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OCZ Octane 512 GB SSD Review: Meet Indilinx's Everest Controller

Storage Bench v1.0, In More Detail

SSD manufacturers prefer that we benchmark drives the way they behave fresh out of the box because solid-state drives slow down once you start using them. If you give an SSD enough time, though, it will reach a steady-state performance level. At that point, its benchmark results reflect more consistent long-term use. In general, reads are a little faster, writes are slower, and erase cycles happen as slow as you'll ever see from the drive.

We want to move away from benchmarking SSDs fresh out of the box whenever possible because you only really get that performance for a limited time. After that, you end up with steady-state performance until you perform a secure erase and start all over again. Now, we don't know about you, but we don't reformat our production workstations every week. So, while performance right out of the box is an interesting metric, it's not nearly as relevant in the grand scheme of things. Steady-state performance is what ultimately matters.

While this is a new move for us, IT professionals have long used this approach to evaluate SSDs. That's why the consortium of producers and consumers of storage products, Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA), recommends benchmarking steady-state performance. It's really the only way to examine the true performance of an SSD in a way that represents what you'll actually see over time.

There are multiple ways to get there, but we're going to use Intel’s IPEAK (Intel Performance Evaluation and Analysis Kit). This is a trace-based benchmark, which means that we're using an I/O recording to measure relative performance. Our trace, which we're dubbing Storage Bench v1.0, comes from a two-week recording of my own personal machine, and it captures the level of I/O that you would see during the first two weeks of setting up a computer.

Installation includes:

  • Games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Crysis 2, and Civilization V
  • Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus
  • Firefox
  • VMware
  • Adobe Photoshop CS5
  • Various Canon and HP Printer Utilities
  • LCD Calibration Tools: ColorEyes, i1Match
  • General Utility Software: WinZip, Adobe Acrobat Reader, WinRAR, Skype
  • Development Tools: Andriod SDK, iOS SDK, and Bloodshed
  • Multimedia Software: iTunes, VLC

The I/O workload is somewhat moderate. I read the news, browse the Web for information, read several white papers, occasionally compile code, run gaming benchmarks, and calibrate monitors. On a daily basis, I edit photos, upload them to our corporate server, write articles in Word, and perform research across multiple Firefox windows. 

The following are stats on the two-week trace of my personal workstation:

StatisticsStorage Bench v1.0
Read Operations7 408 938
Write Operations3 061 162
Data Read84.27 GB
Data Written142.19 GB
Max Queue Depth452

According to the stats, I'm writing more data than I'm reading over the course of two weeks. However, this needs to put into context. Remember that the trace includes the I/O activity of setting up the computer. A lot of this information is considered one-touch, since it isn't accessed repeatedly. If we exclude the first few hours of my trace, the amount of data written drops by over 50%. So on a day-to-day basis, my usage pattern evens out to include a fairly balanced mix of read and writes (~8-10 GB/day). That seems pretty typical for the average desktop user, though this number is expected to favor reads among the folks consuming streaming media on a larger and more frequent basis.

On a separate note, we specifically avoided creating a really big trace by installing multiple things over the course of a few hours, because that really doesn't capture real-world use. As Intel points out, traces of this nature are largely contrived because they don't take into account idle garbage collection, which has a tangible effect on performance (more on that later).

  • theuniquegamer
    I think in 2 to 3 years we can get a affodable and fast 1tb ssd in market
    Reply
  • theuniquegamer
    Wow CRYSIS 2 reads and writes above 1 gb data per 20minutes
    Reply
  • ksampanna
    theuniquegamerI think in 2 to 3 years we can get a affodable and fast 1tb ssd in market
    Fast yes, affordable no. My guess is atleast 5 years for a 1 TB ssd to be under $100
    Reply
  • EDVINASM
    Still comparing Crysis 2 to everything that moves? I had WD Blue in RAID 0 for quite a while and was relatively happy. Before Christmas however, I have replaced them with just simple, SATA 300 Intel 320 SSD 80Gb. Boy what a difference! No more HDD scratchy sounds, no heat from them, no vibrations, no annoying ticks when idle, silent.. Speed wise PC boots up within 30 sec, and I am only running Intel i3 2100 with no OC. To those who are holding onto HDD I would say unless capacity is the key - sell it off for an SSD. Especially now that HDD prices are skyroketting it is proving easier and easier to do the swap.
    Reply
  • nebun
    ksampannaFast yes, affordable no. My guess is at least 5 years for a 1 TB ssd to be under $100it's so much fun to dream....don't expect prices to drop that much....that's what people people said about CPUs a few years back, yet nothing has changed.... another example is the mid and top end video cards....since manufacturing techniques have improved and have become more efficient one would think that the products would be cheaper....that's not the case....it's called demmand....people demand faster components and will pay a premium price for it, why would manufacturers drop the prices?...they still have to make a profit
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    theuniquegamerI think in 2 to 3 years we can get a affodable and fast 1tb ssd in market

    yeah.
    and in 2 to 3 years we can get a 20 core intel 9999 X edition for $50.
    and gtx990X2 for just $100.
    Reply
  • buzznut
    edvinasmStill comparing Crysis 2 to everything that moves? I had WD Blue in RAID 0 for quite a while and was relatively happy. Before Christmas however, I have replaced them with just simple, SATA 300 Intel 320 SSD 80Gb. Boy what a difference! No more HDD scratchy sounds, no heat from them, no vibrations, no annoying ticks when idle, silent.. Speed wise PC boots up within 30 sec, and I am only running Intel i3 2100 with no OC. To those who are holding onto HDD I would say unless capacity is the key - sell it off for an SSD. Especially now that HDD prices are skyroketting it is proving easier and easier to do the swap.
    And I recommend folks hold onto their current hard drives and get a boot SSD. 80GB may be enough for you, but a lot of us have bigger storage needs. Its gonna take about a year for the hard drive market to recover, so hang on to those mechanical drives.
    Reply
  • drwho1
    theuniquegamerI think in 2 to 3 years we can get a affodable and fast 1tb ssd in market
    mayankleoboy1yeah.and in 2 to 3 years we can get a 20 core intel 9999 X edition for $50.and gtx990X2 for just $100.
    I do believe that 3-5 years from now we will see a huge increase on performance accompanied by a huge drop in price (compare with today's prices and performance)

    Then we will probably have SATA 4 on the market and the "right price/GB/TB" will be on SATA 3 SSD's.

    With that in mind, I have always build my systems a generation "behind" which is always more than "a few" generations of whatever I had built last, I have always double or triple my previous built performance for around the same money invested on it.

    (plus/minus a few new "tricks" that probably were not on the previous built that could raise my budget
    200 dollars or so)

    Is is possible to get an 1TB SSD for around $100-$200 dollars in 3-5 years?
    I believe it will be.
    just don't expect to also be the faster SATA 4, you will have to "compromise" by been a little "behind"
    in speed.








    Reply
  • mikenygmail
    Add "SSD" to the title.
    Reply
  • tetracycloide
    nebunthat's what people people said about CPUs a few years back, yet nothing has changedAMD Athlon 64 4000+ San Diego 2.4GHz circa 2005 - $475.99 inflation adjusted to 2011 ~$548.22
    Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 Conroe 3.0GHz circa 2007 - $279.99 inflation adjusted to 2011 ~$304.10
    Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz circa 2011 - $219.99

    I'm sorry, you were saying?
    Reply