Testing a drive is not as simple as putting together a bunch of files, dragging them onto folder on the drive in Windows and using a stopwatch to time how long the transfer takes. Rather, there are factors such as read / write speed and data burst speed to take into account. There is also the SATA controller on your motherboard and how well it works with SSDs & HDDs to think about as well. For best results you really need a dedicated hardware RAID controller w/ dedicated RAM for drives to shine. Unfortunately, most people do not have the time, inclination or monetary funds to do this. For this reason our test-bed will be a more standard motherboard with no mods or high end gear added to it. This is to help replicate what you the end user’s experience will be like.
Even when the hardware issues are taken care of the software itself will have a negative or positive impact on the results. As with the hardware end of things, to obtain the absolute best results you do need to tweak your OS setup; however, just like with the hardware solution most people are not going to do this. For this reason our standard OS setup is used. However, except for the Windows 7 load test times we have done our best to eliminate this issue by having the drive tested as a secondary drive. With the main drive being an Intel DC S3700 800GB Solid State Drive.
For synthetic tests we used a combination of the ATTO Disk Benchmark, HDTach, HD Tune, Crystal Disk Benchmark, IOMeter, AS-SSD, Anvil Storage Utilities and PCMark 7.
For real world benchmarks we timed how long a single 10GB rar file took to copy to and then from the devices. We also used 10gb of small files (from 100kb to 200MB) with a total 12,000 files in 400 subfolders.
For all testing a Asus P8P67 Deluxe motherboard was used, running Windows 7 64bit Ultimate edition. All drives were tested using AHCI mode using Intel RST 10 drivers.
All tests were run 4 times and average results are represented.
In between each test suite runs (with the exception being IOMeter which was done after every run) the drives are cleaned with either HDDerase, SaniErase or OCZ SSDToolbox and then quick formatted to make sure that they were in optimum condition for the next test suite.
Due to the unique nature of the hybrid setup certain tests results have been omitted as they require an unformatted drive to test or gave erroneous results.
Processor: Core i5 2500
Motherboard: Asus P8P67 Deluxe
Memory: 8GB Corsair Vengeance LP “blue”
Graphics card: Asus 5550 passive
Hard Drive: Intel DC S3700 800GB, OCZ 480GB RevoDrive3 x2
Power Supply: XFX 850
SSD FIRMWARE (unless otherwise noted):
OCZ Vertex 2 100GB: 1.33
OCZ Vertex 3 240GB: 2.2
Crucial M4 256GB: 000F
Intel 520: 400i
SanDisk Extrene 240GB: R211
Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB: M206
OCZ Vector 256GB: 1.03
Intel DC S3700 800GB: 5DV10211
Kingston SSDNow V300 120GB: 505
SanDisk UltraPlus 256GB: 365A13F0
SandForce SF1200 Drives:
OCZ Vertex 2 - ONFi 2 NAND
SandForce SF2281 Drives:
Intel 520 - custom firmware w/ ONFi 2 NAND
SanDisk Extreme - stock firmware w/ 24nm Toggle Mode NAND
SSDNow V300 - custom firmware w/ 19nm Toggle Mode NAND
Corsair Neutron GTX - Toggle Mode NAND
Crucial M4 - Custom firmware w/ ONFi 2 NAND
SanDisk UltraPlus - Custom firmware w/ eX2 ABL NAND
Barefoot 3 controller:
OCZ Vector - ONFi 2 NAND
Intel X25-M Gen 3 controller:
Intel DC S3700 - ONFi 2 NAND
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