Articles: Storage

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Next goes our homemade test of defragmentation speed. We created a very defragmented file system on a 32GB partition of a disk by loading it with music, video, games and applications. Then we saved a per-sector copy of the disk and now copy it to the disk we want to test. The tested disk is connected to the mainboard’s SATA controller whose operation mode (AHCI/Standard SATA) is controlled from the mainboard’s BIOS. Next we run a script that evokes the console version of the Perfect Disk 8.0 defragmenter and marks the time of the beginning and end of the defragmentation process. Thus, each drive is tested twice – with AHCI support turned on and off on the controller. You can refer to this article for details about this test.

Strictly speaking, this test makes no practical sense for solid state drives because there is nothing to defragment on them. Every memory cell is equivalent to any other, so defragmentation won’t have any effect. Moreover, the location of a file in LBA sectors with sequential numbers won’t affect the physical location of data because the translator’s table can assign these addresses to completely different cells. So, the only effect you can achieve by defragmenting your SSD is to reduce its service life.

However, this test will allow us to compare how much time ordinary HDDs and SSDs spend to move the same amount of data.

This test is indicative of how firmware and memory type affect the speed of moving small data portions around the drive. The X25-E is excellent here. It passes the test within 10 minutes. The X25-M with new firmware is 2 minutes faster than its 80GB cousin. The Corsair has a less efficient controller and is but slightly better than the HDD in this test.

Performance in WinRAR

Now we are going to show you one more interesting test in which we use WinRAR version 3.8 to compress and then uncompress a 1.13GB folder with 8118 files in 671 subfolders. The files are documents and images in various formats. These operations are done on the tested drive. WinRAR is usually used to benchmark CPUs, but it can make a good test for HDDs/SSDs if you select the lowest compression level and use a huge amount of files. The drive’s performance should affect the speed of compressing/uncompressing then.

We have already tried this test with 2.5-inch HDDs and 3.5-inch HDDs and know what to expect.

The 160GB model from Intel is again better than its 80GB cousin with older firmware. The Corsair is surprisingly slow. The Intel SSDs are half a minute faster than desktop HDDs in this test whereas the Corsair took as long as 5400rpm HDDs to archive data. Perhaps it hadn’t had enough “rest” after the previous test.

The standings are absolutely different in the unzipping test. The X25-E is the best. It is just excellent at writing. HDDs generally take twice the time to complete the task. The 160GB X25-M is good, too. It coped with the task in 45 seconds. The Corsair is third, delivering the same performance as modern HDDs. The 80GB Intel X25-M is 50% slower than the Corsair – its firmware needs updating.

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