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.
The Mushkin SSDs perform just as expected in this test, too. The Chronos is at the bottom of the diagram as it employs rather slow asynchronous flash. The Chronos deluxe is, on the contrary, among the fastest SSDs with second-generation SandForce controller. Its high performance is due to its Toggle Mode flash from Toshiba with 8-way interleave.
The detailed INASPT results help us see what usage scenarios are the most suitable for our today’s testing participants. Take 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.
INASPT prefers the Intel SSD 520 with its specially optimized firmware. The Chronos deluxe is slower than the Intel, yet also delivers high performance. It finds itself among the leaders in some scenarios such as compilation or search. The ordinary Chronos is not so fast, but it is not supposed to set any performance records. Its advantage is in its price rather than speed.