Seagate 600 SSD 240 GB Review: LAMD And Toshiba, Together Again

Results: Tom's Storage Bench v1.0

Storage Bench v1.0 (Background Info)

Our Storage Bench incorporates all of the I/O from a trace recorded over two weeks. The process of replaying this sequence to capture performance gives us a bunch of numbers that aren't really intuitive at first glance. Most idle time gets expunged, leaving only the time that each benchmarked drive was actually busy working on host commands. So, by taking the ratio of that busy time and the the amount of data exchanged during the trace, we arrive at an average data rate (in MB/s) metric we can use to compare drives.

It's not quite a perfect system. The original trace captures the TRIM command in transit, but since the trace is played on a drive without a file system, TRIM wouldn't work even if it were sent during the trace replay (which, sadly, it isn't). Still, trace testing is a great way to capture periods of actual storage activity, a great companion to synthetic testing like Iometer.

Incompressible Data and Storage Bench v1.0

Also worth noting is the fact that our trace testing pushes incompressible data through the system's buffers to the drive getting benchmarked. So, when the trace replay plays back write activity, it's writing largely incompressible data. If we run our storage bench on a SandForce-based SSD, we can monitor the SMART attributes for a bit more insight.

Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 120 GB
SMART Attributes
RAW Value Increase
#242 Host Reads (in GB)
84 GB
#241 Host Writes (in GB)
142 GB
#233 Compressed NAND Writes (in GB)
149 GB


Host reads are greatly outstripped by host writes to be sure. That's all baked into the trace. But with SandForce's inline deduplication/compression, you'd expect that the amount of information written to flash would be less than the host writes (unless the data is mostly incompressible, of course). For every 1 GB the host asked to be written, Mushkin's drive is forced to write 1.05 GB.

If our trace replay was just writing easy-to-compress zeros out of the buffer, we'd see writes to NAND as a fraction of host writes. This puts the tested drives on a more equal footing, regardless of the controller's ability to compress data on the fly.

Average Data Rate

The Storage Bench trace generates more than 140 GB worth of writes during testing. Obviously, this tends to penalize drives smaller than 180 GB and reward those with more than 256 GB of capacity. It's a little unfair in that way, which is why it's a good metaphor for life.

First, the Vector is fast. Seagate's 600 might be an iron fist in a silk glove, but the Vector is a iron fist that rockets around at 286 MB/s. Pulling down an average data rate so far ahead of everything else is impressive, though it doesn't necessarily guarantee better performance quality on its own. Second, among all the 240/256 GB SSDs in this collection, all models (except for the Vector) are within spitting distance of each other.

Corsair's Neutron GTX falls further in the standings than Seagate. In absolute terms, the Neutron is 30 MB/s behind the 600. The GTX's 197 MB/s is certainly quick. But the Seagate implementation earns its first real performance break from the other LAMD-controlled drive with a whopping 227 MB/s.

Also notable is the value-oriented Intel SSD 335 and the pricier SSD 510. The 250 GB SSD 510 posts an average data rate just a few KB/s slower than Corsair's solution, and the SSD 335 pushes slightly ahead of Seagate's 600. Considering the vast majority of transfers are 4 KB in size, the week of system activity doesn't really punish the dilatory SSD 510 as much as the previous page's charts might have led you to believe.

It'd be reasonable to expect the Seagate and Corsair drives to hand in nearly identical numbers, based on the previous few pages of results. Given that both are likely very similar at the firmware level, the differences in performance could amount to a few gigabytes of spare NAND on the Seagate.

Service Times and Standard Deviation

There is a wealth of information we can collect with Tom's Storage Bench above and beyond the average data rate. Mean (average) service times show what responsiveness is like on an average I/O during the trace. It would be difficult to plot the 10 million I/Os that make up our test, so looking at the average time to service an I/O makes more sense. We can also plot the standard deviation against mean service time. That way, drives with quicker and more consistent service plot toward the origin (lower numbers are better here).

Given its average data rate performance, we're a little surprised to see the "slower" Neutron GTX serving up I/O as rapidly as the Seagate 600. Corsair might be doing its work in a more consistent fashion than Seagate, though. Overall, the Neutron demonstrates better quality of service, though the differences aren't spectacularly huge.

In a news flash that should surprise nobody, OCZ's Vector is still fast, breaking through with the lowest latency of all.

