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Intel NAS Performance Toolkit

Intel NASPT is another disk sub-system test that employs real-life usage scenarios. Like PCMark 8, 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 8, this benchmark gives us a true-to-life illustration of disk subsystem performance. Here the SSDs are again tested in their “steady” state.

This benchmark thinks that the Crucial M550 series is slower than the Samsung 840 EVO when it comes to large-capacity models. Based on 64-gigabit chips, the 256GB M550 is much faster than the same-capacity Samsung, though.

Besides the average benchmark score, we would also like to offer you the results of individual usage scenarios, which explain the overall results of the Crucial M550. Take note that the data-transfer rate is higher than the interface bandwidth in some subtests. That’s because INASPT is a high-level benchmark that uses standard Windows functions to access the disk subsystem. The OS’s caching mechanisms come into play then.

The Crucial M550 series is average in performance nearly everywhere. The new M550 series is 6-8% faster than the M500 when it comes to the 512GB and 1TB models whereas the new 256GB model is up to 20% faster than its predecessor. Most importantly, the M550 series is affordable and its performance is high enough for its pricing.

Granted, the Samsung 840 EVO is a little cheaper, yet it is based on TLC NAND memory whose rated endurance is only one third of the endurance of Micron’s MLC NAND which is installed in Crucial’s products.

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