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SSD Performance In The Office: Nine Applications Benchmarked

Norton Internet Security 2012: Scanning

Overall StatisticsAntivirus Scanning
Elapsed Time27:26
Read Operations3 502 450
Write Operations40 157
Data Read29.22 MB
Data Written1.45 MB
Disk Busy Time281.91 s
Average Data Rate111.41 MB/s

We've explored the impact of antivirus software twice now. Last year, we concluded that it doesn't slow down most system operations, and in a recent follow-up, we found that CPU load is minimal. However, these assertions assume a couple of things that aren't always true. First, we tested in such a way as to isolate the scanning, suggesting you don't use your computer as a scan occurs. Although this helps with benchmarking, again, it's not always the case.

We know from experience that scanning can slow down other operations going on at the same time. Trying to load a game level, for example, takes much longer during a background scan. Worse, the task can result in choppy frame rates that make the game stutter. Our trace explains why this occurs.

While most operations are queued one-deep, we can see that most accesses are random in nature. SSDs excel at speeding up random accesses though. So, if you perform additional operations on top of a scan, the SSD demonstrates notable gains.

I/O Trends:

  • 77% of all operations occur at a queue depth of one
  • 42% of all data transferred is sequential
  • 47% of all operations are sequential
  • 78% of all operations are 4 KB in transfer size