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21 comments
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  • mayankleoboy1
    1. Where is the Samsung 840 and 840 Pro ? Samsung 830 is quite old now.
    2. I dont get why you use QD greater than 4 in the synthetics. All of thses drives are for PC users, who will rarely get QD even equal to 4.

    3.I would have liked more real world tests like : Copying to and from drive, restoring backups, decompressing large ISO files , doing all of the above and then noting the time it takes to open Photoshop,

    4. Can you do a pre and post defragment test, just for lolz ?
    5. Can you do a test where the windows system is paging on the SSD ? basically a measure of the read/write disc speed when the OS is low on RAM and is using the SSD for pagefile.
    6. IMHO, if you use completely incompressible data to check the perf of SSD, you are deliberately biasing against the Sandforce based SSD's. Could you use a better mix of compressible and incompressible data ? The dynamic compression will definitely improve the perf of Sandforce SSD's in real world desktop usage.
  • mayankleoboy1
    And two more :

    1. The time it takes to do a full drive complete error checking (check file errors+recovery of bad sectors).
    2. The time it takes for a deleted file to be recovered ,using a third party data recovery freeware.
  • kyuuketsuki
    Not a bad drive at all. However, that warranty nonsense Seagate is trying to pull is enough to make this a definite pass. Not going to support that.
  • ryomitomo
    There's a typo in the chart in the first page. The Max Warranty TBW for 120GB version should read 36.5TB instead of 36.5GB. Otherwise, it is not much of a lifetime write endurance.
  • Twoboxer
    I have no problem with their warranty statement. They are telling you exactly how long its going to last. As long as the device reports where it is along the way, I'll know exactly when to replace it - no surprises.
  • Soda-88
    I don't see the problem with dual condition warranty. They're just protecting themselves from people who would abuse their SSD with heavy video capturing or something of the sort.
  • velosteraptor
    Soda-88I don't see the problem with dual condition warranty. They're just protecting themselves from people who would abuse their SSD with heavy video capturing or something of the sort.


    I dont have a problem with the dual condition warranty either, its a lot like a car; (10 year, 100,000 miles) I think the problem is that they are only giving a 3 year warranty, where almost everyone else in the ssd market has 5 year warrantys, and unconditioned at that. Even if the drive is faster than some of the other models tested here, id feel much safer buying a drive with a longer warranty, knowing its going to be protected for an extra 2 years.
  • raidtarded
    Almost every SSD manufacturer ties warranties to the amount of writes to the drive, you just have to read the fine print in the warranty. At least Seagate is upfront, most are hiding it until RMA time.
  • will1220
    raidtardedAlmost every SSD manufacturer ties warranties to the amount of writes to the drive, you just have to read the fine print in the warranty. At least Seagate is upfront, most are hiding it until RMA time.


    False. Neither Ocz or samsung have limits on how much data is written on the drive. And their the only two ssd brands worth buying.
  • mapesdhs
    Please stop using graphs that have non-zero origins! They are incredibly visually misleading.
    Such charts are the domain of dodgy advertisers, not tech sites that seek to convey useful
    information, etc.

    Ian.
  • mapesdhs
    Oh, fully agree with the OP about the Samsung 840/840-Pro, these should have been
    in the mix, not the 830. At least in the UK, one cannot buy the 830 anymore, it may
    aswell never have existed - even the old product pages for it have gone from most
    seller sites (rather unusual IMO). If possible, please replace the 830 data with 840 and
    840 Pro, then the Samsung info would be much more relevant.

    Ian.
  • cryan
    mapesdhsOh, fully agree with the OP about the Samsung 840/840-Pro, these should have beenin the mix, not the 830. At least in the UK, one cannot buy the 830 anymore, it mayaswell never have existed - even the old product pages for it have gone from mostseller sites (rather unusual IMO). If possible, please replace the 830 data with 840 and840 Pro, then the Samsung info would be much more relevant.Ian.


    True enough. We've been in the middle of a transition, retesting every drive and trying some different tests. That means that to review this one drive, I had to retest some fourteen other drives. Tedious, and time consuming, I couldn't have wrangled every one in under the gun.

    Regards,
    C. Ryan
  • cryan
    mapesdhsPlease stop using graphs that have non-zero origins! They are incredibly visually misleading.Such charts are the domain of dodgy advertisers, not tech sites that seek to convey usefulinformation, etc.Ian.


