remains pretty compelling if you don’t care about capacity. I did find it interesting that the SSDNow registered a slight blip of 0.02 ms on the access time radar. Apparently, not all SSD’s a “immune” to seek times.