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Testbed Configuration

For our today’s SSD test session we put together a system on an Intel H67 based mainboard. This chipset provides support for two SATA 6 Gbit/s ports, which we use to connect the tested SSDs.

We are going to compare Kingston SSDNow V+200 120 GB against a few different SSDs with the same storage capacity, which are also based on SF-2281 controller. They are a typical SSD with 25 nm synchronous ONFI memory (Corsair Force Series GT – analogue to OCZ Vertex 3) and a typical SSD with 25 nm asynchronous memory (Corsair Force Series 3 – analogue to OCZ Agility 3).

Overall our testbed was configured as follows:

  • Intel Core i5-2400 (Sandy Bridge, 4 cores, 3.1 GHz, EIST and Turbo Boost turned off);
  • Foxconn H67S mainboard (BIOS A41F1P03);
  • 2 x 2 GB DDR3-1333 SDRAM DIMM 9-9-9-24-1T;
  • Crucial m4 256 GB system disk (CT256M4SSD2);
  • Tested SSDs:
    • Corsair Force 3 Series 120 GB (CSSD-F120GB3-BK, firmware version 1.3.3);
    • Corsair Force GT Series 120 GB (CSSD-F120GBGT-BK, firmware version 1.3.3);
  • o    Kingston SSDNow V+200 120 GB (SVP200S3/120G, firmware version 501).
  • Microsoft Windows 7 SP1 Ultimate x64
  • Drivers:
    • Intel Chipset Driver;
    • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator Driver;
    • Intel Rapid Storage Technology


Random and Sequential Read/Write

We use CrystalDiskMark 3.0.1 benchmark to test the random- and sequential read and write speed. This benchmark is convenient to work with as it can measure the speed of an SSD with both incompressible random and fully compressible recurring data. This feature is important for testing SSDs based on SF-2281/2282 controller, which tries to compress the data before writing it into memory. So, there are two numbers in the diagrams below that reflect the maximum and minimum SSD speed. The real-life performance of an SSD is going to be in-between those two numbers depending on how effective the controller data compression is.

Note that the performance tests in this section refer to SSDs in their “Fresh Out-of-Box” state (FOB). No degradation could have taken place yet.

When it comes to SSDs with second-generation SandForce controllers, you can predict quite accurately what to expect from them in terms of performance after looking at what they have inside. The type of NAND flash memory is the decisive factor, as a rule, because all SandForce-based products come with almost the same firmware, except for identification data. We’ve only seen one exception so far: the Intel SSD 520 differs from others thanks to optimizations implemented by Intel programmers.

And now the Kingston SSDNow V+200 wants to be the second exception as it’s got NAND chips that are theoretically synchronous with ONFI interface but work in asynchronous mode. Moreover, they work in such a way as to make the SSDNow V+200 different from a typical SSD with true asynchronous flash memory. The difference is not for the better, unfortunately. We can see that especially clear when the SSD reads 4KB data blocks at a short request queue depth. Considering that this is a highly popular operation in real-life applications, the SSDNow V+200 may turn out to be rather slow by today’s standards. Let’s check it out in the other tests before jumping to conclusions, though.

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