    Are you upset that I didn't test at QD 0, or are you concerned because I changed the scaling for the 128 KB Sequential Line graphs? No data is lost, but it does certainly make them easier to read. It's not intended to trick the reader, but rather to impart the information with more clarity and less confusion. This way, the differences are easier to detect. I can always drop in the charts without the scaling as well.

    Regards,
    C. Ryan
  • gondor
    will1220False. Neither Ocz or samsung have limits on how much data is written on the drive. And their the only two ssd brands worth buying.


    Are you sure ? Samsung drives (my 830 for example) have lifetime counter (counting down from 100%), I believe it's there to protect them from having to honor warranty on drives that have exceeded projected number of writes in their lifespan.

    (note that this doesn't mean the drive will fail immediately when counter reaches 0%)
  • Sakkura
    The X-axes on the page 3 graphs are simply marked "Title". That should probably be Queue Depth.
  • jesot
    I feel like every SSD benchmark should include the 840 Pro since it's supposed to be the best at the moment. Even so...we can tell that this particular drive is a nice first try for Seagate, but ultimately a "pass" since it's at the same pricepoint as the 840 Pro and Vector which outperform it by a wide margin.
  • flong777
    Dude - the Samsung 830???? Why? Nobody cares about the 830. Where is the 840 Pro the fastest SSD on the planet right now?
  • mapesdhs
    cryan writes:
    > ...That means that to review this one drive, I had to retest some fourteen
    > other drives. Tedious, and time consuming, ...

    I can definitely empathise with you there. :D

    I have though commented several times in the past three months
    that the 830 is effectively null & void now. I really wanted to
    get another for my 3930K build because I was amazed at the way
    it maintains steady state performance, but they'd just vanished
    from all the usual sellers ("It's *gone* McCready!"), so I bought
    a standard 840 250GB which I have to say is quite good overall.
    Irony is, not long after, I won two new Vector 256s on eBay... :D

    Anyway, definitely a more relevant product than the 830 now is
    the Vertex4 256GB which is still 'current' (continues to be for
    sale in the normal way from the usual dealers). It's a little
    more expensive than the 840 Pro, but it's a lot cheaper than the
    Vector (why is the Vector now so costly? Scan lists it for 236 UKP).

    Btw, have you heard anything about an updated Vertex3, called the
    Vertex3.20? It's on Scan's site (code LN50566, have a look) with
    a slightly higher IOPS rating than the normal Vertex3, though
    bizarrely it's priced higher than the 840 Pro. Can't imagine why
    OCZ would bother doing an update.


    > ... or are you concerned because I changed the scaling for the 128 KB
    > Sequential Line graphs? ...

    Correct, the 128KB sequential graphs should have a Y-axis origin
    of 0. I assume the X-axes are queue depth - as Sakkura says, both
    just say 'Title' atm.


    > No data is lost, but it does certainly make them easier to read. ...

    I think it makes them harder to read, because one cannot use the
    instant overall visual look of the graph to gain some idea of
    relative performance. It makes the performance differences seem
    wider than they really are. I know that zooming in on a narrow
    range allows one to move the lines apart to make them clearer, but
    the result allows one to infer incorrect relative performances (eg.
    it makes the Intel units look terrible).


    > ... I can always drop in the charts without the scaling as well.

    Better idea: how about having both? eg. just click on the image
    and it switches back and forth between the whole graph with 1,0
    origin vs. the zoomed in graphs as they are atm? ie. I would
    suggest the default should be the whole graph, then click to zoom
    in to the way it looks just now, click again to zoom out. Is
    that possible?

    Ian.
  • nieur
    I have no experience with SSD but I'm wondering
    How does conditioned warranty works exactly?
    How do they know how much many times the data has been written?
    is there any counter/register or anything like that for each block?
  • Sakkura
    476708 said:
    I have no experience with SSD but I'm wondering How does conditioned warranty works exactly? How do they know how much many times the data has been written? is there any counter/register or anything like that for each block?

    Yeah, the SMART attributes register information like that.
  • raidtarded
    will1220False. Neither Ocz or samsung have limits on how much data is written on the drive. And their the only two ssd brands worth buying.


    WRONG. there are warranty limitations on Samsung SSDs, read again. they all have warranty limitations, period.
    (i) a period of five (5) years for the 840 PRO Series and three (3) years for the 840 Series, (ii) the period ending on the date when the SSD has exceeded its TBW (Total Bytes Written) threshold as may be indicated by Samsung's Magician Software (

    http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/samsungssd/warranty.html