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Intel NAS Performance Toolkit

Intel NASPT is another disk sub-system test that uses real-life usage scenarios. Like PCMark 7, Intel NASPT reproduces predefined disk activity traces and measures how fast they are executed. However, the default traces are designed for network attached storage devices rather than for SSDs. Therefore during our test session we replace them with the specially developed SSD Benchmarking Suite which offers more relevant usage scenarios such as compressing and decompressing files, compiling large projects, copying files and folders, loading 3D game levels, installing software, batch-processing photos, searching a digital library for data, mass-launching applications, and transcoding video.

Like PCMark 7, this benchmark gives us a true-to-life illustration of disk subsystem performance. Here the SSDs are again tested in their “steady” state.

We’ve got the fastest SSDs available today in our comparative test and the LAMD-based products have average results among them. The Corsair Neutron GTX is faster than the typical SandForce-based SSDs and the OCZ Vertex 4. Its speed is comparable to that of Plextor M3 Pro, but it is inferior to Samsung 830. The Corsair Neutron is somewhat slower and behind the OCZ Vertex 4. On the other hand, this SSD with synchronous ONFI flash is ahead of any SF-2281 based SSD with standard firmware and ONFI or Toggle Mode flash.

Besides the average benchmark score, we would also like to offer you the results of individual usage scenarios, which will show where Corsair Neutron and Neutron GTX can really shine. Note that the data-transfer rate is higher than the SATA III interface bandwidth in some subtests. That’s because INASPT is a high-level test that uses standard Windows functions to access the disk subsystem. As a result, the OS caching mechanisms also affect the results.

The new SSDs from Corsair are similar to the OCZ Vertex 4 in their behavior. They are especially strong when large amounts of data have to be written but this is not a typical usage scenario for consumer-class SSDs. As a result, the Neutron GTX and Neutron are only average under typical loads, the cheaper version with synchronous ONFI flash being often ahead of its GTX cousin. So indeed, the GTX version seems to be targeted at benchmarkers rather than ordinary users.

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