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Performance in Intel IOMeter

Sequential Read & Write Patterns

From the low-level test we will now proceed to the synthetic IOMeter. IOMeter is sending a stream of read and write requests with a request queue depth of 4. The size of the requested data block is changed each minute, so that we could see the dependence of the drive’s sequential read/write speed on the size of the data block. This test is indicative of the maximum speed the drive can achieve.

The numeric data can be viewed in tables. We will discuss graphs and diagrams.

It is only on large data blocks that the SSDs reach their maximum performance. The top speeds are somewhat lower than what we have seen in WinBench 99. Frankly, we suspect that at such high speeds the disk controller’s bandwidth may be a bottleneck. Anyway, each SSD conquers the 150MBps peak while the leading 80GB Intel X25-M is even as fast as 200MBps. We can remind you that even 15,000rpm hard disk drives with SAS interface cannot deliver such a high speed. The Corsair is somewhat worse than the other SSDs, but not by much.

The three drives from Intel deliver their promised speeds at sequential writing, the SLC-based model even exceeding its specification of 170MBps. The Corsair does not make it to the specified 180MBps, yet its 165MBps is an outstanding result for inexpensive MLC memory, anyway. The Intel X25-E is faster irrespective of the data block size, but the difference is not worth the considerable difference in price between these two SSDs.

Disk Response Time

In this test IOMeter is sending a stream of requests to read and write 512-byte data blocks with a request queue of 1 for 10 minutes. The total number of requests processed by the drive is over 60 thousand, so we get a sustained response time that doesn’t depend on the drive’s buffer size.

It is all very simple here. The read access time is negligibly low with every SSD: the results of the best of HDDs are worse by an order or two! Intel’s SSD controllers deserve our praise for excellent writing: it is difficult to achieve as low an access time with flash memory at writing as at reading, but Intel manages that. The new chip from Samsung employed in the Corsair SSD is somewhat slower at writing, yet is better than any HDD. It is only the controllers of early SSDs that had an access time of tens of milliseconds.

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